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Kingdom of Poland Grand Duchy of Muscovy
First posted on August 24th 2006, last revised on March 2nd 2010







The Lithuanian polity emerged as a political entity in the 12th century, resisting the expansion of the state of the Teutonic Knights. The decline of the Khanate of the Kipchak Tatars (Golden Horde) provided Lithuania with the opportunity to expand in eastern and southern direction.
On the occasion of the marriage of Duke Jogaila with Queen Jadwiga of Poland, the Duke converted to Christianity and the hitherto pagan Lithuanians followed suit; the ethnic Russian population in Modern Belarus and Ukraine, subject to Lithuania, continued to adhere to Orthodox Christianity.
In 1566 Livonia merged into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1569 the Union of Lublin created the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. A territorially reduced Grand Duchy of Lithuania (minus Ukraine) continued to exist within the Rzeczpospolita, with a degree of autonomy. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was dominated by Poland; the Lithuanian & Belarussian nobility, and part of the urban population, assimilated into Polish culture.
Over the years, territory on the eastern border got lost to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy / the Russian Empire. In the Polish Partitions (1772, 1793, 1795) the remaining territory of the Grand Duchy was annexed by the Russian Empire, where it was to form the Gubernias of Vitebsk, Mogilev, Minsk, Grodno, Vilna and Kovno.

The core region of the historic Grand Duchy of Lithuania today makes up the Republics of Lithuania and Belarus. While the historic origin of the Grand Duchy lay in modern Lithuania, was tied to ethnic Lithuanians, the Grand Duchy from the 14th to the 18th century was a multiethnic state, with Eastern Lithuania and Northwestern Belarus as its core region. During the time the Grand Duchy existed, the question of nationality was of secondary importance; that of confession more important; the Union of Brest 1596 brought the Orthodox Church of Belarus and Ukraine into the Catholic Church, while granting the latter the right to keep practicing the eastern rite.
The 19th century, the territory of the former Grand Duchy now under Russian rule, saw the rise of Lithuanian, Belorussian, Ukrainian and Polish nationalism. While all these political movements were to claim territory of the Grand Duchy, the Lithuanian and Belorussian national movements competed for the historical legacy of the Grand Duchy. The Republic of Lithuania took the name; both Republics, Lithuania and Belarus, borrowed the Coat of Arms.

Lithuania 1569-1795
Lithuania 1386-1569

Historical Atlas, Lithuania Page






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WEB-BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . EXTERNAL FILES
Country Profiles Article : Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from Wikipedia
Cheryl Renshaw, Grand Duchy of Lithuania 1253-1795
Links, on History Categories History of Lithuania 1219-1569, History of Lithuania 1569-1795, Polish-Lithuanian Union, from Wikipedia
Organizations The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania; Baltische Historische Kommission, page in German
Lithuanian Institute of History
Lithuanian Global Genealogical Society
Academic Network of Grand Duchy of Lithuania Scholars
Historical Dictionary OrthodoxWiki
Timelines Timeline, to 1929, from timelines.ws
Category : Years in Lithuania, from Wikipedia
History of Belarus I (until 1700, Since 1700, from Official Internt Portal of the President of Belarus
From the History of Samogitia, from Samogitia
Accounts of History General Accounts Article : Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from Wikipedia
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Lithuania
History of Lithuania, from Ramunas Personal Pages
History of Lithuania, from Scantours
Tomas Baranauskas, The Formation of the Lithuanian State
Medieval Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania 1253-1795, by Cheryl Renshaw
Grand Duchy of Lithuania, anonymous
Specific Periods Medieval Lithuania, by Tomas Baranauskas
Article : Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, from Wikipedia
Historiography
Politics Article : Seimas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from Wikipedia
Military Category : Battles involving the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
A Military History of Belarusian Lands up to the End of the Twelfth Century, by Jahor Novikau
Napoleon's Lithuanian Forces, by Henry L. Gaidis
Economy & Finances A Global History of Currencies : Lithuania
Article Lithuanian Auksinas, from Wikipedia
History of Lithuanian Customs
Article : Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth : Economy, from Wikipedia
Ethnography The Lithuanian Tatars, from The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire
The Lithuanian Tatars, from Lithuania
Articles : Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth : Languages of the Commonwealth, Lipka Tatars, Polish Minority in Lithuania, Polish Minority in Belarus, from Wikipedia
Religion Chronology of Catholic Dioceses - Lithuania, from Kirken i Norge
Virtual Jewish History Tour : Belarus, Vilnius, Lithuania, from Jewish Virtual Library
Novogrudek, the History of a Jewish Shtetl
Jewish Belarus
Halych Metropoly, from Lviv Best
Via Crucis. 450 Years of Protestantism in Belarus, in English / Belarussian / Russian
History of the (Greek Catholic) Byelorussian Church, from Eastern Catholic Pastoral Association of Southern California
History of Regions Administrative-Territorial Division of Belarus : 18th to 20th Centuries, from Archives of Belarus
Article : Administrative Division of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, from Wikipedia
Brief History of Lida District, from Shtetl Links
The History of Podlaskie Voivodeship, from Wrota Podlasie
Local History Shtetls of Lithuania, from JewishGen
History of Minsk, from Belarus Guide
Articles Hrodna : History, Brest : History, Slonim : History, Kaunas : History, Panevezys : History, Siauliai : History, Telsiai : History, Wikipedia
Pinsk : History, Babrujsk : History, Mazur, Rechytsa, Navahrudak : History, Slutsk, Mahilyow : History, Gomel : History, Horki, Klimavichy, Mstsislaw, Orsha : History, Rahachow, from Wikipedia
History of Mogilev, History of Vilnius, Lida : History, Vitebsk : History, Polotsk : History, Rechytsa, from Wikipedia
Institutions Structurae : Belarus, Hrodna, Brest, Minsk, Pinsk, Gomel, Vitebsk, Polotsk, Lithuania, Kaunas, Siauliai, Vilnius
Article : Vilnius University : History, from Wikipedia
Culture
Biographies
Others The Origins of the Grand Duchy of Litva, from Belarus Guide
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Retrospective of Comparative Historical Sociology of Empires, by Zenonas Norkus, abstract
Z. Norkus, The History of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Contemporary Theories of International Relations

WEB-BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . EXTERNALLY POSTED DOCUMENTS
Historical Data Lists of Statesmen World Statesmen : Lithuania by Ben Cahoon; Rulers : Lithuania, by B. Schemmel; Regnal Chronologies : Poland and the Baltics, scroll down for Lithuania
Titles of European Hereditary Rulers : Lithuania
Lists of Bishops List of Bishops of Vilnius, Bishops of Samogitia, from Wikipedia
Image Databanks Europeana
Wikimedia Commons
Archival Deposits Online
Archival Deposits Catalogue Online Epaveldas, Lithuanian Cultural Heritage; here description from European History Primary Sources
Constitutions, Laws Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from Virtual Guide to Belarus
Treaties
Source Catalogues Ch.30 : De Scriptoribus Historiae Polonicae, Lithuanicae, atque Moscoviticae, pp.746-764 in B.G. Struve, Selecta bibliotheca historica, 1705, in Latin, GB ; a catalogue of narrative historical sources
Document Collections Historical Documents of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from National Library of Lithuania, Collection of Parchments
Documents on Lyakhovichi History, from Shtetl Links
Codex diplomaticus Lithuaniae, 1845, IA
Individual Documents History of the Lithuanian Metrica, summary by O. Litskevich
Historical Maps Category : Maps of the History of Lithuania, from Wikipedia
Map : Rzeczpospolita, from Wikimedia
Map : Lithuania in the 17th Century, from Wikimedia
Maps : Eastern Hemisphere 1400 AD, Eastern Hemisphere 1500 AD, by Thomas Lessman
History Map of Europe, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, from www.euratlas.com
Map Partition of Poland-Lithuania 1799, from Wikimedia
Map Expansion of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from JewishGen
Map : Administrative Division of the GD Lithuania, 17th and 18th C., from Medieval Lithuania
Map GD Lithuania 1726, posted by Vilnius University Library
Map of the GD Lithuania 1613, from Vilnius University
Map : Poland-Lithuania 1739, from Muzeum Polskie
City Panoramas 1600, from Historic Maps, Vilnius, Grodno
Historical
Encyclopedia Entries
General Category : History of Poland and Lithuania, Governments : Kovno, Mogilev, Minsk, Vitebsk, Vilna, Grodno, Cities : Kovno, Mogilev on the Dniepr, Homel, Orsha, Minsk, Pinsk, Vitebsk, Dvinsk, Polotsk, Ryezhitsa, Vilna, Grodno, Byelostok, Brest-Litovsk, Slonim, from EB 1911
Articles Litauen, Litauische Sprache und Literatur, Weissrussen, Weissrussland, Kowno, Wilkomir, Rossieny, Nowo-Alexandrowsk, Mohilew, Gorki, Homel, Klimowitschi, Orscha, Rogatschew, Strayj-Bychow, Tscherikow, Minsk, Pinsk, Beresinakanalsystem, Dünaburg, Polozk, Witebsk, Wilna, Grodno (City), Bialystok, from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, in German
Religious Articles Lithuania, Ruthenians, Vilna, Mohileff, Minsk, Samogitia, Lutzk, Zhitomir and Kamenetz, Union of Brest, from Catholic Encyclopedia 1907-1914 edition
Articles Lithuania, Podolia, Berezino, Birzhi, Bobruisk, Borisov, Bragin, Brest-Litovsk, Brestovitza Bryansk, Byelostok, Byelsk, Byeshenkovichi, Chashniki, Chelm, David-Gorodok, Derechin, Dokshitzy, Drissa, Dvinsk, Dyvin, Grodno, Homel, Kletzk, Kobryn, Kovno, Kremenetz, Krozhe, Lutzyn, Malcha, Minsk, Moghilef, Mstislavl, Nesvizh, Novoaleksandrovsk, Novogrudok, Novy-Dvor, Orsha, Pinsk, Plungian, Polotsk, Ponievicz, Pruzhany, Rossiena, Shklov, Shkud, Slonim, Troki, Vitebsk, Volozhin, Wilna, Cossak's Uprising, from Jewish Encyclopedia 1901-1906
Economic
Geographical Lithuania Vetus, pp.218- in vol.2 of Ph. Briet, Parallela geographiae veteris et novae, 1649, in Latin, GB
Le Grand Duche de Lithuanie, pp.142-157 in vol.1 of J. Vaissette, Geographie historique ecclesiastique et civile 1755, in French, GB
Lithuania, pp.614-626 in vol.1 of A.F. Büsching, A new system of geography 1762, GB
Lithuania, pp.66-67, Samogitia pp.67-68 in vol.2 of D. Fenning, J. Collyer, A new system of geography, or a general description of the world, 1765, GB
Lithuania, pp.23- in J. Priestley, A description of a new chart ... containing a view of the principal ..., 1777, GB
Ethnological
Historical The History of Lithuania, pp.408- in vol.34 of G. Sale, An universal history: from the earliest accounts to the present time, 1762, GB
Historical
Yearbook Entries
For the Year 1733 : the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, pp.111- in : The historical register, vol.18 1733, GB
Noticias de Polonia, de Rusia y de los paises del norte, pp.524- in : Mercurio Historico 1772, in Spanish, GB
Institutions Archives The Lithuanian Archival System : a Brief Guide, by T. Balkelis
Lithuanian Archives Department
Archives of Belarus
National Archive of Belarus
Musea Museums of Lithuania
Libraries Libraries in Lithuania, from LibDex, 29 entries
History of the Lithuanian National Library, from The European Library
Martinas Mazvidas National Library of Lithuania
National Library of Belarus
National Symbols Flags, Coats of Arms Flag of the GD of Lithuania of 1578, from FOTW
Coins, Banknotes LDK Monetos Gallery
Trade Relations of the Baltic Tribes in the 1st-13th Centuries and the Currency of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 14th-18th Centuries, from Bank ofLithuania
Others

PRINTED REFERENCE
Bibliographies general Datenbasis Internationale Beziehungen und Länderkunde (Data Base on International Relations and Country Studies) (site in German, most titles listed in English; numerous entries; publications mostly since 1970)
RHS Bibliography
UK National Archive Online Library
on Lithuania Grand Duchy of Lithuania 1253-1795, by Cheryl Renshaw, scroll down for annotated bibliography
Lithuanian Historical Studies
Bibliography Poland-Lithuania, from Heraldica
Numismatics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in General, Coins of Grand Duchy of Lithuania during New Times (1492-1795), from Numisma.lt, bibliography
Online Libraries general Internet Archives
Gutenberg Library Online
e-corpus
Online Libraries on Eastern Europe Virtual Library Eastern Europe, maintained in Germany, most sources in German
Central and Eastern European Online Library
on Lithuania Epaveldas, Lithuanian Cultural Heritage; here description from European History Primary Sources
Online Journals full text online Lituanus 1954-2004; English-language
Annaberger Annalen über Litauen und deutsch-litauische Beziehungen 1993-2009
table of contents online Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 1952-, in German
Online Yearbooks full text online
. . until 1789
click here for individual Historical Yearbook Entries Concerning the GD Lithuania
Hollandsche Mercurius behelsende het gedenckweerdigste in Christenryck, vol.6 : 1655, 1656, vol.7 : 1656, 1657, vol.9 : 1658, 1659, vol.12 : 1661, 1662, vol.15 : 1664, 1665, vol.16 : 1665, 1670, vol.20 : 1669, 1670, vol.24 : 1673-1674, 1674, vol.27 : 1676-1677, 1677, vol.29 : 1678, 1679, vol.30 : 1679, 1680, vol.32 : 1681, 1682, vol.33 : 1682, 1683, vol.36 : 1685, 1686, vol.39 : 1688, 1689, in Dutch, GB
The Present State of Europe, or the Political and Historical Mercuries, containing all the Publick and Private Occurrences, Civil, Ecclesiastical and Military, that are most considerable in every court, vol.1 1690, vol.2 1691, vol.3 1692, vol.4 1693, vol.5 1694, vol.6 1695, vol.7 1696, vol.8 1697, vol.9 1698, vol.10 1699, vol.12, 1701, vol.14, 1703, vol.16, 1705, vol.17, 1706, vol.18, 1707, vol.20, 1709, vol.22, 1711, GB
Europische mercurius, vol.1, 1690, vol.2, 1691, vol.3, 1692, vol.4, 1693, vol.5, 1694, vol.6, 1695, vol.7, 1696, vol.8, 1697, vol.9, 1698, vol.10, 1699, vol.11, 1700, vol.12, 1701, vol.13, 1702, vol.14, 1703, vol.15, 1704, vol.16, 1705, vol.17, 1706, vol.19, 1708, vol.20, 1709, vol.21, 1710, vol.22, 1711, vol.23, 1712, vol.24, 1713, vol.25, 1714, vol.26, 1715, vol.27, 1716, vol.28, 1717, vol.29, 1718, vol.30, 1719, vol.31, 1720, vol.32, 1721, vol.33, 1722, vol.34, 1723, vol.35, 1724, vol.36, 1725, vol.37, 1726, vol.38, 1727, vol.39, 1728, vol.40, 1729, vol.41, 1730, vol.42, 1731, vol.43, 1732, vol.44, 1733, vol.45, 1734, vol.46, 1735, vol.47, 1736, vol.48, 1737, vol.49, 1738, vol.50, 1739, vol.51, 1740, vol.52, 1741, vol.53, 1742, vol.54, 1743, vol.55, 1744, vol.56, 1745, vol.57, 1746, vol.58, 1747, vol.59, 1748, vol.60, 1749, vol.61, 1750, vol.62, 1751, vol.63, 1752, vol.64, 1753, vol.65, 1754, vol.66, 1755, vol.67, 1756, in Dutch, GB
The Annual register, or a view of the history, politics and literature for the year 1762, 1787, 1762, 1805, 1766, 1793, Index 1758-1780, 1799, GB
The London almanack, 1693 GB
Il Mercvrio overo Historia de'correnti tempi, 1644, 1647 (I), 1647 (II), 1652 (III), 1655 (IV.1), 1655 (IV.2), 1657 (V.1), 1657 (V.2), 1667 (VI), 1667 (VIII), 1667 (IX), 1668 (X-XI), 1672 (XII), 1674 (XIII), 1684 (XIV), in Italian, GB
Mercure historique et politique, vol.1 : Nov. 1686 - Feb. 1687 , vol.2 : March-July 1687 , vol.3 : Aug.-Dec. 1687 , vol.4 : Jan.-June 1688, vol.5 : July-Dec. 1688, vol.6 : Jan.-June 1689, vol.7 : July-Dec. 1689, vol.8 : Jan.-June 1690, vol.9 : July-Dec. 1690, vol.10 : Jan.-June 1690, vol.11 : July-Dec. 1691, vol.12 : Jan.-June 1692, vol.13 : July-Dec. 1692, vol.14 : Jan.-June 1693, vol.15 : July-Dec. 1693, vol.16 : Jan.-June 1694, vol.17 : July-Dec. 1694, vol.18 : Jan.-June 1685, vol.19 : July-Dec. 1695, vol.20 : Jan.-June 1696, vol.21 : July-Dec. 1696, vol.22 : Jan.-June 1697, vol.23 : July-Dec. 1697, vol.24 : Jan.-June 1698, vol.25 : July-Dec. 1698, vol.26 : Jan.-June 1699, vol.27 : July-Dec. 1699, vol.28 : Jan.-June 1700, vol.29 : July-Dec. 1700, vol.30 : Jan.-June 1701, vol.31 : July-Dec. 1701, vol.32 : Jan.-June 1702, vol.33 : July-Dec. 1702, vol.34 : Jan.-June 1703, vol.35 : July-Dec. 1703, vol.36 : Jan.-June 1704, vol.37 : July-Dec. 1704, vol.38 : Jan.-June 1705, vol.39 : July-Dec. 1705, vol.40 : Jan.-June 1706, vol.41 : July-Dec. 1706, vol.42 : Jan.-June 1707, vol.43 : July-Dec. 1707, vol.46 : Jan.-June 1709, vol.47 : July-Dec. 1709, vol.49 : July-Dec. 1710, vol.50 : Jan.-June 1711, vol.51 : July-Dec. 1711, vol.55 : July-Dec. 1713, vol.56 : Jan.-June 1714, vol.57 : July-Dec. 1714, vol.58 : Jan.-June 1715, vol.59 : July-Dec. 1715, vol.60 : Jan.-June 1716, vol.61 : July-Dec. 1716, vol.62 : Jan.-June 1717, vol.63 : July-Dec. 1717, vol.64 : Jan.-June 1718, vol.66 : Jan.-June 1719, Jan.-June 1756, Aug.-Dec. 1756, incomplete scan, Jan.-June 1759, July-Dec. 1759, Jan.-June 1760, July-Dec. 1760, Jan.-June 1765, Nov.1768-May 1769, June-Dec. 1769, in French, GB
Historiography Click here for Catalogues of Sources on Lithuanian History
Article : Lithuanian Historiography, by J. Danauskas, J. Rackauskas, pp.563-566, in vol.2 of A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing, NY 1998 [G]
General Accounts David G. Kirby, The Baltic World 1772-1993, London : Longman 1995
Manfred Hellmann, Grundzüge der Geschichte Litauens (Main Features of Lithuania's History), Darmstadt : Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1976 (in German) [G]
Specific Topics
Historical Atlas W. Czaplinski, T. Ladogorski, The Historical Atlas of Poland, Wroclaw : State Cartographic Publishers 1986 [G]