Battle of Lipnic

The Tatars of the Golden Horde launched a major raid into Moldavia in 1470 to plunder churches, towns and villages. As they withdrew with riches, livestock and slaves, Stephen sprang an ambush on them at Lipnic before they reached the Nistru. He not only inflicted heavy losses on the Tatars, but also captured the son of their leader, Ahmed Khan.

The khan sent threatening messages to Stephen demanding the return of his son. “But Stephen, a man with an amiable soul, angered by that message, which could easily have scared other men, disregarding [the khan’s] threats, cut his son into four pieces in front of the heralds, impaled all the heralds except one, who, having his nose cut off, was sent [home] to inform him of what happened,” wrote Dlugosz. “This is how Stephen avenged the shadows of his dead.” In the years immediately following the Battle of Lipnic, Stephen ordered the construction of new fortresses at Soroca in northern Moldavia and Orhei in central Moldavia to serve as bulwarks against the opportunistic Tatars.

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FURTHER READING

Brezianu, Andrei, and Vlad Spanu. Historical Dictionary Of Moldova (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2013)

Dlugosz, Jan. The Annals Of Jan Dlugosz, transl. Maurice Michael, with commentary by Paul Smith, (Charlton, 1997)

Sugar, Peter F. Southeastern Europe Under Ottoman Rule, 1354-1804 (Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press, 1977)