Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

[Footnote 146:  The reader who is interested in this subject will find a concise history of the following families in Carra, namely, Cantemir (said by some to be of Tartar origin), Ghika, Petreczeicus, Duca, Cantacuzene, Brancovano, Mavrocordato.]

[Footnote 147:  A lion, crown, or ecu, of gold was worth about 4_s._ 8_d._, of silver 2_s._ 8_d._]

[Footnote 148:  An interesting reference to his good deeds will be found in the description of the cathedral of Curtea d’Ardges in the first part of this work.]

[Footnote 149:  The carelessness of the Roumanian chroniclers is simply intolerable.  Vaillant, vol. ii. p. 88, says that Serban was poisoned on October 19, 1688; at p. 91 he says Constantine Preda, his successor, began to reign 1687; and in his chronology, p. 445, he says 1688.  Such discrepancies constantly recur.  Wilkinson makes the successor of Serban, Constantine Brancovano, the Voivode who secretly aided the Germans at Vienna, and places the event after 1695.  He says the Voivode was probably bribed by the German Emperor to remain neutral.  The siege of Vienna was in 1693.]

II.

But another great Power was drawing nearer and nearer to Roumania, which was eventually to exercise a grave influence upon her destiny.  Already the Muscovites had taken part with the Christian Powers in their struggles with the Ottoman Empire, and in 1699 the Treaty of Karlowitz was concluded, which gave Transylvania to Austria and Azov to the Russian Empire.  The position of the Principalities as vassal states of Turkey remained unaffected, but the indirect influence of the growing power of Russia soon became manifest.  In the beginning of the eighteenth century there ruled two voivodes, Constantine Brancovano in Wallachia,[150] and Demetrius Cantemir in Moldavia, both of whom had been appointed in the usual manner under the suzerainty of the Porte; but these princes, independently of each other, had entered into negotiations with Peter the Great after the defeat of Charles XII. at Pultawa (1709) to assist them against the Sultan, their suzerain, stipulating for their own independence under the protection of the Czar.  Encouraged by these advances Peter approached the Pruth with his army; but the Moldavian boyards were generally opposed to the alliance, and Cantemir found himself supported only by three or four of his ministers.  Notwithstanding this, the Russian army crossed the Pruth, and pitched their camp near Jassy.  A general massacre of the Turks throughout Moldavia followed, but no advantage accrued to the Russian arms, as the Moldavian prince was unable to furnish the Czar with the promised supplies for his army.  It is even said that one of the boyards, who enjoyed the confidence of Cantemir, appropriated certain funds which he had received for the supply of the army to his own use, and placed himself in communication with the Grand Vizier.  The Porte, aided by its allies, raised a powerful army, which crossed the Danube; and although one of Peter’s generals is said to have obtained some temporary advantage, the Czar soon found himself so hard pressed by the superior forces of the Ottomans that he was glad to conclude a treaty with the Porte and make the best of his way home, harassed on his return by fierce Tartar hordes.

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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