Friday, March 04, 2011

Baba Novac / Starina Novak

Baba Novac was one of the most important historical personalities form Romania and Serbia in the same time.
Novac was born in Poreci,a small village on an island of Danube. This village was close of Serbian fortress called Semedria. There are no documents regarding his born date, but the historical community generally agrees with the year 1520.

He had a normal childhood and he got his education in the Orthodox Christian monasteries of Serbia. When he become a grown-up he used to be a worker for building of Semedria fortress. After 3 years of hard working in this field, Turkish administration refused to pay him any money. This was the reason he got angry and revolted against them. 10 soldiers were sent to punish him, but Novac defeated and killed them with only his bare hands. He became an outlaw since then.

He run away on Timoc Valley and organised his own band there. After gathering around 1000 men under his command, Baba Novac sieged and defeated Turkish army in Cladova, Florentin fortress and Vidin. He retired in Bosnia after this and used to live on Romanija mountain. Turkish army captured him there and he was sent in Istanbul to be punished for his facts.

Because he was a very strong man, Turkish administration made him a proposition: to became chef of Istanbul's police. Being a proud person he refused this proposition and spent 2 and a half years in prison. He escaped after this period of time and went back in Bosnia. He had a son called Gruia. In the Balkans,Baba Novac met Deli Marcu, another outlaw, who had an army of 1500 men and they became friends and allies.
After a life of guerilla fights against Turkish administration in South of Danube, Baba Novac met Michael The Brave, one of the most important Romanian Princes, in Varset (Serbia). Michael took the decision to fight against Turkish Empire in 1593. That means, Baba Novac was around 75 years old when he decided to join Michael's army as one of his generals. The other generals of Michael the Brave were John Smith (from Scotland), Aga Lecca (Albania), Valentin Walawski (Poland), Moise Szekely and Albert Kiraly (both from Hungary).
Baba Novac fought in South of Danube first, he defeated Turkish army in Pleven, and Stara Planina ( spring of 1595) and he moved in the North of the river after. On 23rd of August he took part in Calugareni battle (close to Bucharest). That was a great fight where 30,000 men of Michael The Brave defeated 120,000 Turkish sodiers. After this fight, Baba Novac participated in battles in Naieni (close to Ploiesti) against Polish army, Sarata and Bucov. In 1599 Baba Novac started the battle in Selimbar (close to Sibiu) and this was a great victory for Michael The Brave's army. After this fight he follows Moldavian army and conquers Iasi city. He also fought in Hotin and Camenita.
After such a glorious campaign Baba Novac retires in Lipov (close to the Serbian frontier). There he was defeated by a Hungarian army who took him in prison of Cluj. In 5th of February 1601, Baba Novac and his friend, Sasca the priest, were sentenced to death. They were tortured for 1 and and a half hour, fried and impaled in the public square. In all this time, Michael The Brave was in Vienna trying to sign an alliance with Western European States against Turkey. When he came back he defeted Hungarian army in Guraslau and he went in Cluj asking to revenge Baba Novac's death. Michael officiated a solemn commemoration, followed by a charity in memory of the Serbian hero. On the bastion of Cluj, Michael The Brave put all flags won in the battles by Baba Novac. On the land given to his sons by Michael The Brave, rises "Brazda lui Novac", district of Craiova, the most important Southern city in Romania today.


Amanda said...

i think you made a mistake with the datein the secoand last paragraph... you put spring of 1995 i think you meant 1595....not sure but maybe you should check....

Che Guevara said...

Yes,you're right. Thank you for noticing me.

Amanda said...

you are welcome....:) thanks for your post.... i enjoyed it.... busy learning as much as i can about Serbian history.....