Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Romanian Heroes - identify as you go

Identifying royalty, crown by sceptre by turban.
Which is this?

With the history of this area so new to the West, we recommend two steps: 1) Take a little history book - we had "Romania, An Illustrated History" by Nicolae Klepper, Hippocrene Books NY 2002. and 2) Start a list of names and dates and distinguishing features as you see the statues. Note the crown or headdress styles. I am not confident in the "images" internet search method - too many other people confused. No controls.

We saw recurrent people, identifiable by their headdresses or features. Much revered. A basic chronology:

1. Basarab I, Prince of Wallachia 1310-1352.

He unified Wallachia, from the Carpathian Mountains to the Danube River, and the Black Sea, including a part now the separate country of Moldova, and defied the Hungarians who controlled much else by refusing tribute. He defeated the Hungarians in a mountain pass area, and fended off the Tatars who controlled the region of Moldavia in the east.

2. John Hunyadi - 1441-1446, Transylvania - Hungarian-appointed voievod (name for ruler). A/k/a/ Janos Hunyadi, Iancu de Hundeoara. See his castle here. Like governor. Great military leader, many victories on behalf of King Sigismund of Hungary. Became governor of Hungary for a while.

3. Matthias Corvinus - statue in Cluj Napoca. King of Hungary and son-in-law of John Hunyadi. Arrested Vlad III Dracula, imprisoned him.

4. Mircea the Old - Wallachia - 1386-1395, and 1397-1418 Bucharest

5. Vlad Dracul - Wallachia province. 1436-1442, 1443-1447 -

Father of Vlad III Dracula. Dracul meant Dragon. He was bestowed with the Order of the Dragon, a crusading order (award in Nuremberg), so was known as Vlad Dracul or Vlad the Dragon. Later assassinated by John Hunyadi, of Hungary. See Hunedoara post here.

6. Vlad III Dracula - Wallachia province. 1448. 1456-1462 and 1476.

Dracula-son of Dracul. Attacked Turkish forces. On-again-off-again support from Hungarians, obtained throne, then killed in battle against them. Had become known as Vlad Tepes, Vlad the Impaler.

7. Stephen the Great - 1457-1504. In Moldavia province.

Cousin of Vlad III Dracula. King, fought Turks. Commissioned many monasteries. After a victory, shot an arrow off a hill and sited the next monastery there.

8. Michael the Brave - 1593-1601.

See turban-type shaped (not wound) headdress, feather, large, sloping bulbous to the leftStatue in Cluj, a historical hero, rides high in the city park here. See photo album at www.ici.ro/romania/en/orase/cluj. Overcame Turks.

9. Mattei Basarab - 1632-1654, Wallachia. Turban style headdress in shape, but floppy hat style, not wound.

10. Basil the Wolf, Moldavia 1634-1653