Moldova has a very rich history. It was ruled by different kings, but some remarkable personalities managed to make this land united, peaceful and fruitful.
Reign: 87 – 106 AD
Decebalus or “The Brave” was a king of Dacia and is famous for fighting three important wars against the Roman Empire and negotiating two decisive peace treaties for Dacian State. After the death of Great King Burebista, Dacia split into small states. The situation lasted until Decebalus managed to consolidate the core of Dacia around Sarmizegetusa. As well he managed to reorganize the Dacian army. In 106 AD, after being defeated by Romans, he committed suicide, just not to be a prisoner, as for the Dacians it was a great dishonor.
Bogdan I Intemietorul (The Founder)
The legend says that Dragos is the Founder of Moldovan State, but according to the Hungarian chronicles from the XIIIth century it was Bogdan I. He and his successors established the independence of Moldavia, freeing the Eastern territory of the Carpathian Mountains of Hungarian and Tatar domination.
Petru I Musat
The first ruler from the dynastic House of Bogdan-Musat. During his reign, he maintained good relationships with his neighbours, especially Poland. In 1387, at Lwów he paid homage to the Polish king, making Moldavia a Polish fief (which it remained until 1497). The first Russian-Moldovan diplomatic contacts also date from his reign. During his reign, a number of important coins were minted; the ones attributed to him, known so far, are: groschen and far more rare half-groschen made of silver. Their design became the standard for coins minted by later Moldovan rulers. As well, during his reign the border of Moldavia extended to the Black Sea.
Alexandru cel Bun (The Good)
As a ruler, initiated a series of reforms while consolidating the status of the Moldovan Principality. During his reign, he introduced new fiscal laws, by adding commercial privileges to the traders of Lviv and Kraków, improved the situation of the trading routes (especially the one linking the port of Cetatea Albă to Poland), strengthened the forts guarding them, and expanded the Moldovan ports of Cetatea Albă and Chilia. The main concern of Alexander the Good was to defend the country in wars against superior armies. In order to do that, he forged a system of alliances with Wallachia and Poland, generally against Hungary. In 1402, he was sworn vassal of the King of Poland. He was father-in-law to Vlad II Dracul and grandfather to Stefan The Great.
Stefan cel Mare (The Great)
During his reign, he strengthened Moldavia and maintained its independence against the ambitions of Hungary, Poland, and the Ottoman Empire, which all sought to subdue the land. Stephen achieved fame in Europe for his long resistance against the Ottomans. He was victorious in 47 of his 49 battles, and was one of the first to gain a decisive victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Vaslui, after which Pope Sixtus IV deemed him verus christianae fidei athleta (true Champion of Christian Faith). After every battle he had, Stefan used to built a church or monastery, some of them can be visited even today.
Ioan III cel Viteaz (The Brave, also Ioan III The Terrible)
Ioan was one of the last medieval Romanian rulers to battle the Turks. His nickname “the Terrible” was a result of his harsh treatment of the Boyars, the Moldovan nobility, which at that time were very influent in deciding the rulers of the small principality. Attempting to strengthen his rule and make an example out of disloyal nobles, Ioan III carried out several Boyar executions. The common people appreciated his courageous stand against the nobility’s corruption and the harsh Turkish domination. He refused to double the amount of tribute paid to the Ottomans but the Moldovan army was defeated in the Battle of Cahul Lake, where he was captured and executed.
Mihai Viteazul (The Brave)
Mihai Viteazul was the first one who managed to unite Romanian principalities in one single state. During his reign, which coincided with the Long War, Transylvania, Romania and Moldova were ruled for the first time by a single Romanian leader, although the personal union lasted for less than six months. He is regarded as one of Romania’s greatest national heroes.
Dmitrie Cantemir is better known as a scientist. He was a member of the Royal Academy of Berlin. He is the author of many important writings. The best known is his History of the Growth and Decay of the Ottoman Empire. This volume served as a rich source of inspiration for writers and historians, more than one century. In 1714, at the request of the Royal Academy in Berlin, Cantemir wrote the first geographical, ethnographical and economic description of Moldavia, Descriptio Moldaviae and elaborated the first real map of the country. Also, he transcribed the Turkish music into a system of notes, that is used till nowadays in Turkey.
Alexandru Ioan Cuza
Alexandru Ioan Cuza was Prince of Moldavia, Prince of Wallachia, and later Domnitor (ruler) of the Romanian Principalities. He was a prominent figure of the Revolution of 1848 in Moldavia. He initiated a series of reforms that contributed to the modernization of Romanian society and state structures. In 1859, Alexandru Ioan Cuza managed to unite the Romanian Principalities, without Bessarabia. The union was formally declared three years later, on 5 February 1862, the new country bearing the name of Romania, with Bucharest as its capital city.