Codrul Cosminului
Department of Human, Social and Political Sciences, 2021
Vol. 27, Issue 1
July 2021
Paper title:
Moldavian Uprising of 1574 in Polish Sources
Published in:
Issue 1, (Vol. 27) / 2021
Publishing date:
Hubert Beczek
This paper deals with events that took place in Moldavia in 1574. The hospodar Ioan Vodă, refusing to pay a drastically increased tribute to the Ottoman Empire, risked the Sultan’s wrath, and thus lost his office. He did not go to Constantinople as the Padishah wanted, but instead decided on an armed confrontation with troops sent to cast him off the throne. However, the conflict was not merely a personal matter for Ioan: it took the form of a nationwide uprising – the hospodar was supported in the struggle by both the upper and lower layers of Moldavian society. At stake was an end to Ottoman domination. Although the chances of defeating the Turks were small, Ioan’s troops prevailed for quite some time. A unit of Cossacks who came to Moldavia from the borderlands of the Polish – Lithuanian Commonwealth, under the leadership of the nobleman Świerczowski, played an essential role in the events described. They constituted one of the most valuable (and perhaps even the most valuable) combat formation in Ioan’s army. Another Polish thread also appears here: namely, a commitment made by the border magnates (Olbracht Laski and Prince Ostrogski) to help Ioan. Although these were only promises, it caused considerable anger with Sultan Selim II. Their fate was sealed by the betrayal of one of Ioan’s commanders. The defeat was decided by the betrayal of one of the commanders. However, the military disparity between the forces at Ioan’s disposal and the potential of the Ottoman Empire suggests that the defeat of the Moldavians was only a matter of time.
Ioan Vodă, Moldavia, the Ottoman Empire, Cossacks, Świerczowski.

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