Grand Duchy of Lithuania

LithuaniaLithuanianGrand Duke of LithuaniaGrand Prince of LithuaniaGreat Duchy of LithuaniaGrand Dukes of LithuaniaLithuanian Grand DuchyGrand Principality of LithuaniaLithuaniansGrand Duke
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state that lasted from the 13th century to 1795, when the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria.wikipedia
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Belarus

BLRRepublic of BelarusBelorussia
The Grand Duchy expanded to include large portions of the former Kievan Rus' and other Slavic lands, including what is now Belarus and parts of Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk (11th to 14th centuries), the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.

Poland

PolishPOLRepublic of Poland
The Grand Duchy expanded to include large portions of the former Kievan Rus' and other Slavic lands, including what is now Belarus and parts of Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin.

Lithuanians

LithuanianLithuanian peopleLithuanian diaspora
The state was founded by the Lithuanians, a polytheistic Baltic tribe from Aukštaitija.
Over the centuries, and especially under the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, some of these tribes consolidated into the Lithuanian nation, mainly as a defence against the marauding Teutonic Order and Eastern Slavs.

Algirdas

Algirdas of LithuaniaOlgierdFamily of Algirdas
The multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state emerged only at the late reign of Gediminas and continued to expand under his son Algirdas.
1296 – May 1377) was a ruler of medieval Lithuania.

Gediminas

Gediminas, Grand Duke of LithuaniaGrand Duke GediminasGediminas of Lithuania
The multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state emerged only at the late reign of Gediminas and continued to expand under his son Algirdas.
1275 – December 1341) was Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1315 or 1316 until his death.

Christianization of Lithuania

baptism of LithuaniaChristianizationconverted to Christianity
Algirdas's successor Jogaila signed the Union of Krewo in 1386, bringing two major changes in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: conversion to Catholicism and establishment of a dynastic union between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.
The Christianization of Lithuania (Lietuvos krikštas) occurred in 1387, initiated by King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Władysław II Jagiełło and his cousin Vytautas the Great.

Battle of Grunwald

GrunwaldBattle of Grunwald (Tannenberg)Battle of Tannenberg
The reign of Vytautas the Great marked both the greatest territorial expansion of the Grand Duchy and the defeat of the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410.
The alliance of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, led respectively by King Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) and Grand Duke Vytautas, decisively defeated the German–Prussian Teutonic Knights, led by Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen.

Lithuanian nobility

Lithuanian noblesLithuanian nobleLithuanian
It also marked the rise of the Lithuanian nobility.
The Lithuanian nobility was historically a legally privileged class in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania consisting of Lithuanians, from the historical regions of Lithuania Proper and Samogitia, and, following Lithuania's eastern expansion, many Ruthenian noble families (boyars).

Kingdom of Poland (1385–1569)

Kingdom of PolandPolandPolish
After Vytautas's death, Lithuania's relationship with the Kingdom of Poland greatly deteriorated.
The Kingdom of Poland (Królestwo Polskie; Regnum Poloniae) and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania joined in a personal union established by the Union of Krewo (1385).

Władysław II Jagiełło

JogailaWładysław JagiełłoWladyslaw Jagiello
Algirdas's successor Jogaila signed the Union of Krewo in 1386, bringing two major changes in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: conversion to Catholicism and establishment of a dynastic union between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.
He was a member of the Jagiellonian dynasty in Poland that bears his name and was previously also known as the Gediminid dynasty in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Radziwiłł family

RadziwiłłRadziwillHouse of Radziwiłł
Lithuanian noblemen, including the Radvila family (Radziwiłłs), attempted to break the personal union with Poland.
The Radziwiłł family (Radvila; Радзівіл, Radzivił; Radziwill) is a powerful magnate family originating from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.

Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars

Muscovite–Lithuanian WarMuscovite-Lithuanian WarsMuscovite wars
However, unsuccessful wars with the Grand Duchy of Moscow forced the union to remain intact.
The Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars (also known as Russo-Lithuanian Wars, or just either Muscovite Wars or Lithuanian Wars) were a series of wars between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, allied with the Kingdom of Poland, and the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which would later become the Tsardom of Russia.

Union of Lublin

Lublin UnionTreaty of Lublinunion of Poland and Lithuania
Eventually, the Union of Lublin of 1569 created a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
It replaced the personal union of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with a real union and an elective monarchy, since Sigismund II Augustus, the last of the Jagiellons, remained childless after three marriages.

Vilnius

VilnaWilnoVilnius, Lithuania
However, the newly-reformed Commonwealth was invaded by Russia in 1792 and partitioned between the neighbors, with a truncated state (principal cities being Kraków, Warsaw and Vilnius) remaining only nominally independent.
These letters contain the first unambiguous reference to Vilnius as the capital; Old Trakai Castle had been the earlier seat of the court of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Statutes of Lithuania

Statute of LithuaniaLithuanian StatutesThird Statute of Lithuania
The Statutes of Lithuania have named the lands of the Grand Duchy: Lithuania, Ruthenia, Samogitia and others'' (Ruthenian: Великое князство Литовское, Руское, Жомойтское и иных).
The Statutes of Lithuania, originally known as the Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were a 16th-century codification of all the legislation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and its successor, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Livonian Order

Livonian branchOrder of Livoniaits branch
The pagan state was targeted in the religious crusade by the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order.
The Livonian Order then sought protection from Sigismund II Augustus, the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, who had intervened in a war between Bishop William of Riga and the Brothers in 1557.

Kraków

KrakowCracowKraków, Poland
However, the newly-reformed Commonwealth was invaded by Russia in 1792 and partitioned between the neighbors, with a truncated state (principal cities being Kraków, Warsaw and Vilnius) remaining only nominally independent.
The city continued to grow under the joint Lithuanian-Polish Jagiellon dynasty.

Ruthenian language

RuthenianOld Belarusian languageOld Belarusian
The Statutes of Lithuania have named the lands of the Grand Duchy: Lithuania, Ruthenia, Samogitia and others'' (Ruthenian: Великое князство Литовское, Руское, Жомойтское и иных).
Ruthenian or Old Ruthenian (also see other names) was the group of varieties of East Slavic spoken in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later in the East Slavic territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Navahrudak

NowogródekNavahradakNovogrudok
The battle provided a break in the wars with the Knights, and Lithuania exploited this situation, arranging attacks towards the Ruthenian provinces and annexing Navahrudak and Hrodna.
It is a possible first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but Kernavė is also noted as a possibility.

Principality of Polotsk

PolotskDuchy of PolotskDuchy of Polatsk
At some point between 1180 and 1183 the situation began to change, and the Lithuanians started to organize sustainable military raids on the Slavic provinces, raiding the Principality of Polotsk as well as Pskov, and even threatening Novgorod.
By the 13th century it was integrated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Ruthenia

RusRuthenianAll Rus
The Statutes of Lithuania have named the lands of the Grand Duchy: Lithuania, Ruthenia, Samogitia and others'' (Ruthenian: Великое князство Литовское, Руское, Жомойтское и иных).
After the devastating Mongolian occupation of the main part of Ruthenia, western Ruthenian principalities were incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Polish Kingdom, then into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

List of early Lithuanian dukes

21 early dukes of Lithuania21 Lithuanian dukesEarly dukes of Lithuania
This treaty lists 21 Lithuanian dukes, including five senior Lithuanian dukes from Aukštaitija (Živinbudas, Daujotas, Vilikaila, Dausprungas and Mindaugas) and several dukes from Žemaitija.
Early dukes of Lithuania (including Samogitia) reigned before Lithuanians were unified by Mindaugas into a state, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Grodno

HrodnaHrodnoGrodna
The battle provided a break in the wars with the Knights, and Lithuania exploited this situation, arranging attacks towards the Ruthenian provinces and annexing Navahrudak and Hrodna.
The border region neighboured the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations

Mutual Pledge of the Two Nations
Shortly afterward, the unitary character of the state was confirmed by adopting the Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations.
The document specified the nature of the Polish–Lithuanian union and affirmed "the unity and indivisibility" of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, within a single state.

Vaišvilkas

VaišelgaGrand Duke VaišvilkasVoyshalk
From 1263 to 1269, Lithuania had three grand dukes – Treniota, Vaišvilkas, and Švarnas.
Vaišelga or Vaišvilkas (also spelled as Vojszalak, Vojšalk, Vaišalgas; killed on December 9, 1268) was the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1264–1267).