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.
Straipsnyje pristatomi Žemaitijoje randami ir išlikę seniausi lėlių teatro raiškos pavidalai, lėlių naudojimas natūralioje aplinkoje, nuo bažnytinių švenčių iki pramoginių ar šviečiamųjų veiklų su lėlėmis namų aplinkoje. Straipsnyje aptariami lėlių teatro šaltiniai etninėje kultūroje, supažindinama su meninės lėlių teatro ženklų kalbos pradžia spontaniškajame lėlių teatro raidos etape, nuo lėlės ir kaukės pavidalų etninėje kultūroje, religinėse apeigose iki vaidinimų su lėlėmis namų aplinkoje, šeimos šventėse. Pristatomi autentiški Žemaitijos miestelių ir kaimų gyventojų liudijimai – tikras lobis tyrinėjantiems šio regiono daiktiškąją ir nematerialiąją kultūros paveldo tradiciją, ją įvesdinant į krašto etninės kultūros erdvę.
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. 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.
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. 25–52
In the late 14th and early 15th centuries, the region of Žemaitija (Samogitia) was still contested between the Teutonic Knights and the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Its conquest and conversion were the final objective of the Teutonic Order’s campaigns in the southern Baltic region. The article assesses the language and ideology of crusading and holy war concerning the conquest of Žemaitija, as reflected in selected correspondence from the period by the Teutonic Order. It begins with a historical overview of the problem, along with a brief outline of the donations of Žemaitija to the Teutonic Knights at the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century. Following this, the paper outlines the use of specific themes from the crusading movement in the 14th century in Prussia, before examining the presence (or lack thereof) of these elements concerning Žemaitija. Other specific themes are identified and discussed concerning the ideological expression of the Teutonic Order’s mission and image in its external correspondence, one being the depiction of Žemaitija as the end of Christendom (daz ende der cristenheit). This article suggests that this was an attempt to fit the conquests into a broader framework: Žemaitija was depicted as the successor to the Order’s earlier wars against the Prussians. Finally, the article discusses the presence of this imagery in the visual culture of the Ordensland, particularly in Königsberg Cathedral and its surrounding pilgrimage churches.
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 surveys the complex issue of the Christianisation of Žemaitija, seeking to illustrate with the aid of Church court sources (supplications to Rome from the end of the 15th century and appeals to the provincial court of appeal in Gniezno), the foundation of churches and altars which took on extra vigour from 1500 onwards until the chaos and destruction caused by the Reformation movements slowed the process of Catholic parish endowment for some time, as the limited amount of boyar disposable income was diverted elsewhere to Protestant foundations. Despite the admittedly restricted network of parish churches, and it is logical to assume that churches were built where the greater concentration of inhabitants lived, it is worth examining the emergence of Catholic practices (piety) – supplications to Rome, the cult of Corpus Christi, indulgences, the popularity of indulgenced fairs, participation in various levels of Church court activity (in Medininkai, Gniezno and Rome), parish fraternities, prevalence of Christian names, the foundation of churches, chapels and altars (with an associated rise in the level of liturgical sophistication demanded by founders, and an increase in the number of Masses being celebrated, and therefore open to attendance, in parish churches). Indeed, by the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, when all of these factors can be seen, Catholicism was sufficiently rooted in Žemaitijan society at large that any threat to its development could arise only from internal discontentment (in other words, so-called reform movements) rather than any old (pagan) practices.
This article seeks to analyse the presence and activities of Lithuanian grand ducal power along the River Nemunas in the period 1283 to 1410. The war between the Teutonic Order and the Lithuanians is viewed from the point of view of challenge-and-response theory. A detailed analysis of narrative sources has allowed us to distinguish two periods in which Lithuanian grand ducal power actively promoted the introduction of innovations in the Lithuanian art of war. The first period encompasses the last decade of the 13th century and the first decade of the 14th century. In this period, not only was a line of Lithuanian castles put in place along the rivers Nemunas and Jūra, but also what we call the Lithuanian military riverine fleet was created. The period was also likely to have been a time when Lithuanian forces adopted the crossbow. The second period involves the last two decades of the 14th and the early 15th century. In this period, a more active defence of fords across the rivers Nemunas and Neris was undertaken from time to time by Lithuanian troops, by putting up wooden fortifications and employing artillery. The synergy of fortification and artillery was a recipe for Lithuanian troops to counter some of the advantages enjoyed by their Teutonic adversaries on water and on land.
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.