VIII, 2012, 1

Wallachia, Moldavia and the Battle of Baskent | p. 17–36

battle of Baskent, Mehmed II, Moldavian-Ottoman relations, Radu the Beautiful, Stephen the Great


Romanian historiography considers the year 1473 as a turning point in the reign of Stephen the Great of Moldavia. It was the very moment when the Moldavian prince decided to broke the peace with Mehmed the Conqueror by launching an attack against Wallachia, a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire. The circumstances of this decision seem to be, at first glance, quite unfavorable. In the same year, 1473, Mehmed II inflicted a decisive blow against his Oriental rival, Uzun Hasan in the battle of Baskent and thus was able to concentrate all his military might against his Christian enemies. Moreover, the sultan’s attack against the leader of Ak Koyunlu confederation was supported by the Wallachian prince who joined with no less than 12.000 horsemen (according to Italian and Persian evidence) the Ottoman camp. This Wallachian choice was aimed to gain the sultan’s support for the Wallachian prince in the war against his Moldavian neighbor and thus forced Stephen the Great to take the initiative at the end of 1473.