HISTORY

The last medieval dukedom: the coronation of Mindaugas

Friday, August 18, 2017 14:47
The Lithuanian dukedom was in existence for 10 years only: from the coronation of Mindaugas in July 1253 to his murder in 1263. Later two more attempts to create the Lithuanian Dukedom were known. Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas tried to do that at the end of his life in 1429–1430. In 1526, a new plan was born at the Council of Lords of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to establish a separate Kingdom of Lithuania by crowning Sigismund August, the juvenile son of Sigismund the Old. Both of these attempts failed.

Medieval Lithuanian princesses in foreign countries – diplomacy of men and stories of women

Monday, August 14, 2017 17:59
Around 1250, with the help of great military and diplomatic efforts Mindaugas managed to dissolve a union that posed a serious threat to his power. During political negotiations Mindaugas’ daughter of unknown name was engaged, and later she was married off to Švarnas, a son of Duke Daniel of Galitch-Voluin who was one of the greatest rivals to the Lithuanian King in the region. That was the first marriage of the family of the Lithuanian Rulers, which can be called interdynastic.

Reformation in Renaissance Samogitia: the family of Skaczewski

Friday, August 11, 2017 15:14
The story of Stanislaw Skaczewski (Lith. Stanislav Skaševskis) (†1579), coming from the gentry and having moved to Samogitia from Masuria in Poland (Szczytno, Zakročin) in the first half of the 16th century, and that of his family is sufficient proof that emigrants from the Polish gentry were well-adjusted to the life in GDL. Furthermore, it adds vivid details to the development of Reformation process in this region and sheds light on the influence of clientele relations in Evangelical movement.

Cards in Medieval Lithuania, or the earliest pop culture in Europe

Thursday, August 10, 2017 14:13
Playing cards
Fotolia
For many centuries, playing cards looked quite different from what they look now. It was not before the second half of the 17th century that the French started producing cards in manufactures by means of printing in response to the growing demand for cards. The green cards (clubs and spades) gradually turned into the black ones because the black colour was more readily available. In addition to that, the French-style pack of cards featured a queen instead of one of the jacks.

Lithuanian center unable to find specialist to calculate Soviet occupation damages - daily

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 10:08
The Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Center has failed since the start of this year to find a specialist who would be able to calculate the damages caused by the half-century Soviet occupation, Lietuvos Žinios daily said on Wednesday.

Coffee, tea and chocolate in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Monday, August 7, 2017 15:15
Coffee, tea and chocolate were exotic drinks in Europe as they became popular in the 17th and 18th century reflecting the increasing integration between the Old World and other regions and Europe’s certain openness to the world as a consequence of geographic discoveries and the development of the colonial system. Chocolate was the most exquisite product followed by tea. Tea became very popular in Russia and England. It was coffee though that eventually claimed the top spot throughout Europe leaving tea and chocolate behind. Coffee was not always used in its pure form as the noblemen enjoyed genuine coffee while peasants could only afford “coffee”.

When did potatoes enter Lithuania?

Friday, August 4, 2017 15:04
Potatoes (lat. solanum tuberosum) represent one of the vital staples in the whole world. They serve as a key ingredient in making more than 200 food and other products. It was in the mid-19th century that potatoes spread in Lithuania on a massive scale. Very little is known, however, about how and when potatoes first entered the country. Therefore, the historical literature on the matter sometimes features certain mythologized assertions.

What did burghers wear in Medieval Lithuania?

Thursday, August 3, 2017 11:38
Clothes, just like tableware, were a form of demonstrating the social prestige of certain individuals. In Lithuania, clothing could reveal a person’s social standing yet not always. No costume specific to city residents developed as the members of the elite followed the fashions set by the nobility. Poor city residents effectively dressed the same as peasants.

Insurgent Sierakauskas important to Lithuania as symbol of freedom - historian

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 15:03
Zigmantas Sierakauskas, the leader of the Lithuanian 1863 uprising against the tsarist Russia, is important to Lithuania as a symbol of freedom, historian Zita Medišauskienė says.

Haunted Graves

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 11:40
A grave of a 45–50 year-old woman, dating back to the 14th century, was unearthed by archaelogists in the Kernavė burial site. The woman‘s skull was turned round and laid in the chest area. The bones of her arms, severed at the elbows, were found between the legs of the deceased woman. The bodies of deceased persons whose heads were decapitated or limbs severed should be related not to burial rites but to exhumation and defiling of corpses, caused by the deceased person in person. In this particular case, archaeologists are likely to have discovered a grave of an apparition or a “vampire”.

Remains of Lithuania's rebel leader found on Gedimino Hill - initial data

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 11:18
Remains of Zigmantas Sierakauskas, the leader of the Lithuanian 1863 uprising against the tsarist Russia, have been found on the Gedimino Hill in central Vilnius, the Culture Ministry said on Wednesday, citing initial data.

Unpacking the history of the Baltic "Forest Brothers"FREE

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:32
War is never two dimensional. Edward Lucas considers one chapter of anti-Soviet resistance, on the website of the Center for European Policy Analysis.

The Guest (Merchant) House in 15th century Vilnius

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 18:00
Vilnius was a vibrant trade centre in Eastern Europe in the mid 15th century. Merchants from various countries flowed into the city, and Vilnius residents were active in a wide area (Antwerpen-Tallinn-Moscow-Istanbul). Due to growing competition with the merchants of neighbouring countries, which became fiercer after trade between merchants was banned in Gdansk in 1442, restrictions were also put in place for visiting merchants in Vilnius in the middle of the 15th century, eventually leading to the construction of guest housing specifically for foreign merchants.

Lithuanía's response to Russia OSCE forum: Guerrilla fought Soviet terror

Friday, July 21, 2017 16:48
The Poster of the film
Youtube
Lithuania's ambassador has rejected Russia's reproaches on historical memory, emphasizing at an international diplomatic forum that the guerrilla resistance to Soviet occupation after World War II was legitimate.

Hundreds gather in Vilnius for commemoration of US pact condemning Baltics occupation

Friday, July 21, 2017 11:51
Washington Sq. in Vilnius
Vilniaus savivaldybė
Around three hundred people gathered in the Washington Square in Vilnius on Thursday evening to thank the United States on the 77th anniversary of the Sumner Welles Declaration that condemned the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states.

Lithuanian, Polish troops to together mark Žalgiris Battle anniversary

Friday, July 21, 2017 11:39
Soldiers of Lithuania and Poland will celebrate an anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Žalgiris in Nemenčinė near Vilnius on Friday.

Swedish ex-PM Bildt tweets: history of Baltic partisans was hidden for too longFREE

Thursday, July 20, 2017 12:27
Carl Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister and foreign minister, says that people in other parts of Europe know too little about the history of Lithuanian partisans who fought against Soviet rule.

Vilnius to host commemoration of US declaration condemning Baltics occupation

Thursday, July 20, 2017 10:46
Flags of the three Baltic states
Augustas Didžgalvis
A festive event will be held in Washington Square in Vilnius on Thursday to thank the United States on the 77th anniversary of the Summer Welles Declaration that condemned the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states.

Lithuania's Tatar community awaits political decisions on history recount

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 14:39
The Tatar community, which this year celebrates 620 years in Lithuania, hopes that the issues of recounting its history and construction of a mosque in Vilnius would finally get in motion.

Ambassador to Russia pays tribute to Lithuanian ministers shot 75 yrs ago

Friday, July 14, 2017 10:33
Lithuania's ambassador to Russia, Remigijus Motuzas, paid tribute to ministers of the interwar Lithuania who were shot by Soviet authorities 75 years ago during his visit to the Russian city of Yekaterinburg this week.

Forgotten neighbour of the Great Duchy of Lithuania – the Ottoman Empire

Thursday, July 13, 2017 12:33
Istanbul
DELFI / Dainius Sinkevičius
Moldova and the Tatar khanates were neighbouring political formations of the Great Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) territories between the Dniestr and Dniepr rivers in the 15th century. These lands of the GDL stood out for their differing climate, the steppes that spread out across them, and the few settled people that lived there.

“A Land of Forests and Swamp.” The image of Lithuania in Medieval Europe

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 12:41
“Lithuania [Lectonia] is a province of Scythia, and its people are called Lithuanians. They are towering and strong, warlike and savage people. Lithuania is a land of fertile soil; much of it is swampland and covered with forests, watered with rivers and lakes; there are many beasts and animals there. The forests and swamps protect it; other than the lakes, forests and swamps, they have few fortified places [settlements]. And this is why it is doubtful whether this area could be conquered in summer, perhaps only in winter, when the rivers and other bodies of water are frozen over.”

The coronation of Mindaugas: do we really understand medieval monarchy?

Thursday, July 6, 2017 10:14
The coronation of Mindaugas is viewed as the birth of the Lithuanian state, however we rarely consider whether we really understand what the title of king meant in the Europe of the time and who could legitimately pursue it.

Lithuanians through the eyes of the Byzantines

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 18:50
Replica of the Byzantium Rumeli fortress built in 1452 m
DELFI / Eglė Digrytė
In terms of civilization, Byzantium represents the Christianized East, however if we travelled almost completely straight in a southwest direction, we would hits its center, Constantinople. In discussing Lithuania in the context of Eastern Christian civilization, we should remember the distinction of North and South, which during Antiquity coincided with the divide between civilized lands and barbaric lands. The rise of Northern Europe in the second millennium occurred as a result of the spread of Christianity, which at the time became synonymous with the spread of civilization.

Lithuanian scientists claim to have found Prezidentas Smetona vessel on Baltic Sea bottom

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 15:54
Scientists of the Klaipėda University say they have found Prezidentas Smetona, the first warship of independent interwar Lithuania, on the bottom of the Baltic Sea in Estonian waters.

The city ruling classes or elites in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 15:21
In early modern times, there was an elite that existed in many of the larger cities of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) and Europe, who have been given various names in historiography, including the patriciate, the elite, and the ruling class, among others.

Bankruptcy of the Jewish community in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Monday, July 3, 2017 11:03
Ideas about tremendous wealth of the Jews, their well-being, which was thought to have been created by incurring losses on the Christians, was prevalent in the society of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania ( GDL and later periods). The reality, however, was quite different. Only a small part of the Jews was successful business people, the majority of them that engaged in small businesses, trade and crafts could hardly make both ends meet.

War Tourism in the 14 Century: what were European knights looking for in Lithuania?

Friday, June 30, 2017 09:55
The Teutonic Order was the first Western Christian state that Lithuania came into contact with. The members of the ecclesiastical knights’ order came from the Holy Lands in the 13th century to Prussia and Livonia still not knowing at the beginning that a minor part of their endeavors would gradually turn into the Order’s territorial state. It was only because of their setbacks (in the Holy Land, Hungary, and Cyprus) that forced the knights to focus their energy on the Baltic region.

Motives behind recognising the Communist Party as a criminal organisation

Thursday, June 29, 2017 09:20
The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, on June 26 adopted a Resolution recognising the Lithuanian Communist Party (LCP), which functioned during the Soviet occupation in Lithuania, as a criminal organisation. A similar draft resolution was initiated in the Seimas two years ago, however, the former ruling coalition rejected it without a consideration. This time, the Resolution won support of a vast majority of Members and was adopted with only one vote against, the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats Political Group in the Seimas said in a press release.

Seimas wants Communist Party declared a criminal organization

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 09:20
Grūto park. Lenin statue that stood in Vilnius
DELFI / Inga Saukienė
The Lithuanian parliament on Tuesday urged the government to draft a law declaring the former Lithuanian Communist Party a criminal organization, saying that the party's activities during the years of Soviet occupation had signs of criminal activity.