Gediminids

Gediminids

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The Gediminids were a dynasty
Dynasty
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. Historians traditionally consider many sovereign states' history within a framework of successive dynasties, e.g., China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire...

 of monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

s of Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

 that reigned from the 14th to the 16th century. One branch of this dynasty, known as the Jagiellons
Jagiellon dynasty
The Jagiellonian dynasty was a royal dynasty originating from the Lithuanian House of Gediminas dynasty that reigned in Central European countries between the 14th and 16th century...

, reigned also in Kingdom of Poland
Kingdom of Poland (1385–1569)
The Kingdom of Poland of the Jagiellons was the Polish state created by the accession of Jogaila , Grand Duke of Lithuania, to the Polish throne in 1386. The Union of Krewo or Krėva Act, united Poland and Lithuania under the rule of a single monarch...

, Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 and Kingdom of Bohemia
Kingdom of Bohemia
The Kingdom of Bohemia was a country located in the region of Bohemia in Central Europe, most of whose territory is currently located in the modern-day Czech Republic. The King was Elector of Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806, whereupon it became part of the Austrian Empire, and...

. Several other branches ranked among the leading aristocratic dynasties of Russia and Poland into recent times.

Their monarchical title in Lithuanian
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

 primarily was, by some folkloristic data, kunigų kunigas ("Duke of Dukes"), and later on, didysis kunigas ("Great/High Duke") or, in a simple manner, kunigaikštis. In the 18th century the latter form was changed (maybe, by polonised clerks) into tautological
Tautology
Tautology may refer to:*Tautology , using different words to say the same thing even if the repetition does not provide clarity. Tautology also means a series of self-reinforcing statements that cannot be disproved because the statements depend on the assumption that they are already...

 didysis kunigaikštis, which nevertheless would be translated as "Grand Duke" (for its etymology, see Grand Prince
Grand Prince
The title grand prince or great prince ranked in honour below emperor and tsar and above a sovereign prince .Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal, translation of these terms in English and Romance languages, which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns...

).

Their origin


The origin of Gediminas himself is much debated. Some sources say he was Vytenis
Vytenis
Vytenis was the Grand Duke of Lithuania from c. 1295 to c. 1316. He became the first of the Gediminid dynasty to rule for a considerable amount of time. In the early 14th century his reputation outshone that of Gediminas, who is regarded by modern historians as one of the greatest Lithuanian rulers...

' ostler
Hostler
An hostler or ostler in the horse industry is a groom or stableman, who is employed in a stable to take care of horses...

, others that he was of peasant stock, some historians consider him as the son or grandson of Lithuanian or Yatvingian duke Skalmantas
Skalmantas
Skomantas/Komantas is a name of:*Skomantas of Sudovia, last tribal leader and pagan priest of the Sudovians/Yotvingians*Skalmantas , presumed ancestor of the Gediminids dynasty...

. Most of scholars agree, however, that Gediminas was Vytenis
Vytenis
Vytenis was the Grand Duke of Lithuania from c. 1295 to c. 1316. He became the first of the Gediminid dynasty to rule for a considerable amount of time. In the early 14th century his reputation outshone that of Gediminas, who is regarded by modern historians as one of the greatest Lithuanian rulers...

' brother (the parentage of Vytenis is explained differently in various fake genealogies, compiled from the 16th century onwards; according to the latest Polish research, his parentage cannot be established.

List of (undoubted) Gediminids who ruled in Grand Duchy of Lithuania

  • Gediminas
  • Jaunutis
    Jaunutis
    Jaunutis was the Grand Duke of Lithuania from his father Gediminas' death in 1341 until he was deposed by his elder brothers Algirdas and Kęstutis in 1345....

  • Algirdas
    Algirdas
    Algirdas was a monarch of medieval Lithuania. Algirdas ruled the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1345 to 1377, which chiefly meant monarch of Lithuanians and Ruthenians...

  • Jogaila
    Jogaila
    Jogaila, later 'He is known under a number of names: ; ; . See also: Jogaila : names and titles. was Grand Duke of Lithuania , king consort of Kingdom of Poland , and sole King of Poland . He ruled in Lithuania from 1377, at first with his uncle Kęstutis...

  • Kęstutis
    Kestutis
    Kęstutis was monarch of medieval Lithuania. He was the Duke of Trakai and governed the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, 1342–82, together with his brother Algirdas , and with his nephew Jogaila...

  • Vytautas
  • Švitrigaila
    Švitrigaila
    Švitrigaila Švitrigaila Švitrigaila (ca 1370 – 10 February 1452; was the Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1430 to 1432. He spent most of his life in largely unsuccessful dynastic struggles against his cousins Vytautas and Sigismund Kęstutaitis.-Struggle against Vytautas:...

  • Žygimantas Kęstutaitis
  • Kazimieras Jogailaitis
  • Aleksandras
  • Žygimantas Senasis
    Sigismund I the Old
    Sigismund I of Poland , of the Jagiellon dynasty, reigned as King of Poland and also as the Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1506 until 1548...

  • Žygimantas Augustas

Branches of the dynasty


The Eastern Orthodox branches of the family were mostly Ruthenian
Ruthenian language
Ruthenian, or Old Ruthenian , is a term used for the varieties of Eastern Slavonic spoken in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later in the East Slavic territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth....

, which also was one of the two main languages of their established state. Some of these families (e.g., Czartoryski
Czartoryski
Czartoryski is the surname of a Polish-Ukrainian-Lithuanian magnate family also known as the Familia. They used the Czartoryski Coat of arms and were the leading noble family of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 18th century.-History:The Czartoryski is a family of a Grand Ducal...

) later converted to Roman Catholicism and became thoroughly Polonized
Polonization
Polonization was the acquisition or imposition of elements of Polish culture, in particular, Polish language, as experienced in some historic periods by non-Polish populations of territories controlled or substantially influenced by Poland...

. Others (e.g., Galitzine
Galitzine
For Orthodox clergyman and theologian, see Alexander Golitzin.The Galitzines are one of the largest and noblest princely houses of Russia. Since the extinction of the Korecki family in the 17th century, the Golitsyns have claimed dynastic seniority in the House of Gediminas...

) moved to Muscovy and became thoroughly Russified
Russification
Russification is an adoption of the Russian language or some other Russian attributes by non-Russian communities...

.

Some of the noblest princely families of Russia and Poland belong to the Gediminid stock. In Belarusian
Belarusian language
The Belarusian language , sometimes referred to as White Russian or White Ruthenian, is the language of the Belarusian people...

 the Gediminids are known as Гедзімінавічы (Giedziminavičy, sing.: Гедзімінавіч, Giedziminavič), in Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 — as Giedyminowicze (sing.: Giedyminowicz), in Ukrainian
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

 - as Гедиміновичі (Hedyminovychi, sing. Гедимінович Hedyminovych), and in Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 — as Gediminovichi (sing.: Гедиминович).

In Poland, most Gediminid families (such as Korecki, Olelkowicz-Słucki, Wiśniowiecki
Wisniowiecki
Wiśniowiecki is the name of a family notable in the history of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. They were powerful magnates in Ruthenia of Rurikid or Gediminids descent. The family traditions traces their descend to Gediminids, but modern historians believe there is more evidence for the Rurikid...

, Zbaraski) are extinct, but at least three families survive to the present: Czartoryski
Czartoryski
Czartoryski is the surname of a Polish-Ukrainian-Lithuanian magnate family also known as the Familia. They used the Czartoryski Coat of arms and were the leading noble family of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 18th century.-History:The Czartoryski is a family of a Grand Ducal...

, Sanguszko
Sanguszko
Sanguszko is a Polish-Lithuanian noble family of the Ruthenian Sanguszko is a Polish-Lithuanian noble family of the Ruthenian Sanguszko is a Polish-Lithuanian noble family of the Ruthenian (now Ukrainian stock from the Gediminid dynasty. Like other princely houses of Polish-Lithuanian...

, and Koriatowicz-Kurcewicz.

The Russian Gediminid families include Bulgakov
Bulgakov
Bulgakov is a common Russian family name and may refer to:*Gediminid family of Princes Bulgakov*Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Bulgakov, Soviet politician, USSR Minister of Education 1978 to 1983*Aleksandr Viktorovich Bulgakov Bulgakov is a common Russian family name and may refer to:*Gediminid family...

, Golitsin, Kurakin
Kurakin
Kurakin was a Gediminid Russian princely family and may refer to:*Alexander Kurakin , a Russian diplomat and senator*Alexander Borisovich Kurakin , a Russian statesman and diplomat...

, Khovansky
Khovansky
Khovansky was a Russian noble family. Notable members of the family include:*Alexander Khovansky , a Russian statesman*Andrey Andreyevich Khovansky , a Russian voyevoda*Andrey Ivanovich Khovansky , a Russian boyar...

, Trubetskoy, Mstislavsky
Mstislavsky
Mstislavsky was a Russian princely family of Gediminid origin who prior to their move to Russia ruled the principality of Mstislavl. In the following, the Mstislavsky family produced some notable military commanders such as Ivan Mstislavsky who fought in the Livonian War...

, Belsky, and Volynsky
Artemy Petrovich Volynsky
Artemy Petrovich Volynsky was a Russian statesman and diplomat. His career started as a soldier but was rapidly upgraded to minister under Peter the Great and governor of Astrakhan...

.

Family tree




See also

  • Columns of Gediminas
    Columns of Gediminas
    The Columns of Gediminas or Pillars of Gediminids are one of the earliest symbols of Lithuania and one of its historical coats of arms. They were used in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, initially as a rulers' personal insignia, a state symbol, and later as a part of heraldic signs of leading...

  • Galitzine family
    Galitzine
    For Orthodox clergyman and theologian, see Alexander Golitzin.The Galitzines are one of the largest and noblest princely houses of Russia. Since the extinction of the Korecki family in the 17th century, the Golitsyns have claimed dynastic seniority in the House of Gediminas...

  • family of Gediminas
  • List of Belarusian rulers
  • List of Lithuanian rulers
  • List of Ukrainian rulers
  • Palemonids

External links