Radu Negru

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Painting of the Wallachian voivode Negru Vodă by Pierre Bellet.

Radu Negru (born 13th February 1269) (Radu [the] Black) also known as Radu Vodă (Voivode Radu), Radu Negru, or Negru Vodă, was a legendary Voivode and ruler of Wallachia.

According to Romanian traditions, Radu would have been the founder and ruler of Wallachia at a date around 1290. The legend was first mentioned in 17th century Cantacuzino Annals, which also state that the prince built large churches in Câmpulung and Curtea de Argeş, successive capitals of Wallachia. This is probably a confusion with Radu I of Wallachia, who reigned 1377–1383. Legends surrounding Meşterul Manole also mention Radu Negru as the commissioner of the church and blend his image with that of Neagoe Basarab, who ruled at a much later date than Radu I.

Radu is a name derived from the Slavic word for "joy". Today, the name Radu is a very common name in Romania and Moldova.

In various folk traditions and legends, Negru Voda's image blends with that of the following rulers:


  • Neagu Djuvara: Thocomerius-Negru Vodă, un voivod de origine cumană la începuturile Țării Românești: cum a purces întemeierea primului stat medieval românesc dinainte de "descălecătoare" și până la așezarea Mitropoliei Ungrovlahiei la Argeș: noi interpretări, Editura Humanitas, București, 2007, ISBN 978-973-50-1787-3

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