Lietuvos istorijos studijos

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1392-0448 / 1392-0448
Current Publisher: Vilnius University Press (10.15388)
Total articles ≅ 244
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Latest articles in this journal

Ernst Troeltsch
Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Volume 46, pp 100-125; doi:10.15388/lis.2020.46.6

Tekstą iš vokiečių kalbos vertė ir pratarmę parašė Vytautas VolungevičiusEl. paštas: [email protected]
Valdemaras Klumbys
Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Volume 46, pp 126-141; doi:10.15388/lis.2020.46.7

Irena Valikonytė
Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Volume 46, pp 8-24; doi:10.15388/lis.2020.46.1

The discussion on the legal power of documents generated by the researchers exploring the written culture of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries invites for a more detailed analysis of the usage of a written document in the legal process, the chronology of its legal regulation, the document’s place in the system of evidence as well as its meaning in the legal consciousness of the nobles. The legal proceedings and rulings recorded in the judicial affairs books incorporated into the Lithuanian Metrica reveal the process when, with the development of the written culture and the increase of the demand for documents in the state’s internal affairs, the written document evolved into an independent and sound legal evidence in the judicial process. In the civil cases, primarily concerning the land ownership, the legal power of a written document was recognized already in the middle of the fifteenth century (although there was no peremptory requirement to present written documents in the judicial process), and approved by the extended edition of the First Statute of Lithuania. In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the long-lived “colorful robes of justice” (the oath, the gesture, the placing of one’s cap) were replaced in the system of legal evidence by written documents which, from then on, were considered as more reliable evidence than a personal oath, and, in some cases, even a testimony. Eventually, this view found its place in the consciousness of the nobles who documented their transactions and used documents to solve legal conflicts. Moreover, in Lithuania, unlike in the Kingdom of Poland, the judges considered not only the public, but also the legitimate private documents as legal evidence of equal importance. Although, the hierarchy of legal evidence, that prioritized the documents was embedded only in the Second Statute of Lithuania (chapter IV article 52, entitled “On evidence and defense” (O dovodech i otvodech), the analysis of sources allows to decisively affirm that the main source of the aforementioned article was the practice of the courts in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.
Tomas Vaitelė
Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Volume 46, pp 142-145; doi:10.15388/lis.2020.46.8

Rec.: Anna Mikonis-Railienė, Renata Šukaitytė, Mantas Martišius, Renata Stonytė, Politinis lūžis ekrane: (po)komunistinė transformacija Lietuvos dokumentiniame kine, videokronikoje ir televizijoje, Vilnius: Vilniaus universiteto leidykla, 2020.
Leonas Nekrašas
Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Volume 46, pp 67-81; doi:10.15388/lis.2020.46.4

During the interwar years the situation between Lithuania and Poland was tense. Lithuania never stopped claiming Vilnius as its capital city and did not recognize it as a part of Poland – therefore these countries did not have diplomatic relations. Travelling possibilities between these alienated states were greatly restricted and (as Lithuania did not recognize the demarcation line dividing both countries as an official state border) their borderland was an area of frequent violence, provocations, and ever present tension. The border situation created a problem for local people – the demarcation line (conclusively established in 1923 after the dissolution of the demilitarized neutral zone that separated both states) divided the farms of many local farmers leaving thousands of hectares of farmland belonging to residents of Poland in Lithuania and vice versa. Both countries agreed to allow the farmers of these divided farms to cross the demarcation line to continue to use and work their land. However, these people were directly caught up in the feud between their antagonistic states and suffered from it. This paper explores the struggles experienced by Lithuania’s farmers (frequently and deliberately obstructed by Poland’s border guards) and the efforts of Lithuanian state institutions to defend their interests. The analysis showcases an unorthodox situation and uncovers unique ways of communicating and solving problems established between states that had no diplomatic relations in the interest of their local citizens. The methods used gradually evolved from the use of the basic “An eye for an eye“ type of retaliation (reacting to obstruction by causing equivalent difficulties to farmers of the opposing country) to frequent meetings between local officials of both nations in a borderland marked by tension and conflict. Various methods that were used to better the situation of local farmers are analysed. The paper uncovers the core principles that determined and guided the policy of Lithuanian state institutions. Most significantly, it was a recognition of importance of reacting to every obstructive action made against Lithuanian citizens. There was also a great avoidance to act (or react) in a way that could be interpreted as recognizing the demarcation line as the state border. The situation regarding the issue of the divided farms after the Polish ultimatum and the establishment of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Poland in 1938 is examined.
Neringa Dambrauskaitė
Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Volume 46, pp 25-42; doi:10.15388/lis.2020.46.2

This article deals with the aspects of everyday life of the peasants who lived in private estates of the nobility in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 16th – the first half of the 17th century. The research was mainly based on published and unpublished acts of court cases, additional information is found in the estate inventories and descriptions provided by the people who travelled through Lithuania. The analysis revealed that the homestead of the peasants were usually modest – it consisted of few wooden buildings, the most important of which being a dwelling house, a granary and a cattle-shed, but richer peasants lived in larger homesteads with more different buildings. Peasants usually lived in wooden farmhouses with a stove, whereas some part of the peasants in Samogitia still lived in the so-called numas with a fireplace. Peasants’ main clothes were sermėgos, sheepskin coats, shirts, woman’s cloaks; some peasants could afford to have more expensive clothes. The main food products included different kinds of grain, first of all, stocks of rye, as well as peas, different vegetables, flitch, dairy products. Probably only richer peasants ate meat more often. There were important various household effects and work tools in the peasant homestead. Although the life of peasants was modest, however there existed differences in the standard of everyday living during the period under discussion.
Grigorijus Potašenko
Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Volume 46, pp 43-66; doi:10.15388/lis.2020.46.3

The purpose of this article is to research in more detail the restoration of the Old Believers parishes and their recognition during the interwar Lithuania (excluding Vilnius region) from 1918 to 1923, as well as to analyse the legalization of the Old Believers’ Church of Lithuania and the problems of practical establishment of religious autonomy in this period. The main focus is on three new problems: the situation of the Old Believers’ parishes in the country at the beginning of 1918, taking into account the mass migration to the depths of Russia from 1914 to 1915; the restoration of Old Believers parishes and the legalization (registration) of their religious activities from 1918 to 1922, during their mass repatriation to Lithuania; and focus on some problems of the practical consolidation of Old Believers’ Church of Lithuania autonomy from 1923 to 1926. The research is based mostly on new archival data, as well as on the analysis and interpretation of Lithuanian and partly foreign historiography on this topic. The study suggests that due to the mass migration of Old Believers to the East between 1914 and 1915, the future Lithuanian territory retained a much thinner congregation network and in turn had fewer parishes members by the beginning of 1918. Therefore, the mass repatriation of the Old Believers from Soviet Russia from the spring of 1918 to 1922 to a large extent explains why the recovery of many of their parishes in Lithuania has been rather slow. After the establishment of the central institutions of the Church in May 1922, the Lithuanian Old Believers’ Church was legalized on the basis of “Provisional regulations concerning the relationship between the organization of Old Believers in Lithuania and the Lithuanian government” on the May 20, 1923. Therefore, for the first time in history in 1923 the Lithuanian Old Believers Church was legally recognized in a certain state and formally received equal rights with other recognized denominations. At that time, Lithuania was the first country in Central and Eastern Europe to officially recognize the Old Believers (Pomorian) Church.
Darius Indrišionis
Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Volume 46, pp 82-99; doi:10.15388/lis.2020.46.5

Various illegal economical activities such as speculation, moonshine production, etc. were popular subjects in the Lithuanian press of 1938–1940. Economic problems were important for the Lithuanian society during those harsh years, so these publications did their part to influence public opinion. This article focuses on the most popular narratives of illegal economical activities in the Lithuanian press of 1938–1940: 1) the Price Control Officer and his struggle against speculation; 2) propaganda methods in solving the problem of moonshine (illegal breweries); 3) other illegal economical activities (illegal medical or law practice, prostitution, etc.). In conclusion, Lithuanian authorities used mild methods against the illegal part of the economy. The Price Control Officer, one of the most popular authority figures in 1938–1940 Lithuania, used to bribe businessmen who were mixed up in speculation and to publish lists of those so called “speculators” periodically. This policy was morally doubtful because it influenced some antisemitic thoughts (as the majority of those bribed “speculators” were of Jewish descent). Police methods were not enough to reach victory against widespread moonshiners. In the summer of 1938, a high-scale propaganda campaign against moonshine was launched. Fighting other illegal economical activities was problematic due to a lack of jurisprudence and legal alternatives.
Antanas Petrilionis
Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Volume 45, pp 31-46; doi:10.15388/lis.2020.45.4

This article presents an analysis of an occurring phrase and practice “auf die Hand” (to one’s hand) and its meaning in the end of the fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries. The main sources for such a study were correspondence between the Teutonic Order’s officers and Lithuania’s rulers, issued documents, and other contemporary written evidence. The “auf die Hand” custom was not just a practice to release captives on parole solely on their own oath, but also on the guarantee of a ruler, officer or another trustworthy person. The captive released on parole or the guarantee promises to return whenever the captor summons him. Also, the guarantor vows that the captive will safely return on a given time. This research shows that the captives with questionable honour may not have been interceded merely for the risk of escaping, because the guarantor, who had also sworn in his honour, would have to compensate for the escaped captive. No doubt such practice was adopted through contact with the Teutonic Order and knights from Western Europe, since we can observe specific features of chivalry: surrender, honour, oaths. Also, it is evident that the meaning behind “auf die Hand” had a semantic connotation – raising a hand to give an oath and giving the captive “to guarantor’s hands.”
Vita Diemantaitė
Lietuvos istorijos studijos, Volume 45, pp 47-60; doi:10.15388/lis.2020.45.5

After the reforms that took place in 1566 the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Union of Lublin began its new phase of life in 1569. During this phase The Chancellery of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania played an essential role. At the time the institution was comprised of Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and its most important employees – clerks – people of average nobility that had a chance to show their knowledge working at a chancellery. Leon Sapiega was one of such people. While examining the works of other historians we can notice that L. Sapiega has a variety of biographies, but not including the clerical aspect, they can be considered to be a collection of chronological presentation of facts and not a comprehensive biography of a high-ranking official. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to answer the question of how L. Sapiega as a person influenced the development of the Chancery of the GDL. Institutions are usually represented by leaders and each leader leaves a footprint in the institution’s history. L. Sapiega was not an exeption as his office had undergone several stages of development.
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