Podlachia or Podlasie, is a historical region in the eastern part of Poland. Between 1513 and 1795 it was a voivodeship with the capital in Drohiczyn. Now the part north of the Bug River is included in the modern Podlaskie Voivodeship with the capital in Białystok; the region is called Podlasie, Podlasko or Podlasze in Polish, Palenkė in Lithuanian, Padliašša in Belarusian, Pidljasije, Pidljaššja or Pidljaxija in Ukrainian, Podljas’e in Russian, "Podlyashe" in Yiddish, Podlachia in Latin. There are two opinions regarding the origin of the name of the region. People derive it from the Slavic word les or las meaning "forest", i.e. it is an "by the wood" or "area of forests", making Podlachia close in meaning to adjacent Polesia. The theory has been questioned, as it does not properly take into consideration the vowel shifts "a" > "e" > "i" in various Slavic languages. The second opinion holds that the term comes from the expression pod Lachem, which may be translated as "under the Poles"; some claim it to mean "under Polish rule", though in the Middle Ages Podlachia was only under Polish rule, since 1446 until 1569 the area belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
A better variant of this theory holds that the name originates from the period when the territory was within the Trakai Voivodeship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, along the borderline with the Mazovia province a fief of the Poland of the Piasts and on part of the Kingdom of Poland of the Jagiellons. Hence pod Lachem would mean "near the Poles", "along the border with Poland"; the historical Lithuanian name of the region, Palenkė, has this meaning. Podlachia is divided along the Bug River, at which the traditional capital Drohiczyn lies, into northern and southern parts; the former is included in the modern-day Podlaskie Voivodeship with its capital at Białystok. Sometimes, Siedlce has been considered the capital of the region. Throughout its early history, Podlachia was inhabited by various tribes of different ethnic roots. In the 9th and 10th centuries, the area was inhabited by Lechitic tribes in the south, Baltic tribes in the north, Ruthenian tribes in the east. Between the 10th and 14th centuries, the area was part of the Ruthenian principalities and Polish and Mazovian Piast states.
The area became a part of the Medieval Slavic territory of Cherven Cities. In the 14th century the area was annexed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, though on it still fell under Mazovian Piast rule. In 1446, Podlachia became part of the Grand Duchy, but since 1496 southwestern parts of Podlachia and since 1501 the northern part used Polish law instead of Lithuanian. In 1513 King Sigismund I the Old formed the Podlaskie Voivodeship. In 1566, the southeastern part of Podlachia became part of the newly formed Brest Litovsk Voivodeship as the Brest Litovsk County. In 1569, after the Union of Lublin, Podlasie was ceded to the Kingdom of Poland, it was the northernmost part of the Lesser Poland Province of the Polish Crown. The voivodeship was divided in three lands: the Drohiczyn and Bielsk Land. In the 18th and 19th century the private town of Białystok became the main center of the region, thanks to the patronage of the Branicki family and the textile industry development. After the Third Partition of Poland in 1795, Podlachia was divided between the Kingdom of Prussia, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Russian Empire.
In 1807, the western part of Podlachia became part of the Duchy of Warsaw, a semi-independent Polish entity, while the eastern part including Białystok fell under Russian rule. In the 19th century the region was a stronghold of Polish resistance against Russian rule; the last partisan of the January Uprising Stanisław Brzóska operated here until 1865. He was hanged publicly by the Russians in Sokołów Podlaski in May 1865. Poland regained Podlachia after restoring independence in 1918. Podlachia is the land of the confluence of cultures – Polish and Belarusian – and is indicative of the ethnic territories limits. East of Podlachia lie ethnically non-Polish lands. Today, Polish is spoken in western and southern Podlachia, while Belarusian in eastern areas; until the 19th century, Podlachia was populated by the Polish-speaking yeomanry and Ruthenian Greek-Catholics speaking a dialect related to modern Ukrainian – the so-called Khakhlak dialect, which derived its name from a derogatory term for Ukrainians.
In the 19th century, the inhabitants of Podlachia were under the rule of the Russian Empire, with southern Podlachia constituting a part of Russian-controlled Congress Poland. After 1831, Russian authorities forbade the Greek-Catholic faith in northern Podlachia and it disappeared from the area. In 1875, Russians forbade this rite in the southern portion as well, all Greek-Catholic inhabitants were forced to accept the Eastern Orthodox faith. However, the resistance of the local people was strong and Ruthenian speakers from this area rejected the separation from the Pope. In 1874, blessed Wincenty Lewoniuk and 12 companions were killed by Russian soldiers in Pratulin. In reaction to these measures, the Ruthenians of southern Podlachia began to identify themselves with the national movement of the Roman Catholic Poles. To preserve the full communion with
The szlachta was a privileged noble class in the Kingdom of Poland, in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. After the Union of Lublin in 1569, the Grand Duchy and its neighbouring Kingdom became a single state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth; the origins of the szlachta are shrouded in obscurity and mystery and have been the subject of several theories. Traditionally, its members were landowners in the form of "manorial estates" or so-called folwarks; the nobility won substantial and increasing political and legal privileges for itself throughout its entire history until the decline and end of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the late 18th century. Apart from providing officers for the army, among its chief civic obligations were electing the monarch, plus filling advisory and honorary roles at court, e.g. Stolnik - "Master of the King's Pantry," or their assistant, in the state government, e.g. Podskarbi, "Minister to the Treasury", they served as elected representatives in the Sejm and in local Sejmiki assemblies, appointing officials and overseeing judicial and financial governance, including tax-raising, at the provincial level.
Their roles included Voivodeship, Marshal of Voivodeship and Starosta. The szlachta gained considerable institutional privileges between 1333 and 1370 in the Kingdom of Poland during the reign of King Casimir III the Great. In 1413, following a series of tentative personal unions between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, the existing Lithuanian-Ruthenian nobility formally joined this class; as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth evolved and expanded in territory, its membership grew to include the leaders of Ducal Prussia and Livonia. During the Partitions of Poland from 1772 to 1795, minor szlachta began to lose these legal privileges and social status, while elites became part of nobility of partitioning countries. Although in reality, szlachta members could have unequal status due to wealth and political influence, there were few official distinctions between the elites and common nobility. Unlike in most other countries, those few hereditary titles that there were in the Kingdom of Poland, were bestowed by foreign monarchs, including personal hereditary titles granted by the Pope, see Feliks Sobański as an example.
While in Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Samogitia princely titles were inherited either by descendants of Old Lithuanian-Ruthenian Rurikid and Gediminids princely families, or by princely dynasties of Tatar origin that settled there. The Polish term szlachta is derived from the Old High German word slahta. In modern German Geschlecht - which came from the Proto-Germanic *slagiz, "blow", "strike", shares the Anglo-Saxon root for "slaughter" or the verb "to slug" – means "breeding" or gender. Like many other Polish words pertaining to nobility, it derives from Germanic words: So for example, the Polish for a "knight" is "rycerz", a cognate of the German "Ritter"; the Polish word for "coat of arms" is "herb" from the German "Erbe" or "heritage". 17th century Poles assumed that "szlachta" came from the German "schlachten" "to slaughter" or "to butcher", was therefore related to the German word for battle, "Schlacht". Some early Polish historians thought the term might have derived instead from the name of the legendary proto-Polish chief, mentioned in Polish and Czech writings.
A few exceptionally wealthy and powerful szlachta members during the 17th and 18th centuries came to be known as "magnates" - "możni": see Magnates of Poland and Lithuania. The Polish term "szlachta" designated the formalized, hereditary noble class of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which constituted the nation itself, ruled without competition. In official Latin documents of the old Commonwealth, the hereditary szlachta were referred to as "nobilitas" from the Latin term, could be compared in legal status to English or British peers of the realm, or to the ancient Roman idea of cives, "citizen". Today the word szlachta translates as "nobility". In its broadest sense, it can denote some non-hereditary honorary knighthoods and baronial titles granted by other European monarchs, including the Holy See. 19th-century landowners of non-noble descent were referred to as szlachta by courtesy or error, when they owned manorial estates but were not in fact noble by birth. Szlachta denotes the Ruthenian and Lithuanian nobility from before the old-Commonwealth.
In the past, a misconception sometimes led to the mistranslation of "szlachta" as "gentry" rather than "nobility". This mistaken practice began due to the inferior economic status of many szlachta members compared to that of the nobility in other European countries; the szlachta included those rich and powerful enough to be magnates down to the indigent with a noble lineage, but with no land, no castle, no money, no village, no subject peasants. At least 60,000 families belonged to the nobility, only about 100 were wealthy, all the rest were poor. Over time, numerically most lesser szlachta became or were poorer than their few rich peers in their social class, many were worse off than the non-noble gentry, they were called szlachta zagrodowa, that is, "nobility from within the second estate compound", sometimes referred to as drobna szlachta, "petty nobles" or yet, szlachta okoliczna, meaning "local". Impoverished szlachta families were forced to become tenants of their wealthier peers, they were described as "tenant nobles" who paid rent.
In doing so, they retained all their constitutional prerogati
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, located on the Dnieper River, 360 kilometers west-southwest of Moscow. Population: 326,861 ; the walled city in the center of Smolensk was destroyed several times throughout its long history because it was on the invasion routes of the Mongol Empire, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, First French Empire and Nazi Germany. Today, Smolensk is noted for its electronics, food processing, diamond faceting industries; the name of the city is derived from the name of the Smolnya River. The origin of the river's name is less clear. One possibility is the old Slavic word "смоль" for black soil, which might have colored the waters of the Smolnya. An alternative origin could be the Russian word "смола", which means tar, or pitch. Pine trees grow in the area, the city was once a center of resin processing and trade; the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII recorded its name as "Μιλινισκα". The city is located in European Russia on the banks of the upper Dnieper River, which crosses the city within the Smolensk Upland, the western part of the Smolensk–Moscow Upland.
The Dnieper River flows through the city from east to west and divides it into two parts: the northern and southern. Within the city and its surroundings the river takes in several small tributaries. In the valleys are stretched streets, high ridges and headlands form the mountain. Smolensk is situated on seven hills; the old part of the city occupies the rugged left bank of the Dnieper River. The area features undulating terrain, with a large number of tributaries and ravines. Smolensk is among the oldest Russian cities; the first recorded mention of the city was 863 AD, two years after the founding of Kievan Rus'. According to Russian Primary Chronicle, Smolensk was located on the area settled by the West Slavic Radimichs tribe in 882 when Oleg of Novgorod took it in passing from Novgorod to Kiev; the town was first attested two decades earlier, when the Varangian chieftains Askold and Dir, while on their way to Kiev, decided against challenging Smolensk on account of its large size and population.
The first foreign writer to mention the city was the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. In De Administrando Imperio he described Smolensk as a key station on the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks; the Rus' people sailed from the Baltics up the Western Dvina as far as they could they portaged their boats to the upper Dnieper. It was in Smolensk that they mended any leaks and small holes that might have appeared in their boats from being dragged on the ground and they used tar to do that, hence the city name; the Principality of Smolensk was founded in 1054. Due to its central position in Kievan Rus', the city developed rapidly. By the end of the 12th century, the princedom was one of the strongest in Eastern Europe, so that Smolensk Dynasty controlled the Kievan throne. Numerous churches were built in the city including the church of Sts. Peter and Paul and the church of St. John the Baptist; the most remarkable church in the city is called Svirskaya. Smolensk had its own veche since the beginning of its history.
Its power increased after the disintegration of Kievan Rus', although it was not as strong as the veche in Novgorod, the princes had to take its opinion into consideration. Although spared by the Mongol armies in 1240, Smolensk paid tribute to the Golden Horde becoming a pawn in the long struggle between Lithuania and the Grand Duchy of Moscow; the last sovereign monarch of Smolensk was Yury of Smolensk. After the city's incorporation into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, some of Smolensk's boyars moved to Vilnius. With tens of thousands of people living there, Smolensk was the largest city in 15th-century Lithuania. Three Smolensk regiments took part in the Battle of Grunwald against the Teutonic Knights, it was a severe blow to Lithuania when the city was taken by Vasily III of Russia in 1514. To commemorate this event, the Tsar founded the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow and dedicated it to the icon of Our Lady of Smolensk. In order to repel future Polish–Lithuanian attacks, Boris Godunov made it his priority to fortify the city.
The stone kremlin constructed in 1597–1602 is the largest in Russia. It features numerous watchtowers. Heavy fortifications did not prevent the fortress from being taken by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1611 after a long twenty-month siege, during the Time of Troubles and Dimitriads. Weakened Muscovy temporarily ceded Smolensk land to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Truce of Deulino and for the next forty-three years it was the seat of Smolensk Voivodeship. To recapture the city, the Tsardom of Russia launched the so-called "Smolensk War" against the Commonwealth in 1632. After a defeat at the hands of king Wladislaw IV, the city remained in Polish–Lithuanian hands. In 1632, the Uniate bishop Lew Kreuza built his apartm
Sebastian Sobieski was a Polish szlachcic, Court Standard-Bearer of the Crown since 1596, courtier and starost of Rosice and Bohuslav. Member of the Sejm. Son of Jan Sobieski h. Janina and Katarzyna Gdeszyńska h. Gozdawa, brother of Voivode of Lublin Marek Sobieski. Sebastian married Anna Zebrzydowska z Więchocka h. Radwan, the daughter of Mikołaj Zebrzydowski h. Radwan and Urszula Korzbok Zawadzka h. Korzbok and had three children: Tomasz – died young and childless, Stefan – – jesuit, Zofia Konstancja – consort of starost of Mirachowo Zygmunt Szczepański h. Dołęga Korzon T. Dola i niedola Jana Sobieskiego 1629–1674, t. I, Wydawnictwo Akademii Umiejętności, Kraków 1898, tabl. VIII. Nagórski W. Maroszek J. Tykocin. Miasto królewskie, AZ Media, Tykocin 2004, ISBN 83-913647-9-8, s. 77–81. Podhorodecki L. Sobiescy herbu Janina, Ludowa Spółdzielnia Wydawnicza, Warszawa 1981, ISBN 83-205-3234-5, s. 13. Http://www.wilanow-palac.pl/sobieski_sebastian_h_janina_ok_1552_1615.html
Marek Sobieski was a Polish–Lithuanian noble. He was a courtier from 1577, a Royal Court Chorąży from 1581, a castellan of Lublin from 1597, a voivode of Lublin Voivodeship from c. 1597/98. He was the grandfather of the elected King of the Polish -- Lithuanian Commonwealth. Http://www.wilanow-palac.pl/sobieski_marek_h_janina_1549_50_1605.html
Battle of Khotyn (1673)
The Battle of Khotyn or Battle of Chocim or Hotin War was a battle held on 11 November 1673, where Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forces under hetman John Sobieski defeated Ottoman Empire forces under Hussain Pasha. It reversed the fortunes of the previous year, when Commonwealth weakness led to the signing of the Treaty of Buchach, allowed John Sobieski to win the upcoming royal election and become the king of Poland. Polish-Lithuanian forces and Wallachian regiments were 30 thousand strong; the Turks commanded 25 -- 120 guns. In this battle rockets of Kazimierz Siemienowicz were deployed successfully; the victory allowed the Poles to revoke the unfavourable Peace of Buchach and set the stage for the role Sobieski was to play in the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Khotyn was controlled by many states, resulting in many name changes. Other name variations include Choczim; the Turkish forces withdrew from Poland after their supplies and most of their artillery were captured. Sobieski and the nobles returned to Warsaw for elections following the death of Michael Wisniowiecki, King of Poland, the day before the battle.
Alan Palmer, The Decline and Fall of the Ottoman Empire, Published by Barnes & Noble Publishing, 1992. ISBN 1-56619-847-X. Winged Hussars, Radoslaw Sikora, Bartosz Musialowicz, BUM Magazine, 2016
Jakub Sobieski was a Polish noble, diarist, political activist, military leader and father of King John III Sobieski. He was the son of voivode Marek Sobieski and Jadwiga Snopkowska. Sobieski was educated in Paris, he was parliamentarian. He participated in the military expedition against Russia in 1617-1618, was a member of the War Council of King Władysław IV, he took part in negotiations with Muscovy in the Truce of Deulino in 1618. Subsequently he fought in the Chocim expedition against the Ottoman Empire in 1621, the expedition against Abazy Pasa in 1633, he was one of the negotiations with Sweden in the Treaty of Stuhmsdorf in 1635. After his marriage to Zofia Teofillia Daniłowicz his wealth increased as Zofia brought in her inheritance after the Żółkiewski family and part of the Daniłowski family estates, including Żółkiew Castle, he was courtier since 1617, Krajczy of the Crown since 1626, Podczaszy of the Crown since 1636, voivode of Belz Voivodeship since 1638 and of Ruthenian Voivodeship since 1641 and castellan of Kraków since 1646.
Starost of Trembowla, Jaworów, Stryj, Kałusz and Gniewo. Elected Deputy to seven Sejms between 1623 and 1632, as Sejm Marshal he led the ordinary Sejm in Warsaw on January 24 - March 5, 1623 and on January 27 - March 10, 1626, the extraordinary Sejm in Warsaw on June 27 - July 18, 1628 and the Election Sejm in Warsaw on September 24 - November 15, 1632, he was considered by his contemporaries a honorable person. Member of many commissions and diplomatic bodies, he acted as a mediator or as a guardian of orphaned children. In politics, he supported king's plans, but was a defender of the nobility rights and religious tolerance. Marek became starost. John became Marshal and King of Poland. Katarzyna married Władysław Dominik Zasławski and Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł. Anna Rozalia became a Benedictine nun in Lwów. During the Chocim expedition in 1621 he wrote a diary called Commentariorum chotinensis belli libri tres, published in 1646 in Danzig, it was used by Wacław Potocki as a basis for his epic poem, Transakcja wojny chocimskiej.
He authored Commentariorum Chotinensis belli libri tres and instructions for his sons journeying to Kraków and France which are seen as a prime example of liberal education of that era. Zolochiv Castle Jakub Sobieski, entry from PSB Jakub Sobieski, the King's Father at the Wilanów Palace Museum