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CNAA / Theses / 2009 / May /

Monastic estates in the country of Moldova in the second half of the 14th century through the 16th century

Author: Sava Igor
Degree:doctor of history
Speciality: 07.00.02 - History of Romanians (with specification of time period)
Scientific adviser: Demir Dragnev
doctor habilitat, professor, Institute of History of the ASM
Scientific council:


The thesis was presented on the 15 May, 2009
Approved by NCAA on the 1 October, 2009


Adobe PDF document0.38 Mb / in romanian


monastic estates, medieval financial possessions, the country of Moldova, founding acts, medieval monarchy, Byzantine traditions, ethical-religious motivations and ideologies, monasteries, monastically inheritance, rural colonization, cooperation of Church and State, institutions of immunity, privileged legal administration, holdings of monasteries charity and social assistance, social structures, population of estates, dependant peasants, exploitation of monastic estates economic practices, monastic communities, monastic incomes


The dynamic evolution of these monastic estates in Moldova in the 14th through 16th centuries was determined by the socio-political and economical processes of this period; it constitutes a reflection of certain particularities of religious, ideological, cultural and mental constructs of this geographic region. In the internal and external political context, a series of rulers, in principal, established politics and prosperity in the economic plan, influenced the growth of monastic holdings and actively supported the monarchy. The wealth of the monasteries benefited from the protection of the State for the whole period researched.

The origin of doneness to monastic inheritance were maintained and expand as a result of the exploitation of goods within the framework of the estates, purchase and sale, exchanges of villages and of goods, rural colonies and privileged immunities, found balance in the assembled owners, however reduced, in comparison to bequests.

The process which indicates villages entrance into the monastic estates that resulted in this action, although not did not end this intensity that in the case of estates of lords and princes, constituted an efficient way to encourage the growth of estates and exactly, the number of workers in regions bought or newly created, which were beneath the owners of the monasteries, this situation due to the presence of a unique privileged regime in fiscal matters with positive implications in the efficient exploitation of the monastic estates.

Institutions of immunity, that also comprised the monastic estates, offered conditions favorable to the development the establishment of religions on the basis of economic advantage which enhanced the value of monastic communities. Privileged legal systems, applied to monasteries, constituted the appearance of cordial relations between church and state; however the phenomenon of immunity should not be expanded over all periods of research and should not cover all religious institutions. Between the monastic estates and the receiving and extension of privilege of immunity can be seen as differences of admistrative systems between components of unique estates, the degree of which varies from one period to another, From one monastery to another, due to the attitudes of individual rulers.

Social structures present in the estates-peasants, Tartar slaves and gypsies-differentiated themselves in accordance to the laws of social position and according to the collective endowment, the labors which were given to the territorial owners-monasteries. The great majority of the populations of the estates were made up of free men, who were dependent upon the monasteries both economically and legally, this part functioning in the situation when rulers give abbots the local rights to establish their own laws above the local laws of his villages. Concerning the category of slaves, they are an active presence in this domain and through their conditions represented the most exploited social class. The number of these increased in the monastic estates thanks to the numerous bequests destined to satisfy the needs of ecclesiastical establishments for cheap labor.

A peasant and sclave contribution, with modest participation of the monarchs to varied exploitation of monastic estates, is incontrovertible. The combined growth of agriculture, animal husbandry and trade, represented the principal practices for the unique economy of the monastic estates done only to satisfy the necessities of the products of the community, to be sold in the markets. These activities formed the basis of monastic incomes.

The monastic estates of the country of Moldova in the second half of the 14th Century-16th Century were created and developed through various means, within a favorable socio-politic, economic, religious and cultural climate. The dynamic evolution of these systems is one reason for the progress, preserved in a matter of importance within this period, although secondarily, in the framework of the functional structure of the whole.