Aaron the Tyrant

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Aaron the Tyrant (Romanian: Aron Tiranul), sometimes credited as Aron Emanoil or Emanuel Aaron (d. 1597 in Vințu de Jos), was twice Moldavian Voivode (Prince): between September 1591 and June 1592, and October 24, 1592 to May 3, 1595. He was Alexandru Lăpușneanu's son.

Emanuel Aaron was placed on the Moldavian throne through the efforts of Solomon Ashkenazi, an influential Jew. He is alleged to have paid officials at the Ottoman court the sum of one million guilders; the moment he came to the throne signified an increase in taxes, one high enough to justify his moniker and to lead to an uprising. Despite Ashkenazi's support, he increased the persecution of Jews in Moldavia, and executed without trial 19 of his Jewish creditors.[1] The events called for the Porte's intervention, and the Ottomans deposed Aron without delay.

He was soon after appointed ruler for the second time, owing to pressure from his creditors. Aron Tiranul was, however, determined to end his cohabitation with the Ottomans, especially after the offers for an alliance made by Pope Clement VIII and Wallachian Prince Michael the Brave. He and Michael convened on November 5, 1594, after which Aron swiftly moved against the Ottomans, getting them out of Moldavia and briefly conquering part of Dobruja in 1595.

The hatman (a high boyar rank) who led the anti-Ottoman campaigns and who became very popular among the soldiers, Ștefan Răzvan, ousted Aron, whose image increasingly eroded among the people. While Răzvan took charge of affairs in Iași, Aron Tiranul and his family were captured in Transylvania by the troops of Prince Sigismund Báthory, being imprisoned in Alvinc (Vințu de Jos) – where he died, being buried in the Eastern Orthodox church in Alba Iulia.

Preceded by
Petru Șchiopul
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
Succeeded by
Alexandru cel Rău
Preceded by
Petru Cazacul
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
Succeeded by
Ștefan Răzvan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rezachevici, p.61; "Rumania: Under Turkish..."