George Ducas

Voivode George Ducas (Greek: Γεώργιος Δούκας, Romanian: Gheorghe Duca), (c. 1620 – 31 March 1685) was three times prince of Moldavia (September 1665 – May 1666, November 1668 – 20 August 1672, November 1678 – January 1684) and one time prince of Wallachia (1673 – 29 November 1678).

George Ducas
121 - Gheorghe Duca.jpg
Prince of Moldavia
(1st reign)
Reign11 September 1665 – 21 May 1666
PredecessorEustratie Dabija
SuccessorIliaș Alexandru
Prince of Moldavia
(2nd reign)
Reign8 November 1668 – 10 August 1672
PredecessorIliaș Alexandru
SuccessorȘtefan Petriceicu
Prince of Wallachia
ReignNovember/December 1674 – 29 November 1678
PredecessorGrigore I Ghica
SuccessorȘerban Cantacuzino
Prince of Moldavia
(3rd reign)
Reign28 November 1678 – 25 December 1683
PredecessorAntonie Ruset
SuccessorȘtefan Petriceicu
Bornca. 1620
Died31 March 1685
SpouseAnastasiya Dabizha
IssueConstantine Ducas

He was married to Anastasiya Dabizha, the daughter of Eustratie Dabija, and later to Dafina Doamna; George Ducas fathered Constantine Ducas.

First two rules in MoldaviaEdit

A Greek,[citation needed] George Ducas had been kept in Vasile Lupu's retinue and slowly overcame the obstacles set by his modest social origin.

Supported by Dafina Doamna and some of the boyars, he came to the throne in Iaşi after Dabija's death, but was soon ousted after his opponents appealed to the Ottomans, unjustly claiming Duca's rule was corrupt.

He contracted large debts in order to reclaim the throne, which he managed to following Iliaș Alexandru's rule. The policy of increased taxation led to the uprising of Mihalcea Hâncu in October 1671, crushed the next year after Ducas received Ottoman help. But, as Ducas failed to provide supplies needed for the War against the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, with the Sultan Mehmed IV's life placed in peril at the attack of Kamianets-Podilskyi, the Turks swiftly replaced him with Ștefan Petriceicu.

Rule in WallachiaEdit

In 1674, through the intervention of the Cantacuzino boyars, he was awarded the throne in Bucharest; soon however, the alliance between the Cantacuzinos and Ducas crumbled, the prince being replaced by Șerban Cantacuzino.

Last rule in Moldavia and rule in Right-bank UkraineEdit

Ducas Voda, Prince of Moldavia and hetman of Ukraine, on Romanian stamps from 1941

He was soon back on the Moldavian throne, following Antonie Ruset (Rosetti)'s reign.

George Ducas had plans of extending his rule over right-bank Ukraine, where Ottoman gains had started with the acquisition of Podolia in 1672. His overlord appointed him as hetman over the newly gained regions, in 1680 or 1681, after much bribery strained the Moldavian treasury as much as the request that Ducas had placed on the taxed categories that they contribute to his daughter's dowry.

In 1683, Ducas joined the Ottomans in their march and the Battle of Vienna. Helped by his absence and aware of the complete failure of the Ottoman plans, boyars throughout the land rebelled, following Ștefan Petriceicu's command, and welcomed the invading Poles and Cossacks.

On his way back, Ducas was captured on 25 December 1683 and sent to a prison in Poland, where he died one year later.

Preceded by
Eustratie Dabija
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
Succeeded by
Iliaș Alexandru
Preceded by
Iliaș Alexandru
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
Succeeded by
Ştefan Petriceicu
Preceded by
Antonie Ruset
Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
Succeeded by
Ștefan Petriceicu
Preceded by
Grigore I Ghica
Prince/Voivode of Wallachia
Succeeded by
Șerban Cantacuzino