Ksztaltowanie sie instytucji dworu wielkoksiazecego w Wielkim Ksiestwie Litewskim (koniec XIV – polowa XV wieku)
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THE FORMATION OF THE INSTITUTION OF THE GRAND DUCAL COURT IN THE GRAND DUCHY OF LITHUANIA (LATE XIV - HALF OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY
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The structure of the court of Grand Duke of Lithuania had been developing since the beginning of statehood, although during Witold/Vytautas rule (1392- 1430) it took a new, institutional shape as the court of ruler. In the article, the history of its development is discussed, including its internal organization and separate elements. Under Witold, the European system of court positions (marshals, treasurer, etc.) was implemented. This system, since the High Middle Ages, had been a distinctive feature of the sovereign rule of king or duke. Besides people holding defined positions, the court consisted of courtiers (lot. curienses, rus. дворянин), noblemen of the neighboring countries. Institutional court became a precondition for double integration. Firstly, the implementation of European social, ruling and honor structure made Witold’s court an institution of a sovereign ruler and introduced it into the communication space of European monarchs. Secondly, the participation of local noblemen in the organization of the court added to the prestige of the service at the ruler’s court and at the same time importantly influenced internal integration of the country’s elite. The court of Grand Duke brought together different (often – conflicting) groups of nobility, helped them to perceive common interest or common good (res publica), promoted unified values and fashions. In this respect, noble milieu of Grand Duke Witold was important in the process of formation of the “political nation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania” and promoted European lifestyle among Lithuanian nobility. The institutionalized court created by Witold was inherited by his successors on the throne of grand duke. At the end of the article, the list of courtiers of Grand Duke (1392-1440) is presented.
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