Talk:Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth/Archive 1

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Merger with The Noble Republic

How about merging the articles Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and The Noble Republic, since they are related to essentially the same? Besides, I strongly suspect that the term "Noble Republic" is a catchy phrase from a history article, rather than a term really used in these times. Even if not, IMO the proper name of the merged article would be Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, according to the "official" name of the state. Mikkalai 20:55, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I guess the merger is possible, but it would require some careful restructuring. Or one can consider it as an expansion - advanced version of this page. Personally I prefer to add new articles then meddle with those two, they dont look very broken to me. --Piotrus 15:12, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

News: concensus on Wikipedia:WikiProject History of Poland is that Noble Republic should be dedicated to history or perhaps the discussion of PLC political system. Anyway the PLC article will be the main article for this period, with several subarticles like Noble Republic. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 12:24, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or Commonwealth of Two Nations?

Interseting fact is that the official translation is not correct. In Polish language, the exact term is Commonwealth of Two Nations (Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodow), not Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Polsko-Litweska Rzeczpospolita - I have never heard that one before!). Some redirects and a note should fix that easily, though :)

It is not a translation though, it's the name and term used in the English language.Milicz 20:31, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC) I have another question though, Rzeczpospolita supposedly means "Republic" which we as Poles certainly know that it does not really mean, we have the word "republika" for that. I have never heard Rzeczpospolita be refered to anything other than specifically Poland in the Polish language, and therefore it is a word that means more than just Republic or Commonwealth. "Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodow", if we take the dictionary translation, would literally be "Republic of Two Nations", not "Commonwealth of Two Nations". Commonwealth on the otherhand would be "Federacja" or "Wspólnota" (Look at the CIS and corresponding Polish translation). Just thought I'd throw that in to confuse everyone. Milicz 21:19, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
This is why we have an article dedicated to clear this confusion: Rzeczpospolita. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 22:35, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up, I didn't know that, isn't Wikipedia great? Milicz 23:02, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I have seen multiple times rzecczpospolita being used with context of Rzeczpospolita Wenecka and all that little staes in Italy created by Napoleon. I also saw Rzplita rzymska referring to Roman period. All those references are however quite old and rare; Szopen 07:19, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Was it part of the Commonwealth...

Polish-Lithuania If you take into account that today Estonia was created from the Estonia province and norhern part of Livland DorpatTartu, Estonia also inherited some land from the commonwealth. Province of Estonia was claimed by Poland, but I don't know if ever achieved. Cautious 11:59, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

  • Sory, my bad. Indeed, for brief period 1582-1625 Lifland was under Polish rule, as well as Southern Estonia. I was looking at wrong maps.Any pieces of PLC in Germany and Chechs? BTW, what's your opinion about my proposal above?Mikkalai 16:17, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Enthusiastic. Especially, that Noble Republic is written from the perspective of the rotten end. I would prefer to construct it like this:
Glory 80 years with some threads of future failure
Deluge -crisis
Decay with underline of some successes
second half XVII century
Russian protectorate
Partition and national awakening
If take a look at the churches or castles, XVIII century with all its decay, shows some achievements. Cautious 16:24, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
As far I am concerned, no part of present day Germany or Bohemia was ever part of the commonwealth. You can mention Tobago Island. Cautious 16:26, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Uhm, Tobago was a personal property of the Duke of Courland so it had only a very indirect link with the PLC. But then, why not not mention it? kpalion 16:20, 15 Feb 2004 (UTC)

King Sigismund III promised to give (and gave) Swedish Estonia to Commonwealth, however Swedish Diet did not accept it (so one could argue that at least for a short time the whole Estonia was in Commonwealth). After rebellion led by his uncle Karl, troops of Karl captured first Finland (pro-Sigismund) and later Estonia in 1600 (before 1600 Estonia (I guess) was trying to be neutral). Polish counter-offsensive in 1603 recaptured big part of Estonia (but without main port cities). Finally Swedish counter-counter-offsensive took it back at the end of 1607.; source: Wisner, Kircholm 1605; Zbyszek

Good enough for external links?

I have a page dedicated to the Commowealth XVII century -

It is not yet finished, but it contains some useful info, I think. Do u think it is worth adding it in the related links section?

--Piotrus 15:08, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Political system of the PLC: a republic?

was the polish-lithuanian commonwealth a classical republic in the sense of plato and aristotle? Classical definition of republic

Um, that article is SO bad I cannot even find the DEFINITION of the republic out there :> --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 19:49, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Considering modern definition of the republic, I'd call it rather a parliamentary democracy with very limited voting electorate. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 19:49, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Not so limited, 8 to 10 % of the society is quite a high ratio as for the period in history when most nobles in Europe had no voting rights at all, not to mention common people... [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 19:44, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)
The problem here is that definitions change over time. For example, the term 'democracy' was actually a rather negative description (like today the term anarchy) untill sometime in XIX century. And then there is the fact that today's people tend to think that the term democracy = state, government, capitalism and lots of other things ('all things bright and beautiful' :D). Compared to its contemprary countries, PLN was quite democratic in that today's sense of the world. Compared to today's countries, it is obviously not a shining example. As for the right term to desribe its government, I will have to do more search on that. Republic...parliamentary monarchy...ehhh, one thing is sure - it was very unique *something* :D --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 20:39, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Religion in the PLC

Note> I have no idea if this edit send is going to work or not

While reviewing the article on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, it lists the established church as Roman Catholic.

I do not know exactly, about the status of the Roman Catholic church in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at the time. (In other words, was it considered to be 'established', within the Lithuanian sectors.) It was during a period of time in which there was not much religious pluralism in Europe. However, when Poland and Lithuania united, Lithuania was Eastern Orthodox. This produced conditions that resulted in many ways, in a greater level of religious pluralism within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, in comparison with most of Europe at the same time.

This is mentioned in the article. I am not sure, however, of the exact status of the Roman Catholic church within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at that time. Would religious pluralism be a better categorisation of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth with respect to religion at the time? What was the reilgious status of the Lithuanian sectors?


Good point. I believe it was rather pluralism until the times of counter-reformation (when with the support of Vasa dynasty, catholicism gained an upper hand in the PLC), but I am not sure how was it reflected in law. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 17:43, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have done some more digging and I have grown somewhat more skeptical. Perhaps the relation between Poland-Lithuania and the Eastern Orthodox church and many of the more western Protestant sects might have been closer to something like the relationship between the Byzantine Empire and the Roman Catholic church and the Monophystites and Nestorians in the early middle ages. There were times in which Poland-Lithuania might have extended all the way to include Odessa. I will see if I can find much on Algirdas or earlier.

Editalicus 01:32, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Added 21 VIII 2007: Issue of religion in Rzeczypospolita was unique- you could choose any religion, and every religion had it's rights. No matter if it was islam, christianity or judaism- you were absolutely free to belive whatever you wanted (konstytucja nihil novi 1505). However Roman Catholic Church was in better situation- king had to be Catholic and catholic bishops had right to vote in Sejm and Senat. However you could fild musque net to synagogue and in opposite to the Cathedral- it wasn't phenomen. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:16, August 21, 2007 (UTC)

FAC discussion

If any, please post here IF this is not applicable on FAC own discussion page. I intend to develop this article further with subarticles for each section, but I believe it may be considered for FA in its present state. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 12:24, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I feel that there may be a slightly "pro-Commonwealth" bias in this article. I am by no means an expert on the subject, my knowledge based largely on a survey course on eastern European history in the earlymodern period. However, it seems to me, that comments such as these are common:

"At a time when most European countries were headed in the direction of centralisation, absolute monarchy and religious and dynastic warfare, the Commonwealth experimented with decentralisation, federation, democracy, religious tolerance and pacifism (since Sejm usually vetoed the monarchs' war declarations, it constitutes an interesting argument in favor of the democratic peace theory)."

This seems to be quite positive toned, which is not necessarily bad. However, the article as a whole seems to gloss over the fact that the noble class dominated the state, and calling it "democratic" is fairly exaggerated. I realise that, for its time, it may have been quite democratic. HOwever, it was still dominated by a small portion of the population, AND as the main point, my understanding is that the peasants of the area had relatively fewer rights than many other areas of Europe, so an argument could be made that it was less democratic.

I am willing to be corrected on this point, but felt I should bring it up, in case it does have some merit. Peregrine981 14:27, Dec 22, 2004 (UTC)

I admit I find the Commonwealth very interesting and it might have resulted in some bias in the article. I did want to underline the importance of the 'noble's democracy' and while the Commonwealth was definetly not democratic by today's standards, it was quite distinct from its conetmporary countries. In the end, 10% of its population (szlachta) lived in a democracy, compared to roughly nobody in other European countries. As for the peasant situation, the return to serfdom is mentioned in the lead. Feel free to improve that and expand the article with Commonwealth faults, I'd be happy for some assistance here. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 14:54, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Added 21 VIII 2007: In fact Commonwealth was, in some way, democratic by today's standards- Every citizen had right to vote. There was parlament. All citizens had equal rights. Every citizen could be elected to be a king. The only problem was, that only 10 % of society was citizens. Today only proportions are different. And, in comparison to other countries in that time, Commonwealth could be called trully Democratic (with capital D) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:24, August 21, 2007 (UTC)

I shall certainly do what I can. I will be out of town for a week or so starting this weekend, so I may not get a chance to do anything too soon, but I will keep an eye on things when I come back. I'm quite impressed with this article overall! As to the democracy, I suppose you could say it was democratic in a way. I was taught that the most notable aspect of the commonwealth was the weakness of the central regime as compared to the nobility, and this had its benefits and weaknesses, and one weakness was the inability to inforce "impartial" justice for non-nobles, or to introduce policy that went against their wishes... I suppose these ideas are somewhat covered in the article. Peregrine981 05:26, Dec 23, 2004 (UTC)

I also have a feeling there is a bias. Contradictory passages at times:

"Its powerful parliament (the Sejm) was dominated by nobles who were reluctant to wage offensive wars... The Commonwealth was mostly victorious ... and even managed for a time to take Moscow during the Russian Time of Troubles."

Sigizmund's interference into the Russian civil war was a definite offensive action, which had its large part in shaping less than amicable relations between the two countries. May be this passage about the non-agressive nature of the 17-th century PLC can be toned down.

Well, all of that is true. Sejm blocked many agression wars - which was unique, cause in most countris of that time, when king (sultan, tsar...) decided he wanted a war, he would wage it, no questons asked. True, PLC Sejm didn't block Dimitriads - but it is rather an exception that proves the rule. PLC was a very 'pacifist' country if compared to its contemporaries. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 12:21, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Added 21 VIII 2007: Sejm didn't blocked Dimitriads because Dymitriads weren't wars at all- it was the private conflict of polish magnates and russian boyars which, simply, escalated into hudge size. And Sejm couldn't interfare in private conflicts (or, rather, didn't want to. When Dymitriades started to begin, all criminals, thiefts, mercenaries left borders of Commonwealth to rob, plunder and burn down Russia- good thing for all honest people living in Commonwealth) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Another example is the claim of religious tolerance. Although largely true, it has to be qualified: the role that the Catholisism of the nobility and the Orthodoxy of the peasantry played in the Khmelnitsky uprising has to be at least mentioned. Gaidash 14:27, May 8, 2005

Well, feel free to instert this. Counterreformation was one of the resons for the donwfall of the religious tolerance and Commonwealth itself (or so Jasienica argues). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 12:21, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Seems clear to me that, like today's parliaments and other legislatures, the Sejm was a check on the abuse of executive power (and, indeed, is one of the precedents often cited for separation of powers, etc.) but equally clear that, of course, the Commonwealth was not incapable of ever pursuing aggressive war or religious intolerance, any more than that could be said of modern democracies. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:26, May 8, 2005 (UTC)

Name Change?

It is important to use the most common name when titling a Wikipedia article, in part because it makes the article more likely to be found from a google search. Thus, here the article on the country whose capital is Moscow is located at "Russia" (55.7 milion hits on google), not "Russian Federation" (7.8 million hits).

In my admittedly somewhat limited experience, I've found the simpler form "Poland-Lithuania" to be considerably more common in English-language material, and the territory is usually marked as such on maps, etc.

Unfortunately, the "google test" for "Poland-Lithuania" is difficult to apply as google does not seem to distinguish between "Poland-Lithuania", "Poland, Lithuania", and "Poland/Lithuania", and from the 42,600 hits for "Poland-Lithuania", one can only estimate from the first few pages that perhaps a little more than 60%, about 26,000 pages, are referencing the Commonwealth. This is considerably more than the 14,100 hits found for "Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth". What do you think?--Pharos 06:07, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I was thinking about moving this article to its more correct name Republic of Both Nations, which is a better translation of the original name, but I'm afraid this name is rarely used in English. As to Poland-Lithuania I have no fixed opinion yet. From one POV it would be similar to other articles on states that are placed at their shortened names rather than full names. On the other hand however, the articles on historical states are often located at their full names, to avoid ambiguate names. Duchy of Athens (not Athens), Congress Poland (not Poland), Republic of Texas (not Texas or Tejas) or Weimar Republic (not Germany) are a good example. What do the rest of folks think? [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 08:49, Dec 23, 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps we should ask on some historical usenet group and/or do a poll? Untill we have some telling numbers, I'd vote to leave the article where it is. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 14:17, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"Good job"!

Bravo! Good job! You managed to write an article about Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów without mentioning Belarus and Litvins (Belarusans) a single time. Amazing job. Only Polish "historians" could write such a "great" article. Wow! Impressive. --rydel 00:07, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I'd appreciate your 'praise' more if you had actually cared to *read* the article, as Belarus is mentioned twice, once in the lead, and second time in the beginning of the 'Provinces and geography' section. It seems enough to me, given that that state didn't exist until 20th century as a separate entity. The article also has sections on culture and demography mentionig distinct cultures of the Commonwealth. When you are done insulting others, feel free to do something constructive, like wrie a new article or improve existing one. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 12:39, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Indeed, Rydel, you too did a great job writing a great comment without reading the article. But seriously, there's noone here trying to offend anyone or erase anyone from any story. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but Poles are mentioned only once in the article - as a slight minority in GDL... What a bias... Halibutt 13:40, Dec 26, 2004 (UTC)
Piotrus, I did read the article, of course. I was exaggerating a bit when I said "not a single time". But in my opinion, it should be renamed to "Polish-Commonwealth-the-Polish-perspective" or something.
'"given that that state didn't exist until 20th century as a separate entity"' - don't pretend you don't understand. I'm not talking about modern Lukashenka's Belarus, I'm talking about the Litvin part of the commonwealth (Lithuanian-Litvin-Belarusan), the Grand duchy.
'When you are done insulting others' - I was not insulting anyone. I just expressed an opinion that the article only presented 50% of the two peoples, namely "1 people". ;) And therefore appears to be not NPOV.
'feel free to do something constructive, like wrie a new article or improve existing one' - I don't think I have the expertise and the capacity to do that. But I did study history in high school, and of course we studied our common state Rzecz Pospolita for several weeks. And we had a different perspective.
At the minimum, if nothing else, I would like to see a paragraph on polonization: how Litvin schlachta abandoned Old Belarusian and switched to Polish. Also I would not mind seeing a paragraph about how this dual state caused a big problem of self-identification and national identity for our people from the Litvin part - such as [[Adam Mickiewicz] with "Litwo, ojczyzno moje" and Tadeusz Kosciuszko with statements that "I was born Litvin". --rydel 14:29, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I see "Polish perspective" in only one place - "While the Commonwealth's first century was a Golden Age for both Poland and Lithuania..." - neither Lithuanian historiography, nor common people affected by this historiography find Commonwealth's first century a Golden Age for Lithuania. Indeed, exactly in 1569 Grand Duchy lost about 1/3 of its territory to Poland, and the Lublin union is usually considered a start of decay of Grand Duchy in Lithuania. However I am not sure how to correct the current article to avoid this Polish POV.
That's interesting. I'd like to read more about Lithuanian point of view. I thought that the union and Commonwealth were beneficial for them - after all, wasn't the main reason for it - from their perespective - that they could not stand alone against Teutonic Order and Muscovy? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 12:25, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
It was beneficial for both of them, but modern historians, or rather nationalistic instincts tend to make Poland look more like an occupier than an equal partner in the Commonwealth. Almost every type of state has a Golden Age, and it is rather accepted that the Commonwealth's Golden Age was during this period, whether it was good for Lithuanians apart from the Commonwealth is, in my view, an improper interpretatation or view.Milicz 20:44, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
"Remarkable religios tolerance" is a huge exaggeration - tolerance prevailed only at certain time periods followed by persecutions of anabaptists and other denominations. Dirgela 06:45, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Well, it was remarkable compared to its contemporary countries. Consider: counter-reformance limited to word propaganda only, both catholics and protestants in high official positions, catholic churches and believers coexisting peacefully not only with protestants, but greekocatholics, Jews synagogues and even muslims! And no Jews prosecution, so common in other places then. True, from the late 17th century this started to slowly dissapear - as did most of everything in the PLC at that time. But the 16th and first half of 17th century, it was 'remarkable'. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 12:25, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I have no desire nor time to start an argument here, since I believe any kind of flames are a giant waste of time for all parties considered. This is why I wont explain how you insulted me or others with your comments, especially as you admited yourself you exaggerated. Adressing your more concrete comments:
in my opinion, it should be renamed to "Polish-Commonwealth-the-Polish-perspective" or something - let me disagree. As Halibutt mentions, Poland is not dominating the article. It mentions various cultures and regions. And as a sidenote, Poland - the Crown - was an important part of the Commonwealth and its dominant culture. What criteria do you use for determining that the article is biased in Poland's favour? It would immensly help if you listed them instead of relying solely on 'your opinion'.

The Lublin Union Document says that Lithuania is ATTACHED to Crown and they both constitute Commonwelth. But if we should follow your (meaning people who had so many doubts) logic we shoul say that the country shoul be named Commonwelth of Polish, Lithuanian, Schots, Judes, Ormians, Tatars, Cossacks, Rusins, Turkish and God-only-knows-who-else. Quite a long name, huh? Because all those nations lived there, all those nations had their piece of history there, all those nations had their nobiles in parliment and all those nations worked hard to build strong, and powerfull country! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:45, August 21, 2007 (UTC)

And we had a different perspective - great. Care to share the details of it? Other then it being diffrent?
I would like to see a paragraph on polonization - are you sure you *read* the article? Please reread section Demographics and religion. It is already there. Feel free to expand it or write an article about polonization and ilink it. Just in case, let me copy'n'paste the relevant paragraph here: The population of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was never either overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nor Polish. This circumstance resulted from Poland's federation with Lithuania, where ethnic Poles were a distinct minority. To be Polish was then much less an index of ethnicity than of rank; it was a designation largely reserved for the landed noble class, which included members of Polish and non-Polish origin alike. Generally speaking, the ethnically non-Polish noble families of Lithuania adopted the Polish language and culture. As a result, in the eastern territories a Polish or Polonized aristocracy dominated a peasantry whose great majority was neither Polish nor Catholic. Moreover, the decades of peace brought huge colonization efforts to Ukraine, heightening the tensions among peasants, Jews and nobles. The tensions were aggravated by conflicts between Eastern Orthodoxy and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church following the Union of Brest, and by several Cossack uprisings. In the west and north, many cities had sizable German minorities, often belonging to Reformed churches.
a paragraph about how this dual state caused a big problem of self-identification (...) - good addition to the polonization article, but I think it is too detailed for the Commonwealth article itself, given it already mentions most of the related phenomena.
Finally. As the article became featured, I treat it as a vote of confidence that it is sufficently NPOVed already. Of course, feel free to improve it. And consider, if you don't have the expertise and the capacity to do that, perhaps you are, what a preposterous idea, mistaken or at least slighty biased yourself here? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 21:17, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)


on well-deserved Featured Article status. I hope my editing yesterday helped.

A couple of comments on some recent correspondence:

Though neither Belarusian nor Lithuanian, I can see some validity to rydel's overall point. The upper crusts of these two peoples were indeed Polonized under the Commonwealth, due to historical processes. "Polonization" might indeed make an interesting article (as might "Germanization," "Russification," "Americanization," etc.). Another "Polonized Lithuanian" was Jozef Pilsudski--as I sheepishly indicated in a November 14, 2004, revision of my article, in response to an earlier, November 12 revision that noted Pilsudski's Lithuanian extraction. (As of December 12, he has reverted to being simply "Polish.")

Questions of national identity can only become more prominent over coming decades, as all Europeans tussle with their senses of self--and with difficulties over literally finding (a) common language(s) that they can adequately master.

Again, congratulations!

Logologist 22:18, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Yes, nice job! I was just about to nominate it myself, and discovered I had been beaten to it. --Doradus 04:29, Jan 6, 2005 (UTC)

Brawo Panowie, artykul pojawil sie na glownej stronie jako "featured article"--Emax 00:13, Jan 11, 2005 (UTC)


Why does the map 450px-Pol-lith_commonwealth_map.jpg show the Duchy of Prussia labelled as "RUS"? This is now claimed by Russia as the Kaliningrad Oblast, but historically it was not part of Russia until the second world war. Ifdef 19:18, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

That's because the map shows the borders of the PLC superimposed on the present-day borders. That's why the Kaliningrad Oblast is marked as Russian. I thought that's quite obvious from the caption, but apparently I was wrong... Halibutt 03:06, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)
Oops, you're right. I should learn to read more carefully. Thanks Ifdef 16:58, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ok Halibutt, there is an error on this map. Inflanty (Livonia) belonged to Crown and Grand Duchy, so another/yellow color could be used, but Courland could not be a fief of Livonia, since Liviona did not have its own legal identity (in that sense like Crown or Lithuania). Dukes of Courland were vassals of Commonwealth king, I do not remember if as a King of Poland or Grand Duke of Lithuania, but not vassals of Livonia, which was simly one of many voivodships in Commonwealth. Zbyszek


Probably ignorant question: I'm surprised by the fact that the place-name "Galicia" does not occur in this article. Was it not used in this period, or what? -- Jmabel | Talk 22:27, Jan 11, 2005 (UTC)

No, it wasn't used in that period. The name "Galicia and Lodomeria" was invented by the Austrians for the chunk of the Commonwealth which they took during the partitions (1772 and 1795). It is a Latinized name for the ancient duchies of Halych and Volodymyr which were briefly under Hungarian domination (hence the Austrian "claims" to them) but later became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and then -- of the PLC. Within the PLC, these territories were part of the province of Lesser Poland (Małopolska). In fact, the name "Galicia" is not widely used by the Poles, except when talking about the period between 1772 and 1918; mostly because its use was part of the partitioners' broader plan to totally eradicate the very name "Poland". – Kpalion (talk) 03:03, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I was writing more or less the same when my computer crashed. And no Kpalion beat me to it... Shame on you ;) What can I add? Perhaps that the article on Galicia (Central Europe) is pretty good... Halibutt 03:21, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)
I agree that the article on Galicia (Central Europe) is pretty good, but it says that the name is much older, and doesn't really make clear its disuse during the period of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (although I guess you could get that by reading between the lines). I am not confident enough in this matter to make the edit in Galicia (Central Europe), but perhaps someone else should? -- Jmabel | Talk 19:00, Jan 12, 2005 (UTC)
OK, I finally added a new section to the Galicia (Central Europe) which explains the history of the name of Galicia. But history of the region itself still needs to be revised and expanded. Actually, this article isn't pretty nice, it sucks. I hope I'll find some time to work on it (I probably won't have time, but will work on it anyway...) – Kpalion (talk) 01:57, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The land called later "Galicia" was never part of Grand Duchy!!! It was conquered by Polish king Casimir the Great in 14. age. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:38, 14 August 2009 (UTC)


The City of Danzig, under Polish suzerainty from 1466 until Poland's dissolution in 1795, was allowed by King Sigismund to adopt Lutheranism in the 1570s. Therefore the Commonwealth appears to have embraced Lutheranism, Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

Well, one of the Commonwealth claims to fame was its unrivaled religious tolerance, which actually existed even before the Union of Lublin and creatiin of the Commonwealth. On the other hand, it begun to decline in the second part of 17th century, just as the religious restrictions and persecution waned from Western Europe following the end of Thirty's Year War. Starting with the reign of Zygmunt III Waza, Catholicism became a dominant (most pupular) religion in the PLC, but all others (including judaism and even islam) were tolerated. What's your point, actually, dear anon? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 21:05, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)


I started to prepare a timeline of the PL-C, the draft is available at User:Halibutt/timeline. Please feel free to expand/modify/alter it. Halibutt 10:56, Feb 5, 2005 (UTC)

My question is *sort* of related to timelines: What's going on with this back-and-forth between Piotrus and the person identified by IP address? One of them writes that the Commonwealth ended in 1795 with the Third Partition, while the other one claims that the 1791 constitution actually ended the Commonwealth as a commonwealth. While I don't know enough to participate in the *content* of that discussion, I find the *form* of the discussion to be somewhat childish: change, revert, make same change, revert, make same change, revert. I can't tell if the IP-address person is just trying to vandalize the page, or if it's a POV issue, or if there is legitimate disagreement here, but I don't think I will find out if the argument continues only as "Did! Did not! Did! Did not! Did! Did not!" Could someone please enlighten me? Thanks. Ifdef 21:02, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I did leave several notes on the anon talk page (User talk:, but he apparently doesn't read them/choses to disregard them. As far as I can tell, his reasoning is based around his comment: in the the May Constitution of Poland of 1791, the Lithuania was incorporated directly into the kingdom of Poland, thus the PLC ended. It is wrong, because although Lithuanian autonomy got somewhat limited, the name of the state didn't change (and it wasn't PLC, this is just a rough translation, the most common name used during that time would be just Rzeczpospolita). Besides, the constitution was never enforced and the PLC was destroyed in 1795, not in 1791. While the years 1790-1795 did witness major changes, I have not heard of any name change, and the article (which I wrote for the most part) covers the events and changes until 1795. I'd be happy to hear arguments against the above and see sources contradicting me, until then, I will revert the anon changes as vandalism. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:55, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Lithuanian name for Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Originally, country we're talking about is called Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów. In Lithuanian it used to be called as Žečpospolita but nowadays in every book it is called "Abiejų tautų respublika" or simply ATR. Shouldn't it be changed in the article? I'm not really confident, because Lithuanians used to call the country "Žečpospolita", but ATR is only the modern name for Commonwealth.

Tnx for the note, I update this. Does 'Abiejų tautų respublika' translates into Republic of Two Nations?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 00:38, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It translates to "Republic of Both Nations" Ifdef 04:41, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Federation or confederation?

Federation not Confederation

Please do not continue to replace "federal monarchy-republic" with "confederal monarchy-republic" wording. Both federation and confederation have their distinctive meanings (look up their respective definitions). The PLC was under single rule and had a single constitution, which clearly makes it a federation (unlike previous Polish-Lithuanian Union which probably could be considered as confederation. Lysy 12:21, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Huh, Constitution. When? In 1569? Funny one...--Lokyz 07:57, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Confederation not "Federation"

PLC was confederation. There were: 1) different rulers - Grand Duke and King, only it was the same person (see personal union); 2) different teritories;

Sure - as in a province territory. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

3) different capitals - Vilnius and Cracow (later Warsaw);

The only capital of PLC (after 1569) was Warsaw - since it is where the king resided. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but the capital of the Grand Duchy remained Vilnius. Doesn't matter where the King/Grand Duke resided. 22:27, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Please provide references to back your claim. This has been discussed back and forth, and so far not a single reference backing this POV has been produced.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:00, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
Here is the best I found on the net. I didn't have much time to research a source.[1] "Kingdom of Poland and the GDL became a commonwealth or Rzeczpospolita common currency, governance and policy. Nobles from both states had the right to own land and to sell goods without paying taxes in either part of the commonwealth. The two states did retain their own borders, names, armies and administrative powers". See, the both retained administrative powers. While this doesn't explicatly state they had two capitals it does tell what did change of which a unity under one capital was not. Also on languages until 1687(?) not sure if that is the right date, they had many langugages only then when the majority of Lithuanian nobels spoke Polish did Polish become the national language. 23:57, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
I am not sure if I follow your argument "it does tell what did change of which a unity under one capital was not" - you may want to rephrase it. but having two administrative centers doesn't mean two capitals. Any large country has many administrative centeres - but only one capital. If you are considering further discussion and editing, please register - it would be easier to speak to you if you had a nickname. As for languages, there is the difference between spoken and official language. Polish was never a 'national' language - millions in the east spoke Ruthenian or Lithuanian. Again, what change would you like to make to the article?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:09, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

4) different armies;

Really? Are you refering to pospolite ruszenie or wojsko kwarciane? Sure, there were separate Lithuanian hetmans which tended to be stationed in Lithuania, but the entire army was shuffled to were it was needed, with little regard for its 'home base'. With the exception of separate commander (hetman) and some of his officers, I don't recall any strictly Lithuanian or Polish formations. Lithuanian hetmans look more like provincial commanders of unified army then a commanders of a separate national army. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

5) different coffiers;

Sure. Provincial budget. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

6) different law;

Could you elaborate on that? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

7) different state institutions;

Sure. Provincial ones. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

8) other many differencies. There wasn't any single constitution in PLC as you state.

Constitution - not. But there were pacta conventa and varius szlachta privilige acts, which didn't differentiate between Crown or GDL. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

And please don't change to federation in article (because it isn't truth) - it is vandalism. Antituteišas

Please register. You may be taken more seriously then. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Since 1569 Poland and Lithuania has a common Parliament (with representatives of both Poland and Lithuania), common monarch (no, it was not a "personal union" - the monarch was elected and there were no separate elections for Poland and Lithuania) and above all - common foreign policy. Lysy 19:09, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Since Lublin union there was one monarch, but different offices - King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. There never was single foreign policy. In British Commonwealth is one monarch too. Antituteišas

Actually a common single policy was one of the bases of PLC. It was the main reason why Lithuanians wanted to the union, as it was the only way to drag Poland into the Lithuanian war against Moscow. For some reason you seem to be the only person believing that GDL had its own foreign policy within PLC. Can you elaborate a bit more on what makes you think so ? Lysy 19:44, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The line between federation and confederation is a thin one. GDL had significant autonomy, but (after 1569) it did not have its own foreign policy (it was the perogative of the Sejm), although I do recall that some Lithuanians magnates attempted from time to time to break that rule and usually draw PLC into the conflicts with Muscovy, usually with disasterous results (Dimitriads, The Deluge...). IIRC only the Grand Hetmans stationed in the south had perogatives to deal with Ottoman Empire and its vassals without Sejm approval, due to the unstable nature of this border (near constant war tends to create some exceptions). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Following Antituteišas' logic after the Union of Lublin the PLC was a confederation of 100 different states, since the ruler of that state had many more titles than just King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Which doesn't mean that "Ruthenia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Livonia, Smolensk, Kyiv, Volhynia, Podlachia or Siewierz and Czernichów" were separate states. We could argue about Sweden during the times of Sigismund III, but he also held the title of king of the Goths and Vandals. Does it mean that the state of Goths and the state of the Vandals were separate entities as well? Halibutt 01:14, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)

Dear Piotrus. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was confederation of two sovereign states. There weren't single central gowernment and single capital in PLC. Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Kingdom of Poland weren't "provinces" but were the states. The name Commonwealth is very definite (it was started to use not by polish historians). Commonwealth can unite only states, not provinces . All your statements simply aren't truth. Ringaudas

Commonwealth is just one of the synonyms to republic in this context. And it comes from the same root as the Polish (and then Lithuanian) terms: the Latin term res publica - the common thing. Compare with Rzeczpospolita. So, contrary to what you think, the very term does not imply any particular internal structure of the state. It simply suggests that it was a republic, nothing more. Also take note that there are also other names for that state in English, for instance Republic of Both Nations...
Also, could you provide any evidence that the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had its own foreign policy, different from the one the Lithuanian Grand Dukes (and Polish kings at the same time) had? Halibutt 22:30, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)

Its only your fantasies. Study deaper history. Respublica - polish term?! Maybe monkeys in Africa were polish too?))))))) Antituteišas

You don't have to study it, but it would make sense to actually read my post before you reply. And definitely you should reply to what I wrote and not what you think I wrote. I don't know why I am so patient, but I'll make it more clear for you:
Res Publica (Latin) = Rzeczpospolita (Polish) = Commonwealth (English) = Republic (English)
Halibutt 07:40, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

Res Publica (Latin) = Commonwealth (English), Commonwealth (English) = Republic (English) ?(!). Are you drunk or smoked? Antituteišas

No I'm not. Check the article on Commonwealth to see what I mean. In this context the term clearly refers to republican form of government since it is nothing more than a translation of the Polish term Rzeczpospolita. Halibutt 11:13, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

I think you definitely are. Try to go out from your visions. Živinbudas

  • (Unsurprisingly, the anon signing as Živinbudas is editing from the same IP range as the anon signing as Antituteišas. Doubtless the same person.) -- Jmabel | Talk 05:25, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)
He is back as Zivinbudas... --Witkacy 13:15, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

An interesting note from Polish usenet: "Otoz w zaleznosci od zrodel, ktore traktuja o tym zagadnieniu dostaniemy inna odpowiedz. Generalnie najczesciej pojawia sie stwierdzenie, ze byly to byty "quasi-" zarowno w znaczeniu federacyjnym, jak i konfederacyjnym. Nalezy tez pamietac o pewnej trudnosci zwiazanej ze stosowaniem slownictwa nowoczesnej politologii w odniesieniu do dawnych czasow." Thus it is impossible to end our discussion with 'it was a federation' or 'it was a confederation', since the other side will ALWYAS be able to say 'but...'. I suggest leaving it as a federation (because it is shorter :>) but adding a note which would explain what was said above in Polish: "Various sources contrafict each other, disputing wheter PLC was a federation or a confederation. There is also a problem applying modern definitons of those terms to the historical state. A most common compromise is that it was a quasi-federation and a quasi-confederation at a same time." Would such a note satisfy all parties? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 13:33, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

There wasn't single capital in PLC

There wasn't single capital in PLC. There was capital of Grand Duchy of Lithuania Vilnius and capital of Kingdom of Poland Cracow (later Warsaw). Antituteišas

Not really. After Casimir (Kazimierz IV/ Kazimieras Jogailaitis) became both king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, there was only one ruler (and one capital). So, technically speaking, since 1447 there was only one capital. Halibutt 16:33, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

Your statement isn't truth. Could you provide reliable sources? See personal union. Antituteišas

So you say that the same person (King/Grand Duke) was residing in two places at the same time? Bilocation, anyone? Halibutt 17:16, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

Don't be funny. See personal union . Please don't deal with vandalism. Antituteišas

So, what exactly is your argument? If by capital you consider not the place where the monarch resides, then what is it? The parliament(s) were held in a plethora of places, the highest tribunal was where the royal court was and then where the Sejms were, the military command was vested in the monarch (and, indirectly, in hetmans who resided in their own manors rather than in Warsaw, Cracow or Vilna), what else..?
Or perhaps your argument is that Poland and Lithuania had more than 100 capitals at the same time? Halibutt 18:36, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

Dear Halibutt. You have to study deaper History of Lithuania and History of Poland. I don't know how history is provided today in Poland. Then you should know that monarches of Lithuania and Poland resided by rotation in both capitals from 15th century. Antituteišas

And Dear Halibutt. There is Vilnius in English language. Don't use Jewish Vilna in English text. Antituteišas

  • Ah, the agenda becomes clear. What is arguably the most common name in English is unacceptable to you, even on the talk page, because it passed into English through the Lithuanian Jews. Charming. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:38, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)
Let alone the agenda and the suggestion that I'm not knowledgeable enough, I asked for a clear definition of what a capital is. Apparently the capital for our friend is not the place where the monarch resides. So what is it then? Halibutt 01:06, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)
Wilno was never capital of the PLC...--Witkacy 01:46, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Actually from what I heard so Antituteisas was right, and they resided by rotation, so if capital is where monarch resides so there were two capitals. Tautvydas

Welcome back Zivinbudas :) --Witkacy 28 June 2005 23:48 (UTC)
I have never heard about it. Please provide a source.

--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 29 June 2005 08:02 (UTC)

On the other hand, there is some point in this reasoning. If we assume that the capital is where the monarch resides (that is one person, without a court and so on), then there is a problem. Some monarchs preferred Troki, others temporarily resided in Gdańsk, Grodno or other castles. However, in most cases it should be considered as a personal trip since the state authorities usually remained in Kraków. Halibutt June 29, 2005 08:29 (UTC)
As you say it was a personal trip. Polish presidents had a palace near Wisla, but it was never a capital. Wawel, despite being a royal castle, was not a capital after the court and offices moved to Warsaw. When US President Bush goes to his Texas ranch, the US capital remains in Washington, DC. See also definition of capital. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 29 June 2005 18:47 (UTC)
Bush is not a King...yet;P

There are few ways of establishing the Capital of the Country. In Middle ages and later, there wasn't any capitals because, King was always on the move with his court and ministers, and the "capital" was always in the place of the stay of monarch.

But later, sice Articuli Henriciani and Pacta conventa from 1573, PLC has many Cities which did functions of Capital.

But those two were special, Krakow & Vilnius, Krakow was important for Polish Part of Commonwealth, and Vilnius was important for Lithuanian part, these time place of stay of the King was only an indicator, which city is currently "more Capital". Next time, High Crown Offices were concentrated in Krakow especially after 1569, and then Krakow was the closest to present-day's legal definitions of Capital. But only to 1609, when Sigismund III Vasa chosen Warsaw (which was in half way), and relocated majority of Royal High Offices in there.

We haven't any official Acts which were establishing official Capital. So dual version is almost reliable. First legal act such type is about Warsaw...

When King dies the Capital was in the place of stay of Interrex, till establishing Warsaw. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

personal union

Personal union between Lithuania and Poland existed with considerable breakes from 1386. Antituteišas

Until 1569 when PLC was established. Lysy 19:10, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Of course. Antituteišas


Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth - it is very well-directed name. PLC was the same what today British Commonwealth is. Antituteišas

I agree it is the best name. Though if you want to compare it is not like todays BC - it is like todays "United Kingdom". Kubusja

Official languages

Was the Bielorussian really an official language in GDL? Obviously it was used by the peasantry, but was it official? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 12:36, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It was definitely not official language of the PLC.--Witkacy 01:46, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't know about PLC times, but I do remember reading in various places that Lithuanian was not used for court documents in earlier times. The peasants spoke Lithuanian, but the court documents were in Latin or in "Gudu kalba" (what is that in English? Belorusan?) Ifdef 16:06, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

As we good know in kingdom of poland peasantry spoke polish. In Grand Duchy of Lithuania a chancellary languages were Latin and Old Russian Chancellary Language. - Zivinbudas

Yes... the peasantry spoke Polish and the nobility Old Russian.. :)--Witkacy 14:05, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Are you drunk, Witkacy? Read correctly what is written. Chancellary - wrighting - languages. Could you inform what language spoke peasantry in kingdom of poland? (anonymous, 1 May 2005; presumably Zivinbudas)

  • I don't think this abusively worded comment merits an answer. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:01, May 2, 2005 (UTC)

I think this is comprehensive answer. 05:04, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Just to note here that Zivinbudas keeps restoring the same version of the article with blatantly false statements about official languages and with numerous misspellings. In some of the paragraphs that he/she is changing, the only effect is to restore misspellings. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:20, May 2, 2005 (UTC)

Dear Jmabel, thats your statements are false. I state: 1) PLC was confederation; 2) There wasn't one single capital in PLC - there were capitals of both states - Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Vilnius), Kingdom of Poland (Cracow, since 1596 Warsaw); 3) There were different official languages in GDL and KP; for example in GDL were many official languages - Latin, German, Old Russian Chancellary Language etcr. (polish became an official language in GDL only from late 17th century); 4) Lithuania made a personal union with poland in 1386. After this union was many times and for long broken - I would like at all to change this sentence (I will think). Zivinbudas 09:18, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Do tell me the details of the 4) ? 3) (languages) sounds probable, but it would help if you could give us source. For 1) and 2), which sounds rather more improbable, I'd appreciate sources as well. Your word and belief is not everything, I am afraid. Prove to us that you are right. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 11:26, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
I was always taugth that the official state languages of Lithuania were Old Ruthenian (not Belarusian, for G*ds sake) and then, after the majority of GDL nobles adopted Polish language and culture, it was changed to Polish. The Archives of the Grand Duchy might be a decent proof of that (not a single word in Lithuanian language, BTW...). But perhaps our beloved Zivinbudas has other views on this topic, I don't know. Halibutt 12:36, May 5, 2005 (UTC)
On the contrary, in those documents there are literrary "loads" of lithuanian words. Fact, that they're written cyrillic does not make them ruthenian. There are researches on that. Another one thing - it is not very serious to speak about "official" language in a state, where only handfull of people can read and write, and most of those are mostly orthodox monks from acquired lands. It's only use of existing instrument (written ruthenian language), instead of creating own written lithuanian language. As a proof i can point you to the fact, that for some time lithuanian rulers stayed pagan and did not became orthodox (even Jagiello).
The later process of ruthenisation and more later polonisation of nobles is a another, much more complex issue.--Lokyz 03:41, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

The 3rd-May Constitution and other documents from the end of 18th century use just the name "[The] Rzeczpospoolita", without any adjectives. There is a big mess there, because it were the kindoms and duchies that were the real entities. In the beginning of the 3rd-May Constitution we read that:

"Stanisław August [...] king of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Prussia [...] and confederated estates representing the Polish Nation [sic!] [...] declared the Constitution". Hereinafter we have a link to the Law entitled "Miasta nasze królewskie wolne w państwach Rzeczypospolitej" ("Our Royal Free Cities in the States of Rzeczpospolita").

In the act of the Union of Lublin I find (in Polish, unfortunately): "Które wszystkie artykuły my prełaci i panowie rady, książęta, posłowie ziemscy i ine wszystkie stany Wielgiego Księstwa litewskiego znając być chwalebne, potrzebne i obojemu temu narodowi, tak Korony polskiej jako Wielgiemu Księstwu litewskiemu, jako już jednej spolny a nierozdzielnej Rzeczypospolity pożyteczne, a spolnego naszego z stany tej sławny Korony polski z zezwolenia w ten list na ten kształt spisane".

Therefore the most proper name should be: "The Rzeczpospolita of both the Polish Crown and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania". The term "Rzeczpospolita" (Latin: "Res Publica") can be translated as "Commonwealth" (see: ). "The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth" seems to be the best shortening (but not the official name). Cf. also a long discussion of the names "United Kingdom" and "Great Britain" in N. Davies, "The Isles".

Marek J. Minakowski (great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Józef Radzicki, who signed the 3rd-May Constitution)

I see the question was revived by someone adding Lithuanian to the list of official languages. Indeed, the term of official language is relatively modern in itself, but there were languages used in office and languages not used publicly. The documents were first issued in Latin, as was the case of any other European state. Then, with the advent of Renaissance some documents started to be issued also in Polish and German, while the Grand Duchy continued to issue its laws in Ruthenian. However, I'd yet have to see a single official document issued in Lithuanian (at that time almost exclusively referred to as Samogitian). Except for Jagiello no ruler spoke it, no official documents were written in it, nor were there any documents translated to it for some official reason (as opposed to, say, the Lithuanian Statutes that were published in both Ruthenian and Polish, with some parts also available in Latin). //Halibutt 16:29, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Grand Duchy of Lithuania used several languages in chancellery – Latin, Ruthenian, German and later Polish. During peak in XVc. more edicts in Grand Duchy of Lithuania were written in German then in Ruthenian (not even counting Latin).
But yes indeed Ruthenian language made an important role in state (esp. XVI)
About except for Jagiello no ruler spoke it are you sure?
no official documents were written in it
is it so?:[2] [3] M.K. 20:26, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
It is known that ALL rulers up to Alexander Jagiellon could understand and speak lithuanian. Later there is no proof, taht anyone of this dynasty could speak lithuanian. Another one thing, that many of GDL nobles could speak lithuanian up until late XVI-th century, period also known as Lithuanian rennaisance. At the time together with protestantism began lithuanian national revival. Many theories emerged amongst them one, who stated, that lithuanian language points to "latin roots" of lithuanian rulers. At the time tehere was also very popular idea to create written lithuanina language. Rennaisance didnt lasted long, tough, because of it's protestntic nature.
That lithuanian language was widely used points an example: lithuanian speaking Abraomas Kulvietis (meaning Abraomas from Kulva)(Abraham Culvensis), came with proposal to Queen Bona to establish university in Vilnius, where most of disciplines would be tought in lithuanian language (basic principle of protestants, to teach local people in their own language). That letter was printed in Koeningsberg in year 1543. He even crated colegium i Vilnius, where were thought about 60 pupils, amongst them Martynas Mažvydas, publisher of first lithuanian book (1547)[4]. In year 1542 colegium was closed because "of lutheran propaghanda", he, teachers and students were forced to leave GDL. Because of his religion, he went to Prussia, and aided in creation and also became professor at Koeningsberg university.At teh university tehere were many lithuanian professors, amongst them first theology professor Stanislovas Rapalionis (Stanislaus Rapagelanus) This ultimately ended re-lithuanisation projects of GDL.--Lokyz 14:08, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
And one more thing - samogitian and lithuanian are two different dialects, that differ very much, so that not every lithuanian can understand samogitian and othervise. So stop calling lithuanians "samogitian". Duchy of Samogitia ant samogitian language are two very different things.
Another one - it was not peasant language. All above mentioned - Mažvydas, Rapalionis, Kulvietis - were noble, and spoke lithuanian. You mix some things - mostly russian emperial propaghanda from XIX-th century, when printing lithuanian books in latin font was banned, and most nobles with lithuanian roots became "gente lituanus, natione polonus". But even then, there was notablesize of nobles (szlachta) in Samogitia, that didn't became polonised, or poles.
Most of that "lithuania is not much more than samogitia", "lithuanians are just stupid peasants" and so on comes again from the XIX-th century russian proaghanda, when emperial rulers believed, that "lithuanians are slavs, just because of poles they went wrong way" and also that this could be "undone, by bringing books printed in cyrillic and also orthodox religion". It's a pitty, that up until now some of poles do support that theory.
What i'm trying to say - do not mix different periods history, do not make salad from facts. What was a fact in XVI century, does not mean that this was also in XIX th century. I mean, yes, in late XIX-th century lithuanian language was almost extinct from public life (because of emperial rusian ploitics), but that does not mean that it was same way in in XVI-th or even XVIII th century.
And the last thing - official language. It is very modern term, and i do not think it's apropriate up untill let's say late XVIII th century. It would be better called chancery language.--Lokyz 15:08, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Lokyz, are you from mine few [5] sentences made such article? Joking :D M.K. 16:38, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I do read research books, and do not know what do you mean by saying "are you from mine few".
Anyway, some researchers suggested me another one argument - in XIV-th century all of nobles in england were speaking french, and it was official chancery english language. Not to mention german speaking cities all around Poland up to XV-th century.
I hope, this would clear mind of some modern nationalistic poles, in my opinion representing Balicky-Dmowski NDks policy. And this one theory has nothingin common with real situation. I can accept it only as a national pride revival policy. But I cannot agree with it's aggressivness towards other nations and further going assumptions. Lithuanians were and stll are nation.
I suggest you accept the fact, that agreement (not conquer pact) between two Nations led to comonwealth.--Lokyz 20:13, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
and do not know what do you mean by saying
I just wanted to say that I already in edit summary wrote:
The official status of lang. as such is quite a modern variation, second LT language was not spoken by Samogitian peasants exclusively, because in this case LT. lang. would be based on Samog. dialect
And you in your article expanded the same message, which I try to fit in limited space of summary and I with my remark (are you from mine few sentences made such article) made a reference to your extensive explanation comparing with mine crammed message; adding smile and word “joking”. As I see you literally do not have sense of humor…
Besides I am who posted a link with edict written in Lithuanian language to person which said - no official documents were written in it- So do not teach me NDks policy. M.K. 20:45, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
This is new for me, i did not read this edit of yours. As i can see it's not in discussion page.
Btw i'm not a teacher, and i do not wanna preach anything. Just it came so, that in recent days i've read few books and had some discusions with my fellow study friends. And it somewhat felt right the way.
This is not a place for a friendly chat, we might discuss it at my [[6]talk] page.--Lokyz 21:24, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
[7] hmmm M.K. 23:12, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Lithuanian - an "official language"!?

AFAIK the official status of Lithuanian language somewhere before 1918 is more than dubious --Czalex Coat of arms of Belarus (1918, 1991-1995).svg 21:39, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

It's just because you didn't read documents - look at the link, there is in Casimir IV issued oficial document in Lithuanian language. There are more of them.
Up untill early XVII th century in Lithuanian lands it was wide used in everyday life and politics, - even Germans and Ruthenians learned it. Later in cities and Grand Dueke court it was replaced wit Polih. If you would be interested, i'd could make compilation of references, for further read. (Just a teaser Vytautas and Jogaila were speaking Lithuanian 1429, when discussing Vytautas coronation - Codex epistolaris Vitoldi magni ducis Lithuaniae, wyd. Antoni Prochaska, Kraków, 1882, p. 816.} Jan Dlugosz states, that when 1440 m. Grand Duke of Lithuania Casimir Jagiellon came to Vilnius he learned Lithuanian language and customs, and after he became king of Poland he brought a lot of Lithuanian speaking people to Poland. There are much more examples, just now I'm too tired to look for more.
Main problem is that most of XV-XVI th century Vilnius and Trakai, and also Tribunal documents are gone in XVII century during Russian occupation. There are documents form other cites, and they are not researched well enough.
Yet for I don't know what time I have to repeat - stop reading Senkewicz, start reading research. XIV th century is one thing, XVI th century another, and XIX th - just a third very different story. And to judge situation in XVI th century based on XIX is, well, inadequate. And this is not belief, it's based on facts.
Anyway, as of recent discussions, I've lost all belief, that someone would care to comprehend this.--Lokyz 22:34, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
And one more thing - it is absolute nonsence speak about "official" languages up until XIX th century. Any not biased historian would tell you that. But you might believe and write whatewer you like. And to say that Ruthenian language was "only one" official, only because it was used in Chancllery. Well. Think how many people in XIV or XV centuryth the time could read and write. My assumpion would be about 2-5 prercent, no more.--Lokyz 22:47, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


We use, in two places, the abbreviation "GDL" for Grand Duchy of Lithuania. We either need to properly introduce this (put "(GDL)" after the first mention of Grand Duchy of Lithuania) or not use it. Someone else's call as to which. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:16, Apr 18, 2005 (UTC)

to polish "administrators"

Why did you protect false polish version, but not discussed (see Talk:PLC -> above) last version? 10:03, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Disucss your suggested changes here and the article will be unprotected when a concensus is reached--nixie 10:47, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Posjol nachuj (russ.) 12:50, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Translation: "Posjol nachuj" = (lit: go onto a dick) "Fuck off"... It seems that Zivinbudas asking for a hard-ban :)--Witkacy 14:44, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

It is in russian language which you like slave very good understand. 17:21, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

I missed you... By the way, it is not Russian language, it is "how little Joe thinks Russian looks like". Which doesn't make it less offensive, but at least makes it a tad funny. Halibutt 21:30, May 3, 2005 (UTC)

Hi there

I am a simple user of the Internet, some time ago I have encountered a "place" called WP, yes, it was this place. I must say that I found it as a great example of a great effort to share knowledge, to show the way in the darkness of unawareness. In my personal opinion this encyclopedia is much better than many commercial ones, it has the spirit. Furthermore, it is like a dynamic living organism. It constantly evolves, changes and what is the most important, usually to the better. Nevertheless, like every "being" it is endangered and threaten by many diseases. Some are like a cold, they disappear after a shor time. Unfortunately ther are some much more dangerous...this whole guy or who ever he/she/it is, is like a cancer. And a kind of aggresive one. The one that attacks organ after an organ, the one that is trying to degenerate everything it encounters. This illness - appears to be hard to get rid off, especialy when it's destructive "work" can be sensed in many tissues now. I know that this cancer is an anomaly that has no right to exist here, and I wish you much patient it the entire process of treatment. I believe, I know that you, the admins/doctors shall defeat the evil and heal this wiki-organism, the organism I have so much to thank (matura from history soon:)). Good luck (anon 4 May 2005)

Funny typical young polish fanatic. 18:21, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

Mercator's map

I think that moving Mercator's map down a few lines would improve both the aesthetic and the logical flow of the document. Shinobu 10:53, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Be bold. Or we will, after the troll is gone and we can take the protection off. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:52, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Exclusive right to edit for polish "administrator" - provocateur "Piotrus"?

Where did disappeare mark of "protection" of this article? It happened after "unprotection" and making "changes" by polish "administrator" - falsificator "Piotrus" (See History of article). After this page was again "protected" but without mark. I understand that in wikipedia polish falsificators have exclusive rights, but... This is real face of sh... sorry wikipedia. Zivinbudas 16:48, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for "unprotection" after my question. Zivinbudas 18:45, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Golden Liberty

Złota Wolność literally means "Golden Liberty," in the singular, and probably should be so rendered into English, rather than as "Golden Freedoms," in the plural. "Liberty" is more a political term, "freedom" more a legal (even legalistic) one. In this context, "liberty" should probably be identified with wolność, "freedom" with swoboda. It would in no way affect the argument of the article to restore the unitary, historic timbre of "Golden Liberty." logologist 22:50, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Tnx for the note. I am now considering moving the content of Nobles' democracy to Golden liberty. What do you think of that - and should we use capital letters? See also talk on that page. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 09:36, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. Please see Talk:Nobles' democracy. Capitals would seem a good idea, by analogy with "Manifest Destiny," for example. logologist 10:18, 30 May 2005 (UTC)


What on earth is "quaity", as in "Sarmatism enshrined quaity among szlachta..." I'm sure it's a typo for something; the closest English word is "quality" but that doesn't seem to make sense here. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:41, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

It should be "equality". Halibutt 06:13, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Republic of...

I see that in the lead sentence "Republic of the Two Nations" has been changed to "Republic of Both Nations". I believe these are roughly equally common in English; the former is apparently a more precise translation, the latter is more euphonious to the native English-speaker. Is there any reason not to mention both names? Certainly both are useful to someone looking for more information on the topic. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:07, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

In Polish it's definitely the "Republic of Both Nations" (Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów), Republic of Two Nations would sound bizarre (Rzeczpospolita Dwojga Narodów). Perhaps in Lithuanian or Ruthenian it is the other way around, I don't know. Halibutt 08:14, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
Note that the state known in Polish as Królestwo Obojga Sycylii is called "Kingdom of the Two Sicilies" (not: "Kingdom of Both Sicilies") in English. I think "Republic of Both Nations" may sound awkward to an English speaker and this is what we should use even if it's not the most literal rendering. – Kpalion (talk) 09:00, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
I know, I'm merely pointing at the rationale behind recent edits. Halibutt 12:51, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
As there is no agreed name, I'd say use both names - at least in the lead. Which is used later, I don't care, as long as there is consistency. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:55, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Words of wisdom

From the preface of Jerzy Tadeusz Lukowski's 'Liberty's Folly'. They are so related to the problems we Wikipedia editors face when writing our articles related to the PLC, that I decied to copy the entire paragraph.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 05:52, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Any work about "Poland"'s past is bound to ruffle some deeply held feelings. The inverted commas around the first mention of Poland [...] are a gesture towards the nationalisms which stand as an immovable barrier between the eighteen-century Commonwealth and its twentieth-century successor states. Different cultures and languages rolled back the old Polish supremacy in a large area of eastern Europe, causing, at the very least, immense problems of terminology and nomenclature for any scrupulously minded historian. Unless otherwise specified, "Poland" as used in the text should be taken to mean the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in its entirety. I have abandoned all attempts at consistency in the rendering of place and personal names as leading to unmitigated absurdity. Most sensitively, Gdańsk, Toruń and Elbląg have been rendered Danzig, Thorn and Elbling, not in recognition of any grossdeutsch pretensions, but to signal that their patriciates and a good half of their population spoke German as their first language. I have never regarded the mutliethnic, multilingual and multidenominational nature of the old Commonwealth as anything to be glossed over. As regards personal names, I have followed my instincts and in most cases, unless there is an extremely close English equivalent, I have kept to the Polish form. I refuse to render Stanisław as anything other then Stanisław.

Geografia historyczna ziem dawnej Polski

The entire text of this great 1903 book by Zygmunt Gloger is here. 1903 would mean PD, yet the page states it is copyrighted. Any comments on that?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 06:01, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't make sense. Why not contact Dr. Marek Adamiec and ask him what he means by his notice? logologist|Talk 06:27, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Often people say things are copyrighted when they're not. In the united states (which is the relevant law for WP), any work published before 1923 is in the public domain (see wikipedia:public domain). So the text of this book is public domain and if you feel confident that the site hasn't modified the original text then feel free to use it (where appropriate, I don't see how it's all that useful for en.wikipedia, maybe it might find a home at wikisource.) Keep in mind that any markup (such as HTML) can be copyrighted. But this is not so much an issue for bringing stuff into wiki, since you'd only be copying the text and not the HTML. Matt 07:27, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Today's views on PLC

Can this be verified?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 04:19, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Today's Republic of Poland considers itself a successor to the Commonwealth, while today's Republic of Lithuania has distanced itself from what it has considered to be an association which has not been historically beneficial to its existence.

To me it sounds really weird. I suggest deleting it. There are two successors - Poland and Lithuania, as there were two separate entities/nations what made up the PLC. Besides, how do you really measure "historically beneficial?" Renata 03:58, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Recent edits: some moderation

This article was FAed over a year ago, and it can definetly use attention, NPOVing, expantion, clarification and such. Let me address recent edits by Irpen:

  1. names: I don't think they are too long. If you want to create a new section for them, please do so but 'commenting them out' is only slightly better then deletion. As an inclusionist, I am going to revert this commenting. Feel free to add the UA name and move this to a separate section (just as noted in the Wikipedia:Naming_conventions/Geographic_names)
  2. "The state system was a precursor of the modern concept of federation" - I am changing it to 'one of the precursors' (by no means it was the only one) and adding "democracy".
  3. When you add inline references, could you use one of the Wikipedia:Inline references systems? Like the one we used in the Katyn Massacre, for example? And please link to the EB online text (or if it's printed one, give printed edition info).
  4. "nobles who were reluctant to wage offensive wars" - this is discussed more at Talk:Democratic_peace_theory#Poland-Lithuania. It is a fact that szlachta were generally reluctant to wage wars, if only because they had to pay for them. But unfortunately I can't cite any sources for that so I agree it should be removed/striked out until such references (for a sweeping statement, yes) can be provided.
    Update. Sources are being given at the above talk page, although I'd like to see the full citation(s).
  5. note to readers: POV of 'Demographics and religion' is discussed at Talk:Polish-Lithuanian-Muscovite Commonwealth.

--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:46, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

To Irpen, Your addition to the PLC, and Polish and Lithuanian current views on the subject has a couple of flaws. First, and most importantly, it is grammatically incorrect as written. Secondly, it is redundant, as the point of your edit and rv of my edit is clearly covered in the sentence... The two compromising states....(this is only a couple of sentences above your edit). No need for the redundancy. Don't know enough about you. It seems to be rather hostile and a provocation. Perhaps, I'm wrong. In any case if you feel the article is in need of this remark, please check with someone about the syntax. Dr. Dan 20:21, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Dr. Dan, I always welcome corrections of my grammar. I am not a native speaker and consider my level of English somewhere between en-2 and en-3 for Wikipedia purposes. To cut myself some slack from inevitable criticism, like yours above, I put a lower estimate (en-2) at my userpage. So, again, if whatever I write is "grammatically incorrect as written", please copyedit my grammar. In fact I often leave a note at talks of by en-N wikifriends asking them to do it.

As for the content of my edit, your accusing me of being provocative is largely undeserved. You may want to check with other active Polish editors who know me very well by now before making accusation of hostility and provocativeness.

Now, to Piotrus' comment, the fact that Poland was a dominant partner is considered rather established, perhaps outside much of the Polish historiography, but as we discussed at Talk:Polish-Lithuanian-Muscovite Commonwealth having articles based on national historiographies results in propagation of unwarranted myths, perhaps useful for patriotic upbringing of kids in high school, but not in international encyclopedia. The myth biased to the contrary, about '39 partition of Poland viewed as "unification" of Ukrainians and Belarusians, is an example of the same thing, just the opposite POV. If you feel that the ref is necessary for this obvious statement, add a link to this EB article. This links to a teaser version and the full one requires subscription. I view the full version through the restricted network access and the link I use is useless since it won't work for everyone.

That magnates were practical enough to stay away from a 30 years war, a religious conflict, does not still warrant the statement that Szlachta was "reluctant to wage offensive war" due its obvious contradiction with reality. Wars in Moldavia and the Polish invasion to Russia clearly prove to the contrary. So, even if someone somewhere said that the magnates were just a peaceful bunch, this should be used as an attributed opinion in the article at best, rather than a general statement because the surface level check of this opinion against facts doesn't hold water.

Names: this is indeed too long and clumsy. I could of course add the Ukrainian and Russian names (the ones I know) to the Belarusian one (because PLC controlled parts of what's today Ukraine and Russia similar to much of today's Belarus) but I saw that would be a WP:Point. What does these states have to do to PLC? Why not include a Slovakian and Romanian names too for this very reason? I am also an inclusionist and any info is good but style matters to. This is a FA and we should not make an intro look clumsy. Probably it originally had only PL and LT names, than a Belarusian editor added a BE one. I could have added two more but chose to sacrifice the desire to give excessive prominence to the names in my languages, perhaps uninteresting to an English speaking reader, to the good style. Please remove all those names from the first line since it just looks a clutter. A separate section as in PMW is warranted (BTW, are we going to rename the latter to RPW?).

The noble's democracy in PLC, while prominent was neither the only nor the earliest example of the restrictions of the monarch's power by the powerful nobility. My edit simply moderated the statement there.

About federation, yes, but again we had enough discussion of the Polish Federalism phenomenon elsewhere and, again, those eulogies need some moderation. Again, I do not deny how progressive for the time those were but what I see is the idealizations just moderated in some article after long discussions at talk popping up at different articles to be started all over again. This is rather exhausting and also unproductive to spend time on again and again. Let's settle it in the ongoing discussion at Talk:Polish-Lithuanian-Muscovite Commonwealth.

--Irpen 21:04, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Dan, As a frequent participant of discussins with Irpen, I'd like to note that although we differ in some views, he is a most civil and respectful Wikipedian, and I don't find his edits offensive or provocative. That said, let's get back to business.
Szlachta's reluctance (or lack of it?) to join in wars requires further analysis and I am looking forward to seeing the references from Talk:Democratic_peace_theory#Poland-Lithuania. Nobody's is disputing that PLC was an agressor from time to time, but it would be interesting to see if it was more or less agressive then it's neighbours. In addition to the 2 conflicts you mentioned, I can also add the multi-faced Northern Seven Years' War, but I am drawing blank on others. How many agressive wars were other European countries engaged in during those 3 centuries?
Names: I do think that P and L names are important here. If adding R and U names to the mix makes it too long for the lead, then move it to another section. But my bottom line is that P and L names must be included.
On a related note, I have just noticed that all the pictures represent Polish (or polonized) culture. If anybody would like to add some pictures from GDL or Ruthenia (Cossacks!) it would be great.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:34, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Prokonsul, I agree that Irpen seems to be civil and respectful now that I know him a little better. I don't believe that I said he was'nt, just that I was'nt sure about his motives for his inclusion of why Lithuania has distanced itself from any resurrection of the PLC, twice. In any case I don't think it's because they feel they were the junior partner in the arrangement. If it becomes too big of a deal, the whole sentence can be removed without too many people losing sleep over it. Unfortunately, Irpen did'nt address any of my points besides his appreciating grammatical corrections. Dr. Dan 02:09, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Dr. Dan, this was your entry. There are only three things there that I can see. A valid criticism of my English, your opinion that the mention of Polish domination is redundant (before my edit it was totally missing from the article btw, contrary to the mainstream scholar's opinion) and suspicion of my dishonorable motives that you retracted now. What from it was not addressed in my response? I suggest we rather concentrate on the deficiencies of the article that were raised because the article bears a FA label and its having a POV dispute tag together with the FA label undermines the prestige of the FA label and of WP itself. While admittedly, it was me who placed a POV-tag, I think I totally justified it here and at the related discussion at Talk:Polish-Lithuanian-Muscovite Commonwealth. --Irpen 02:30, 5 February 2006 (UTC)


Please let us know exactly what is POV here and how can we fix it (or better, sofixit). If there are no comments here in a few days I'd assume that the POV has been eliminated.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:01, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Persecution of Orthodoxy

Copied from Talk:Polish-Lithuanian-Muscovite_Commonwealth#Mainstream_and_myths by --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:27, 10 February 2006 (UTC):

First, a Colubmia Encyclopedia, "Ukraine"'s article "History Chapter says[[8]:

"The dynastic union between Poland and Lithuania in 1386 also opened Ukraine to Polish expansion. Ukraine had flourished under Lithuanian rule, and its language became that of the state; but after the organic union of Poland and Lithuania in 1569, Ukraine came under Polish rule, enserfment of the Ukrainian peasants proceeded apace, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church suffered persecution."

Poland article in same encyclopedia says[9]:

There was considerable religious toleration in 16th-century Poland and the progress of Protestantism was arrested without coercion by the Jesuits, who introduced the Counter Reformation in 1565. Relations between the Roman Catholic ruling class and the followers of the Greek Orthodox Church in Belarus and Ukraine (then parts of Lithuania) were less harmonious and helped to involve Poland in several wars with Russia.

Also, a quote below from EB's "History of PL" article[10]:

"...Ukraine was “colonized” by both Polish and Ukrainian great nobles. Most of the latter gradually abandoned Orthodoxy to become Roman Catholic and Polish. These “little kings” of Ukraine controlled hundreds of thousands of “subjects”... The new Eastern-rite church became a hierarchy without followers while the forbidden Eastern Orthodox church was driven underground. Wladyslaw's recognition of the latter's existence in 1632 may have come too late. The Orthodox masses—deprived of their native protectors, who had become Polonized and Catholic—turned to the Cossacks."

Also, same article:

" The heavy-handed behaviour of the “little kings,”... was resented even by small nobles and burghers. Growing socioeconomic antagonisms combined with religious tensions."

Same source, now "Ukraine" article[11]:

The Uniate church was unsuccessful in gaining the legal equality with the Latin church foreseen by the agreement. Nor was it able to stem the process of Polonization and Latinization of the nobility. At the same time, the Union of Brest caused a deep split in the Ruthenian church and society. This was reflected in a sizable polemical literature, struggles over the control of bishoprics and church properties that intensified after the restoration of an Orthodox hierarchy in 1620, and numerous acts of violence. Efforts to heal the breach in the 1620s and '30s were ultimately fruitless.
Within the [Lithuanian] grand duchy, the Ruthenian lands initially retained considerable autonomy. The pagan Lithuanians themselves were increasingly converting to Orthodoxy and assimilating into Ruthenian culture. The grand duchy's administrative practices and legal system drew heavily on Slavic customs, and Ruthenian became the official state language.
Direct Polish rule in Ukraine since the 1340s and for two centuries thereafter was limited to Galicia. There, changes in such areas as administration, law, and land tenure proceeded more rapidly than in Ukrainian territories under Lithuania. However, Lithuania itself was soon drawn into the orbit of Poland... (drawn into orbit is hardly appropriate phrasing for the equal union, isn't it?)

Same source, Union of Lublin article[12]:

Formally, Poland and Lithuania were to be distinct, equal components of the federation [...] But Poland, which retained possession of the Lithuanian lands it had seized, had greater representation in the Diet and became the dominant partner.

Now, can we return the phrase about the intent of domination of the idea's proponents and moderate the phrasing about purpoted "tolerance"? --Irpen 23:46, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I have added a note about this. It would be helpful if you can provide direct links to those references you found.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:22, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I added links above. EB links are only useful if you have full access, otherwise you will see only a teaser version. I don't udnerstand why you needed links if the encyclopedias and article's exact names were given (just enter the article name at the encyclopedia's site and you would see the exact same links). And, as I said at another talk, just let me know if you are interested to see quotes from respected historians as well. And I am not talking about some fringe non-mainstream historians. I am talking about names like Kostomarov, Subtelny [13], Wilson, etc. --Irpen 23:03, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for adding those links, now we have everything we need for proper inline citations. I'd like to see those quotes - we can discuss the'mainstreamity' of those historians later :) Oh, and Subtelny should have an article... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:52, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Just letting you know that I tried to NPOV the article and removed the POV template. Feel free to point out more remaining POVishness, put please be specific.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:14, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I saw that. We could improve it of course, but I didn't object to the tag removal after recent corrections. I will get back to the article later and will try to add some material to it but POV isn't needed anymore, I agree. --Irpen 18:21, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I'd actually like to add ALL references you provided above (I believe there is no such thing as too much references), but I am not sure where to put them now. Feel free to do so - the new referencing style is quite user friendly. In related comments, this article is a great example of how Wiki (and our own) standards evolve: I was proud to FA it a year ago, but now it seems in need of more improvement (more inline citations for a start).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:25, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania

This link for "Head of state" "King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania" goes to "List of Polish monarchs". The problem is that, while the Piasts, for example, were indeed Kings of Poland, they were not Grand Dukes of Lithuania. There is no mention of the GDLs before Władysław II Jagiełło, e.g. Algirdas, Gediminas, and so on.

Maybe "King of Poland" should link to "List of Polish monarchs" and "Grand Duke of Lithuania" should link to "List of Lithuanian rulers"? Ifdef 19:23, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Good idea. Please do so.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:08, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Today's Sucessor to the Commonwealth

Regarding the current Republic of Poland considering itself to be the sucessor to the Commonwealth. First, the Prokonsul comes up with one of my favorite sources in Wikipedia, "it's common knowledge". Then Halibutt, realizing this won't fly, links us to the preamble of the Constitution of Poland (1997). I did not read anywhere, in the English link that it considers itself to be the sucessor to the historical Commonwealth, which is what the article is about. If you are trying to extrapolate that "Republic" translates to "Rzeszpospolita", and this makes the statement true, you've got to be kidding. Personally, I do believe that Poles and Poland believe that they are the sucessors to the Commonwealth. I also believe that the second part of the statement is true, regarding Lithuania. A great compromise would be to remove both citations, and let the statement stand as it was. Mavbe this could begin a more harmonious and less hostile historical perspective between Poles and Lithuanians in Wikipedia. I see that the current governments of both countries are doing this today. Dr. Dan 16:48, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, to the best of my knowledge, the "First Republic" mentioned in the constitution is the Commonwealth, isn't it? —Nightstallion (?) 16:52, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Well to the best of my knowledge, Recalling the best traditions of the "First Republic", is not the same as claiming to be the sucessor to it. Dr. Dan 17:11, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

The Preamble of the constitution is just that - recalling all the traditions that led to the present Polish state. Hence, current Republic of Poland claims in its basic act to be a successor of all the previous Polish states ("1st and 2nd Republics") by recalling the best traditions'. If "recalling the best traditions" of those states in the most important legal act of the country is not a proof of feeling of continuity then what would be? Especially that the following words call the 1st and 2nd republics a part of the "over one thousand years' heritage".
Anyway, this was just the most apparent proof I could think of, though there are hundreds more. The acts of the Polish Sejm in commemoration of the May Constitution, the fact that a plethora of military units are named after 16th and 17th century commanders of the Commonwealth (even if they were from the Grand Duchy and not the Crown) and so on. Just tell me what proof do you need and I'll locate it for you. Though as I said, the Polish constitution is pretty sufficient for me. Halibutt 17:33, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Dr.Dan, please provide sources that deny Poland's claim to be a successor of PLC, and/or that confirm that Lithuania 'distances itself from such association'. And note that while the current reference leaves somewhat to be desired, simply removing it is vandalism.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:51, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

O.K., Piotrus let me give it a go. I truly wish I had more time to spend on these talk pages, and in editing and contributing to the different articles. It amazes me how much time it takes to read and compose even a small entry into the fray. I simply cannot understand where people get the time to create these elaborate user pages with pictures and icons, their favorite recipes, ect. Thank you, Halibutt, for the motyl.

Now back to business. Read the sentence in its entirety. Read it without the calls for citations. I think you will agree it is composed of two parts, the latter admitedly added by me. When it stood without my addition, Piotrus, you didn't question it or find that it needed a citation. In fact, after I questioned it and added the citation, your first response was to dismiss it outright and say, "it's common knowledge". Halibutt chose instead to come up with a source, that you, Piotrus said that his "... reference leaves somewhat to be desired (sic). I agree that the reference leaves a lot to be desired, and that it is far from being conclusive. That is why I deleted it, and explained why I deleted it. Does that make it vandalism? Is removing the "great stretch", that the preamble to the 1997 Polish Constitution confirms the first part of the sentence that we are quibbling about, vandalism? Let's take the second part of the statement, the part that I added, and that you wanted a citation for. If I dismissed your request with the response, "it is commom knowlege", would I, could I, get away with it? Didn't think so. So let's for argument sake, say that I'm wrong and we totally get rid of my addition. The article is not about modern Poland or its 1997 Constitution. It is about a historical entity that was called the Polish and Lithuanian Commonwealth. You like the idea that modern Poland is its sucessor. What is modern Lithuania's stance on the subject? Is it its sucessor too? Or did Zeligowski completly destroy any chance of that happening? Please educate me on the current Republic of Lithuania's position visa vis the historical Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth? Is it even important, remembering the formal name of both nations? Should the matter even be addressed at all? Can we open the question up, broadly, without name calling , accusations of vandalism, and forgetting the "citations" for a moment? What is, as Piotrus calls it the "commom knowledge" of both countries' current position? Dr. Dan 01:45, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea what's the Lithuanian stance towards PLC, and I don't think it's common knowledge (well, maybe it is in Lithuania). I know the fact that PLC is a precursor to Poland is common knowledge in Poland. The very fact that History of Poland traces starts in 10th not 20th century should be a clue, the fact that PLC is often reffered to as 'I Rzeczpospolita' is another. Preamble of the constitution is not that clear, and I'd prefer a book or an article, but it is better then nothing. Although I don't see harm in providing a citation to prove it, I think it is such an irrelevant matter that I don't want to spend time looking for it. I ask you to provide any citation that would argue that it is not true, and to show me something that would back up the Lithuanian claim that I have never heard of. I really don't see your point here - unless you want to dispute that Holy Roman Empire was precursor to modern Germany, or Muscovy to Russia...--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 06:50, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Precursor and Sucessor are two entirely different words, with two entirely different meanings. Dr. Dan 14:02, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

In general, if A is a precursor to B, then B is a successor to A. - Jmabel | Talk 19:05, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Interesting deduction, Joe. And of course the German Empire was the precursor to the Weimar Republic, and the Third Reich was the "successor" of the Weimar Republic, too. Joe, since you are adding your "two cents" worth into the argument at hand, would you venture to add your spin on what the modern Lithuanian Republic's position is, in regards to the question? After all, the official name of the Commonwealth suggested they were equal partners. Thanks! Dr. Dan 23:01, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Dan, if we are to include arguments from the sandbox named international law, then the Polish-PLC connection is even more clear. Current state is a legal successor of both the People's Republic and the "2nd Republic" in that is pays the debts of the former, honours its legal acts and so on. The 2nd Republic was also a legal successor of the first as stated by, for instance, the treaty of Riga which forced Bolshevist Russia to pay for the dismemberment of the PLC and return all property stolen - tada! - both before and after the partitions. However, legally Poland was also a successor state of Austria-Hungary, Prussia and the Russian Empire, though in a different way. Halibutt 23:20, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Great, Halibutt, now maybe you can enlighten us as to what the modern Lithuanian Republic's position is, in regards to the question. Or maybe it's too insignificant for you to bother with. Dr. Dan 23:38, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

As for LT constitution it does not really list anything to specific. You can guess that having based its legal foundation on the Lithuanian Statutes and the Constitutions of the Republic of Lithuania refer to GDL and 1918-1940 republic. I said before that "considers not to have been historically beneficial to its existence" is really weird... Like who defines "historically beneficial"? How to measure it? So I think that part is POV. Renata 03:37, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I dont claim any expertise at all here, but as I understand it: neither Poland nor Lithuania is a successor state in legal terms (assumption of debts, things like that) because of the interrgnum caused by the successive partitions, but both Poland and Lithuania consider themselves heirs to the commonwealth in terms of national identity. - Jmabel | Talk 16:15, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Although this book speaks of Union of Lublin, not PLC, I think it provides an interesting (and citable) glipse into how different nations' historiographies view the PLC. I have incorporated this info into the Union article - if you think it is useful, feel free to update the current article with this reference.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:24, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

On official languages again.

I'm astound how resistant you are to admitting that the offilcial language of GDL (and consequently one of the official languages of the Commonwealth) was Old Belarusian. The unquestionable fact is it was an eastern Slavic language spoken by the ancestors of today's Belarusians. The discussion whether it was Old Belarusian or Old Ruthenian is senseless, as the difference is only in the name. Both of the mentioned terms refer to the same idiom. And this east Slavic language not only really functioned as the official language of GDL, but it was also officially declared as such (I don't remember the sources right now, but I can deliver the references in a few days time). Warszawiak 10:04, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Please provide a reference for this 'unquestionable fact'.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:48, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
What do you mean by saying "official" language? Was it a "state" language, or chancery, or official foreign office language? Do you wanna state, that "old belorussian" is the same language as "old ukrainian" (which, btw, is also "ruthenian")?
I'm just interested, if this isn't another reincarnation of infamous "Litvania" theory.--Lokyz 21:08, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

No, it is not any reincarnation of any theory, as I don't even know what "Litvania" is supposed to mean. From the purely linguistic point of view, that's correct, "old Belarusian" and "old Ukrainian" may be considered the same idiom, or at most two closely related dialects of the same idiom. These two languages began to differ significantly very late. The main features that differentiate them (akanie, new affricate consonants in Belarusian, ikavizm and hardening of soft consonants in Ukrainian) date from the late 15th century and later. Until then, one common language existed and naming it "old Belarusian", "old Ukrainian" or "Ruthenian" is equally correct. And because the GDL chancelory documents were writen on the north of the Ruthenian theritory, on the Balto-Slavic borderland, by the theritorial criterion they may be classified as Old Belarusian. I'll get the reference as soon as I can go to the library. Warszawiak 11:07, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

But of course, Ruthenian was indeed the chancery language of GDL prior to 17th century. What's wrong with that? I wouldn't call it Old Belarussian, Old Russian or Old Ukrainian though. Halibutt 11:48, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
So we should add Ruthenian to Official languages, and I think it would be good to state in the box (or in a footnote) which official languages where used in what provinces (Crown vs. GDL) and since/till when. This should sovle our problems neatly, shouldn't it?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:36, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I think you should at least replace "old belorussian" with "ruthenian"- location of where those documents were written do not have influence - until XVIII century there was no "Belorusia" - if you can prove otherwise - you're welcome (facts with sources, please) . And because we speak about GDL, maybe it should be considered as "old lithuanian chancery language". (Of course I'm just kidding).
Now for real - this language in latest reasarch (just for remark - in countries where research is non political) is widely accepted as "ruthenian". And let me remind, that in those documents (also in statutes) there are many lithuanian words. Also many documents in GDL and later in Rzecpospolita were written in latin.
Another remark - there is antoher issue about "official" language. AFAIK neither one of languages in GDL was ever declared official. This is really complex and difficult issue, because many nations wanna be proud "GDL" descendants. So there comes "official", "state" language issue: (AFAIK again), this is business of modern times, which emerged after German "Sturm und Drang" movement, when many nations began to lookmfor their own national identity (germans were the first, when similar language gave them a feel of national "unity" against alienated "frenchish" nobiles).In lithuania it became very rough in early XIXth until early XX th century, There are even some famillies when brothers chose different nationalities: For example known lithuanian zoologist Tadas Ivanauskas chose lithuanian nationality, and three of his brothers - polish, belorussian ad russian respectively. --Lokyz 00:26, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd be fully satisfied if Ruthenian was added to Official languages with a note it was used in GDL (the same with Polish and the Crown) and that it was later replaced by Polish. True, it's hard to talk about Belarus or Ukraine (and Belarusian and Ukrainian) in the modern sense when the period of Commonwealth is to be considered. BTW, what is AFAIK? Warszawiak

Here's some reference on the official language of the GDL: M. Rudzińska, S. Słoński Charakterystyka języka urzędowego Wielkiego Księstwa Litewskiego in: Zapiski bibliograficzne, "Język Polski" XX, IV, Warszawa 1935, pages from 124 onwards. Мікола Шкялёнак 400-лецьце Літоўскага Статуту in: Беларусь і суседзі. Гістарычныя нарысы Беласток / Białystok 2003. Warszawiak

Thank you for the references. Please consider registering - it will make our future discussions much easier.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:35, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

A good ref for official languages of PLC: [14].-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  12:16, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Republic of the Two Crowns

Alternative history PLC in Ill Bethisad. Just see [15], you will be positivly suprised, I think :)--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:37, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Democratic peace theory

Added a reference used in the above article. For some archived related discussion which led to the inclusion of the PLC example on that page, see Talk:Democratic_peace_theory/Archive_3#Poland-Lithuania.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:31, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Firstness of constitution

I saw that even the ref was added but the claim is erroneous or the authors of the claim imply the firstness for the Modern History only. There have been constitutions before to be sure, like the Constitutions of Clarendon and Constitution of Roman republic. We should not repeat the mistakes of the authors of the books when we can clearly see that they are mistaken. --Irpen 03:04, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

This is why it is written 'second oldest MODERN CODIFIED' constitution. This has been discussed also at Talk:Constitution#Polish_Addition (see also previous sections on that page, as well as Talk:Polish_Constitution_of_May_3,_1791#Second_free.3F and Talk:Polish_Constitution_of_May_3,_1791#World.27s_second_modern_codified_national_constitution). The problem is what we understand exactly by 'constitution' - there were many documents that used that name (in PLC every act of every sejm was called a 'konstytucja', for example). But there seem to be a consensus that US constitution was the first, and Polish was the second, as shown in the citation I've provided. To quote Markoff: Constitutions explicitly describing and limiting the authority of powerholders: The Constitution of US, ratified in 1789, was the model, inspiring numerous successors. Important precursors include some of the documents produced in the course of the English revolution of 1640s and the 18th century Swedish constitution. The first European country to follow the US example was Poland in 1791." And of course we can name many other precursors, from the Roman constitution, through Magna Carta, my favourite Corsican Constitution and many others - but scholars seem to agree they were not really 'modern constitutions'. If you can provide some citations to dispute that, please do, otherwise it's a rather moot point better taken to Talk:Constitution.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:43, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Well, it didn't seem clear but I added that now. --Irpen 05:42, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Quotation assistance

Despite some rather extensive searching, I cannot find who coined the famous quote about Poland being a heaven for nobility and hell for peasants. Also, I found some variants, most common being:

  • heaven for Jews [16] [17]
  • purgatory for city-dwellers [18]
  • purgatory for cleric [19]
Latin example: Polonia coelum nobilium, paradisus clericorum, infernus rusticorum' from [20] by an '18-th century writer'. this book traces it to a 16th century Italian rhyme. Any help appreciated.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:14, 24 March 2006 (UTC)


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I would also like to suggest adding the Ruthenian name. Truthseeker 85.5 15:19, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Reference clarification

I need this sentence - while pre-Second World War Republic of Lithuania has distanced itself from an association which it considers not to have been historically beneficial to its existence - reference (No 15) Lithuania in European Politics: The Years of the First Republic clarification. Can somebody provide exact part and citations from this book, which lead to the conclusion, which is described in the sentence above? M.K. 20:14, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

It appears that the publsher has opted out of Google Print program (shame on them). If you go through history you can see who added that fragment and ref, and ask them if they remeber it (I am pretty sure it was not me).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:00, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I am pretty sure it was you M.K. 21:35, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Hah. The ref, perhaps, I have a habit of filling in fact templates in my article - but not the sentence itself, which I am sure was added by somebody else. Unfortunately I can't remember what the book said.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:56, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
So this means you strain refs towards written sentences. It would be true success to find a ref which corresponded to someone else written sentence, which not needed any additional adjustments. Other point do you think this comparison is good - Today's Republic of Poland considers itself a successor to the Commonwealth, while pre-Second World War Republic of Lithuania has distanced itself from an association which it considers not to have been historically beneficial to its existence? M.K. 17:34, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
I believe it was discussed in the archive. The sentence is not very useful but some users felt very strongly it needs to be kept. Feel free to edit it, and/or find better refs, or edit it out entirely.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:24, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
I will look around M.K. 20:52, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Accidentaly found a useful ref: [21] - For Most Lithuanuans [...] PLC has overwhelmingly negative connotations.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  12:21, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm not surprised, because for many years Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was perceived as Poland, and it was written as Poland, and it was spelled as Poland. And Jogaila was perceived as someone who sold his soul and beloved Lithuania almost to the devil. Now these things are perceived in another light, especialy by historians. Altough people who carried the idea of independant Lithuanian state allways had in mind continuity from GDL and agelong statehood tradition (be it bajorai(szlachta) Mykolas Biržiška, or Stanislavas Narutavičius, Michal Roemer/Mykolas Riomeris (note, that he has no objections his family name being written Lithuanian way) and particulary Jonas Basanavičius . It was perceived not established, but reestablished statehood - maybe thats, why the conflict with Poland was so harsh. It was Poland who didn not wanted to see independant Lithuania - be it any confederation Project (then Lithuania would have acquired Vilnius under some favorable for Poland conditions), or any other form of subjugation. Although, I do have to agree that nationalist craze with Smetona as a leader was (sadly) heading other direction. But you have to agree, that the same thing happened in Poland - just remember kiling of Gabriel Narutowicz for his "not enough Polishness". --Lokyz 13:31, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
"It was Poland who didn not wanted to see independant Lithuania" - see, that's this kind of one sideded 'white and black' attitude that is problematic. I will not even ask you to source this statement cause I don't believe you can find a single English language academic reference for this. The 'Baltic Rev.' book I link above has some nice sections on that issues. Btw, let me point out this ironic occurence: Poland was the second country in the world to recognize Lithuania's independence in 1990s, and Lithuania thanked Poland by criticizing it for 'cowardience' of not being the first to recognize it...-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  14:52, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Let me remind you, that we do not speak about 1990's, just about begining of 20th century, as an ethnos "of Lithuanian speaking peasants", as ofthen called by Halibutt, regained dignity and wanted to speak and write in theyr own language in state, representing theyr needs. Just for ND'ks and (a little bit less) Pilsudsky this was not acceptable.--Lokyz 15:15, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

I did not read this "The Baltic Revolution:.." book and the link provides only synopsis, so I cant comment about it. M.K. 14:22, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

The link above gives you access to most of the book.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  14:52, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I just see synopsis :( one page M.K. 14:55, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, if you have a google print account, just search for Lithuania and Poland in the book. P.163+ and others are pretty good.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  15:10, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I have, but all as I see is just synopsis... M.K. 15:30, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


I moved anon's little essay on 'strzelcy' here, I think this name/formation belongs to pre-PLC part of history of Polish state series. Besides it is not formatted nice, has some starange references (Spieralski...) and is simply not up to Featured standard.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:39, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Strzelcy: Strzelcy were predominately missile armed troops, their name approximately translates as shot-men. Crossbows were the main weapon and remained so until post 1500. Some Strzelcy, particularly from areas with high Tatar or Lithuanian settlements mustered with bows but these were a minority. A significant minority also carried lances. A Noble would raise his Strzelcy from villages under his control. Only the minority of villagers would have had sufficient wealth to provide the weapons and armour they needed. Even so the armour of the Strzelcy was far lighter than that of the knights. Mail and scale armour would have been the best with stiffened leather the norm. Shields were carried by the majority.The Strzelcy of a unit fired simultaneously by arcade. Spieralski notes that for maximum effect when firing by arcade the crossbow should be fired at a 45 Degree angle. Missile fire was intended either to soften up the enemy units prior to a general charge or to break up their charging formation, making the Polish counter charge more decisive.
  • Pocztowi:These were essentially Strzelcy. Crossbows were still the primary weapon although by the 1540's these had been almost completely replaced by the Eastern composite bow. So it is possible that this change began to emerge in this period.

The Polish Republic

What was the above? "First Republic" is unexpained. It needs explanation. And was it (the subject of this Article) also known simply as the "Polish Republic"? Ludvikus 04:03, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Not to my knowledge.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  11:16, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
This is better explaind at Rzeczpospolita. I changed Polish Republic to disambiguate between Republic of Poland and Rzeczpospolita. Kpalion 16:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Empire? Colonialism?

I am curious as to the application of the term "empire" in this article. Wikipedia redirects to this page from a search on "Polish Empire." Can the Commonwealth be in fact considered an empire, was that a term used at any point in history? Surely the territories acquired by Courland would warrant such a name yet the Commonwealth has never shown up in talk on such subjects as colonization or imperialism.

If the Swedish Empire lays claim as a colonizing power based on its properties in the New World, would the Courland possessions warrant the addition of the Commonwealth into colonialist articles? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by JRWalko (talkcontribs) 02:44, 25 January 2007 (UTC).

I have never seen the term Polish Empire used in serious research. Unlike most of its contemporaries, much of the Commonwealth was formed by a volunatry union, not conquest. That said, if we talk about colonization, there are some interesting arguments about Commonwealth colonization of it's south-eastern territories (Cossack issue). See also Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Polish Empire.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  04:21, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

English lang. web site about Polish-Lithuanian Renaissance Warfare —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:23, 17 February 2007 (UTC).

Belarusian naming

It is incorrect to put the name of the country in two languages only and ignore Belarusian and Ukrainian that were very widely spoken in the Rec Paspalitaja. Belarusian lands were the core of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania - ignoring that makes the article nonsense. I propose to put Ukrainian and Belarusian (Рэч Паспалітая абодвух народаў) namings there too --Czalex 06:10, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with that, but IIRC User:Irpen had some objections to that.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  10:15, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Demographics Section

I did a bit of copy editing in this section without changing the content, but some of the population figures given do not make much sense. The population was listed at 11 million for 1618, is next listed as having lost 4 million, and then is said to have lost even further numbers. But then a figure of 9 million people is given, which does not really add up. So if someone has a source with Commonwealth population and can clarify here, it would be a good thing. I couldn't find anything in a quick web search. James McBride 14:51, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Look at dates and remember about growth in other periods. 11,5m in 1618 - continuing growth to 1648–1657 when 4 million die or are 'out' due to border change resulting in (a guess) ~8m at the end of that period - again growth within smaller borders to 1717 when 9m is given. Is there anything unclear?-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  14:56, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Lithuanian language

Can we have a quotation and translation for Lithuanian language being the official language of PLC? ([22]) It is enough for this info to be added here; no need to bloat the articles with quotes.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:12, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

"Official usage of Lithuanian language in the 16th century Lithuania’s cities proves magistrate’s decree of Vilnius city, which was sealed by Žygimantas Augustas’ in 1552" - 1552 dates before Union of Lublin and PLC (1569); hence it is not relevant to this article.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  14:47, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
please stop original research, the edict was sealed in 1552 and it not cease to exist in 1569. M.K. 15:30, 27 October 2007 (UTC) P.S, in same page author provides yet another argument that official court's oath were chronicled in Lithuanian language and in 17th century.
You are the one doing OR, if anobody. Please provide a reference that states that L. language was used during the times of PLC. 1552 is the time of independent GDL, add it to that article - but it is irrelevant here.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  02:41, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Lest see who is doing OR, please provide exact source with quote which would concur that 1552 edict is not relevant to PLC times (would be good to have source for this hence it is not relevant to this article claim too). M.K. 17:26, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Some sources then:

  • p.44 "As it was never used before as an official language, and rarely in writing..."
  • p. XXIV "the de facto state language was Polish"
  • p. 256 "In the commonwealth with Poland, the Polish language prevailed]
  • p. 408 "Polish becomes the state language"
  • p.115 "Finally in 1697 the Lithuanian state(...) replaced Slavonic with Polish, which was made the official language in the Grand Duchy's chancelleries."
  • p. 112 "(...) the joint Sejm decreed in 1697 that Belarusian be abandoned and Polish remain the only administrative language"

//Halibutt 03:19, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

"As it (Lithuanian language) was never used before as an official language, and rarely in writing" (until 20th century, of course) - this is quite clear, thank you.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  22:00, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
First of all please stop yet another original research. The proper quote of provided source is this Lithuanian is attested in writing form the beginning of the 16th century onwards. As it was never used before as an official language and rarely in writing (the main exceptions being religious literature), the formation of standard language was a slow process [23] there is no until 20th century, of course it is just your POV and banal OR. Provided English source quite good correlates with sources which I already provided. Yes, scholars did not found Lithuanian writing sources which survived before ~1503, however oldest survived is rewritten from older Lithuanian one, perhaps 15th century. However scholars agree that Lithuanian writing emerged with first Christianity attempts in country in 13th (there is reconstructed 13th century Lithuanian writing, though), 14 th century century (which there used for religious purpose, however non of these survived till present day, but these certainly existed since reference is made to them in other documents). This concurs and your source which says that before 16th century there were few documents in Lithuanian and mainly for religious purposes. I provided academic publications with proper citations which deals with such issues and clearly states about Lithuanian language usage in office back in 16, 17th centuries, we even have contemporary translation of constitution in Lithuanian . Please stop removing valid information. M.K. 11:57, 2 November 2007 (UTC) p.s. and please stop confusing official language status as we understand today and languages in 16-18th centuries.
Nobody is disputing that written Lithuanian existed around that time or earlier. Nobody is disputing that some official documents might have been written in it. But it was not the official language of PLC, per provided refs. Unless you can clearly show that it was used by Lithuanian Chancellery in PLC (and more than every few decades on an exceptional document), it cannot be classified as an official state language.Here are a other important refs:
  • [in GDL] ...the official language of law and administration was ‘chancellery Ruthenian'... closest to the dialects around Vilna) rather than - Lithuanian...' p.48
  • The consequence was that the language of official documents in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was not Lithuanian but ‘Chancellery Slavonic', a dialect akin to those of present-day Belorussia... - p.47
  • Amazingly enough, by the sixteenth century, there were six officially recognised languages in the Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom, including Polish, Latin, Ruthene (in modern terms, Ukrainian-Byelorussian), German, Armenian and Hebrew — but not Lithuanian. [same ref as above, scroll to p.48]
I also find the following quotation quite relevant, if not to this very issue: The result in modern times — also common in the Third World — has been a massive Lithuanian inferiority complex and a sense of cultural vulnerability vis-àvis the Poles, which in turn helps explain recent Lithuanian policies towards their Polish minority and towards Warsaw. [same ref as above, p.48] -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  17:30, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Orfficial languages again - please provide any law that desribes official language as such in 16th century? As for Lieuven we do have two contradictory statements by two different authors, so I do restore the valid referenced information on article, feel free to add your source.--Lokyz 19:36, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Scholars use the concept; it is valid even if it did not exist clearly defined back then.
What contradictory information? Which source states that Lithuanian was used as official language in PLC?
In any case, the section is not only for official languages. Lithuanian should certainly be in infobox, but it should be noted it was not officially recognized (per two refs that clearly state so).
PS. I do agree it is interesting that we have sources for use of Lithuanian in official documents but also authors claiming clearly it was not an official language. I suggest developing this with more sources at Lithuanian language. The key point, nonetheless, is that while it was occasionally used it was apparently not widespread, and certainly not used by the chancellery (yet if we take this criteria, German, Armenian and Hebrew should also be not called 'officially recognized'. Sigh. Confusing... -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  20:04, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

All right, I have expanded and referenced the languages section, but it seems to large for the infobox. I'd suggest moving some material to the culture section and leaving only bare necessities in the infobox. Could somebody try to present such a 'bare necessity' infobox, hopefully uncontroversial? My suggestion would be to list Polish, Latin, Hebrew, Lithuanian and German and add a footnote that usage and status are described in the culture section (or in the footnote itself). PS. Yes, Armenian was "official" but not very widely used, apparently - it would be interesting to read how it achieved such widespread recognition.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  21:39, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Well lets start from this. I think that every language, which is mentioned should be placed in info box aside the lengthy explanation like officially recognized and some peasants in Ruthenian provinces and similar as it spams info box and quite dubious like what officially recognized means and who recognized it? Second as we see provided sources by you in certain degree contradicts to each other. However, lets move to other points like and certainly not used by the chancellery it is simply original research. Just looking in Pakarklis. P. Prūsų valdžios gramatos, pagraudenimai ir apsakymai lietuviams valstiečiams, 1960 we will find edicts of Grand Duke in Lithuanian and not as was described as more than every few decades on an exceptional document, but rather day-to day businesses like prohibition to hunt, who should not be brought to Lithuanian courts etc. (one of such edicts in Lithuania scan quite bad quality, 17c.). Or if we look to other periods like 1791 there is another index (Lietuvos Istorijos metraštis, 1977-1978) of Governments documents produced in Lithuanian, dealing with judges proclamations, about Seimas etc. These correlates and by presented source (Ališauskas, V (2001)) in which stated about 1794 Governments declarations carried out in Lithuanian as well. So summary - Lithuanian languages was used in documents, Lithuanian language was used by official institutions like courts, Lithuanian language was used by ruling class and people. And for the end regarding so called "official state language" Z.Zinkevicius in Istorijos Iškraipymai 2004 (book covers inaccuracies in history) states discussing languages of the same area there was no state language as we understand it today. M.K. 11:16, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
A truly wonderful piece of OR. You have failed to show that Lithuanian was more often spoken than Hebrew, Yddish, German or Armenian. We have plenty of refs showing dominance of Polish, Latin and Ruthenian. We have refs occasionally mentioning Lithuanian and the other languages. The difference should be made clear in the infobox.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 15:36, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
How about leaving "Latin, Polish and Chancery Slavonic", with a note leading to a separate section of the article where all the rest could be described in detail and with references? //Halibutt 15:12, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Go ahead and implement it and we will see how it holds.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 02:37, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid it won't hold a second, as our dear friends would be more than happy to revert my changes the moment they see it. //Halibutt 11:03, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Please try.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 15:36, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

For purposes of practicallity I support Halibutt's idea above. Most people accessing this article probably won't be doing their PhD thesis based on the infobox and for someone who doesn't know what the PLC was the format as it is now is incredibly confusing. JRWalko (talk) 00:39, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Could you carry out the proposed change? -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 05:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Request of Eidintas and Žalys citation

Author who installed information (whereas the pre-World War II Republic of Lithuania distanced itself from any association which it considered not to have been historically beneficial to Lithuania.) which is referenced by Eidintas and Žalys works, please provide original quotation.M.K. 10:55, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

p.78 - "But for the Lithuanians, whose highest aim was their own nation-state, and who saw the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth mostly in a negative light..." -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  14:50, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Lack of historical critical assesment from Polish side

It is untrue that the entity is viewed as positive one from Polish historians side. Sure they are many historians who write about it in good terms and sometimes melancholy but they are also Polish historians critical of this creation. The main points I have read in books that dealt with this period were :

  • Lithuania pulled down development of Poland and its integration with Western Europe.
  • Social and cultural influence from Lithuanian and Ukrainian territories created negative and backward tendencies like magnat system and reliance on mass feudal agrarian system rather then on development of cities.
  • The involvment with Lithuanian expansionism has forced Polish resources and comittment to wars with Muscovy with negative historic consequences.
  • The orientation to the non-Catholic East has stopped "natural" integration of Poland into Catholic Central Europe
  • The East orientation has ended Polish chances of regaining more developed Silesia and possibility of acquiring culturaly, ethnicly and linguisticly more closer Bohemia

I think that this critical points need to be addressed in the article.--Molobo 20:21, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Please do not forget the main historical error - taking Volhynia and Halich from GDL and putting it onto supervision of Jewish middleman. The Kozaks, that were created by Vytautas as a frontmen countering Muscovites, because of Polish nobleman mistakes turned against the our common state.--Lokyz 22:14, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure I read anything similar in any book. Actually transfer the conquest Halicz in 1340, of Volhynia in 1366 and the transfer of the rest of the area in 1569 are generally seen in a positive light in Polish historiography. Besides, apart from transfer of the eastern part of Volhynia, the rest of the processes you mention had little to do with Polish-Lithuanian relations.
Finally, which of the voivodes of Volhynia were Jewish? I'm not sure I've heard of any.. //Halibutt 15:50, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Reread the books, and please cite ME, where did I assert, that Voivode was a Jewish?--Lokyz 19:08, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Norman Davies in his God's Playground writes about that: Yet Lithuania always remained the more vulnerable and weaker half of the Republic. Its human resources were fewer, its economic base more precarious, its defences more open, its nobility more wayward, its capacity to defend itself was more inadequate. Its position adjacent to Muscovy called for a sterner stance. From the end of the fifteenth century, the Polish army was continually required to bolster the lagging performance of the hard-pressed Lithuanians. As time went on, the Grand Duchy proved to be a burden which weighed ever more heavily on the shoulders of the Kingdom. -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 05:27, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Sure thing - a really nice excuse to rob Halych and Volhynia off Lithuania, and do not spend even a dime on wars with Muscovites. Read - Union of Lubin (After that, on March 26, the king was forced by the szlachta to incorporate [3] [4] the southern Lithuanian-controlled lands of Podlachia, Volhynia, Podolia and the Kiev regions into the Crown of Poland. These historic lands of Rus' make up more than half of modern day Ukraine, and were at that time a significant part of Lithuanian territory. Higher class in these lands was largely Ruthenian at that time and was loyal to Lithuania. All loyal nobles were forced to swear loyalty to the King of Poland. Those who refused had their lands confiscated.)
And this was done at the time as Poland was sitting safe behind Lithuania, who did defend eastern borders and was bleeding men and resources.--Lokyz (talk) 16:15, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Your POV is your POV, but historians - like Davies above - unfortunately have a different one. Lithuania needed Polish protection; Poland obviously wanted something in return. That's called realpolitik. Of course, you may think Lithuania should have tried to stand alone. We all know how well that worked in the interwar period...-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 20:23, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
The point is, that Poland did not provide help, even after taking away Lithuanian lands Sure thing sitting quite comfortably in the lands, that for a long time could not be reached by Muscovite force poland did thrive. It is not my POV, it is in historians writings (well, Davies is certainly an exemplary pro-Polish one)
You cannot deny a simple fact, that under Lithuanian rule the Ukrainian borderlands were defending Grand Duchy and were loyal, and just after few decades of rule by Polish magnates they rebelled bloodly and sucked load of resources, joining the forces with Muscovites and opening the border. And no it was not rebellion against Polish-Lithuanian magnates, it was a rebellion against non Christian administrators appointed to rule land seized from those, who refused to give oath for king of Poland. It was clearly antisemitic. This was a major Polish mistake - not only loosing an ally but even turning him to the enemy.
Don't you think that this rebellion was the major turning point in PLC history, as neither Poland nor Lithuania did recover after that fully. After such a "help" by Poles, eastern parts of Grand Duchy were swiped off people by Muscovites and by Swedes at such a scale , that massive woods grew around Vilnius.
All the realpolitikwas quite simply - if Lithuanian nobility has a privilege to keep all GDL lands under their control, then well, let's annex their territory, neverminding that this will make GDL weaker.
As for Polish help - the biggest "help" was liberum veto - on every ocasion when there was budget for war. Only the magnates, who did spend tehir own fortunes to save the State are here to be praised.--Lokyz (talk) 15:52, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Care to cite a source that Poland did not provide help to the Grand Duchy? And yes, Cossack problem was a major mistake on the part of the Commonwealth - but Lithuanian nobility (magnates) were as guilty as Polish in guarding their privileges and opposing their expansion unto the Cossacks. And I have yet to see a single publication praising the magnates as a group (there were certainly great individuals among them, but they were exception to the rule) - perhaps you are not aware that it was magnates who pushed for liberum veto and used it to disrupt the parliament. And the magnate stronghold was... Grand Duchy, were the lesser nobility was to weak to oppose the big families; hence liberum veto was first used by Władysław Siciński - a noble from Troki Voivodeship - acting on orders from one of the Radziwiłł family... -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 18:30, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
You're wrong - just read liberum veto - It is commonly, and erroneously, believed that a Sejm was first disrupted by means of liberum veto by a Trakai deputy, Władysław Siciński, in 1652. In reality, however, he only vetoed the continuation of the Sejm's deliberations beyond the statutory time limit. It was only in 1669, in Kraków, that a Sejm was prematurely disrupted on the strength of the liberum veto, by the Kiev deputy, Adam Olizar. And furthermore Lithuanian-Muscovite Wars Lithuanian lesser nobility pressured the Grand Duke and magnates for gaining the same rights as Polish nobility (szlachta), i.e. the Golden Freedoms You undoubtedly know, that the liberum veto was part of the Golden Freedoms. And it was imported to GDL from Kingdom of Poland only in PLC. If not the freedoms maybe the anarchy and failure of the stat could have been avoided. So just happened, that absolutism was more effective at the time (for example it influenced growth of the cities, strenghtened armed forces and so on).
As for the magnets - you should read once more this All loyal nobles were forced to swear loyalty to the King of Poland. Those who refused had their lands confiscated. - so they were no longer Lithuanian magnates.
As for your requested citation, could you be more specific what period of history and/or event are you referring to?--Lokyz 13:10, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Started by Trakai deputy, continued by Kiev one - and Ruthenia was the stronghold of the (mostly Lithuanian-Ruthenian) magnates (Wiśniowieccy, for example, were called "little kings" of Ruthenia). Not that "Lithuanian" part is to blame, its the "magnate" part. They abused the "noble's democracy", turning it into mangate oligarchical paradise - certainly ineffective when comapred to the absolutist states elsewhere, yes. As for 'no Lithuanian nobles', perhaps you would like to stress that in Lithuanian nobility, it sounds quite intreresting to note that it had disappeared after 1569.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 19:00, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure what are you're talking about, maybe it's your poor English fault.
AFAIK the most influential Lithuanian family in Ukraine was Alšėniškiai.
As for Lithuanian nobility - well, Mickewicz still considered himself Lithuanian noble (at least because of Lithuanian statute), not Crown's, so the dissapearance is quite mystic to me. Care to provide any references?--Lokyz 03:30, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately I joined this project to write articles, not to educate individual users. I am sure if you read more on the subject you will see the errors in your statements.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 04:14, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
This is exactly the point you've stepped beynd WP:CIVIL. So there is a question - may I use your rhetoric and say "you're ignorant on the topics we've just discussed, and you just run out of argument and began to turn discussion ad hominem? If so, let's continue in this manner, I do know this type of the talk: here's a deal you appologise me, or we might continue insulting each other the way you've just proposed.--Lokyz 11:05, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I am well aware you "know this type of the talk" very well, which why this EOT for me.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 19:17, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I had really good teachers - you and Halibutt. No wonder indeed that you noticed.--Lokyz 21:13, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed the historian Romuald Romański notes in "Błędy, które zmieniły bieg historii" that Poland paid much in terms of strategic investment to protect Lithuanian agressive expansionism in the East and believes the county would be much more developed if not that dillution of resources.--Molobo (talk) 20:27, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Care to tell what resources, and when? And how does "Lithuanian aggressive expansionism" compare with growing demands and ambitions of Muscovite rulers? And how is Lithuania guilty in case of Khmelnytsky Uprising?--Lokyz (talk) 15:52, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Latin name

What's the latin name for this state? Seeing as Latin was the official government language of foreign relations the article should probably contain its name as it was known in other parts of Europe. JRWalko (talk) 21:37, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

I think it was Regnum Serenissimum Poloniae, but some citations would be nice.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:09, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you're right. The spelling above as well as "Regnum Serenissima Poloniae" get the most hits on Google but mostly from other wiki sites and forums. Does anyone have a RS on this? JRWalko (talk) 03:35, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
[24] is linked from the article. Try Google Books for more, see what you can find out.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 06:34, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

En-dash versus hyphen

I usually do this without asking, but this is a featured article, so I thought that I probably ought to discuss it here first (or else people would be calling me a madman, moving FAs around). The thing is, the correct way to write the subject of the article is Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, with an en-dash instead of a hyphen. It looks better, and is more correct. If you would see Wikipedia:Manual of Style#En dashes, it shows the two criteria for using en-dashes for disjunction are that the two elements should be independent (they are here) and there should be a distinct relationship between them (which exists here as well). Therefore, I'd like to believe that this is pretty straightforward. It should be pointed out, after all, that the article in question was featured more than three years ago, at a time when these style guidelines were neither as well-formed as they are today nor as well-enforced, if I might use such a term. The situation now has changed, and this is why I am here.

So... Any objections? Waltham, The Duke of 03:36, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

I guess this is a no. Good. I am copy-editing the article, including replacing all instances of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Then... We're moving to slightly more spacious quarters. :-) Waltham, The Duke of 00:44, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
We should probably run some bot on redirects... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 00:51, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Is it that simple, though? If we are to do a good job, we need to change the dashes in all articles and templates incorporating Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as well as the relevant categories; all this is a lot of work. And to imagine that there are thousands of Wikipedia articles with hyphens in their titles where en-dashes should be... It simply drives one mad. I am actually planning to found a Dash Police in my userspace in the very near future, an unofficial venue where the massive task of replacing these hyphens in titles could be discussed and co-ordinated in some manner. Perhaps a solution to help with this situation could be discovered there—what do you think, Prokonsul Piotrus?
Speaking of redirects, there are twenty of them leading here right now, perhaps too many to do by hand. However, double redirects are handled by a bot after a couple of days anyway. Is there any specific reason to have a bot do the re-targetings immediately? (I am delaying the move until this is discussed.)
Or is it enough that this is a featured article? And one in need of attention, too, from what I have seen; I have engaged in some extensive copy-editing, but a second session is needed, and perhaps there are other problems that elude my rather narrow field of expertise. One should not forget that this is a three-year-old FA; lots of problems tend to surface in such a long period if an article is not actively maintained, and I doubt a deleted image would have gone unnoticed for almost two years if there was any real maintenance effort. I wonder if peer reviews are conducted on FAs, or if one usually goes straight to FAR for this kind of thing. I should appreciate your opinion. Waltham, The Duke of 02:59, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
What I think is that I don't have the bigger dash on my keyboard, and hence I and 99% of users due to human laziness will continue using "-". Of course I am all supportive of those who want to dedicate their task to cleaning up this problem... PS. What deleted image? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 05:51, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I absolutely agree, and this is why there should always be the appropriate redirects for the hyphenated versions. However, en-dashes have other advantages, and should be used wherever appropriate.
The image in question is Image:RegiaCivitatisGedanensis.jpg, the last picture of the Economy section. Present in the promoted version of the article, it is still here despite its deletion in July 2006. I cannot help but wondering why.
Now, you have not replied to my remaining two questions. Why bot? And what about the reviewing process? I am quite curious. Waltham, The Duke of 07:11, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I guess the image must have been recently deleted from Commons - either some renaming mistake or copyright paranoia (the 16th century coin is obviously PD). I have restored a local copyy on Wikipedia.
FAs review vary, a good procedure is to start a discussion on talk and if it fails to produce results, go to FARC.
Perhaps the move should be advertised and WP:PWNB and its Lithuanian counterpart? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:01, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Advertise it before (in case there is objection) or after (for informative purposes) the event? I am quite certain that this page should be moved, and it's actually quite overdue. Sure, there are no deadlines in Wikipedia and all, but I'd really like to tick this off my rather long check-list.
I had forgotten about pages being moved to the Commons. I just though the deletion of a page meant that the image would not be visible in articles. Inexcusable, I know, but I don't deal with images at all and I only edit in Wikipedia, so... Waltham, The Duke of 02:43, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
All right, I'll notify them... Waltham, The Duke of 23:12, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I have done everything I could have done; there is clearly no interest. I am going forward with the move. Waltham, The Duke of 03:33, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Last announcement for the flight... Waltham, The Duke of 04:01, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Incorrect title, RM coming up

Can't find any original sources related to this article title. According to the Funk & Wagnalls the term Commonwealth in relation to Poland was coined for the first time in 1772 during the First Partition of Poland. The unreferenced title in Latin, Serenissima Res Publica Coronae Polonicae Magni Ducatusque Lithuaniae, also doesn't yield any credible Google hits outside of Wikipedia. It looks like an original research to me, based on a ahistorical name coined and promoted by an amateur historian Paweł Jasienica in XX century, and adopted by modern writers and historians after him. Still, the title is incorrect, and should be moved to the more adequate one, if the English Wikipedia wants to save some credibility. I found another Latin name: regni Poloniae et Magni Ducatus Lithuaniae , regni in Latin meaning reign, which yields many hits on Google (see [here, including even one Polish Wikipedia entry pl:Acta litteraria Regni Poloniae et Magni Ducatus Lithuaniae about a XIX century journal. I think this source is more credible than the newest sources, which may be based on this Wikipedia article. Polish Wikipedia may also be incorrect. Rzeczpospolita means republic; commonwealth means wspólne dobro or wspólnota narodów , just like the British Commonwealth or the Commonwealth of Independent States is now, but it may be mistaken for the word commons meaning pospolity or Pospolite ruszenie in Polish. Could someone properly translate the term regni Poloniae et Magni Ducatus Lithuaniae from Latin until, so we can request a move? Thanks! greg park avenue (talk) 19:48, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what's at issue here but both "commonwealth" (in English) and "rzeczpospolita" (in Polish) are direct and literal translations of the Latin phrase "res publica". A literal translation of "regni Poloniae et Magni Ducatus Lithaniae" is "of the Kingdom of Poland and of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania".--Colddance (talk) 05:30, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I do not know which is correct, Commonwealth or Republic, when the language is translated to English. Having just come to this article to today, after reading a just-published journal article entitled "The unanimity rule and religious fractionalisation in the Polish-Lithuanian Republic", and then seeing the apparent use of the term "Republic" in the Latin title: Serenissima Res Publica Coronae Polonicae Magnique Ducatus Lithuaniae, it certainly leaves a large question in my mind as to whether the article is correctly titled. More importantly, with the significant countervailing political powers set up within the commonwealth?/republic?, the polity certainly fits the classic definition of a true republic, that is to say, it was not merely a republic in name only. For starters, I created a REDIRECT page for Polish–Lithuanian Republic to point to this article. N2e (talk) 03:37, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

The introduction

The introduction used to be much too long, but the current one is way too short. I think it would be much better to reinstate the previous one after some editing as a "PLC in a nutshell" rather than have a rudimentary note like the current one. Dawidbernard (talk) 19:58, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

My mistake - I failed to see the section was split. Still, it needs some editing. Dawidbernard (talk) 09:02, 10 August 2008 (UTC)



As I don't wish to stirr up an already nice featured article I will just make a notice here that if needed (mostly to the infobox) i have uploaded a perhaps more suitable locator map of Poland-Lithuania, c. 1600 that i think will improve the article a little bit further. (Of course not remove, but only move, the current map.): -GabaG (talk) 20:06, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Please be bold and update the article. Have you seen File:Location-Pol-Lith-Commonwealth.png this? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:20, 30 May 2009 (UTC)


The format is text, source url. In some instances the url goes to the Wayback Machine's version. Please address; since these at a glance date to May 2009, possibly the version of say January 2009 could be restored, if that would be simpler. Novickas (talk) 14:46, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Towards the end of the 17th century...still seen in metalwork of the region today. [25]


By the mid-17th century Gdańsk was patronized by the Polish court and flourished as the prime center for amber working. The technique of incrustation practised in Gdańsk was a major development. [26]


This is how the most beautiful works of Gdańsk and Königsberg amber craft were made: chests, beer mugs, pitchers, plates and cups. [27]


Polish made carpets of the 18th century featured homely motifs as baskets of flowers or fruit, birds, and cornucopias. [28]


...the Commonwealth remained an important link between Occident and Orient, as many goods and cultural artifacts passed from one region to another via the Commonwealth. For example, Isfahan rugs imported from Persia to the Commonwealth were actually known in the West as "Polish rugs". [29]


The paragraph beginning with Polish Arian circles carefully followed west-European intellectual trends and eagerly used any occasion to establish contacts with innovative personalities. [30]


Choirs were founded at churches and schools, music was played during religious and secular ceremonies. Many noblemen supported their own companies of musicians. Stanisław Lubomirski had his own opera theatre in Wiśnicz, while Krzysztof Radziwiłł and Janusz Tyszkiewicz maintained their music ensembles in Wilno, in a characteristic display of the noblemen's interest in the arts. [31]


The death of Sigismund II Augustus in 1572 was followed by a three-year Interregnum during which adjustments were made in the constitutional system. [32]


The diet was composed of three orders: the king himself, the senate whose members were great aristocrats, and representatives of provincial assemblies (Chamber of Deputies) [33]


Most of the masters arrived from the major cities of Western Europe such as Nuremberg, Augsburg and Amsterdam. The brought with them new shapes and objects. But as they entered into the local milieu and took up the conditions of their new lives, local customs and traditions, these masters created new works that were different from those of their western brethren. [34]


This policy often produced monarchs who were either totally ineffective or in constant debilitating conflict with the nobility. [35] Novickas (talk) 19:28, 30 May 2009 (UTC)


Hrodna become particlarly pivotal location after creation of a customs post at Augustów in 1569, which was a checkpoint for merchants going from the Grand Duchy to the Crown lands. [36]


The Commonwealth imported spices, luxury goods (e.g. tapestries), clothing, fish, beer and industrial products like steel and tools. Large herds (of around 50,000 head) of cattle were driven south through Silesia. A few riverboats carried south imports from Gdańsk like wine, fruit, spices and herring. he owner of a folwark usually signed a contract with merchants of Gdańsk (German: Danzig), who controlled 80% of this inland trade, to ship the grain north to that seaport on the Baltic Sea.[37]


The soft, pliable sashes were produced locally and were some of the finest produced in the Commonwealth. The first workshops were established in the 1740s on the estates of magnate families and were equipped with mangels or rolling presses, which gave luster to the silk woven with gold or silver thread. [38] Novickas (talk) 19:46, 30 May 2009 (UTC)


Pile carpets with patterns based on Ushak medallion carpets were woven in the Commonwealth during the 17th century. There was also a flourishing production of kilims made of wool. [39] Novickas (talk) 20:05, 30 May 2009 (UTC)


Sentences from [40] This doesn't have an entry in the Wayback machine; but it was published by the BATTHYÁNY LAJOS COLLEGE OF LAW in partnership with the Visegrad Group, so giving them the benefit of the doubt. Over the next 16 years (in the "Great Turkish War"), the Turks would be permanently driven south of the Danube River, never to threaten central Europe again.


Since the Sejm usually vetoed a monarch's plans for war, this constitutes a notable argument for the democratic peace theory. Source: The Sejm usually vetoed a monarch's plans for war, which constitutes a notable argument for the democratic peace theory.[41], page 239. The Sejm could veto the king on important matters, including legislation (the adoption of new laws), foreign affairs, declaration of war, and taxation (changes of existing taxes or the levying of new ones). Source: [42] page 239. since the monarch was bound by pacta conventa and other laws, and the szlachta could disobey any king's decrees they deemed illegal. Source: [43] page 239. The rivers had relatively developed infrastructure, with river ports and granaries. Source: [44] page 237. Most of the river shipping moved north, southward transport being less ... Large herds (of around 50000 head) of cattle were driven south through Silesia. Same, page 238. The Commonwealth imported spices, luxury goods (e.g. tapestries), clothing, ... same, pages 237-238.

done. Novickas (talk) 16:51, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Novickas (talk) 16:11, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

How are the above a copyvio? Although, is the entire parliament section a copyvio, too? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 06:30, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Page numbers given, one sentence stricken; the parliament section looks OK to me otherwise. It's not hard to check - copy sentences, paste into Google. Novickas (talk) 14:34, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Nihil Novi has pointed out that the above source [45] was published in 2008 and appears to have copied from WP, despite its scholarly affiliations. I'll restore the sentences I deleted. Novickas (talk) 19:26, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Novickas, simply removing troublesome text is not the best way to deal with this problem as important and useful references are removed along with it which makes it harder for any interested editors to carry out rewrites and/or attributions. Since you're trying to be helpful here I'm sure you don't want to make anyone's job more difficult. Hiding the text as was done on the other article is a much more productive way to proceed, and I'll be happy to help out, as Moonriddengirl can attest.radek (talk) 04:45, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

My deletions at this article were of sentences identical to those at an external site with academic credentials. [46], [47], [48], [49], [50], [51]. As it turns out, that paper appears to have copied from an earlier version of this article. Those sentences can no longer be considered copyvios, but a discussion about whether the paper can be considered a reliable source, having copied from Wikipedia without crediting it, is ongoing at [52] and [53]. Novickas (talk) 20:32, 4 June 2009 (UTC)


  • Material added in this edit pastes from [54] (Archives to 2003): "The magnates throughout Poland...massive star-shaped fortifications." And UNESCO "Due to efforts of powerful Radziwiłł family, the town of Nesvizh in today's Belarus came to exercise great influence in the sciences, arts, crafts and architecture. The complex consists of the residential castle and the mausoleum Church of Corpus Christi with their setting." --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:43, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Material added in this edit duplicates [55], a 2002 book, from "The king was dependent on the diet" through the end of the paragraph. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:50, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

The earliest infringement I see from this single contributor is in March. More material is added in May. I have reverted to this version and additionally removed the material placed in that March edit. The article will need to be checked to be sure that other infringements don't remain, since they may not have all been placed by this contributor. But this removal will allow the contributors of this article to verify material is clean of copyright infringement before restoring it and seems preferable to blanking the entire article with the copyvio template until it can be checked. Hopefully, all the other infringements will have been removed by this, and that blanking won't be necessary. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 22:02, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, now a new problem: is this reference valid [56], given that we know its author copied from WP without attribution? Novickas (talk) 20:23, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
An interesting problem that should be risen elsewhere. It is, after all, a peer reviewed academic work - so in theory, even plagiarized facts were peer reviewed... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 06:14, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
See thread at [57]. Novickas (talk) 17:26, 3 June 2009 (UTC)


I think I was able to restore/rewrite all the content but the Art and Music section of this version. Hopefully somebody else can take care of that. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:54, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm having trouble figuring out which parts of that section which were removed were copy vios and which were not. It seems like there was some collateral damage along with the copyvio removal. For example, is the list of names that opens up the linked section on Arts and Music a copyvio? I'm not seeing anything that would suggest so. I'm also not seeing anything similar enough about "decorated with black marble" for the copy vio in the paragraph after the stuff on coffin portraiture (which I restored, rewritten). I'm basically getting lost in the diff between the old and present version of the article. I'm going to restore some of what looks like it got deleted along with copy vio stuff - please let me know the exact source if I make a mistake.radek (talk) 05:20, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Regarding collateral damage, lots of refs were removed, including one I've added for Commission of National Education being the first ministry of education in the world. I guess part of it was done since the article was reverted to March version, before most of copyvio edits. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 06:12, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Religious tolerance

The article states "and during the Counter-Reformation, was known for near-unparalleled religious tolerance, with peacefully coexisting Catholic, Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant and Muslim communities." The PLC may have begun that way, but intolerance grew, and this book specifically mentions the Counter-Reformation as a force of intolerance. ("Its hostile rhetoric excluded those who did not accept..." [58] Novickas (talk) 21:01, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Feel free to add this; it is certainly trough that religious tolerance waned over time; the CR was victorious, and in 18th century the Commonwealth was about as tolerant as quite a few other European countries. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 21:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Verification failure of the only citation used in the The political players" subsection

The article subsection, as of 2009-09-24, makes the following assertions:

The major players in the politics of the Commonwealth were:

  • monarchs, who struggled to expand their power and create an absolute monarchy.[1]
  • magnates, the wealthiest of the szlachta, who wanted to rule the country as a privileged oligarchy, and to dominate both the monarch and the poorer nobles.[1]
  • szlachta, who desired a strengthening of the Sejm and rule of the country as a democracy of the szlachta.[1]
  • HISTORY: I (N2e) noted on 2009-07-22T16:48:53 that pp 17 (the page given in the citation) of this book source does not fully support each of these several assertions (see page history, 2009-07-22T16:48:53), tagged the several citations as {{verification failed}} and noted in the edit comment: "The political players: I can't find full support for these assertions in the citation given. Is it on some other page???"
  • N2e edits of 2009-09-24: Noone having offered better citation support by 2009-09-24, I removed the unsourced text, per WP:V, and have so noted in the comment field for the edit. I suspect one could bring the article text into a condition of being supported by the referenced book by simply lightening up the rather more extensive claims that are not found in the citation, while leaving the three political players identified as is. Alternatively, there may be other sources that support the specific assertions. Cheers. N2e (talk) 17:10, 25 September 2009 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b c (in English) Piotr Stefan Wandycz (1980). The United States and Poland. Harvard University Press. p. 17. ISBN 06-74926-85-4. 

Whig History

Alot of this article seems to be written from the perspective of 'the golden road to modern parliamentary democracy' which is revisionist and breaking with the neutral tone of the site. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:09, 27 October 2009 (UTC)