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Vasile Lupu

Vasile Lupu

Vasile Coci, known as Vasile Lupu ("the Wolf", Romanian pronunciation: ; 1595–1661) was the Voivode of Moldavia between 1634 and 1653. Lupu had secured the Moldavian throne in 1634 after a series of complicated intrigues and managed to hold it for 20 years. Vasile was a capable administrator and a brilliant financer and was soon almost the richest man in the Christian East. His gifts to Ottoman leaders kept him on good terms with the Ottoman authorities.


  • Early life 1
  • Reign 2
    • Laws and reforms 2.1
    • Endowments 2.2
    • Education 2.3
  • Family 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Sources 6

Early life

Steven Runciman says that Lupu's father was an Albanian adventurer, and his mother was a Moldavian heiress.[1] Nicolae Bănescu (writing in 1926) said that his father was of Balkanic origin, while his mother was Romanian (Moldavian).[2] Seton-Watson (writing in 1934) mentioned him as being of Albanian origin.[3] Dimitrie Cantemir (1673–1723) called him Albanezul ("Albanian").[4] Dragnev say that Lupu's father, Neculai, was of Albanian origin.[5] According to Costin his descent was of mixed Albanian and Greek origin.[6] According to Nicoara he was of Albanian origin.[7] Maksutovic said that Lupu was of Albanian origin.[8]

The Coci family settled Wallachia (Țara Rumânească) in the first half of the 16th century.[9] According to Sturdza, Nicolae (Neculai) Coci settled from the region of Macedonia, the son of Constantin (Coce) and Ecaterina.[10] Nicoară,Ciachir,Maksutovici and others say he settled from Arbanasi, Bulgaria.[11][12][13] Nicolae entered Moldavian nobility in 1593.[14]

He received Greek education.[15]

The first time the name of the family is mentioned in Romanian sources is in 1597, when Nicholas Coci from

Preceded by
Moise Movilă
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
April 1634–April 1653
Succeeded by
Gheorghe Ştefan
Preceded by
Gheorghe Ştefan
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
May–June 1653
Succeeded by
Gheorghe Ştefan
  • Runciman, Steven (1985). The Great Church in Captivity: A Study of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from the Eve of the Turkish Conquest to the Greek War of Independence. Cambridge University Press. pp. 286–7, 341–3, 370.  
  • George Ioan Brătianu (1995). Sfatul domnesc şi adunarea stărilor în principatele române. Editura Enciclopedică.  
  • N.Jorga "Byzance apres Byzance , pp. 163-181


  1. ^ Runciman 1985, p. 341.
  2. ^ Nicolae Bănescu (1926). Historical survey of the Rumanian people. Cvltvra nationala. p. 35. 
  3. ^ R. W. Seton-Watson (21 May 2015) [1934]. A History of the Roumanians. Cambridge University Press. pp. 74–.  
  4. ^ Jean Jean Ware Nelson. The Life and the Writings of Dimitrie Cantemir. p. 13. Vasile Lupu (Basil the Wolf, or as Dimitrie always referred to him, Basil the Albanian) 
  5. ^ Demir Dragnev (2006). Civilizația medievală și modernă în Moldova: studii : în honorem Demir Dragnev. Civitas. p. 435.  
  6. ^ Entangled Histories of the Balkans: Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies. BRILL. 13 June 2013. pp. 94–.  
  7. ^ Nicolae Ciachir. Un istoric român ancorat în lumea contemporanâ. 
  8. ^ Gelcu Sefedin Maksutovici. Studii și documente privitoare la istoria comunității albaneze din România. 
  9. ^ Revista istorică. Editura Academiei Române. 1993. Vasile Lupu se trage din familia Coci, venită în Ţările Române încă din prima jumătate a secolului al XVI-lea, era al treilea fiu al lui Nicolae Coci, ... 
  10. ^ Mihail-Dimitri Sturdza (2004). Familiile boierești dîn Moldova și Țara Românească: Abaza-Bogdan. Simetria. NICOLAE COCI Negustor macedonean, fiul unui Coce (Constantin) şi al Ecaterinei 
  11. ^ Nicolae Ciachir. Un istoric român ancorat în lumea contemporanâ. 
  12. ^ Gelcu Sefedin Maksutovici. Studii și documente privitoare la istoria comunității albaneze din România. 
  13. ^ Toader Nicoară (2005). Sentimentul de insecuritate în societatea românească la începuturile timpurilor moderne 1600-1830. Accent.  
  14. ^ Constantin Şerban (1991). Vasile Lupu. Editura Academiei Române.  
  15. ^ Richard C. Frucht (2005). Eastern Europe: an introduction to the people, lands, and culture. ABC-CLIO. pp. 750–.  
  16. ^ Călin Hentea (2007). Brief Romanian Military History. Scarecrow Press. p. 76.  
  17. ^ Susana Andea (2006). History of Romania: compendium. Romanian Cultural Institute. p. 332.  
  18. ^ Robert Bargrave (1 January 1999). The Travel Diary of Robert Bargrave: Levant Merchant (1647-1656). Hakluyt Society. p. 136.  
  19. ^ Allen Kent; Harold Lancour; Jay E. Daily (1 February 1979). Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science: Volume 26 - Role Indicators to St. Anselm-College Library (Rome). CRC Press. pp. 65–.  


See also

The Coci last name was carried on by Stefan Coci (son of Vasile Lupu) who married the daughter of Petru Rareş, a voivode of Moldavia, but also by the descendant of Gabriel Coci named Hatmanul. The descending line of Coci intersects with aristocratic families from Moldavia, old families such as the Bucioc, Boulesti, and Abazesti.


Lupu founded the Princely High School of Trei lerarhi Church in 1640, which thaught in Greek and Latin.[19]


Lupu founded churches and monasteries throughout his lands. The liturgical language was described as "vulgar Greek" by Robert Bargrave who travelled the lands.[18]


Vasile Lupu introduced the first codified printed law in Moldavia (1646, published in Iaşi). Known as the Carte româneascǎ de învăţătură ("Romanian book of learning") or Pravila lui Vasile Lupu ("Vasile Lupu's code"),[17] the document does not go against Byzantine tradition, being a translated review of customs (and almost identical to its Wallachian contemporary equivalent).

Laws and reforms

Lupu built a strong alliance with hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, arranging the marriage of his own daughter Ruxandra to Khmelnytsky's son Tymofiy (Tymish), who went on to fight alongside Lupu at Finta.

After relations between the two Princes soured, Vasile Lupu spent much of his reign fighting the Yedikule prison in Constantinople.

His rule was marked by splendor and pomp. He was a builder of notable monuments (the unique Trei Ierarhi Monastery in Iaşi and the St. Paraskeva Church, Lviv, among others), a patron of culture and arts (introducing printing presses, founding the Academia Vasiliană upper school - that was to last, as the "Şcoala mare domnească", until 1821). These acts also had negative effects, the tax burdens being increased to an intolerable level.

Lupu had held a high office under Miron Barnovschi, and was subsequently selected Prince as a sign of indigenous boyars' reaction against Greek and Levantine competition. This was because Vasile Lupu had led a rebellion against Alexandru Iliaş and his foreign retinue, being led into exile by Moise Movilă (although he was backed by Prince Matei Basarab and the powerful Pasha of Silistra, Mehmet Abza). Despite having led the rebellion against Greek influence, Lupu maintained strong ties to the Greeks and the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[16] He pursued a Greek-Orthodox policy and sought to become the new Byzantine Emperor.

Portrait of Vasile Lupu on the wall of the Romanian Athaeneum
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