XI, 2015, 1

The Deposition of Metropolitan Sava Balaci by Constantin Duca in 1702. Significations of a Power Crisis | p. 355–368

1702, Constantin Duca, deposition, Metropolitan Sava Balici, tax on cattle


Metropolitan Sava Balici is a personality whose life intertwined with more than 40 years from the history of Moldavia: abbot of Putna Monastery (1682–1685), Bishop of Roman (1685–1689), Metropolitan of Moldavia (1689–1702) and ex-metropolitan, withdrawn to Sineşti Skete (1702–1722). In his long ecclesiastical career he interacted with 9 rulers and dozens of Moldavian dignitaries, with many of the latter having developed ties and political affinities, sharing a common vision about the economic and social good of the country. This is the reason why he opposed the oppressing tax on cattle, reinstated by Constantin Duca in his second reign (1700–1703), refusing to unbind the curse he had placed on the tax in 1698, during the reign of Antioh Cantemir (1696–1700). His refusal as well as his declining to call back from abroad the Moldavian boyars, who parted with Constantin Duca because they disapproved of his economic and social policy, led to him being deposed and replaced with Bishop Misail of Roman in January 1702. The political gesture of Sava Balaci seriously shook the stability of the reign of Constantin Duca, with respect both to the Moldavian people and to the Ottoman Porte, eventually leading to the ruler’s deposition in June 1703. Also, the firm stance of Metropolitan Sava with regard to the tax on cattle will be adopted half a century later by another offspring of Putna, who became metropolitan, a spiritual descendant of Sava, Jacob of Putna (1750–1760), who will remain in the memory of the Moldavian people as the Metropolitan who abolished the tax on cattle.