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Peter the Lame

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Peter the Lame

Petru the Lame
Prince of Moldavia
Reign 1574–1577, 1578–1579, 1582–1591
Wives Maria Amirali
Irina the Gypsy (one son)
Father Mircea III Dracul
Mother Maria Despina

Peter VI the Lame (Romanian: Petru Şchiopul) was Prince of Moldavia from June 1574 to 23 November 1577.[1] He also ruled 1 January 1578 to 21 November 1579 and 17 October 1583 to 29 August 1591. He was known as "the Lame" due to a physical deformity. Raised by the Turks in Istanbul and hardly knew of his country of origin before gaining the throne of Moldavia.

Voivode of Moldavia

Anxious to rule like his brother Alexandru II Mircea, Petru was elected prince of Moldavia in 1574. However, unlike most of his ancestors, he was a weak prince and eventually gave up the throne in order to live comfortably in the west.

Family life

His first marriage to Maria Amirali was arranged in childhood, and failed. Petru soon fell in love with a gypsy named Irina who became his mistress since marriage to a gypsy was impossible. He had Irina freed from slavery and baptized, hence her nickname "Botezata" (the Baptized). After he gave up the throne, together they moved to the city of Bolzano in present day Italy's Tyrol. Sadly for Irina, Peter fell in love again with a seductive Circassian lady named Maria, a lady-in-waiting at his mini-court. The gypsy died presumably of a broken heart at 25 and was buried in a small cemetery in Bolzano. Their son Ştefăniţă never ruled in Moldavia. He was raised as a Catholic and placed in a Jesuit seminary in Innsbruck. He was known to be an obedient student, but died of tuberculosis in 1585. He is buried beside his parents in Bolzano.

Death

Two years after the death of Irina, Peter died of syphilis. He is laid to rest beside her and on his tombstone is the inscription: "I, Prince Peter, descendant of the royal Corvinus family of Wallachia...who abandoned the throne of my own will, having obtained asylum from the House of Austria, [breathed my last] on July 1, 1594."

References

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