In the framework of “Dimitrie Cantemir Cultural Year”, established by law by the Romanian Parliament, Romfilatelia pays as tribute to the scientist, politician and erudite of European fame, Dimitrie Cantemir, an anniversary postage stamps issue.
The issue entitled “Dimitrie Cantemir, 350th anniversary of his birth”, consisting of a postage stamp, a perforated souvenir sheet and a First Day Cover, will enter into circulation on Monday, January 16, 2023.
Dimitrie Cantemir was born in 1673 and went to the Lord in 1723, at the age of 50. This year marks 350 years since the scholar’s birth and 300 years since his death. He was a ruler of Moldavia.
Considered a veritable homo universalis, a Renaissance type of creator, he was acknowledged and praised by contemporary scholars in European countries. The son of a ruler, he was sent to Constantinople at the age of 12 as his father’s guarantor, where he remained until 1691.
After becoming ruler of Moldavia in 1710, he became allied politically and militarily with Russia’s Tsar
Peter the Great against the Turks in 1711. However, his fortunes were unfavourable. At the Battle of Stănilești in the same year, the Ottoman army achieved victory.
Dimitrie Cantemir is forced to settle in Russia, where he enjoys special honours, becoming political adviser to the Tsar. He continued the work he had begun in Constantinople, remaining faithful to the idea of writing. His first known work was The Divan or The Wise Man’s Parley with the World (in Romanian: Divanul sau gâlceava înţeleptului cu lumea). It was followed by several works, including The Hieroglyphic History (in Romanian: Istoria Ieroglifică), History of the Growth and Decay of the Ottoman Empire (in Romanian: Istoria creșterii și descreșterii Porţii otomane) and Description of Moldavia (in Romanian: Descrierea Moldovei); of particular value, Chronicle of the Antiquity of the Romano-Moldavo-Wallachians (in Romanian: Hronicul vechimei a romano-moldo-vlahilor) was immediately assimilated without reservation by the master minds of the Transylvanian School (in Romanian: Școala Ardeleană) as a valuable historical guide.
The great scholar conceived his entire work as necessary for Romanians to become aware that their present must embrace the former glory of their ancestors. The maxim of his humanism is concentrated in the now famous phrase from The Divan: “Not servant, but master of the world I have left you: therefore, you must rule over it, not it over you!”.
The postage stamp of the issue with the face value of Lei 11, reproduces the portrait of Dimitrie Cantemir, based on an antique engraving having as an insert the image of the coat of arms of the Cantemir family.
The perforated souvenir sheet of the issue has in its graphic composition, together with the portrait within the postage stamp with the face value of Lei 34, the facsimile reproduction of the cover of the work History of Moldavia (German version, 1771) and the map of Moldavia included in the same work.
Romfilatelia thanks the Romanian Academy Library and the National Archives of Romania for their documentary and photographic support granted in the development of this postage stamps issue.