Today in World History: October 18th

The Battle of Șelimbăr, in which Transylvanian and Wallachian troops fought, happened on this day in 1599. The battle was part of the Long Turkish War, which was fought between the Hapsburg Empire, including much of Eastern Europe, against the Ottomans. Michael of Wallachia was a major player in the war, leading his troops to within less than twenty five kilometers from the Ottoman capital of Constantinople. Although Michael wished to continue with his campaign, he began losing support from his allies, and by October of 1599 was forced to go to battle with the Transylvanian armies to assert his authority. He won the battle decisively, taking the title of Duke of Transylvania, becoming the first Romanian ruler in recorded history to hold the lands of Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania at the same time. Today, he is seen as a national hero. Despite this, he never truly united the provinces, and they were all divided upon his assassination in 1601.

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