Making a Great Ruler: Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania by Giedre Mickunaite

By Giedre Mickunaite

How does a ruler turn into "the Great?" Is greatness part of authority exercised or part of a picture created? those and different questions are addressed during this quantity at the existence and reminiscence of Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania (r.1392-1430). The learn increases a speculation that Vytautas was once the most engineer of his snapshot because the nice ruler, whereas his contemporaries and later generations built this picture and tailored it to their wishes and understandings. Investigating the propaganda surrounding the grand duke, this examine unearths that, in reality, there have been contrary photographs: that of a superb ruler and that of a tyrant. the ambiguity is that regularly those opposites have been in accordance with a similar positive aspects of the grand duke's personality or episodes from his biography. The study relies on a big selection of written and visible assets in addition to on documents of oral culture. wealthy and various basic fabrics are analysed from the views of political and social heritage, memorial tradition, in addition to iconography and rhetoric.

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Ca. 1350, r. 1377 – 1381 and 1382 – 1434). , ed. Friedrich Georg von Bunge (Reval: In Commission bei Kluge und Ströhm, 1853; Riga: Kymmel, 1896) [hereafter, LUB], 3: no. 1153, 362. This was a truce between the Teutonic Order and Jogaila which guaranteed that the Order would not raid the Duchy of Vilnius, while the Duchy of Trakai was left open to Teutonic incursions. The truce was concluded during a hunt in which Vytautas was also present. Recently, Darius Baronas has draw attention to a rather weak reputation of Kęstutis in the eyes of the Teutonic Knights, Darius Baronas, “Kęstučio pabėgimas iš Marienburgo” (The flight of prince Kęstutis from captivity in Marienburg), Lietuvos istorijos studijos 11 (2003): 23–33.

30 By attributing such base descent to the Lithuanian ruler, Falkenberg not only explained the Grand Duke’s uncultivated cruelty, but also made it seem credible. 24 GRAND DUKE VYTAUTAS OF LITHUANIA Gediminas’ Worthy Successor In addition to denigrating prequels, the Sache also contained positive remakes. The Lithuanian annals include a story entitled Letopisets velikikh kniazej litovskikh31 (“The annals of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes”; henceforth, the Letopisets). This text is very close in content and structure to the Sache.

30 By attributing such base descent to the Lithuanian ruler, Falkenberg not only explained the Grand Duke’s uncultivated cruelty, but also made it seem credible. 24 GRAND DUKE VYTAUTAS OF LITHUANIA Gediminas’ Worthy Successor In addition to denigrating prequels, the Sache also contained positive remakes. The Lithuanian annals include a story entitled Letopisets velikikh kniazej litovskikh31 (“The annals of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes”; henceforth, the Letopisets). This text is very close in content and structure to the Sache.

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