Talk:Grand Duchy of Lithuania

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Former good article nominee Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Some bad references...[edit]


I looked through this site and I think that references are really bad. The most of references are only to the authors oppinions witch are always just opinions so I would like to ask are we doinging here a kinder garden or a propoganda machine? Because as I understand science and objectivity it is the thing when you refer to primal references and facts but not opinions? Am I write? please don't be offenced, I am not accusing anybody of something I just want to discuss this questions with you and contribute to the creation of wikipedia. Because I have a dilemah now - I have a lot of primal sources that don't fit with some opinions and interpretations that are used in this artical as references, so what should we do? Should we give primal sources for readers of wikipedia or digest already refrased references and give them to our users? I mean I have read all info on wikipedia's policy etc. and I understand that primal sources must be cited with secondary objective opinion, but in order to be really objective we should make the minimum of interpretations and speculations and maximum of good trustable primal references

Thank you for participation in this discution, Domas p.s. really sorry for my english it is just that I am studying at this moment in France and the two languages are getting a bit messed up :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:57, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Well... May I ask you to specify which references do you consider to be bad? For otherwise it is rather hard to answer your questions... And if you have already read Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:No original research, Wikipedia:Reliable sources and related pages, there isn't much else we'll be able to add concerning the general questions... At most I can note that even wrong opinions about some historical events can be worth a mention: for example, the theory that Lithuanians had Romans as ancestors is known to be completely wrong, but it is interesting (it tells us something about the men that believed it) and it is worth an article (like Palemonids). --Martynas Patasius (talk) 00:02, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes you are absolutely right on this question. It is really worth to mention all the oppinions but the problem is that it is not obviuos for some people who read wikipedia, they think that these are the most strong and undeniable facts and that is not objective... The sujet that does not leave me alone is the question of name of Grand duchy of Lithuania. I am doing my disertation in university of Sorbonne on the history of Lithuania (I don't treat the question of name of Lithuania so I am objective and don't want to advertise my ideas) and as I red all the documents in original languages I didn't meet anywhere the term duchy or duke or in latin dux or fuerst. In all documents rulers of Lithuania are called rex, konnung etc. The first source where we meet the title dux it is when Jogaila takes the crown of Poland and becomes king of Poland and duke of Lithuania. If you want I will publish the sources so that we could discuss this question. Domas —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:46, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

The Wikisource (more specifically, Latin Wikisource and German Wikisource) should appreciate that. But for the matters of Wikipedia each of these sources would only support a sentence "The source X uses word Y for the ruler of GDL.". And each of these facts individually might not be important enough to get a mention here... We would need some reason to think that those are not mere rare mistakes. And we (as Wikipedians) can't make such conclusions ourselves. We would need some reliable secondary sources (peer reviewed journal articles etc.) to say so... It is unfortunate if you can't afford the time to write one, but maybe, at least, you know someone who could? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 17:48, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

There is one well known author, who has stated this idea, is that enough? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Maybe. It would be nice to have more than one mention to pass Wikipedia:Neutral point of view#Undue weight, but one mention is still more than zero... So, what would it be? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:39, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Lithuanian kunigas was translated as Rex or Koenig and not Fuerst or Dux (C. R. Jurgela "Hisory of Lithuanian nation") sources: letter of Mindaugas to all christians: Mindowe, dei gratia rex Lettowiae In the same letter there is written that Kristijonas is now a new bishop of kingdom of Lithuania (episcopum regni nostri) Bull of Clemens IV to king of Check: speaks of a kingdom of Lithuania and a king of Lithuania Mindaugas Getingen and Rygas citiws archives: Gediminas letters to pope, German cities Sacsony's magiser and ordain of dominicanis, Gediminas's peace treaty with ordain and danish vicar in Revel also Pope's and Rigas's letters to Gediminas, pope's letters to franc king etc. All documents in Latin and German. Gediminas is titeled as king (Gedeminne, letwinorum et multorum ruthenorum rex) it is just a litter fracture of documents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:31, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, it does seem to have a rather positive contemporary review (Zenonas Ivinskis "Didelis darbas" // "Aidai", 1948, Nr. 13, p. 183-185 [1]) mentioning the same thing... So, the sentence might be similar to "C. R. Jurgėla notes that most of Latin and German documents written until the end of the rule of Algirdas and Kęstutis called the ruler of Lithuania a king."... Would it be a good idea to put it in the end of the "Names" section? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 00:17, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

There are two more arguments. Thirst: there is a common opinion that kunigai of Lithuania should be translated as dux or fuerst to latin because they were not crowned by pope. But this is not reasonable because pope himself and teutonic ordain called kunigai as rex. Second argument is that modern name in Lithuanian refering to ruled of GDL is kunigaikstis and it is a diminutive of word kunigas or kauningas. But what is interesting that this is an anachronism. Because original name was Lietuvos didi kunigyste and ruler was kuningas, than during epoch of union with poland kunigas became dux because he was lower in rang than the king of commonwelth. And later when the history science took it's first steps all the documents were calling kunigas as dux and as the first scientists were Polish they simply retranslated the name dux in to Lithuanian and shurely in Lithuanian dux is kunigaikstis (sun of kunigas). So I don't realy now what should we do... It is just to call GDL as Grand kingdom (king and kuning are words of same origin) of Lithuania, but it is not common for us. So I think it would be reasonable to call the article grand kingdom of Lithuania and just make a redirection to it from site Grand duchy of Lithuania, and make a little explanation in the top section of short summary. What do you think? Because in other way it is spread of false information. N.B. The same thing happened with kniaz in slavic lands. Kniaz was always king, but when the kniaz of Moscow gained a big teritory he renamed himself from king (kniaz) of Mascovia to emperor of all russians (there were a lot of russias for egzample white russia black russia red russia etc.) So he renamed himseld from king (kniaz) to emperor (cezar -> czar -> tsar). And once again this was a trouble of translations. When western Europe interpreted emperor as king, real kings(kniaz) became dux or fuerst... Domas —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Er, no. It might be reasonable to add a sentence about the ruler being called king, but it is not a good idea to rename the article. First of all we have the guideline Wikipedia:Naming conventions that urges: "In deciding whether and how to translate a foreign name into English, follow English usage.". Now there is an English name that is used for this entity - "Grand Duchy of Lithuania". It also says: "In discussing the appropriate name of an article, remember that the choice of title is not dependent on whether a name is "right" in a moral or political sense.". The subject of the article is universally known as "Grand Duchy of Lithuania" and it doesn't matter if that is because of some mistake by a random translator who lived five hundred years ago. Wikipedia is not there to "right great wrongs".
Second, the article covers the time from about 1230 to 1795. Let's assume that GDL has to be called a kingdom until about 1400. That is less than 200 years (we should not include the period of 1236-1263, as it is universally agreed that Lithuania was a kingdom during that period). But that leaves a longer period when Lithuania was definitely a grand duchy. That alone is a good reason to keep this article under the current name.
Third, your conclusion ("The correct name of the Lithuanian state during this period is "Grand Kingdom of Lithuania".") does not seem to follow from your premises. You start by noticing that the ruler was called a king and conclude that the state had to be "Grand Kingdom". Shouldn't it be simply "Kingdom" in such case? Otherwise the ruler would have to be called "Grand king" (or maybe "Great king"), just like the ruler of "Grand Duchy" is "Grand duke", right?
Fourth, there do seem to be reasonable alternative explanations. Why would someone call the ruler "king"? Does it have to be an exact translation of the title that he uses? Well, for starters, does anyone care? I guess it is rather likely that the foreigners would use the word "king" to mean "a ruler that is not a vassal of anyone else; approximately a king", as long as there was no need to find out if this ruler is higher than other rulers. And the linguistic evidence is almost meaningless: technically, a duke (dux) was a military rank of Roman empire. Does it mean that we have to translate all the titles of the dukes as "colonel such and such"?
Fifth, there is some evidence that seems to contradict your conclusion. For example, Vytautas tried to become a king of Lithuania, when he was a grand duke already. Why, if that title was supposed to mean "grand king"? Wouldn't it have been reasonable for him to try to persuade others to recognize the title he already had instead?
So, in summary - no, the article should not be renamed, and it would stay so even if original research was acceptable in Wikipedia. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:02, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes I understand your arguments. I am ok with your thirst theses. Now about the second argument: as Lithuania was kingdom from aprox.1200 to 1384 would it not be wise to make a separate article that covers period of kingdom of Lithuania? Or maybe than we should expand the section "kingdom of Lithuania" and write that all kunigai until Jogaila were kings of Lithuania and we could explain that? Third argument. Yes you are right about the name of grand. In my own opinion this was really a grand kingdom of Lithuania because original name in Lithuania is Lietuvos didi kunigyste and didysis kunigas was a ruler of other kunigai(of other kings because mostly in titles of didis kunigas there was said that he is a king of lots of Russians, Zemaiciai etc.) so this makes him a emperor rather than king, but yeah this is probably too complicated for a synthetic Wikipedia article so yes we should leave just kingdom. Fourth argument. Linguistic evidences are not meaningless. Because we have German konig and Scandinavian konung and British king and before and after Christianisation these titles witch are of the same origin remained the same. This means that nor Brits, nor German, nor Scandinavians, nor Church did not make a big deal from Christianisation I mean this did not change the title of ruler if he was or was not Christian. So I guess that linguistic evidence is important because it shows us obvious examples in other states of translations and interpretations of the same term. Fifth argument. You are absolutely right when you give the example of Vytautas. He was really a duke and he really wanted to become a King. But I have explained this earlier. Jogaila by becoming a king of Commonwealth became also duke of Lithuania because Lithuania was than only a province of Commonwealth (not a sovereign country as it was before union). So yes all the later rulers of Lithuania were dukes because they were vassals of king of Commonwealth —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ceckauskas Dominykas (talkcontribs) 21:46, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Actually, the article "Kingdom of Lithuania" already exists. But it describes the period between coronation of Mindaugas and his death, as it seems uncontroversial that Lithuania was a kingdom at that time. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 23:49, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

So shall we precise it by including the proper period? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ceckauskas Dominykas (talkcontribs) 03:34, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Only after your view will become "mainstream" (majority opinion) and will be given in every textbook. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:25, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I think that is unreasonable. And it is not my own oppinion but a rather a oppinion of objective scientists. I don't understand one thing though. It is said that wikipedia is more precise than enciclopedia Britanica in 70% of cases. But than I don't understand how did that happen if wikipedia can't argue with mainstream publications? Or it is just that rational and not afraid administrators of western countrys make 70% of articles and other 30% are made by post soviet admins? I mean what the hell, people, the most common reference in articles conserning post soviet block is the CCCP enciclopedia. Yeah I guess quouting soviet propoganda is going to make wikipedia more precise than Enciclopedia Britanica. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ceckauskas Dominykas (talkcontribs) 04:43, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, who are those "objective scientists" then? Do they publish their opinions? For now you provided only C. R. Jurgela and his opinion seems to be much more modest. And, given that Wikipedia is meant to provide essentially literature reviews and nothing else, that is definitely not enough.
It looks like such opinions have been discussed in one forum - [2]. And it looks like the real historians (assuming that [3], [4] and [5] are actually messages written by Tomas Baranauskas) do not support them... Your arguments also seem to be too weak for such a categorical declaration... Thus I do not expect that hundreds of serious reliable secondary sources supporting the opinion in question are just waiting to be found... And in their absence we have to treat it just like claims that someone has invented a perpetuum mobile (or else such "inventors" will start complaining about double standards).
Oh, and just in case - I am not an administrator. And if you do not believe me that it is completely unacceptable to provide the minority opinion (most likely even a fringe minority opinion) that Lithuania was a kingdom until rule of Vytautas and Jogaila as if it was an uncontroversial fact (for simply doing what you call "including the proper period" would do exactly that) - feel free to request third opinion, consult with Lithuanian administrator User:Renata3 (or someone else), ask in Wikipedia:Fringe theories noticeboard or Wikipedia:Original research/noticeboard, pursue some other method of dispute resolution... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 22:10, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

I would highly recomend you to read the conclusion of the forum --Ceckauskas Dominykas 02:03, 31 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ceckauskas Dominykas (talkcontribs)

Well, I did look at it (this one - [6]?). It seems to be a message by some user with pseudonym "tikras lietuvis" who does seem to support this opinion. It is in the end because no one answered him, although discussion proceeded in other parts of the thread. And that is supposed to prove what? I hope you have no illusions that you only have to persuade me that your theory is correct to remake the articles according to it? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:29, 31 October 2009 (UTC)


The article was obviously not written by a native speaker of English. Needs editing for style and idiomatic usage.

This is because article undergoing major expansion, then I will have all text i will seek for copy/edit. M.K. 11:15, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Vytaut The Great was creating Duchy of Lithuania. the dominant culture of The Great Duchy of Lithuania was belorusian and the belorusian language being the state tonge.

it's a total crap...belorussian nation was artificialy created 400 years later...even Minsk is built on the river Nemiga which WITHOUT ANY CHANGES in Lithuanian language means 'insomnia' (Minsk by itself is Lithuanian name meaning the place of goods' exchange)...and the slavonic language used was old Bulgarian language and not nowadays Belarus language, however this language was ONLY ONE OF THREE STATE OFFICE LANGUAGES WHICH CAME FROM PROVOSLAV'S RELIGION AFTER INCORPORATION OF UKRAINE and was used TOGETHER WITH LATIN LANGUAGE WHICH WAS SPOKEN ONLY BY FEW IN THE STATE (these two languages were used because of our neighbours' religion - latin for comunication with catholics and west europe and bulgars' language for comunicating with provoslavs) and the real GDL language was Lithuanian language even in Smolensk which in Lithuanian language means the sandy place (Smelynskas; sand=smelis) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:38, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

it's a total crap too... You don't know anything in this question? as i in Enqlish. All territory of Belarus was early (until balto-slavs mixation) settled by baltians. Thats why it have baltian names. Minsk situated on the river Svyisloch. Cfn you translate Prypiat', Dniepro, Diesna and other slavs hydronames situated here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:33, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Nice story about the explanation of the origin of name "Smolensk" is just a crap. For Lithuanians: Baltic is not equal to Lithuanian, it's just broader! Remember this and do not post your nationalist stories. Toponyms/hydronyms in Belarus, Poland, Russia or elsewhere which have names originated from Baltic languages cannot be explained via Lithuanian language even though it may provide some hints but nothing more. You are trying to equate Balts (Yatvingians, Sudovians, Prussians, Galindians) with Lithuanians and it is the biggest crap of your historical canon. CityElefant (talk) 14:07, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Do You know Lithuanian language? Lot of toponymes CAN BE and ARE explained in Lithuanian language. - |Egisz12:01, 1 August 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I don't know Lithuanian language, but I'am rather good in history. Before slavs, that came to lands north to river Pripyat in IX-X centuries, this terriroty was settled by baltic tribes such as krivicy, drehovicy, galindias, yatvingians etc. There were three groupes of balts: Western, Eastern and Dnieprovian balts. You can read about this in works by famous archeologists Vladimir Sedov and Eduard Zahorulski. If you don't understand my English, you may use Yotvyahian (Jетвызь). Azgar (talk) 12:13, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Its is still question if thoose tribes(krivicy and drehovicy) was Baltic, or just with big Baltic influence. Yatvingians, of course, was strong Baltic tribe. Anyway, i was speaking about toponymes of West Belarus. Part of West Belarus is in ethnic lands of Lithuanians. Egisz 16:00, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it's a question even now. But the leading archeologists stand on the Baltic positions. All modern Belarus territory are covered by Baltic hydronymes (course, mixed with Slavic and Finnish hydronymy), toponymes are not so good feature. Maybe we should say so: Northwest Belarus is in lands of chronicle lithuanians. --Azgar (talk) 23:31, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

There is one well known author, who has stated this idea, is that enough? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Course, authoritet of V. Sedov is enought. --Azgar (talk) 14:29, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, krivichi and dregovichi were slavs. I think its a mainstream opinion. Of course, I dont argue about the Baltic influences on them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oran utan (talkcontribs) 00:48, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Lithuanian was never a state language in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania! Everyone knows Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. ( am a linguist and I do not know any written document of that time in Lithuanian. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:12, 17 January 2014 (UTC)


Renata, what's wrong with infobox user Kresy did?--Happydrink 18:06, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

the biggest problem that info box is a bit too big and article is undergoing major edits. M.K. 18:57, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
While the infobox seemed to contain some errors, or at least information that should be discussed here, I certainly support addition of infoboxes. Country infoboxes of that size are commonly used in such articles (vide Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, for example), and many articles on wiki undergo major edits - I don't see how infobox interferes with them.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  19:10, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
infobox (one form or another) will be introduce in fully cleaned article. Mistakes in previous ver. are oblivious. M.K. 19:14, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Because every "fact" there is disputed and to make it NPOV you will have to put tons of footnotes and comments and explanations. Infobox is good only when info is not disputed and contested. Renata 19:17, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Renata's edit precluded me from correcting pro-Polish POV in the infobox. The correct version is to the right. --Ghirla -трёп- 19:21, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Just to show how many problems there are in this "infobox":

  • Title: Вялі́кае Кня́ства Літо́ўскае - WTF?
  • Image: to put modern Lithuanian COA on a banner and to image that was GDL banner is simply ridicilous.
  • Official language - WTF? There was no official language. Show me a decrete saying "xxxx language is going to be official in GDL"
  • Established church - WTF? Again, show me a decrete.
  • Capital - disputes go a long way about Voruta, Kernave, Trakai, Vilnius, etc.
  • Independence - 11th century? WTF? Earliest version I know is 1180's, then choose among these dates: 1236, 1253, 1316. Also don't forget the version that Kreva Act started the union with Poland. Renata 19:32, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Plus the map type is not proper for box. M.K. 20:08, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
And I expect M.K. to claim that the supreme ruler was King rather than Grand Duke, no? --Ghirla -трёп- 19:47, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
We should not forget about Algirdas title Basileus too. M.K. 20:03, 30 October 2006 (UTC) BTW, Ghirlandajo, maybe you have some nice pictures of Smolensk walls? It will be handy in article.
Yes I do, but it will take some time to upload them. I am busy as it is. --Ghirla -трёп- 21:49, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
No, need to rush, Saga of Smolensk is not started, yet. M.K. 22:32, 30 October 2006 (UTC)p.s. but give a note when you have it in wiki.
    • Well, I'd still like to see the infobox with some information, as it is recommended by MoS, but I'll leave it up to editors working on the article to decide when and what information is needed. Eventually we will have to have it, there is no doubt about it.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  06:11, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Claims of lineage[edit]

The information removed here is not totally nonsense, although it was not well-put. I am not sure about the claims of Poland, but claims that GDL was a progenitor of Belarus exist and were made by some quite prominent historians (see eg. Dovnar-Zapolsky). Also, that the GDL was also called to a degree "Russian" is not a rare hypothesis, see eg. Kostomarov. I am not sure the way it was put is the best, but we've got to incorporate this info in some form. --Irpen 18:56, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

What is the VitautAS? Are there any reliable sources about spelling VitautAS not Vitaut ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:29, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

It is the perspective of the language in use. Vytautas is the Lithuanian spelling. Other Lithuanian spellings include Algirdas, Kęstutis and Jogaila, as well as Vilnius for the capital city. aaugustinas (talk) 14:18, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Name of the capital. Why it is called Vilnius? Lisouczyk1 (talk) 17:16, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Chancellery languages. Another weird theory. How did it happen that all most important documents are written on old belorussian(including all Statutes). Was it done especially , so that inhabitants understand nothing ? Lisouczyk1 (talk) 17:19, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Failed GA[edit]

Since it had been on the list for a while, I took it upon myself to review this one. A lot of work obviously went into it. Unfortunately I must fail it.

The main reason, as noted above, is the rough edges on the translation, in the form of missing articles: "State lapsed into years of internal fights"; "Union with Kingdom of Poland did not prevent territorial losses of the state ...". But I also see lots of stubby paragraphs, sloppy layout (the quote boxes create a lot of whitespace) and some departures from standard Wikipedia practices (have we ever had a huge timeline box at the beginning of an article?). The intro is far too long, and as far as length goes (and in this article, it goes a lot), I think the history section at least could be spun off (it takes up most of an article that's supposed to be about a country). It was a whole bunch of these things that led to this result.

Obvioulsy, as usual, it can be fixed up and renominated. Daniel Case 06:17, 6 May 2007 (UTC) It is not clear why historical names of dukes are present in Smogitian language, that even have not been a part of Litwa ( for example Mundaugas ) . Addind -as ending looks to all dukes names is very funny. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lisouczyk (talkcontribs) 20:51, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

References to Baranauskas' "works"[edit]

His so-to-say "works" are just nationalistic and therefore shall not be considered at all. CityElefant (talk) 14:15, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Could you support this claim with a reliable source (review of his works)? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:47, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
It is a link to his website where opinions on his book are kept [7]. Look through and think for yourself. I would suggest to refer to the opinion of A. Nikzentaitis. I'll try to add some more information in the near future. CityElefant (talk) 17:09, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
A good way to address it would be to discuss his works in his article, and get a consensus at WP:RSN that they are unreliable. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:02, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I am sick and tired of having to defend yet another Lithuanian scholar just because his/her works do not agree with POV of a single-purpose troll. Renata (talk) 22:13, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Renata, please, WP:NPA. Who is that troll, and what proof do you have that this editor is a troll? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 22:29, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
The burden of proof lies on the accusing side. Since there is usual scientific discussion (as presented by a new born and rather well knowing policies editor), Baranauskas stays as a a source.--Lokyz (talk) 04:51, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
It's really interesting, dear Renata, to hear that I am a troll. I request your apologies. But I do consider Baranauskas Lithuanian nationalist and I do not withdraw my words about him. Additionally, I posted the link to his website where opinions of well-known scholars are collected. What is more interesting the contra arguments are more convincing than the pro arguments there. Let's take an example of Prof. Ekdahl who expressed his positive opinion on the Baranauskas' book. He did not read the book but just an English summary. I myself am familiar with different interpretations of the GDL history which come from different countries and what I post is supported by academic writings (usually I leave the source). Now Lokyz, I have posted you my question about the so-called "Vytis" in 1410. Additionally, I did emphasise in that comment that the GDL was a multi-ethnic state. Therefore I reformulated some phrases in the text I posted my comment about. Please, do not try to present the GDL as ethnically Lithuanian entity because it is also anti-historical nationalism. CityElefant (talk) 12:35, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

So, the first aspect deals with Baranauskas' vision of the national minorities of Lithuania, particularly Lithuanian-Polish relations: Polish[8], Lithuanian [9]. So, he refuses the right of a person to freely declare his/her nationality and be elected to the Lithuanian governing bodies. CityElefant (talk) 20:40, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Ruthenian and Belarusian: shall we merge them into one term?[edit]

In the beginning of the article we see names of the GDL in different languages. We have also two variants of the Lithuanian name: a modern name and an old literary one (Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė and Didi Kunigiste Letuvos respectively). They are different but nevertheless reciprocal. The article makes thus no distinction between old and modern Lithuanian language. My proposal is to merge Ruthenian and Belarusian in the same manner. The arguments are:
1.Ruthenian name is: Wialikaje Kniastwa Litowskaje, Ruskaje, Żamojckaje,
Belarusian name is: Vialikaje Kniastva Litoŭskaje (, Ruskaje, Žamojckaje).
They are almost identical, just orthography is different.
2. For Aleksander Brückner Belarusian (białoruski) and Ruthenian (ruski) were interchangeable synonyms ("Ruskopolski rękopis z r. 1510", pp. 1, 10 in: Slavia: časopis pro slovanskou filologii, #7, 1928). Brückner also called Ruthenian/Old Belarusian language Lithuanian (litewski) and distinguished it from Ukrainian. "Mikołaj Rej jeżeli później o Rusinach opowiadał, prawili mu po "litewsku" (tj. po białorusku; Litwin u nego zawsze tyle co Białorusin), nigdy po małorusku" (source: Aleksander Brückner. Mikołaj Rej. PWN: Warszawa, 1988, p. 14). Translation: When Mikołaj Rej later described Ruthenians they addressed him in "Lithuanian" (i.e. Belarusian language, for him a Lithuanian [person] is exclusively a Belarusian) but newer in Ukrainian (here literally: Little Russian).
3. The Ruthenian language of the GDL was a literary form of the Belarusian language of that time. It was not an artificially created language as some scholars try to portray it. Obviously, literary form of any language cannot include all the peculiarities of the spoken variant of this particular language.
So, my proposal is to renounce the practice of calling the official language of the GDL by different names and to eliminate artificial distinction between Ruthenian and Belarusian which exists in the article. CityElefant (talk) 21:24, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

There is no such thing as "old belarussian language", it's a myth. The language is called "ruthenian" (руски). Do you think Vytautas knew, he was speaking "old belarusian language"? I'm preaty sure he thought he speaks ruthenian, because that is how the language was called at the time it was used. The present day belarusian language was created and codified in the XIX century, clearly it at some point evolved from the ruthenian language, but this does not mean that you can call it "old belarussian". You can't name a predecessor after a successor. The same logic allows latin language to be called "old italian" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:14, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I strongly support merging. The difference between Old Belarusian/Ruthenian and contemporary Belarusian is artificial here. The only problem appears with the name. The term Belarusian is a product of the 19th century and everything which was related to Belarusians had previously been called either 'Lithuanian' or 'Ruthenian'. This name divergence plays for Lithuanian nationalism which nearly eliminated Belarusians from the history of the GDL. (talk) 11:24, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, it does seem possible to write something like "Ruthenian (Old Belarusian)" instead of "Ruthenian" or "Modern Belarussian" instead of "Belarussian", if you feel that it makes things clearer... For that matter, is there any need to have both part starting with "The Grand Duchy is referred to as" and part starting with "In other languages, the Grand Duchy is referred to as:" in this article ([10])? Those lists do not seem to differ much... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:13, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Dubious statements[edit]

There is a referenced statement, that is too general to understand what times it does refer to. I'd like the citation to be provided here on talk to make sure it's refering to the historical period we're talking about. I'll remove the wlink to Samogitian nobility unless it's proved it's present in the reference.--Lokyz (talk) 05:42, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Lokyz. Calling all Lithuanians "Žemaičiai" in any historical period is plain stupid. Aukštaitijans never referred themselves Samogitians.Iulius (talk) 09:35, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree that that it is not totally correct to call all Lithuanians "Samogitians". But it is the fact that the modern Lithuanian language is a direct descendant of the Samogitian language. Zigmas Zinkevičius argued that because Lithuanian was so widely used among the landed gentry in the Samogitian diocese and central variant of the written language, called "Samogitian language", became firmly established, eventually the concepts of "Lithuanian" and "Samogitian" merged (Zinkevičius, Z. History of the Lithuanian Language. Vilnius, 1998, p.255). Addtionally, the difference between the Old Lithuanian of the 16th century and Modern Lithuanian is not very great (Mathiasen, T., A Short Grammar of Lithuanian,1996, p. 20). CityElefant (talk) 10:38, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Lithuanian language, as a matter o fact is a direct descendant of Lithuanian language. There is no Samogitian language, it is only one of several Lithuanian dialects. And written Lithuanian language first emerged from Aukštaitian and Dzūkian dialects Abraomas Kulvietis, Stanislovas Rapalionis, Mikalojus Daukša anyone? - none of them were from Samogitia.--Lokyz (talk) 11:52, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
It is not what I say, it is what Zigmas Zinkevičius wrote. Are you trying to renounce statements made by one of the most profound Lithuanian linguists? Did you read his book? CityElefant (talk) 12:06, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Zinkevičius wrote: Central variant is the traditional language of the former Duchy of Samogitia, comparatively close to the Prussian Lithuanian written language. The most important representative and initiator of this written language is Mikalojus Daukša (Zinkevičius, p. 246). CityElefant (talk) 12:17, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Huh? Did you ever hear Prussian Lithuanian? it is much more close to Sudovian dialect, rather than Samogitian. Modern written language is based on Sudovian dialect. Samogitian is rather difficult to understand for Aukštaitian. All those are dialects not separate languages. Btw, there was no Duchy of Samogitia, only an Elderate, hence the Elder like for example Jan Karol Chodkiewicz. As a matter of fact, i do doubt that Zinkevičius would ever use language in conjunction with Samogitian.
Daukša was the second one to print a book in Lithuanian, first one was Martynas Mažvydas.--Lokyz (talk) 16:37, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Lokyz, your arguments are not convincing. First, from the wiki article on Mažvydas we see that he was a Samogitian who migrated to Prussia and published his book there. Second, Prussia has never been a part of the GDL (or vice versa) and that is why it shall not be considered. Third, the book of Zinkevičius had been written in Lithuanian and than translated into English by the late Ramute Plioplys, a Canadian of Lithuanian origin. But whether it was "Eldership" or "Duchy" is not the issue here. Btw, "Duchy" is also used [11]. Fourth, read my passages carefully before replying and you could see that I wrote that according to Zinkevičius Samogitian was comparatively close to Prussian Lithuanian written language. Fifth, the issue what dialect became base for the modern Lithuanian language is not applicable here. Why? Because it appeared after the GDL had been annexed. And finally, if you consider that this book of Zigmas Zinkevičius is not a reliable source, please, provide your arguments. CityElefant (talk) 17:29, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
All the knowledge is in the books, all the biases are onwiki. I know what Zinkevičius has written, and there is zero chance of possibility he would write about Samogitian language, not dialect. Dixi.--Lokyz (talk) 18:19, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Do not mix the terms up. It does not matter whether Samogitian was a language or a dialect, even though Zinkevičius names it language, the issue is that modern Lithuanian derived from the historical Samogitian language (or if you prefer so, dialect). And please next time bring the FACTS but not just your own words. CityElefant (talk) 19:18, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
This first sentence of yours is called Personal attack stop it. Zinkavičius could not name it a language, because he did not use the term in any of his books - there is Lithuanian language and dialects Aukšataitian, Samogitian, Dzūkian, Sudovian, and Prussian Lithuanian, also known as Šišioniškiai dialect. Zinkevičius exclusively stated that Samogitian is a dialect with five subdialects etcetera. Light be with you. --Lokyz (talk) 20:06, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I think you need one more quote. First, the chapter of the in the Zinkevičius' book refers to the written Lithuanian language of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Second, Zinkevičius argues that there were attempts to create not one but two different written languages, one for historic Lithuania (the eastern variant, became extinct) and other for Samogitians (the central variant; the western variant already existed in Prussia, pp. 245-46). Samogitian variant was the first to appear in the GDL and the only one to survive. All those who wrote something in Lithuanian in the GDL are attributed either to the Samogitian language or to the eastern variant (few people). So, the language once called Samogitian became Lithuanian (see above). CityElefant (talk) 20:59, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Samogitian writing language and modern Samogitian dialect are two beasts that have nothing in common. Samogitians have shifted much westwards absorbing Curonians thereby resulting in a very different sounding language that we have now. In general, "written Samogitian" Zinkevičius is speaking of in the 16th ct is very much like modern standard Lithuanian indeed.Iulius (talk) 14:16, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanx for this clarification. Indeed, the distinction between historical "written Samogitian" and modern Samogitian dialect is not well known. I think the dispute is settled. CityElefant (talk) 15:48, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

The excerpt from the academic paper by Stephen R. Burant and Voytek Zubek and is here. The period covered is GDL, and even the Samogitian nobility is mentioned. The see also link is quite justified, considering that it was the Samogitian nobility that preserved most of Lithuanian culture throughout the centuries. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:42, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Strange enough, it's the only one scholar's opinion. BTW, is the author speaking about Samogitian region, or Samogitian diocese? These are two very different beings, if you'd look to the maps:)--Lokyz (talk) 18:19, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
P.S. Enjoy Ivenue add-free account for 1.66$ for month - indeed a solid academic site. As for the reference - well, once again it's too general, and it does not say a word about Samogitian nobility and it does not say anything even close to: I'm cciting you Samogitian nobility that preserved most of Lithuanian culture throughout the centuries. Sadly, link to Samogitian nobility has to go.--Lokyz (talk) 18:30, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
This source is more than reliable. Burant has a couple of solid articles about the region of the former Commonwealth. CityElefant (talk) 17:10, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
It is quite clear the author is referring to the region, why would he be talking about the diocese? And don't confuse the venue of publication with the venue that is hosting the excerpt you requested... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:45, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
We should request a third party mediator to ask whether there really is mention of a Samogitian nobility - could you be so kind and cite the sentence mentioning Samogitian nobility? If not, please revert your recent edit.--Lokyz (talk) 19:17, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
"ethnic Lithuanian nobleman in Samogotia"; plus a see also doesn't need to be cited anyway - it is there to direct readers to a relevant piece of information. It is, after all, a see also, not a claim in the article. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:21, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
"Ethnic Lithuanian nobleman in Samogotia" does even contradict the concept of Samogitian nobility, as a matter of fact.--Lokyz (talk) 19:58, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
So, what was the concept of Samogitian nobility then? Btw, why do Lithuanian scholars such as Kiaupa, Kiaupiene and Kuncevicius let me say "forget" about Samogitian nobility as a separate element of the GDL political nation? And why did the GDL need this separate self-governing administrative unit (Samogitia) then? Facts, please. CityElefant (talk) 20:12, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Selfgoverning? You mean a separate state?--Lokyz (talk) 20:21, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Not a separate state but "a self-governing district"[12] or "sovereignty within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania"[13]. CityElefant (talk) 20:33, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
You mean Duchy of Samogitia? Let's not forget that the Duchy was little different from other voivodeships of the Grand Duchy, which there were several of anyway. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 15:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually, the current ([14]) version - "In time, the adjective "Lithuanian" came to denote a Slav of the Grand Duchy. Eventually the Lithuanian speakers came to be known as Samogitians (see also Samogitian nobility), after the province in which they were the dominant majority." does seem somewhat strange... For example, "Eventually the Lithuanian speakers came to be known as Samogitians" might even be understood in the way that "Lithuanian speakers" are known as "Samogitians" now, which, of course, is not the case... Maybe something like "At one point of history, Slavs of Grand Duchy of Lithuania were often called "Lithuanians", while the ones who spoke Lithuanian were often called "Samogitians"." would be easier to understand and less controversial? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 22:24, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

In fact, Samogitia was included in GDL much later. Ancient Litwa != modern Lithuania. Lisouczyk (talk) 09:31, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Good point. May be something like this "In time, Slavs of Grand Duchy of Lithuania (mostly Belarusians) were often called "Lithuanians", while the ones who spoke Baltic Lithuanian were often called "Samogitians"." Argumentation is provided on this talkpage. CityElefant (talk) 23:17, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, that seems a helpful clarification. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 23:21, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Stick to the source (while it is not prefect explanation), rather then invent things. According to current proposal it is awkward: Slavs were Lithuanians, while Lithuanians were Samogitians. What next? Poles were actually Germans? M.K. (talk) 13:28, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Sure: German minority in Poland. Here's a question for you: are Samogitians ethnic Lithuanians? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 15:44, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes they are, since Vytautas proved them to be. He did also prove that Prussian Lithuanians are ethnic Lithuanians. any further questions?--Lokyz (talk) 00:39, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes and no. On the one hand there is a document where Witold says that Lithuanians and Samogitians are the same. But do not forget the circumstances under which he issued this document. On the other hands, there are sources which state that Samogitians are a separate ethnic group. The issue is why the GDL needed a separate and self-governing entity for the Samogitians then. As for Prussian Lithuanians, it is the fact that Lithuanians in the GDL and Lithuanians in Prussia used different ethnonyms to define themselves. CityElefant (talk) 17:07, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
How did Vytautas prove that? Did he published a thesis or something? :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:50, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, Samogitia was part of Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later part of Kingdom of Lithuania . In early 15th century after efforts of Vytautas the Great The Pope did publish a Bull, that Samogitians and Lithuanians are the same people with the same language Vytautas did also declared Old Prussia his patrimony.--Lokyz (talk) 02:32, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
It is not enough as there are other official documents which renounce that Samogitians and Lithuanians are the same people with the same language. Somebody here rightfully pointed out the status of Samogitia and this status should be viewed as the main argument. Please, answer: why did the Grand Dukes need to separate "single and undivided" Lithuanian nation and to create this semi-autonomous Duchy of Samogitia? And all those links about the status of the Duchy of Samogitia bring us to the web pages of the Lithuanian governmental bodies or structures which are dependent on the government. (talk) 09:41, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
It's a long history and politics gamble. And once again - it was not a Duchy but rather an Elderate, especially after Kęstutis death. You may think why.--Lokyz (talk) 11:26, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
1. Who is Kęstutis, btw? Please provide any source that this guy ever existed under this very name. Kynstute, Kiejstut, other variants, but never "Kęstutis" are mentioned. 2. Duchy or Elderate is not the matter even though Lithuanian scholars do not have common opinion on the name. Those links provided lead to the Lithuanian governmental bodies or structures which are dependent on the government and that is why they can be regarded as the official opinion of the Lithuanian state. So, Samogitia was AUTONOMOUS. Your opinion is just your own opinion, guess why. (talk) 18:15, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, one can't really expect the Lithuanian form to be given in the contemporary sources, as none of them was written in Lithuanian (the first Lithuanian writings have been created much later). And what does it have to do with the question at hand? And why would existence or non-existence of autonomy of Samogitia matter, given that we cannot do original research? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:50, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your typically Lithuanian approach to the subject matter where mythology dominates historical facts. I do not have questions anymore. (talk) 21:07, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Let's not divert too much from the main issue. We have sources stating that Samogitia was the center of Lithuanian culture over the centuries. Is this dubious? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 21:08, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Piotrus, you are right. Samogitia was centre of Lithuanian culture (that is Baltic Lithuanian by its language) in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania over centuries. The second centre was located in Prussia, just outside the Grand Duchy. (talk) 21:13, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
As a matter of fact Vilnius was centre of Lithuanian culture, not Samogitia.--Lokyz (talk) 15:02, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

A comment about the first capital of GDL moved to its own section "Capital". --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:35, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

About citing[edit]

There are different points of view on some questions. A sentence Eventually the Lithuanian speakers came to be known as Samogitians (see also Samogitian nobility), after the province in which they were the dominant majority.[44] is too abstract. It does not touch many concepts which should be discerned. Came to be known - among whom? Lithuanians themselves did not call themselves Samogitians. Such question should not be simply mentioned as if it was a fact, it should be grounded.

Also, supporting it with the reference which check will cost US$20.00 is worthless. Knowing that readers who have no free access to it will not pay this money only to check information, user should cite some original text, giving to see a context from which the proposition is taken.

There are also strange use of sources: Around that time, out of the 800,000 square kilometers of the Grand Duchy, only about 10% was inhabited by majority of ethnic Lithuanian speakers,----there is first reference from one source----- and only about 1 in 9 ihnabitants was ethnic Lithuanian.ref----Kevin O'Connor, The history of the Baltic States, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, ISBN 0313323550, Google Print, p.17----ref. Why to put such info from different sources? The user doesn't bother to mention the primary info, in a form as it is in the source, where it is said that there were 9 million of inhabitants and 1 million of Lithuanians among them, but not 1/9. Seeing the numbers it is clear that they are strange. The same user put the info that after the hundred years there were 0.5 million Lithuanians and 3.7 million Ruthenians. So, the numbers are not correct, but the proportion given in the same source is left as correct. Such text is not reliable.

I removed this mentioned sentence with its source / reference, other were left, and user Radeksz writes again major rewrites, particularly ones which remove sourced text need to be discussed. Sourcing is not only directing to read something about the theme. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dellijks (talkcontribs) 13:10, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, I think that source should be put back in and if its reliability is in doubt this isn't the place to bring it up. 1 million out of 9 million is 1/9 so I don't understand what you mean that this is strange. The rewrite also moved a lot of stuff around to places I'm not sure are appropriate, but ok. It also needs a major copy edit. I'll leave it as you have it right now (except for some copy editing) but eventually the O'Connor source should be put back in.radek (talk) 17:10, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
The data about 9 million is strange because according it, half of the population has disappeared in the following century and it is clearly strange. I wrote a bit wrong here, a proportion was not given in the source, of course, the proportion itself is not a matter of thing. I am putting statistical data from Lithuanian book. This data also looks like a little strange, when it is given, that Lithuanian population was 0.42 million of 1.4 million in 1375 (the territory was about 700 thousand km2), 0.55 million of 3.8 million in 1490 (territory: 850 thousand km2) 0.3 0.14 Territory change was not big: 0.875 : 1, and Ruthenian population grew so much, while Lithuanian less, so it may even be a mistake. Speaking about the places of sections which would be appropriate it could be possibly made more sections, for example, to speak about different linguistic groups separately, I would like to see, for example, Belarusian editors putting in some info about their language. And mixing of themes can sometimes create ambiguity in statements. Also, the places is not so important, I guess, they only make harder to check the changes of the edit when the place was changed, but for the one who contributes it does not make much problems. Apart from the theme, I am changing a heading of a section started by me, if you won't mind. Dellijks

If sources differ, then we should not so, not remove ones we don't like. Who is to say that O'Connor is incorrect and the estimate you leave is better? Historical demographics often gives differing estimates. Please note that Dellijks (could you sign your posts propery?) is also introducing the very same changes to demographics of Lithuania.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 11:48, 12 May 2009 (UTC)


The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a state wasn't it? I think it may be confusing to some readers when it doesn't contain the regular country-infobox that is used in articles about practically all states on Wikipedia. I see from above, that there, as sometimes, have been controversies with obviously wrong information, but that seems to have been 3 years ago with an earlier more "manually" created infobox. In my mind the Grand Duchy of Lithuania deserves as any other country to have an infobox, thus "de facto" establishing this article as about a state, and not merely about a term or something like that. -GabaG (talk) 19:44, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I do agree with this point. The current infobox should be moved to the infobox called "history of Lithuania" or something similar and a normal state infobox must be added. Furthermore, as this is an article about a state, then in the lead the name of country as presented in the documents of that time should be noted (e.g., Magnus Ducatus Lituaniae, if this name was used in the letters of Jogaila, Vytautas, Popes at that time, Holy Roman Emperors, Russian speaking kings and others). Also, a subsection, called Name, could give a link to the origin of the name and give the historically correct names at that time in more detail. Kazkaskazkasako (talk) 19:01, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. The article should have a proper former country infobox now. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:08, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

OK... So, now we have one edit war concerning capitals ([15], [16], [17] etc.) and another one concerning languages and names in those languages ([18], [19], [20], [21] etc.)... Would it be a good idea to remove the infobox again to avoid these edit wars?

Furthermore, the infobox lists the time period as 1263–1569 (for the independent GDL), but it also includes area and population estimate for year 1770 (for GDL as a part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth)... And there isn't much we can do about it, as the article does concern both periods - 1263–1569 and 1569–1795... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:50, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Agreed re removal. Too much stuff to trigger drive-by anon edit wars. Renata (talk) 20:04, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
This is not a valid argument for removal; we might as well delete all controversial articles :> A former country needs a former country infobox. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 15:57, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Articles and sentences can be balanced and qualified, infoboxes (that require only bare facts) - cannot. There is no mandate to include the infobox. Renata (talk) 16:13, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

One of the most terrible infoboxes i have ever seen. 1) First undoubted capital is Vilnius. Kernavė,Trakai, Naugardukas - all are rather mythical capitals. 2) Where from did you get the date 1263? Actually, in 1251 the pope confirmed Lithuanian christianisation and let Mindaugas to be crowned as King of Lithuania. So i offer to change the date. It could be e.g. "Middle of XIII c." or if you want the date so it is 17 July, 1251. But some historians, as e.g. Baranauskas claims that Lithuanian state was created even in XII c., and shows the date 1183. But i would offer - 1251. 3) I think there is population of all Polish-Lithuanian confederation. Actually, in 1528 there in GDL lived about 2 million of people, and in 1569, without Ukraine - more than 2.5 million(Information of J. Ochmanskis, Senoji Lietuva, he only shows statistic made by other historians and tell some critic to this information because historian Verner Konce didn't calculate people from the lands of Grand Duke and of churche). Professor Zigmantas Kiaupa in his "History of Lithuanian state" shows: 1569 - 4 mln, density - 13.4/km; ~1650 - 4. 55 mln, density - 15.3/km; 1670 - 2.35 mln., 7.8; 1690 - 2.84 mln., 9.5; 1717 - 1.85 mln., 1790(after first partition) - 3.6 mln, 16.3. --Egisz 10:56, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Infobox removed ([22]). --Martynas Patasius (talk) 11:50, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I am no expert on the GDL in any way, but is it really so hard to just write the truth in the infobox? 1) Why not write Vilnius1, and create a footnote where it is explained about the other capitals as you say. 2) If the exact date of statehood is not known, nor really exist, it is common to then write 13th Century as it seems to be in this case. If needed add a footnote behind it explaining that some historians claim a start date already from the 12th Century. 3) Again explain with a footnote if there are issues with the numbers. Or if it is too hard, just leave the population completly out of the infobox for now if it is not well enough established. -GabaG (talk) 11:45, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Then, I am afraid, half of the article will be such footnotes... And I should note nobody reads footnotes. Renata (talk) 15:47, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. One should remember why do we use infoboxes. We do not (well, at least we should not) use them to make articles look "nice" and "professional", or to create an impression of simplicity of the subject matter. They are meant to be used to show some simple and uncontroversial information (about objects that are easily pigeon-holed into some category) in short and structured way. And here we do not have an object that is easily pigeon-holed into one category: GDL was an independent state and then it became a part of a larger state (and yet it can even be argued that it was not a larger state, but merely an extremely close "alliance"!). Furthermore, the information simply cannot be given in a short and simple form ("We know that the capital was Vilnius (for most of the time), but it is suspected that Trakai was a capital before that, and some archeological evidence indicates that Kernavė was a capital during the rule of Traidenis, and the Sejms of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth met in Grodno each time the meetings were to be held in GDL..."). One should remember that infoboxes are by no means "free": they make the source code harder to understand for new editors, they might move section "edit" links, they might mislead the readers, if used carelessly... And use of footnotes is by no means a good solution. In Wikipedia the footnotes generally indicate statements that are sourced (verified, uncontroversial, very likely to be true), yet here they would mark something... er... doubtful at best... I'd say that is simply unacceptable. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:49, 15 August 2009 (UTC)


A comment about the first capital of GDL moved to its own section "Capital" from section "Dubious statements". --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:35, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

First capital of GDL was Navahrudak, information was taken from "Encyclopedia GDL" Minsk 2007, "Энцыклапедыя Вялікае Княства Літоўскае" Мінск "Беларуская Энцыклапедыя імя Петруся Броўкі" 2-е выданне 2007. --BoTaHuK(talk) 1:58, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Given your removal of the date ([23]) I wonder: how exactly does the source word this claim? Could it be that different periods (and maybe different evidence or somewhat different sense of the word "capital") are considered in both cases (Navahrudak and Kernavė)? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:46, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, first undoubted capital was Vilnius. I offer to leave only Vilnius in information about capital. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:05, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Really? Can you provide the source that Vilnius was a capital? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

In GDL's historiography this problem is seems to be closed now. The first permanent capital of the GDL was Vilnius (Вiльня in most of the sourses), that associated with Gediminas (Гедимин in the rutenian sourses). Navahrudak was obe of the place, where GDL was born (by Maciej Stryjkowski). Azgar (talk) 12:37, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Really? And was it written there exactly Vilnius or Vilnia ? Can you show me ancient maps(not created for this page) where it is written Vilnius? Lisouczyk1 (talk) 17:07, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

The State has a name the Grand Duchy of Litva![edit]

Although the Grand Duchy of Litva was multi-national formation State language was Old Belarusian. All State documents were in Old Belarusian.

Belarusian, "Ruthenian" and Russian are different languages!!! And Lithuania and Litva isn't the same.

Lithuania is translation from Lithuanian language.

But name of our State is in Old Belarusian and in Belarusian sounds as "Litva". It is traditional and historic name of the State.

In 1529, 1566, 1588 the Statutes of Grand Duchy of Litva were published. They were also in the Old Belarusian language and in Statute of 1588 it was black and white denoted the lawful status of the Belarusian language. They were the real festival of Belarusian and Slavic medieval law.

On 6 August 1517 Francysk Skaryna printed the Bible in the Old Belarusian language and it was one of the first printed the Bible in national language and the first Eastern Slavic printed book.

In Belarusian the Grand Duchy of Litva is Vialikaje Kniastva Litoŭskaje, Ruskaje, Žamojckaje or Вялікае Княства Літоўскае, Рускае, Жамойцкае. In short Litva or Літва.

I am Belarusian. And I am "Litvian".

I am not Lithuanian!!!

And name of our capital is Vilnia! Not "Vilnius"!!!

Please, write true! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:16, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

You are the author of the edits [24], right? They do have several problems...
First, it is in the wrong place (we do not need two definitions saying what GDL was; and the definition has to be in the beginning).
Second, if I understand it correctly, Belarussian language uses Belarusian alphabet and Belarusian Latin alphabet is generally not used. Thus there seems to be no need to write Belarussian names using both alphabets.
Third, this is English Wikipedia and the articles here are supposed to be written in English, not Belarussian, Lithuanian, Russian, Polish or any other language. The English name of the state in question is "Grand Duchy of Lithuania". Thus it is this name that is going to be used.
Fourth, it was written "[GDL] was founded in 12 century by Belarusians or "Litvins".". That seems to be completely wrong. It is generally understood that the first ruler of GDL became king in 1253 and died in 1263. That's 13th century, not 12th. I will address the part "by Belarusians" later.
Fifth, "State language in the Grand Duchy of Litva was Old Belarusian." - is there a source for that (see Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:Reliable sources and Wikipedia:No original research concerning the need for sources)..? Did the concept of "state language" as such even exist at that time..?
Now, "On 6 August 1517 Francysk Skaryna printed the Bible in Old Belarusian language" (and the remaining part) can probably be integrated to the section "Religion and culture" (Grand Duchy of Lithuania#Religion and culture). Unfortunately, it looks like that section will have to be rewritten and restructured to make that fact fit well...
And finally - it looks like you wanted to describe the theory according to which GDL was a Belarussian state. If I understand it correctly, it is rather popular among the Belarus oposition, and it would be nice to get it described somewhere in Wikipedia. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any serious sources describing it (I have seen opinion pieces like [25] or interviews like [26])... But maybe there are some scientific articles about this theory? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 23:50, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

1) Yes, I added my short version of GDL. I am sorry, I had to write just in Discussion. 2) And I agree Belarusian Cyrillic alphabet is traditional and generally used. One version will be enough. 3) I haven't a hope that you will agree with me. But I belive that name of each State must be translated for English from the language which the State uses or used. For example: Lietuva - Lithuania, Biełaruś or Беларусь (regardless which alphabet I use here) - Belarus, Polska - Poland, Україна - Ukraine, Россия - Russia and etc.

Although the Grand Principality of Litva was multi-national State the State language was Old Belarusian: "А писаръ земъский маеть по-руску литерами и словы рускими вси листы, выписы и позвы писати, а не иншимъ езыкомъ и словы." The Statute of GPL 1588. Part 4, article 1.

This article of the Statute of GPL 1588 in contemporary Belarusian: А пісар земскі мае па-руску літарамі і словамі ўсе лісты, выпісы і позвы пісаць, а ня іншым языком і словамі. Only the word "язык" has another equivalent in the modern Belarusian and nowadays used with another meaning.

Not each Ruthenian is Old Belarusian. But the Statutes of GPL and most of State documents in GPL is exactly in Old Belarusian. And it is not Lithuanian for sure:-) And the name of GPL as the Grand Principality of Lithuania is an evident mistake.

The State's name is Grand Principality of Litva.

Wnen Soviet Russia signed agreement with Independent Lithuania in 1920 Lithuanians demanded "to return" their Metrics (archives) of GPL. Famous historic Mitrafan Dounar-Zapolski offered to give Lithuanians ALL DOCUMENTS in Lithuanian. But such documents did not exist. Most of documents were in Old Belarusian, the rest of them were in Polish, Latin and German.

4) May be there was not used exaclty "State language" concept. But it was declared clearly that this is an official language of the state.

5) Okay. The First Prince of GPL Mindouh governed in 13 century. So GPL was formed in 13.

6) Yes. GPL was founded mainly by Litvins or ancestry of Belarusians.

7) I am not an "opposition" representative, and this is not the question of political views but historical truth.

It wasn't exactly Belarusian State. But this nation had dominated. It was rather union of nations.

I think you are patriot and you love your country. You made great job and wrote nice article. But here you are nationalising history.

And please note that the country's name is Belarus. And the language is Belarusian (with single "s").

So I would appreciate very much if you use correct names in the article: the Grand Prinsipality of Litva, Polish-Litvian Commonwealth, Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Thank you!

P.S. Lithuania is only small half of Litva. And I am sorry but Vilnia is a Lithuanian's town only since 10 October 1939 as a present of Stalin.

Till 1939 Vilnia was a Belarusian cultural center, and the Lithuanians were an ethnical minority there.

I don't want to create "my" version of GPL. I think one correct version will be enough. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the compliments, but I can't accept them - I didn't write this article. If you analyze the information in the "history" tab of the article (direct link [27], description is given in Help:Page history), you will see the actual writers (as well as vandals and the ones who reverted vandalism).
As for the name... Actually, I have no idea if "Lithuania" is closer to "Lietuva", or to "Litva" (it seems to be very different from both)... And it's not like it is the most extreme case: be:Германія or lt:Vokietija are much more different from "Deutschland"...
Now, with "Belarusian"... Yes, I did mess up there...
And finally - there are some problems with "I don't want to create "my" version of GPL. I think one correct version will be enough.". Articles of Wikipedia are not supposed to reflect the "correct" view, they are supposed to reflect all significant views (Wikipedia:Neutral point of view). In other words, it is not just the history of GDL that is important. Historiography and public perception of it are also important. And it would be really nice to get a solid source describing the "Belarusian" view. It would be useful for other articles as well. For example I do wonder, how does this view explain the martyrdom of Anthony, John, and Eustathios? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 17:56, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Okay. If you redirect new article The Grand Principality of Litva I will write here![edit]

Stop discriminations! PLEASE, DO NOT REDIRECT THE PAGE! The Grand Prancipality of Litva had never been Lithuanian State! Allow Belarusians to have their own history. True history.

State language of the Grand Principality of Litva had never been Lithuanian and Lithuanians know it. They are nationalizing history and Belarusians have to create the page.

Thank you! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Serge Kaleyeu (talkcontribs) 17:32, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

And I will do the same![edit]

Do NOT redirect The Grand Principality of Litva. Stop discrimination! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Serge Kaleyeu (talkcontribs) 01:00, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Origins of English title[edit]

I think will be good idea to add information about origins of English title in Names section. How Grand Duchy of Lithuania was referred in English documents in time of existence (of course, if referred at all)? --EugeneZelenko (talk) 13:48, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

English has not such tradition. Because our ancestry didn't know English. Some of them knew Latin. And we don't translate any names of the States from Latin or from "medieval" English.

And as I said already before we translate all State names from the language which the State (or people of the State) use or used. For example: Lietuva - Lithuania, Biełaruś or Беларусь - Belarus, Polska - Poland, Україна - Ukraine, Россия - Russia and etc.

Such language in GPL was Old Belarusian or Ruthenian ("руский"). So we must translate from Old Belarusian: "Литва" - Litva.

The Statute of Visla 1423-1438 is in Old Belarusian.

Code of laws of Kazimir Yahaylavich 1468 is in Old Belarusian.

The Statutes of GPL 1529, 1566 and 1588 are in Old Belarusian. Lawful status of the Old Belarusian language: "А писаръ земъский маеть по-руску литерами и словы рускими вси листы, выписы и позвы писати, а не иншимъ езыкомъ и словы." The Statute of GPL 1588. Part 4, article 1.

Tribunal of 1586 is also in Old Belarusian.

Most of documents of Metrics (archives) of GPL are in Old Belarusian.

And only after some of them were translated in Polish, Latin and German.

"Everybody says Lithuania now" is not argument.

"Some of maps and documents is in Latin or "English" and etc." is not argument.

Lithuania is translation from Lithuanian (Lietuva). So the Grand Principality of Lithuania is Lithuanian State.

But GPL wasn't a Lithuanian State. It was a State of Litvians, Ruthenians, nowaday Lithuanians and the others. Lithuania is only a small part of Litva.

And it was mostly Slavic State. All Grand Princes spoke Old Belarusian. And all State documents were in this language. So we must translate name of the State for English from Old Belarusian.

And it is Litva ("Литва").

P.S. All State names must be translated for English from the language which the State uses or used.

(Equally well we can translate Belarus from Ukrainian ("Білорусь"). Bilorus instead of Belarus... funny.

But we translate Belarus from Belarusian ("Беларусь"). And it is right.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

All that is either wrong (for example, ""Everybody says Lithuania now" is not argument." - on the contrary, it is the only relevant argument) or irrelevant (everything about Old Belarusian).
Let's put it so: have you read, understood and accepted the policies Wikipedia:Article titles, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:Reliable sources (Wikipedia:Righting great wrongs would also help)? If you did, please, obey them. If you didn't, please, try to. If you cannot, please, consider asking for explanations (here, on Wikipedia:Help desk, somewhere else). For if you won't, why should you edit site when your views are incompatible with its policies? Can anything good come from that? At the very least, this discussion would be pointless in such case.
Oh, and may I remind you that you have been blocked ([28] - you are the same person as user "Serge Kaleyeu", right)? The block isn't over yet. Please, serve your time or appeal the block using Template:Unblock (see Wikipedia:Guide to appealing blocks for more information). --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:07, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

I give you real arguments. You give me ... information about Wikipedia and phrases like "all that is either wrong" and "it is irrelevant". give me nothing interesting and useful. I think you haven't more convincing arguments than I do.

Majority may make mistakes. We can see it from World history (...)

Please, agree with me or give me real arguments.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:06, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

"You give me ... information about Wikipedia [...] give me nothing interesting and useful."? Well, why do you want to contribute here, if you do not find information about Wikipedia interesting or useful?
For it is the whole idea that Wikipedia describes the beliefs, views and theories that experts (and sometimes - non-experts) have. Thus we should not discuss the matters using "real arguments" - that is more fitting for a forum (for example, "Forum of Lithuanian History" - [29] - feel free to discuss the suitableness of term "Grand Duchy of Lithuania" there), scientific journal, conference...
And finally - I have just found an article "The Formation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, According to Lithuanians and Belarusians" (it also has Belarusian, Lithuanian and Polish texts) in book "A Book of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania", Sejny: Fundacja Pogranicze 2008, 46-72. ([30]; bibliografical information from [31]) that describes the "Belarusian" view (well, its more moderate version) and compares it with the "Lithuanian" view. Now we only have to use it... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:55, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Okay. And why GPL must has a name as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania? Not the Grand Principality of Litva? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:36, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

In this case it only matters that it does have such a name. It simply does. Just as Germany is not called "Deutschland" but "Germany" in English (and "Allemagne" in French, and "Vokietija" in Lithuanian, and "Saksamaa" in Estonian, "Германія" and "Нямеччына" in two variants of Belarusian). Just as Japan is hardly ever called "Nihonn" or "Nippon" in other languages...
As for the matter how the English name "Grand Duchy of Lithuania" came into being (which is also the original question of this thread), I'd guess that it came from Latin language, maybe from French (after all, many words came to English language from these two languages after the Norman conquest of England). And I guess those languages had to be influenced by Polish and German languages on that matter.
For examples of (hopefully contemporary) Latin and German one can look to "Codex epistolaris Vitoldi Magni Ducis Lithuaniae 1376-1430" ([32]). For example, page 466 - "Alexandri alias Wytoudi magni ducis Lyttwanie". Or page 25 - "Witowd von gotis gnaden herzog czu Littouwen", page 916 - "Allexandro alias Wytowdo magno duci Litwanie", page 906 - "Alexandri andris Witawd von gotes gnaden grosfurste czu Lithauwen"... However, that is just a guess that still has to be confirmed or refuted using reliable sources before it can have any influence on the article. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 13:52, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

added name of Grand Duchy of Lithuania in samogitian language, because Samogitia be in title of grand duke and it's one of more important parts of GDL by the way, in codex of Witold's Vytautas saw, that Aukstaitija and Samogitia are Lithuania, and call people of this territories lithuanians --SANCEZZZ (talk) 14:11, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Second map is a bit convoluted...[edit]

Not that I'm an expert in this topic in any way, but I noticed that the 2nd map uses the modern borders of Europe. Seeing that Ukraine's borders are also overlayed by that of GDL (and Kosovo's borders also drawn), I'm guessing this is to show the area of GDL compared to the countries of contemporary Europe. That's fine and all, but this bit of information isn't mentioned explicitly anywhere, and can thus lead to a misunderstanding. Maybe include in the image description that the map of GDL's areas are superimposed on a modern map of Eastern Europe?


— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Also, Samogitians should be shown as separate land from Lithuanians (Trakai and Vilnius voivodes), becouse they joined (by their own will (see Vitold's priviledge)) GDL only in 1411 as autonomous state - duchy with Raseiniai as capital.Velks (talk) 09:12, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

A more fundamental problem with this map (as well as the other version - is there really a need for two versions of the same thing?) is that it is pretty much unsourced. Additionally, some aspects of it are unclear. For example, the areas marked with "disputed between Lithuania and Poland" - disputed when? Seeing as how after the Union of Krewo in 1385 the two countries were to lesser or greater extent united, it's doubtful that it was during this period. Or maybe the word "disputed" is being used in some other sense - but then that should be clarified.VolunteerMarek 01:52, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

B-class review[edit]

Failed. Issues: insufficient references - outstanding cite requests and unreferenced paragraphs. There are MoS issues (image spacing), and poor coverage (no economy section, for example). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 23:10, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Strange and really bad English additions[edit]

Following the expansion of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the mid 14th century the adjective "Lithuanian", besides denoting an ethnic Lithuanian, from early times denoted any inhabitant of Grand Duchy of Lithuania, irrespective of ethnicity: a Ruthenian, a Jew, a Lithuanian[citation needed]. In the 18th century "Litvin" (Polish: Litwin, Russian: Литвин) meant Polish, Belarusian and Lithuanian speakers. Since an adjective Lithuanian was applied after a name of a state, the understanding of it varied depending on place. For example, in eastern Ukraine, around Poltava, "Litvin" was a person living in the other side ofDesna River, Ruthenian speaker.[1]

"The last sermons in Lithuanian in one of Vilnius churches were stopped to say in 1738. In schooling, Latin language was being changed to Polish and Lithuanian language repudiated. It was not let into Vilnius University in the late 18th century, parochial and powiat school learning for Lithuanian speaking children through Lithuania was organized in Polish by people havingoffices in Vilnius. In such circumstances "Samogitians" were known as szlachta, besides Polish using Lithuanian too, and the mass of "Lithuanians", that is any citizens on throughout the state, were understood as mostly Polish speaking szlachta living in Vilnius and its surrounding area and Polish-Belarusian speaking Belarusian szlachta.[dubious ][2]"

I do find it strange, that such things were placed in the "Lithuanian language situation" section. Besides being written in poor English, it is not referenced, nor even does have any relation to Lithuanian language. The term "Litvin" clearly denotes modern Belarus nationalism (and Zinkvičius quote is utterly out of place), although me myself am not convinced, that it has anything to do with this section of an article. Best regards.--Lokyz (talk) 00:05, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree that some of it is written in pretty bad English and should be rewritten, but the contents itself seem to be reliably sourced. For example, you removed this:
Following the expansion of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the mid 14th century the adjective "Lithuanian", besides denoting an ethnic Lithuanian, from early times denoted any inhabitant of Grand Duchy of Lithuania, irrespective of ethnicity: a Ruthenian, a Jew, a Lithuanian[citation needed]. In the 18th century "Litvin" (Polish: Litwin, Russian: Литвин) meant Polish, Belarusian and Lithuanian speakers. Since an adjective Lithuanian was applied after a name of a state, the understanding of it varied depending on place. For example, in eastern Ukraine, around Poltava, "Litvin" was a person living in the other side of Desna River, Belarusian speaker.[1]
As far as I can make out that's pretty much what the source says. "Litvin" is not "modern Belarus nationalism" - it's the word that a lot of people of the GDL used to describe themselves.
Likewise the stuff about sermons, again, written in bad English, does seem to be sourced to a reliable source.VolunteerMarek 02:03, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Once again about the infobox[edit]

I see that the infobox had been added once more ([33]) and, after I removed it ([34]), Piotrus reverted me ([35]) with comment "Undid revision 512083723 by Martynas Patasius (talk) - I don't consider the 2009 discussion conclusive, if desired, please start a new one and use WP:RFC".

The original discussion is in section Talk:Grand_Duchy_of_Lithuania#Infobox_2 ([36]). Essentially, the only argument against removal of infobox is "A former country needs a former country infobox." (that's probably the most clear formulation, stated like this by Piotrus in [37]). Now, there are two main problems with this:

  1. It is just an assertion - and nothing prevents me from asserting "Former country infobox is unnecessary.".
  2. This article is not just about a former country. It is also about a subdivision of a former country - GDL in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The main arguments against the presence of infobox are those:

  1. GDL is not easily "pigeonholed". For example, as noted before, it is both a former country and a subdivision of a former country. Thus it is not that certain that the "former country" infobox "applies".
  2. For the above reason (and not just it) any infobox will inevitably be either messy or misleading - or both (experience does confirm that). We do not need messy or misleading infoboxes.
  3. The infobox has been the target for many edit wars and heated discussions (mostly of the "Belarusian vs. Lithuanian" kind). Both sides tend to have a point and no other compromise except the removal of infobox has ever been found. Peace is more important than complete uniformity of formatting between articles.

I would say that those arguments are much more weighty than the "pro-infobox" one, and there was a consensus in favor of removing the infobox. Still, if Piotrus would like to have another discussion - he is free to give an explanation of his position here, and if he wants to have a RFC, he is free to initiate it (although that would seem to be superfluous to me). I suppose that the infobox can stay for a while (but only a short while), as an "exercise for the reader" (participant in this discussion) - to find as many mistakes, inaccuracies, POV, "edit war fuel", messy and misleading statements in it, as possible... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 23:16, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

About a week has passed without an answer... I guess I will remove the infobox once again... Maybe that will provoke an answer..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 00:23, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I missed the talk page comment. The infobox is not perfect, but it is useful. GDL was, among other things, a former country, and this is what this article is about. That it was a subdivision is not an impediment here. Being a target of edit wars and such does not mean we should abandon it - if it was, we should close this entire project. If you still insist on removing the infobox, please start a formal RfC and notify affected projects, so we can have a wider discussion. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:16, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
RFC..? That is, a month of discussion? Isn't that a little excessive? At the moment even the simple persuasion of the other side hasn't been tried to the full extent!
So, at the moment I will try to answer your comments and then we will see if we need the RFC.
First, "The infobox is not perfect, but it is useful." - well, I can assert that it is not useful. I don't really see much use for the infobox... It might make the article look "nicer" and "more professional", but that's almost all... Unless we count very simple summary of information, which is not present here. Anyway, we write Wikipedia's articles for their own sake (and, well, our own sake). By itself, all usefulness for the readers is "accidental".
Second, "GDL was, among other things, a former country, and this is what this article is about.". It was also an "administrative subdivision" and the article is about that too. The infobox would misleadingly imply that it was only the first and not the second.
Third, "Being a target of edit wars and such does not mean we should abandon it - if it was, we should close this entire project.". Actually, it is similar to the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. When we do not agree about something (for example, "God exists." or "God does not exist."), we are not supposed to edit war until one side "wins" (or both get banned). We leave it out instead! We write in something that might look similar ("St. Thomas Aquinas thought that God exists and Marx thought that God doesn't exist."), but is actually very different. We do leave out hundreds, thousands, millions of true statements to gain peace between editors! Why would it be wrong to leave out a "disinfobox" then? (I guess I should also add a link to the essay Wikipedia:Disinfoboxes...)
And finally, an "exercise" for you: how many problems with the current infobox can you list..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 23:12, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
First, I see a lot of useful information provided at a glance: flag, coa, map, capital, area, population, currency... and jumping to your final question, sure, the infobox can be further improved. Improved, however, by expansion, footnotes and such, not be deletion.
Second. I don't really understand your point. Countries are subdivisions in a national communities. Subdivisions should have infoboxes, too (for example look at Vilnius Voivodeship). Some don't, but this simply means we have to add them.
Third. If you were right, we would simply have no articles on controversial topics. No, we have that information. What we leave out is fringe/unencylopedic/undue information, when majority reaches consensus that the information in question falls under those categories. I don't see how the infobox would fall under that, and as long as we have only us two here, unless one of us agrees with another, we are in need of more input (hence, RfC, although you could try WP:3O first). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 15:58, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
"First, I see a lot of useful information provided at a glance: flag, coa, map, capital, area, population, currency..." - good point, I have missed the fact that the flag and the coat of arms are not anywhere else in the article. I should have added those images as well after removing the infobox, just as I have added the map. But the currency given ("Gold zlotas") is just wrong - and in many ways. First of all, "zlotas" is a Lithuanian form of Polish "złoty". It would make sense to write a completely Lithuanian form "auksinas", it would make even more sense to write the Polish form, but "zlotas" makes little sense. Second, for some reason the link goes to Lithuanian Wikipedia... I don't think that counts as "useful"... Third, it is not even correct: the first currency was not even coins, but just long pieces of silver. And while first two problems are easy to correct, the third one is harder...
In short, we do have a "disinfobox". "[A]nd jumping to your final question, sure, the infobox can be further improved. Improved, however, by expansion, footnotes and such, not be deletion."... To paraphrase the Gospel, is it easier to say that this infobox can be improved, or to say that a random try at perpetuum mobile "can be improved"..? If you think that it can be done, please, demonstrate that. I don't think you will be able to do so.
"Second. I don't really understand your point." - er, which point..? The one that GDL was both an independent country and a subdivision of one, and thus it is wrong to keep a single infobox claiming that it was just an independent country? "Countries are subdivisions in a national communities." - I guess it is now my turn to say that I do not understand what you meant... I hope it was not very important..?
"Subdivisions should have infoboxes, too (for example look at "Vilnius Voivodeship"). Some don't, but this simply means we have to add them." - you mean that this article should have two infoboxes, right?
"Third. If you were right, we would simply have no articles on controversial topics. No, we have that information. What we leave out is fringe/unencylopedic/undue information, when majority reaches consensus that the information in question falls under those categories.". Wrong. We exclude all contentious information. (Well, maybe it would be more accurate to say that our policies are meant to exclude it - our policies are hardly enforced with an iron fist.) Once again: "St. Thomas Aquinas thought that God does exist." is not contentious, "God exists." is. That's why we write down the first and leave out the second. Thus, (with exception of all instances where our policies are not being followed) Wikipedia doesn't have a single statement about a contentious topic, but only uncontentious statements echoing uncontentious reporting about discussions about contentious topics.
"[A]s long as we have only us two here, unless one of us agrees with another, we are in need of more input (hence, RfC, although you could try WP:3O first)." - well, maybe one of us will agree with another..? The discussion was not long enough to make agreement look impossible. But yes, one of reasons why I wasn't very enthusiastic about the RFC was existence of "third opinion" and Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard.
Finally, maybe we will think of some compromise? For example, maybe splitting this article might help..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 14:26, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Again, I don't see a problem with currency as unsolvable. We can either remove the line entirely, create a footnote, or redirect it to the article on Currecy of Lithuania (provided of course that somebody could write it first). Regarding the second point, bottom line is that both countries and their subdivisions have infoboxes. I don't think this article should have two infoboxes, one should be sufficient. Regarding contentious information, I don't see how that applies to infobox. Contentious info in infobox can either be removed or expanded through footnotes/links.
I am open to other solutions, perhaps some info could be split, but the article on GDL should have an infobox, both as a country and as part of PLC. I don't think we need to split it into those tow parts, through it is an idea that could be discussed more; but if we do so, than both would need an infobox. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 16:19, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't have either the time or the patience for an involved discussion, but I agree with removal of the infobox because it's a magnet for revert warring and I don't think anyone is going to volunteer to police it. It would create more problems than it would solve. Renata (talk) 20:27, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

That's not a valid argument, you might as well argue for deletion of the article. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 20:47, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Looking at the history of the article I see just as much controversy about whether to include the infobox as to whether have one at all. People will edit war, that's a fact of life on Wikipedia. Likewise I don't see the argument that this is a 'former country' infobox, and GDL was both a former country and an administrative division as very substantial - when readers see the infobox they don't see what the infobox is named under and we often are pretty flexible about these kinds of templates on Wikipedia.

The more important questions would be about what exactly to include in the infobox. I share the concerns about listing the currency as Gold zlotas (or anything for that matter). Before the modern area states often didn't have official currencies and quite frequently a number of different coins circulated as mediums of exchange. I would just leave the currency part out, at least for now.

Btw, shouldn't the article proposed article by Piotrus be Currency of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania rather than "Currency of Lithuania"?  Volunteer Marek  23:07, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

I was thinking about a historical to present day overview like Currency of Venezuela. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 23:32, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Sorry for some delay... Anyway, I'll try to answer all three posts by Piotrus in one place.

First of all, we should remember what is an article and what is an infobox. An article is a piece of text, with some formatting, illustrations, links etc. An infobox is a table that has some fields with short values. Short. If we need to write in something long, it is not a suitable field for an infobox. And if no (or almost no) fields remain, we might as well remove the infobox itself. The article doesn't have such strict constraints, thus it can remain. Thus "you might as well argue for deletion of the article" doesn't apply. Easy, isn't it?

Thus we can move to a second point. Is it a good idea in this specific case? Let's look at the currency again. You write: "We can either remove the line entirely, create a footnote, or redirect it to the article on "Currecy of Lithuania" (provided of course that somebody could write it first).". The third solution leaves nothing useful in the infobox itself - we might as well write down "Yes" (with the same link)... Second solution would be worth considering if almost every other field wouldn't require a footnote as well. After we will end up with footnotes for capital, languages etc. the infobox will have more footnotes than many articles have (even including references)! That leaves the first solution: removing the field. And, as I have noted, once we apply it to other fields, we will end up with a very small infobox: English name, map, perhaps a flag and coat of arms... Even years of existence would have to go (and population, density etc. are uncited). I don't think we need such an "infobox"... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:33, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

A bit of a strawmen argument. There is a lot that isn't disputed, and the infobox does allow for a lot of clarifying information. And even a small infobox is helpful, and improves the article. Feel free to shorten the infobox if you need to, but please list the specific problems here, and we can analyze them one by one. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 22:09, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
"[P]lease list the specific problems here, and we can analyze them one by one."... Well, actually, I kinda hoped that you would list everything that, in your opinion, is not problematic... OK, maybe I'll get to that...
But before we get to this point, there are two questions of principle. First, you say "A bit of a strawmen argument." - does it mean that I have misrepresented (and, most likely, misunderstood) your arguments and your position? In such case, please, correct me.
And second, can we agree that, in principle, if too many fields would have to be removed from the infobox, it would make sense to remove the infobox as well? And that while there are some ways to add qualifiers to the values in infoboxes, those ways are still very limited (at least if we compare them with ways to do so in the article itself)? And thus, at least, that "you might as well argue for deletion of the article" and the like, er, at least oversimplify the matter..?
And then, I guess, I'll have to start making the list of all the fields (it would be nice to just copy the filled out template, but it sure is one complex infobox)... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 22:46, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Let me list the few problems I see with the infobox: 1) status field (I don't see why it is necessary) 2) religion (omits Protestantism, and possibly, Orthodox Ch.) 3) history - can use more events 4) currency - likely not comprehensive, particularly for the early history. Actually, I also don't see the need for the current footnote. All in all, I see nothing really problematic, few things to tweak. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 23:40, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
OK, let's look at all the fields:
  1. English name ("Grand Duchy of Lithuania")
    • OK.
  2. Local names
    • It depends on what counts as a "local language"...
  3. "Status" ("Personal union with the Kingdom of Poland (1399–1569)")
  4. Time period ("12th century–1569")
    • GDL still existed as a part of PLC after the Union of Lublin; one can even make a case that it was still independent and PLC was just a very close alliance. This problem makes many other fields problematic.
  5. Flag, coat of arms, map
    • OK.
  6. Capital
    • Verbose, but inevitably so. No source is given.
  7. Language(s) ("Lithuanian, Ruthenian, Polish, Latin, German1" and footnote)
    • Almost useless.
  8. Religion
    • Depends on what one means by "Religion"... Currently means "State religion".
  9. Government ("Monarchy")
    • Given the importance of Sejms in the end that seems to be somewhat misleading...
  10. List of some rulers
    • Maybe OK; obvious problems related to unclear time period. Years for Butigeidis seem a little too precise...
  11. History
    • Dates seem to be strange. "Consolidation began: 1180" - almost certainly wrong; at least "c." would have to be added. "Kingdom established: 17 July 1251" - it's not the date of Mindaugas' coronation. Otherwise nothing special; obvious problems related to unclear time period.
  12. Area, Population
    • No sources given.
  13. Currency
    • We already discussed that.
  14. Today part of
    • Wouldn't be much of a problem, but I would prefer that nothing in the article would refer to "today" or "present"... "Today" of today too often becomes "yesterday" of tomorrow...
So, would you agree with this analysis..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:14, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I see no problem with recognition of Lithuanian, Polish and Belarussian (Chancery Slavonic...) as local languages. Status: I don't mind if this is removed, but such small exceptions are good for a footnote, which I'd prefer. I agree that the date should be changed to 1795. Languages presumably missing Hebrew (or Jiddish?). State religion as a concept is relatively new. Dominant religion is a much better understanding for historical entities, and I'd suggest the infobox states this clearly. Government: all countries have their own quirks, GDL/PLC perhaps more than most, but it is correct to call them monarchies. Regarding list of rulers, should be expanded with kings of PLC. Regarding lack of sources, I support adding references, but the article has many other unreferenced parts. Today part of is more of a wording issue to be raised at the infobox talk than here. On a final note, note that it is quite acceptable for infoboxes to have both inline cites and numerous references (Kingdom of Great Britain has three, United States has six. All in all, sure there are things to fix - like elsewhere in the article, but nothing suggesting the infobox is damaging to the article and should be removed. PS. If this is not clear: one infobox for the entire history is enough, I don't see a need to split PLC era off, either in infobox or as a separate article. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 21:52, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, in such case, would you volunteer to get the infobox to the point where it would look decent in your opinion (since you do think that is something one can achieve and also something worth the effort)..? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 20:45, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to work on this - but can't promise when. However, I think that removal of the infobox would be damaging to this article. It's a C-class article, it has many issues, and if the infobox has some - that's just to be expected. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 21:29, 16 October 2012 (UTC)


The pictures in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth section need to be arranged so that they won't leave too much empty space in the middle of the article. Making them into a gallery would accomplish that, but then they would be rather small. Any ideas? Debresser (talk) 13:13, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

The number of infoboxes on the page leaves little else that may be done. The boxes and numerous images make for a cluttered, disorganized look, and text is frequently choked into newspaper column width. I'm adding a gallery to collect several of the images, while keeping the maps within the text. I've moved a couple of the boxes down to try and limit the clutter. More text would help move some images back into the narrative, but for now a gallery is the only way to clear the clutter. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 23:51, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

About religion: not Arian[edit]

In the Religion and Culture section I've changed "Arian" to "Socinian Unitarian", with a link to Socinianism. This is more historically accurate. The use of the term Arian to describe Reformation-era non-Trinitarians is largely pejorative and not terribly informative, whereas the Polish Brethren really were largely influenced by the teachings of Socini (Sozzini) -- Mrrhum (talk) 01:07, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Infobox - after almost a year[edit]

So, almost a year has passed since the last discussion about the infobox ([38]). How do things look now ([39])? Badly, of course. Let's see:

  1. Dates - "12th century – 1795", "Personal union with the Kingdom of Poland (1385–1569)", "Union of Lublin - October 24, 1795"
    • The claim that Union of Lublin happened in 1795 is especially silly, but is not a result of vandalism, for it is not clear what event actually ended the GDL - Union of Lublin or the Third Partition.
  2. "Languages: Lithuanian, Ruthenian, Polish, Latin, German1"
    • Still mostly meaningless.
  3. "Government: Hereditary Monarchy"
    • Of course, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had elected kings.
  4. "Legislature: Seimas", "Privy Council: Council of Lords"
    • "Council of Lords" didn't even exist for much of GDL's history.
  5. "Area" and "Population"
    • Without a source.
  6. "Currency: Gold zlotas"
    • Wrong for the beginning of the period.

A year ago I have challenged Piotrus to correct the infobox. That would have proved such correction is indeed possible. Of course, I think that correction is an impossible task. Since he hasn't corrected it, I take it as further evidence that the task is indeed impossible. Thus, unless the infobox gets corrected soon, I am going to remove it.

Oh, and to take care of some objections: we are talking about the infobox. The values of its fields must be perfectly clear, short, accurate and precise - or empty. At this point I do not intend to take excuses like "It's a C-class article, it has many issues, and if the infobox has some - that's just to be expected." seriously. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:25, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

No, there is no consensus to remove the infobox. I still find it highly useful and nobody else complains about it, suggesting most users find it helpful. Please do not remove it until you show that there is consensus for that. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 15:52, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, last time removal was supported by Renata3 as well ([40]), so, it is wrong to claim that "nobody else complains about it". And anyway, if "nobody else complains about it" was a strong argument, we might as well find such "consensus" to make this article a "featured" one. If no one has complained during the last year (with minor exceptions), the article must be flawless by such logic, right..? But, of course, you know that is not the case.
Second, consensus is not judged by numbers alone. Unless you present actual arguments, I end up making a "consensus". (No, the claim that there is no consensus is not an argument by itself.) It shouldn't be that hard: if you say "I still find it highly useful", elaborate on that statement. How did you personally use the infobox during the last year..? How did you find all this disinformation in the infobox useful..?
Third, as you might note, I already waited for almost a year. I did not edit war, nor did I interfer with your work on this article in any way. Thus you had almost a year to do something.
Fourth, the challenge still stands. If you really find the infobox at least half as useful as you seem to claim, it should be important enough to correct. In such case, please, stop whatever else you are doing and make it flawless (after all, removal or correction of bad content is arguably more important than adding new content). Or find someone else willing and able to do that work. Or acknowledge that it is not worth the trouble and thus is not going to be made flawless (perhaps because that is an impossible task) and must be deleted. The choice is yours. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 21:43, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

16th century map[edit]

Ausschnitt aus der Sprachenkarte von Deutschland in Andrées Weltatlas von 1880

Re map purporting to show Area of the Lithuanian language in the 16th century, I have to question whether Lithuanian was uniformly the "dominant" language in such a large chunk of East Prussia (including Tilsit) at that time. I realize that there were many Lithuanian speakers in northeastern East Prussia, but dominant?

My understanding is that it was primarily the Old Prussians who were displaced by the Teutonic Knights and then German settlers in the 13th century. (The Old Prussians were finally defeated by the Order in 1283.) Of course, the map at right, which shows Germans in pink, is from much later (19th century), but still .... Sca (talk) 18:21, 16 October 2013 (UTC)


The time period "12th century-1569" in the infobox is completely inaccurate because Union of Lublin in 1569 didn't disestablish Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Also this article isn't about just one period of the Grand Duchy. GiW (talk) 13:19, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Grand Duchy of Lithuania- Belarusian state.[edit]

Sorry, but in this article wrote big lie. Lithuania (Lietuva) always named as "Samogitia"- name of duchy- Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Rus', Samogitia. Belarus- Lithuania, Rus'- Ukraine, Lietuva- Samogitia. GDL begin create Duchy of Navagarodak (Novogrudok is russian transliteration, Navagarodak - belarussian transliteration and this variant is most proud, you understand))). Lithuania is historical place on territory of Grodno and Minsk region- in this place have villages what named as "Litva" or "litviny" (what translate on english how Lithuania and Lithanians) what give definition borders this place. Founded interestingly what after founded village Litva next founded village Polochany (Duchy of Polack (Polotck - in russian) Polack and Polochany how Lithania and lithanians)) and Litva founded in side of Navagarodak, Polochany founded in side of Polotsk. For example, in 13-th century Duchy of Polock used historical Lithuania for war expansion on east what wrote on. GDL was create when Duchy of Navagradak take Lithuania in your border. Founded interestingly and fact what Samogitia (now Lietuva) NOT INCLUDED IN GDL FOR 150 YEARS AFTER MOMENT OF CREATE THIS DUCHY! On Samogitia in this years was expansion of Teutonic Knights and after the Battle of Grunvald GDL was included in Duchy. Before include Samogitia use Vitovt for political games with Teutonic Knights. In census of army GDL the main part compile belarusian surnames (characteristically for this suffix "ovich" and "evich"). All famous people of GDL was belarusians (Francisk Scaryna (only belarusian transliteration), Mikola Gusousky, Konstantin Ostrozhsky, etc.) and this surnames was translate to language of Lietuva only in 20-th century. The capital of Lietuva- Villnius (proud- Vilnia) is absolutly belarusian city and included to Lituva in 1939 how may name how "gift of camrade Stalin"- USSR was very big for war with Lietuva and propose this country this variant it is was very profitably for Impire of Evil (it is state wanted destroy belarusians national consciousness- belarusians national consciousness was more danger for USSR then lietuvians national consciousness). Belarus always named how Litva (Lithuania) and this one can see on maps Middle Ages- territory of Lietuva in this maps marked how Samogitia. Lithuania renamed in Belarus after occupation of Russian Empire. Katerina II, russian empress say what this need her state for forget memory of Great state- Grand Duchy of Lithuania and this too show what Belarus was the most important part of GDL. Reasons of this in long war between Russia Impire (Moskovia) and GDL. The most active revolts on territory of Russian Empire what compile GDL was in territory of present Belarus. For exaple, Konstanty Kalinowski was ruled of revolt in main belarusians territory and in its newspaper Mużyckaja praŭda (Peasant's truth) his wrote on belarusian language and for belarusians and only once to polish peoples and NO WROTE FOR LIETUVANS (his language was very different whith belarusian, ukrainian and polish because samogitians all time lives in insulation from Europe- they accepted сhristianity the most later in Europe and no have writing to 19-th century. Grand Duchy of Lithuania- Lietuvanian state- it real fairy tale or political myth. For undestend what people live in some territory you must see what language use it people. When you go to Vilnia district- you will see, what village people in this place talk how in present belarusians villages. I now, what for West Europe and America Belarus- "terra incognita" and so, I tell you proud history. The problem of this situation that the hidden occupation of Belarus anti-belarus regime of Lukashenko. In normal state must be careful in question of history, but anti-belarus regime not support real belarus history and see on Belarusian history in context russian history and russian vision on history in that Belarus must be included in Russia and all was included and but in the Middle ages was conquered khigts of Lietuva))) Chief of occupation regime- Lukashenko all time conducts pro-Russian politic. Russia- empire and live conquests. Russia through regime of Lukashenko do all for destroy belarusian language, belarusian culture, belarusian economy, belarusian history and Lietuva in this situation in the context of GDL found for his profit. It's deep reasons what on west knows not very well.5shagov (talk) 16:49, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

           Well thats funny)) Where do you find all this stuff anyway?  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:28, 18 March 2014 (UTC) 

Stop editing this page[edit]

Don't listen to Belarusian revisionists known as Litvinists. They only keep spreading false information without any strong arguments. Grand duke of Lithuania Vytautas wrote to the Emperor of HRE about Lithuanians and Samogitians being the same people with the same customs and language also mentioning how Latin and Lithuanian sounds the same plus giving examples of similar words. Just as Polish historian Jan Dlugosz, who's father participated in joint Polish and Lithuanian battle of grunwald, said that Lithuanian language sounded similar to Latin for him. Michael the Lithuanian (Tiszkewicz) in his written book (De moribus tartarorum, lituanorum et moscorum) also wrote about similar Lithuanian and Latin words. My point here is that Latin and Lithuanian do really have a lot similarities, while Belarusian doesn't and the words they used are surely equivalent of Lithuanian words. Furthemore in the work "Synopsis Universae Philologiae" by Gottfried Hensel the prayer is in Lithuanian for Grand duchy of Lithuania. I could go further, but I think this will be suffice for now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kodeangel (talkcontribs) 05:23, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Lithuanian genetics proves to be rightful heirs of the duchy.[edit]

Despite the attempts to disregard Lithuanian connection to Grand Duchy of Lithuania and falseful claims of Belarussians the genetic card must be played here. Today Lithuanians has N1c haplogroup as a dominant one with about 42%. The Rurikid Dynasty DNA Project at FTDNA managed to determine that the Lithuanian Gediminid dynasty, although not descended from the Rurik dynasty, also belongs to haplogroup N1c1. The House of Gediminas ruled as Grand Duke of Lithuania from ca. 1285 to 1440. An offshoot of Geminids is the Jagiellonian dynasty who ruled as the Kings of Poland and Grand Dukes of Lithuania from 1386 to 1572, and also include two Kings of Bohemia, Hungary and Croatia between 1471 and 1526. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kodeangel (talkcontribs) 18:58, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Interpretation of genetics are not for amateurs and should be sourced by academic publications. I'm not saying that you made an OR. Just a cautious remark. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 20:46, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Lithuanian language[edit]

Why is it questioned by a fact tag by user:Лобачев Владимир that Lithuanian was a language of the Grand Duchy? Does he understand that there is a difference between language and official language? Does he deny that Lithuanian (among others) was a language of that polity? I reverted. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 20:43, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

This specifies the language of the State. --Лобачев Владимир (talk) 20:50, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
In the 13th or 14th century there was no such concept as an official state language as we know it today. Before the : sign it says languages. Just languages. How hard is that to understand? Gerard von Hebel (talk) 20:56, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
The entry you are talking about actually says "common languages". Gerard von Hebel (talk) 20:58, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
Are you seriously saying that we need a fact tag to say in the article that Lithuanian was one of the "common languages" of that polity? Gerard von Hebel (talk) 21:00, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
See Grand Duchy of Moscow, Byzantine Empire, Golden Horde, Ottoman Empire. --Лобачев Владимир (talk) 03:26, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Official language until 1696 in Grand Duchy of Lithuania – Ruthenian.
  1. Журавский А. И. Деловая письменность в системе старобелорусского литературного языка // Восточнославянское и общее языкознание. — Moscow, 1978. — С. 185—191. (Russian)
  2. Статут Великого княжества Литовского 1588 года гласит: «А писаръ земъскъй маеть поруску литерами и словы рускими вси листы выписы и позвы писати а не иншимъ езыкомъ и словы». Роздел четвёртый. Артыкул 1 // Статут Вялікага княства Літоўскага 1588. Тэксты. Даведнік. Каментарыі. — Minsk, 1989. (Belarusian) --Лобачев Владимир (talk) 07:33, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
You clearly don't understand the difference between language and official language. Only documents were written in Ruthenian, but that doesn't make it official language! Lithuanian language is one of the oldest languages in the world and it was there long before Ruthenian language was created. End of story. If you want to spread litvinist propaganda then go to Belarusian wiki and write there! – Sabbatino (talk) 08:18, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
The idea is to build consensus first on this page. The entry in the infobox is not about official languages, a concept not around at the time as we know it today. So that's not the place to make a point. Your entry can now be construed as WP:OR and WP:FRINGE. Also sources must be verifiable, so you should at least quote chapter and verse. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 08:25, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
  • ruth. А писаръ земъскъй маеть поруску литерами и словы рускими вси листы выписы и позвы писати а не иншимъ езыкомъ и словы.
Translation: State Russian clerk should write letters and in Russian on all sheets, and other language can not write. Source: Statutes of Lithuania 1588 // Статут Вялікага княства Літоўскага 1588. Тэксты. Даведнік. Каментарыі. — Minsk, 1989. --Лобачев Владимир (talk) 11:12, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
You again FAIL to understand what officially written and officially spoken language is. The fact that documents were written in Ruthenian language DOES NOT MAKE IT OFFICIAL STATE LANGUAGE. To eastern lands (present-day Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, etc.) documents were written in Ruthenian while to western lands (present-day Poland, Germany, France, Italy, etc.) documents were written in LATIN language. – Sabbatino (talk) 13:22, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Vladimir, I feel like you're not seeing the arguments that are presented above. Let me try an break it down:
1. The template that is being used does not include "official" languages. Some of the articles using the template display only what is perceived as official languages, but that does not make their usage correct. The template actually specifies that "common languages" and/or "major languages" should be listed. You will find it difficult to argue that Lithuanian was not a common or a major language at any point of GDL. This is the key issue and the discussion should be over at this point.
2. Even IF we were to accept that somehow the template should contain only official languages (which it should not), it is YOUR interpretation that Ruthenian was an official language and Lithuanian was not and therefore it is OR. The source you provide does not state that Ruthenian is the official language. It is YOUR interpretation that it makes Ruthenian the official language. The statute of Lithuania is a primary source and any interpretation not based on reliable secondary sources is OR.
3. The very concept of trying to fit medieval setups into the modern concept of "official language" is ridiculous. Lithuanian dukes and the court spoke Lithuanian until well into the 16 century (although its use declined as Polish picked up), while documents were written in German, Latin and Ruthenian. To simplify it down to "Ruthenian was the official language in GDL" is ridiculous, which is why you will struggle to find any historian (at least outside Belarus), that would go down that road.No longer a penguin (talk) 13:33, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
All the statutes (constitution) GDL were written in the Ruthenian language. For the final Statute made official translation into Polish. --Лобачев Владимир (talk) 06:03, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
From Statut 1588, section four, about judges: «А писаръ земъскъй маеть поруску литерами и словы рускими вси листы выписы и позвы писати а не иншимъ езыкомъ и словы» (State Russian clerk should write letters and in Russian on all sheets, and other language can not write). --Лобачев Владимир (talk) 06:08, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
You keep repeating the same text without addressing any of the arguments raised above. This will get you nowhereNo longer a penguin (talk) 08:17, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Nothing is ignored. If you look at infoboxes of other countries, it clearly states official language or national language and the words (official and national) mean which language or languages are official. Whereas, Grand Duchy of Lithuania infobox just states languages which means THERE WAS NO OFFICIAL LANGUAGE in the state! So just stop wasting everyone's time and stop trying to convince your beliefs to everyone else. – Sabbatino (talk) 08:05, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is consensus that a tag or source is need for the language section of the infobox. There appears to be a question raised if the infobox should be removed, but there is no consensus as half want ti gone, and half say leave things as they are. A septate RFC on the infobox may be needed. AlbinoFerret 22:21, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Should there really be a fact tag, asking for a source whether Lithuanian was a common language in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania? This was added by user:Лобачев Владимир. For me I think this is a misunderstood consequence of a Litvinist edition by an editor who may not understand the difference between an official language or a language actually used in a Medieval polity. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 23:31, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

No tag. No claim about Lithuanian language. No field for language. Finally - and most importantly -, no infobox. In the end, just as mentioned in #Infobox - after almost a year, it only leads to silly fights like this, while providing little clear and precise information. After all, things like that are hard to fit into the infobox. And the presence of infobox encourages users to try to do so anyway... Thus - remove the infobox and the problem will end up (mostly) solved. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 22:30, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

The language should not have a citation request, but a footnote leading to Grand_Duchy_of_Lithuania#Languages. And the infobox is useful. I don't understand why some people hate it so much --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:06, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
"And the infobox is useful." - how? To whom? You keep claiming that it is useful, but do not support such claims. I get an impression that this "usefulness" starts and ends with "looking nice when no one tries to read it"...
"I don't understand why some people hate it so much" - I did provide the link with explanation. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:16, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Seems good to me as it is now -- with the sidebar, and with the several languages listed and a link to the section on languages. I was called here by a bot and have no conflict of interest or bias in regard to the topic. SageRad (talk) 20:33, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
I feel like you have misplaced your comment here. Nevertheless, I feel like you're quoting things that don't actually support what you're saying. Nowhere does Manual of Style/Infoboxes does it encourage the use of infoboxes. In fact, it states that "the use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article. Whether to include an infobox, which infobox to include, and which parts of the infobox to use, is determined through discussion and consensus among the editors at each individual article". So we're discussing and trying to establish consensus and it's unfair to assert that the burden of proof is somehow on only one party.
The MOS/Infoboxes also states that " the purpose of an infobox: to summarize (and not supplant) key facts that appear in the article", "present information in short form, and exclude any unnecessary content" and "Do not include links to sections within the article". At the moment, by my count, the infobox contains 15 fields, of which 4 are controversial (name, capital, languages and religion), 3 are way too narrow in terms of period covered (map, area and population), 2 are not covered in the article at all (currency and parliament) and 3 are oversimplifications, given the historical context (whatever the second field is called, predecessors/successors, flag/COA) and should be presented with more commentary in the article itself. Government and History are by definition massive simplifications and could easily be included with the others. That leaves "Today part of" as the category that I have no problem with and find useful in its current form.No longer a penguin (talk) 12:33, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, scratch that - "Today part of" is not covered anywhere in the article and is potentially controversial - I would need a source saying that GDL in what today is Romania (the commonwealth was, bus GDL?). It should all go No longer a penguin (talk) 12:45, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
  • The best way to address a fact tag is to provide a source. Is this a problem? --Pete (talk) 01:38, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
    It is, as (as it can be seen from the discussion) no one really knows what the fact to be supported by the source is supposed to be. It is just an ambiguous field in the infobox. Is it supposed to show the languages spoken there? The official language (whatever that is supposed to mean)? The majority language? That's the question - and, of course, I'd say it should be solved by just throwing the field (and the infobox) out. That's how WP:NPOV works: if something is unclear, we leave it out and look for something else. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:22, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
    I have to say, I thought removing the infobox is ridiculous suggestion, but I am in favor of it now. Looking at the fields in the box, I struggle to find any that are not controversial or require explanation:
  • The name, "Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Ruthenia and Samogitia" was inserted by more or less the same Litvinist editors. The name was used in the first statute of Lithuania and more or less nowhere else. More common names not even mentioned.
  • Status and years - already complex and does not address the period when it was a Kingdom, not a duchy.
  • Symbols - again, very simplistic, considering how complex middle ages were - there were plenty of other flags that were carried into battle by GDL forces over the centuries. The coat of arms also links to Pahonia - an article that is heavily focused on the symbol in Belarus.
  • Map - Shows one brief moment in more than 500 years of changing borders.
  • Capital - Voruta and Kernave are disputed and possibly meaningless.
  • Languages - I don't even need to touch this.
  • Religion - again, cannot decide whether this is official religion or popular religions. Paganism and Catholicism seem to follow official religion, given that they show exact dates (and assuming that the official religion is that of the grand duke/king), but Eastern Orthodox is there for some reason as well, despite never being an "official" religion
  • Government and legislature - not very problematic, given the broad titles, but does not add much value, given the broad titles
  • Territory and Population - again, just offers random snapshots in a 500 year history.
  • Currency - Gold Zlotas? Seriously? If Lithuania used polish currency (which it did not for the whole period), then why do we need to make it Lithuanian-sounding by adding -as? It also ignores many other currencies used at some point or in some places. The infobox should also summarize the article, but this is not even touched upon in the article.
Given everything, I say kill it with fire.No longer a penguin (talk) 13:17, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment -- Seems good as it is now to me as well. This article is under some pressure from people who have an axe to grind with the mainstream view of history and that sometimes leads to people bending over backwards to make a point. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 18:19, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Infobox is problematic: All of No longer a penguin's observations apply, plus the super-weird and useless collection of flag icons and confusing little arrows next to them is a violation of WP:ICONS, and looks like some kind of layout table coding error. If an infobox is kept at all, then all of this mess needs to be cleaned up.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:08, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The equal right of Navahrudak to be meant as a capital together with Voruta and Kernave[edit]

Many historians(IRS) say that Navahrudak possibly could be the capital of GDL in the period of Mindauga's rule. For example, Norman Davis (british historian) agrees with this in his book "Litva: The Rise and Fall of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania". Belarusian author Mitrofan Dovnar-Zapol'skiy also consider Navahrudak as the capital in his "History of Belarus". So in my opinion, we should add Navahrudak in the section "capital" with a mark "hypothetical, 13th century" as Voruta marked. Danik9000 (talk) 15:46, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps we should avoid anything that isn't actually "known" about these matters and not engage in speculation. Specially when it concerns the infobox. If we choose however to include speculative remarks by by valid historians in the body article, we should make very clear that it is speculation and that speculative material doesn't make "equal rights". Gerard von Hebel (talk) 17:56, 24 November 2015 (UTC)