XII, 2016, 1

Divergent Reactions to Ottoman Pressure: Moldavia and Wallachia (End of 15th – Beginning of 16th Centuries) | p. 147–160

Brăila, Moldavia, Ottoman Empire, Stephen the Great, Wallachia


The relations between Wallachia and Moldavia were re‑evaluated in the last decades. The old paradigm which underlined the similar interests and the common fight against the Ottoman threat was replaced by a more complex picture which emphasizes the divergent political goals and actions of the two realms. The present paper focuses on several episodes from the reign of Stephen the Great of Moldavia, and his first successors (Bogdan III and Stephen the Younger). It seems that for all of the aforementioned princes the commercial centre of Brăila played an important role in the relations with Wallachia as the town suffered serious blows from the Moldavian army during the reigns of Stephen the Great and Bogdan III. In some other occasions Brăila was involved in the struggle for the Wallachian throne and at least two Wallachian pretenders looked for Brăila countrymen’s support in their fight for the crown. Along with a political role, which deserves further research, the town was one of the most important economic centres of the Lower Danube, a function which became even more important after the conquest of Kilia and Moncastro by the Ottomans in 1484. However, the economic growth of the city and its hinterland was severely affected by a continuous political and military tension between Wallachia and Moldavia and eventually compelled the Porte to take the city under direct control putting an end to the Moldo‑Wallachian competition for the control of the Lower Danube.