Stephen III of Moldavia, known as Stephen the Great (Romanian: Ștefan cel Mare; pronounced [ˈʃtefan t͡ʃel ˈmare]; died on 2 July 1504) was voivode (or prince) of Moldavia from 1457 to 1504. He was the son and co-ruler of Bogdan II of Moldavia who was murdered in 1451. Stephen fled to Hungary, and later to Wallachia. With the support of Vlad the Impaler, Voivode of Wallachia, he returned to Moldavia and forced Peter III Aaron to seek refuge in Poland in the summer of 1457. Teoctist I, Metropolitan of Moldavia, anointed him prince. Stephen continued to pay a yearly tribute to the Ottoman Empire. He broke into Poland and prevented Casimir IV Jagiellon, King of Poland, from supporting Peter Aaron, but acknowledged Casimir's suzerainty in 1459.
The voivode (or prince) of Moldavia Stephen the Great (1433-1504), "Ștefan cel Mare şi Sfînt" in Romanian, is a true national hero in Moldova (also in Romania), symbol of the country's struggle for sovereignty through the centuries, in particular against the Ottoman Empire. Brilliant strategist and determined politician, the one whom the Roman pope Sixtus VI had nicknamed "the athlete of Christendom" has today become the symbol of the Republic of Moldova. During the 47 years of his reign (between 1457 and 1504), he underwent the attack of his powerful neighbors, succeeding in repelling several invasions of the Hungarians, the Tatars and the Ottomans.
On April 12, 2017, the Post of Moldova put into circulation a special cancellation devoted to the 560th anniversary of the arrival of Stephen the Great on the throne of the Principality of Moldavia. Read more..
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