Sun . 18 Oct 2018

Duchy of Samogitia

duchy of samogitia national park, duchy of samogitia reiksme
Coordinates: 55°45′N 21°50′E / 55750°N 21833°E / 55750; 21833

The Duchy of Samogitia Lithuanian: Žemaičių seniūnija, Samogitian: Žemaitėjės seniūnėjė, Polish: Księstwo żmudzkie was an administrative unit of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1422 and from 1569, a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Between 1422 and 1441 it was known as the Eldership of Samogitia The Grand Duke of Lithuania also held the title of Duke of Samogitia, although the actual ruler of the province, responsible to the Duke, was known as the General Elder Seniūnas of Samogitia

The Duchy was located in the western part of the present Republic of Lithuania Historically, in the west it had access to the Baltic Sea; in the north, it bordered the Duchy of Courland and Ducal Prussia in the south During the Middle Ages and until the last partition in 1795, Samogitia had clearly defined borders as the Duchy of Samogitia Afterwards the area encompassed the Samogitian Diocese Today Samogitia is one of several ethnographic regions and is not defined administratively

Contents

  • 1 Name
  • 2 Geography
  • 3 History
  • 4 Elders of Samogitia
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 External links

Name

Samogitia is a Latinized version of the name Žemaitija, meaning "the Lowlands" as opposed to Aukštaitija for "the Highlands" In the Middle Ages, the names Samaiten, Samaitae, Zamaytae, Samogitia, Samattae, Samethi were used in German and Latin sources They, together with other variants Schmudien, Schamaiten German and Żmudź Polish, are all derived from the Lithuanian Žemaičiai, dial Žemaitiai / Žemaitei

Geography

Duchy in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1569-1795

The Duchy was located in what today is several counties apskritis in Lithuania: a small part of Kaunas County Kauno Apskritis, the western part Šiauliai County Šiaulių Apskritis, Tauragė County Tauragės Apskritis, Telšiai County Telšių Apskritis, the northern part of Klaipėda County Klaipėdos Apskritis and the northern part of Marijampolė County Marijampolės Apskritis

The major part of Samogitia is located on Western Upland Lowlands which are referred in its name are on the border between Samogitia and Eastern Lithuania, along the Nevėžis River

Duchy of Samogitia had the size of approximately 25 700 square kilometers

History

Samogitia in the 17th century The attacking Bear, the historical Coat of Arms of Samogitia

Before the formation of the Lithuanian state, Samogitia was ruled by its local noblemen A chronicle mentions two dukes from Samogitia in 1219 as signatories of the Treaty with Volhynia

Since the formation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 13th century, Samogitia was its dependent territory, however sometimes the influence of the Lithuanian Grand Duke was very limited During the rule of the first Lithuanian king, Mindaugas, Samogitians pursued an independent foreign policy and continued fighting with the Knights of the Sword even after King Mindaugas had signed a peace treaty with them

Samogitia for 200 years played a crucial role in halting the expansion of the Teutonic Order and defeated the Knights of the Sword in the Battle of Saule 1236 and the Livonian Order in the Battle of Skuodas 1259, and the Battle of Durbe 1260

In the atmosphere of fierce battles with the Teutonic Knights, the Lithuanian rulers Jogaila and Vytautas several times ceded Samogitia to the Teutonic Order in 1382, 1398 and 1404 However, the Teutonic Knights were not very successful in subjugating the land, and Samogitians revolted in 1401 and 1409 After the defeats in the Battle of Grunwald 1410 and following wars, in 1422 the Teutonic Order ceded Samogitia to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania under the Treaty of Melno

Samogitians were the last in Europe to accept Christianity in 1413

The Grand Duke of Lithuania Casimir Jagiellon acknowledged the autonomy of Samogitia in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and then issued a privilege to the Eldership of Samogitia to elects its own elder starost in 1441

Because of its prolonged wars with the Teutonic Order, Samogitia had developed a social and political structure different from the rest of Lithuania It had a larger proportion of free farmers and smaller estates than in Eastern Lithuania

As with most of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Samogitia suffered in the aftermath of the Swedish invasion of Commonwealth the Deluge, mid-17th century Its population dropped from close to 400,000 to about 250,000; only to return to 400,000 by the late 18th century

After the annexation of Lithuania by Imperial Russia, Samogitia was included in the Vilna Governorate; in 1843 it was transferred to a newly established Kovno Governorate At the beginning of the 19th century Samogitia was the center of the Lithuanian national revival, which stressed the importance of the Lithuanian language and opposed russification and polonization attempts

Elders of Samogitia

The General Starosts of Samogitia equivalents of voivodes included:

  • Rumbaudas Valimantaitis 1386–1413
  • Mykolas Kęsgaila 1412–1432, 1440–1441, 1443–1450
  • Jonas Kęsgaila 1451–1485
  • Stanislovas Kęsgaila 1486–1527
  • Stanislovas Kęsgaila 1527–1532
  • Jan Radziwiłł 1535–1542
  • Maciej Janowicz Kłoczko 1542–1543
  • Jerzy Bilewicz 1543–1544
  • Hieronim Chodkiewicz 1545–1561
  • Jan Hieronim Chodkiewicz 1563–1579
  • Jan Kiszka 1579–1592
  • Jerzy Chodkiewicz 1590–1595
  • Stanislaw Radziwiłł 1595–1599
  • Jan Karol Chodkiewicz 1599–1616
  • Hieronim Walowicz 1619–1636
  • Jan Alfons Lacki 1643–1646
  • Jerzy Karol Hlebowicz 1653–1668
  • Aleksander Polubinski 1668–1669
  • Wiktoryn Konstanty Mleczko 1670–1679
  • Kazimierz Jan Sapieha 1681–1682
  • Piotr Michał Pac 1684–1696
  • Grzegorz Antoni Ogiński 1698–1709
  • Kazimierz Jan Horbowski 1710–1729
  • Józef Tyszkiewicz 1742–1754
  • Jan Mikołaj Chodkiewicz 1767–1781
  • Antoni Giełgud 1783–1795
  • Michał Giełgud 1795–1808

See also

  • Samogitian diocese
  • Samogitian language

Notes

  1. ^ Grzegorz Błaszczyk, Żmudź w XVII i XVIII wieku: zaludnienie i struktura społeczna, Uniwersytet im Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, 1985, ISSN 0554-8217, p1-2
  2. ^ Grzegorz Błaszczyk, Żmudź w XVII i XVIII wieku: zaludnienie i struktura społeczna, Uniwersytet im Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, 1985, ISSN 0554-8217, p19
  3. ^ Grzegorz Błaszczyk, Żmudź w XVII i XVIII wieku: zaludnienie i struktura społeczna, Uniwersytet im Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, 1985, ISSN 0554-8217, p70 and p140

External links

  • Samogitia
  • Zmudz/Samogitia

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