House of Mindaugas

House of Mindaugas

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The House of Mindaugas was the first royal family 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...

, centered around Mindaugas
Mindaugas
Mindaugas was the first known Grand Duke of Lithuania and the only King of Lithuania. Little is known of his origins, early life, or rise to power; he is mentioned in a 1219 treaty as an elder duke, and in 1236 as the leader of all the Lithuanians...

, the first known and undoubted sovereign of Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

. He was crowned as King of Lithuania in 1253 and assassinated ten years later. His known family relations end with children; there is no data on his great-grandchildren or any relations with the Gediminids
Gediminids
The Gediminids were a dynasty of monarchs of Grand Duchy of Lithuania that reigned from the 14th to the 16th century. One branch of this dynasty, known as the Jagiellons, reigned also in Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Hungary and Kingdom of Bohemia...

, a dynasty of sovereigns of Lithuania and Poland that started with Butigeidis
Butigeidis
Butigeidis was the Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1285 to 1291. He is the first known and undisputed member of the Gediminids.He started his rule when the Livonian Order and the Teutonic Knights were finalizing their conquest of the Baltic tribes. In 1289, leading about 8,000 troops, Butigeidis...

 ca. 1285 and ended with Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus I was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, the only son of Sigismund I the Old, whom Sigismund II succeeded in 1548...

 in 1572.

Historians have to make considerable assumptions trying to reconstruct the full family tree
Family tree
A family tree, or pedigree chart, is a chart representing family relationships in a conventional tree structure. The more detailed family trees used in medicine, genealogy, and social work are known as genograms.-Family tree representations:...

 because of extremely scarce written sources about the early history of Lithuania
History of Lithuania
The history of Lithuania dates back to at least 1009, the first recorded written use of the term. Lithuanians, a branch of the Baltic peoples, later conquered neighboring lands, establishing the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in the 13th century the short-lived Kingdom of Lithuania. The Grand Duchy...

. The matter is further complicated by the 16–17th century genealogies
Genealogy
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

, most famously the Bychowiec Chronicle
Bychowiec Chronicle
The Bychowiec Chronicle named the Letopis of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania is an anonymous 16th century chronicle of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Although one of the least reliable sources of the epoch, it is considered the most complete redaction of the Lithuanian Chronicles...

, that mixed legends and facts into one. The legends about Palemonids, a noble family from the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 who settled in Lithuania and gave rise to the Duchy, are quite popular and widespread in these genealogies. The real historical data comes from the Russian and Livonia
Livonia
Livonia is a historic region along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. It was once the land of the Finnic Livonians inhabiting the principal ancient Livonian County Metsepole with its center at Turaida...

n chronicles, most important of these being the Hypatian Codex
Hypatian Codex
The Hypatian Codex is a compendium of three chronicles: the Primary Chronicle, Kiev Chronicle, and Galician-Volhynian Chronicle. It is the most important source of historical data for southern Rus'...

.

Family tree


Mindaugas and his brother Dausprungas
Dausprungas
Dausprungas was older brother of Mindaugas, the first King of Lithuania. Dausprungas is mentioned only once in the peace treaty with Halych-Volhynia in 1219 among the 21 early dukes of Lithuania as one of the five elder dukes...

 are first mentioned among the 5 elder dukes in a 1219 treaty with Galicia–Volhynia. Since at that time both brothers had to be relatively young, it implies that they inherited their high status. However, no written sources of the period talk about their father, except the Livonian Rhymed Chronicle
Livonian Rhymed Chronicle
The Livonian Rhymed Chronicle was a chronicle written in Low German by an anonymous writer. It covers the period 1180 – 1290 and contains a wealth of detail about Livonia — modern Estonia and Latvia....

, which mentions in passing that he was a powerful Grand Duke (ein kunic grôß). Chronicles written in the 16–17th centuries gave him the name of Ryngold
Ryngold
Ryngold or Rimgaudas was a mythological Grand Duke of Lithuania from the Palemonids legends and father of Mindaugas, the first King of Lithuania . Ryngold, son of otherwise unknown Algimantas, is first mentioned in the second redaction of the Lithuanian Chronicle written c. 1515 and has no...

  and made him part of the Palemonids' legends. Historian Edvardas Gudavičius
Edvardas Gudavicius
Edvardas Gudavičius is one of the best known historians in modern Lithuania specializing in early history of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1953 he graduated from Kaunas Polytechnic Institute with a degree in engineering. Gudavičius started his career as a mechanic at one of the factories in Kaunas,...

 argued that because the 1219 treaty mentioned two pairs of young brothers among the 5 elder dukes (Mindaugas and Dausprungas, Daujotas
Daujotas
Daujotas was one of the 5 elder Lithuanian dukes mentioned in the peace treaty with Halych-Volhynia in 1219. In the same document Vilikaila is mentioned as brother of Daujotas which leads to believe that Daujotas was the older or perhaps more influential brother. The brothers are not mentioned in...

 and Vilikaila
Vilikaila
Vilikaila or Viligaila was one of the 5 elder Lithuanian dukes mentioned in the peace treaty with Halych-Volhynia in 1219. He is mentioned as brother of Daujotas, which leads to believe he was the younger or perhaps less influential brother. He is not mentioned in any other sources...

), it was very likely that they were sons of powerful Lithuanian dukes Daugirutis
Daugirutis
Daugirutis or Dangerutis was an early Lithuanian duke who committed suicide in 1213. He is the second Lithuanian duke whose name is known from reliable sources. Chronicle of Henry of Livonia tells about his life and deeds...

 and Stekšys
Steksys
Stekšys was a duke of Lithuania, killed in 1214 near Lielvārde during an attack against Livonia. He is one of the earliest mentioned Lithuanian dukes. He succeeded Daugirutis, duke killed in 1213...

, killed in 1213 and 1214.

Dausprungas is not mentioned anywhere else. However, it is known that Mindaugas had two nephews, Tautvilas
Tautvilas
Tautvilas was Duke of Polatsk and one of the sons of Dausprungas and nephews of King of Lithuania Mindaugas. Tautvilas together with his brother Edivydas and uncle Vykintas waged a civil war against Mindaugas...

 and Gedvydas
Gedvydas
Gedvydas was one of the sons of Dausprungas and nephews of King of Lithuania Mindaugas. Gedvydas together with his brother Tautvilas and uncle Vykintas waged a civil war against Mindaugas. Gedvydas' brother and uncle were more active and Gedvydas played just a secondary role in the conflict...

, who waged a war against their uncle. Since historians do not have any data on other brothers of Mindaugas, it is generally assumed that the two were sons of Dausprungas. During the civil war of 1249–1252 Tautvilas and Gedvydas asked Daniel of Galicia, their brother-in-law, for help. This bit of information indicates that they also had a sister. The sister was the second wife of Daniel and they did not have children. Dausprugas' wife must have been Duke of Samogitia
Samogitia
Samogitia is one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. It is located in northwestern Lithuania. Its largest city is Šiauliai/Šiaulē. The region has a long and distinct cultural history, reflected in the existence of the Samogitian dialect...

 Vykintas
Vykintas
thumb|200 px|Monument to Duke Vykintas in TveraiVykintas was Duke of Samogitia and rival to future King of Lithuania Mindaugas. In 1236 he probably led Samogitian forces in the Battle of Saule against the Livonian Order...

' sister since Vykintas was an uncle of Tautvilas and Gedvydas. It is believed that Gedvydas died in 1253 in a campaign against Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, as it is the last message about him. Tautvilas was killed by his cousin Treniota
Treniota
Treniota was the Grand Duke of Lithuania .Treniota was the nephew of Mindaugas, the first and only king of Lithuania. While Mindaugas had converted to Christianity in order to discourage Livonian Order and Teutonic Knights attacks on Lithuania, becoming king in the process, Treniota remained a...

 in 1263. Some historians suggest that Tautvilas had a son, Constantine, who ruled Vitebsk
Vitebsk
Vitebsk, also known as Viciebsk or Vitsyebsk , is a city in Belarus, near the border with Russia. The capital of the Vitebsk Oblast, in 2004 it had 342,381 inhabitants, making it the country's fourth largest city...

, however others disagree and claim that his son might have been Aigust, who was sent by Novgorod to Pskov in 1271.

It is assumed that Mindaugas had three wives even though nothing is known about the first one. The assumption is made because Mindaugas had two older children, Vaišvilkas
Vaišvilkas
Vaišelga or Vaišvilkas was the Grand Duke of Lithuania...

 and a daughter of unknown name, who already led independent lives while the children Mindaugas had with Morta
Morta
Morta was the Grand Duchess of Lithuania and later Queen of Lithuania . There is very little known about her life; even her pre-Christianised name is unknown...

 were young and still dependent on their father. Vaišvilkas became such a devoted Orthodox
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 that he voluntarily gave up the title of Grand Duke of Lithuania in favor of his brother-in-law Shvarn and died heirless. The only known daughter of Mindaugas, by marriage with Shvarn in 1255, became the Queen of Galicia (1255–1264) and Princess of Chełm (1264). According to one source, after Shvarn's death his brother Lev of Galicia married the childless widow Ramona to his ally count Hujd. Their children were the originators of the Sas noble family of western Ukraine and Poland.

In the commentary of the 1219 treaty with Galicia–Volhynia it is noted that Mindaugas took the wife of Vismantas from the Bulionis family for himself. It is assumed that Vismantas' wife and Morta are the same woman. It is known that Vismatas died in 1252 in a battle against Mindaugas; however the date of Mindaugas and Morta's wedding is unknown. There is no consensus on how many children Morta had. The chronicles mention two sons, Replys and Gerstukas, in 1261. In 1263 two sons, Ruklys and Rupeikis, were assassinated together with Mindaugas. This is the only information available and historians disagree on whether these are the same two sons, whose name got distorted by scribe
Scribe
A scribe is a person who writes books or documents by hand as a profession and helps the city keep track of its records. The profession, previously found in all literate cultures in some form, lost most of its importance and status with the advent of printing...

s, or they are four sons. There is no data on any rivals to the crown after the assassination, except for Vaišvilkas and Tautvilas; it would indicate that, whether there were two or four sons, they had perished in their youth.

After Morta's death in 1262, Mindaugas took her sister (name unknown) as his wife despite her being married to Daumantas
Daumantas of Pskov
Daumantas, later Dovmont , Christian name Timothy , ; c. 1240? – May 17, 1299), was a Lithuanian princeling best remembered as a military leader of the Pskov Republic between 1266 and 1299...

. This cruel act motivated Daumantas to become an ally of Treniota
Treniota
Treniota was the Grand Duke of Lithuania .Treniota was the nephew of Mindaugas, the first and only king of Lithuania. While Mindaugas had converted to Christianity in order to discourage Livonian Order and Teutonic Knights attacks on Lithuania, becoming king in the process, Treniota remained a...

 and assassinate Mindaugas with two of his sons. Treniota was Mindaugas' nephew. It is believed that he was son of Duke of Samogitia, either Vykintas or Erdvilas. If it really was Vykintas, then there was a double marriage: Vykintas' sister married Dausprungas and Dausprungas' (and Mindaugas') sister married Vykintas. Erdvilas is mentioned only once in the 1219 treaty. The other nephew, Lengvenis
Lengvenis (13th century)
Lengvenis was one of the local dukes in the early Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the reign of King Mindaugas . First mentioned in 1242, Lengvenis was a nephew of Mindaugas ....

, played a role in Lithuanian state in 1242–1260.

Graphic representation

Please note the assumptions outlined above


Ancestor Children Children-in-law Grandchildren
 
            Daughter
  Married: Daniel, King of Galicia–Volhynia
Dausprungas
Dausprungas
Dausprungas was older brother of Mindaugas, the first King of Lithuania. Dausprungas is mentioned only once in the peace treaty with Halych-Volhynia in 1219 among the 21 early dukes of Lithuania as one of the five elder dukes...

    Name unknown     Tautvilas
Tautvilas
Tautvilas was Duke of Polatsk and one of the sons of Dausprungas and nephews of King of Lithuania Mindaugas. Tautvilas together with his brother Edivydas and uncle Vykintas waged a civil war against Mindaugas...

  Only mention: 1219 Vykintas
Vykintas
thumb|200 px|Monument to Duke Vykintas in TveraiVykintas was Duke of Samogitia and rival to future King of Lithuania Mindaugas. In 1236 he probably led Samogitian forces in the Battle of Saule against the Livonian Order...

' sister
  Died: 1263
    Gedvydas
Gedvydas
Gedvydas was one of the sons of Dausprungas and nephews of King of Lithuania Mindaugas. Gedvydas together with his brother Tautvilas and uncle Vykintas waged a civil war against Mindaugas. Gedvydas' brother and uncle were more active and Gedvydas played just a secondary role in the conflict...

  Died: ca. 1253
  Vaišvilkas
Vaišvilkas
Vaišelga or Vaišvilkas was the Grand Duke of Lithuania...

  Name unknown (1st wife)     Grand Duke of Lithuania: 1264–1267
   
  Daughter
    Married: Shvarn, King of Galicia
    Replys
      Only mention: 1261
      Gerstukas
Mindaugas' father     Mindaugas
Mindaugas
Mindaugas was the first known Grand Duke of Lithuania and the only King of Lithuania. Little is known of his origins, early life, or rise to power; he is mentioned in a 1219 treaty as an elder duke, and in 1236 as the leader of all the Lithuanians...

    Morta
Morta
Morta was the Grand Duchess of Lithuania and later Queen of Lithuania . There is very little known about her life; even her pre-Christianised name is unknown...

(2nd wife)
    Only mention: 1261
Legendary Ryngold
Ryngold
Ryngold or Rimgaudas was a mythological Grand Duke of Lithuania from the Palemonids legends and father of Mindaugas, the first King of Lithuania . Ryngold, son of otherwise unknown Algimantas, is first mentioned in the second redaction of the Lithuanian Chronicle written c. 1515 and has no...

  Grand Duke/King of Lithuania: 1236–1263   Vismantas' wife; Died: ca. 1262
  Ruklys
      Died: 1263
      Rupeikis
      Died: 1263
    Name unknown (3rd wife)
  Daumantas
Daumantas of Pskov
Daumantas, later Dovmont , Christian name Timothy , ; c. 1240? – May 17, 1299), was a Lithuanian princeling best remembered as a military leader of the Pskov Republic between 1266 and 1299...

' wife, Morta
Morta
Morta was the Grand Duchess of Lithuania and later Queen of Lithuania . There is very little known about her life; even her pre-Christianised name is unknown...

's sister
  Daughter     Name unknown     Lengvenis
Lengvenis (13th century)
Lengvenis was one of the local dukes in the early Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the reign of King Mindaugas . First mentioned in 1242, Lengvenis was a nephew of Mindaugas ....

    Duke of Nalšia
Nalšia
Nalšia or Nalšėnai was an ancient land in the early stages of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It is mentioned in written sources from 1229 to 1298. The references to it cease as it was fully incorporated into the Grand Duchy...

Died: after 1260
  Daughter     Vykintas
Vykintas
thumb|200 px|Monument to Duke Vykintas in TveraiVykintas was Duke of Samogitia and rival to future King of Lithuania Mindaugas. In 1236 he probably led Samogitian forces in the Battle of Saule against the Livonian Order...

or Erdvilas
    Treniota
Treniota
Treniota was the Grand Duke of Lithuania .Treniota was the nephew of Mindaugas, the first and only king of Lithuania. While Mindaugas had converted to Christianity in order to discourage Livonian Order and Teutonic Knights attacks on Lithuania, becoming king in the process, Treniota remained a...

  Duke of Samogitia
Samogitia
Samogitia is one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. It is located in northwestern Lithuania. Its largest city is Šiauliai/Šiaulē. The region has a long and distinct cultural history, reflected in the existence of the Samogitian dialect...

Grand Duke of Lithuania: 1263–1264

Main source:

See also

  • Palemonids – legendary dynasty before Mindaugas
  • Gediminids
    Gediminids
    The Gediminids were a dynasty of monarchs of Grand Duchy of Lithuania that reigned from the 14th to the 16th century. One branch of this dynasty, known as the Jagiellons, reigned also in Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Hungary and Kingdom of Bohemia...

     – dynasty that started ca. 1285
  • History of Lithuania (1219–1295)
    History of Lithuania (1219–1295)
    The history of Lithuania between 1219 and 1295 deals with the establishment and early history of the first Lithuanian state, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The beginning of the 13th century marks the end of the prehistory of Lithuania. From this point on the history of Lithuania is recorded in...