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50 and 100 lei 2011 - Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu
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28 mm diameter, 13 g, 99.9% silver, grained edge
year 2011, circular inscription REPUBLICA MOLDOVA meaning "REPUBLIC OF MOLDAVIA" and the coat of arms of the Republic of Moldavia, in exergue horizontal line and denomination "50 LEI"
bust of Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, inscription BOGDAN PETRICEICU HASDEU and years 1838 and 1907

Issuing date: 3rd of October 2011

Mintage: 500 coins

24 mm diameter, 7.8 g, 99.99% gold, grained edge
year 2011, circular inscription REPUBLICA MOLDOVA meaning "REPUBLIC OF MOLDAVIA" and the coat of arms of the Republic of Moldavia, in exergue horizontal line and denomination "100 LEI"
bust of Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, inscription BOGDAN PETRICEICU HASDEU and years 1838 and 1907

Issuing date: 3rd of October 2011

Mintage: 300 coins


The two coins with Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu belong to the series Alley of the Classics from the public garden "Stephen the Great and the Holy" in Chișinău. To the same series belong two coins from 2010, dedicated to poet Grigore Vieru.

About Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu

Bogdan was born in the village of Cristinești near Hotin (at that time in the Russian Empire, in the Basarabian part of Moldavia, taken by force in 1812; nowadays in Ukraine), as son of Alexandru Hâjdeu (1811 - 1872). Alexandru Hâjdeu was a great intellectual and polyglot, owning an encyclopaedic culture, appointed in 1866 as founding member of the Literary Romanian Society (the Romanian Academy to be); it must be mentioned that he also has a bust on the Alley of the Classics in Chișinău.

Bogdan studied in several Polish schools in Russia, inclusively at Camenița (Kamenets-Podolsk; after the three partitions of Poland, the Czarist Empire ruled over large territories that formerly had belonged to Poland), and then at the high school in Chișinău. He continued his studies at the University of Kharkov, where he pretended to be descendant of a former prince of Moldavia, Ștefan Petriceicu, with which Hâjdeu family was related. He served for three years into the Russian army, and he even took part at the Crimean War.

Arrived in the Principality of Moldavia in 1857, Bogdan occupied several positions, he established several magazines, published literature, managing to strongly impress the contemporary Romanians. In that period Hasdeu, for reasons of frequently changing orthographic rules and not only, changed the spelling of his name. He began not to use diacritical signs. So, Hasdeu has been pronounced as if spelled with the Romanian version of "sh" (Hașdeu) or with j (Hajdeu). In various editions of his work, the name was alternately written, either Hasdeu or Hașdeu, so that the topic is a bit confusing. In 1876 he was appointed director of the State Archives, and in 1877 he was elected member of the Romanian Academic Society (from 1879, Romanian Academy). The Parliament created for him a chair of compared philology at the Faculty of Letters at University of Bucharest. He was dean of the faculty between 1882 and 1885.

Petriceicu Hasdeu lived a true tragedy in 1888, and something was broken inside his soul. Iulia Hasdeu, his only child, died from tuberculosis. Hasdeu sought refuge in spiritualism, trying to contact his daughter; he built at Cîmpina a strange castle, after plans received from the spirit of Iulia.

About the works of Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu

Writer, poet and dramatist, Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu wrote many pieces of literature; the drama Răzvan and Vidra is appreciated even today.

As historian Hasdeu gathered and published in "Arhiva istorică a României" (Historic Archive of Romania) lots of old documents, and he wrote many scientific and also popularization papers, on numismatic subjects inclusively. His monograph Ion Vodă cel Cumplit (John Voivod the Frightful, 1864), although having used an erudite and extraordinarily vaste bibliography, seems today to be a more literary than scientific work, and still can be read with great pleasure.

Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu was also a road opener in philology.

Hasdeu was also a Romantic "mystifier" [1]. The well-known portret John Voivod was, most probably, a personal work of Hasdeu. The paternity of the diploma of Ivanco Berladnic, dated 1134, published by him in 1860 and 1869, was attributed to Hasdeu. The diploma, a fake, mentioned the existence of a principality of Bîrlad (an old town of Moldavia, nowadays in Vaslui county). Someones attributed to him the so-called "tablets of Sinaia", 19th century fakes pretending to be Dacian writing (but also the opinion exists that a scholar of Hasdeu caliber and knowledge would have made a much better job). Otherwise, Hasdeu liked hoaxes - as proof, the two well-known farces played to Junimea society of Iași and to its magazine, Convorbiri literare.

Another sample of Hasdeu's unfathomable hoaxes is for sure some very archaic song lyrics that he published, having pretendedly read them on a "Psalmbook" of metropolitan Dosoftei, lyrics that were composed supposedly by Stephen the Great and the Holy himself!

Romanian: "Hai, frați, hai, frați,/ La navală dați,/ Țara v-apărati,/ Crucea v-apărați".

English translation "Come, brethren, come, brethren,/ Make haste,/ Defend your country,/ Defend your cross".

Versatile personality, encyclopaedist, prolific autodidactic scholar, Hasdeu was one of the most prominent cultural personalities of his epoch.

References

1. Călinescu G., Istoria literaturii române de la origini pînă în prezent (History of the Romanian Literature from Origins to Present). Editura Minerva, București, 1982.


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