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100 lei 2000
525 years from the battle of Vaslui
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37 mm diameter, 31.1 g, 92.5% silver, flat edge
denomination "100 LEI", year 2000, circular inscription REPUBLICA MOLDOVA meaning "REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA" and the coat of arms of the Republic of Moldavia
circular inscription "BATALIA DE LA VASLUI" meaning "BATTLE OF VASLUI", in the field year 1475, in exergue inscription "525 ani" meaning "525 years"
Stephen the Great astride on rampant horse, wielding sword in the right hand, reins in the left hand, a group of five fighting Moldavian soldiers; above, central, battle standard of the prince

The coin was struck at the Czech Mint, having a maximum mintage of 1000 pieces. The pictures of this coin are present on Romanian coins through the special kindness of Mr. Lucian Solcan.


About the 1475 campaign

The 120.000 man strong Turkish army that entered Moldavia was commanded by Solyman Pasha the Eunuch. Stephen applied the scorched-earth tactics: everything that could not be hidden from the Turkish invaders was burnt. The Moldavian army attacked the enemy near the town of Vaslui, where the small river Racova empties in the river Bīrlad. It was (in Stephen's times) a marshy place between forests, where the Turkish horde could not develop the lines in order to exploit its crushing numeric superiority (3:1!). The Turks were completely defeated, the pursuit and hunting of the fleeing soldiers having taken almost four days. The sultan Mohammed II, the conqueror of the Constantinople, humiliated by the defeat of the beylerbey Solyman troops, would personally lead in 1476 a Turkish punishment expedition in Moldavia.

Anonymous chronicle of Moldavia about the victory of Vaslui (1475)

Inside the "Chronicle since the beginning, with the will of God, of the Land of Moldavia" (Anonymous chronicle of Moldavia), written in Slavic during the reigns of Stephen the Great and his son's Bogdan III the Blind, we find about the great battle of 6893 (1475) of Vaslui that: "In the year 6893 [1475] January 10th, on Tuesday, it was a war at Vaslui with the Turkish mights and Stephen voivod was victorious with the mercy of the Lord and with the help of Jesus Christ [...]. And the Lord gave the unbelieving tongues to the sword edge and then large crowd without number fell and many without number were captured alive, which also were cut down, but for one that was left alive, the son of Sac [Isaac] pasha. And their standards and with the great scepters were taken, over 40 scepters. And Stephen voivod returned with all his army men as a bearer of victory to his seat fortress, Suceava, and the metropolitans and priests came forth to his greeting, bearing the holy evangel in hands and officiating and praising the Lord for the above gift and blessing the prince: Long live the prince!". In the Slavic text it says (in Latin, approximate transcript) Da jive(t) czari, that is rather Long live the emperor!, as by the way some translations interpreted it.

About the banner of Stephen the Great

Two military standards of Stephen the Great outlasted to the present. The banners were donated by the Moldavian ruler to the Zografu monastery of Mount Athos. The banner represented on the coin is approximately one meter high and one meter long and is embroided with colored silk thread and with silver and gold thread. On the face represented on the coin lies the image of Saint George slaying the dragon, framed by the Slavic inscription AS A DELIVERER OF THE POORS AND ENTHRALLED HELPFUL, PHYSICIAN OF THE WEAK, HELP TO THE EMPERORS, BEARER OF VICTORY, GREAT MARTYR GEORGE, BESEECH CHRIST THE LORD TO SAVE OUR SOULS. On the other side the scene of Jesus' baptism is represented, surrounded by another Slavic inscription.

About the Moldavian soldiers represented on the coin

The Moldavian soldiers are represented wearing chain mail, helmet and boots. Two of them are armed with pikes, one with a halberd, another has sword and shield. Arrows fly all over. Stephen, on horseback, with the naked sword, charges on. The scene is a good illustration for the text of the Polish chronicler Ian Dlugosz, contemporary with the events: "As all the ahead rows in which in front were Szeklers had been crushed by the Turks, and a great peril was menacing after [Stephen] in person rushed in the middle of the Turks exalted by the joy of victory, and with the miraculous power of the Lord he destroyed all the Turkish groups having only 40.000 soldiers, out of which most part were peasants."


The great Moldavian voivod is also present on several Romanian coins: 500 lei 1941 - Liberation of the enthralled Moldavia, 20 lei 1991, 5000 lei 2004 - Stephen the Great's Death Quincentenary, 1 leu, 5 and 100 lei 2007 - 550 years since the enthronement of Stephen the Great in Moldavia and 10 lei 2008 - Voronež Monastery.

Stephen the Great also appears on another coin issued by the Republic of Moldavia: 100 lei 2004 - 500 years since his death.


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