Cantemir, Demetrius

, of an illustrious family in Tartary, and prince of Moldavia, was born in 1673. His father, who was governor of the three cantons of Moldavia, became prince of this province in 1664. Demetrius, being sent early to Constantinople, flattered himself with the prospect of succeeding him; but was supplanted by a rival at the Porte. Being sent in 1710 by the Ottoman minister to defend Moldavia against the czar Peter, he delivered | it up to that monarch and, following his new master through his conquests, indemnified himself for all he had lost; for he obtained the title of prince of the empire, with full power and authority over the Moldavians, who quitted their country to attach themselves to his fortunes. He died, 1723, in his territories of the Ukraine, much lamented. He was studious and learned, and is said to have understood eleven languages. He wrote in Latin a “History of the Growth and Decay of the Ottoman Empire,” A. D. 1300 1683, which was published in an English translation by Tindal, Lond. 1734, fol. Gibbon says it contains strange blunders in Oriental history, though he acknowledges that the author was conversant with the language, annals, and institutions of the Turks. His “System of the Mahometan Religion” was written and printed in the Russian language, by order of czar Peter; his moral dialogues entitled “The World and the Soul,” were printed in Moldavia in Greek and Moldavian “The present state of Moldavia” was printed in Latin his e< Musical Airs with Turkish Words,“and” An Introduction to Music," in Moldavian. He was also the author of other pieces, which were either lost in his shipwreck, or still remain in ms. 1

1 Moreri,-Gibbon’s Hist.