Today in European history: the Battle of Vaslui (1475)

Anyway, this is all to explain why Stephen III of Moldavia (d. 1504) is today known as a national hero and great military leader in both Moldova and Romania–though maybe not very much outside of those two countries, which is a bit of a shame. Stephen III, who ruled Moldavia from 1457 until his death and is known as “Stephen the Great and Holy” if you’re into that sort of thing, is said to have fought dozens of battles against all comers during his reign, and only lost two of them. He defended tiny, outsized, outmanned Moldavia against every surrounding power that tried to quash its autonomy or threaten its prosperity: Hungary, Poland, the Mongols, and, most especially, the Ottomans. Stephen was among the first European rulers to take on and defeat the Ottomans after the fall of Constantinople, although, struggling to fend off threats from both the Ottomans and the Poles, he eventually wound up paying tribute to Constantinople in exchange for guarantees of Ottoman non-aggression.

Source: Today in European history: the Battle of Vaslui (1475)


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