The Soutzos or Soutsos (Romanian: Suțu or Sutzu) is a Greek Phanariote family which grew into prominence and power in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) during the last centuries of Ottoman Empire and gave several short-reign hospodars to the Danubian Principalities, like Alexandros Soutzos, Mihai Suțu and Michael Soutzos (Mihail Suțu).
A forefather in Constantinople of the Soutzoi bore the name Drako. It is indicated that they had at some juncture of earlier time come from Epeiros. Moreover, it is thought that the forefather had been Aromanians of some mountainous terrain, in Epeiros or therearound. More certainly, the Drakou family name had been in use by several people in Epeiros.
A story tells that being involved in hydraulic equipment of Constantinople, the family started to be called with a term of that by Turks. Modified to Greek language, it were the origin of the name of Soutzos.
Konstantinos Drako, son of a rhetor of the patriarchate (Diamantaki Drako), was the man who was first Soutzos to rise to prominence. He married in 1714 princess Maria Rusetaina, daughter of a long-established Phanariote family (her mother was Helena Mavrokordataina and her paternal grandfather Antonie had under Ottoman overlordship even held the princely rule in the Danubian countries). Konstantinos' in-laws raised Konstantinos to high positions in Danubian principalities, and his sons were kin with everybody who mattered in Phanar. Later, in 1780s..1790s, one of the sons (Mihai Draco-Sutzu) rose to the thrones of Walachia and Moldavia and was the first Prince of their surname.
Significant members of the family include the two brother poets Panagiotis Soutsos and Alexandros Soutsos, of whom the first set the cornerstone for the revival of the Olympic Games and the latter was the founder of the Greek Romantic school of poetry. The main branch of the above family is found now in Athens, Greece. The family claims Byzantine roots, and there is reference to it in the Court of Constantine the Great.
Alexandre Negresco-Soutzo (ro), Livre d’Or de la Famille Soutzo, chez l'auteur, Paris, 2005.
- Livre d'or de la noblesse phanariote et des familles princières de Valachie et de Moldavie. Par E. R. R. [i.e. E. Rhizos Rhankabej.] Deuxième édition. Athenes, 1904
- Dictionnaire historique et généalogique des grandes familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople, Paris: L'Auteur, 1983