X, 2014, 1

News, Politics and War during the Reign of Stephen the Great | p. 99–126

Braşov, Moldavia, news, Ottoman Empire, rumors, Stephen the Great


The politics of Stephen the Great is a well known topic in the Romanian historiography. Nevertheless little attention was paid to the “backstage” of the political decisions and actions, i.e. the process of gathering information about Moldavia’s allies and enemies. One of the main reasons is the scarcity of the information and its vague and brief character. Nevertheless a new approach to the correspondence between Moldavia and the southern Transylvanian Saxon town of Braşov (medieval Kronstadt) could offer some insights into the topic. The 20 letters preserved from the period 1457–1504 give some data about the informants of the Moldavian prince, the topics of interest, the utilization of information as a political weapon, and, sometimes, about the speed of the news. A comparison between Moldavian and Wallachian correspondence with Braşov underlines important differences; while Stephen had a special relationship with the Saxon town and frequently received news about the intentions and actions of his enemies, the Wallachian princes had tense reports with the leaders of Braşov and very often complained about the lack of loyalty of the Saxon merchants and about their preference for the Moldavian prince.