Journal:Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis
Volume 41 (2020): Aspects of Southeast Baltic Social History: The 14th to the 18th Centuries = Baltijos pietrytinės pakrantės socialinės istorijos aspektai XIV–XVIII amžiais, pp. 125–143
After the conversion of Lithuania, Christian norms changed the old pagan traditions in society by adapting them to local customs. Although the blending of Christianity with old traditions in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) has already been studied by historians, previous research has not provided a clear picture of how it changed the institution of marriage. Marriage in the GDL has usually been studied based on an analysis of the institutions of matrimonial property (dowry, dower). This article focuses on the institution of marriage and the concept of the validity of marriage in the 16th-century GDL. The author investigates the secular laws of the GDL, which, despite being codified in the Statutes of Lithuania, preserved some local elements of the marriage custom, and individual secular court cases. The concept of the validity of marriage is analysed by exploring the meanings of the words венчание and шлюб and their evolution. These two Ruthenian concepts described the act of a valid (ecclesiastical) marriage in secular law. The author describes their establishment in the society of the GDL, before discussing their use. A content analysis of both concepts is performed by explaining how the terms were understood and used by the members of different estates (unfree people, peasants, nobility). This allows the author to show not only the regulation of a valid marriage in the norms of the Statutes of Lithuania, but also to reveal how the notion of the validity of marriage functioned in practice.
The Virumaa province in northeast Estonia is the area with the biggest concentration of ‘Hanseatic bowl’ finds in Europe. The finds originate mostly from deposits, often consisting of sets of numerous items. This article suggests a connection between these finds and the Danish crusade to Estonia in 1219, interpreting the bowls as the king’s gift to new subjects for their loyalty, also looking at a possible broader context, and drawing hypothetical parallels with the Danish crusade to Samland and Prussia in 1210.
The conditions and the environment of the mendicant religious orders (Dominicans, Franciscan Conventuals, Franciscan Observants, Carmelites, and Augustinians) in the holdings of the Teutonic Order in Prussia differed from those in Western Europe. In newly built castles and newly founded cities, German and Polish-speaking communities predominated; while Prussians, unfamiliar with the basics of Christianity, prevailed in rural territories. The network of parish churches declined towards the eastern and northern boundaries of the state. Therefore, the mendicant orders operated there on a different model. An examination of its characteristics is carried out by means of an analysis of the stages, development and dynamics of the settlement of mendicant orders in Prussia. An attempt is made to identify the organisation of their provision and the supporting milieu. Particular attention is paid to the impact of mendicant orders on the deepening of the faith of the local Prussian population in the eastern part of the Teutonic Order’s holdings.
Volume 15 (2011): Archaeology, Religion and Folklore in the Baltic Sea Region, pp. 61–68
The subject of research is the sacral geography of the Dvina region (in northwest Belarus), the sacred lakes situated in this region, and place-legends about vanished churches relating to these lakes. The author bases his research on the analytical method, and interprets folkloric sources, historical facts and data collected during ethnographic field trips. The main conclusion of the article attests to the fact that place-legends about a vanished church (they relate to the majority of the lakes) indicate the sacrality of these bodies of water. In the past, sacrality might have contained two closely interrelated planes: an archaic one, which originated from pre-Christian times, and that of the Early Middle Ages, related to the baptism of the people of the Duchy of Polotsk.
The reception of the ideology of the 13th–14th c. Crusades on the Eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, the ideological imperatives of the Holy War, and their reflections in the Chronicle of Peter of Dusburg, one of the most famous chroniclers of the conquest of the Baltic tribes, are analyzed in the article. Even though lately the said Chronicle has been paid great attention to in foreign historiography, in Lithuanian historiography the rhetoric of the Holy War, related to the particular example of the Battle of Durbė, has not been analyzed so far. Moreover, the assessment of the spread of Christian missions in the contexts of the battle of Durbė, as well as its activeness, dynamics, and the relation to the Crusades, have not been analyzed, either.