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.
By the late fifteenth century, more notably after 1477, appeal cases from Catholics in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania began to appear before the Consistory Court in Gniezno in increasing numbers. These cases involved quite a wide social group, and dealt with a broad range of issues (not just matrimonial disputes or the hiring out of parish churches between priests). Appellants came before the judges from across the Grand Duchy. This article covers cases from 1524 to 1539. Even when court material gives few details of cases, it can help solve issues of parish church and chantry foundations and patronage. The most striking feature of the records between 1524 and 1538 is the predominance of cases from Žemaitija, a diocese which previously featured only in disputes involving the bishop. This confirms the deepening of Catholic practice across the diocese of Medininkai (Žemaitija) as reflected in particular in the increasingly predominant use of Christian forenames from the last quarter of the fifteenth century. Most interesting perhaps for those studying the rise of Protestantism in Lithuania will be the occurrence of one Fr Andriejus Mažvydas, parish priest of Alsėdžiai, among the appellant litigants of 1536. This information about a very probable kinsman (uncle, cousin, brother?) of Martynas Mažvydas offers new insights into the Lutheran’s family background and geography.
Journal:Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis
Volume 27 (2013): Krikščioniškosios tradicijos raiška viduramžių – naujausiųjų laikų kasdienybės kultūroje: europietiški ir lietuviški puslapiai = The Development of Christian Tradition in Every-day Culture in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period …, pp. 36–60
Bishop Martin III (Johannis) of Medininkai is the first Žemaitijan ordinary of whose activities we know more than merely a few facts. Unfortunately most of what is written about him is false: he did not have a surname (Lintfari is a scribal error for Lituani); he did not hold canonries in Liège, Louvain or Poznań, let alone ‘work’ in Flanders or Poland. This article reviews diverse known sources for Martin’s life and career and provides new information from the Gniezno Consistory Court record and other manuscripts which reveals how his career formed in the Roman Curia before he returned to Lithuania as bishop of Medininkai and reflects his concerns for the affairs of Church and State. An appendix provides five new sources from manuscripts in Cracow and Gniezno along with a new edition of Martin’s will from the earliest surviving copy.