1342-’82 Coin of Louis the Great (1342-’82), 1365ca.


The arms of the principality of Moldavia are a bullís head with a star between its horns between a rose and a crescent.

After an odd millennium the bullís head occurs again in a European south eastern context.

Bullís heads are on a coin of Nicholas I Lackovic (lackfi MiklÛs), who was Ban of Slavonia (1342ñ43), and Voivode of Transylvania (1367ñ1369).

Obv.: Marten running to the right and above it a crown, below a cloverleaf. The inscription reads: MONETA NICOLAI BAN. NI.

Rev.: Double cross, between two crescents in chief and two bullís heads with a cross between the horns in base.

The bullís head however is ascribed by medieval chroniclers to Dragos who was a voivode in Moldavia (1345/1359 -1353/1361) and, according to legend, had hunted an aurochs or bison, ending with his "dismounting" by the Moldova River, which gave rise to the development of Moldavia. The Anonymous Chronicle of Moldavia contains a short summary: "In the year 6867 Drago? Voivode came from the Hungarian country, from Maramure?, hunting an aurochs ...". The Moldo-Polish Chronicle preserved a more detailed story: "By the will of God, the first voivode, Drago?, came from the Hungarian country from the town and river of [Maramure?], hunting an aurochs which he killed on the river Moldova. There he feasted with his noblemen, and liking the country he remained there, bringing [Vlachs] from Hungary as colonists.

However, many historians (including ?tefan S. Gorovei, Dennis Deletant, Neagu Djuvara, and Constantine Rezachevici) say that a successful Hungarian campaign under the command of Andrew Lackfi, Count of the SzÈkelys, against the Tatars across the Carpathians in 1345 gave rise to the development of a defensive march, ruled by Drago?. According to Deletant, the establishment of that border province was connected to the foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Milkovia, which was sanctioned, upon the request of Louis I of Hungary, by Pope Clement VI on 27 March 1347  [6]

As we are of the opinion that the bullís head is a badge of the commander of a defense force we may conclude that Dragos adopted (or was granted by Louis the Great) a bullís head as his badge of office in his quaility of a commander of the Hungarian defence forces.

The bullís head was represented for the first time as a crest together with the arms of  Peter I Musat (1375-ë91). It has remained the crest of all rulers of Moldavia from the House of Musat.

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