Talk:Battle of Rovine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Dating the battle[edit]

In the main article it is claimed that a later Serbian source testifies for two battles. All I know is of several later Serbian sources claiming a single battle on the date of 10th of October 1394 (Al. V. Diţă, G. S. Radojičić, L. Stojanović), a fact which can be interpreted as interpolation - they are similar with some earlier Serbian sources that mention only the year (6903 = 1394-95). Daizus 13:07, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

And which are the sources for this battle, specially the numbers? Lysandros 00:19, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Stojanović classifies about 40 Serbian sources (manuscripts written in monasteries mostly). Among these only 10 of them testify for the above discussed date. Other written sources on the battle would be the accounts of Philippe de Mézières, Constantine Kostenetski, Ibn Kemal, Orudj, Laonic Chalcocondil, Makarios Melissenos and perhaps others I don't remember at this moment. Indirect written sources would be found in some acts and diplomas of the Hungarian chancellary and church documents related to the some deaths testified in this battle (like the death of Constantine Dragash). Daizus 11:08, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

However, I don't know what chronicle is the one refered in the main article: A Serbian chronicle which dates a century later records that there were two battles. I will ask for source. Daizus 11:49, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

The result of the battle...[edit]

If the result of this battle was a "Decisive Wallachian victory" why "...after this second battle Mircea and the entire country bowed to the Ottoman sultan and payed tribute."...? Lysandros 16:16, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

The battle of Rovine was decisive for the survival of the principality of Wallachia and of the Romanian people. The Turks went home empty-handed. Remember what was the main goal of the Turkish campaign? Bayazet and his Ottomans didn't come into a hostile land and fight a desperate battle just for fun! According to their initial plan, they wanted to march onto the capital city (Curtea de Arges) to besiege and take and destroy it, to kill the Romanian prince, to occupy and rule his country. That was the initial wistful thinking. Then came the reality check. Eventually, instead of achieving at least one of these goals, the Turks abandoned their plan, turned back and fled and went home. Meanwhile, Wallachia remained unconquered and free of the Ottoman militay occupation. Moreover, Mircea continued to rule his country, undisturbed, for a long period of time. -- 03:34, 8 January 2007 (UTC) Felix Sima.

Actually, soon after this battle (triggered or not by it remains a question still in debate) Mircea was replaced by Vlad I(1395/96-1397). So Mircea neither paid tribute, nor ruled undisturbed. AFAIK, Mircea paid tribute to the Ottomans only after 1417 (when probably also following his interferences in the fights for the Ottoman throne, the sultan Mehmet I launched a campaign on Wallachia). Daizus 10:34, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Mircea ruled Wallachia for almost forty years (from 1386 to 1418, with a three-year "disturbance" caused by Vlad Uzurpatorul), during which he "disturbed" the Turks at least as much as they "disturbed" him... :) 27 July 2007 (UTC) Felix Sima.


It was completely impossible for the Ottomans to gather such huge army during that time. They were 8,000-10,000 maximum! I wasn´t until the middle of the 13th century that the Ottomans managed to gather big armies.

Numbers might be absolutely correct
Try and find out about the the battle of Kosovo. Turks managed to gather even a bigger army just two years earlier. 13:57 (UTC), October 14, 2010 - Vasile Nedelcu

Some sources...[edit]

"...In 1395 the Wallachian voivode Mircea the Old fought them at Rovine on the Argeş River in what was apparently an indecisive battle since both sides claimed victory..." East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500 by Jean W. Sedlar (page 245).

"...The long siege was interrupted only by the indecisive battle of Rovine in Wallachia, fought in May 1395 between Bayezid and Mircea of Wallachia..." The Late Byzantine Army: Arms and Society, 1204-1453 By Mark C. Bartusis (page 111). Lysandros 17:29, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Quote from Peter Sugar, "The Early History and the Establishment of the Ottomans in Europe": There the Hungarian-Wallachian alliance was still in effect, and Bayezid I now moved against Mircea. Once again, many Christians, mostly Serbs, fought in his army, including Kraljevic (the son of the king) Marko, the hero of another famous Epic, who died not in that battle, but in the Battle of Arges which Bayezid fought with the Wallachians on May 17, 1395. Mircea appears to have been victorious militarily, but his forces and resources were so depleted that he had to acknowledge the loss of the Dobrudja, into which Bayezid moved Turkish garrisons. He also had to accept the status of an Ottoman vassal and pay regular tribute. This arrangement lasted until the Danubian Principalities regained their independence. Although it created problems for the Romanians, it saved them from the much harsher treatment that went with direct Ottoman rule, especially during the centuries of decline.. Like I sayd in the edit summary. The battle was won, but subsequent events are irrelevant. Greier 19:20, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Fine, Peter Sugar claims a Wallachian victory, but as you can see, certainly not a Decisive Wallachian victory. And i realy don't understand why he must be considered a 'superior' source. We can not ignore other historians, who consider this battle as indecisive. Lysandros 19:52, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

I haven't read these pages for a while now. Anyway I'll contribute with some sources. I don't have them in English, the translations belong to me. If you want a better take on the text, I suggest you look for other versions done by professionals.
"Also his son, Bayezid - about 3 years ago - had another battle against Wallachians, in which he was utterly defeated (in original: desconfis à plain) and lost about 30,000 Turks dying in battle. And a lot of Christians also died." (Philippe de Mézières, 1397)
"In year 6903 (that is 1 Septemeber 1394 - 31 August 1395) the sultan Bayezid himself went to Danube against Mircea, the Wallachian voivod. And was defeated by Wallachians and Mircea and the Wallachians defeated his army and he (Mircea) took all his (Bajezid's) loot (in original: hasna toutéstin tòn bion tou) and followed him to Danube. And then the prince Marco and the Constantin, the ruler of Zegligovo were killed and Yildirim Bajezid hardly escaped and with little army." (a 16th century "post-Byzantine" chronicle, see Peter Schreiner, Die byzantinischen Kleinchroniken, vol. I, Wien, 1975, p. 562)
Of course, there are chronicles which do not detail on victory. IMO the battle is considered indecissive because a) not all chronicles consider it a victory (however to my knowledge no one considers it a Wallachian defeat) b) some time after the battle Mircea was replaced by another voivod, Vlad. To justify this, some historians think the victory was either not decissive, or simply not that important for the politics of low Danube in that period.
Also please try to consult the proper authorities. Very probably some historians did not investigate this issue themselves (for instance you quoted a historian of the Late Byzantine Military!) and simply reiterated the opinions they've read, which hopefully are somewhere in footnotes and bibliographical references. There are indeed controversies and debates upon this battle, I'm not sure if Wikipedia is the best environment of discussing them and it take quite an effort presenting it. Anyway, I agree is best to say it only as "Wallachian victory" and if someone has the time and the patience to compile and present the opposing sources and historians would be just great. Daizus 11:14, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

There is no clear outcome, this battle is indecisive![edit]

"...The Wallachians claimed victory but the Ottomans held the field and briefly placed Mircea's rival Vlad on the Wallachian throne..." Nicopolis 1396:the last Crusade by David Nicolle, Christa hook (p.12)

"...Although Mircea the Elder, voivode of Wallachia, fought the Turks to a standstill in the bloody battle of Rovine (on 17 May,1395), he had to pay tribute, and Ottoman forces soon occupied the Dobruja..." The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571 by Kenneth Meyer Setton (p.341) Lysandros 01:22, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I suggest you stop searching for historians and try searching the sources. For instance, I know of no source saying "the Ottomans held the field". Either nothing is said about it, either the Ottomans left the field, or the both the Ottomans and the Wallachians left the field. I'll give you more sources, not clear about a Wallachian victory but showing only the Ottomans leaving the battle scene:
"And it is said the army been marching, [Mircea] was close behind it and harassed it and put it in difficult and damaging situations. That's why his [Bajezid's] servant Brenez advised to camp and to guard themselves [...]. Then Bajezid camped but next day he crossed back the Ister [Danube], as safe as he could. So it was for him and his army in Dacia [Wallachia]." (Laonic Chalcocondil, 15th century)
"Then he [Bajezid] starts a war against Mircea, the Wallachian ruler, and plundered the country. Then Mircea showed in battle in a narrow place, and the sultan thought about it and abandoned the battle and retreated.
Later, they came together, Mircea decided to give him a payment (in original: telos) and they made peace." (Makarios Melissenos, 16th century) Daizus 11:25, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi Daizus. You don't have to suggest me anything. Ok, all these untrustworthy historians that i cited are lying, you and your chroniclers are right. This was a Wallachian victory. Lysandros 12:11, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm not saying they are lying (anyway not with intention), I'm saying they are not trustworthy authorities on this battle. Just look at the titles of their works: "East Central Europe in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500", "The Late Byzantine Army: Arms and Society, 1204-1453", "Nicopolis 1396: the last Crusade", "The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571". For all of them, the battle of Rovine is rather a minor and quasi-irrelevant issue and most probably they've wrote about it without dedicating a serious study on it. And there are serious studies on it: from rather recent authors I could mention Al. V. Diţă (supporting a decissive Wallachian victory) or D. I. Mureşan (supporting a tactical Ottoman victory). To have a clear view on this battle one must review Turkish (Ottoman), Slavonic (Wallachian, Moldavian, Serbian), Greek (Byzantine), Italian, French, Latin (Hungarian, Polish and other Western) written sources (to my knowledge there's no archaeological evidence of the battle). There are over 40 Serbian sources of this battle (most of them compiled by L. Stojanović in 1927). Are the authors you invoked considering them? Are they considering the chronicles of Philippe de Mézières (1397) or of Konstantin Kostenetski (1431), chronicles written at a short period after the battle? I cannot take those one-liners about this battle as authoritative quotes.
As for your skepticism, I welcome it. Indeed it is debateable if there was a decissive Wallachian victory. Check here a study on the events of 1394-1395: Daizus 12:59, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Fortunately, i can easily read French...

"Selon les chroniqueurs ottomans, entre les deux armées fut finalement engagée une «grande bataille» près de la rivière Argeş[47], qui se solda avec des lourdes pertes pour les deux côtés. Cependant, les Roumains ne lâchaient pas leur résistance. Durant la nuit, les cadavres des soldats ottomans auraient été recueillis et jetés dans la rivière, créant au lendemain à Mircea l’impression que l’armée ottomane était encore intacte. Il décida donc de se retirer[48]."

"Ce camp, défendu par la garde personnelle du sultan composée de janissaires, était le point inexpugnable sur lequel se reconstituait à chaque fois la défensive ottomane, dans les plus difficiles moments d’une bataille. Appliquée justement à partir de l’année suivante, à la bataille de Nicopolis (1396), cette innovation tactique devient un élément fondamental de l’art militaire ottoman jusqu’au XVIIIe siècle. C’est alors cette innovation qui, tout en parlant de la résistance résolue opposée par l’armée de Mircea, témoigne en dernière instance de la victoire tactique que le sultan remporta à la fin de cette bataille. L’armée de Mircea Ier, subissant des graves pertes, et en impossibilité de briser la défense du camp du sultan, a été finalement obligée de se retirer. En revanche, si pour Bayezid cette issue était une victoire, elle ne l’était pas moins l’une «à la Pyrrhus»[51]."

Translation (with my limited English);

"According to the Ottoman chroniclers, between the two armies finally began a «great battle» near the river Argeş[47], with heavy casualties on both sides. However the Romanians didn't give up. During the night, the corpses of the fallen Ottoman soldiers were chucked into the river, creating the next day to Mircea the impression that the Ottoman army was still intact. He decided then to withdraw.[48]"

"This camp, defended by the personal guard of the Sultan composed of janissaries, was the impregnable point of the Ottoman defense, in the much difficult moments of a battle. Applied justly from the next year, in the battle of Nicopolis (1396), this tactical innovation became the fundamental element of the Ottoman art of war until the XVIII century. That is this innovation which, despite of the determined opposition of Mircea's army, testify the tactical victory that the Sultan won in the end of this battle. The army of Mircea I, sustaining heavy casualties, and in the impossibility to break the defense of Sultan's camp, was finally obliged to withdraw. However, if this result for Bayezid was a victory, it was a «Pyrrhic» one[51]."

As you can see, this well sourced study clearly suggests a tactical (but Pyrrhic) Ottoman victory. Lysandros 02:52, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I hope you can read English at least as well as you can read French because I already said "or D. I. Mureşan (supporting a tactical Ottoman victory)". ;) Daizus 14:03, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

A clever remark, but this translation wasn't only for you but for everybody interested with the article. Lysandros 11:06, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, you have a point, only that I'm not saying your translation is not valuable, just that I was aware of the content.
There some other interesting aspects. In the note 51 the author shapes the difference between his position and Diţă's (though, as I've read both studies, I'd say some of the questions are already answered in Al. V. Diţă study). However, regarding the Ottoman chronicles I want to add (as Al. V. Diţă rightfully observes, too) reading Ibn Kemal's account that Ottomans retreated also after the battle (I don't know if Orudj or Enveri - the chronicles invoked by D. I. Mureşan - mention it, as I haven't read them), and Ibn Kemal adds they came again in Wallachia the next year. However, a real problem occurs as D. I. Mureşan ignores the chronicles asserting Wallachian victory. That's why (chronicles testifying different outcomes of the battle) there's a third historiographical position - that of the two battles (though no source - to my knowledge - mentions two battles) - one a Wallachian victory, the other an Ottoman tactical victory followed by the voivodship of Vlad. And there's another consequent issue. In one of the few documents we have from Vlad he clearly states he owes his crown to the Polish king (and queen). And Al. V. Diţă's theory tries to give an answer to that too.
The article is clearly insufficient and I'll gladly expand it, however there are lots of aspects of this battle unknown to me (like Topkapi document or those Ottoman chronicles, or if we're to talk only from modern historians/authorities - other in-depth studies but Diţă's or Mureşan's) and I'd hope for more contributions in this talk page before commiting changes to the main article. And I want to say again I have nothing against your skepticism and the tags you added to the main article. Critical thinking is always welcome. Daizus 14:08, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Slavonic = Wallachian/Moldovan[edit]

As far as I know, Romanians aren't (and never were) Slavs. --PaxEquilibrium 01:44, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but the Wallachian and Moldavian chronicles were written in Slavonic at that time, which was the official language in Church and administration (like Latin was in the Western Europe). Actually my entire list was based on a language/"state" pair. Daizus 06:18, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
What's the language on which the ROC holds service? --PaxEquilibrium 20:30, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Today, Romanian. At that time, Slavonic. Daizus 20:52, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Does that mean that there's a possibility that just maybe the historical events took a different course, Romanians would today (still?) write in Cyrillic and be generally considered as Slavs (something like with Bulgarians)? --PaxEquilibrium 15:57, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't like talking alternative histories, but let me give you an opinion. I think on a different track of history Romanian could use a Cyrillic-derived alphabet (for instance there were intermediate alphabets between Latin and Cyrillic, and Romanian has sounds like 'î' which have a traditional Cyrillic rendering). But under no circumstances Romanians couldn't be considered Slavs, because from the Romanian language was and probably will be for a long time a Romance language, basically the Vulgar Latin spoken in this part of the Empire. AFAIK, the only major Slavic influence on Romanian is at lexical level, which is a rather common phenomenon (just note how many words of French origin are in English, and by these English won't become a Romance language). Daizus 16:46, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
So it's different from the Bularian case, huh? --PaxEquilibrium 14:57, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The Bulgarians have themselves slavic origins, so yes, their case is quite different. -- Astazi (talk) 21:11, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

The poem: historical relevence?[edit]

What is the point of a mention of the Scrisoarea a III-a poem in the article. Especially if it is known to be historicaly inacurate. It has no historical value in regard to the battle. If it is a famous poem made about the battle then perhaps it would be better to include it in another section titled 'Aftermath' or something, then that would put the peom itself into perspective, ie as a result of the battle, as significant to later literature, for example. otherwise why not just leave it out?-- (talk) 09:24, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I too think that the poem is irrelevant to the battle itself and should AT LEAST be moved into an seperate section of the article titled "influences in arts and media" or something like that... or better yet, simply removed. (talk) 18:07, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

There is no point of this section. This is a text taken from the secondary school manuals trying to learn pupil the concept of „poetic licence”, but it is actually a non-sense. At the time of writing this poem, the historic data have indicated that the Nicopolis battle was 2 year before Rovine (See Al. Xenopol's „Istoria Românilor”, vol II, Mircea cel Bătrîn edited in 1896). My opinion is to correct & move or delete the section. --Radu Borza (talk) 23:44, 21 November 2010 (UTC)


Above there has been some discussion about the outcome of the battle. In the infobox it reads "Wallachian tactical victory". But according to three sources, Nicolae Iorga, Halil İnalcık and Yaşar Yücel-Ali Sevim the resıult is Ottoman Victory. I'll call the editor. Nedim Ardoğa (talk) 21:56, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Battle of Rovine. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 20:36, 28 October 2016 (UTC)


"This was the inexpugnable point of the Ottoman defense, applied justly the next year, in the famous Battle of Nicopolis." What does this mean? --Khajidha (talk) 16:53, 17 May 2017 (UTC)