1418, Wallachia. Mircea "the Elder". Medieval Silver Ducat Coin. VF+ He was the grandfather of Vlad II (the Impaler) Dracula.
Mint Period: 1386-1418 AD Denomination: Silver Ducat (2pcs!) Reference: MBR page 26/201. var. R! Ruler (Great Voivod): Mircea cel Batran (1386-1418 AD) Condition: Struck on a slightly irregular planchet, minor rusty deposit in reverse, otherwise VF+ Diameter: 14mm Weight: 0.36gm Material: Silver
Obverse: Mircea standing facing, holding spear and globus cruciger. Legend in Slavic: +I-WM-VaB Legend Tranlation: "Io Mircea Voevod"
Reverse: The Wallachian crest (eagle standing left, head right, on helmet) set on the crest of the Bassaraba family. Legend in Slavic: I-IWM-dVAB Legend Translation: "Io Mircea Voevod."
Mircea was the grandfather of Vlad II Tzepesh (the Impaler), who is commonly known today as Dracula. During his reign Wallachia reached the zenith of its power, militarily, politically, and in geographic size. In 1395, Mircea lead a Christian army in a major campaign against the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, culminating in the Battle of Rovine, which proved inconclusive, but ended the campaign. He also led forces at the battle of Nicopolis on 25 September 1396, a crushing defeat for the Christians in what was the last great western crusade against the Ottomans. The Wallachians continued their resistance until 1417, when Mircea was forced to recognize the sultan's authority and pay tribute. This was a humiliating end for Mircea, who died the following year.
The name "Wallachia" derives from the same Germanic base word as the Anglo-Saxon name for the Romano-Britons: "Wealas". Situated to the immediate south of the Carpathian Mountains, Wallachia is effectively "land of the foreigners." In this instance, the word arrived via the Goths who ventured down toward the Balkans. A local derivative, or evolution, of the word is the Slavic "Vlach".
The Wallachian rulers used the title Vojvod, which has the same meaning as the title duke.
One of the first written pieces of evidence of local voivodes is in connection with Litovoi (1272), who ruled over land each side of the Carpathians (including Fagaras in Transylvania), and refused to pay tribute to the Hungarian King Ladislaus IV. His successor was his brother Barbat (1285-1288). The continuing weakening of the Hungarian state by further Mongol invasions (1285-1319) and the fall of the Árpád dynasty opened the way for the unification of Wallachian polities, and to independence from Hungarian rule.
Wallachia's creation, held by local traditions to have been the work of one Radu Negru, is historically connected with Basarab I (1310-1352), who rebelled against Charles I of Hungary and took up rule on either side of the Olt River, establishing his residence in Câmpulung as the first ruler in the House of Basarab. Basarab refused to grant Hungary the lands of Fagaras, Amlas and the Banat of Severin, defeated Charles in the Battle of Posada (1330), and extended his lands to the east, to comprise lands as far as Kilia (in the Bujak, as the origin of Bessarabia); rule over the latter was not preserved by following princes, as Kilia fell to the Nogais ca.1334.
Basarab was succeeded by Nicolae Alexandru, followed by Vladislav I. Vladislav attacked Transylvania after Louis I occupied lands south of the Danube, conceded to recognize him as overlord in 1368, but rebelled again in the same year; his rule also witnessed the first confrontation between Wallachia and the Ottoman Turks (a battle in which Vladislav was allied with Ivan Shishman of Bulgaria). Under Radu I and his successor Dan I, the realms in Transylvania and Severin continued to be disputed with Hungary.
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