• This topic has 17 voices and 45 replies.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 46 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #341907

    Anonymous
    image

    by Anatol' Citou

    [size=12pt]1. The Origins of Symbol[/size]

    The national symbol of Belarus – "Pahonia" ("Chase") – has many centuries of history. At first territorial, it has later become a national and state emblem. The creation and establishment of "Pahonia" in belarusian lands as well as its transformation into a national emblem was not a single act, but rather a chain of historical events.

    image

    The image of horseman as one of the favorite themes in emblematics and art was used in coins, seals and gems from ancient times. And it was not occasional. The moment when a man had domesticated a horse was indeed one of the turning points in human history. A horseman had an obvious advantage in power and speed over a man on foot. This fact was strongly imprinted in mentality of men which was reflected in many art monuments of the past.

    Our ancient symbol of Pahonia has been formed in the very early ages of eastern slavic history. It had appeared in written documents beginning from the late XIII c. The image of a charging horseman starts to shape into a symbol around this time. And yet it is certain that the idea of it has an even older history. According to some sources this symbol was first used by Grand Lithuanian Duke Trajdzien' (ruled from 1270 to 1284). Some other documents ascribe it to Grand Duke Vicen' (ruled from 1294 to 1316). The Grand Duche of Lithuania is a middle age belarusian state.

    Here we should comment on the common misinterpretation of the name "Litva" and the ethnic composition of the early Grand Duche of Lithuania (GDL). The Grand Duche of Lithuania has been formed in an upper Nioman river basin – Paniamonnie – the land of baltic tribe "litva". Litva was assimilated by north-eastern branch of krywichy – an eastern slavic ethnos that has later become a nucleus of belarusian nation. (see also The origins of the Grand Duchy of Litva ) The slavs has came to Paniamonnie around 800-900 A.D. They have partially assimilated local baltic tribes. Meanwhile the ancestors of modern "lithuanians" were displaced by incoming slavs North and preserved their ethnos and language in the land of Samojitia (Zhmudz, Jamoitia). This land has become a part of the Grand Duche of Lithuania at the later stages of its expansion, as well as the rest of belarusian lands, Curland, Ukraine and some other territories.

    The symbol of Pahonia could have probably become a usual dynasty crest, if not for its strong association with contemporary lifestyle and myphological tradition of the people that lived in our land. Otherwise it would probably had the same fate as in western Europe. Despite the fact that a "Charging Horseman" symbol was commonly known in western Europe of XI-XIII cc., it had never acquired a quality of the land, state or national emblem. It had only become a statement of belonging of its owner to a top of the feudal hierarchy.

    The very idea of the symbol was formed by the realities of the life of our ancestors. As belarusian historian and heraldry expert A.K. Citou states during the period from late XIII c. to 1410 more than 140 times lithuanian and belarusian lands were invaded by crusaders. It is also known that in a period of 1474 – 1569 ukrainian and belarusian lands of GDL were invaded by crimean tartars 75 times. Hence the realities of life of our ancestors included the necessity of constant readiness to defend themselves from invaders.

    Another important reason of the symbol acceptance was a greek-byzanthean tradition to which lithuanian dukes belonged. The acceptance of Eastern Orthodox Christianity before even Grand Duchy foundation (late X c.) has developed ties between eastern european principalities of Polacak, Smaliensk, Turau and Kieu with Constantinopol. Tied to their interpretation of christianity specific names and myphological or real heroes of greek-byzantean pantheon has planted their roots in our soil. One of the most powerful figure was Saint Yury (George) – the Sufferer and the Conqueror. In western Europe he was considered a patron of knighthood, but in slavic lands he was considered not only a warrior, but also a patron of farming. The direct translation of Georgios from Greek indeed is "farmer". Traditional iconographic image of St. George is a mounted knight killing a dragon with a spear as it is depicted on contemporary city emblem of Moscow.
    The other figure was St. Dzmitry of Salun', who was considered a patron of Slavs. St. Dzmitry was a warrior and a governor of Salun' – ancient slavic settlement in Macedonia, now – a greek town of Salonikis. His attributes were an armour, a sword and a spear.

    Very close to Pahonia and Moscow's St. George is the iconography of Saints Barys and Hlieb. According to chronicles they were sons of kiewan duke Uladzimir and were killed after his death by their brother – Sviatapolk – in a struggle for Kiewan throne. The chronicles enlist many evidencies of the miraculous recoveries from diseases that happened near their coffin, military victories in their name and with their help, pilgrimages to the places where they lived. Barys and Hlieb were the most popular saints honored by almost everyone in slavic lands. And the last aspect of the origin of our symbol is that this image is strongly linked to an ancient pre-Christian myphological tradition. It is almost certain that Pahonia would have never become a land, state and national emblem if not for this ancient roots. In the early ages of formation of Slavic ethnos, during the pagan times among the most respected and honored gods was Iaryla – sun-god of spring rebirth and fertility of soil. The celebration of Iaryla is a celebration of the victory of life over death, spring over winter. Ethnographers of XIX c. have noted: that among slavic peoples the memories of Iaryla were most vivid in Belarus. Here he was depicted as a young and beautiful barefoot men on a white horse, dressed in a white cloak, crowned by a spring wildflower wreath and holding spikes of rye in his left hand. It is in his honor belarusians celebrate First Sowing (Iur'ia) in April.

    An so in conclusion, our "Pahonia" symbol was formed as a result of local cultural and religious traditions, as well as western European (polish and crusader's) heraldry tradition of depiction of mounted figure of duke or leader on the seals of feudal hierarchs. It depicts an adult man armed with a sword , mounted on a horse, ready to defend his fatherland – known ever since as "Pahonia".

    [size=12pt]2. Pahonia – a Slavic Emblem, Traditions of the Middle Ages[/size]

    image

    Beginning from XIV-XV cc. a seal with an image of "Pahonia" is frequently used as a state symbol. Pahonia takes the central place on a seal of grand duke Vitaut (1407) (see picture right). Vitaut holds it in his left hand (see illustration) together with other symbols. Among the others are the "Cross" – symbol of Valyn' – a duchy south from GDL which was disputed at the time between GDL and Poland; "Kapeis^en'" – symbol of Troki (Trakai) vaiavodstva which he inherited from his father, Keistut, as a family domain; and the "Bear" – a symbol of Zhmudz' (Samogitia – today commonly referred to as "Lithuania") which was at the time disputed between GDL and The Order.

    Thus the symbol of "Pahonia" was clearly used at this time to designate strictly slavic lands of GDL (from Vil'na and South – almost to the Black Sea) and had nothing in common with baltic territory – Zhmudz' (Samogitia). Only in 1422 Samogitia had finally joined GDL as an autonomous part, and before that it was under control of The Order. The joining of Zhmudz' to GDL was a good will decision and was caused by a constant military threat from The Order. It is interesting to note that the neighbors of baltic tribes – prussians – were completely superseeded and assimilated by crusaders and in 200 years disappeared from the map of Europe. Due to the voluntary decision to join GDL, samogitian feudals received the same rights as the feudals in other parts of GDL. Later samojitians succeeded in gaining first hand in the GDL and rewriting the history of GDL to secure their ruling position and to ascribe themselves the honor of founadtion of GDL One can only state that eventually they succeeded in their intentions since today Lithuania and lithuanian are associated not with the original meaning of the word but rather with historical Samogitia (Jamoitia, Zhmudz') and samogitians. This confusion was strengthened even further by adoption by samogitians of slavic symbol – "Pahonia".

    The symbols of Zhmud – Samogitien (left) and Litva (rigth) from the chronicles of the 16th century.

    image

    Traditional usage of "Pahonia" as to designate belarusian lands, that has appeared in ancient times, was formally legitimized through juridical documents in XVI c. in the outstanding monuments of belarusian juridical thought – Statuts of the Grand Duche of Lithuania. There were three editions of Statut, published correspondingly in 1529, 1566 and 1588. All of them are written in Old Belarusian. Moreover, second and third editions contain special laws establishing Old Belarusian as a state language of GDL (see front page of Statut of 1588). The Statuts of GDL had a great influence on the development of jurisprudence not only in GDL but in Muscovy, Ukraine, Poland, Germany and other countries. The action of the last Statut on belarusian and samojitian lands was stopped only 250 years later when both became a part of Russian Empire.

    [size=12pt]3. 200 Years Without State[/size]

    image

    After annexation of GDL (belarusian lands) in 1772-95 by Russian Empire the symbol of "Pahonia" continued to function for some time, appearing together with russian imperial double-headed eagle on the state seals and symbols. In the second half of XIX c. the usage of "Pahonia" was transformed from state symbol to regional symbol. The ancient symbols of several belarusian towns were substituted by "Pahonia". Thus the importance of the symbol as national was diminished.

    XX century

    The role of "Pahonia" as a state symbol was naturally reestablished during the restoration of belarusian statehood in 1917 – 1918. In March 1918 an independence of Belarusian Peoples Republic (BPR) was proclaimed. Earlier the idea of return to our historic national symbol was pursued by belarusian poet Maxim Bahdanovich in his poem "Pahonia".

    Whensoever my anxious heart , trembling
    With fear for our land, starts to bleed,
    The Vostraja Gate I remember,
    And the warriors on their dread steeds.

    Flecked with white foam, those steeds, onward straining,
    Gallop and charge, grimly snort…
    Pahonia of Old Lithuania,
    None can conquer them, stay them or halt.

    Into measureless distances flying,
    Behind you, before, years extend…
    After whom do ye chase, swiftly hieing,
    Where lie your paths, whither they wend?

    Maybe, Belarus, they are racing
    After thy sons, neglectful of thee,
    Who forgot thee, thy memory effacing,
    Sold, betrayed thee into slavery.

    Strike them deep in the heart with swords brandished!
    Let them not into foreigners turn!
    Let them feel in the night their hearts' anguish
    For their true native land ache and burn…

    My dear Mother, my own Mother-Country,
    Let there never be end to that ache…
    Forgive! Take back thy son in thy bounty,
    Permit him to die for thy sake!

    The steeds fly and fly, onward straining,
    Silver harness resounds in assault,
    Pahonia of Old Lithuania,
    None can conquer them, stay them or halt.

    translated by Vera Rich

    The image of "Pahonia" was used in the seals of different state organs of BPR. BPR existed during the years of WWI german occupation of Belarus and was later dismissed by bolsheviks. Despite the fact that BPR was destroyed by bolsheviks, and Belarus itself was devided between Poland and USSR the idea of national symbol survived.

    The seals of Belarusian Peoples Republic (BPR) 1918

    image

    Meanwhile in the same time a Lithuanina Republic emerged which have chosen the ancient slavic symbol of "Pahonia" as its state symbol. The acquisition of the foreign symbol reflected imperial plans of lithuanian bourgeoisie on belarusian lands. The double meaning of this act was well realized in a legitimate capital of Lithuania – Kouna (Kaunas). It was acknowledged even by many state figures of "Lithuanian" republic, who were publicly demanding for replacement of "Pahonia" symbol by another state symbol. Such in 1935 the premier minister of "Lithuania" Mr. Tubalis has officially acknowledged "lithuanian" origin of "Pahonia" and stated that the work on creation of origional symbol – replacement for "Pahonia"- is in process. This project was stopped by the turmoils of forthcoming years.

    During the german occupatuion the nazi regime allowed the usage of national belarusian symbols. In the document signed on June 27, 1942 by Hauptleiter Wilhelm Kube it was stated that the following is considered belarusian national symbols: a) belarusian national "Pahonia"; b) white-red-white flag. This usage of national belarusian symbols by a bunch of collaborationists has been the basis of numerous political speculations about symbol "Pahonia" in the next 50 years.

    After the victory of one totalitarian system over another the national symbol "Pahonia" was seemingly forgotten again. Soviet system in its attempt to "grind off" the ethnic differences and to form a pan-national "soviet man" was very aggressively fighting any signs of national identity. Standartization, replacement of national symbols by class symbols was one of the main goals of propaganda machine.

    The collapse of totalitarian system and proclamation of independence for Republic of Belarus has opened at last the possibility to unify all the functions of "Pahonia" symbol – territorial and national, and to restore its status of State Emblem on September 19, 1991.

    [size=12pt]4. Pahonia Today[/size]

    On May 14, 1995 a national referendum was held by the president of Belarus A. Lukashenka with severe violations of the Constitution, which resulted in re-establishment of the new state symbols of Belarus, inspired by the symbols of former Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic. During the preparation of the referendum an entire means of state mass media were carrying out propaganda campaign that was designed to associate "Pahonia" symbol and white-red-white flag exclusively with the nazi activity in Belarus during 1941-1944. As a result of such propaganda, in a spirit of Stalin times, 75% of votes had answered "Yes" on a question:" Do you accept the new state symbols?" No images of new symbols appeared on the voting bulletin. Significant number of voters considered their "yes" vote as a support for "Pahonia" and white-red-white flag, which were adopted only 4 years before. Moreover the 75% of votes "yes" totaled to 49% of the entire number of belarusian voters. According to belarusian constitution a majority of 50% is required for state symbol change. Despite of all of these inconsistencies on the next day after referendum , without parliament's ratification and prior to the release of the official results of refferendum, "Pahonia" symbol was taken off the state buildings of Belarus.

    Perhaps one of the other reasons of these decisions was unpopularity of belarusian national movement, known for its rather radical position. "Pahonia" and red-white-red flag were associated in a common consciousness of belarusians more with this radical political movement than with 700 years of Pahonia's history in our land.

    Today, "Pahonia" symbol is uniting those belarusians who haven't lost their national identity in 200 years of the dominance of Russian Empire and 70 years of Soviet totalitarism. Unfortunately, in the conditions of strengthening dictature of President Lukashenka, Pahonia – the 700 year old symbol of belarusian nation and the white-red-white flag are currently on the verge of prohibition.
    ______________________
    References used in this file:

    Anatol Citou: "Nas simval -"Pahonia"" Anatol' Citou: "Our Symbol – "Pahonia"". – Publishing house: "Polymia", 1993.- 40 pages
    ISBN 5-345-00740-3

    #357860

    Anonymous

    Flag and emblem of Polish-Lithuanan Commonwealth also included this symbol.

    Flag:

    image

    Emblem:

    image

    #357861

    Anonymous

    I don't understand why Belarus don't accept Pahonia crest as official coat of arms, instead of this old, modified socialist
    image
    On the other hand, curent Belarus flag is nice.

    Similar case is in Macedonia:

    Socialist image
    Current image

    Historical:
    [img width=700 height=659]http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/8201/45761160.jpg”/> (similar with Bulgarian)
    image ancient Macedonian crest

    #357862

    Anonymous

    Wilkolak, what do you think of the Grand Principality or Duchy of Lithuania or Litva? Was it originally today's Lithuanian or Belarusian state? I started to interest into it and I read articles mainly from 2 points of view – the Lithuanian and Belarusian one. Lithuanians say the Duchy of Lithuania was ethnically their state and they conquered and joined Belarus. On the other hand Belarusians say the Principality of Litva had important Slavic attributes – the capital was Navahrudak, a city southwesterly from Minsk; official language was Old Belarusian /called Ruthenian/ first of all; Belarusians, called Litvini then, conquered today's Lithuania (before called  Samogitia – Jamoitia, Zhmudz') and joined it to Litva (Belarus) later etc etc…

    Btw. there is a castle in Slovakia, which is called Lietava, in older form Litwa. The legend says, there was a wooden sanctuary of the Goddess Lada. Later it was rebuilt to the Gothic church and then to the castle.

    The story of Pahonia reminds me Slovak state symbol's story a little bit. Roots of the double-cross officially originate in the early medieval state Greater Moravia. Then it was used by kings of the Regnum Marianum (later Kingdom of Hungary) but only by those who were previously the princes of the Nitrianske údelné kniežatstvo (relatively independent Slovakia in Kingdom of Hungary till the beginning of the 12. century). Double-cross became a symbol of Slovakia / Windischland in German / Ducatus Sclavoniae in Latin or simply Upperland in the new state Kingdom of Hungary (Hungarian did not mean Magyar, it described citizenship rather than nationality. In the time of revolution /19.cent./ Magyars adopted name Hungarians to describe their ethnic group in foreign languages, but not in theirs – there are exclusively Magyars, never Hungarians. Slovak and Czech language distinguish these terms : Hungarian – Uhor, Magyar – Maďar). So, the double-cross became an exclusively symbol of Slovensko / Slovakia or Biele Uhorsko (White Hungary); and the so-called Arpad's stripes represent today's Magyarorszag / Hungary or Čierne Uhorsko (Black Hungary). After the 1WW and break-up of the kingdom, Hungary have kept the symbol of Slovakia – the double-cross with 3 mountains (Tatra, Matra, Fatra) – in their new coat-of-arms. But it is only one of more succession states of the Kingdom of Hungary.

    _____

    Dervan, it's probably because of double-cross in the original coat-of-arms. The same almost happened to my country, when communists replaced the double-cross with a fire (1960 to 1990). About Macedonia I'm not sure.

    image

    Fortunately, double-cross was given back to us. And it probably has deeper than Christian roots, as in case of Pahonia which represents Jarilo – the god of the sun, spring, fertility, and love. Slovak double-cross could be a protective symbol of Goddess Morena – a rune Mara. Morena isn't any negative deity, she rather represents new beginning, arrival of the spring. She doesn't die by the feast Burning of Morena http://www.slavorum.com/index.php/topic,397.0.html, but she leaves this world and comes again next year to bring the winter. Mother Morena, the Protector.

    #357863

    Anonymous

    @Svätoslava

    Originally, this lands were Kievan Rus, therefore Slavic lands, but not Belarrusian. There was never any Belarussian state in this times, only much, much later.

    Lithuanians indeed conquered this lands and joined them to their kingdom, but this lands were not ethnically Baltic prior to Lithuanian expansion either.

    Belarussians in those times were called Ruthenians (in Latin) and also later in times of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and also Ukrainians were included.

    Name "Ruthenians" was first used for Belarussians/Ukrainians after fall of Mongol Empire. After Lithuanian expansion, those within Lithuania were called Ruthenians, while those on eastern side came under control of Russia (though I believe in those times, they were called Muscovites).

    So, to conclude, once all three East Slavic peoples were one and same thing (they say that Rusyns are still those who maintained their identity), and that with this split between Russia and Lithuania (and later Poland when we formed union state with them), is what brought about two separate identities of same East Slavs (Ruthenians and Muscovites), which then later fragmented into three over time.

    Why exactly, I don't know, perhaps because Ukraine was under Polish control and Belarus under Lithuanian control and we had different influence on them, but I can't be sure of that. Later on in any case, Poles became dominant culture in union state with Lithuania (our language was first official, Lithuanians became Polonised etc.).

    #357864

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    The same almost happened to my country, when communists replaced the double-cross with a fire (1960 to 1990)…

    Same was everywere…

    Original Serbian crest
    image

    During Socialist republic
    image

    Cross was removed… It also have pre-Christian origin, but communists probably didn't know that.
    image Old Danubian potery

    #357865

    Anonymous

    I fully support the return of the original Belarussian coat of arms and the White-Red-White flag, this Soviet-crap makes me sick.

    Quote:
    Wilkolak, what do you think of the Grand Principality or Duchy of Lithuania or Litva? Was it originally today's Lithuanian or Belarusian state? I started to interest into it and I read articles mainly from 2 points of view – the Lithuanian and Belarusian one. Lithuanians say the Duchy of Lithuania was ethnically their state and they conquered and joined Belarus. On the other hand Belarusians say the Principality of Litva had important Slavic attributes – the capital was Navahrudak, a city southwesterly from Minsk; official language was Old Belarusian /called Ruthenian/ first of all; Belarusians, called Litvini then, conquered today's Lithuania (before called  Samogitia – Jamoitia, Zhmudz') and joined it to Litva (Belarus) later etc etc…

    I mostly subscribe to the Belarussian point of view. In my opinion Great Litva can best be described as joint state of Litvins (Belarussians) and Samogitians (Lithuanians). Of course Belarussian Litvins were the main contributors and the dominating people, since they were far larger in numbers but Samogitian Lithuanians also had their share.

    #357866

    Anonymous

    Heavily stylised Chases:


    image

    image

    image

    image

    #357867

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I mostly subscribe to the Belarussian point of view. In my opinion Great Litva can best be described as joint state of Litvins (Belarussians) and Samogitians (Lithuanians). Of course Belarussian Litvins were the main contributors and the dominating people, since they were far larger in numbers but Samogitian Lithuanians also had their share.

    That means that Samogitians took over the Litvini name and now they are Lithuanians?

    #357868

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    That means that Samogitians took over the Litvini name and now they are Lithuanians?

    No it was allways their name. Rus' principality of Polotsk fought Litvins (Lithuanians), before creation of GDL. But from XV to XVII all popultaion of GDL could bear that name (Eastern Slavs included). Espetialy in GPM. Then литвин could be either белорусец or литовец. ON other hand subjects of GPM were called Muscovites (Modern Russians and Ukrainians alike) by citizens of GDL.

    #357869

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    That means that Samogitians took over the Litvini name and now they are Lithuanians?

    Smells like litvinism – a pseudo-scientific Belarussian theory about "stolen" history.

    Litvinists believe that Belarussians are the real Lithuanians who established Lithuanian state but Samogitians corrupted the history and now pretend to be the real Lithuanians. But it's totally nonsensic. Lithuanian state was established by speakers of Lithuanian and all the rulers were Lithuanian  before the  actual introduction of elected rulers of Poland and GDL, Grand duchy of Lithuania reached it's height during the rule of a Lithuanian (Vytautas). Later after Vytautas we see the rise of political nation of GDL. So generally the importance of Lithuanians in the history of Grand Duchy of Lithuania is obviously more important. Of course, Belarussians also played their role because GDL occupied a very large part of what is now Belarus and Lithuanians nobles mixed a lot with the ones of Belarus (these nobles later practically ruled GDL, not the elected kings of PLC).

    By the way, Samogitia (in Lithuanian Žemaitija) originally refered to central Lithuanian lowlands, the word itself means "low land". Eastern Lithuania is still called Aukštaitija "high land". The menaing if Samogitia has changed and now on a large part it refers to what was actually Southern Curonia. So, when litvinists mention Samogitia, they as usually demonstrates total fail.  I've somewhere read that Poles used to apply this term Samogitians to all Lithuanians maybe in 18-19th c., but they themselves didn't understand the meaning of the term (used it incorrectly both by new and old definition), so maybe it has some connection to litvinist theories.

    The original territory where the name of Lietuva appeared and from where it had expanded might have included (and it probably did) close territory that today is pat of Belarus, but it was inhabited by speakers of Lithuanian back then. Take, for example the island of Lithuanian speakers in Lazūnai (current Belarus):
    http://lt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laz%C5%ABnai
    It says that most inhabitants till the end of XXth c. were Lithuanian (speakers of Lithuanian). And this place is by far not the only known island of Lithuanian speakers (people who somehow managed to preserve Lithuanian language). As mentioned, the rulers who perhaps hailed from what is now Belarus but close to Lithuanian border had Lithuanian names. However, Litvinists think that the real Lithuanians were speakers of Belarussian which is total nonsence.

    #357870

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Smells like litvinism – a pseudo-scientific Belarussian theory about "stolen" history.

    I was asking, not claiming, so please, spare me from words like smells

    #357871

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    I was asking, not claiming, so please, spare me from words like smells

    You misunderstood.
    I wasn't blaming you but explaining  to you (I understoot that you are just asking, I'm not blind) where this view likely comes from.

    #357872

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Litvinists believe that Belarussians are the real Lithuanians who established Lithuanian state but Samogitians corrupted the history and now pretend to be the real Lithuanians.

    Oh-h-h yea-a-ah!!! ;) These fact were proven long ago by Mikoła Jermałovič, trololol. Get over it. ;D

    Actually I think that today when talking about those times it would be not correct to operate such terms as "Lithuanians", "Belarusians" et cetera. It would be safer to use terms "Balts" and "Slavs", or even "Baltic speakers" and "Slavic speakers".

    But seriously, I was told that Navahrudak was the first capital of Lithuania, and so was established the state. I have always wondered what existed before that. Did Lith- I mean, the Baltic speaking ancestors of present Lithuanians have a state? Since when? How it was established and since when existed? Did they have several states that were united? I am genuinely interested. At school children learn that there were Polotsk principality, Turov-Pinsk principality, but honestly I have no idea what existed to the North-West of them.

    #357873

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    Oh-h-h yea-a-ah!!! ;) These fact were proven long ago by Mikoła Jermałovič, trololol. Get over it. ;D

    Actually I think that today when talking about those times it would be not correct to operate such terms as "Lithuanians", "Belarusians" et cetera. It would be safer to use terms "Balts" and "Slavs", or even "Baltic speakers" and "Slavic speakers".

    But seriously, I was told that Navahrudak was the first capital of Lithuania, and so was established the state. I have always wondered what existed before that. Did Lith- I mean, the Baltic speaking ancestors of present Lithuanians had a state? Since when? How it was established and since when existed? Did they have several states that were united? I am genuinely interested. At school children learn that there were Polotsk principality, Turov-Pinsk principality, but honestly I have no idea what existed to the North-West of them.

    I haven't heard about the person you mentioned.
    The term Lithuania aroused in Aukštaitija, near Belarus from what I've read, but at first it refered to a narrow territory, the name spread from there with the spread of influence of dukes of the mentioned territory..
    Initially inhabited by fragmented Baltic tribes, in the 1230s the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, who was crowned as King of Lithuania on 6 July 1253.. Before that conderation of Lithuanian lands (end of XII – XIII 4th decade) existed, it had several elder dukes, but there existed other Baltic confederations. Before confederation – Baltic lands that forned out of village units, the leaders of these lands were called kunigas.

    Here is a map for illustration:
    (ligher – Mindaugas's kingdom, darker – Mindaugas influence zone)
    image
    You can read about establishment of Lithuanian kingdom here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Lithuania_%281219%E2%80%931295%29

    Navahrudak was located in perophery and at times it wasn't even ruled by Lithuania. This theory stating otherweise can be found in Motiejus Stryjkovskis work in 1582 which is based on legends. There are real historic sources talking about Lithuanian rulers and this place which reveal otherwise. I will give a quote from the article concerning the topic of Lithuanian capitals, but it's in Lithuanian. If you want I may translate more, but not right now.
    http://viduramziu.istorija.net/socium/sostine2.htm
    Navahrudak  wasn't part of the real Lithuania: the chronicler writing about a monastery built by Vaišelga near Nemunas even mentions that it was built "between Lithuania and Navahrudak ( Ипатьевская летопись // Полное собрание русских летописей. Москва, 1998. Стб. 859)
    What was Lithuanian capital is not known for sure due to lack of written sources (according to the author of the article – best candidate would be Vilnius, other possible candidates should be searched in Ašmena land).

    Archeologists talk about Lithuanian tribe which inhabited Eastern Lithuania and part of Belarus before historic times and onwords (and where this term Lithuania aroused according to other scientists).

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 46 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Slavorum

7 User(s) Online Join Server
  • Tujev
  • Fia
  • kony97
  • (o)possum tamer 🐀 (kris)
  • Glockamole
  • Lucifer Morningstar