Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city, with a population of 542,664 as of 2015. Vilnius is located in the southeast part of Lithuania and is the second largest city in the Baltic states, Vilnius is the seat of the main government institutions of Lithuania as well as of the Vilnius District Municipality. Vilnius is classified as a Gamma global city according to GaWC studies and its Jewish influence until the 20th century has led to it being described as the Jerusalem of Lithuania and Napoleon named it the Jerusalem of the North as he was passing through in 1812. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with the Austrian city of Linz, the name of the city originates from the Vilnia River. The city has known by many derivate spellings in various languages throughout its history. The most notable names for the city include, Wilno, Belarusian, Вiльня, Wilna, Latvian, Viļņa, Russian, Вильнюс, Yiddish, ווילנע , Czech. A Russian name from the time of the Russian Empire was Вильна/Вильно, the name Vilna is still used in Finnish, Portuguese and Hebrew.
Wilna is still used in German, along with Vilnius, the neighborhoods of Vilnius have names in other languages, which represent the languages spoken by various ethnic groups in the area. Historian Romas Batūra identifies the city with Voruta, one of the castles of Mindaugas, during the reign of Vytenis a city started to emerge from a trading settlement and the first Franciscan Catholic church was built. These letters contain the first unambiguous reference to Vilnius as the capital, According to legend, Gediminas dreamt of an iron wolf howling on a hilltop and consulted a pagan priest for its interpretation. He was told, What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania, is thus, the Iron Wolf represents a castle and a city which will be established by you on this site. This city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the dwelling of their rulers, the location offered practical advantages, it lay within the Lithuanian heartland at the confluence of two navigable rivers, surrounded by forests and wetlands that were difficult to penetrate.
The duchy had been subject to intrusions by the Teutonic Knights, Vilnius was the flourishing capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the residence of the Grand Duke. Gediminas expanded the Grand Duchy through warfare along with strategic alliances and marriages, at its height it covered the territory of modern-day Lithuania, Ukraine and portions of modern-day Poland and Russia. His grandchildren Vytautas the Great and Jogaila, fought civil wars, during the Lithuanian Civil War of 1389–1392, Vytautas besieged and razed the city in an attempt to wrest control from Jogaila. The two settled their differences, after a series of treaties culminating in the 1569 Union of Lublin, the rulers of this federation held either or both of two titles, Grand Duke of Lithuania or King of Poland. In 1387, Jogaila acting as a Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Władysław II Jagiełło, the city underwent a period of expansion. The Vilnius city walls were built for protection between 1503 and 1522, comprising nine city gates and three towers, and Sigismund August moved his court there in 1544
Families were primarily granted privileges for their military service to the Grand Duchy. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had one of the largest percentages of nobility in Europe, close to 10% of the population, in regions, like Samogitia. These positions evolved from tribal leaders, and were responsible for waging wars. Following the establishment of a state, they gradually became subordinates to greater Dukes. After Mindaugas death, all Lithuanian rulers held the title Grand Duke, ethnic Lithuanian nobility had different names than common people, as their names consisted of two stems. Greater noble families generally used their predecessors Lithuanian pagan given names as their family names and those families acquired great wealth, eventually becoming magnates. Their representatives are respectively Jonas Goštautas, Radvila Astikas, Kristinas Astikas and Mykolas Kęsgaila, the aforementioned families were granted corresponding Polish coats of arms under the Union of Horodlo in 1413. While at the beginning the nobility was almost all Lithuanian, with territorial expansion more Ruthenian families joined Lithuanian nobility, as early as the 16th century, several Ruthenian noble families began to call themselves gente Ruthenus, natione Lithuanus.
A good example is the Chodkiewicz family, which attributed its ancestry to the House of Gediminas, according to the military census of 1528, ethnic Lithuanian lands had 5730 horsemen, whereas the army of the Ruthenian lands of the Grand Duchy consisted of 5372. In the late 14th century Grand Dukes Jogaila and Skirgaila began forming professional forces, instead of calling all men to war, a class of professional warriors – bajorai – was formed. At first the land was given to the men until death. Whilst throughout the 14th century the Grand Duke possessed ownership of about ⅔ of the Duchys land, in time, the influence of lesser nobles decreased while greater nobles acquired increasingly more power, especially during the interregnum fights following Vytautas death. Wealthier families were distinct from other nobles due to latifundia in different lands including Lithuanian, Ruthenian, in the 15th century, the biggest landowners began to call themselves lords, and the Lithuanian Council of Lords was established to represent their interests.
In time, most of them received titles such as dukes and counts, Grand Duchy of Lithuania offices were held almost exclusively by magnates. In the 16th century, Lithuanian nobility stopped calling themselves bajorai, landlords called themselves ziemionys or ziemiane. Following his distribution of land, The Grand Duke became dependent on powerful landowners. The nobles were granted administrative and judicial power in their domains and they received personal rights, including the right to inherit and govern land as well as estates inherited from ancestors or gifted by the Grand Duke. At the same time, the nobles had duties to serve in the military, build and safeguard castles, roads, in 1413 Vytautas and Jogaila signed Union of Horodło
Saint Petersburg is Russias second-largest city after Moscow, with five million inhabitants in 2012, and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. It is politically incorporated as a federal subject, situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on May 271703. In 1914, the name was changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd, in 1924 to Leningrad, between 1713 and 1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of imperial Russia. In 1918, the government bodies moved to Moscow. Saint Petersburg is one of the cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saint Petersburg is home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. A large number of consulates, international corporations, banks. Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress, at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in a called Ingermanland.
A small town called Nyen grew up around it, Peter the Great was interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, and he intended to have Russia gain a seaport in order to be able to trade with other maritime nations. He needed a better seaport than Arkhangelsk, which was on the White Sea to the north, on May 1703121703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans, and soon replaced the fortress. On May 271703, closer to the estuary 5 km inland from the gulf), on Zayachy Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city. The city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia, tens of thousands of serfs died building the city. Later, the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate, Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712,9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war, he referred to Saint Petersburg as the capital as early as 1704. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the bank of the Neva, near the Peter.
However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan, by 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals. The project was not completed, but is evident in the layout of the streets, in 1716, Peter the Great appointed French Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great, in 1725, Peter died at the age of fifty-two. His endeavours to modernize Russia had met opposition from the Russian nobility—resulting in several attempts on his life
Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in Northern Europe. One of the three Baltic states, it is situated along the shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.9 million people as of 2015, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. The official language, along with Latvian, is one of two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. For centuries, the shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, and the first unified Lithuanian state, with the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772–95, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuanias territory.
As World War I neared its end, Lithuanias Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, in the midst of the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, a full member of the Eurozone, Schengen Agreement and NATO. It is a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, the United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a very high human development country. Lithuania has been among the fastest growing economies in the European Union and is ranked 21st in the world in the Ease of Doing Business Index, the first people settled in the territory of Lithuania after the last glacial period in the 10th millennium BC. Over a millennium, the Indo-Europeans, who arrived in the 3rd – 2nd millennium BC, mixed with the local population, the first written mention of Lithuania is found in a medieval German manuscript, the Annals of Quedlinburg, in an entry dated 9 March 1009.
Initially inhabited by fragmented Baltic tribes, in the 1230s the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, after his assassination in 1263, pagan Lithuania was a target of the Christian crusades of the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order. Despite the devastating century-long struggle with the Orders, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania expanded rapidly, by the end of the 14th century, Lithuania was one of the largest countries in Europe and included present-day Belarus and parts of Poland and Russia. The geopolitical situation between the west and the east determined the multicultural and multi-confessional character of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the ruling elite practised religious tolerance and Chancery Slavonic language was used as an auxiliary language to the Latin for official documents. In 1385, the Grand Duke Jogaila accepted Polands offer to become its king, Jogaila embarked on gradual Christianization of Lithuania and established a personal union between Poland and Lithuania. It implied that Lithuania, the fiercely independent land, was one of the last pagan areas of Europe to adopt Christianity, after two civil wars, Vytautas the Great became the Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1392.
During his reign, Lithuania reached the peak of its expansion, centralization of the state began
Carlo Andrea Pozzo di Borgo
Count Carlo Andrea Pozzo di Borgo, was a Corsican politician who became a Russian diplomat. He was born at Alata, near Ajaccio, of a noble Corsican family and he was educated at Pisa, and in early life was closely associated with Napoleon and Joseph Bonaparte, the two families at that time being close political allies. Under the new constitution Pozzo was elected procureur-general-syndic, that is, chief of the civil government, while Paoli commanded the army. Along with Paoli, he refused to obey a summons to the bar of the Convention, and the breach with the Bonapartes. Eventually Paoli and Pozzo accepted foreign help, and from 1794 to 1796, during the British protectorate of Corsica, Pozzo was president of the council of state under Sir Gilbert Eliott. After a short stay in London he accompanied in 1798 Sir Gilbert on an embassy to Vienna and his hatred of Napoleon dominated his life, and even as an exile of no official standing he was recognized as a dangerous enemy. He returned to Vienna, but on the demand of Napoleon for his extradition Metternich asked him to leave the capital, in London, where he found safety from Napoleon.
He renewed many old ties, and had an affair with the society beauty Emily Lamb, Countess Cowper. He remained in England until 1812, when he was recalled by Alexander and he diligently sought to sow dissension in the Bonaparte household, and in a mission to Sweden he secured the co-operation of Bernadotte against Napoleon. On the entry of the allies into Paris he became commissary general to the provisional government, Pozzo assisted at the Congress of Vienna, and during the Hundred Days he joined Louis XVIII in Belgium, where he was instructed to discuss the situation with the Duke of Wellington. He was present at Waterloo and was singled out by The Duke of Wellington in his post battle dispatch, petersburg, on the other hand, his attachment to the Bourbon dynasty was considered excessive. During the early years of his residence in Paris Pozzo laboured tirelessly to lessen the burdens laid on France by the allies and that his French sympathies were recognized in Paris is shown by the strange suggestion that he should enter the French ministry with the portfolio of foreign affairs.
In London his health suffered, and he retired from the service in 1839 to spend the rest of his days in Paris and he had been made a count and peer of France in 1818. He was the subject of a semi-documentary US film in 1942 called Vendetta, the film served as wartime propaganda which equated di Borgos service in the defeat of Napoleon to that necessary for the defeat of Adolf Hitler. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Hugh
Count Vasily Alekseevich Perovsky was an imperial Russian general and statesman. After studying in Moscow University, he joined the retinue in 1811. When retreating toward Moscow after the Battle of Borodino, he was prisoner by the French. He was seriously wounded in the 1828 war with Turkey, in 1833 Perovsky was appointed the military governor of Orenburg. Perovskys expeditionary force consisted of 5,200 infantry and 10,000 camels. Due to poor planning and a bit of bad luck, they set off, in November 1839, into one of the worst winters in memory, the expeditionary force arrived back into Orenburg in May, having suffered over 1,000 casualties, mostly from cold and disease. In 1842, Perovsky left the Orenburg governors position, but was back to that office in 1851. This time, his campaigning in the central Asia against the Khanates of Khiva, after the successful taking of the Kokand fortress of Ak-Mechet by his troops in 1853, the fort was renamed Fort-Perovsky after him. His military successes forced the Khanate of Khiva to sign the 1854 treaty with the Russia Empire beneficial for the latter, for his achievements, he was made a count in 1855.
Perovsky, Vasily Alekseevich in Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary
Sir Henry Rawlinson, 1st Baronet
Major-General Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, 1st Baronet, GCB, FRS was a British East India Company army officer and Orientalist, sometimes described as the Father of Assyriology. Rawlinson was one of the most important figures arguing that Britain must check Russian ambitions in South Asia and he was a strong advocate of the forward policy in Afghanistan, and counselled the retention of Kandahar. He argued that Tsarist Russia would attack and absorb Khokand and Khiva and warned they would invade Persia, Rawlinson was born on 5 April 1810 at the place now known as Chadlington, England. He was the son of Abram Tyack Rawlinson, and elder brother of the historian George Rawlinson. In 1827, having become proficient in the Persian language, he was sent to Persia in company with other British officers to drill, disagreements between the Persian court and the British government ended in the departure of the British officers. Rawlinson began to study Persian inscriptions, more particularly those in the hitherto undeciphered cuneiform character and he was in the vicinity of the great cuneiform inscription at Behistun, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran, for two years.
Rawlinson was appointed agent at Kandahar in 1840. Serendipitously, he became known personally to the governor-general, which resulted in his appointment as agent in Ottoman Arabia. Thus he settled in Baghdad, where he devoted himself to cuneiform studies and he was now able, with considerable difficulty and at no small personal risk, to make a complete transcript of the Behistun inscription, which he was successful in deciphering and interpreting. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in February 1850 on account of being The Discoverer of the key to the Ancient Persian, the Author of various papers on the philology and Geography of Mesopotamia and Central Asia. Rawlinson remained at home for two years, published in 1851 his memoir on the Behistun inscription, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, during 1851 he returned to Baghdad. Rawlinsons greatest contribution to the deciphering of the scripts was the discovery that individual signs had multiple readings depending on their context.
While at the British Museum, Rawlinson worked with the younger George Smith, an equestrian accident in 1855 hastened his determination to return to England, and in that year he resigned his post in the East India Company. On his return to England the distinction of K. C. B. was conferred upon him, the remaining forty years of his life were full of activity—political and scientific—and were spent mainly in London. In 1858 he was appointed a member of the first India Council, the latter post he held for only a year, owing to his dissatisfaction with circumstances concerning his official position there. Previously he had sat in Parliament as Member of Parliament for Reigate from February to September 1858, he was again MP for Frome and he was appointed to the Council of India again in 1868, and continued to serve upon it until his death. He was an advocate of the forward policy in Afghanistan. Rawlinson was one of the most important figures arguing that Britain must check Russian ambitions in South Asia and he argued that Tsarist Russia would attack and absorb Khokand and Khiva and would invade Persia and Afghanistan as springboards to British India
Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in northern Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Kazakhstan is the worlds largest landlocked country, and the ninth largest in the world, Kazakhstan is the dominant nation of Central Asia economically, generating 60% of the regions GDP, primarily through its oil/gas industry. It has vast mineral resources, Kazakhstan is officially a democratic, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. Kazakhstan shares borders with Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, the terrain of Kazakhstan includes flatlands, taiga, rock canyons, deltas, snow-capped mountains, and deserts. Kazakhstan has an estimated 18 million people as of 2014, Given its large area, its population density is among the lowest. The capital is Astana, where it was moved in 1997 from Almaty, the territory of Kazakhstan has historically been inhabited by nomadic tribes. This changed in the 13th century, when Genghis Khan occupied the country as part of the Mongolian Empire, following internal struggles among the conquerors, power eventually reverted to the nomads.
By the 16th century, the Kazakh emerged as a distinct group, the Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century, they nominally ruled all of Kazakhstan as part of the Russian Empire. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, and subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganised several times, in 1936, it was made the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, part of the Soviet Union. Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kazakhstan has worked to develop its economy, especially its dominant hydrocarbon industry. Kazakhstans 131 ethnicities include Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Germans, the Kazakh language is the state language, and Russian has equal official status for all levels of administrative and institutional purposes. The name Kazakh comes from the ancient Turkic word qaz, to wander, the name Cossack is of the same origin. The Persian suffix -stan means land or place of, so Kazakhstan can be translated as land of the wanderers.
Kazakhstan has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age, the regions climate, archaeologists believe that humans first domesticated the horse in the regions vast steppes. Central Asia was originally inhabited by the Scythians, the Cuman entered the steppes of modern-day Kazakhstan around the early 11th century, where they joined with the Kipchak and established the vast Cuman-Kipchak confederation. Under the Mongol Empire, the largest in history, administrative districts were established. These eventually came under the rule of the emergent Kazakh Khanate, throughout this period, traditional nomadic life and a livestock-based economy continued to dominate the steppe. Nevertheless, the region was the focus of ever-increasing disputes between the native Kazakh emirs and the neighbouring Persian-speaking peoples to the south, at its height the Khanate would rule parts of Central Asia and control Cumania
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until it was overthrown by the short-lived February Revolution in 1917. One of the largest empires in history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires. The rise of the Russian Empire happened in association with the decline of neighboring powers, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia. It played a role in 1812–14 in defeating Napoleons ambitions to control Europe. The House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, and its German-descended cadet branch, with 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics, there were numerous dissident elements, who launched numerous rebellions and assassination attempts, they were closely watched by the secret police, with thousands exiled to Siberia.
Economically, the empire had an agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs. The economy slowly industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways, the land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, and subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged and he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. Tsar Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an already huge empire into a major European power, Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. She expanded the state by conquest and diplomacy, continuing Peter the Greats policy of modernisation along West European lines, Tsar Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most dramatically the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861. His policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and that connection by 1914 led to Russias entry into the First World War on the side of France and Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires.
The Russian Empire functioned as a monarchy until the Revolution of 1905. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917, largely as a result of failures in its participation in the First World War. Perhaps the latter was done to make Europe recognize Russia as more of a European country, Poland was divided in the 1790-1815 era, with much of the land and population going to Russia. Most of the 19th century growth came from adding territory in Asia, Peter I the Great introduced autocracy in Russia and played a major role in introducing his country to the European state system. However, this vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns, the class of kholops, close to the one of slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter I converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation
The Vilna Governorate or Government of Vilnius was a governorate of the Russian Empire created after the Third Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795. It was part of the Lithuanian General Governorate, which was called the Vilnius General Governorate after 1830, the seat was in Vilnius, where the Governors General resided. The first governorates, Vilnius Governorate and Slonim Governorate, were established after the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Just a year later, on December 12,1796, by order of Tsar Paul I they were merged into one governorate, called the Lithuanian Governorate, with its capital in Vilnius. By order of Tsar Alexander I on September 9,1801, the Lithuanian Governorate was split into the Lithuania-Vilnius Governorate, after 39 years, the word Lithuania was dropped from the two names by Nicholas I. In 1843, another reform took place, creating the Kaunas Governorate out of seven western districts of the Vilnius Governorate. The Vilnius Governorate received three additional districts and Dzisna from the Minsk Governorate and Lida from Grodno Governorate and it was divided to districts of Vilnius, Disna, Lida and Sventiany.
This arrangement remained unchanged until World War I, a part of the Vilnius Governorate was included in the Lithuania District of Ober-Ost, formed by the occupying German Empire. During the Polish-Soviet War, the area was annexed by Poland, the Council of Ambassadors and the international community recognized Polish sovereignty over Vilnus region in 1923. In 1923, the Wilno Voivodeship was created, which existed until 1939, between 1944 and 1946, about 150,000 people, mostly but not all of Polish extraction, left the area for Poland. Between 1955 and 1959, another 46,000 Poles left Lithuania, the Jewish population of the area, just as in the rest of Lithuania, was virtually exterminated by the Nazis during World War II. However, they reported strikingly different numbers, Ethnic history of the Vilnius region History of Vilnius Poland’s Wilno Voivodeship Byelorussia’s Vileyka Voblast