The land of Razes extends mainly over a geographical area in Neamt County, delimited between the cities of Piatra Neamt, Targu Neamt and Roman, most settlements being located in the Bistrita and Neamt Subcarpathians, in the depressions crossed by the rivers Bistrita, Cracau and Neamt. This sub-mountainous area is rich in historical evidence that goes back to the time of the dismounting of the country, when, for example, a Laslau came from Transylvania, a faithful descendant of the first voivodes of Moldova. Laslau the globeman was one of the first heroes, the one who was both a warrior and a servant of the law, collecting the ball, that is, the fine or tax from those who had committed injustices. Rewarded for his services, Laslau established his residence not far from the mountains he had passed to the east, under Piatra Cracaului, in Laslaoani, with which he also ruled the Serbs (today, Stefan cel Mare); then, for his loyalty, the voivodes of the country also granted him the privilege of owning an entire estate in the Zeletin Valley, in the south of Moldova, where his nephews, Toader Iucas and Petru Iucas, sons of Sandru de la Iucas, together with their relatives, had to divide their villages in the time of Stephen the Great, in 1495. And the descendants of their descendants were those raids who became legendary, who were judged for the land until the middle of the nineteenth century, when the privileges of origin were revoked. feudal conferred by ranks, in 1856, by the Paris Convention, which laid the foundations of Romanian modernity.
The fortress of Neamt represents the symbol of this area, located in the 14th century in the eastern outpost of Western Christendom, the fortress keeping toponymically the memory of the Germanic warriors. The places of creative memory marked the stages of the historical becoming of the local communities, among the most important being the Warriors, because here, in the White Valley, Stefan cel Mare fought the most tragic war with the Turks, in the summer of 1476, when they many of his boyars perished. Twenty years later, in 1496, the voivode erected a mausoleum church in honor of Archangel Michael, the only one of its kind in which he gathered the bones of his heroes. Other boyar founders are also places of memory for their descendants. In Valeni (the old village of Scheai), in 1519, one of Stefan cel Mare's boyars, the bedfellow Cozma Sarpe, built a church, where his successors were buried. In Branisteni, for a long time, the bones of the chronicler Miron Costin, great logopath of Moldavia, beheaded in 1691, whose name the village bears today, here being the family estate, rested. Another aristocratic foundation, in Dulcesti, built by the great cupbearer Ioan Caraiman, in 1605, later housed the graves of the Hurmuzachi and Sturdza families. And in Bodesti, from 1650, rests Patrasco Basota, great logopath of Vasile Lupu, in the years 1634-1636. But the series of wooden churches built since the second half of the 18th century, marked the specifics of the Moldavian religious architecture, built in Sarata-Dobreni, Corni-Bodesti, Bordea-Stefan cel Mare, Tibucani and other places, many of them being the founders raised by those small landowners, descendants of the great boyars from the first centuries of Moldovan history.
In the absence of legal regulations such as Western ones, land ownership has become so fragmented that many of the many descendants over the centuries have had to relinquish their status as free people, paradoxically, just to become neighbors, that is, peasants. addicts, to lead a carefree life of office, of taxes that weighed on their piece of land. And this land crisis worsened in the second half of the 16th century, when, not coincidentally, around 1580, the first documentary mentions of the term peasant appeared at the same time as razes, when the razes were grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-grandchildren of to the great boyars of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the ancestry that gave them a privileged social status. Thus, the raids cannot be assimilated to the category of peasants, to those who could only be dependent on a master, that is, the Romanians and their free neighbors, because freedom derives from the land ownership itself, "the primary factor that determines the boyar's situation in social life and in the state."
It must be said every time: the razes did not exist in the time of Stephen the Great, but once upon a time, "the owners of small areas of land - free people and considered noble (boyars) - easily passed as of the time ", such as the Polish chronicler Jan Dlugosz, contemporary of the Moldavian voivode, so that" the use of the term razes for the history of Stephen the Great means an anachronism that illustrates ignorance or bad faith and generates serious confusion ". Starting from misunderstood statements, such as that of Dimitrie Cantemir, who placed the Razi on the lower echelon of the boyar hierarchy, "the latter are the Razi, whom we prefer to call free peasants rather than boyars." certain scenarios were reached during the Romantic historiography period, when the Razes were sought in time immemorial, believing that “since the founding of the Kingdom, the inhabitants of a large number of villages were owners of their lands […]. Today's racists are the descendants of these small owners from the time of Bogdan I. Proponents of this legend do not want to know that a small property dating from the middle of the fourteenth century would have been reduced to nothing by the divisions committed by twenty-two generations, not even the fact that all the obstinate razasesti, without exception, derive their nation from a small number of old people, sons of a common old man [...]. And the supporters of the legend are not able to cite at least one act from which it would result that there were indeed, at the time of its establishment, villages of small owners, not subject to any master ". In reality, the Rasa communities were genealogical villages, a social reality inexplicable to the modern legal system, found as such in the 19th century by Russian jurists in Bessarabia, namely that "among the originalities of the region are Rasa"; therefore, those heirs to the inheritance named with a word of Hungarian origin: reszes, which only reminds us of the origin of many institutions of the Moldovan state over the mountains, in Transylvania and Maramures.
In order to settle the legends circulating in the public space, including in the official historiography that appeared under the imprint of some political regimes, I considered necessary this reiteration of the problem of raids, very necessary in the economy of this paper. In a small typographic space for such a large-scale project, so always perfectable, the authors did not propose an exhaustive research of a territory. This paper is addressed to the general public, in need of knowledge of the history of some local communities, without being all rascals, being followed by some essential landmarks in the monographic sketches of each administrative-territorial unit, according to models established in specialized publications. Along with the physical-geographical component closely related to the historical landmarks essential in the historical development of a locality (documentary, church, school, administrative features), a consistent space was given to the ethnographic component, with the presentation of folk crafts, as well as traditions that accompany the calendar and family holidays.
Any approach to local history, no matter how small, but which manages to bring to light unknown things, is far more valuable than a compilation of general history, which brings nothing new to the historiographical landscape. The authors of this volume, however, sought to bring to light lesser-known people and places.
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