Name of Moldova


Name of Moldova

The name of Moldova originates from the medieval Principality of Moldavia, which at its greatest extent included Moldova, and territories in eastern Romania and south-western Ukraine.

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Origins of the name

The original and short-lived reference to the region was Bogdania, after Bogdan I, the founding figure of the principality.[citation needed]

The principality was probably named after its earliest capital, "Târgul Moldovei" (nowadays Baia, Suceava County), a market town on the banks of the Moldova River. Naming a market town after the river located nearby was a common practice all across the territories inhabited by Romanians: Târgu Jiu, Cetatea Dâmboviţei (now Bucharest), Târgul Siretului, Curtea de Argeş, etc.

According to a legend recorded by Moldavian prince Dimitrie Cantemir in the 17th century, the first Moldavian ruler, Dragoş, named the country he founded after one of his hounds, Molda, who died during the hunt of an aurochs in the lands of the future principality.[1]

An explanation was proposed by the Romanian historian Bogdan Petriceicu-Hasdeu, who connected the name of the river Moldova with Mulde, a river in Saxony, and Moldau, the German name of the river Vltava in the Czech Republic, and argues that all derive from the Gothic word for "dust" (Gothic:


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