Mindaugas

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Mindaugas

 

(Mindovg). Died in 1263. Grand prince of Lithuania from the late 1230’s until 1263.

Mindaugas united under his rule a number of Lithuanian principalities, including Aukštaitija and Žemaitija, and gained control of the Russian cities of Novgorodok, Slonim, and Volkovysk. In 1244 he launched a campaign against the Livonian Order on the land of the Curonians and Zemgalians. The Livonian Order allied itself with Mindaugas’ enemies among the Lithuanian feudal lords and defeated him. Mindaugas agreed to a compromise with the order in 1250, adopted Catholicism in 1251 and was crowned with the pope’s blessing; nevertheless, he readied himself for a new clash with the order. Around 1253 he concluded a treaty with the Galician prince Daniil, giving his daughter in marriage to Daniil’s son Shvarn; Mindaugas also restored and strengthened his ties with the grand prince of Vladimir and Suzdal, Alexander Nevsky. In 1260 a Lithuanian army defeated the joint forces of the Livonian and Teutonic orders and their allies near Lake Durbe. Mindaugas renounced Catholicism. He was murdered as the result of a conspiracy among the feudal aristocracy.

REFERENCES

Pashuto, V. T. Obrazovanie Litovskogo gosudarstva. Moscow, 1959.