Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Demetrius Cantemir

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CANTEMIR, Demetrius, son of a prince of Moldavia, was born in 1673, and died in 1723. On his father's death, though not permitted to succeed to the throne of Moldavia, he continued faithfully to serve the Turks, distinguishing himself in many campaigns, and acquiring the Oriental as well as the European languages, of which he became a great master. In 1710 he was at last appointed prince of Moldavia, in order to aid in resisting the threatened invasion of Peter the Great. Convinced of the approaching ruin of the Turks, Cantemir joined the Czar, and shared in the campaign of 1711 on the Pruth, which proved so humiliating to Russia. On the conclusion of peace, Peter, who had refused to give up his ally to the victorious Turks, took him with him to Russia, where he lived till his death, assisting the Czar in his wars, and in great favour with him. He wrote several works, the most important being a history of the growth and decay of the Ottoman empire.