IX, 2013, 2

Luca Arbore’s “Pretension” to the Throne of Moldavia | p. 43–50

Alexander Jagiello, Luca Watzenrode, Moldavia, Pokuttya, Stephen the Great


Luca Arbore’s pretension to the throne of Moldavia from July 1504, though mentioned in numerous historical papers, originates from the erroneous reading of a document. The episode to which that document refers dates from 1497, during the siege of Suceava citadel by king Jan Olbracht. Assuming that Luca Arbore, the gatekeeper of Suceava, had pretensions to the throne of Moldavia, the Polish king tried to get him on his side, but Arbore refused. The fact that this incident is brought up in July 1504 has to do with king Alexander’s intentions of re-conquering Pokuttya after the death of Stephen the Great. To that end, the Polish king tried to convince that the situation in Moldavia was critical and, in his opinion, required Poland’s intervention. The Hungarian king’s imperative letter tempered the zeal of the Polish king, showing also that the entire scenario about the succession to the throne of Moldavia had been a fiction made up in Krakow with the intent of toppling Bogdan, the son of Stephen the Great, and re-capturing Pokuttya.