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Serban Cantacuzino

Serban Cantacuzino (1640-1688) was a voivode of Wallachia between 1678 and 1688.

He served under the Turks in the siege of Vienna when they were defeated it is alleged that he conceived the plan of marching on Constantinople to drive the Turks out of Europe, the western powers having promised him their moral support.

In the midst of his preparations he died suddenly, poisoned, it is said, by the boyars who were afraid of his vast plans. Far more important was his activity in economic and literary directions. He introduced the maize into Romania that became staple food of the country.

He founded the first Romanian school in Bucharest; he assisted liberally in the establishment of various printing offices; and under his auspices the famous Romanian Bible appeared in Bucharest in 1688.

Through his influence also the Old Church Slavonic was officially and, finally abolished from the liturgy and the Romanian language substituted for it.