Neacșu’s Letter (1521)

Neacșu’s Letter is the oldest surviving document available in Old Romanian.

Sent by Lupu Neacșu, a merchant from Câmpulung, Wallachia (now Romania), the letter warns Johannes Benker, the mayor of Brassó (now Brașov, Romania), of the imminent attack of the Ottoman Empire on Wallachia and Transylvania.

To the wisest and most venerable and by God endowed master Hanaș Benger of Brașov, all the best, from Neacșu of Câmpulung.

And again I let Your Highness know of the Turks’ deeds, as I heard that the Emperor [Suleiman the Magnificent] has left Sofia, and sailed up the Danube, and the truth is no other but this.

And again you should know that a man from Nicopolis came to me and told me he saw with his own eyes that those ships, which you also know of, have sailed up the Danube.

And again you should know that they are taking fifty men from each town to help on the ships.

And again you should know how a few experts from Tsarigrad [now Istanbul] found a way to steer the ships past that narrow place, which you also know of.

And again I tell you about the deed of Mahamet-Beg, as I heard from neighboring boyars and from my son-in-law Negre, that the Emperor gave Mahamet-Beg freedom to pass through The Romanian Land [the first mention of the name “Romania” in a Romanian text] whenever he pleases.

And again you should know that Basarab [voivode of Wallachia] too is greatly fearful of that thief Mahamet-Beg, even more than Your Highness.

And again I tell Your Highness, as you are my Lord, of what I had also understood. I am telling Your Highness, and Your Highness is wise and you should keep these words to yourself and not let many people know and you should prepare the best you can.

And may God bring happiness upon you. Amen.



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