Romanian Names from the Basarab Line

by Jennifer Edwards, known in the SCA as Arina Draguţa
edited by Sara L. Uckelman, known in the SCA as Aryanhwy merch Catmael

© 2005 Jennifer Edwards; all rights reserved
last updated 16Aug06

These names are all taken from the Basarab line, and include only Romanian names. The Basarabs were an old Romanian family that ruled Wallachia and Moldavia from the early 14th century to the end of the 16th. The two main subfamilies were the Draculas and the Daneşiti. The Draculas, by far the more famous of the two, were the descendents of Vlad II Dracul, and the Daneşti were the descendents of his cousin, Dan II.

My sources are the Draculean historians Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally, who received their information from the genealogical database of Romania (which I have no access to and thus am in a long process of verifying). However, most of these personages can be verified using historical documents of the time.

A few non-Latin characters are used in these names. These are modern Romanian characters which may not have been in use during the times these names are from. They are pronounced as follows:

a-breve\@\, the sound of <a> in <soda> or <about>
â and îdiffer only etymologically and are now pronounced identically, as IPA barred-I, a high, central, unrounded vowel. If you say <children> with a first syllable that does not rhyme with <chill> but nearly rhymes with <pull>, you probably have something close to this vowel

Here is a pronunciation guide for some of the other letters:

c\tch\ before <i> and <e>, \k\ otherwise
ch    \k\ before <i> and <e>, not used otherwise
g\dj\ before <i> and <e>, \g\ otherwise
gh\g\ before <i> and <e>, not used otherwise
j\zh\, as in French

Men's names:

Early 14th century
Basarab cel Mare

Late 14th to early 15th century
Mircea cel Batrain (sometimes cel Mare)
Dan (half-brother of Mircea, and Dan I's son)
Mihail, Alexandru Aldea, Vlad Dracul (sons of Mircea cel Batrain, recognized in his time as profligate even for a society with a "harem" philosophy)

Mid to late 15th century
Iliaş and Bogdan (the sons of Alexandru Aldea, both ruled in Moldavia)
Mircea (2), Vlad Tsepeş, Vlad Calugarul, Radu cel Frumos (the sons of Vlad Dracul)

Mid 15th to mid 16th century
Mihnea cel Rau, Vlad (Dracula II) (sons of Vlad Tsepeş)
Milos, Mircea (sons of Mihnea cel Rau)

Mid to Late 16th century
Alexandru Mircea, and Petru (the lame) (sons of Mihnea's son Mircea)
Mihnea (the Islamized, son of Alexandru Mircea)
Ladislas (Dracula, son of Vlad Dracula II, sustained the surname and patent of nobility)
Ladislas Dracula de Sinteşti, Ioan Dracula (Ladislas' sons)

The meanings of the bynames can be found in the article Names from the Royal Lines of Moldavia and Wallachia.

Women's names:

Early 15th century
Arina (daughter of Mircea cel Batrain, wife of Musa Celebi who was sultan of the Ottoman Empire 1411-13)

Mid to late 15th century
Calţuna (boyar lady, mistress of Vlad Dracul)
Cneajna (Moldavian form, daughter of Alexandru Aldea and wife of Vlad Dracul)

Late 15th to mid 16th century
Ruxandra (daughter of Mihnea cel Rau)
Smaranda (wife of Mihnea cel Rau)
Voica (wife of Mihnea cel Rau)

Mid to late 16th century
Irina (second wife of Peter the Lame, a gypsy). Her nickname was Botezata 'baptised'. [1]
Neaga (wife of Mihnea the Islamized)
Voica (likewise)

Sources & Notes:

Florescu, Radu R and Raymond T McNally. Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and Times. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1989.)

[1] The masculine form of this would have been Botezatul, indicating that bynames in Romanian matched the gender of the bearer.