June 16, 2017

3088 ROMANIA - Michael the Brave (1558-1601)

Michael the Brave (1558, Târgul de Floci - August 9, 1601, Câmpia Turzii) was the Prince of Wallachia (1593-1601), Prince of Moldavia (1600) and ruler of Transylvania (1599-1600). He is one of Romania's greatest national heroes, being considered the first author of Romanian unity. Michael was born under the family name of Pătraşcu. He is argued by most historians to have been the illegitimate son of Pătraşcu the Good of the Drăculeşti branch of the House of Basarab. His mother was Theodora Kantakouzene, a member of the Kantakouzenoi, a noble family allegedly descended from the Byzantine Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos.

Michael was invested Prince by Sultan Murad III in September 1593 and started his effective rule on 11 October. Two years later, war with the Ottomans began, a conflict in which the Prince fought the Battle of Călugăreni. Although the Wallachians emerged victorious from the battle, Michael was forced to retreat with his troops and wait for aid from his allies, Prince Sigismund Báthory of Transylvania and Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. The war continued until a peace finally emerged in January 1597, but this lasted for only a year and a half.

In 1599, Michael crushed Andrew Báthory's army in the Battle of Şelimbăr and entered Alba Iulia, becoming the imperial governor (i.e. de facto ruler) of Transylvania. A few months later, Michael's troops invaded Moldavia and reached its capital, Iaşi. Ieremia Movilă, placed on the Moldavia's throne by Polish Chancellor Jan Zamoyski, fled to Poland and Michael was declared Prince of Moldavia. Michael kept the control of all three provinces for less than a year before the nobles of Transylvania and certain boyars in Moldavia and Wallachia rose against him in a series of revolts.

Thereafter, Michael allied with the Imperial General Giorgio Basta and defeated an uprising of the Hungarian nobility at Gurăslău in Transylvania. A few days later Basta, who sought to control Transylvania himself, executed the assassination of Michael by the order of the Habsburgian Emperor. His head was taken by one of the captains and buried at Dealu Monastery, near Târgovişte. On the stone slab is written: "Here lies the honest and defunct head of the Christian Michael, the Great Voivode, who was the Prince of Wallachia and Transylvania and Moldavia."

About the stamp
The stamp is one of the two issued on March 10, 2017 to celebrate Easter, about which I wrote here.

Michael the Brave - Wikipedia

Sender: Eugen Mihai (direct swap)
Sent from Bucharest (Bucharest / Romania), on 12.06.2017
Author: painter Valentin Tănase

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