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Bogdan of Cuhea (or Bogdan-Vodă; Bogdan I of Moldavia) is the second founding-figure of the Principality of Moldavia, its ruler between 1359 and 1365. He was a Moldovan (Vlach) nobleman and Voivode of Maramureş, inside the Kingdom of Hungary.

Bogdan appeared in Maramureş in 1334 as a voivode of the Romanians of Cuhea, on the Iza River, but he lost his voivodship due to some disagreement with Louis I of Hungary, in a 1343 diploma being called "the former Voivode of Maramureş who became unfaithful to the king".

Some historians (such as Győrffy) identified him with a certain Bogdan, son of Mikola, who migrated from the Balkans, while others (such as Spinei) say there's no reason to assume it's the same person. The point of the historiographical dispute is whether Romanians are old settlers or indigenous to Maramureş or whether they settled as late as 13th century, as part of the Romanian-Hungarian debate over the primacy of settlement in Transylvania.

In cca. 1349, Bogdan and a group of followers rebelled against Hungarian authority and crossed the Carpathiansmarker to the east, in a march created as a barrier to Mongol incursions by the Kingdom of Hungary in the times of Dragoş. Bogdan crossed the mountains together with his followers, deposed the local ruler, Balc, grandson of Dragoş and declared Moldavia independent from Hungary.

The Ottoman chronicles started to refer to Moldavia as Bogdan or Bogdania in reference to the polity. During his reign, the first Moldovian coins were minted, bearing the inscription: Moneda Moldaviae-Bogdan Waiwo(da).

Unlike his deposed predecessors, who had been close to the Hungarian Crown, he reshaped Moldavia's position and secured her independence a decade after he seized the throne. He successfully resisted Hungarian and Polish ambitions whilst confronting Mongol rule to the east (see Golden Horde).

His first capital was located at Baiamarker, then at Siretmarker, but was soon moved to Suceavamarker.He ordered the building of Bogdana Monasterymarker, in Rădăuţimarker, Suceava County, which is the oldest standing one in Moldavia.


  1. Vásáry, p. 159


  • István Vásáry, Cumans and Tatars, Cambridge University Press 2005

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