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Ivan Pidkova
Ioan Potcoavă
Ivan Pidkova only portrait.jpg
The only known portrait of Ivan Pidkova, printed in Polish album in the 17th century
Prince of Moldavia
ReignNovember – December 1577
PredecessorPeter the Lame
SuccessorPeter the Lame
Died16 June 1578
Cossack with a head of Ioan Potcoavă, baroque sculpture from Great Armoury in Gdańsk
Cossack with a head of Ioan Potcoavă, baroque sculpture from Great Armoury in Gdańsk

Ivan Pidkova (Ukrainian: Іван Підкова) or Ioan Potcoavă[citation needed] (died 16 June 1578), also known as Ioan Creţul,[citation needed] and Nicoară Potcoavă among Romanians,[citation needed] was a prominent Cossack ataman, and short-lived Voivode (Prince) of Moldavia (November–December 1577). His moniker ("pidkova" in Ukrainian/"potcoavă" in Romanian – "horseshoe") is said to originate in the fact that he used to ride his stallions to the point of breaking off their horseshoes; another version says that he could break and unbend both horseshoes and coins with his fists. He is perhaps best known as the hero of Ukraine's bard Taras Shevchenko's poem Ivan Pidkova (1840). Celebrated as a Ukrainian hero[1] he led the Moldavian and Ukrainian struggle against Turkish domination.[2] In his poem on Pidkova, Shevcenko "lets his mind travel over the Ukrainian past,"[3] expressing his admiration for the Ukrainian Cossacks.[4]


His ethnic origins are not known, but he is generally regarded as of Ukrainian ethnicity, [5][6][1][7] including by Ukrainian authors. However, an unkown number of Romanian authors claim he was a Romanian, and from Transnistria.[8][failed verification] More broadly, Pidkova was a "Kozak otaman who led the Moldavian and Ukrainian struggle against the Turks."[2] After rising to prominence as a successful soldier, he became a leader (ataman) and the sworn brother of Hetman Yakiv Shah, elected by the Cossacks of the Registered Zaporozhian Host from Ukraine neighbouring Moldavia.[9] In 1574, Ioan Vodă cel Cumplit, whose brother Pidkova claimed to be, had named the territory "Our Country from over the Dniester". Other Moldavian Atamans and Hetmans of the Cossacks were Grigore Lobodă (Hryhoriy Loboda; 1593–1596) and Dănilă Apostol (Danylo Apostol; 1727–1734).

Pidkova was one of the so-called Domnişori ("Little Princes"), named so because of a more or less based claims of belonging to Moldavian ruling families, thus exercising demands of the throne. Claiming to be Ioan III Vodă's half-brother, he together with Hetman Yakiv Shah chased Peter the Lame from the throne and resisted the first wave of violent Ottoman reaction. The Turks, their Wallachian vassal Mihnea Turcitul and their Transylvania vassal and Polish partner, King Stefan Báthory, managed to remove him. In the end, Pidkova was taken prisoner by Poles and decapitated in Lviv.

He is the hero of Taras Shevchenko's romantic 1839 poem Ivan Pidkova, of Romanian writer Mihail Sadoveanu's socialist realist 1952 novel Nicoară Potcoavă, and of several Cossack ballads. His monument is placed on one of the small central squares in Lviv, Ukraine.

See also


  1. ^ a b William Richard Morfill (1880). Russia. S. Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington. p. 78. Many of the poems of Shevchenko celebrated the early history of the Ukraine, the national heroes, Ivan Pidkova, Nalivaiko, Doroshenko and others.
  2. ^ a b Linda Hodges, George Chumak (1994). Hippocrene Language and Travel Guide to Ukraine. Hippocrene Books. p. 256.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ John Panchuk (1965). Shevchenko's Testament Annotated Commentaries. Svoboda Press via University of Michigan. p. 70. Hamaliia, Ivan Pidkova, sections of the Haidamaky all breathe this truth and that is why Shevchenko when he lets his mind travel over the Ukrainian past glorifies the democratic manners of the hetmans and the Kozaks
  4. ^ Soviet Ukraine Publishers (1990). Ukraine. p. 24. In such poems as Ivan Pidkova , Tarasova Nich , Haidamaks , Shevchenko expressed his infatuation with the romantic beauty and might of the former Cossack Ukraine.
  5. ^ William Jay Risch (2011). The Ukrainian West. Harvard University Press. p. 108. ISBN 9780674050013. "state officials erected a statue to Ukrainian cossack leader Ivan Pidkova
  6. ^ Dmytro Doroshenko (1975). Oleh W. Gerus (ed.). A Survey of Ukrainian History. Humeniuk Publication Foundation. p. 162. The Turks made a speedy end of Ivonia , but very soon a successor appeared in the person of Ivan Pidkova , a Ukrainian who gave himself out to be Ivonia's brother
  7. ^ Volodymyr Sichynskyi (1953). Ukraine in Foreign Comments and Descriptions from the VIth to XXth Century. Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. p. 53. and also gives very important data on the arrest and execution by the Poles of Ivan Pidkova, a Ukrainian
  8. ^ Paul R. Magocsi (1996). A History of Ukraine. University of Toronto Press. p. 348. ISBN 978-0-8020-7820-9.
  9. ^ Firov. Hetmans of Ukrainian Cossacks. Sevastopol, 2005. П. Т. ФИРОВ Г Е Т М А Н Ы У К Р А И Н С К О Г О К А З А Ч Е С Т В А Биографические справки Севастополь 2005


Preceded by Prince/Voivode of Moldavia
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 25 June 2021, at 23:16
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