XIV, 2018, 1

About the Inscription with the Coat of Arms from Putna Monastery (1481). Some Reconsiderations | p. 119–138

heraldry, inscription, Putna Monastery, rose, Stephen the Great


The present study continues the debate about the authenticity of an inscription from 1481 from Putna Monastery, the only known inscription with coat of arms which Stephen the Great placed at an ecclesiastical edifice. First, the author reviews the arguments against its authenticity: the unusual appellation of the ruler; the contradiction between the monastery’s foundation date given by the inscription and the one given by the chronicles; the name of the hegumen, which is rendered differently by other sources; the unusual placement of the heraldic elements in the coat of arms; the presence of some heraldic elements foreign to the Moldavian realm. The author then refutes all these arguments and, on the contrary, provides arguments drawn from comparisons with two other inscriptions, from 1477 and 1559, which support the authenticity of the inscription from 1481.
Finally, the author discusses the hypothesis that the current inscription is an 18th century copy of the original inscription from 1481. The arguments brought in support of this hypothesis were: the very good condition of the inscription, the novel shape of the letters and a fragment of the inscription considered a remnant of the original one. In response, the author shows that the fragment is a later addition from the first decades of the 20th century and that the general aspect of the inscription pleads to its 15th century origin, by comparing it with two other inscriptions from Putna Monastery, one from 1481 and the other from 1757.