Alexander I of Moldavia

Alexander the Good (Romanian: Alexandru cel Bun pronounced [alekˈsandru t͡ʃel bun] or Alexandru I Mușat; c. 1375 – 1 January 1432) was a Voivode (Lord) of Moldavia, reigning between 1400 and 1432,[1] son of Roman I Mușat. He succeeded Iuga to the throne,[2] and, as a ruler, initiated a series of reforms while consolidating the status of the Moldavian Principality.

Alexander I
Fresco of Alexander the Good and his consort Lady Ana, Suceviţa Monastery, Romania (16th century).jpg
Alexander and his consort lady Ana, at the Suceviţa Monastery
Prince of Moldavia
ReignJune 1400 – 1 January 1432
PredecessorIuga of Moldavia
SuccessorIliaș of Moldavia
Bornc. 1375
Died1 January 1432
SpouseDoamna Margareta
Doamna Ana Neacșa
Doamna Ringala
FatherRoman I of Moldavia
Alexander the Good and his lady, Marina.

Internal politicsEdit

Emissaries of the church of "Moldovlahia" to the Council of Constance in 1415, led by Grigore Ţamblac, and sent by Alexandru cel Bun

Alexander expanded the bureaucratic system by creating the "Council of the Voivode", the Chancellory and by adding (in 1403) the institution of Logofăt – Chancellor of the official Chancellery.

During his reign, he introduced new fiscal laws by adding commercial privileges to the traders of Lviv (1408) and Kraków (1409), improved the situation of trading routes (especially the one linking the port of Cetatea Albă to Poland), strengthened the forts by guarding them and expanded the Moldavian ports of Cetatea Albă and Chilia.

He also had a role in ending the conflict of the Moldavian Eastern Orthodox with the Patriarch of Constantinople. He built Bistrița Monastery where he is buried and continued the building of Neamț Monastery, which was started in the previous century.

Foreign affairsEdit

The main concern of Alexander the Good was to defend the country in wars against superior armies. In order to do that, he forged a system of alliances with Wallachia and Poland, generally against Hungary (although he had been backed to the throne by Sigismund of Hungary). In 1402, he was sworn vassal of Jogaila, the King of Poland.[3] The treaty was renewed in 1404, 1407, 1411 and 1415.

Alexander I of Moldavia (Alexandru cel Bun), monument by Tudor Cataraga

Alexander participated in two battles against the Teutonic Knights: in 1410 at Grunwald and in 1422 at Marienburg. In 1420, he also defended Moldavia against the first incursion by Ottomans at Cetatea Albă. He also got involved in the power struggles of Wallachia by helping Radu II Prasnaglava in 1418 and 1419 and Alexandru I Aldea in 1429, mostly in order to prevent the capture of Chilia.[citation needed]

Due to a territorial claim of Poland and the previous failure of the Polish king to fulfill his part of the vassalic treaty during an Ottoman attack in 1420, Alexander launched an attack on Poland during the Lithuanian Civil War (1431–1435). The attack ended with the Treaty of Suceava on 18 November 1431.


Alexander made the first documented confirmation of the gypsy slavery in Moldova, giving the monastery of Bistrița 31 gypsy families along with some cattle.[4]: 14 

Personal lifeEdit

The Prince's tomb at Bistrița Monastery

Alexandru cel Bun had four legitimate wives:[citation needed] Margareta Loszonc, Ana Neacşa, Rymgajla (daughter of Kęstutis and sister of Vytautas the Great of Lithuania; divorced in 1421), and Mariana. He had several children:[5]

By Margareta:

  • Roman
  • Vasilisa

By Ana Neacşa:

By Margareta or Ana:

  • Anastasia
  • Maria

By Mariana:

By Stanca, a concubine:

Unknown mother:

He died on January 1, 1432, and was buried in the Bistriţa Monastery.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Vauchez, Andre (2001-04-01). Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Routledge. ISBN 1-57958-282-6.
  2. ^ Williams, Henry Smith (1909). The Historians' History of the World. Hooper & Jackson. p. 242. ISBN 0-8419-0088-4.
  3. ^ King, Charles H. (2000). The Moldovans: Romania, Russia, and the politics of culture. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press. pp. 15. ISBN 0-8179-9791-1. Alexandru cel Bun.
  4. ^ Achim, Viorel (2004). The Roma in Romanian History. Central European University Press. ISBN 963-9241-84-9.
  5. ^ "Alexandru cel Bun - Enciclopedia României - prima enciclopedie online despre România".

External linksEdit

Preceded by Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
Succeeded by