Gustav I of Sweden
Gustav I, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and known as Gustav Vasa, was King of Sweden from 1523 until his death in 1560 self-recognised Protector of the Realm from 1521, during the ongoing Swedish War of Liberation against King Christian II of Denmark and Sweden. Of low standing, Gustav rose to lead the rebel movement following the Stockholm Bloodbath, in which his father perished. Gustav's election as King on 6 June 1523 and his triumphant entry into Stockholm eleven days marked Sweden's final secession from the Kalmar Union; as king, Gustav proved an enigmatic administrator with a ruthless streak not inferior to his predecessor's, brutally suppressing subsequent uprisings. He worked to raise taxes and bring about a Reformation in Sweden, replacing the prerogatives of local landowners and clergy with centrally appointed governors and bishops, his 37-year rule, the longest of a mature Swedish king to that date saw a complete break with not only the Danish supremacy but the Roman Catholic Church, whose assets were nationalised, with the Lutheran Church of Sweden established under his personal control.
He became the first autocratic native Swedish sovereign and was a skilled bureaucrat and propagandist, with tales of his fictitious adventures during the liberation struggle still widespread to date. In 1544, he abolished Medieval Sweden's elective monarchy and replaced it with a hereditary monarchy under the House of Vasa and its successors, including the current House of Bernadotte. Due to a vibrant dynastic succession, three of his sons, Erik XIV, Johan III and Karl IX, all held the kingship at different points. Gustav I has subsequently been labelled the founder of modern Sweden, the "father of the nation". Gustav liked to compare himself to Moses, whom he believed to have liberated his people and established a sovereign state; as a person, Gustav was known for ruthless methods and a bad temper, but a fondness for music and had a certain sly wit and ability to outmaneuver and annihilate his opponents. He founded one of the now oldest orchestras of the Kungliga Hovkapellet. Royal housekeeping accounts from 1526 mention twelve musicians including wind players and a timpanist but no string players.
Today the Kungliga Hovkapellet is the orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera. Gustav Eriksson, a son of Cecilia Månsdotter Eka and Erik Johansson Vasa, was born in 1496; the birth most took place in Rydboholm Castle, northeast of Stockholm, the manor house of the father, Erik. The newborn got his name, from Erik's grandfather Gustav Anundsson. Erik Johansson's parents were Johan Kristersson and Birgitta Gustafsdotter of the dynasties Vasa and Sture both dynasties of high nobility. Birgitta Gustafsdotter was regent of Sweden. Being a relative and ally of uncle Sten Sture, Erik inherited the regent's estates in Uppland and Södermanland when the latter died in 1503. Although a member of a family with considerable properties since childhood, Gustav Eriksson would be the holder of possessions of a much greater dimension. According to genealogical research, Birgitta Gustafsdotter and Sten Sture were descended from King Sverker II of Sweden, through King Sverker's granddaughter Benedikte Sunesdotter. One of King Gustav's great-grandmothers was a half-sister of King Charles VIII of Sweden.
Since the end of the 14th century, Sweden had been a part of the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Norway. The Danish dominance in this union led to uprisings in Sweden. During Gustav's childhood, parts of the Swedish nobility tried to make Sweden independent. Gustav and his father Erik supported the party of Sten Sture the Younger, regent of Sweden from 1512, its struggle against the Danish King Christian II. Following the battle of Brännkyrka in 1518, where Sten Sture's troops beat the Danish forces, it was decided that Sten Sture and King Christian would meet in Österhaninge for negotiations. To guarantee the safety of the king, the Swedish side sent six men as hostages to be kept by the Danes for as long as the negotiations lasted. However, Christian did not show up for the negotiations, violated the deal with the Swedish side and took the hostages aboard ships carrying them to Copenhagen; the six members of the kidnapped hostage were Hemming Gadh, Lars Siggesson, Jöran Siggesson, Olof Ryning, Bengt Nilsson – and Gustav Eriksson.
Gustav was held in Kalø Castle where he was treated well after promising he would not make attempts to escape. A reason for this gentle treatment was King Christian's hope to convince the six men to switch sides, turn against their leader Sten Sture; this strategy was successful regarding all men but Gustav. In 1519, Gustav Eriksson escaped from Kalø, he fled to the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. How he managed to escape is not certain, but according to a somewhat story, he disguised himself as a bullocky. For this, Gustav Eriksson got the nicknames "King Oxtail" and "Gustav Cow Butt", something he indeed disliked; when a swordsman drank to His Majesty "Gustav Cow Butt" in Kalmar in 1547, the swordsman was killed. While staying in Lübeck, Gustav could hear about developments in his native Sweden. While he was there, Christian II mobilised to attack Sweden in an effort to seize power from Sten Sture and his supporters. In 1
Lutheranism is a major branch of western Christianity that identifies with the teaching of Martin Luther, a 16th century German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation; the reaction of the government and church authorities to the international spread of his writings, beginning with the 95 Theses, divided Western Christianity. The split between the Lutherans and the Catholics was made public and clear with the 1521 Edict of Worms: the edicts of the Diet condemned Luther and banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas, subjecting advocates of Lutheranism to forfeiture of all property, half of the seized property to be forfeit to the imperial government and the remaining half forfeit to the party who brought the accusation; the divide centered on two points: the proper source of authority in the church called the formal principle of the Reformation, the doctrine of justification called the material principle of Lutheran theology.
Lutheranism advocates a doctrine of justification "by grace alone through faith alone on the basis of Scripture alone", the doctrine that scripture is the final authority on all matters of faith. This is in contrast to the belief of the Roman Catholic Church, defined at the Council of Trent, concerning authority coming from both the Scriptures and Tradition. Unlike Calvinism, Lutherans retain many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Church, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper. Lutheran theology differs from Reformed theology in Christology, divine grace, the purpose of God's Law, the concept of perseverance of the saints, predestination; the name Lutheran originated as a derogatory term used against Luther by German Scholastic theologian Dr. Johann Maier von Eck during the Leipzig Debate in July 1519. Eck and other Roman Catholics followed the traditional practice of naming a heresy after its leader, thus labeling all who identified with the theology of Martin Luther as Lutherans.
Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term Evangelical, derived from εὐαγγέλιον euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "Gospel". The followers of John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, other theologians linked to the Reformed tradition used that term. To distinguish the two evangelical groups, others began to refer to the two groups as Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed; as time passed by, the word Evangelical was dropped. Lutherans themselves began to use the term Lutheran in the middle of the 16th century, in order to distinguish themselves from other groups such as the Anabaptists and Calvinists. In 1597, theologians in Wittenberg defined the title Lutheran as referring to the true church. Lutheranism has its roots in the work of Martin Luther, who sought to reform the Western Church to what he considered a more biblical foundation. Lutheranism spread through all of Scandinavia during the 16th century, as the monarch of Denmark–Norway and the monarch of Sweden adopted Lutheranism.
Through Baltic-German and Swedish rule, Lutheranism spread into Estonia and Latvia. Since 1520, regular Lutheran services have been held in Copenhagen. Under the reign of Frederick I, Denmark–Norway remained Catholic. Although Frederick pledged to persecute Lutherans, he soon adopted a policy of protecting Lutheran preachers and reformers, the most significant being Hans Tausen. During Frederick's reign, Lutheranism made significant inroads in Denmark. At an open meeting in Copenhagen attended by the king in 1536, the people shouted. Frederick's son Christian was Lutheran, which prevented his election to the throne upon his father's death. However, following his victory in the civil war that followed, in 1537 he became Christian III and advanced the Reformation in Denmark–Norway; the constitution upon which the Danish Norwegian Church, according to the Church Ordinance, should rest was "The pure word of God, the Law and the Gospel". It does not mention the Augsburg Confession; the priests had to understand the Holy Scripture well enough to preach and explain the Gospel and the Epistles for their congregations.
The youths were taught from Luther's Small Catechism, available in Danish since 1532. They were taught to expect at the end of life: "forgiving of their sins", "to be counted as just", "the eternal life". Instruction is still similar; the first complete Bible in Danish was based on Martin Luther's translation into German. It was published with 3,000 copies printed in the first edition. Unlike Catholicism, the Lutheran Church does not believe that tradition is a carrier of the "Word of God", or that only the communion of the Bishop of Rome has been entrusted to interpret the "Word of God"; the Reformation in Sweden began with Olaus and Laurentius Petri, brothers who took the Reformation to Sweden after studying in Germany. They led elected king in 1523, to Lutheranism; the pope's refusal to allow the replacement of an archbishop who had supported the invading forces opposing Gustav Vasa during the Stockholm Bloodbath led to the severing of any official connection between Sweden and the papacy in 1523.
Four years at the Diet of Västerås, the king succeeded in forcing the diet to accept his dominion over the national church. The king was given possession of all church properties, as well as the church appointments and approval of the clergy. While this granted official sanction to Lutheran ideas, Lutheranism did not become official until 1593. At that time the Uppsa
Princess Maria Elizabeth of Sweden
Princess Maria Elizabeth of Sweden was a Swedish princess, daughter of King Charles IX of Sweden and Christina of Holstein-Gottorp, by marriage Duchess of Ostergothia. Maria Elizabeth was brought up with her brother, Gustavus Adolphus, her cousin, Duke of Finland, she was tutored by Johannes Bureus and Johan Skytte. She was a good student, with an interest in literature, corresponded with her teacher Johan Skytte in Latin at the age of ten. In 1610, Maria Elizabeth was engaged to marry her cousin, Prince John of Sweden, Duke of Ostrogothia; the reason for the marriage was political and arranged by queen Christina. John was the son of former King John III of Sweden and had rights to the throne which exceeded those of Maria Elizabeth's father. Although he had given up these rights and was not an ambitious person, there were concerns that he might become a threat if he were to marry a foreign Princess; the wedding was met with opposition from the clergy, who complained both about the close relationship between the bride and the groom, not in accordance with the 1571 års kyrkoordning, as well as not having been consulted about it, but they were silenced by queen Christina, who stated that the matter was a secular question.
On 29 November 1612, at the age of sixteen, Princess Maria Elizabeth celebrated her wedding to the Duke of Ostrogothia in the royal palace Tre Kronor in Stockholm. The duke and duchess hosted a luxurious court in their residences at Vadstena Castle and Bråborg Castle in the Duchy of Ostrogothia; the marriage is described as unhappy, Maria Elizabeth blamed her mother for having arranged it. None of the spouses was involved or happy about the marriage, it was believed to have had a negative effect on both of their health. Duke John suffered from increasing depression from 1613 onward, from the summer of the following year, Maria Elizabeth was affected by periods of insanity "from which she recovered only periodically her remaining days onward." During her periods of insanity, she lost her ability to speak, was kept under guard, as there were fears that she would attempt suicide. Queen Christina is said to have regretted having arranged the marriage, her illness caused great concern, her mother visited her in the Duchy to attend her during her illness, her brother King Gustavus Adolphus sent his personal royal physician to attend her.
The royal couple ruled quite independently in their Duchy. John had the right to issue new laws, Maria Elizabeth evidently had influence on his rule. During the six years they lived together in Ostrogothia, a witch hunt was conducted in the duchy, for which they, Maria Elizabeth in particular, are considered to be responsible. A woman was executed after being accused of having cast a spell on the royal couple; the personal priest of Maria Elizabeth, Claudius Prytz, was active in this matter. The duke issued a new law which made it easier to judge and execute witches, which led to the Finspång witch trial. Seven women were executed in Finspång in 1617. After this, there were few witch trials in Sweden; when the great witch frenzy of 1668-1676 broke out, the witch hunt of the 1610s in Ostrogothia was remembered and pointed out as a warning example by those sceptical towards the belief in witches. Lord High Steward Per Brahe warned: "To be strict with those affected, as they believe in too much, not real, executions, will only increase this, as happened in the time of Duke John", and: "The Prime Minister was reminded of the Princess of duke John.
She started to burn some, in the end, there was not a wife, not accused". Ten such executions are confirmed. After the death of Maria Elizabeth, the witch hunt was put to an end. On 5 March 1618, she was widowed. Princess Maria Elizabeth was 22 years old and retired to Stegeborg Castle, she died childless'of her lifelong disease' just five months after her husband: according to the royal chaplain Petrus Bjugg, death was a release to her. She was buried next to her spouse at Linköping Cathedral in January 1619. Ankarloo, Satans raseri: en sannfärdig berättelse om det stora häxoväsendet i Sverige och omgivande länder, Stockholm, 2007 Runeberg.org, Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon Runeberg.org, Anteckningar om svenska qvinnor
Strängnäs Cathedral is a Lutheran cathedral church in Strängnäs, since the Protestant Reformation the seat of the Church of Sweden Diocese of Strängnäs. It is built of bricks in the characteristic Scandinavian Brick Gothic style; the original church was built of wood during the first decades of the 12th century, on a spot where pagan rituals used to take place and where the missionary Saint Eskil was killed during the mid 11th century. The wooden church was not rebuilt in stone and bricks until 1340, just after Strängnäs became a diocese; the cathedral contains a mixture of decorative styles. The nave and sanctuary are traditional, with a large triptych reredos dominating the high altar at the east end of the building. However, two of the side chapels have been refurbished in contemporary style, with modern altars, abstract artistic decoration and religious symbolism; the cathedral contains the tombs of Charles IX of Sweden, Sten Sture the Elder, Maria of Palatinate-Simmern. On 31 July 2018, the burial regalia of Charles IX and Christina of Holstein-Gottorp were stolen in a daylight robbery with the thieves escaping by boat.
In February 2019 it was reported that the regalia had been found and a man was facing trial accused of the theft. Strängnäs Cathedral Library is one of the oldest surviving and working libraries in Sweden, it dates its origin to the year 1316 when Strängnäs Dominican monastery received a widow's donation of books. The library was built consciously by the bishops Kort Rogge and John Matthiæ. During the 1600s, it was expanded by Christina, Queen of Sweden, through the addition of the spoils of war from the cities of Prague and Nikolsburg. During the 1700s the library expanded through bequests from learned diocesan clergy. During the 1800s it was kept in the former school building's main hall, is now in the special Library chancel in the cathedral's northwestern corner. Dr Henrik Aminson published in 1863 a comprehensive printed directory Bibliotheca Templi Cathedralis Stregnensis, quae maximam partem ex Germania Capta est circa finem belli triginta annorum, descripta, 1-2, of over 600 pages. Most of the printed books are listed in the Swedish libraries search service.
A printed catalogue in two volumes was published in 2017. Strängnäs Cathedral at the Church of Sweden's official website Media related to Strängnäs Cathedral at Wikimedia Commons
The Reformation was a movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic church – and papal authority in particular. Although the Reformation is considered to have started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517, there was no schism between the Catholics and the nascent Lutheran branch until the 1521 Edict of Worms; the edict condemned Luther and banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas. The end of the Reformation era is disputed: it could be considered to end with the enactment of the confessions of faith which began the Age of Orthodoxy. Other suggested ending years relate to the Counter-Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, or that it never ended since there are still Protestants today. Movements had been made towards a Reformation prior to Luther, so some Protestants in the tradition of the Radical Reformation prefer to credit the start of the Reformation to reformers such as Arnold of Brescia, Peter Waldo, Jan Hus, Tomáš Štítný ze Štítného, John Wycliffe, Girolamo Savonarola.
Due to the reform efforts of Huss and others in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Utraquist Hussitism was acknowledged by both the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, although other movements were still subject to persecution, as were the including Lollards in England and Waldensians in Italy and France. Luther began by criticising the sale of indulgences, insisting that the Pope had no authority over purgatory and that the Treasury of Merit had no foundation in the Bible; the Reformation developed further to include a distinction between Law and Gospel, a complete reliance on Scripture as the only source of proper doctrine and the belief that faith in Jesus is the only way to receive God's pardon for sin rather than good works. Although this is considered a Protestant belief, a similar formulation was taught by Molinist and Jansenist Catholics; the priesthood of all believers downplayed the need for saints or priests to serve as mediators, mandatory clerical celibacy was ended. Simul justus et peccator implied that although people could improve, no one could become good enough to earn forgiveness from God.
Sacramental theology was simplified and attempts at imposing Aristotelian epistemology were resisted. Luther and his followers did not see these theological developments as changes; the 1530 Augsburg Confession concluded that "in doctrine and ceremonies nothing has been received on our part against Scripture or the Church Catholic", after the Council of Trent, Martin Chemnitz published the 1565–73 Examination of the Council of Trent in order to prove that Trent innovated on doctrine while the Lutherans were following in the footsteps of the Church Fathers and Apostles. The initial movement in Germany diversified, other reformers arose independently of Luther such as Zwingli in Zürich and Calvin in Geneva. Depending on the country, the Reformation had varying causes and different backgrounds, unfolded differently than in Germany; the spread of Gutenberg's printing press provided the means for the rapid dissemination of religious materials in the vernacular. During Reformation-era confessionalization, Western Christianity adopted different confessions.
Radical Reformers, besides forming communities outside state sanction, sometimes employed more extreme doctrinal change, such as the rejection of the tenets of the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon with the Unitarians of Transylvania. Anabaptist movements were persecuted following the German Peasants' War. Leaders within the Roman Catholic Church responded with the Counter-Reformation, initiated by the Confutatio Augustana in 1530, the Council of Trent in 1545, the Jesuits in 1540, the Defensio Tridentinæ fidei in 1578, a series of wars and expulsions of Protestants that continued until the 19th century. Northern Europe, with the exception of most of Ireland, came under the influence of Protestantism. Southern Europe remained predominantly Catholic apart from the much-persecuted Waldensians. Central Europe was the site of much of the Thirty Years' War and there were continued expulsions of Protestants in central Europe up to the 19th century. Following World War II, the removal of ethnic Germans to either East Germany or Siberia reduced Protestantism in the Warsaw Pact countries, although some remain today.
Absence of Protestants however, does not imply a failure of the Reformation. Although Protestants were excommunicated and ended up worshipping in communions separate from Catholics contrary to the original intention of the Reformers, they were suppressed and persecuted in most of Europe at one point; as a result, some of them lived as crypto-Protestants called Nicodemites, contrary to the urging of John Calvin who wanted them to live their faith openly. Some crypto-Protestants have been identified as late as the 19th century after immigrating to Latin America; as a result Reformation impulses continued to affect the Latin Church well past the end of what is considered the Reformation era. The oldest Protestant churches, such as the Unitas Fratrum and Moravian Church, date their origins to Jan Hus in the early 15th century; as it was led by a Bohemian noble majority, recognised, for a time, by the Basel Compacts, the Hussite Reformation was Europe's first "Magisterial Reformation" because the ruling magistrates supported it, unlike the "Radical Reformation", which the state did not support.
Common factors that played a role during the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation included the rise of nationalism, the
Tre Kronor (castle)
Tre Kronor was a castle located in Stockholm, Sweden, on the site where Stockholm Palace is today. It is believed to have been a citadel that Birger Jarl built into a royal castle in the middle of the 13th century; the name "Tre Kronor" is believed to have been given to the castle during the reign of King Magnus IV in the middle of the 14th century. Most of Sweden's national library and royal archives were destroyed when the castle burned down in 1697, making the country's early history unusually difficult to document; when King Gustav Vasa broke Sweden free from the Kalmar Union and made Sweden independent again, Tre Kronor Castle became his most important royal seat. Gustav Vasa expanded the castle's defensive measures, while his son John III of Sweden rebuilt and improved the castle aesthetically, turning it into a renaissance style castle and adding a castle church; the keep may have existed previous to the 16th century, but in a much smaller form than on the pictures from the beginning and end of the 16th and 17th centuries.
The tower was about the half of the height in the end of the 16th century. The castle consisted of two parts, the main castle and the walled in gardens surrounding it with the high tower in the middle. On May 7, 1697 a large fire broke out in Tre Kronor that demolished the majority of the more-than-400-year-old castle; the fire was discovered by Georg Stiernhoff. The fire marshal, Sven Lindberg, informed the royal staff that he could not get to the fire extinguishing equipment because the fire blocked his access to it; the royal family and court were forced to evacuate the castle. The servants attempted to save as much as possible of the royal possessions; the fire spread to all parts of the castle. Since the castle was made out of wood and copper, the hot copper plates set the roof on fire. Due to the fire most of Sweden's national library and royal archives were destroyed. Shortly after the fire died out, the investigation was launched into why it was not discovered earlier. A royal court found three possible culprits.
Sven Lindberg – the fire marshal for the castle – and Anders Andersson and Mattias Hansson, soldiers on fire watch for the night, reporting to Sven Lindberg. It is revealed that Anders Andersson was running an errand for the fire marshal's wife, against fire watch regulations. Mattias Hansson had left his post. Hanson claimed; the royal court concluded that the fire marshal had used the soldier for his and his wife's private errands. It was found that he had accepted bribes in exchange for hiring people into certain positions at the castle. In February 1698 the sentences were handed out. Sven Lindberg and Mattias Hanson were sentenced to death. Anders Andersson was sentenced to run the gauntlet; the death sentences were both commuted to running the gauntlet and six years of forced labour at Carlsten fortress. Lindberg died. Plans were made to rebuild a new castle on the old foundation. Nicodemus Tessin the Younger was the architect in charge of rebuilding; the new building, Stockholm Palace, was completed in 1754.
Nicodemus did not get to see it completed. A 1/3rd scale replica of Tre Kronor was created as part of The General Art and Industrial Exposition of Stockholm known as "Stockholm World's Fair". Media related to Tre kronor at Wikimedia Commons The Swedish Royal Court - The Tre Kronor Museum
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth – formally, the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland – was a dual state, a bi-confederation of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, both King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th– to 17th-century Europe. At its largest territorial extent, in the early 17th century, the Commonwealth covered 400,000 square miles and sustained a multi-ethnic population of 11 million; the Commonwealth was established by the Union of Lublin in July 1569, but the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had been in a de facto personal union since 1386 with the marriage of the Polish queen Hedwig and Lithuania's Grand Duke Jogaila, crowned King jure uxoris Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland. The First Partition of Poland in 1772 and the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 reduced the state's size and the Commonwealth collapsed as an independent state following the Third Partition of Poland in 1795.
The Union possessed many features unique among contemporary states. Its political system was characterized by strict checks upon monarchical power; these checks were enacted by a legislature controlled by the nobility. This idiosyncratic system was a precursor to modern concepts of democracy, constitutional monarchy, federation. Although the two component states of the Commonwealth were formally equal, Poland was the dominant partner in the union; the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was marked by high levels of ethnic diversity and by relative religious tolerance, guaranteed by the Warsaw Confederation Act 1573. The Constitution of 1791 acknowledged Catholicism as the "dominant religion", unlike the Warsaw Confederation, but freedom of religion was still granted with it. After several decades of prosperity, it entered a period of protracted political and economic decline, its growing weakness led to its partitioning among its neighbors during the late 18th century. Shortly before its demise, the Commonwealth adopted a massive reform effort and enacted the May 3 Constitution—the first codified constitution in modern European history and the second in modern world history.
The official name of the state was The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Latin term was used in international treaties and diplomacy. In the 17th century and it was known as the Most Serene Commonwealth of Poland, the Commonwealth of the Polish Kingdom, or the Commonwealth of Poland, its inhabitants referred to it in everyday speech as the "Rzeczpospolita". Western Europeans simply called it Poland and in most past and modern sources it is referred to as the Kingdom of Poland, or just Poland; the terms: the Commonwealth of Poland and the Commonwealth of Two Nations were used in the Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations. The English term'Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth' and German'Polen-Litauen' are seen as renderings of the Commonwealth of Two Nations variant. Other names include the Republic of Nobles and the First Commonwealth, the latter common in Polish historiography. Poland and Lithuania underwent an alternating series of wars and alliances during the 14th century and early 15th century.
Several agreements between the two were struck before the permanent 1569 Union of Lublin. This agreement was one of the signal achievements of Sigismund II Augustus, last monarch of the Jagiellon dynasty. Sigismund believed, his death in 1572 was followed by a three-year interregnum during which adjustments were made to the constitutional system. The Commonwealth reached its Golden Age in the early 17th century, its powerful parliament was dominated by nobles who were reluctant to get involved in the Thirty Years' War. The Commonwealth was able to hold its own against Sweden, the Tsardom of Russia, vassals of the Ottoman Empire, launched successful expansionist offensives against its neighbors. In several invasions during the Time of Troubles, Commonwealth troops entered Russia and managed to take Moscow and hold it from 27 September 1610 to 4 November 1612, when they were driven out after a siege. Commonwealth power began waning after a series of blows during the following decades. A major rebellion of Ukrainian Cossacks in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth began in 1648.
It resulted in a Ukrainian request, under the terms of the Treaty of Pereyaslav, for protection by the Russian Tsar. Russian annexation of part of Ukraine supplanted Polish influence; the other blow to the Commonwealth was a Swedish invasion in 1655, known as the Deluge, supported by troops of Transylvanian Duke George II Rákóczi a