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Stratum plus. 2003-2004. №6

P. P. Bîrnea

Chilia and the Lower Danube River under Stephan the Great

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Pages: 180-189

The paper is a generalization of diverse and usually brief notes about the Lower Danube region with the town of Chilia as its center, which was the most important region in medieval Moldavia under Stephan the Great. Records left by Moldavian and foreign writers elucidate the outstanding role of this territory as a fishery area, which preserved this function even after occupation by Sultan Bayazid II in 1484. Highly appreciated fish and caviar from Chilia were supplied to many countries: Wallachia, Transylvania, Hungary, Poland. As the biggest international port, Chilia was supplying bread, honey, wax, wool and linen from the Moldavian hinterland to the states in the Black Sea basin, especially to Italian colonies. Manufactured products were transiting through this center from West to East, while spicery was flowing backward. The researcher demonstrates strategic importance of forts of the same name placed in the delta – the Old Chilia on the right bank of the Danube’s northern branch and the New Chilia built by Stephan the Great on the other bank. Under the increasing military pressure of the Ottomans, the ruler himself called the Moldavian Chilia with Belgorod on the Dniester “a wall for Hungary and Poland” in 1477.


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