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The philosopher among kings. The largest turkish composer who has thought up musical system from 33 letters of the turkish alphabet. The great Senator of Russian empire. The founder of a genre of the novel in Moldova and scientific oriental studies in Rus

The philosopher among kings. The largest turkish composer who has thought up musical system from 33 letters of the turkish alphabet. The great Senator of Russian empire. The founder of a genre of the novel in Moldova and scientific oriental studies in Russia. The valid academician of the Berlin Academy of sciences. The scientist, the diplomat, the politician, the monarch, Dmitry Kantemir - our great compatriot, gospodar, who has left an appreciable trace in history not only Moldova, but also other countries.

Dmitry Kantemir was born in place Felciu (modern Romania) in a family of the small boyar in 1673. His father, on the customs of that time existing among its estate, served in an army of the Polish kings, then at Moldavian and Valahs gospodar. He knew Turkish and Tatar languages, therefore has been directed to Istanbul in the rank of the ambassador George Duka. In 1672, one year prior to a birth of son Dmitry, Konstantin Kantemir has made an act which has strongly affected the further life of family Kantemir. During severe fight at a capture osmanli Turks of fortress Kamenec, it has rescued a harem of sultan Mehmeda IV from capture by Poles. For it Konstantin Kantemir after Dmitry Kantakuzino's overthrow from a throne, has been appointed gospodar of Moldova.

Dmitry Kantemira's childhood has passed in the parental house in Iasi, at gospodar a court yard. Mother - Kassandra Kantakuzina, very formed woman was engaged in education of the son first. The professor of Vasiliansky academy, scientist-monk Ieremija Kakavella learnt Dmitry. But soon the childhood has ended. On customs of that time one of sons gospodar should be in imperial capital as pledge of fidelity of Moldova Ottoman empire. And Dmitry who has reached 15th yars old, goes to Istanbul where in a role of the hostage replaces brother Antioha.

The capital of Ottoman empire, Constantinople (nowadays Istanbul), for that moment was famous as orthodox and world culture, the heritage of Byzantium affected. In these conditions Dmitry had huge possibilities to continue the education of which it has not failed to take advantage. It studied philology and philosophy, divinity and history. For three years of stay in Constantinople it has learnt Turkish, Arabian, Greek, Latin, slavic, Russian, Polish, German, Italian languages. In Academy of the Constantinople patriarchy outstanding humanists, last of Mohicans leaving Byzantian culture at that time taught. And the young hostage absorbed knowledge as a sponge, not giving itself of any indulgences, and access to the richest funds of libraries gave it unconditional advantages in formation.


Already in 25 years Dmitry Kantemir publishes the first product, a political lampoon the Sofa, or Dispute of a wise man with the world, or Suit of soul with a body (Iasi, 1698). This product has put in pawn a basis of a genre of the Moldavian novel. Two years later there was its philosophical work "Metaphysics", a year later - the General short logic. For years of stay in Constantinople, Dmitry has developed musical system on the basis of the Turkish alphabet, became one of the largest composers in empire. March Bayazida, written by Kantemir, long time was executed as a hymn of Turkey. But, perhaps, we have run a little forward.

In 1693, after death of the father, boyars select Dmitry Kantemira . Stay at the power lasted not for long - 21 day. Port has not confirmed its nominee, and Dmitry had to return to Turkey. He has continued to be engaged in sciences, has become closely acquainted with outstanding Turkish scientists. Thanks to this friendship, Kantemir has got access to the Turkish libraries inaccessible at that time for Christians. So history, ethnography and music studied under primary sources. Simultaneously with it he did not forget to watch development of relations between Ottoman empire and Russia. After all it and many other things the Moldavian boyars pined hopes of clearing of Moldova on Russia from Ottoman yokes.

Keeping at itself Dmitry Kantemira, the Turkish power has to some extent miscalculated. Dmitry, freely communicating with the best slavic thinkers, all acquired also political views, and at all in favour of osmanli Turks more firmly. During the same period he has got acquainted with Russian diplomat Peter Tolstoy and began to co-operate with it. And when in 1710 Turkey began to prepare seriously for war, sultan Ahmed III has decided to strengthen the positions in the Moldavian and Valashsky princedoms. It rested the big hopes of Dmitry Kantemira, as upon the person who has been brought up in Constantinople. Therefore Dmitry Kantemir became new the Moldavian princedom. But expectations Ports were not justified. Since first days of reigning Kantemir began to struggle for clearing of Moldova from yokes. But without assistance was not to manage, Moldova has been strongly weakened. Therefore Dmitry Kantemir concludes the confidential contract with Russian empire. However, the Prutsky campaign of Russians has ended with failure. 40000 the Russian-Moldavian army has been surrounded 200000 by Turkish army. Fight was desperate, but forces were too unequal. Negotiations about the conclusion of peace have begun, Dmitry Kantemira's delivery to the Turkish sultan became one of which conditions. But Peter I is more than something appreciated honour. He has declared, that will give half of Russia more likely, than will give out the prince. The world managed to be concluded, and together with Russian armies has left Moldova and Dmitry Kantemir. In Russia it has been erected in princely advantage, became the senator and first adviser Peter I for east questions. Estates in the Kharkov province and in Moscow suburbs have been welcomed it.

Scientific work of prince Dmitry too has been appreciated. In 1714 under the offer of great philosopher Lejbnitsa it has been selected by the full member of the Berlin Academy of sciences. In the reading and writing directed from Berlin to Sankt-Petersburg, according to the rank, Dmitry Kantemir has been named by the king among philosophers and the philosopher among kings. Its fundamental works on history of Ottoman empire became the primary source for many researchers. The history of an eminence and decline of Ottoman empire became the reference book for Voltaire and Byron. This book was considered as authority not only on history questions but also in all that concerned language, customs and traditions of the Turkish people.

During the Persian campaign Dmitry Kantemir has headed Imperial marching office and marching printing house. On its drawings letters of the Arabian alphabet have been made, and then under its management leaflets with Peter I leaflet to the Tatar people in the Tatar language have been printed. Thus, Dmitry Kantemir has put in pawn a basis of the Tatar publishing in Russia.

During a campaign illness of the prince - a diabetes has become aggravated. It has returned to the estate, but cure it could nobody. On the fiftieth year of a life prince Dmitry Kantemir has died.

Each people have heroes, outstanding compatriots of different historical epoch. But actually talents belong to all mankind. So we at all against when Moldavian gospodar Dmitry Kantemira name the outstanding Russian scientist, the remarkable Turkish composer or the brilliant academician of the Berlin Academy of sciences. The main thing not to lose the heritage left it.

Nadejda Degtiareva,
photo by Valerii Corcimari

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