Families in Eastern Europe

ISBN: 978-0-76231-116-3, eISBN: 978-1-84950-279-5

ISSN: 1530-3535

Publication date: 30 December 2004


Lithuania has had a long and tumultuous history. Balts, an Indo-European ethnic group, was the first civilization to live in this territory, dating back to the 10th-3rd centuries BC. The first written mention of Lithuania appeared in the German historical documents “Annals Quedlinburgenses” in 1009. In 1236, Mindaugas became the first Grand Duke of a region encompassing Lithuania, Kaliningrad and part of Poland. Mindaugas converted to Christianity and was crowned king of Lithuania in 1252. In 1323, the capital city of Vilnius was mentioned for the first time. For the first 200 years of its existence, Lithuania was under attack from both the Teutonic and the Livonian Orders. Despite this, by the end of 14th century, it managed to become one of the most powerful states in Eastern Europe. Grand Duke Vytautas the Great, who ruled from 1392 to 1430, extended the great empire from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. At the Union of Lublin in 1569, the Polish-Lithuanian kingdom was merged into a Commonwealth headed by a monarch. It was weakened by the wars against Russia, the Ukraine, and Sweden during the 16th–18th centuries. The end of the 18th century was marked by three partitions of the Commonwealth. In 1795, after the Third Partition, Lithuania lost not only tangible traits of statehood, but also its name. As a result, it became part of the Russian Empire.


Irena Juozeliūnien≐, I. and Loreta Kuzmickait≐, L. (2004), "FAMILIES IN LITHUANIA", Robila, M. (Ed.) Families in Eastern Europe (Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 211-224. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1530-3535(04)05013-7

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