Litovskaia Metrika

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Litovskaia Metrika


the archive of the Grand Principality of Lithuania, preserved in the Central State Archive of Ancient Documents in Moscow.

The documents in the Litovskaia Metrika are an extremely important source for the history of Lithuania, as well as of Byelorussia, the Ukraine, and the Russian lands that long constituted part of the Lithuanian state. The documents are collected in about 600 books, topically grouped into those dealing with foreign relations, tribute, notary entries, court cases, public affairs, and land leases. The titles of the books, however, do not always correspond to the type of documents they contain. Among the most important documents are those reflecting the socioeconomic development of Byelorussia and Lithuania from the 15th to the 18th century. The books on public affairs contain princely and royal instructions, charters, and Sejm laws, and the books of ambassadors’ reports reflect the foreign policy of the Grand Principality of Lithuania.

Documents covering the 15th and much of the 16th centuries are written primarily in Byelorussian; the second most frequently used language is Polish with an admixture of Latin. Many documents have been published in various editions. The documents pertaining to the 14th through 16th centuries have been extensively studied and have served as the basis for many works on the history of the Grand Principality of Lithuania.


Russkaia Istoricheskaia Biblioteka, vols. 20, 27, 30, 33. Petrograd, 1903–15.
Leontovich, F. I. Akty Litovskoi metriki, vol. 1, parts 1–2. Warsaw, 1896–97.
Dovnar-Zapol’skii, M. V. Akty Litovsko-Russkogo gosudarstva. part 1. Moscow, 1899.
Malinovskii, I. A. Sbornik materialov, otnosiashchikhsia k istorii panovrady Velikogo kniazhestva Litovskogo [parts 1–2]. Tomsk, 1901–12.


Berezhkov, N. G. Litovskaia Metrika kak istoricheskii istochnik, part 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.