Stephen the Great and Balkan Nationalism: Moldova and Eastern European History

Overview

The defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans in 1475 at the Battle of Vaslui heralded the beginnings of a historic legacy. The victor became known as Stephen the Great or 'Athleta Christi', Champion of Christ. Perceived as the founder of a Balkan identity, Stephen the Great maintained Moldavia's independence during periods of fierce Ottoman attack between 1457 and 1504. His Christian religious stance meant that, in the eyes of Europe, he had not only defeated a significant territorial threat but had elevated ...

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Overview

The defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans in 1475 at the Battle of Vaslui heralded the beginnings of a historic legacy. The victor became known as Stephen the Great or 'Athleta Christi', Champion of Christ. Perceived as the founder of a Balkan identity, Stephen the Great maintained Moldavia's independence during periods of fierce Ottoman attack between 1457 and 1504. His Christian religious stance meant that, in the eyes of Europe, he had not only defeated a significant territorial threat but had elevated Christianity to a superior level as victors over their Muslim opponents. This book seeks to unveil the mechanisms behind this legacy, to review the state formations that allowed this national hero to emerge, and to explain the methods that preserve his memory in the region today. By combining the latest historical studies of the anti-Ottoman resistance with new archaeological findings, Jonathan Eagles engages with a fresh approach to the history of the Balkans, and reinvigorates the study of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. This is an important book for those with an interest in medieval history, Balkan history and the Ottomans.

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Meet the Author

Jonathan Eagles holds a PhD in Archaeology and Medieval History from University College London, UK.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements 
A Note on Dates, Names and Conventions 
Introduction
1. History 
2. Romania and Moldova: an Historical Overview 
3. The Reign of Stephen the Great 
4. Memorialisation 
5. Chronicles, Histories and Eulogies 
6. The Holy Bones of Putna 
7. The Material Remains of the Regime 
8. The Prince as a National Symbol 
9. Postscript: Stephen the Great in the Moldovan Election Crisis of 2009
Table: A Chronology of the Reign of Stephen the Great 
Notes 
Select Bibliography 
Photographs and Maps 
Index

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