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Mavrocordato, Mavrocordat

MAVROCORDATO, MAVROCORDAT or MAVROGORDATO, the name of a family of Phanariot Greeks, distinguished in the history of Turkey, Rumania and modern Greece. The family was founded by a merchant of Chios, whose son Alexander Mavrocordato (c. 1636-1709), a doctor of philosophy and medicine of Bologna, became dragoman to the sultan in 1673, an d was much employed in negotiations with Austria. It was he who drew up the treaty of Karlowitz (1699). He became a secretary of state, and was created a count of the Holy Roman Empire. His authority, with that of Hussein Kupruli and Rami Pasha, was supreme at the court of Mustapha II., and he did much to ameliorate the condition of the Christians in Turkey. He was disgraced in 1703, but was recalled to court by Sultan Ahmed III. He left some historical, grammatical, etc. treatises of little value.

His son NICHOLAS MAVROCORDATO (1670-1730) was grand dragoman to the Divan (1697), and in 1708 was appointed hosppdar (prince) of Moldavia. Deposed, owing to the sultan's suspicions, in favour of Demetrius Cantacuzene, he was restored in 1711, and soon afterwards became hospodar of Walachia. In 1716 he was deposed by the Austrians, but was restored after the peace of Passarowitz. He was the first Greek set to rule the Danubian principalities, and was responsible for establishing the system which for a hundred years was to make the name of Greek hateful to the Rumanians. He introduced Greek manners, the Greek language and Greek costume, and set up a splendid court on the Byzantine model. For the rest he was a man of enlightenment, founded libraries and was himself the author of a curious work entitled Yltpl KaBriKovrtav (Bucharest, 1719). He was succeeded as grand dragoman (1709) by his son John (loannes), who was for a short while hospodar of Moldavia, and died in 1720.

Nicholas Mavrocordato was succeeded as prince of Walachia in 1730 by his son Constantine. He was deprived in the same year, but again ruled the principality from 1735 to 1741 and from 1744 to 1748; he was prince of Moldavia from 1741 to 1744 and from 1748 to 1749. His rule was distinguished by numerous tentative reforms in the fiscal and administrative systems. He was wounded and taken prisoner in the affair of Galati during the Russo-Turkish War, on the 5th of November 1769, and died in captivity.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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