»Moreover, he devastated the Holy Monastery«. The Govora Monastery in mid-fifteenth century. The Meanings of Power Cover Image
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,„Și încă a pustiit şi sfânta mănăstire”. Mănăstirea Govora și un gest de putere de la mijlocul secolului al XV-lea
»Moreover, he devastated the Holy Monastery«. The Govora Monastery in mid-fifteenth century. The Meanings of Power

Author(s): Ramona Adina Neacşa (Lupu)
Subject(s): History of Church(es), Political history, 15th Century
Published by: Institutul de Istorie Nicolae Iorga
Keywords: Wallachia;Govora;Vlad the Devil;Albul the Great;legitimacy;monastery;

Summary/Abstract: This paper analyses the destruction of the Govora Monastery by the boyar Albu the Great in mid fifteenth-century Wallachia. The main contention of the article is that this sacrilegious act was embedded in the struggles between different Wallachian noble groups competing for power. Thus, by devastating the monastery, Albu the Great was trying to strengthen his own position, while undermining that of the founder of the monastery, no other than Vlad the Devil, the lord of Wallachia. The Govora monastery played an important role in supporting and legitimizing Vlad’s rule, therefore any act of violence directed against it was actually aimed to its founder. A locus of history and legitimacy, the monastery had a significant capital of symbolic power that could be manipulated, destroyed or, on the contrary, restored. This is precisely what happed with Govora in the second half of the fifteenth century, when Vlad the Devil’s descendents took care to restore the family monastic foundation. Thus, Vlad the Impaler punished Albu the Great and his entire kin and, afterwards, Vlad the Monk and Radu the Great re-established the monastic estate by buying back two of its former villages, Glodul and Hinţa. The purpose of this article is to suggest that the fifteenth-century Wallachian monasteries were not solely a network of religious and economic centres, but also hubs of political power.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: XXXIII
  • Page Range: 267-285
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Romanian