Neacșu the Merchant:
Relations between Brașov city and Wallachia during the first half of the 16th century

The activity of printing Romanian texts, that Coresi lead in Brașov is explained at a great extent through the relations this handicraft and trade centre entertained with Wallachia and Moldavia, especially with the former. Publishing the religious books in Romanian is not only a matter of genuin Transylvanian history, but it is related to the history of Wallachia and partly to that of Moldavia. It is not a mere happening, that from all the Romanian Transylvan towns, Brașov was the one where the spreading of the Romanian books during the second half of the 16th century took consistent and significant forms. That means the main centre of the Cultural Revolution of the time was, so to say, an inter-Romanian centre, one that made the connection between the Romanian principalities.

The printing shop lead by Coresi had been brought to Brașov from Wallachia. Coresi himself was a Wallachian printer master and we have the right to assert, having in view the economic position of Brașov, that even the books printed by Coresi were equally destined for Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldavia.

It is not necessary to tell here the history of the trade relations between Brașov, Wallachia and Moldavia. They are well known, except for the second half of the 16th century, which is less known. For the first half we have a very good study and a much larger documentation. Studying these relationships we notice the following characteristic features that can be useful in explaining the cultural phenomenon we are concerned with: first of all, we have the right to say that, with regard to the trader's checking frequency and to the trade volume, Brașov was the most important connecting centre with Wallachia and Moldavia. The trade had, even in previous years, a special character; namely the exchange of handicraft ware, metal weapons, tools and other products, ropes, carts etc., sold by the handicraftsmen and traders from Brașov, in exchange for the raw products of Wallachian animal wealth: cattle, leather, fish, wax.


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