Vytautas (c. 1350 – October 27, 1430), also known as Vytautas the Great (Lithuanian: Vytautas Didysis (help · info), Polish: Witold Kiejstutowicz, Witold Aleksander or Witold Wielki Ruthenian: Vitovt, Latin: Alexander Vitoldus, Old German: Wythaws or Wythawt) from the 15th century onwards, was a ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which chiefly encompassed the Lithuanians and Ruthenians.
Its got to be something, and since even Encyclopedia Britannica uses Vytautas today, its simply a question of some people wanting to change it because of their biases, into something else. An analogy would be for an Italian wanting to change the English accepted version of Rome to Roma, because this is its original name.
Vytautas (c. 1350 – October 27, 1430), also known as Vytautas the Great (Lithuanian: Vytautas Didysis (help·info), Polish: Witold Kiejstutowicz, Witold Aleksander or Witold Wielki Ruthenian: Vitovt, Latin: Alexander Vitoldus, Old German: Wythaws or Wythawt) from the 15th century onwards, was a ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which chiefly encompassed the Lithuanians and Ruthenians ...
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Name of Lithuania (Litua) was first mentioned in 1009 in Annals of Quedlinburg. Some older etymological theories relate the name to a small river not far from Kernavė, the core area of the early Lithuanian state and a possible first capital of the would-be Grand Duchy of Lithuania, is usually credited as the source of the name. This river's original name is Lietava. As time passed, the suffix -ava could have changed into -uva, as the two are from the same suffix branch. The river flows in the lowlands and easily spills over its banks, therefore the traditional Lithuanian form liet- could be directly translated as lietis (to spill), of the root derived from the Proto-Indo-European leyǝ-. However, the river is very small and some find it improbable that such a small and local object could have lent its name to an entire nation. On the other hand, such a fact is not unprecedented in world history. The most credible modern theory of etymology of the name of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuv...
Establishment of the state
The first written reference to Lithuania is found in the Quedlinburg Chronicle, which dates from 1009. In the 12th century, Slavic chronicles refer to Lithuania as one of the areas attacked by the Rus'. Pagan Lithuanians initially paid tribute to Polotsk, but they soon grew in strength and organized their own small-scale raids. 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...
Kingdom of Lithuania
Mindaugas, the duke of southern Lithuania, was among the five senior dukes mentioned in the treaty with Galicia–Volhynia. The Livonian Rhymed Chronicle, reports that by the mid-1230s, Mindaugas had acquired supreme power in the whole of Lithuania. In 1236, the Samogitians, led by Vykintas, defeated the Livonian Order in the Battle of Saule. The Order was forced to become a branch of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia, making Samogitia, a strip of land that separated Livonia from Prussia, the mai...
Rise of the Gediminids
From 1263 to 1269, Lithuania had three grand dukes – Treniota, Vaišvilkas, and Švarnas. The state did not disintegrate, however, and Traidenis came to power in 1269. He strengthened Lithuanian control in Black Ruthenia and fought with the Livonian Order, winning the Battle of Karuse in 1270 and the Battle of Aizkraukle in 1279. There is considerable uncertainty about the identities of the grand dukes of Lithuania between his death in 1282 and the assumption of power by Vytenis in 1295. During...
After the baptism in 1252 and coronation of King Mindaugas in 1253, Lithuania was recognized as a Christian state until 1260, when Mindaugas supported an uprising in Courland and (according to the German order) renounced Christianity. Up until 1387, Lithuanian nobles professed their own religion, which was polytheistic. Ethnic Lithuanians were very dedicated to their faith. The pagan beliefs needed to be deeply entrenched to survive strong pressure from missionaries and foreign powers. Until the 17th century, there were relics of old faith reported by counter-reformation active Jesuit priests, like feeding žaltys with milk or bringing food to graves of ancestors. The lands of modern-day Belarus and Ukraine, as well as local dukes (princes) in these regions, were firmly Orthodox Christian (Greek Catholic after the Union of Brest), though. While pagan beliefs in Lithuania were strong enough to survive centuries of pressure from military orders and missionaries, they d...
In the 13th century, the centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was inhabited by a majority that spoke Lithuanian, though it was not a written language until the 16th century. In the other parts of the duchy, the majority of the population, including Ruthenian nobles and ordinary people, used both spoken and written Ruthenian languages. Nobles who migrated from one place to another would adapt to a new locality and adopt the local religion and culture and those Lithuanian noble families that moved to Slavic areas often took up the local culture quickly over subsequent generations.Ruthenians were native to the east-central and south-eastern parts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Ruthenian language, also called Chancery Slavonic in its written form, was used to write laws alongside Polish, Latin and German, but use varied between regions. From the time of Vytautas, there are fewer remaining documents written in Ruthenian than there are in Latin and German, but later Ruthenian beca...
In 1260, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the land of Lithuania, and ethnic Lithuanians formed the majority (67.5%) of its 400,000 people. With the acquisition of new Ruthenian territories, in 1340 this portion decreased to 30%. By the time of the largest expansion towards Rus' lands, which came at the end of the 13th and during the 14th century, the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was 800 to 930 thousand km2, just 10% to 14% of which was ethnically Lithuanian. An estimate of the population in the territory of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania together gives a population at 7.5 million for 1493, breaking them down by ethnicity at 3.75 million Ruthenians (ethnic Ukrainians, Belarusians), 3.25 million Poles and 0.5 million Lithuanians. With the Union of Lublin, 1569, Lithuanian Grand Duchy lost large part of lands to the Polish Crown. In the mid and late 17th century, due to Russian and Swedish invasions, there was much devastation and population loss on throughout the Gra...
Prussian tribes (of Baltic origin) were the subject of Polish expansion, which was largely unsuccessful, so Duke Konrad of Masovia invited the Teutonic Knightsto settle near the Prussian area of settlement. The fighting between Prussians and the Teutonic Knights gave the more distant Lithuanian tribes time to unite. Because of strong enemies in the south and north, the newly formed Lithuanian state concentrated most of its military and diplomatic efforts on expansion eastward. The rest of the former Ruthenian lands were conquered by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Some other lands in Ukraine were vassalized by Lithuania later. The subjugation of Eastern Slavs by two powers created substantial differences between them that persist to this day. While there were certainly substantial regional differences in Kievan Rus', it was the Lithuanian annexation of much of southern and western Ruthenia that led to the permanent division between Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Russians. In the 19th ce...Lithuanian ancient hill fort in RudaminaLithuanian ancient hill fort mounds in Kernavė, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage SiteRuins of Navahrudak Castle. Current state (2004)Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Encyclopedia in Three Volumes, Volume I, 2nd edition, 2007. — 688 pages, illustrated, ISBN 985-11-0314-4Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Encyclopedia in Three Volumes, Volume II, 2nd edition, 2007. — 792 pages, illustrated, ISBN 985-11-0378-0Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Encyclopedia in Three Volumes, Volume III, 1st edition, 2010. — 696 pages, illustrated, ISBN 978-985-11-0487-7Norman Davies. God's Playground. Columbia University Press; 2nd edition (2002), ISBN 0-231-12817-7.
1. Henry IV of England quells the Epiphany Rising and executes the Earls of Kent, Huntingdon and Salisbury, and the Baron le Despencer, for their attempt to have Richard IIrestored as king. 2. February – Henry Percy (Hotspur) leads English incursions into Scotland. 3. February 14 – The deposed Richard II of England dies by means unknown in Pontefract Castle. It is likely that King Henry IVordered his death by starvation, to prevent further uprisings. 4. March 23 – Five-year-old Trần Thiếu Đế...
1. Timur defeats both the Ottoman Empire and the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt, to capture the city of Damascus in present-day Syria. Much of the city's inhabitants are subsequently massacred by Timur's troops. 2. Timur conquers the Empire of The Black Sheep Turkomans, in present-day Azerbaijan, and the Jalayirid Dynasty in present-day Iraq. Black Sheep ruler Qara Yusuf and Jalayirid Sultan Ahmad flee, and take refuge with the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I. 3. In modern-day Korea, King Jeongjong of Jo...
1. January 6 – Rupert, King of Germany, is crowned King of the Romans at Cologne. 2. March 2 – William Sawtrey, a Lollard, is the first person to be burned at the stake at Smithfield, London. 3. March 13 – The Samogitians, supported by Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania, rebel against the Teutonic knights and burn two castles. Vytautas is granted increased autonomy by King Jogaila of the Poland–Lithuaniaunion. 4. March 17 – Turko-Mongol emperor Timur sacks Damascus. 5. June 5.1. The English Pal...
1. The De heretico comburendo Act is passed in England, as the Archbishop of Canterbury pressures King Henry IV of England into outlawing as heretics the Lollards, followers of John Wycliffe. Evidence of being a Lollard is having a copy of Wycliffe's translation of the Bible. 2. Dilawar Khan establishes the Malwa Sultanate in present-day northern India. 3. Emperor Hồ Quý Ly of Dai Ngu (now Vietnam) passes the throne to his son, Hồ Hán Thương. 4. A civil war, lasting four years, breaks out in...
1. January 29 – King Jogaila of the Poland–Lithuania Union answers the rumblings against his rule of Poland, by marrying Anna of Celje, a granddaughter of Casimir III of Poland. 2. March 26 – David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay, heir to the throne of Scotland, dies while being held captive by his uncle, Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany. 3. May 21 – Following the death of Queen Maria of Sicily, her husband Martin I of Sicily, now sole ruler, marries Blanche of Navarre. 4. June 22 4.1. Battle of...
1. The Malacca Sultanateis established at Melaka Darul Azim (modern-day Melaka Darul Azim, Malaysia). 2. After the Christian Knights of Saint John, who are ruling Smyrna, refuse to convert to Islam or pay tribute, Timur has the entire population massacred. The Knights subsequently begin building Bodrum Castle in Bodrum, to defend against future attacks. 3. Conquest of the Canary Islands: King Henry III of Castile sends French explorer Jean de Béthencourt to colonize the Canary Islands. Béthen...
1. January / February – Treaty of Gallipoli: Süleyman Çelebi makes wide-ranging concessions to the Byzantine Empireand other Christian powers' in the southern Balkans. 2. February 7 – King Henry IV of England marries as his second wife Joan of Navarre, the daughter of King Charles II of Navarre and widow of John IV, Duke of Brittany, at Winchester Cathedral. 3. March 12 – As King Martin I of Aragon helps to end the siege by the French of the papal palace in Avignon, Antipope Benedict XIII fle...
1. Jan Hus begins preaching Wycliffite ideas in Bohemia. 2. In China, the Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty 2.1. moves the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. 2.2. commissions the Yongle Encyclopedia, one of the world's earliest and largest known general encyclopedias. 2.3. orders his coastal provinces to build a vast fleet of ships, with construction centered at Longjiang near Nanjing; the inland provinces are to provide wood and float it down the Yangtze River. 3. The Temple of a City God is...
1. April or May – Battle of Blackpool Sands: Local English forces defeat an attempted raid from Saint-Malo on the port of Dartmouth, Devon; the French commander, William du Chastel, is killed. 2. June 14 – Rebel leader Owain Glyndŵr, having declared himself Prince of Wales, allies with the French against the English. He later begins holding parliamentaryassemblies. 3. October 17 – Pope Innocent VII succeeds Pope Boniface IX, as the 204th pope. 4. November 19 – St. Elizabeth's flood: A flood o...
1. Jean de Béthencourt becomes the first ruler of the Kingdom of the Canary Islands. 2. Stephan Tvrtko II succeeds Stefan Ostoja as King of Bosnia. 3. Peace is declared between Lithuania and the Teutonic Knights, after they agree to exchange land and form an alliance against Muscovy. 4. Wallachia reaches its maximum extent under Mircea cel Bătrân. 5. The University of Turinis founded. 6. Timur is hit by a fever, while preparing to invade China. 7. Centurione II Zaccaria succeeds Maria II Zacc...
1. May 29 – In England, Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, meets Richard le Scrope, Archbishop of York and Earl of Norfolk Thomas Mowbrayin Shipton Moor, tricks them to send their rebellious army home, and then imprisons them. 2. June 8 – Richard le Scrope, Archbishop of York and Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Norfolk, are executed in York on Henry IV's orders. 3. July 11 – Ming Dynasty fleet commander Zheng He sets sail from Suzhou, to explore the worldfor the first time. 4. October 5 – Christ...
1. Bath Abbeyis built in England. 2. The first record is written of whiskey being consumed in Ireland, where it is distilled by Catholic monks. 3. Bellifortis, a book on military technology, is published by Konrad Kyeser. 4. Christine de Pizan writes The Book of the City of Ladies.
1. April 4 – James I becomes King of Scotland, after having been captured by Henry IV of England. 2. October 7 – French troops comprising 1,000 men at arms land on Jersey, and fight a battle against 3,000 defenders.:50–1 3. October 13 – Richard Whittington is elected Lord Mayor of London for a second full term. He holds this office simultaneously, with that of Mayor of the Calais Staple. 4. October 26 – Eric of Pomeraniamarries Philippa, daughter of Henry IV of England. 5. November 30 – Pope...
1. Construction of the Forbidden City begins in Beijing during the Chinese Ming Dynasty. 2. Pisa is subjugated by Florence.
1. April 10 – After several invitations by the Yongle Emperor of China since 1403, the fifth Karmapa of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the lama Deshin Shekpa, finally visits the Ming Dynasty capital, then at Nanjing. In his twenty-two-day visit, he thrills the Ming court with alleged miracles that are recorded in a gigantic scroll, translated into five different languages. In a show of mystical prowess, Deshin Shekpa adds legitimacy to a questionable succession to the throne by Yon...
1. Rudolfo Belenzani leads a revolt against Bishop Georg von Liechtenstein in Trento, Bishopric of Trent. 2. David Holbache founds Oswestry School, in the Welsh Marches. 3. Mateu Texidor finishes the Puente de la Trinidad bridge in Valencia, Spain.
1. February 19 – Battle of Bramham Moor: A royalist army defeats the last remnants of the Percy Rebellion. 2. September – Henry, Prince of Wales (later Henry V of England) retakes Aberystwyth from Owain Glyndŵr. 3. September 16 – Thorstein Olafssøn marries Sigrid Bjørnsdatter in Hvalsey Church, in the last recorded event of the Norse history of Greenland. 4. December 5 – Emir Edigu of Golden Hordereaches Moscow. 5. December 13 – The Order of the Dragon is founded under King Sigismund of Hungary.
1. The Moldavian town of Iaşiis first mentioned. 2. The Yongle Encyclopediais completed. 3. Gotland passes under Danishrule. 4. Zheng He delivers 300 virgins from Korea to the Chineseemperor. 5. Mihail I becomes co-ruler of Wallachia, with his father Mircea cel Bătrân.
1. January 1 – The Welsh surrender Harlech Castle to the English. 2. March 25 – The Council of Pisa opens. On June 5 it deposes Pope Gregory XII and Antipope Benedict XIII, and on June 26 crowns Petros Philargos as Pope Alexander V; he is subsequently regarded as an antipope. 3. July – Martin I of Aragon succeeds his own son, as King of Sicily. 4. August 7 – The Council of Pisacloses. 5. December 2 – The University of Leipzigopens. 6. December 9 – Louis II of Anjou founds the University of Aix.
1. Ulugh Beg becomes governor of Samarkand. 2. The Republic of Venice purchases the port of Zadar from Hungary. 3. Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen of the Teutonic Knights guarantees peace with the Kalmar Union of Scandinavia, by selling the Baltic Sea island of Gotland to Queen Margaret of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. 4. Cheng Ho (or Zheng He), admiral of the Ming empire fleet, deposes the king of Sri Lanka. 5. Mircea cel Bătrân successfully defends Silistraagainst the Ottomans.
The Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovite Russia, Muscovite Rus' or Grand Principality of Moscow (Russian: Великое Княжество Московское, Velikoye Knyazhestvo Moskovskoye, also known in English simply as Muscovy from the Latin Moscovia) was a Rus' principality of the Late Middle Ages centered on Moscow, and the predecessor state of the Tsardom of Russia in the early modern ...
Leszczyński died in 1766, aged 88 as a result of serious burns – his silk attire caught fire from a spark while the King was asleep near the fireplace in his palace in Lunéville. He was medically treated for several days but died of wounds on 23 February. He was the longest living Polish king.
474 BC – Roman consul Gnaeus Manlius Vulso celebrates an ovation for concluding the war against Veiiand securing a forty years' truce.44 BC – The assassination of Julius Caesartakes place.493 – Odoacer, the first barbarian King of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, is slain by Theoderic the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, while the two kings were feasting together.856 – Michael III, emperor of the Byzantine Empire, overthrows the regency of his mother, empress Theodora (wife of Theophilos) with support of the Byzantine nobility.270 – Saint Nicholas, Greek bishop and saint (d. 343)1097 – Fujiwara no Tadamichi, Japanese noble (d. 1164)1275 – Margaret of England, Duchess of Brabant(d. 1333)1407 – Jacob, Margrave of Baden-Baden(d. 1453)44 BC – Julius Caesar, Roman general and statesman (b. 100 BC)220 – Cao Cao, Chinese general, warlord and statesman (b. 155)493 – Odoacer, first king of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire(b. 433)963 – Romanos II, Byzantine emperor
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Lech Wałęsa (/ ˈ l ɛ x v ə ˈ w ɛ n s ə, v ɑː ˈ l ɛ n s ə /; Polish: [ˈlɛɣ vaˈwɛ̃sa] (); born 29 September 1943) is a Polish statesman, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as the first democratically elected president of Poland from 1990 to 1995.
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