Name: Gedymin Of Lithuania
Death: 1341 in Veliuona
Cause: Died of wound recieved at siege of Bayersburg castle
Change Date: 20 OCT 2009
He was supposed by the earlier chroniclers to have been the ostler of Vytenis, Grand Duke of Lithuania, but more probably he was Vytenis' younger brother and the son of Butvydas (Pukuwer), another Lithuanian grand duke. In any case, his purported Rurikid origin was a later fake. According to the latest research, even his grandfather cannot be named with certainty. Gediminas became Grand Duke (didysis kunigaik?tis) of Lithuania in 1316 at the age of 40 and ruled for 25 years.
He was married three times, and left seven sons and six daughters. Two of his sons perished in battle. Jaunutis initially ruled Vilnius after the death of his father and was formally Grand Duke of Lithuania until his elder brothers Algirdas and K´stutis returned from military campaigns in Ruthenia and forced him to abdicate his throne in their favor.
It is quite likely that another chieftain, Traidenis, founded the dynasty that subsequently became known as that of Gediminas, who acceded to the throne about 1315 and ruled until his death in 1341 or 1342. Although Lithuanian expansion into the lands of the Kiev realm, which had been destroyed by the Mongols, had begun in the 13th century, it was Gediminas who carved out the empire that became...
Grand Duke Gediminas of Lithuania was ruler of the medieval Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1316- 1341. Already forty years of age by the time he became leader of the pagan Lithuanians, Gediminas? lineage is uncertain. However, Gediminas was fiercely loyal to his pagan subjects, giving them rights to religious practice, just as he gave rights to others to practice the Christian faith.
When Gediminas became Grand Duke, or High King, he inherited a region that includes what is now Lithuania as well as parts of Belarus. He was also considered leader of the Rusyns, or Ruthenians.
In order to build a strong empire, Gediminas sought help from the pope, John XXII. He promised to become Christian himself and invited members of different Christian orders to build churches in Lithuania. However, enemies denounced his sincerity, and the pagan subjects were uneasy with his plans to convert. To cover his own hide, he eventually strengthened his relationship with his pagan followers and disengaged himself from the process of Christianization. It is unclear whether Gediminas actually intended to become Christian, so strong was his personal faith in the pagan beliefs of medieval Lithuania.
Gediminas made Vilnius the capital of Lithuania. The castle that stood there before he was crowned Grand Duke was made of wood; he reinforced its walls with brick. He also added the Lower Castle to the already existing castle grounds, which became the private residence of the Grand Duke of Lithuania.
Gediminas died in 1341 of battle wounds. His funeral, complete with pyre and human sacrifices, was in the pagan tradition that he had been faithful to throughout his reign.
He was married three times, and left seven sons and six daughters.
Father: Butvydas or Pukuwer Of Lithuania
- Elizbieta Of Lithuania
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