Files from the Whispered History of Romanians (3)

Stefan the Great and Holy was hurt

during the siege of the fortress Chilia

by the  Hungarian guard

In the wood language, of a patriotism wrongly understood, of falsification of the true history of Romanians, it was propagated during the communist regime and still it is propagatd the idea that Stefan the Great and Holy had been hurt by a Tartar in his left ankle, plague which has never closed and has led to a great physical suffer and to hasten death of the Moldavian ruler.

The Tatar arrow sounds nicely, even romantically! The reality is that the plague of Stefan cel Mare was caused during the first siege and missed (n.a. in the second siege, of just one day, on January 24, 1465, the fortress Chilia was conquered) of the fortress Chilia, occupied temporarily by Hungary. It follows that the highest probability is that the object that caused the wound, projectile, according to some chroniclers, or arrow, after other chroniclers, way sent by a Hungarian soldier.

The fortress Chilia, port on the homonymous arm of the Danube, belonged to Wallachia of Mircea the Elder (n.a.. ruler in the period September 23, 1396 – January 31, 1418). In 1426, Alexandru the Good annexed the fortress Chilia, taking advantage of the struggles for the throne of Wallachia between Radu II, one of the illegitimate sons of Mircea the Elder, and Dan II, the only son of Dan I, who was the brother of Mircea the Elder. In 1448, Peter III (n.a. ruler în the periods August 22 – December 23, 1447 and April 5 – October 10, 1448), son of Alexandru the Good and the fourth wife, Marina, ceded the fortress Chilia to Iancu Hunyadi, for the help he received in the struggle  to occupy the throne of Moldavia with Roman II, son of Ilias and Marina Holszanska, the sister of Sophie, wife of Vladislav II, the king of Poland.

So, as a first remark, Stefan the Great and Holy started the first siege of the fortress Chilia on June 1462, when it belonged to Hungary. On June 22, being wounded in the left ankle by a projectile or an arrow, Stefan the Great and Holy was forced to abandon the siege.

Secondly, it is necessary to point out the international context in which the siege occurred, referring mainly to the Congress of Mantua and the invasion of Wallachia by the Ottoman army, which culminated with the so-called “the night attack in Targoviste”.

On January 14, 1460, the Congress of Mantua, initiated by Pius II (n.a. pope in the period August 19, 1458 – August 4, 1464), it was announced the start of a crusade, which will last three years, crusade which has not been joined by big Christian powers, including Poland, also by a less power, as Moldavia. An enthusiastic support came from the Romanian Land (n.a. Wallachia), headed by Vlad the Impaler, and from another one, but retained, from Hungary, whose king was Matthias Corvinus.

In 1462, Sultan Mehmet II led a large operation of invasion of Wallachia, the reason being the repeated refusal, even since 1459, of Vlad the Impaler to pay the tribute to the Ottoman Empire. The annual tribute was 10,000 ducats and 1,000 boys to be trained as janissaries. Vlad the Impaler withdrew in Targoviste, poisoning wells and setting fire to houses, in order not to leave any food and drink to the Ottoman army. Simultaneously, the Wallachian ruler did surprise attacks of short duration, causing great losses among Ottomans.

Famous in this regard remained the so-called “the night attack in Targoviste” occurred on June 17, 1462, when the group of soldiers, led by Vlad the Impaler (n.a. ruler in three periods, the third being in August 22, 1446 – August 15, 1462), entered inside the Ottoman army camp, reaching just near to the tent where slept Sultan Mehmet II, almost ready to kill him. A few days later, when the Ottoman army entered in Targoviste, Vlad the Impaler offered a nightmarish spectacle, called “Forest of Pales”, with some 20,000 Turkish prisoners held on the slivers. Mehmet II, with stomach turned inside out by this show, preferred to withdraw from the Romanian Land,  leaving to Radu the Handsome, the task of removing from the throne Vlad the Impaler, his half brother. This change of ruler occurred on August 15, 1462, when Radu the Handsome ascended the throne of Wallachia.

So, as a second remark, Stefan the Great and Holy assaulted the fortress Chilia, when Wallachia was invaded by the Ottomans, and the Hungarian or Vlach aid for the Hungarian garrison would have been much more difficult.

Despite these strategic advantages, Stefan the Great and Holy lost this battle, especially because he had the misfortune to be injured on June 22, at the left ankle, by an arrow or a projectile, sent by the Hungarian garrison from the fortress Chilia.

Hiding this truth starts from the fear of the patriotards, how are called the persons displaying exaggerated and noisy sentiments of patriotism, to recognize that, even temporarily, even punctually, Hungary had authority over a stretch of land, which was located inside the frame  of the Greater Romania, Romania with the largest territory in its history.

The lye with an arrow sent by a Tartar has short legs and such “historians” risk not to be believed even when they speak the truth!


Doru Ciucescu


The text is part from the volume in course of translation “Files from the Whispering History of Romanians”

(The translation from Romanian and the adaptation are realized by the author himself)