Vasil Koci/Lupu - The Albanian Wolf who ruled Moldova for 19 years

Vasil Koci/Lupu - The Albanian Wolf who ruled Moldova for 19 years

 Top Channel's journalist and author of emissions "other Albania", Marin Mema published recently an article as he said "about a man less addressed by the Albanian historiography," Vasil Koci or Vasil Lupu, more broadly known as the man who for more than 19 years remained on the throne as the prince of Moldavia.

But who was Vasil the Albanian, otherwise as he often is identified as the "wolf", as others knew him due to numerous intrigues that rode him to power.

Read his full article published by the Albanian media:

The Albanian "Wolf" who ruled Moldova

About the origins of the Koci family there are some thesis. One of them identifies their ancestors rooted is Southern Albania, then migrated to the village of Arbanas in Bulgaria, where the Albanian community still lives. Another thesis suggest that after arriving in Bulgaria, they were set in an area near the town of Razgrad.

Because proper studies for this man are missing, the exact place of the origin of his family is difficult to say.

The element that unites all researchers and historians is the fact that his roots were clearly Albanian, this also because he identified himself of Albanian origins.

Vasili was born in 1595, being one of 8 children of Nikoll Koci. The latter was set in Romanian territories after a failed uprising, with the help of one of the princes of the time, Radu Mihneas. After his father's death, the family moved to Moldova, where the journey of Albanian wolf  began.

Vasili had high positions in the years 1626 - 1629 and 1633, when Moldova was ruled by Miron Barnovchi.

In 1634, in response to the strengthening the local nobility against Levantine and Greek competitors, he was elected prince of Moldavia.

This decision was the result of determination and strength that he showed in the revolt against Prince Alexandru Ilias and his people.

Vasil Koci was supported quite well by another ruler, Matei Basarab, Prince of Wallachia, as well as the Turkish pasha of Silistra, Mehmet Abza.

The riding the throne of the Albanian ruler regarded not only as a military success, but also for the modernizing reforms that he undertook, as well as investments that are still preserved today.

Vasil Lupu is recognized as the first ruler who codified the laws in Moldova.

This particular document was called Romanesca de Invitatura or the Code of Vasil Lupu and gave priority not just the legal side, but also other elements, such as the Romanian language.

This reform marked the transition from the unwritten laws based mostly on customs  of the time to the official one, compiled and published by a Roman-Byzantine style.

No wonder that Dimitrie Cantemir, philosopher and historian who lived during the years 1673 - 1723, considered the period of reign of Vasil Koci as a period of reawakening and return to the light from the darkness of barbarity. Basil was a skilled leader not only in domestic policy but also on the diplomatic level. He held relations with all the surrounding superpowers, strengthening ties with Vienna, Warsaw, Moscow, etc. His position became so critical that he often intervened to strengthen the role and authority even in conflicts, such as in the Crimea, in the years 1635 - 1637 or in Turkish - Russian crisis about the city of Azov, in the years 1637 - 1642.

The Prince founded in 1640 the first school known as the Vasilian Academy, enabling thus the local youth to learn, without having to leave to Poland, as had happened up to that time for descendants of noble families. The Library of the University of Laish was also his work, and the first printing was another investment that rose with the strong support of the ruler and that marked the beginning of another era for local publicist.

He built some objects of cult, among which the church of "Three Hierarchs", a monument protected by UNESCO. In fact, Prince Vasil became a defender of orthodoxy, not only in his territory, but also beyond. Huge amounts of money were given to his order to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and Jerusalem, as to the monastery of Mount Athos in Greece. More than 30 churches and monasteries in Moldova are build by him, while he did many charities in Poland, Bulgaria etc.

Along with investments, Vasil Koci urged to strengthen his power trying to capture under his Rule new possessions. If with the prince of Transylvania, Gheorghe Rakoczi, he kept very good relations based on two treaties signed in the years 1638 and 1646, with a former ally, the Prince of Wallachia, Matei Basarab, who advocated for him to rise on the throne, things went differently.

The thirst for territories made Vasil Koci to declared war to his rival. On this purpose, he made affinity with the high rank Cossack soldier, Bohdan Chmelnyckij, otherwise known as Black Bogdani.

The Albanian prince gave his daughter to Ruksandrën, the son of Bogdani.

At key positions under his rule were not only the most loyal people, but above all his relatives.

Is worth to mention here the fact that 10 of the 17 governors were family members, this showed Vasil Koci was careful to not chose external people that may put at risk his power, but was exactly this thurst for power that overturned him

Strengthened with the new coalition after the marriage of his daughter, Vasili thought will be easier to destroy the prince of Wallachia. Three times the armies clashed in 1639-n, in Ojogeni and later in Nenisori, and finally in 1653 in Finta. In all three cases, the Albanian ruler armies were defeated. The last battle resulted fatal.

After the last battle is launched an immediate rebellion by Moldovan nobles, who supported him for 19 years.

The "Wolf" was unable this time to calm things in his craft and ended replacing himself with the Prince Gheorghe Stefan.

Vasili fled to Istanbul, where he lived in exile for years. There is evidence that the 5 years he spent in one of the empire's prisons, arrested by Ottoman authorities.

Although he never stopped his efforts to restore power, this did not happened never again.

Yet, Vasil managed to see from far away, in 1659, the rising on the throne of his son, Stefan Lupu.

In 1661, the former ruler, that helped so much the principality run by him, died in exile in Istanbul, while just a short time after his son fell from the throne.

Stefan, apparently, had not inherited his father's ability to stay in power through various alliances, keeping it thus just two years.

The body of the Albanian ruler who led Moldova for 19 years now rests in the cathedral of Three Hierarchs in Lashi.

Vasil Lupu was the first  Albanian ruling the Moldova, which was followed with the famous family Gjika, which ruled for generations the Wallachia and Moldavia, and other families: Duka, Shucu, Balsha etc.

Vasil Koci/Lupu - The Albanian Wolf who ruled Moldova for 19 years Vasil Koci/Lupu - The Albanian Wolf who ruled Moldova for 19 years Sunday, September 11, 2016 Rating: 5
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