The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was one of the largest and most linguistically, ethnically and religiously diverse polities in late medieval and early modern Europe. In the mid-1380s the Grand Duchy of Lithuania entered into a long process of union with the Kingdom of Poland. Since the destruction of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, the history and memory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania have been much contested among its successor nations. This volume aims to excavate a level below their largely incompatible narratives. Instead, in an encounter with freshly discovered or long neglected sources, the authors of this book seek new understanding of the Grand Duchy, its citizens and inhabitants in "microhistories." Emphasizing urban and rural spaces, families, communities, networks, and travels, this book presents fresh research by established and emerging scholars.

chapter |10 pages


ByWioletta Pawlikowska, Richard Butterwick

part I|77 pages

Urban Spaces and Communities

chapter 1|15 pages

What’s in a Name?

Conflict and the Common Weal, Unity and Diversity in the Early Modern City 1
ByDavid Frick

chapter 2|19 pages

A History of One House

The Microcosm of the Jurydyka of the Vilna Cathedral Chapter in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries 1
ByWioletta Pawlikowska

chapter 3|15 pages

The Poor and the Community

The Lutheran Charitable System in Eighteenth-Century Wilna
ByMartynas Jakulis

chapter 4|13 pages

A Town After a Fire

Losses and Behaviour of Jewish Communities
ByJurgita Šiaučiūnaitė-Verbickienė

chapter 5|13 pages

The Attempts of the Bernardines to Influence the Society of Kowno in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century

The Case of a Miraculous Image
ByVaida Kamuntavičienė

part II|77 pages

Families and Networks

chapter 6|14 pages

Noble Names

Changes in Lithuanian Aristocratic Name-Giving During the Late Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
ByRimvydas Petrauskas

chapter 7|15 pages

The Sphragistics and Heraldry of Three Representatives of the Radziwiłł Family

ByAgnė Railaitė-Bardė

chapter 8|12 pages

Noblemen’s Familia

The Life of Unfree People on Manors in the Sixteenth Century and the First Half of the Seventeenth Century
ByNeringa Dambrauskaitė

chapter 10|18 pages

From Clientage Structure to a New Social Group

The Formation of the Group of Public Servants in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Late Eighteenth Century
ByRamunė Šmigelskytė-Stukienė

part III|71 pages

Texts and Travels

chapter 11|14 pages

‘An Earnest Gospeller’ and ‘A Dignified Martyr’

Networks of Textual Exchange Between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and England, 1560s–1580s
ByHanna Mazheika

chapter 12|22 pages

Terrible Reality?

Cannibalism in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in Livonia in the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries—Between Chroniclers’ Invective and the Findings of Cultural Anthropology
ByAleh Dziarnovich

chapter 13|12 pages

A Lithuanian Nobleman’s Mapping of Poland

The Itinerary of a Peregrination by Stanisław Samuel Szemiot (1680)
ByJakub Niedźwiedź

chapter 14|18 pages

Propaganda in the Parishes

Local Communication During the Insurrection of 1794
ByRichard Butterwick

chapter 15|3 pages

The Route Map of Dean Szymon Waraxa’s Courier

ByMichał Gochna