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. 145–163
Historical research on trade and transport shows the rapid development of the road network and travel in 16th and 17th-century Europe. This article contributes to research on the development of transport by focusing on the peasants’ duty, which was developed rapidly in Žemaitija during the 17th century, to provide vehicles and to transport the products and belongings of the manor, for the needs of their lords and their officials. In the process of fulfilling this duty, which was called podwoda in Polish, peasants were sent with orders on short and long-distance trips. Based on visitation data from the Diocese of Žemaitija from the 1670s, the article analyses how this duty was applied in the diocese in different parishes. The author tries to outline the types of transport duty, and to answer questions such as who fulfilled them and how, and what distance and for what purposes these peasants travelled. Thus, the article shows the variety of podwodas characteristic of parishes in the Žemaitijan Bishopric, who fulfilled them, how the duty was organised, and the area it covered.
The Žemaitijan nobility of the 15th to the 18th centuries included several heraldic groups: a group of local origin; Polish coats of arms; personalised Polish coats of arms; and coats of arms that were imported/adopted from other countries. This article focuses on the second and fourth groups, which include coats of arms that could be described as ‘imported’, ‘foreign’ or ‘alien’. The article aims to discuss the prevalence and use of these coats of arms in the heraldic tradition of the Žemaitijan nobility of the 16th to the 18th centuries. The adoption of Polish heraldry was already evident in the first half of the 16th century. The Horodło coats of arms entered the heraldry of the Žemaitijan nobility. Also, Polish coats of arms were brought to the country by Polish noble families. The number of those who came to Žemaitija from Germanspeaking lands was very small, and this meant that their heraldic sources were not abundant. On the other hand, surviving heraldic sources indicate that these newcomer families usually only used their own coats of arms.
This article deals with Bayerburg Castle, built by the Teutonic Order on the banks of the River Nemunas in historical Žemaitija, and mentioned in 1337–1344. Supported by the Emperor Louis IV (the Bavarian), the Crusaders planned Bayerburg to be the capital of conquered Lithuania. Although their plans were never fulfilled, the construction of the castle and the immediate attack on it were significant events in the Medieval history of Lithuania. The aim of this article is to relocalise Bayerburg Castle. In seeking to determine where the castle was actually built, the author re-examines the Chronicle of Wigand of Marburg and other written sources referring to Bayerburg. He discusses the hypothesis put forward in 2004–2005 that this Teutonic castle should be localised at Plokščiai hill-fort (in the Šakiai district), and re-evaluates the arguments that led to the refutation of the previous interpretation, according to which Bayerburg was at Veliuona (in the Jurbarkas district). The article concludes that the Plokšiai hypothesis is poorly substantiated, and the previous idea that Bayerburg should be localised at Veliuona must be ‘reinstated’.
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.
The first written mention in historical sources of the name of Žemaitija (or Samogitia), the west Lithuanian region, is well-known. In 1219, the Hypatian Codex described how Žemaitijan dukes, along with Lithuanian dukes, made peace with Volhynia. Much less is known about the emergence of the name of Žemaitija on ancient maps, despite the fact that old cartography often provides the first records of various geographical, socio-cultural and socio-economic phenomena. The article not only tries to trace the first appearance of the name Samogitia on maps, but also discusses its various forms and transformations, explaining the motives behind choices of particular forms of the name. The author examines nearly all the maps created before the early 19th century as cartographic sources. For the classification of this volume of material, she uses the concept of the three-stage cartographic depiction of Lithuania proposed by Vaclovas Chomskis. More than 200 maps of different scales and representing different areas, including Lithuania, Lithuania and neighbouring countries, Lithuania and Poland, Europe, Prussia, etc, were researched in order to track the use of different names for Žemaitija.