I, 2005, 1

Stephen the Great in the Venetian records: several considerations | p. 101–114
Download the full article (pdf)

chronicles, diplomatic contacts, Marino Sanudo, reports, Stephen the Great, Venice


Venetian chronicles and annals offer scarce evidence regarding the reign of Stephen the Great. With the exception of the works by Domenico Morosini and Marino Sanudo’s Vite dei Dogi, the Venetian historians ignored almost entirely the reign of the Moldavian prince. Other types of documents, however, reflect a different situation. The „Journals” (Diarii) of Marino Sanudo, containing the instructions of the Venetian Senate to its ambassadors and the reports written by diplomatic representatives of the Republic, are very well informed and reliable sources for the reign of Stephen the Great. The historical development of Venetian-Moldavian diplomatic contacts account for this discrepancy. Until 1473, the interest of the Republic of Saint Marcus for Moldavia was marginal and mediated by the Hungarian crown. After the outbreak of war between Moldavia and Ottoman Empire in the same year, Venice tried to establish a direct diplomatic link with Stephen.   The increasing amount of information about Moldavia in the Venetian documents from 1475 onwards was prompted by the common enemy and an interest in the important merchant cities as Lycostomo and Moncastro which were under the rule of the Moldavian prince at the time. The Venetian annals and chronicles, owing to the particularities of the Venetian historiography, focused only on the history of the Republic. Thus the presence or absence of Moldavia in these documents were not a question of interest (or the lack of it) from the chroniclers but were rather more influenced by a complex of factors such as the aim of a particular work, the sources of information, and the public to whom the chronicle was addressed to.