The lives of fallen GDL noblemen
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The lives of fallen GDL noblemen
2018 january 29 d. 09:05

The noble estate enjoyed the most important position in the
social hierarchy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The
nobility, however, was far from homogenous. It consisted of
aristocrats, (the magnates), as well as of middling and
petty nobles who owned little or no land at all
respectively. The importance and financial might of noble
families and even particular individuals was constantly
fluctuating. Many families went through a process of ascent
and subsequent slide down or even oblivion. A considerable
number of the noblemen were utterly poor. They sometimes
could hardly afford their daily meals yet they still enjoyed
all the privileges of the estate. Some of them – mostly
vagabonds – would eventually cross the line and lose their
symbols of the nobility. They would live on accidental
income, sometimes illegal, and would very often end up in
prisons or on the scaffold. Surviving interrogation
documents reveal the paths that led them into the world of
crime. What kind of life was it?

EN Delfi