XII, 2016, 2

The Mobilization of the Hungarian Army in 1497 “in subsidium et tutelam wayvode Moldauiensis” | p. 35–52

Hungarian army, Moldavia, Polish war in 1497, Stephen the Great; Bartholomew Dragfi, suzerain’s protection of the vassal, vassallage


The draft of an undated document by which Stephen Rozgonyi sold to Ladislaus Kubinyi litteratus the estate of Mácsa together with a deserted piece of land for a sum of money, which the former needed “especially for the campaign of his host or army levied and sent in the previous summer at the command of the king on the account of his possessions together with the armies of other lords in support and protection of the voivode of Moldavia”, prompted the present research. The analysis established that the document refers to the 1497 campaign in Moldavia, when an army from Hungary was sent to aid Stephen the Great, the prince of Moldavia, offering him support against the invading Polish king, John Albert. Bartholomew Dragfi, the Transylvanian voivode, led an army of 12,000 men in Moldavia from September 12 to about October 25, 1497. On that occasion there were levied not only soldiers from Transylvania – noblemen with their subject, as well as Szeklers and Saxons, but also noble army corps from the rest of Hungary. Bartholomew Dragfi led the Hungarian army in Moldavia to aid Stephen the Great on the commission of King Vladislaus II. The mobilization of the noble army of the realm shows the true scale of the military support granted by the King of Hungary to Stephen the Great. While the official purpose of the army’s mobilization was the fight against the Turks, the real cause was to give protection to Moldavia and its ruler, Stephen the Great, against the Polish King, John Albert. The Hungarian army became a pressure instrument in favour of Stephen the Great. Bartholomew Dragfi played a major role in negotiating the truce between the voivode of Moldavia and the King of Poland, together with the envoy of King Vladislaus II, Waclaw Čič, the marshal of the court of the kingdom of Bohemia.