Aukštaitija kovų su Livonijos ordinu metu (XIII-XIV a.)

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Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Knygos dalis / Part of the book
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Aukštaitija kovų su Livonijos ordinu metu (XIII-XIV a.)
Alternative Title:
Aukštaitija during the war with the Teutonic order in Livonia in XIIIth-XIVth centuries
"satrapai"; Aukštaitija; Aukštaitija, Lietuva, Livonija, Livonijos ordinas, XIII-XIV a., karo žygis; Didysis kunigaikštis Vaišelga; Hermano Vartbergės kronika; Kariniai reidai; Kovos su Livonijos ordinu XIII-XIV amžiais; Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė.
'satraps'; Aukštaitija, Lithuania, Livonia, Teutonic Order, XIII-XIV c., military raids; Battles with Livonian Order in 13-14 centuries; Chronicle of Herman of Wartberge; Grand Duchy of Lithuania; Grand Duke Vaišelga; Highland; Military raids.
Summary / Abstract:

ENThis paper seeks to characterise the region of Central and Northeastern Lithuania (Aukštaitija - literally, the Highland, i.e. the Upper Lithuania) in the XIIIth-XIVth centuries by drawing on the Livonian Chronicles which usually are an irreplaceable source of information. In our case, the chronicle of Herman of Wartberge is especially worth mentioning. The military raids described in it not only introduces us to the tactics employed by the German troops, but also allow us try to advance some considerations regarding the relationship of this region to the power base of Lithuanian dukes that lay south of the Neris River. In the XIIIth century this region contained such strong Lands as Deltuva and Nalšia, that were home to quite powerful princes. Although they were no match to the emerging Grand Duke of Lithuania, for a while they were able to maintain some degree of independence. Finally, they were crushed in the wake of military actions led by the Grand Duke Vaišelga (1264-1267) supported by his allies from Halich-Volhynia. After this debacle the region did not regain its former significance. Different zones of influence can be discernible in it from the XIVth century onwards. Central Lithuania was exposed to the influence coming from the Principality of Trakai, while the Northeastern region of Lithuania was influenced by the Principality of Vilnius. Despite the fact that from time to time the princes of the ruling dynasty of Gediminids were able to make their presence felt, the region was able to maintain a considerable degree of autonomy. This can be best attested by some instances characteristic to the local nobles' behaviour during the war with the Livonian Order.Local noblemen were called 'satraps' by Herman of Wartberge. There were quite a number of them in this precarious zone of military activities where castles were virtually non-existent. Such a state of affairs compels us to think that economic considerations were rather prominent for these nobles to attach themselves to this rather fertile soil instead of fleeing to some safer place. Our research has shown that the war with the Teutonic Order can be characterised as a local war of "low intensity". The brunt of war in the XIVth-century Aukštaitija was not the same in the course of time, nor was it the same in different localities. Native population has always had to rely on their hiding-places in the woods. They had to be rather skillful in doing this as can be seen from the fact that the knights, eager to gain more loot, had to adopt such ways of raiding that were more characteristic to brigands than to knightly warriors. The princes of Lithuania had never tried to stand in pitched battle against the knights in Aukštaitija. They responded with similar raids in which booty was the main purpose. The analysis of war activities shows that local population got used to war. They inhabited localities that were at a relatively safe distance from Livonia. The re-inhabitation of the wasteland between Lithuania and Livonia began in the XVth century when the Order presented no more threat. [From the publication]

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2021-03-17 19:21:11
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