Michael the Brave

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  • Topic: Wallachia, Transylvania, Moldavia
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  • Published : February 6, 2013
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Michael the Brave
Michael the Brave (Romanian: Mihai Viteazul) was the Prince of Wallachia (1593–1601), of Transylvania (1599–1600), and of Moldavia (1600). He ruled all three principalities in a personal union for a short period of time. During his reign, which coincided with the Long War, these three principalities forming the territory of present-day Romania and the Republic of Moldova were ruled for the first time by a single Romanian leader, although the personal union lasted for less than six months. He is regarded as one of Romania's greatest national heroes. He was born under the family name of Pătraşcu. In 1601, during a stay in Prague, he was portrayed by the painter Aegidius Sadeler Not long after he became Prince of Wallachia, Michael turned against the Ottoman Empire. In April 1598 Sigismund resigned as Prince of Transylvania in favor of the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II (who was also the King of Hungary), reversed his decision in October 1598, and then resigned again in favor of Cardinal Andrew Báthory, his cousin. The seal comprises the coats of arms of Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania: in the middle, on a shield the Moldavian urus, above Wallachian eagle between sun and moon holding cross in beak, below Transylvanian coat of arms: two meeting, standing lions supporting a sword, treading on seven mountains. The Moldavian shield is held by two crowned figures.

There are two inscriptions on the seal. First, circular, in Romanian Cyrillic alphabet "IO MIHAILI UGROVLAHISCOI VOEVOD ARDILSCOI MOLD ZEMLI", meaning "Io Michael Voivode of Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldavia Land". Second, placed along a circular arc separating the Wallachian coat from the rest of the heraldic composition, "NML BJE MLRDIE", could be translated "Through The Very Grace of God". Michale the Brave died in 9 August 1601.
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