The article focuses on problems of chronology and textual development in the Ruthenian translation of the Czech Lucidarius. This translation is known from five published and one unpublished Cyrillic manuscript copies written between the second quarter of the 16th and the early 19th century. A new explanation of the information contained in these manuscripts regarding the time of the translation and the dating of the Czech original is proposed. Particular attention is paid to establishing the initial structure and sequence of the texts in the Ruthenian translation, which reflect its non-extant Czech printed source.
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. 165–188
In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Žemaitija (Samogitia) was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, known for the especially harsh political and military conflicts that afflicted the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at that time. The hegemony of the Sapieha magnate family, established in Lithuania in the 1680s, was not in the interest of the other most influential magnate families. On the eve of the Great Northern War (1700–1721), the internal struggle between different magnate factions in Lithuania was taking extremely radical forms, which overstepped the framework of routine political competition. Open violence was increasingly resorted to, especially during sessions of the sejmiks (local parliaments). This article aims to show the reasons for the active involvement of the Žemaitijan nobility in the anti-Sapieha movement. The author attempts to find answers to the questions why Žemaitija became an arena for the exceptionally active struggle between magnate factions, and whether the supporters of the anti-Sapieha movement actually prevailed in Žemaitija at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries.
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.
In 1589, the Sejm of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations established the royal holdings (Crown lands), called Economijas, of Šiauliai, Hrodna, Alytus, Brest, Kobrin and Mahilioŭ in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. However, Šiauliai started to function as a royal Economija only in 1619. At this time, it was the largest and richest royal holding in the grand duchy. The article deals with the relatively closed community of the Šiauliai Economija in the second half of the 17th century. Its unusual administrative system, with its relatively abundant community records, makes it possible to trace and discuss the following issues: how the local government had functioned and how it maintained relations with the community; how the local community and individual members used and dealt with decisions by the Lithuanian central government; what rules of communication applied between different actors, the Lithuanian central government, the Šiauliai Economija government, and the local community.
The article examines the political relations between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, especially Žemaitija as a constituent part, and Žemgala (Semigallia), from the beginning of the 1279 Žemgalian uprising against the Teutonic Order until the rule of Grand Duke Gediminas of Lithuania. The author tries to explain why Gediminas used the title of Duke of Žemgala in his letters of 1323, although in other cases, the title of the Lithuanian rulers does not include the name of Žemgala, and neither do other sources describing the territorial structure of the grand duchy mention Žemgala as part of it. Some historians have already argued that Žemgala was joined to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1279. The article re-examines this argument, and tries to validate it. The cooperation of Lithuania (especially Žemaitija) with the Žemgalians during the war of 1279–1290 shows that the integration of Žemgala into the Lithuanian state was in fact its integration into Žemaitija during the war. The author concludes that this integration was not denied by the time Gediminas took power, despite the fact that the Teutonic Order had already initiated a new phase in the invasion of Žemgala. Gediminas used the title of Duke of Žemgala because he actually controlled most of Žemgala. A substantial part of it remained permanently within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.