Moldova - Early History I
The territory of today's Moldova
just like the neighbor Romania
with which Moldova
is closely connected both ethnically and historically was inhabited since
at least 513 BC by the Getae or Dacians, a Thracian tribe.
leadership of Burebista (70-44 BC) the Dacians became a powerful tribal
union which threatened the regional interests of growing Roman
Empire. Julius Caesar intended to start a campaign against the
Dacians, but was assassinated in 44 BC. A few months later, Burebista shared
the same fate, assassinated by his own noblemen. As a result of his death, the
Dacian Union split apart and was re-unified again only in 95, under
the reign of Decebalus who created the first Dacian state that included the territory
of present-day Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and
southern Moldova. In 106 AD, after a series of conflicts with the
expanding Rome, Dacia was finally conquered by Roman Emperor
Moldova's Latin origins can
be traced to the period of Roman occupation ca. A.D. 106-270, when a culture
was formed from the intermingling of Roman colonists and the local Thracian
the second half of the 3d century, the Roman Empire and its influence in the
area waned, and in 271 the Roman administration and troops left the area faced by successive invasions of the
Goths and Carpi. Since that time, a number of
groups passed through the area, often violently: Huns, Ostrogoths, and Antes
(who were Slavs). The Bulgarian Empire, the Magyars, the Pechenegs (Patzinaks),
and the Golden Horde (Mongols) also held sway temporarily.
the thirteenth century, Hungary
expanded into the area to
establish a defense line for the Kingdom
of Hungary against the Tatars near the Siretul
River (in present-day Romania) and
beyond. The region came under Hungarian suzerainty until an independent
Moldovan principality was established by Prince Bogdan in 1349.
called Bogdania, the principality stretched from the Carpathian Mountains in
the west to the Nistru (Dniester) River in the east with its nucleus in the
north-western part, the Ţara de Sus ("Upper Land"),
which later became known as Bukovina.
The town of Suceava (in present-day southern Bukovina) was the capital of the principality from
1359-1565. In 1565 the capital moved Yasi, and the
principality was renamed Moldova,
after the Moldova River in present-day Romania. Between 1359 and
1387 the rulers of Moldova
were manipulating between Hungary,
Galician Rus, Lithuania and Poland being
occasionally vassals of all of the above countries.
the second half of the fifteenth century, all of southeastern Europe came under
increasing pressure from the Ottoman Empire, and despite significant military
victories by Stephen the Great (Stefan cel Mare, 1457-1504), Moldova
succumbed to Ottoman power in 1512 and was a tributary state of the empire for
the next 300 years.
(Click on the below
map for better resolution)
addition to paying tribute to the Ottoman Empire and later acceding to the
selection of local rulers by Ottoman authorities, Moldova suffered repeated invasions
by Turks, Crimean Tatars, and Russians.
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