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Vytautas the Great

From Academic Kids

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Vytautas the Great - engraving of XVI ct.

Vytautas the Great (approximate English transcription [ˈvıː.təʊ.tʌs], simplified Lithuanian transcription [vītaŭtas]; also: Witold, Vitovt, sometimes - Aleksandras I, in Belarusian as Vitaŭt {Вітаўт}; * 1344/1350, + 27 October 1430 Łuck; baptized [cath] 21 October 1383 as Wiganda, [orth] 1384 as Alexander) was a Lithuanian Grand Prince, the ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania 1392 - 1430. He was the son of Kęstutis, cousin of Ladislaus II of Poland (Jagiełło, Jogaila, Yahayla), grandfather of Vasili II of Russia.

He was Prince of Hrodno 1370-1382, Prince of Łuck 1378-1389.

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Łuck castle

In 1373-1382 he waged war against Jogaila, backing his father Kestutis. He was defeated and imprisoned, but he was able to escape to the Teutonic knights in 1382. After participating in several raids against Jogaila, he reconciliated with him later and participated in the signing of Union of Krewo with Poland in 1385, and was baptised in 1386 in the Catholic rite (he was also earlier baptised in the Orthodox rite), receiving the name Alexander.

Later he escaped to Teutonic knights twice, until finally he became governor of Lithuania in 1392. He conducted his own policy there, and he got support from pope Boniface IX for organising a crusade against Mongols. After being defeated by the Golden Horde at the Battle of Vorskla in 1399, he again improved relations with Poland, resulting in the union of Vilnius-Radom in 1401. He received the title of Grand Duke of Lithuania in the same year. He conquered Smolensk in 1404 and waged a war in 1406-1408 against Muscovy, ending in peace at Ugra. He also backed an uprising against the Teutonic Order in Samogitia. In 1410 he commanded the Lithuanian army in the battle of Grunwald (also called the battle of Tannenberg or Žalgirio mūšis). As a result of the First Treaty of Torun in 1413, he received Samogitia (Lower Lithuania) for his lifetime (Only after another war with the Teutonic Order in 1422, Samogitia was returned to Lithuania for eternal times). He was one of the creators of union of Horodlo with Poland (1413).

He backed economic development of his state and introduced many reforms. Under his rule Lithuania slowly became more centralised, as local princes were replaced by the duke's governors. He tried to receive the title of king with the backing of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, but the envoys who were transporting the crown were stopped by Polish magnates in 1429.

Contents

Father

Kiejstut (Kestutis; 129715 August 1382 Krewa), Prince of Trock, Grand Prince of Lithuania 13811382

Wives

Anna Smolenska (+ 31 July 1418), before 1387, daughter of Grand Prince Svyatoslav of Smolensk
Juliana Holszanska (* 1375, + 1448), 19 November 1418, daughter of Prince Iwan of Holszany

Brothers

Patirg (1348 - 1365)
Woidete (+ after 1362), Prince of Black Ruthenia 1347 - 13??
Woiswil (+ ca 1387)
Butaw (Henryk; + after 1381), baptized Krlewiec 25 July 1365, Prince of Black Ruthenia 13?? - 1381
Towtiwil (Conrad; + September 1390), baptized 21 October 1383, Prince of Black Ruthenia 1386 - 1390
Sigismond Korybut (* after 1350, + murdered 20 March 1440), baptized (cath) 1383, Prince of Trakai, Prince of Mozhaisk 1383, Prince of Starodub 1406, Prince of Black Ruthenia 1390 - 1440, Grand Prince of Lithuania 1 September 1432 - 1440

Sisters

Mikova (Maria; + 1404), Grand Princess of Tver 1375 - 1404
Danuta (Anna; 1362 - 25 May 1448), Princess of Warsaw shortly before 27 September 1376 - 8 December 1429
Rymgajla (Elisabeth; +1433), Princess of Masovia 4 February - 30 June 1392, Voivodess of Moldau 1419 - 1421

Daughter

Sofia Litewska (* 1370, + 15 June 1453) [1m.], m. 9 January 1391 Grand Prince Vasiliy I of Moscow

See also

Gediminaiciai
List of Belarusian rulers
List of Lithuanian rulersbe:Вітаўт

de:Vytautas et:Vytautas lt:Vytautas Didysis ja:ヴィトフト pl:Witold (wielki książę litewski) ru:Витовт

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