Gediminids

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Columns of Gediminas, symbol of the Gediminas.

The Gediminids (Lithuanian: Gediminaičiai, Polish: Giedyminowicze, Belarusian: Гедзімінавічы, Ukrainian: Гедиміновичі, Russian: Гедиминовичи) 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. Several other branches ranked among the leading aristocratic dynasties of Russia and Poland into recent times.

Their monarchical title in Lithuanian 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 didysis kunigaikštis, which nevertheless would be translated as "Grand Duke" (for its etymology, see Grand Prince).

Origin[edit]

The origin of Gediminas himself is much debated. Some sources say he was Vytenis' ostler, others that he was of peasant stock, some historians consider him as the son or grandson of Lithuanian or Yatvingian duke Skalmantas. Most of scholars agree, however, that Gediminas was Vytenis' 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.[1]

List of (undoubted) Gediminids who ruled in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania[edit]

Branches of the dynasty[edit]

The Eastern Orthodox branches of the family were mostly Ruthenian, which also was one of the two main languages of their established state. Some of these families (e.g., Czartoryski) later converted to Roman Catholicism and became thoroughly Polonized. Others (e.g., Galitzine) moved to Muscovy and became thoroughly Russified.

Some of the noblest princely families of Russia and Poland belong to the Gediminid stock. In Belarusian the Gediminids are known as Гедзімінавічы (Giedziminavičy, sing.: Гедзімінавіч, Giedziminavič), in Polish — as Giedyminowicze (sing.: Giedyminowicz), in Ukrainian - as Гедиміновичі (Hedyminovychi, sing. Гедимінович Hedyminovych), and in Russian — as Gediminovichi (sing.: Гедиминович).

In Poland, most Gediminid families (such as Olelkowicz-Słucki, Wiśniowiecki, Zbaraski) are extinct, but at least some families survive to the present: Korecki, Khovanski, Czartoryski, Sanguszko, and Koriatowicz-Kurcewicz.

The Russian Gediminid families include Bulgakov, Golitsin, Kurakin, Khovansky, Trubetskoy, Mstislavsky, Belsky, and Volynsky.

Family tree[edit]

Butegeidis
(? – c. 1292)
G. Duke of Lith., c. 1285 – c. 1292
 
 
 
 
Budvydas-Pukuveras
(? – c. 1296)
G. Duke of Lith., c. 1292 – c. 1296
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vytenis
(? – 1316)
G. Duke of Lith., c. 1296–1316
 
Gediminas
(c. 1275–1341)
G. Duke of Lith., 1316–1341
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jaunutis
(?)
G. Duke of Lith., 1341–1345
 
Algirdas
(c. 1296–1377)
G. Duke of Lith., 1345–1377
 
Kęstutis
(1297–1382)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ladislaus (Jogaila)
(c. 1351–1434)
G. Duke of Lith., 1377–1401
King of Poland, 1386–1434
 
Švitrigaila
(c. 1370–1452)
G. Duke of Lith., 1430–1432
 
Vytautas
(1352–1430)
G. Duke of Lith., 1401–1430
 
Žygimantas Kęstutaitis
(? – 1440)
G. Duke of Lith., 1432–1440
 
 
 
 
Jagiellon branch
(Jogailaičiai)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jan Tęgowski, "Pierwsze pokolenia Gedyminowiczów", 1999

External links[edit]