Nuo bajorių iki valstiečių: karo pabėgėlės Tvano laikotarpiu Lietuvos Didžioje Kunigaikštystėje | From Nobles to Peasants: Women Refugees in the Deluge Period in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Volume 42 (2021): Women and War: Roles and Experiences in Lithuanian History = Moterys ir karas: vaidmenys ir patirtys Lietuvos istorijoje, pp. 39–60
Pub. online: 9 December 2021 Type: Article Open Access
9 December 2021
9 December 2021
Although war refugees are mostly a subject of research involving war and military conflict in the 20th and 21st centuries, forced migration also accompanied many earlier military conflicts. This article focuses on war refugees during the Deluge period in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, when the Commonwealth was simultaneously at war with Muscovy (1654–1667) and Sweden (1665–1660). At that time, the idea of offering temporary shelter for refugees was increasingly recognised, and relief for refugees gradually became a concern of the nascent modern state. In the Commonwealth, the Cossack uprising and the aforementioned wars of the mid-17th century made the issue of war refugees particularly relevant. The article first clarifies the terms that were used to refer to migration and war refugees (zbieg, advenus, profugus, exul and wygnaniec). Later, it examines whether state institutions in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), a constituent part of the Commonwealth, attempted to deal with refugees’ problems. Finally, on the basis of scarce and fragmentary sources, the author makes an attempt to trace the fate of women refugees from different parts of the GDL in Žemaitija (Samogitia) in 1654–1667, and their behavioural strategies, and to answer the question to what extent the decisions of the women refugees were independent, or dependent on the will of their spouse or their family.