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(mŏldā`vēə), historic Romanian province (c.14,700 sq mi/38,100 sq km), extending from the Carpathians in Romania east to the Dnieper River in MoldovaMoldova
, officially Republic of Moldova, republic (2005 est. pop. 4,455,000), c.13,000 sq mi (33,670 sq km). Chişinău (formerly Kishinev) is the capital and largest city. Land and People

Moldova is landlocked.
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Land and Economy

Moldavia borders on Ukraine in the northeast and on Walachia in the south. In Romania it comprises roughly the modern administrative divisions of Bacău, Galaţi, and Iaşi. SuceavaSuceava
, town (1990 pop. 107,988), NE Romania, in Bukovina, on the Suceava River. It is a commercial center and has industries that manufacture food products, paper, wood products, and cellulose.
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 and Iaşi, its historic capitals, and GalaţiGalaţi
or Galatz
, city (1990 pop. 326,139), E Romania, on the lower Danube. It is a regional administrative and economic center and a major inland port, home of the Romanian Danube flotilla. Grain and timber are the chief exports.
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, its port on the Danube, are the chief cities. Moldavia, a fertile plain drained by the Siretul, is the granary of Romania. Besides farming there is livestock raising, and orchards and vineyards dot the countryside. Lumbering and petroleum extraction are the main industries.


The region was part of the Roman province of DaciaDacia
, ancient name of the European region corresponding roughly to modern Romania (including Transylvania). It was inhabited before the Christian era by a people who were called Getae by the Greeks and were called Daci by the Romans.
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 and has retained its Latin speech despite the centuries of invasion and foreign rule. Greek, Slavic, Turkish, Jewish, and other elements have influenced its culture. Moldavia was part of the Kievan state from the 9th to the 11th cent. In the 13th cent. the Cumans, who then held Moldavia, were expelled by the Mongols. When the Mongols withdrew, Moldavia became (early 14th cent.) a principality under native rulers. It then included BukovinaBukovina
, Rom. Bucovina, Ukr. Bukovyna, historic region of E Europe, in SW Ukraine and NE Romania. Traversed by the Carpathian Mts. and the upper Prut and Siretul rivers, it is heavily forested [Bukovina
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 and BessarabiaBessarabia
, historic region, c.17,600 sq mi (45,600 sq km), largely in Moldova and Ukraine. It is bounded by the Dniester River on the north and east, the Prut on the west, and the Danube and the Black Sea on the south.
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. Like its sister principality, Walachia, it was torn by strife among the boyars—the great landowners and officeholders—and among rival claimants to the throne. The rural population was reduced to misery and virtual slavery (which lasted well into the 19th cent.) by the princes, who ruled with absolutism and cruelty.

Moldavia reached its height under Stephen the Great (1457–1504), who in 1475 routed the Turks, but in 1504 it became tributary to the sultans. Although it was frequently occupied by foreign powers in the continuous wars among the Ottoman Empire, Austria, Transylvania, Poland, and Russia, Moldavia remained under the Ottoman Empire. S Bessarabia early passed under the rule of the khans of Crimea. Early in the 18th cent. the Turks ended the rule by native princes—who had sided with the enemy as often as with Turkey—and appointed governors (hospodars), mostly Greek Phanariots (see under PhanarPhanar
or Fanar
, Greek quarter of Constantinople (now İstanbul). Under the Ottoman Empire, Phanar was the residence of the privileged Greek families, called Phanariots. They came into prominence in the late 17th cent.
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). The Greeks surpassed their predecessors in avarice, while the nobility fell into total decay and corruption.

Greek rule was ended (1822) after the Greek insurrection instigated by Alexander Ypsilanti, and native hospodars were appointed. Meanwhile, Bukovina was taken (1775) by Austria and Bessarabia by Russia (1812). After the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–29, Moldavia and Walachia were made virtual protectorates of Russia (see Adrianople, Treaty ofAdrianople, Treaty of,
also called Treaty of Edirne, 1829, peace treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire (see Russo-Turkish Wars). Turkey gave Russia access to the mouths of the Danube and additional territory on the Black Sea, opened the Dardanelles to all commercial
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), although they continued to pay tribute to the sultan. A Romanian national uprising (1848–49) was suppressed by Russian intervention. In the Crimean War, Moldavia was again occupied by Russia, but in 1856 the two Danubian principalities, Walachia and Moldavia, were guaranteed independence under the nominal suzerainty of Turkey (see Paris, Congress ofParis, Congress of,
1856, conference held by representatives of France, Great Britain, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), Sardinia, Russia, Austria, and Prussia to negotiate the peace after the Crimean War. In the Treaty of Paris (Mar.
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With the accession (1859) of Alexander John Cuza as prince of both Moldavia and Walachia the history of modern Romania began. In 1878, S Bessarabia was ceded to Russia following the Russo-Turkish War. Following World War I, Bessarabia, along with Bukovina, was reincorporated into Romania. In 1924 the USSR created the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic adjacent to true Moldavia. In 1947, the modern borders of Romania were established with the cession of Bessarabia and N Bukovina to the USSR. These two areas were joined with the Moldavian SSR and form what is now the Republic of MoldovaMoldova
, officially Republic of Moldova, republic (2005 est. pop. 4,455,000), c.13,000 sq mi (33,670 sq km). Chişinău (formerly Kishinev) is the capital and largest city. Land and People

Moldova is landlocked.
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. About 60% of Moldova's residents speak Romanian, and many Moldovans favor reunion with Romania.


1. another name for Moldova
2. a former principality of E Europe, consisting of the basins of the Rivers Prut and Dniester: the E part (Bessarabia) became Moldova; the W part remains a province of Romania
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