MIHAI VOIEVOD VITEAZUL AND THE COSMOS
COSMIC ROMANIA 43
-text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
special guest Valentin Grigore
design Florin-Alexandru Stancu-
Mihai Viteazul (the Brave) represented
“the hopes that all Christianity and all Oriental nations put in Romanians,
naming him the star from east.”
(Nicolae Balcescu, 1819-1852,
one of the leaders of the 1848 Revolution in Romania,
historian and writer;
Romanians under Mihai Voievod Viteazul)
Today the memory of Mihai Viteazul is honored in many ways,
one of the most visible variants being a statue in the University Square
right in the centre of Bucharest.
However, “the star from east” could be a metaphor,
signifying the sunrise:
if geographically for the free Western nations
Mihai Viteazul was truly a star from east
because he stopped the Ottoman invasion to their countries,
for some of the Oriental nations already conquered by Ottomans
he was, also geographically, rather a star from west or north.
Mihai Viteazul or Michael the Brave (1558-1601)
was a Romanian “voievod” and “domnitor” (ruler, or rather local king)
in between 1593 and 1601.
In 1595 he defeated at Calugareni a superior Ottoman army
(that wanted to transform his country, Wallachia or the Romanian Land,
into a pashalik),
and then, receiving a Magyar help,
obtained other anti-Ottoman victories in Targoviste, Bucharest and Giurgiu,
stopping the Muslim advancing to the north of Europe.
He also harnessed the Ottoman Empire
through more raids to the south of the Danube River,
advancing even to Adrianople
(a former Ottoman Capital).
In 1559-1600 he achieved for a short time the Romanian essential dream,
uniting Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldavia,
and making a greater country just like in the times of past Dacia.
Then that dream was pulverized just by the closest Western powers
(that previously refused to help him to attack Istanbul),
whose representatives assassinated him in Transylvania.
His head was taken by his faithful soldiers,
carried to Targoviste in Wallachia and buried at the Dealu Monastery,
a historical monument which I photographed from the distance in April 2014.
Also there, near that monastery,
Valentin Grigore took a few pictures with Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1)
in November 2013,
which inspired us to make the following collective cosmopoem:
MIHAI VOIEVOD VITEAZUL AND COMET LOVEJOY
-astrophotography Valentin Grigore
astropoetry Andrei Dorian Gheorghe-
Seeing Comet Lovejoy among the trees
which surround the Dealu Monastery,
and separating the name of its discoverer
into Love and Joy,
we found out other dimension,
in which, for a while,
that impressive heavenly body
took the shape of Mihai Viteazul and his mantle,
flying as the angel
of Romanian unity.
But Mihai Viteazul’s dream was not lost.
On the contrary, it became for a while the Romanian national ideal,
which was achieved forever in two steps:
in 1859 (the union of Wallachia with Moldavia = Romania)
and 1918 (the union of Romania with Transylvania).
He also remained as a pioneer of Europe’s map,
realizing the Romanian unification long before the unifications
of Italy and of the German statal entities.
It is interesting that around 1590,
before becoming the Romanian ruler,
Mihai Viteazul was arrested and condemned to death
by the previous ruler of Wallachia, Alexandru the Bad,
but the executioner, seeing how majestic Mihai Viteazul was
(1.90 m high, a giant for that time),
terribly scared of him and preferred to flee.
Grateful to God and Saint Nicholas for that wonder,
in 1594 Mihai Viteazul built a fortress-monastery on a hill
in Bucharest, near the Dambovita River.
Unfortunately, the atheist-communist regime destroyed that fortress in 1985
in the name of a modern systematization
(including the construction, in that zone,
of a park and of the People’s House,
the current Romanian Parliament -
which is the largest civil-administrative building in the world),
but a genial engineer-hero,
convinced the dictatorial authorities to allow him to move
(through an original technical system)
the church of the monastery about 300 m,
to not be demolished.
Since in April 2014 I found out
the Sun and the Moon
sculpted on the door of the Mihai Voda Church
(as well as on the external crosses),
and a part of the ceiling
painted with stars inside the monument,
I thought to try three photographic poems
to honor in my way this Romanian national hero,
420 years since he built that church (1494)
and 420 years since his first contra-attack against the Ottoman Empire,
when he and his army crossed the Danube River on ice (winter of 1495).
MIHAI VOIEVOD VITEAZUL AND THE SUN
MIHAI VOIEVOD VITEAZUL AND THE HEAVENLY BODIES
Venus and Mercury…
Orion and Aldebaran…
Procyon, Sirius and Rigel…
Saturn and Moon…
MIHAI VOIEVOD VITEAZUL AND THE MOON
© 2015 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)