Vasile Lupu

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Vasile Lupu

Vasile Lupu (Vasile Coci) (Romanian pronunciation: [vaˈsile ˈlupu]; 1595–1661) was a Moldavian Voivode (Prince) between 1634 and 1653. Vasile Coci surnamed "the wolf" who ruled as Prince of Moldavia had secured the Moldavian throne in 1634 after a series of complicated intrigues and managed to hold it for twenty years. Vasile was of Albanian origin and Greek education.[1] He was a capable administrator and a brilliant financer and soon was the richest man in the Christian East. Judiciously placed gifts kept him on good terms with the Ottoman authorities.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Lupu was born in Arbanasi, an Albanian-populated village in Bulgaria.[4][5][6] The first time the name of the family is mentioned in Romanian sources is in 1597, when Nicholas Coci, an Albanian born in Epirus, took refuge with other mercenaries in the Arbanasi village. After he had been involved in a revolt and was defeated, Nicolai Coci was brought to the Romanian Country by Radu Mihnea, who would occupy the throne of all Romanian Territories (Moldova, Transilvania, Muntenia) in 1601. Nicolai Coci had 8 children: Vasile Lupu, Gabriel Hatmanul, Ilinca, Marga, Anna, Catherine and George Costea. After his father's death, the family moved to live in Moldavia. The most important fact about Nicolai Coci (Nicholas Coci) was his being the father of Prince Vasile Lupu / Wolf (Vasile Coci). The Coci last name was carried on by Stefan Coci (son of Vasile Lupu) who married the daughter of Petru Rareş, a voivode of Moldavia, but also by the descendant of Gabriel Coci named Hatmanul. The descending line of Coci intersects with aristocratic families from Moldavia, old families such as the Bucioc, Boulesti, and Abazesti.

Reign[edit]

Portrait of Vasile Lupu on the Romanian Athaeneum wall

Although widely seen as Albanian in his time, and having held high office under Miron Barnovschi, Vasile Lupu was elected Prince as a sign of indigenous boyars' reaction against Greek and Levantine competition. This was because Vasile Lupu had led a rebellion against Alexandru Iliaş and his foreign retinue, being led into exile by Moise Movilă (although he was backed by Prince Matei Basarab and the powerful Pasha of Silistra, Mehmet Abza).

His rule was marked by splendor and pomp. He was a builder of notable monuments (the unique Trei Ierarhi Monastery in Iaşi and the St. Paraskeva Church, Lviv, among others), a patron of culture and arts (introducing printing presses, founding the Academia Vasiliană upper school - that was to last, as the "Şcoala mare domnească", until 1821). These acts also had negative effects, the tax burdens being increased to an intolerable level.

After relations between the two Princes soured, Vasile Lupu spent much of his reign fighting the Wallachian Matei Basarab, trying to impose his son Ioan to the throne in Bucharest. His army was defeated twice in 1639 (at Ojogeni and Nenişori) and a third time, at Finta, in 1653. After this last battle, the Moldavian boyars rebelled and replaced him with the Wallachian favorite, Gheorghe Ştefan. Vasile Lupu went into exile and died while being kept in Turkish custody at Yedikule prison in Constantinople.

Vasile built a strong alliance with Bohdan Khmelnytsky, marrying his daughter Ruxandra to Tymofiy (Tymish) - the hetman's son, who went on to fight alongside Vasile Lupu at Finta.

Laws and reforms[edit]

Vasile Lupu introduced the first codified printed law in Moldavia (1646, published in Iaşi). Known as the Carte româneascǎ de învăţătură ("Romanian book of learning") or Pravila lui Vasile Lupu ("Vasile Lupu's code"),[7] the document does not go against Byzantine tradition, being a translated review of customs (and almost identical to its Wallachian contemporary equivalent).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard C. Frucht (2005). Eastern Europe: an introduction to the people, lands, and culture. ABC-CLIO. pp. 750–. ISBN 978-1-57607-800-6. "Lupu, an ambitious politician of Albanian origin and Greek education" 
  2. ^ For Basil Lupul see N.Norga "Byzance apres Byzance", pp. 163-81
  3. ^ see Steven Runciman "The Great Church in captivity" Edition 3 , 1985 pp. 286-7, 341-3, 370
  4. ^ Dimitrie Cantemir (Voivode of Moldavia) (1973). Descriptio Moldaviae. Editura "Cartea Românească". p. 149. "Vasile Lupu (numit Lupu Coci, din Arbănaşi — Bulgaria) aprilie 1634— aprilie 1653, mai — iulie 1653" 
  5. ^ see Steven Runciman " The Great Church in captivity , edition 3, 1985 , 286-7,341-3,370
  6. ^ see N.Jorga "Byzance apres Byzance , p.163-81
  7. ^ Susana Andea (2006). History of Romania: compendium. Romanian Cultural Institute. p. 332. ISBN 978-973-7784-12-4. "In the legislative field, he managed to print the Imperial Code of Laws in 1646 (Vasile Lupu's Code, or the Romanian Book of Learning)." 
Preceded by
Moise Movilă
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
1634–1653
Succeeded by
Gheorghe Ştefan
Preceded by
Gheorghe Ştefan
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
1653
Succeeded by
Gheorghe Ştefan