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Gheorghe Duca (Voivode)

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Gheorghe Duca (Voivode)

For the American country music artist, see George Ducas (singer). For the Moldovan academic and politician, see Gheorghe Duca.


Voivode George Ducas (Greek: Γεώργιος Δούκας, Romanian: Gheorghe Duca) (d. 1685) was three times Prince of Moldavia (September 1665 – May 1666, November 1668 – 20 August 1672, November 1678 – January 1684) and one time Prince of Wallachia (1673 – 29 November 1678).

He was married to Anastasia, the daughter of Eustratie Dabija, and later to Dafina Doamna; George Ducas fathered Constantine Ducas.

First two rules in Moldavia

A Greek, George Ducas had been kept in Vasile Lupu's retinue and slowly overcame the obstacles set by his modest social origin.

Supported by Dafina Doamna and some of the boyars, he came to the throne in Iaşi after Dabija's death, but was soon ousted after his opponents appealed to the Ottomans, unjustly claiming Duca's rule was corrupt.

He contracted large debts in order to reclaim the throne, which he managed to following Alexandru Iliaş' rule. The policy of increased taxation led to the uprising of Mihalcea Hâncu in October 1671, crushed the next year after Ducas received Ottoman help. But, as Ducas failed to provide supplies needed for the War against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, with the Sultan Mehmed IV's life placed in peril at the attack of Kamianets-Podilskyi, the Turks swiftly replaced him with Ştefan Petriceicu.

Rule in Wallachia

In 1674, through the intervention of the Cantacuzino boyars, he was awarded the throne in Bucharest; soon however, the alliance between the Cantacuzinos and Ducas crumbled, the Prince being replaced by Şerban Cantacuzino.

Last rule in Moldavia and rule in Right-bank Ukraine

He was soon back on the Moldavian throne, following Antonie Ruset's reign.

George Ducas had plans of extending his rule over Right-bank Ukraine, where Ottoman gains had started with the acquisition of Podolia in 1672. His overlord appointed him Hetman over the newly-gained regions, in 1680 or 1681, after much bribery strained the Moldavian treasury as much as the request that Ducas had placed on the taxed categories that they contribute to his daughter's dowry.

In 1683, Ducas joined the Ottomans in their march and the Battle of Vienna. Helped by his absence and aware of the complete failure of the Ottoman plans, boyars throughout the land rebelled, following Ştefan Petriceicu's command, and welcomed the invading Poles and Cossacks.

On his way back, Ducas was captured on December 25 and sent to a prison in Poland, where he died in the following year.

Preceded by
Eustratie Dabija
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
1665–1666
Succeeded by
Iliaș Alexandru
Preceded by
Iliaș Alexandru
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
1668–1672
Succeeded by
Ştefan Petriceicu
Preceded by
Antonie Ruset
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
1678–1684
Succeeded by
Ştefan Petriceicu
Preceded by
Grigore I Ghica
Prince/Voivode of Wallachia
1673–1678
Succeeded by
Şerban Cantacuzino
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