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Republic of Moldova
Chisinau, Gates of the City
A Teacher’s Guide
Compiled by the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Moldova in a Box: Table of Contents
Facts at a Glance
History of Moldova
Timeline of Major Events in the History of Moldova
Culture of Moldova
Folklore: The Fortress of Poinarii
Stephan the Great monument in Chisinau
Moldova: Facts at a Glance
Text and map taken directly from Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook: Moldova.
Available at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/md.html
Country Name: Moldova
Background: Part of Romania during the interwar period,
Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of
World War II. Although the country has been independent from
the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on
Moldovan territory east of the Nistru River supporting the
separatist region of Transnistria, composed of a Slavic majority
population (mostly Ukrainians and Russians), but with a
sizeable ethnic Moldovan minority. One of the poorest nations
in Europe, Moldova became the first former Soviet state to
elect a communist, Vladimir VORONIN, as its president in
2001. VORONIN served as Moldova's president until he
resigned in September 2009, following the opposition's gain of
a narrow majority in July parliamentary elections and the
Communist Party's (PCRM) subsequent inability to attract the
three-fifths of parliamentary votes required to elect a president
and, by doing so, put into place a permanent government. Four
Moldovan opposition parties formed a new coalition, the
Alliance for European Integration (AEI), iterations of which have acted as Moldova's governing
coalitions since. Moldova experienced significant political uncertainty between 2009 and early
2012, holding three general elections and numerous presidential ballots in parliament, all of
which failed to secure a president. Following November 2010 parliamentary elections, a
reconstituted AEI-coalition consisting of three of the four original AEI parties formed a
government, and in March 2012 was finally able to elect an independent as president. As of late
May 2013, the ruling coalition - comprised of two of the original AEI parties and a splinter group
from a third - is called the Pro-European Coalition. In November 2013, the Moldovan
Government initialed an Association Agreement with the European Union (EU), advancing the
coalition's policy priority of EU integration.
Location: Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania
Area: Total: 33,851 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 140
Land: 32,891 sq km
Water: 960 sq km
Area - Comparative: Slightly larger than Maryland
Terrain: Rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea.
Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Dniester (Nistru) 2 m
Highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m
Natural Resources: Lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone
Environment - Current Issues: Heavy use of agricultural chemicals, including banned
pesticides such as DDT, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion from
poor farming methods
Population: 3,583,288 (July 2014 est.) Country comparison to the world: 132
Urbanization: Urban population: 47.7% of total population (2011)
Life Expectancy at Birth:
Total population: 70.12 years
Country comparison to the world: 152
Male: 66.25 years
Female: 74.24 years (2014 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Moldovan 75.8%, Ukrainian 8.4%, Russian 5.9%, Gagauz 4.4%, Romanian
2.2%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 1%, unspecified 0.4% note: internal disputes with ethnic Slavs in
the Transnistrian region
Religions: Orthodox 93.3%, Baptist 1%, other
Christian 1.2%, other 0.9%, atheist 0.4%, none
1%, unspecified 2.2% (2004 est.)
Education Expenditures: 8.4% of GDP
(2012); Country comparison to the world: 10
Government Type: Republic
Three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side),
yellow, and red; emblem in center of flag is of a
Roman eagle of gold outlined in black with a red
beak and talons carrying a yellow cross in its beak
and a green olive branch in its right talons and a
yellow scepter in its left talons; on its breast is a
shield divided horizontally red over blue with a
stylized aurochs head, star, rose, and crescent all in
black-outlined yellow; based on the color scheme
of the flag of Romania - with which Moldova
shares a history and culture - but Moldova's blue
band is lighter; the reverse of the flag does not
display any coat of arms.
Independence: 27 August 1991 (from the
Legal System: Civil law system with Germanic
law influences; Constitutional Court review of
Executive Branch: Chief of state: President Nicolae Timofti (since 23 March 2012); Head of
government: Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici (since 18 February 2015)
Legislative Branch: Unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; members elected on an
at-large basis by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Judicial Branch: Supreme Court; Constitutional Court (the sole authority for constitutional
Political Parties and Leaders: Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova or PCRM
[Vladimir VORONIN]; Democratic Party or PD [Marian LUPU]; Liberal Democratic Party or
PLDM [Vladimir FILAT]; Liberal Party or PL [Mihai GHIMPU]; Liberal Reformers Party or
PLR [Ion HADARCA]; Pro-European Coalition (coalition of the PD, PLDM, and PLR)
National Anthem: Name: "Himnusz" (Hymn); Lyrics/music: Ferenc Kolcsey/Ferenc Erkel;
Note: adopted 1844; the anthem is also known as "Isten, aldd meg a magyart" (God, Bless the
Economy - Overview: Despite recent progress, Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in
Europe. With a moderate climate and good farmland, Moldova's economy relies heavily on its
agriculture sector, featuring fruits,
vegetables, wine, and tobacco. Moldova also
depends on annual remittances of about $1.6
billion from the roughly one million
Moldovans working in Europe, Russia, and
other former Soviet Bloc countries. With few
natural energy resources, Moldova imports
almost all of its energy supplies from Russia
and Ukraine. Moldova's dependence on
Russian energy is underscored by a growing
$5 billion debt to Russian natural gas
supplier Gazprom, largely the result of
unreimbursed natural gas consumption in the
separatist Transnistria region. In August
2013, work began on a new pipeline between Moldova and Romania that may eventually break
Russia's monopoly on Moldova's gas supplies. The government's goal of EU integration has
resulted in some market-oriented progress. Moldova experienced better than expected economic
growth in 2013 due to increased agriculture production, to economic policies adopted by the
Moldovan government since 2009, and to the receipt of EU trade preferences. Moldova is poised
to sign an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with
the EU during fall 2014, connecting Moldovan products to the world’s largest market. Still,
growth has been hampered by high prices for Russian natural gas, a Russian import ban on
Moldovan wine, increased foreign scrutiny of Moldovan agricultural products, and by Moldova’s
large external debt. Over the longer term, Moldova's economy remains vulnerable to political
uncertainty, weak administrative capacity, vested bureaucratic interests, corruption, higher fuel
prices, Russian pressure, and the illegal separatist regime in Moldova's Transnistria region.
GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $13.25 billion (2013); Country comparison to the world: 149
GDP - Real Growth Rate: 8.9% (2013 est.); Country comparison to the world: 8
GDP - Per Capita (PPP): $3,800 (2013 est.); Country comparison to the world: 172
GDP - Composition by Sector: Agriculture: 13.8%; Industry: 19.9%; Services: 66.2% (2013
Labor Force: 1.206 million (2013); Country comparison to the world: 139
Agriculture - Products: Vegetables, fruits, grapes, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, tobacco;
beef, milk; wine
Industries: Sugar, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment,
refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles
Current Account Balance: -$507.7 million (2013 est.) Country comparison to the world: 101
Exports - Commodities: Foodstuffs, textiles, machinery
Exports - Partners: Russia 26.3%, Romania 17.2%, Italy 7.7%, Ukraine 5.9%, Turkey 5.3%,
Germany 4.7%, GB 4.4% (2012 est.)
Imports - Partners: Russia 14.3%, Romania 13.1%, Ukraine 12%, China 8.7%, Germany
7.2%, Turkey 6.9%, Italy 6.3% (2012 est.)
Debt - External: $6.218 billion (30 September 2013 est.) Country comparison to the world: 113
Exchange Rates: Moldovan lei (MDL) per US dollar - 12.592 (2013)
Military Service Age and Obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military
service; male registration required at age 16; 1-year service obligation (2012)
Military expenditures: 0.3% of GDP (2012); Country comparison to the world: 128
History of Moldova
Edited text taken from
Old Moldavia, Turkish and Russian Rule
The Genoese, founding fortified commercial
outposts on the Dniester in the 14th century,
paved the way for contact with Western
culture, but Bessarabia’s development
depended on the rise of the principalities of
Moldavia and Walachia. The southern area,
which originally fell into the Walachian
sphere, probably took its name from the
Basarab dynasty. The whole province
became part of Moldavia in the 15th century
but was soon exposed to the Turkish
expansion; the key points of Cetatea Albă
and Chilia were captured in 1484. The
southern part of Bessarabia was again
detached and organized by the Turks into two
sanjaks (districts) of the Ottoman Empire.
Beginning with Peter I (the Great), Russia
drove toward the Danube delta. The Russians
occupied Moldavia five times between 1711
and 1812 and finally secured Turkey’s
cession of Bessarabia—approximately half of
historic Moldavia—in the Treaty of
In 1829, in the Treaty of Adrianople, Russia pushed the frontier south to include the Danube
delta. After the Crimean War, the Treaty of Paris in 1856 restored southern Bessarabia (at that
time divided into three districts: Izmail, Kagul [or Cahul], and Bolgrad) to Moldavia; but in
1878, despite Romania’s having fought on the Russian side against Turkey, the Treaty of Berlin
assigned these three districts once more to Russia, giving the Dobruja to Romania as
compensation. The Russian administration had at first been liberal. Autonomy had been granted
in 1818 and had remained in force until 1828. Nevertheless, many Moldavian peasants, fearing
the introduction of serfdom, fled across the Prut. The founding of the kingdom of Romania
(1881) formed a centre of attraction for Moldavian nationalism, but no lively movement
developed in Bessarabia until after the Russian Revolution of 1905. The movement’s strength
was drawn from schoolteachers and parish priests. Bessarabia achieved some prosperity under
Russian rule. Chişinău was a relatively flourishing town, though its large Jewish population
suffered severely in a pogrom in 1903.
World War I and the Russian Revolution
During World War I the Central Powers tempted
Romania to side with them by offering to restore
Bessarabia. The scales were tipped in favor of the Allies,
however, by counteroffers of Transylvania and Bukovina,
so that by 1916 Romania was fighting as Russia’s ally.
The revolutionary and nationalist ferment in the Russian
Empire spread quickly to Bessarabia, which proclaimed
support for the moderate Socialist Revolutionary
Aleksandr Kerensky in March 1917. In April the National
Moldavian Committee demanded autonomy, land reform,
and the use of the Romanian language; similar rights
were claimed for the Moldavians, about 400,000 in
number, settled east of the Dniester. In November 1917 a
council known as the Sfatul Ţării (Sfat) proclaimed
Bessarabia an autonomous constituent republic of the
Federation of Russian Republics. On February 6, 1918
the Sfat proclaimed Bessarabia an independent
Moldavian republic, renouncing all ties with Russia.
Recognizing the economic impossibility of isolation and
alarmed by the pretensions of the German-sponsored
Ukrainian government, the Sfat voted for conditional
union with Romania in April 1918. The Soviet Union
never recognized Romania’s right to the province, and in
1924 it established the tiny Moldavian Autonomous
Soviet Socialist Republic on Ukrainian territory across
Inter-War, World War II and Moldovan SSR
The uncertainty caused by the continued pretensions of
the Soviet Union hindered development; Romania had
little need of Bessarabia’s fruit, grain, and wine; roads
were inadequate; the railway system was geared to that of
Russia; and the closing of the Dniester and the loss of the
natural outlet, Odessa, had a disastrous effect. The
province was put under a centralized regime, at times
military in character; in 1938 King Carol II attempted to
break up its historical unity by dividing it among newly
After the German-Soviet pact of August 1939, the Soviet
Union revived claims to Bessarabia, and the collapse of
the western European front to the Germans in 1940
precipitated action. In late June a Soviet ultimatum to
Romania demanded the cession of Bessarabia and of
northern Bukovina. The Romanian government was
forced to submit, and Soviet troops marched in (June 28).
On July 11 the districts of central Bessarabia were joined
to the autonomous Moldavian republic across the
Dniester to form, in August, a Moldavian Soviet
Socialist Republic, with Chişinău as its capital. In July
1941 Romania, having entered the war as Germany’s ally
against the Soviet Union, reoccupied Bessarabia.
Following the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia in 1944,
the province was reintegrated into the Soviet Union as
the Moldavian S.S.R. Thereafter, policies formulated in
Moscow became the norms for political and economic
development until the Soviet system began to weaken in
the late 1980s.
Collapse of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union
made possible the revival of civil society and open public
debate in Moldavia, and a number of new political
parties were formed. The independent Republic of
Moldova was proclaimed on Aug. 27, 1991. The Gagauz
in the south and the Russians east of the Dniester
responded by declaring independent republics of their
own. The Moldovan majority found itself divided over
the question of union with Romania, and the Moldovandominated government found it impossible militarily to
subdue Russian separatists.
In March 1994, Moldovans voted overwhelmingly to
maintain independence, and in April the parliament
approved limited membership in the Commonwealth of
Independent States. A new constitution, ratified by the
parliament on July 28, 1994, granted substantial
autonomy to Transdniestria and Gagauzia, though the
former remained problematic because of the ongoing
Russian military presence there. Relations between
Moldova and Transdniestria remained strained over the
latter’s attempt to secure independence, a goal the
majority of voters there supported again in a referendum
Timeline of Major Events in the History of Moldova
Text taken directly from BBC News. Timeline: Moldova. Available at:
14-15th centuries - Moldova stretches between Carpathian Mountains and Dniester River.
16th - 19th centuries - Moldovan territory disputed between the Ottoman Empire and Russia
1812 - Treaty of Bucharest grants Russia control of eastern Moldova or Bessarabia. The Ottoman
Empire gains control of western Moldova.
1878 - Ottomans recognize independence of Romanian state including western Moldova.
1918-20 - Bessarabia declares independence. Its parliament calls for union with Romania.
Treaty of Paris recognises union of Bessarabia with Romania. The Bolsheviks do not.
1941-1945 - Following Nazi attack on USSR a Romanian puppet regime is installed in
Moldavian SSR but driven out before the end of the war when the Soviet Union regains control.
1989 - The Latin script is adopted to replace the Cyrillic script (Russian).
1990 - Moldova declares its sovereignty. The Gagauz people in the southwest declare their
independence, followed by the Trans-Dniester region.
1991 - Moldova declares its independence. It joins the Commonwealth of Independent States, the
successor to the Soviet Union.
1992 - Moldova becomes a member of the United Nations. An upsurge in fighting in the TransDniester region leads to a state of emergency being re-imposed. Hundreds die in the fighting.
Russian peacekeepers are deployed after a ceasefire agreement.
1994 - A new constitution proclaims Moldova's neutrality, grants special autonomy status to
Trans-Dniester and the Gagauz region, and declares Moldovan to be the official language.
1999 - OSCE summit in Istanbul sets end of 2002 as deadline for withdrawal of Russian troops
and ammunition from Trans-Dniester, despite opposition of authorities there.
2001 - Trans-Dniester authorities halt withdrawal of Russian arms which had been proceeding in
accordance with international agreements.
2002 - Trans-Dniester authorities agree to allow resumption of Russian withdrawal in exchange
for a Russian promise to cut gas debts.
2004 - Russia says it will complete withdrawal of its forces from Trans-Dniester only when a
solution to the conflict is reached.
2005 - Communist Party tops poll in parliamentary elections. Vladimir Voronin begins second
term as president.
2006 - Trans-Dniester leadership reacts angrily to new
regulations requiring goods entering Ukraine from Dniester to
have Moldovan customs stamp. Moldova says the rules, backed
by the EU, US and OSCE, aim to stop smuggling. Moldova
protests against a Russian decision to suspend imports of
Moldovan wine on health grounds, saying the move is
2006 - Trans-Dniester referendum VOTE overwhelmingly
Moldova, proud of its wines, is
backs independence from Moldova and a plan eventually to
looking to overseas markets
become part of Russia.
2008 - Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev resigns, saying the country
needs a government with more public appeal. President
Voronin nominates deputy prime minister Zinaida Greceanii,
another Communist, as Moldova's first woman premier.
2009 - New parliamentary polls. Communists lose their
2002: Moldova uncorks its
2006: Russian wine move
Russia ends trade ban on
2009 - Four pro-western parties form coalition government. Liberal Democratic Party leader
Vlad Filat becomes prime minister. Mr Voronin resigns as president, and is succeeded by Liberal
party leader Mihai Ghimpu on an acting basis
2010 - Marian Lupu, a former rising star on the liberal wing of the Communist Party who
switched to the Democratic Party in 2009, takes over as acting president.
2011 - Anti-corruption campaigner Yevgeny Shevchuk defeats pro-Russian candidates in TransDniester's presidential election. Pledges to establish "friendly relations" with Moldova while
continuing to press for the independence of the separatist region. The Moldovan parliament again
fails to elect a president.
2012 - Nicolae Timofti elected president.
Culture of Moldova
Moldova is rich in fertile soil and in hardworking
and caring people. Nature is very generous in
Moldova, offering plentiful grapes, fruits,
vegetables, meat and milk products and cereals, all
of which have found their uses in our national food.
Moldovan cuisine has had a great influence on the
traditional food of the other nationalities that live
on this territory. At the same time some elements
have been incorporated from Turkish, Ukrainian,
Bulgarian, Gagauzian and Russian cuisine.
The ingredients used in the traditional meals are: a
variety of vegetables like tomatoes, green peppers,
eggplants, white cabbage, beans, onions, garlic, etc. The vegetables are used for salads and
sauces; they are baked, pickled, salted, and canned thus becoming a real food art. The maize and
maize flour give a specific color to the traditional meals, like soups, biscuits, flakes, alcohol free
drinks, etc. The most common is “mamaliga” – a maize porridge or polenta with a fine and
delicious taste. "Mamaliga" is served together with diced meat, cheese, fried meat, cream, etc.
Meat cooked for the first and the second course has a special place in the Moldovan food. The
most common are chicken soup, goulash, roast meat, grilled minced meat rolls, etc. A lot of meat
courses are grilled over charcoal. But before the grilling procedure the meat is properly picked.
There is not a holiday without cabbage rolls, meat jelly, noodles, etc. The traditional table is not
complete without biscuits, pies, cake dipped in syrup and fruit. In different parts of Moldova
there are local cuisines. In the East the Ukrainians prefer borsch, in the south the Bulgarians can
offer a delicious chicken sauce – mangea, and the Gagauzians may serve you sorpa – a spicy ram
soup, and the Russians will offer you their traditional pelmeni – a kind of roll stuffed with meat.
The Moldovan cuisine is served with a variety of traditional drinks: stewed fruits, juices, as well
as alcoholic drinks like: wine, brandy, "tuica" – plum brandy, etc.
A Moldovan stamp showing invartitas filled
Wine growing in Moldova is a century-old
tradition. The famous Moldovan wines are well
known and appreciated at home and far beyond the
country borders. The wines can be dry, sweet and
strong; they have a varied bouquet of flavors and
colors. For wine producing European vines are
used such as: Sauvignon, Cabernet, Muscat, etc., as
well as Moldovan varieties: Feteasca, Black Rara,
Moldova, etc. Strong drinks such as plum brandy,
are produced using traditional methods. Wine
tastings are offered in most Moldovan cellars.
Text for the following sections are taken from
Notable Moldovan artists include painters Mihail
Petrik, Valentin Coreachin, and Vitaly Tiseev and
sculptors Iury Kanashin and Vladimir Moraru.
Moldova was known in the Soviet era for the
National Museum of Fine Arts, Chisinau
quality of its musical instruction, with many
Russian composers and conductors serving on the
faculty of Chișinău’s Academy of Music. One of the academy’s graduates is the internationally
known composer Arkady Luxemburg.
Moldovan literature experienced the vicissitudes of Soviet literature generally during the late
1940s and early 1950s. Building socialism and creating the new Soviet citizen were the dominant
themes, and socialist goals prevailed over aesthetic considerations. Characteristic of these trends
were the early prose and poetry of Emilian Bucov and Andrei Lupan, who followed the
principles of Socialist Realism; later they and younger writers diversified their techniques and
subject matter. Perhaps the most outstanding modern writer is the dramatist and novelist Ion
Druța. His novel Balade de câmpie (1963; “Ballads of the Steppes”), an investigation of the
psychology of the village, marked a significant turning point in the evolution of Moldovan
fiction, and his play Casa Mare (1962; “The Parlour”) turned away from the concept of
collectivity to probe the individual conscience. The work of contemporary essayist and novelist
Vitalie Ciobanu is well known in Moldova.
Most of the country’s theatres, museums, music halls, and libraries are in Chișinău. The most
significant museums are the National Museum of Fine Arts of Moldova and the National History
Museum of Moldova. During the period of Soviet rule, the state gave particular attention to the
expansion of cultural opportunities. Numerous amateur theatres and musical and art groups were
supported. The state also attempted to preserve the rich heritage of Moldovan folk art and music
through such ensembles as the Doina choir and Zhok popular ballet and through local and
national museums. Economic changes and
urbanization, however, undermined
traditional society and curtailed artistic
creativity. Moreover, the economic
deprivations and hardships since
independence have left the average
Moldovan little time for cultural interests,
and the national budget deficits have left
few governmental resources with which to
subsidize cultural activities.
Soccer team “Sporting”, 1925, Chisinau
Sports and recreation
Moldovans are avid football (soccer) fans. Games are played throughout the country by
organized local teams that compete each year for the national Moldovan Cup. Wrestling has
become significant, made popular by Moldovan world champion Lukman Jabrailov. Judo,
archery, and athletics (track and field) are also popular. Other favourite sports are rugby, tennis,
martial arts, cycling, boxing, volleyball, and canoeing. Chess is a common pastime. In past years
ethnic Moldovans have competed on the Olympic teams of both the Soviet Union and Romania.
At the 1992 Games in Barcelona, the country participated as part of the Unified Team. Moldova
competed for the first time as an independent country at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Nor.
Because Moldova lacks both mountains and seashore, many recreational opportunities are
Media and publishing
The 1994 Moldovan constitution protects freedom of expression in the press; nevertheless,
Moldovan media have received widespread criticism for being overly influenced by the
government, and there have been occasional incidents of politically motivated prosecution of
journalists. There has been concern that Chișinău-based publications that question Moldova’s
independence or promote Transdniestria’s separatist policies will be subject to censorship.
The initial outpouring of publications at the time of independence has been considerably reduced
in the years since, largely as a result of economic pressures. Most publications that started as
dailies have cut back production schedules. Notable existing dailies, all published in Chișinău,
are the government organ Moldova Suverenă (“Sovereign Moldova”), Nezavisimaya Moldova
(“Independent Moldova”), and the Christian Democratic People’s Party (Partidul Popular Creștin
și Democrat; PPCD) organ Țara (“Homeland”). The national news agency, known by its
acronym Moldpres, is the country’s official news service. All broadcasting activities have been
consolidated under the State Radio and Television Company of Moldova, which was founded in
Folklore: The Fortress of Poinarii
It was not alone in Sparta that Lacedemonians were to be found--not Rome alone, which
could pride herself on her heroic-hearted matrons!In 1476, Etienne le Grand was reigning Prince
of Moldavia, and the Turks were waging heavy war against that Principality. The Sultan,
Mehmet, wished to reconquer the provinces of Kilia and Ackerman, and he carried devastation
and terror throughout the country. Etienne rushed forward to encounter him. Etienne the
glorious! Etienne the vanquisher sounded his war trumpet, and from all surrounding parts his
valiant warriors joined him.
The meeting took place at Valea Alba--the white valley--on July 26th, 1476. The
Moldavians performed prodigies of valor, they struggled like lions, and at one time were almost
victorious, but Mehmet, furious and with flaming eyes, flung himself into their midst, and
overpowered and crushed them with his superior force. Etienne, thrown from his horse,
wounded, and in despair, escaped with the remnant of his army, and withdrew to the mountains.
Night, somber and sad, was on them; a cold fierce wind froze their very blood. At length,
Etienne harassed and suffering, arrived before his castle, and ordered his trumpet to be sounded.
In this old fortress, built on the side of a mountain, the mother of the Prince was keeping
watch as a sentinel of honor. Voichitza, the young wife of the Prince, was also there, sweet as a
white carnation, sighing for her glorious and much-loved lord. The clock had just struck
midnight, when Voichitza heard the fanfare of the trumpet, and the knocking at the gate. Both
the Princesses rise quickly, and goon the voice of him whom they love cries from the darkness:
"It is I, thy son, dear mother, I, thy son! I am wounded in battle, the struggle has been too strong
for us, and my little army is devastated.”
Voichitza rushes to the window, but her mother-in-law holds her back, and bidding her
remain where she is, descends the stairs, orders the Castle gates to be opened, and appears before
her son, tall, majestic, severe--the absolute personification of dignity and grandeur. "What do you
say, Stranger? My Etienne is far away. His army is sowing death and annihilation. I am his
mother, he is my son! If you are really Etienne, I am not your mother! If heaven does not wish to
make my last days sorrowful, and if you are really Etienne, you will not enter here, vanquished,
against my will. Fly to the battle field! Die for your country! Your tomb shall be flower strewn!"
And closing the door, she re-mounted the stairs; and, calm and serene, consoled and wiped away
the tears of the young Princess Voichitza.
Etienne, repulsed by her whom he loved so much, --Etienne, whom the God of battles
seemed to have abandoned. Then, sounding a furious fanfare, he rode away, with the remnant of
his followers, into obscurity. He caused fires to be lighted on the hills, and at this sign of call to
arms, soldiers seemed to spring forth in every direction.
Etienne has once more an army, and they turned in pursuit of the enemy, resigned either
to die, or become victorious. The soldiers of Mehmet had devastated and sacked the whole of
Moldavia, and were preparing to return into their own country. Etienne and his men came up
with them near to the banks of the Danube, surprised them, and cut them in pieces. The remnant
of the Turkish troops fled across the river in the greatest confusion, leaving their plunder behind
Select Bibliography of Sources on Moldavia
Brezianu, Andrei and Vlad Spanu. Historical dictionary of Moldova. Lanham Md.: Scarecrow
Dima, Nicholas. From Moldavia to Moldova: The Soviet-Romanian territorial dispute. Boulder:
East Euopean monograph; New York: Distributed by Columbia University press, 1991.
Dyer, Donald L. Studies in Moldovan: The history, culture, language and contemporary politics
of the people of Moldova. Boulder: East European Monographs; New York: Columbia
University Press, 1996.
Dyer, Donald L. The Romanian dialect of Moldova: A study in language and politics. Lewiston:
Edwin Mellen Press, c1999.
East, W. G. The union of Moldavia and Wallachia, 1859; an episode in diplomatic history. New
York: Octagon Books, 1973.
Hamilton, Daniel and Gerhard Mangott. The new Eastern Europe; Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova.
Washington, DC: Center for Transatlantic Relations, American Consortium on EU Studies, Paul
H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins university; Vienna: Austrian
Institute for International Affairs: Austrian Marshall Fund Foundation, c2007.
King, Charles. The Moldovans: Romania, Russia, and the politics of culture. Stanford, Calif:
Hoover Institution Press, c2000.
Lewis, Ann (ed.). The EU & Moldova: On a fault – line of Europe. London: Federal Trust for
Education and Research, c2004.
Spinei Victor (translated by Loloana Teodoreanu and Ioana Sturza). Moldavia in the 11th – 14th
centuries. Bucharest: Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste Romana, 1986.
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