Welcome to Medieval Lithuania!
This site is devoted to the history of Lithuania in the Middle Ages. Central and Eastern Europe's medieval history cannot be fully understood without some familiarity
with Lithuania's medieval history. Medieval Lithuania included also the territory of modern Belarus and the greater part of Ukraine and had strongly influenced the historical fate of Poland and the other countries in the region.
Lithuania was first mentioned in 1009, formed a state ca. 1183, and developed into a powerful empire in the 14th century. It survived and gained power in the constant fight with the Teutonic Knights, supported by almost the whole of Catholic Europe, the Tartar hordes and Muscovite Russia.
In 1386, Polish nobles had elected a pagan ruler of Lithuania
– Jogaila (Jagiello), King of Poland, who was christened then.
He converted Lithuania to Christianity one year later. This laid the foundation for the future Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania.
Jogaila's successors went on to successfully expand their political
influence all throughout the 15th Century.
At the end of the Middle
Ages almost the whole of Central Europe was ruled by the dynasty of
Lithuanian origin – the Jagiellonians. The lands of the three Jagiellonian
brothers (Wladislas, the King of Bohemia and Hungary; John Albert, the
King of Poland; Alexander, the Grand Duke of Lithuania) formed a
Jagiellonian political system, which existed from 1492 to 1526.
States ruled by the Jagiellonians at the end of the 15th century:
1 – Borders of the Holy Roman Empire, 2 – Borders of the States ruled by the Jagiellonians,
3 – Lands annexed to Moscow in 1494, 4 – Vassals of the Polish Kingdom.
Source: Wielka historia Polski. 3: Dzieje Polski
późnośredniowiecznej (1370–1506) / Krzysztof Baczkowski. Kraków, 1999, p. 247.
The heart of 'Baltic Europe' is formed by the lands
of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (with the kingdom of Poland) and the
Teutonic Order. The Danish dominium maris baltici which
characterised the thirteenth century slowly gave way to the
German-dominated Hanse and Lithuano-Polish joint monarchy in the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. To use a Mediterranean methaphor,
the Scandinavian peninsula played Carthage to the southern Baltic
S. C. Rowell, Baltic Europe, in:
The New Cambridge Medieval History,
vol. 6: c. 1300 – c. 1415, edited by Michael Jones, Cambridge University Press,
This site was opened on June 22, 2000. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. You may
personally or sign my Guest Book in English, German, Russian, Polish or Lithuanian, as well as take part in the discussions at the Forum of Lithuanian history.
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