Mircea II of Wallachia

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Mircea II
Prince of Wallachia
Reign 1442
Predecessor Vlad II Dracul,
Successor Basarab II
House House of Drăculești (branch of the House of Basarab
Father Vlad II Dracul

Mircea II (1428–1447) was a onetime ruler of the principality of Wallachia, in the year 1442. He was the oldest son of Vlad II Dracul and brother of Vlad Țepeș and Radu the Handsome. He was grandson of his namesake Mircea cel Bătrân.

Early life[edit]

Mircea was the eldest son of Vlad Dracul, the future voivode (or prince) of Wallachia.[1] According to the Burgundian crusader, Walerand of Wavrin, Mircea was about 15 year old in 1443, suggesting that Mircea had been born around 1428.[1] The first document to mention Mircea (and his younger brother, Vlad Dracula) was issued on 20 January 1437.[1] In that charter, their father (who was already the ruler of Wallachia) referred to Mircea and Vlad as his "first born sons".[1] According to a widely accepted scholarly theory, "Cneajna" from Moldavia (a daughter of Alexander I of Moldavia) was Mircea's mother.[2]

Reign[edit]

The Ottoman Sultan, Murad II, summoned Vlad Dracul to Edirne to do homage to him in March 1442.[3] Before leaving Wallachia, Vlad Dracul appointed Mircea to rule Wallachia during his absence.[3] The sultan accused Vlad Dracul of treachery and ordered his imprisonment.[3] He also sent a troop of 12,000 strong to invade Wallachia.[3][4]

In 1436, Mircea II's father Vlad Dracul succeeded in regaining the throne of Wallachia following the death of his half brother Alexandru I Aldea. Mircea II ruled in his father's absence beginning in 1442, when his father was away at the Ottoman court. His father's allied stance with the Ottoman Empire made him an enemy of John Hunyadi. In 1443, Hunyadi launched an attack on Wallachia, defeating both the Ottoman forces and those loyal to Vlad Dracul, forcing the latter to negotiate with the Ottoman court for support, with Mircea II fleeing and going into hiding. However, Mircea II had a strong following, and retained a strong army during this period. Hunyadi placed Basarab II on the throne, but with the support of the Ottomans Vlad Dracul would regain the throne shortly thereafter. Mircea II supported his father, but did not support his stance of siding with the Ottomans. Vlad Dracul signed a treaty with the Ottomans which stated he would pay the usual annual tribute, as well as allowing two of his sons, Vlad Țepeș and Radu the Handsome (Fair), to be held as captives.

In October 1444, Vlad Dracul arrived near Nicopolis and tried to dissuade Vladislav III, king of Poland and Hungary, from continuing the Crusade of Varna. Polish historian Callimachus tells that the leaders of the crusade would not listen, so Vlad II went back to Wallachia, but not before he had left Mircea II in command of an auxiliary unit of 4,000 Wallachian cavalrymen. The unit participated in the Battle of Varna on 10 November 1444 and after the defeat Mircea led the remainder of his unit and the Christian forces across the Danube. An able military commander, he successfully recaptured the fortress of Giurgiu in 1445. However, in yet another treaty with the Ottomans, his father allowed the Ottomans to again have control of the fortress in an effort to retain their support of his having the throne, and in an effort to keep his two captive sons safe. In 1447, Hunyadi launched yet another attack against Wallachia, once more defeating the armies supporting Vlad Dracul and Mircea II, forcing Vlad Dracul to flee. Mircea II, however, was captured by boyars from Tîrgoviște, and was blinded with a red-hot poker, then buried alive. His father was captured and killed shortly thereafter.

Following their deaths, his brother Vlad Țepeș was placed on the throne by the Ottomans, but was soon forced out. Vlad Țepeș would regain the throne in 1456, and would fight successfully against the Ottomans for a number of years afterward, during which time he would begin his reign of terror for which he would become best known, and which would lead to his being the inspiration for the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. Vlad Țepeș would also carry out vengeance against the boyars, whom he held responsible for his father and brother's deaths.

Preceded by
Vlad II Dracul
Prince of Wallachia
1442
Succeeded by
Basarab II

Popular culture[edit]

  • In Karen Chance's Cassandra Palmer series and Dorina Basarab series, Mircea Basarab features as the love interest of the former and father of the latter. He is also the North American Vampire Senate's chief negotiator. (Novels)
  • In the comic strip Alley Oop, Mircea Ţepeş, a direct descendant of Mircea, appears in a series of strips published during 1981.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Treptow 2000, p. 46.
  2. ^ Florescu & McNally 1989, p. 45.
  3. ^ a b c d Treptow 2000, p. 47.
  4. ^ Mureşanu 2001, p. 78.

Sources[edit]

  • Florescu, Radu R.; McNally, Raymond T. (1989). Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and his Times. Back Bay Books. ISBN 978-0-316-28656-5. 
  • Jefferson, John (2012). The Holy Wars of King Wladislas and Sultan Murad: The Ottoman-Christian Conflict from 1438-1444. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-21904-5. 
  • Mureşanu, Camil (2001). John Hunyadi: Defender of Christendom. The Center for Romanian Studies. ISBN 973-9432-18-2. 
  • Treptow, Kurt W. (2000). Vlad III Dracula: The Life and Times of the Historical Dracula. The Center of Romanian Studies. ISBN 973-98392-2-3. 

External links[edit]