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Cantacuzino family

cantacuzino family tree, cantacuzino family
The Cantacuzino or Cantacuzène family is a Romanian aristocratic family that gave several Princes of Wallachia and Moldavia, descending from a branch of the Byzantine Kantakouzenos family, specifically from the Byzantine Emperor1 John VI Kantakouzenos reigned 1347–1354 After the Russo-Ottoman War of 1710–11 a branch of the family settled in Russia, receiving the princely Knyaz, as opposed to Velikij Knyaz status In 1944 Prince Ștefan Cantacuzino settled in Sweden, where his descendants form part of the unintroduced nobility of the country2


  • 1 Origin of the family
  • 2 Origin of the Romanian branch
  • 3 Notable members
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Origin of the familyedit

Further information: Kantakouzenos

Members of the family claim that the genealogical links between the Byzantine Greek and Romanian branches of the family have been extensively researched3 The family first appears among the Phanariotes in the late 16th century, with Michael "Şeytanoğlu" Kantakouzenos, after a gap of over a century from the Fall of Constantinople4 Whether the family is indeed linked to the Byzantine imperial house of Kantakouzenos is disputed, as it was usual among wealthy Greeks of the time to assume Byzantine surnames and claim descent from the famous noble houses of their Byzantine past4 The eminent Byzantinist Steven Runciman considered the latter-day Kantakouzenoi "perhaps the only family whose claim to be in the direct line from Byzantine Emperors was authentic",5 but according to the historian Donald Nicol, "Patriotic Rumanian historians have indeed labored to show that of all the Byzantine imperial families that of the Kantakouzenos is the only one which can truthfully be said to have survived to this day; but the line of succession after the middle of the fifteenth century is, to say the least, uncertain"6

The origin of the Byzantine family can be traced to Smyrna The Greek scholar Konstantinos Amantos suggested at "Kantakouzenos" derives from κατὰ-κουζηνᾶν or κατὰ-κουζηνόν, ultimately from the locality of Kouzenas, a name for the southern part of Mount Sipylon near Smyrna Donald Nicol agrees with this theory, and lists some connections the Kantakouzenoi had with the locale in the 11th and 13th centuries7

Origin of the Romanian branchedit

Cantacuzino Palace in Bucharest, Romania The Cantacuzino Castle in Bușteni, Romania

The Greek Kantakouzenos family had been active in Constantinople and Greece during "the Greek war of independence",8 however several branches of the original Greek family were created via the migrations and establishment of Kantakouzenos family members to different parts of Europe Two of those new branches were the Romanian Wallachian and Moldavian Cantacuzino branch as well as the Russian branch which is an offshoot of the Romanian-Moldavian one As a consequence of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet occupation of Romania after World War II, between 1944 and 1947 the last two branches now mostly live in Western Europe and North America3verification needed

According to Jean-Michel Cantacuzène and Mihail Sturdza, the origin of the Cantacuzino family in Romania is traced to Andronikos Kantakouzenos died 1601, also known as Andronik1 a Greek financier from Constantinople, son of the "Prince of the Greeks" Michael "Şeytanoğlu" Kantakouzenos3 Andronikos had among his several sons two who became "boyars" in what today is Romania and founded the yet-surviving new branches of Cantacuzino:

  • "boyar" Georgios 'Iordaki' Kantakouzenos became forefather of the Moldavian branch, which soon branched to Cantacuzino-Deleanu and Cantacuzino-Pasceanu
  • "boyar" Konstantinos 'Kostaki' Kantakouzenos married an heiress daughter of the late reigning prince Radu Șerban, onetime ruler of Wallachia, and they founded the Wallachian branches which soon clashed against the Ghica family over power

Notable membersedit

  • Bella Rosetti Cantacuzino, wife of Lascaris Rosetti, high chancellor of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and Mother of Constantin Rosetti and Prince Antoine Ruset Voda
  • Alexandrina Cantacuzino, 20th century political activist
  • Alexandros Kantakouzinos, magnate and politician
  • Alexandru Cantacuzino, 19th century government minister
  • Constantin Cantacuzino 1650-1716, high official in Wallachia
  • Constantin Cantacuzino, World War II flying ace
  • Elena Cantacuzino, mother of Șerban Cantacuzino
  • George Matei Cantacuzino, 20th century architect
  • Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino, Prime Minister of Romania
  • Grigore Gheorghe Cantacuzino 1872-1930, Mayor of Bucharest
  • Ioan Cantacuzino 1863-1934, physician and scientist
  • Julia Dent Cantacuzène Spiransky-Grant, granddaughter of Ulysses S Grant, author
  • Marina Cantacuzino, b 1957 Founder Forgiveness Project wwwtheforgivenessprojectcom
  • Matei B Cantacuzino, Mayor of Iași, Education Minister and Justice Minister
  • Mihail G Cantacuzino, Mayor of Bucharest and Justice Minister
  • Prince Mikhail Cantacuzène, Russian diplomat
  • Nicefor Parasios Cantacuzino, prominent orthodox priest in Venice and Constantinople, subsequently professor at Ostroh Academy
  • Pârvu Cantacuzino, Ban of Oltenia, the leader of an anti-Ottoman rebellion in 1769
  • Scarlat Cantacuzino, poet and diplomat
  • Șerban Cantacuzino, Voivode of Wallachia
  • Ștefan Cantacuzino, Voivode of Wallachia

See alsoedit

  • Cantacuzino Bible


  1. ^ a b  Chisholm, Hugh, ed 1911 "Cantacuzino" Encyclopædia Britannica 11th ed Cambridge University Press 
  2. ^ Carl Otto Werkelid, Utländska släkter med stamtavla In: Svenska Dagbladet, 26 April 2005 online Retrieved on 12 September 2016
  3. ^ a b c Jean-Michel Cantacuzène, Mille ans dans les Balkans Éditions Christian Paris 1992 ISBN 2-86496-054-0
  4. ^ a b Finlay, George 1856 The History of Greece under Othoman and Venetian Domination Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons pp 188–189 
  5. ^ Runciman, Steven 1985 The Great Church in Captivity: A Study of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from the Eve of the Turkish Conquest to the Greek War of Independence Cambridge: Cambridge University Press p 197 ISBN 0-521-31310-4 
  6. ^ Nicol, The Byzantine Family of Kantakouzenos Cantacuzenus, ca 1100-1460: A Genealogical and Prosopographical Study Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1968, p v
  7. ^ Nicol, The Byzantine Family of Kantakouzenos Cantacuzenus, ca 1100-1460: A Genealogical and Prosopographical Study Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1968, p viiif
  8. ^ http://wwwagiasofiacom/1821/fort1821/struggle3html

External linksedit

  • Romanian Society at the Dawn of Modern Ages 17th-18th Centuries

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Cantacuzino family

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