Michael the Brave was a Romanian prince, one of the greatest personalities of the Romanian history. He was the Prince of Wallachia in 1593–1601, Prince of Moldavia in 1600 and the ruler of Transylvania in 1599–1600. He is considered one of the most powerful reigning and national heroes. Also he is seen by the Romanian historiography as the first author of Romanian unity.
Michael fought with Ottoman Empire from 1594 until his death. One of the most successful battles led by the ruler was: Battle from Calugareni where Ottoman soldiers were killed by Michael’s people. Though Romanian country won many battles with Ottomans, in 1597 the ruler decided to make peace with Turks. Also, Michael the Brave unified three Romanian lands: Romania Country, Moldavia and Transylvania.
The rule of Michael the Brave, with its break with Ottoman rule, tense relations with other European powers and the leadership of the three states, was considered in later periods as the precursor of a modern Romania, a thesis which was argued with noted intensity by Nicolae Balcescu – Romanian Wallachian soldier, historian, and journalist. This concept became a point of reference for nationalists, as well as a promoter for various Romanian forces to attain a single Romanian state. To Romanian Romantic nationalists, he was regarded as one of Romania’s greatest national heroes.
He is glorified such as a prince, who managed for a short time in 1600 to rule the three territories that were to be united 3 centuries later in modern Romania. He begins to be observed as a unifier only towards the middle of the 19th century.
In the writings of the Moldavian chronicler Miron Costin, Michael the Brave appears in the role of conqueror of Transylvania and Moldavia, “the cause of much spilling of blood among Christians”, and not even highly valued by his own Wallachians: “The Wallachians became tired of the warful rule of Voivode Mihai”.
After many years, his name is not forgotten, moreover a village in Cluj County, was named after Michael the Brave. Michael is also celebrated by the monks of the Athonite Simonopetra Monastery, for his great contributions in the form of land and money to rebuilding the monastery which had been destroyed by a fire.
Also, Romanian film director – Sergiu Nicolaescu, filmed a movie where is represented Michael’s life and battles. More than that, Romania’s highest military decoration, was named after Michael. Michael the Brave’s name and portrait appear on at least 2 Romanian coins: 5 Lei from 1991 and 100 Lei which circulated through the 1990s.