Alexandru Simon, Mehmed II’s Return to Moldovia in 1476 and the Death of the King of Dacia

On 16 november 1476, the travel expenses of Pasqual(e) Gondola (Gundulić), the envoy of Ragusa sent to Mehmed II, were reimbursed even though Gondola had not met the sultan [...] quod imperator non erat in Romania, sed in Moldovia [...]. At that time, Moldavian and Hungarian troops were occupying Wallachia, taking Târgovişte (before 8 november) and Bucharest (precisely on 16 november). After the failure of Stephen III of Moldavia and of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary to trap Sultan Mehmed II during the latter’s Moldavian summer campaign (July-August 1476), this was a major success. In fact, it was/would have been the first Christian victory over the sultan in personam since the “miracle of Belgrade” twenty years earlier. Yet it was never celebrated as such, even though both Stephen and especially Matthias widely circulated news of the anti-Ottoman victories in Wallachia. Especially for Stephen, a victory over the sultan would have been more than needed, because, in the same month of november, several political voices called for his deposition as the athlete of Christendom (eventually, in late november-early December, Venice succeeded in convincing pope Sixtus IV to keep Stephen as athlete). The paper focuses on these events that marked the beginning of the third and final Wallachian reign of Vlad III the Impaler (Dracula), who then, within less than two months, lost his life (around the beginning of January 1477). Meanwhile, Mehmed II (also) managed to take and destroy king Matthias’ newly erected Serbian fortresses. Previously, Mehmed II had returned north of the Danube, after a failed summer campaign, only in november 1462, on the eve of Vlad’s imprisonment by Matthias. Vlad was accused by his royal relative that he had plotted to hand over his suzerain to the sultan.

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