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Dmitri Kantemir

Dmitri Kantemir, (October 26, 1673 - 1723), scion of the Kantemir or Cantemir family, became prince of Moldavia in 1710; he had ruled only one year (1710 - 1711) when he joined Peter the Great in his campaign against the Turks and placed Moldavia under Russian suzerainty. Beaten by the Turks, Cantemir emigrated to Russia, where he and his family finally settled. He died at Kharkov in 1723.

Kantemir was known as one of the greatest linguists of his time, speaking and writing eleven languages, and being well versed in Oriental scholarship. He was a voluminous and original writer of great sagacity and deep penetration, and his writings range over many subjects. The best known is his History of the Growth and Decay of the Ottoman Empire. He also wrote a history of oriental music, which is no longer extant; the first critical history of Moldo-Walachia[?]; the first geographical, ethnographical and economic description of Moldavia, Descriptio Moldaviae, under the name of Historia Hieroglyphica, to which he furnished a key, and in which the principal persons are represented by animals; also the history of the two ruling houses of Brancovan and Cantacuzino; and a philosophical treatise on the old theme of the disputation between soul and body, written in Greek and Rumanian under the title Divanul Lumii.

Original text from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica



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