Dimitrie CantemirDimitrie Cantemir (Dmitri Kantemir in Russian), (October 26 1673 - 1723) was a Moldavian linguist and scholar. He was the first author to write a book in Romanian language.
Born in Silisteni as a scion of the Moldavian boyar family of Cantemir, he was educated in languages, literature and history at the Princely Court of Iasi. Between 1688 and 1710 he lived in Constantinople (Istanbul), then returned and became prince of Moldavia in 1710.
He had ruled only one year (1710 - 1711) when he joined Peter the Great in his campaign against the Turks and placed Moldavia under Russian suzerainty. Beaten by the Turks, Cantemir couldn't return to Moldavia, so he emigrated to Russia, where he and his family finally settled. He died at Kharkov in 1723.
Cantemir was known as one of the greatest linguists of his time, speaking and writing eleven languages, and being well versed in Oriental scholarship. He was a voluminous and original writer of great sagacity and deep penetration, and his writings range over many subjects. The best known is his History of the Growth and Decay of the Ottoman Empire. He also wrote a history of oriental music, which is no longer extant; the first critical history of Moldo-Walachia; the first geographical, ethnographical and economic description of Moldavia, Descriptio Moldaviae, under the name of Historia Hieroglyphica, to which he furnished a key, and in which the principal persons are represented by animals; also the history of the two ruling houses of Brancoveanu and Cantacuzino; and a philosophical treatise on the old theme of the disputation between soul and body, written in Greek and Romanian under the title Divanul Lumii.