XIII, 2017, 1

Moldavia as a „Bone of Contention”: About a Dictu of Stephen the Great, Its Context and Its Meaning | p. 273–283

Liborius Nacker, Moldavian-Polish War, Poland, Stephen the Great, Teutonic Order


The starting point of the paper is an episode related by Liborius Nacker, a member of the Teutonic Order, who participated with his master along Polish troops in the expedition against Moldavia in 1497. According to Nacker, Stephen the Great sent a letter in reply to a Polish embassy using a rather ironical tone. He is to have said that he had just thrown a bone between two dogs, and that he would accept the winner as master. The episode has striking similarities to a fragment from Jan Długosz’ chronicle concerning the relations between King Sigismund of Luxemburg; Vitold, Grand Duke of Lithuania; and Vladislas Jagiełło, King of Poland. Despite the resemblances, there is no evidence that Liborius Nacker used Długosz’ chronicle. Thus, it can be assumed that the episode concerning Stephen the Great is a genuine one, and that the Lord of Moldavia’s reply was influenced by a well‑known expression circulating in the Kingdom of Poland.