Lațcu of Moldavia
Lațcu was Voivode of Moldavia from c. 1367 to c. 1375. He converted to the Roman Catholic faith and attempted to strengthen his realm's autonomy by establishing a Roman Catholic diocese directly subordinated to the Holy See. However, he seems to have accepted the suzerainty of King Louis I of Hungary and Poland in his last years.
Lațcu was the son of Bogdan I of Moldavia, the voivode achieving Moldavia's independence of Louis I. He succeeded his father around 1367. After Louis I of Hungary inherited Poland from his uncle, Casimir III of Poland, in 1370, he could put Lațcu under pressure from both the east and the north. The contamporaneous John of Küküllő said that the voivodes of Moldavia accepted the suzerainty of Louis I of Hungary, suggesting that Lațcu (or already his father) had been forced to yield to the king. However, John of Küküllő did not determine the date of the submission, for which historiand Dennis Delatant says that "[t]here is nothing to suggest that ... Hungarian suzerainty was restored".
Lațcu sent two Franciscan friars of Polish origin to Rome in early 1370 in order to inform Pope Urban V of his decision to convert from Orthodoxy to the Roman Catholic faith. He also asked the Pope to establish a Roman Catholic diocese at his seat in Siret. Historian Deletant says that Lațcu must have decided to convert Catholicism primarily for political reasons, because he approached the Holy See directly, without the mediation of Hungarian prelates. The pope soon appointed three prelates (Jan Očko of Vlašim, Archbishop of Prague, Przeclaw of Pogorzela, Bishop of Wrocław, and Florian of Mokrsko, Bishop of Cracow) to examine the state of affairs in the principality. Their report was received by his successor, Pope Gregory XI who authorized Florian of Mokrsko to consecrate the Polish Andrzej Jastrzębiec bishop with his see in Siret in 1371. The new diocese was directly subordinated to the Holy See. The pope bestowed on him the title "duke of the Moldavian parts or of the people of Wallachia" (dux Moldaviensis partium seu nationis Wlachie). Lațcu's wife, Ana, and his daughter, Anastasia, did not convert to Catholicism.
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor signed a deed in Breslau (now Wrocław in Poland) in 14 March 1372, declaring that he acknowledged the rights of Louis I of Hungary in Hungary, Poland and other countries, including Moldavia. The exact reasons of Charles's act are unknown;. Historian J. Sýkora theorizes that Laţcu had sought an alliance against the Hungarian monarch with Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. The Romanian historian Victor Spinei argues that Laţcu took advantage of his peaceful relations with Louis I by expanding his authority towards the Black Sea coasts in the 1370s. In contrast with him, Ioan-Aurel Pop suggests that Louis I prepared an expedition against Laţcu in 1374.
The exact date of his death is unknown. He died either around 1374 or in 1375. Laţcu was interred in the Orthodox monastery at Rădăuţi alongside his father. Little information is known of the events that directly followed his death. According to the 15th-century Lithuanian-Ruthenian Chronicle, the Vlachs elected a Lithuanian prince, George Koriatovich, voivode at an unspecified date.
- Deletant 1986, p. 193.
- Spinei 1986, pp. 204-207.
- Sălăgean 2006, p. 201.
- Deletant 1986, p. 192.
- Deletant 1986, p. 191.
- Deletant 1986, pp. 193-194.
- Spinei 1986, p. 212.
- Deletant 1986, p. 194.
- Pop 2006, p. 249.
- Spinei 1986, p. 211.
- Deletant 1986, p. 195.
- Spinei 1986, p. 218.
- Pop 2006, p. 250.
- Deletant 1986, p. 199.
- Deletant 1986, p. 197.
- Deletant 1986, pp. 197-198.
- Deletant, Dennis (1986). "Moldavia between Hungary and Poland, 1347-1412". The Slavonic and East European Review 64 (2): 189–211. ISSN 0037-6795.
- Pop, Ioan-Aurel (2006). "Romanians in the 14th-16th centuries: From the "Christian Republic" to the "Restoration of Dacia"". In Ioan-Aurel, Pop. History of Romania: Compendium. Romanian Cultural Institute (Center for Transylvanian Studies). pp. 209–314. ISBN 978-973-7784-12-4.
- Sălăgean, Tudor (2006). "Romanian society in the early Middle Ages". In Ioan-Aurel, Pop. History of Romania: Compendium. Romanian Cultural Institute (Center for Transylvanian Studies). pp. 133–207. ISBN 978-973-7784-12-4.
- Spinei, Victor (1986). Moldavia in the 11th–14th Centuries. Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste Româna.
- M. Bărbulescu, D. Deletant, K. Hitchins, Ş. Papacostea, P. Teodor, Istoria României, Ed. Corint, 2004, ISBN 973-653-514-2
|Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
c. 1367–c. 1375