The Ghica family was a noble family active in Wallachia, Moldavia and in the Kingdom of Romania, between the 17th and 19th centuries. The Ghicas held the rank of Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, a title first bestowed upon Grigore II Ghica in 1673 by Leopold I; the family's origins is established to be Albanian by the Sturdza family of Moldavia whose patriarch Demetrios Sturdza is the authority on the Medieval Family Genealogies in Europe. He writes that "His father was a certain Georgje Ghica, Albanian by birth, who lived in Moldavia in the time of his companion, Basile the Wolf". At the end of the page he gives full account of this "Albanian' family and its contribute to Moldavia. Wiet, the French Counsel in Shkodra cites the'Albanese Gjica, the compatriot of the Grand Vesir" per Adrianopoli letters 3 April 1658, the Austrian Chancellery; the writer Dora d'Istria, a descendant, claimed that the family hailed from southern Albania, more from Labovë e Madhe, where they had an estate. Albanologist Robert Elsie views the family as being of Albanian origin.
It has been suggested that the family was of Aromanian origin. A legend — full of Oriental charm, historical inaccuracies and anachronisms — transmitted by the Moldavian chronicler Ion Neculce speaks about two poor boys destined to greatness, meeting on the road to Constantinople, who promise mutual support in the future to come: one is an "Arbëreshë" standing in for Gheorghe Ghica, the founder of the Ghica family, while on the other is a "Turk from Cyprus" — the founder of the Köprülü family. On the other hand members of the Ghica family displayed an Aromanian national consciousness or promoted Aromanian culture — e.g. Grigore III Ghica's plans for an Aromanian school network in the Ottoman ruled areas of the Balkans; each of the two theories influenced the Albanian and the Aromanian communities in Romania and elsewhere, with each claiming the Ghica's as their own. In any case, until 1777 — the year Grigore III Ghica was assassinated for opposing the annexation of Bukovina by the Habsburgs, the Ghicas' identity oscillated only between a Romanian and a Hellenic one.
The family's history and fame, as well as its putative Albanian origins, are known to the Western readers from Princess Elena Ghica's memories, Gli Albanesi in Rumenia. Storia dei principi Ghika. For Dora d'Istria, the crumbly theory of an Albanian origin of the family's founder, resurrected after several centuries of latent existence, proved to be lucrative: it gave a new sense for her Romantic involvement in the Balkan people's emancipation struggle, as well as in her anti-establishment attitude generated by the entrenching of the Hohenzollern in the Romanian Principality to the detriment of her family who had high hopes for a return on the throne, she started learning Albanian history, became — since 1866 — the main advocate in Western Europe of the Albanian cause, despite the fact that she never knew or learned the Albanian language. Her book, Gli Albanesi in Rumenia. Storia dei principi Ghika, which upon its publication in 1873 in Florence caused the wrath of her family, repudiating her, managed to forever shift the public perception towards the Albanian theory for the origin the family, at the expense of the Aromanian one.
The book was preceded by a series of articles on the nationalities from South-Eastern Europe and their struggle for independence. After articles on the Romanian and Serbian ethnic identity, Dora d'Istria published in 1866 the article entitled The Albanian nationality according to folksongs; the study was translated into Albanian in 1867 by the Italo-Albanian patriot Dhimitër Kamarda, was prefaced by a poem with a revolutionary content, written by an Albanian author and addressed to his countrymen, urging them to rise up against the Ottomans. Henceforth, Dora d'Istria became popular in Albanian nationalists circles, whose members did not hesitate to use her name for gaining support for their cause; this development was accepted and nurtured by the Romanian author, she cultivated correspondences with several notable Albanian patriots, including Kamarda and Jeronim de Rada. After the publication of Gli Albanesi in Romania... the Albanian nationalists in Italy proceeded to declare Elena Ghica as the uncrowned queen of Albania.
These speculations were tacitly entertained by Elena Ghica. Modern Romanian historiography has expressed vexation at the appropriation, undertaken by Albanian historiography, of not only the Romanian writer Elena Ghica, but of the whole Ghica family, at the proliferation of dubious spellings of the family names, false information concerning the birthplaces and other historical facts, at the family's a posteriori labeling as the "Albanians of Romania". Gheorghe Ghica, the first notable member of the Ghica family, seems to
Voivode George Ducas was three times prince of Moldavia and one time prince of Wallachia. He was married to Anastasiya Dabizha, the daughter of Eustratie Dabija, to Dafina Doamna. A Greek, George Ducas had been kept in Vasile Lupu's retinue and overcame the obstacles set by his modest social origin. Supported by Dafina Doamna and some of the boyars, he came to the throne in Iaşi after Dabija's death, but was soon ousted after his opponents appealed to the Ottomans, unjustly claiming Duca's rule was corrupt, he contracted large debts in order to reclaim the throne, which he managed to following Iliaș Alexandru's rule. The policy of increased taxation led to the uprising of Mihalcea Hâncu in October 1671, crushed the next year after Ducas received Ottoman help. But, as Ducas failed to provide supplies needed for the War against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, with the Sultan Mehmed IV's life placed in peril at the attack of Kamianets-Podilskyi, the Turks swiftly replaced him with Ștefan Petriceicu.
In 1674, through the intervention of the Cantacuzino boyars, he was awarded the throne in Bucharest. He was soon back following Antonie Ruset's reign. George Ducas had plans of extending his rule over right-bank Ukraine, where Ottoman gains had started with the acquisition of Podolia in 1672, his overlord appointed him as hetman over the newly gained regions, in 1680 or 1681, after much bribery strained the Moldavian treasury as much as the request that Ducas had placed on the taxed categories that they contribute to his daughter's dowry. In 1683, Ducas joined the Ottomans in the Battle of Vienna. Helped by his absence and aware of the complete failure of the Ottoman plans, boyars throughout the land rebelled, following Ștefan Petriceicu's command, welcomed the invading Poles and Cossacks. On his way back, Ducas was captured on 25 December 1683 and sent to a prison in Poland, where he died one year later
Grigore Alexandru Ghica
Grigore Alexandru Ghica or Ghika was a Prince of Moldavia between 14 October 1849, June 1853, again between 30 October 1854, 3 June 1856. His wife was Helena, a member of the Sturdza family and daughter of Ioan Sturdza, Prince of Moldavia from 1822 to 1828. Born sometime between 1800 and 1810, Grigore Alexandru was a member of the Ghica family of boyars, a descendant of Phanariotes. After being educated in France and the German Confederation, he returned to his native country and rallied with the nationalist and liberal opposition to Prince Mihail Sturdza under the Regulamentul Organic regime. Following the 1848 Revolution and Sturdza's deposition, despite his political choices, with Russia's approval, the Moldavian Divan appointed Ghica as ruler for a seven-year term. Soon after receiving the throne in Iaşi, Ghica carried out a series of moderate reforms, prepared to implement more radical ones, he was responsible for creating a corps of Gendarmes, to serve as an embryo for the present-day Romanian Gendarmerie.
In 1851, he nominated the Transylvanian-born intellectual August Treboniu Laurian, himself a noted supporter of ethnic Romanian nationalism, as Inspector of the Schools in Moldavia. Additionally, his rule relaxed censorship, became noted for an increase in literary activities. Grigore Alexandru Ghica's program was ended by the Crimean War, when Russian troops occupied the Danubian Principalities as a means to attack the Ottoman Empire. Deposed in June 1853, he went into exile in October, crossing into the Austrian Empire and settling in Vienna; when occupying troops were forced to retreat the following year, Russian influence remained marginal, he was allowed to regain his position, attempted to fulfill his platform. As such, Ghica ordered the abolition of Roma slavery; this came at the end of a gradual process: since slaves owned by the state and the Orthodox Church had been set free by Mihail Sturdza in 1844, the order applied to the sizable category of owned Roma. The legislative project was drafted by Mihail Kogălniceanu and Petre Mavrogheni, passed with the Divan's unanimous vote on 22 December 1855, providing compensation for all adult and able Roma, part of, to be collected from former state-owned slaves.
In the end, as the sums owed were threatening to drain state resources, payment was settled with state bonds. As many as 30,000 Roma or as few as 5,000 gained their freedom as a direct result of the move; the order was the direct consequence of a public scandal involving the family of Dimitrie Cantacuzino-Paşcanu, Moldavia's logofăt during the 1830s. Dimitrie's widow Profira had adopted and educated Dincă, a son of her husband's from an adulterous relationship with a Roma slave, who served the estate as a cook; as a result of his upbringing, Dincă had emancipated himself and was allowed access to French high-society, when he accompanied Profira Cantacuzino to Paris. While there, he made the acquaintance of a chambermaid, Clémentine, who became his fiancée and agreed to accompany him back to Moldavia. Upon his return, Dincă's status as a slave was exposed — impressed by the situation, Ghica agreed to advocate his release, but met opposition from Profira Cantacuzino, who argued that Dincă reminded her of her deceased husband, stressed that she could not allow him to grow estranged.
Confronted with the news and aware that he would not be allowed to marry a free woman, Dincă shot his wife and himself, an event which served to draw additional support for the abolitionist cause. Ghica's overt approval of the nationalist program, which called for uniting Moldavia and Wallachia and implied measures to support Partida Naţională's activities, provoked the opposition of Austria and the Ottoman Empire. During the late years of his rule, he appointed several Partida Naţională representatives to government positions. In 1856, Prince Grigore instituted freedom of the press. A notable cultural event during the years of his rule was a debate over the authenticity of the Chronicle of Huru, a document which claimed to shed light on obscure events in Moldavian history, which received ideological support from the anti-unionist Gheorghe Asachi. Ghica appointed a Commission of experts, comprising Laurian, Kogălniceanu, Costache Negruzzi, which reported that the document was a forgery. After his term expired, Ghica moved to Paris.
In his place, after a short hiatus, the Porte appointed a Teodor Balş, with the title of Caimacam. A noted adversary of the unionist cause, Balş focused his attention on becoming titular Prince. Having retreated to his property in Le Mée-sur-Seine, the former ruler continued to advocate the union, which had by been made more probable by the 1856 Treaty of Paris, and, to this end, attempted to determine the Second French Empire to issue formal approval for free and transparent elections to be carried out in Moldavia — annulling the electoral fraud carried out by Nicolae Vogoride; this brought him to the attention of anti-unionists, who began publicizing various inflammatory allegations in reference to Ghica. Feeling insulted by the arguments, Ghica grew disenchanted by Emperor Napoleon III's refusal to grant him an audience, he committed suicide in his home. Shortly before this, he drafted his last will, introduced by the statement: "I am the victim of a foul deed and cannot live any longer, although I know myself to b
Grigore II Ghica
Grigore II Ghica was Voivode of Moldavia at four different intervals — from October 1726 to April 16, 1733, from November 27, 1735 to 14 September 1739, from October 1739 to September 1741 and from May 1747 to April 1748 — and twice Voivode of Wallachia: April 16, 1733 – November 27, 1735 and April 1748 to September 3, 1752. He was son of Matei Ghica, he was helped to gain the throne in Iaşi by previous Prince Nicolae Mavrocordat, upon Mihai Racoviţă's deposition by the Ottoman overlord. He decreased taxes, but chose to continue the established policy of awarding offices to Greeks and Levantines instead of local boyars. Thus, he faced mounting opposition from Dimitrie Racoviţă, who tried to remove Scarlat by enlisting Budjak Tatars' help - he was however rejected after clashing with Ghica and his Wallachian and Ottoman allies. With the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish War came Imperial Russian occupation, forcing Grigore II Ghica to leave the Moldavia in September–October 1739. Although he tried to counter Constantin Mavrocordat's intrigue at the Porte, Ghica was deposed and exiled in 1741, gaining the throne for a final, brief time in 1747–1748.
He purchased the throne in Bucharest — the exorbitant payment made him rely on further increased taxation. He repaired several monasteries and built the Frumoasa one in Iaşi, the one at Pantelimon - the church's patron saint, Panteleimon, is the eponym for both the commune Pantelimon, Ilfov, on the edge of Bucharest, the Pantelimon Quarter of the capital, he had two sons: Scarlat Ghica and Matei Ghica
George Ghica founder of the Ghica family, was Prince of Moldavia in 1658–1659 and Prince of Wallachia in 1659–1660. George Ghica was born in present day Veles, to Albanian parents. At a young age, Ghica was involved in trading and dealings with merchandise. George, along with his father moved to Moldavia. Accumulating a substantial amount of wealth, George became a nobleman and was sent to the Sublime Porte as an ambassador, he was in favour with Vasile Lupu in Moldavia and while in Istanbul, he became close friends with the Grand Vizier Köprülü Mehmed Pasha and helped him on to high positions. As Prince of Wallachia he moved the capital from Târgoviște to Bucharest. From him are descended the numerous branches of the family which became conspicuous in the history of Moldavia and Wallachia, his son was Grigore I Ghica
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated south of the Southern Carpathians. Wallachia is traditionally divided into two sections and Oltenia. Wallachia as a whole is sometimes referred to as Muntenia through identification with the larger of the two traditional sections. Wallachia was founded as a principality in the early 14th century by Basarab I, after a rebellion against Charles I of Hungary, although the first mention of the territory of Wallachia west of the river Olt dates to a charter given to the voivode Seneslau in 1246 by Béla IV of Hungary. In 1417, Wallachia accepted the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. In 1859, Wallachia united with Moldavia to form the United Principalities, which adopted the name Romania in 1866 and became the Kingdom of Romania in 1881. Following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the resolution of the elected representatives of Romanians in 1918, Transylvania as well as parts of Banat, Crișana, Maramureș were allocated to the Kingdom of Romania, thereby forming the modern Romanian state.
The name Wallachia is an exonyme not used by Romanians themselves who used the denomination "Țara Românească/Rumânească” - Romanian Land. The term "Wallachia" is derived from the term walhaz used by Germanic peoples to describe Celts, romanized Celts and all Romance-speaking people. In Northwestern Europe this gave rise to Wales and Wallonia, among others, while in Southeast Europe it was used to designate Romance-speakers, subsequently shepherds generally. In the Early Middle Ages, in Slavonic texts, the name Zemli Ungro-Vlahiskoi was used as a designation for its location; the term, translated in Romanian as "Ungrovalahia", remained in use up to the modern era in a religious context, referring to the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan seat of Hungaro-Wallachia, in contrast to Thessalian or Great Vlachia in Greece or Small Wallachia in Serbia. The Romanian-language designations of the state were Muntenia, Țara Românească, România. For long periods after the 14th century, Wallachia was referred to as Vlaško by Bulgarian sources, Vlaška by Serbian sources, Voloschyna by Ukrainian sources and Walachei or Walachey by German-speaking sources.
The traditional Hungarian name for Wallachia is Havasalföld "Snowy Lowlands", the older form of, Havaselve, meaning "Land beyond the snowy mountains". In Ottoman Turkish, the term Eflâk Prensliği, or simply"Eflâk افلاق, appears. Arabic chronicles from the 13th century had used the name of Wallachia instead of Kingdom of Bulgaria, they gave the coordinates of Wallachia and specified that Wallachia was named al-Awalak and the dwellers ulaqut or ulagh. The area of Oltenia in Wallachia was known in Turkish as Kara-Eflak and Kuçuk-Eflak, while the former has been used for Ottoman Moldova. In the Second Dacian War western Oltenia became part of the Roman province of Dacia, with parts of Wallachia included in the Moesia Inferior province; the Roman limes was built along the Olt River in 119 before being moved to the east in the second century, during which time it stretched from the Danube up to Rucăr in the Carpathians. The Roman line fell back to the Olt in 245 and, in 271, the Romans pulled out of the region.
The area was subject to Romanization during the Migration Period, when most of present-day Romania was invaded by Goths and Sarmatians known as the Chernyakhov culture, followed by waves of other nomads. In 328, the Romans built a bridge between Sucidava and Oescus which indicates that there was a significant trade with the peoples north of the Danube. A short period of Roman rule in the area is attested under Emperor Constantine the Great, after he attacked the Goths in 332; the period of Goth rule ended when the Huns arrived in the Pannonian Basin and, under Attila and destroyed some 170 settlements on both sides of the Danube. Byzantine influence is evident during the 5th to 6th century, such as the site at Ipotești-Cândești, but from the second half of the 6th century and in the seventh century, Slavs crossed the territory of Wallachia and settled in it, on their way to Byzantium, occupying the southern bank of the Danube. In 593, the Byzantine commander-in-chief Priscus defeated Slavs and Gepids on future Wallachian territory, and, in 602, Slavs suffered a crucial defeat in the area.
Wallachia was under the control of the First Bulgarian Empire from its establishment in 681, until the Hungarians' conquest of Transylvania at the end of the 10th century
Grigore III Ghica
Grigore III Ghica was twice the Prince of Moldavia between 29 March 1764 – 3 February 1767 and September 1774 – 10 October 1777 and of Wallachia: 28 October 1768 – November 1769. He was son of son of Matei Ghica, who in turn was son of Grigore I Ghica. A Phanariote ruler of the Ghica family, Grigore Ghica was assassinated by the Ottomans for opposing the annexation of the northwestern part of Moldavia by the Habsburg Empire, he married Ecaterine Rizou-Rangave and his son was Demetrius Ghica, who married Eufrosine Karatza, was father of Grigore IV Ghica, Alexandru II Ghica and Michai Ghica, father of Elena Ghica. Media related to Grigore III Ghica at Wikimedia Commons Ghica family