Pidkova, Ivan

Image - A monument of Ivan Pidkova in Cherkasy. Image - A monument of Ivan Pidkova in Lviv.

Pidkova, Ivan (Підкова, Іван; Moldavian: Potcoavă, Ioan), b ?, d 16 June 1578 in Lviv. Cossack otaman and Moldavian hospodar. In 1577 Pidkova and Otaman Ya. Shakh led a force of 1,200 Zaporozhian Cossacks into Turkish-controlled Moldavia, defeated the forces of Hospodar Peter Şchiopul, and occupied Iaşi on 29 December. There Pidkova was proclaimed the new hospodar, but soon thereafter the Cossacks were forced to retreat to Ukraine by the Turkish-Wallachian army. Pidkova was seized through treachery in Nemyriv by Janusz Zbaraski, the voivode of Bratslav. He was executed by order of King Stephen Báthory. His exploits were glorified in Cossack songs, and he is the hero of Taras Shevchenko's narrative poem ‘Ivan Pidkova’ (1840) and two novels by the Romanian writer Mihail Sadoveanu, Şoimii (The Victors, 1904) and Nicoară Potcoavă (1952).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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