A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church in a military capacity. In Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. A knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings; the lords trusted the knights. Knighthood in the Middle Ages was linked with horsemanship from its origins in the 12th century until its final flowering as a fashion among the high nobility in the Duchy of Burgundy in the 15th century; this linkage is reflected in the etymology of chivalry and related terms. The special prestige accorded to mounted warriors in Christendom finds a parallel in the furusiyya in the Muslim world, the Greek hippeis and Roman eques of classical antiquity.
In the late medieval period, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armour obsolete, but the titles remained in many nations. The ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature the literary cycles known as the Matter of France, relating to the legendary companions of Charlemagne and his men-at-arms, the paladins, the Matter of Britain, relating to the legend of King Arthur and his Round Table. Today, a number of orders of knighthood continue to exist in Christian Churches, as well as in several Christian countries and their former territories, such as the Roman Catholic Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Order of Malta, the Protestant Order of Saint John, as well as the English Order of the Garter, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav; each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is granted by a head of state, monarch, or prelate to selected persons to recognise some meritorious achievement, as in the British honours system for service to the Church or country.
The modern female equivalent in the United Kingdom is Dame. The word knight, from Old English cniht, is a cognate of the German word Knecht; this meaning, of unknown origin, is common among West Germanic languages. Middle High German had the phrase guoter kneht, which meant knight; the meaning of cniht changed over time from its original meaning of "boy" to "household retainer". Ælfric's homily of St. Swithun describes a mounted retainer as a cniht. While cnihtas might have fought alongside their lords, their role as household servants features more prominently in the Anglo-Saxon texts. In several Anglo-Saxon wills cnihtas are left either money or lands. In his will, King Æthelstan leaves his cniht, eight hides of land. A rādcniht, "riding-servant", was a servant on horseback. A narrowing of the generic meaning "servant" to "military follower of a king or other superior" is visible by 1100; the specific military sense of a knight as a mounted warrior in the heavy cavalry emerges only in the Hundred Years' War.
The verb "to knight" appears around 1300. An Equestrian was a member of the second highest social class in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire; this class is translated as "knight". In the Roman Empire, the classical Latin word for horse, was replaced in common parlance by the vulgar Latin caballus, sometimes thought to derive from Gaulish caballos. From caballus arose terms in the various Romance languages cognate with the English cavalier: Italian cavaliere, Spanish caballero, French chevalier, Portuguese cavaleiro, Romanian cavaler; the Germanic languages have terms cognate with the English rider: German Ritter, Dutch and Scandinavian ridder. These words are derived from Germanic rīdan, "to ride", in turn derived from the Proto-Indo-European root reidh-. In ancient Rome there was a knightly class Ordo Equestris; some portions of the armies of Germanic peoples who occupied Europe from the 3rd century AD onward had been mounted, some armies, such as those of the Ostrogoths, were cavalry.
However, it was the Franks who fielded armies composed of large masses of infantry, with an infantry elite, the comitatus, which rode to battle on horseback rather than marching on foot. When the armies of the Frankish ruler Charles Martel defeated the Umayyad Arab invasion at the Battle of Tours in 732, the Frankish forces were still infantry armies, with elites riding to battle but dismounting to fight. In the Early Medieval period any well-equipped horseman could be described as a knight, or miles in Latin; the first knights appeared during the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Age progressed, the Franks were on the attack, larger numbers of warriors took to their horses to ride with the Emperor in his wide-ranging campaigns of conquest. At about this time the Franks remained on horseback to fight on the battlefield as true cavalry rather than mounted in
Sebezh is a town and the administrative center of Sebezhsky District in Pskov Oblast, located in a picturesque setting between Lakes Sebezhskoye and Orono 189 kilometers south of Pskov, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 6,375 , it was first mentioned in 1414 as a fortress protecting Pskov from the south, when Vytautas of Lithuania sacked it. Prince Ivan Shuysky built a wooden fortress there in 1535. In the 16th century, the fortress defended the Western approaches to the Grand Duchy of Moscow; the Poles held until the First Partition of Poland. The fortifications of Sebezh, now dismantled, were reinforced at the behest of Peter the Great during the Great Northern War; the castle hill is still dominated by the Roman Catholic Church, built in 1625-1648 and reconsecrated as a Russian Orthodox Church in 1989. Until 1927, Sebezh was the seat of Sebezhskly Uyezd of Pskov Governorate. On August 1, 1927, the uyezds and governorates were abolished and Sebezhsky District, with the administrative center in Sebezh, was established as a part of Velikiye Luki Okrug of Leningrad Oblast.
It included parts of former Sebezhsky Uyezd. On June 3, 1929, Sebezhsky District was transferred to Western Oblast. On July 23, 1930, the okrugs were abolished and the districts were directly subordinated to the oblast. On January 29, 1935, Western Oblast was abolished and the district was transferred to Kalinin Oblast, on February 5 of the same year, Sebezhsky District became a part of Velikiye Luki Okrug of Kalinin Oblast, one of the okrugs abutting the state boundaries of the Soviet Union. On May 4, 1938, the district was transferred to Opochka Okrug. On February 5, 1941, the okrug was abolished. Between July 9, 1941 and July 17, 1944, Sebezh was occupied by German troops. On August 22, 1944, the district was transferred to newly established Velikiye Luki Oblast. On October 2, 1957, Velikiye Luki Oblast was abolished and Sebezhsky District was transferred to Pskov Oblast. According to the 1939 population census, there were 845 Jews living in Sebezh; the SS Division “Totenkopf” arrived in the town on July 7, 1941.
Lots of Jews managed to escape during this period. During the entire occupation, which lasted from July 1941 to July 1944, there was an Ortskommandantur in the town. There was a Ordnungsdienst too. A ghetto was created in September 1941 and existed until March 1942. After that, it was liquidated. During the liquidation, more than 100 Jews were shot in pits; the perpetrators of the shooting were local Russian policemen. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Sebezh serves as the administrative center of Sebezhsky District, to which it is directly subordinated; as a municipal division, the town of Sebezh, together with sixty-eight rural localities, is incorporated within Sebezhsky Municipal District as Sebezh Urban Settlement. The M9 Highway, which connects Moscow and Riga, passes Sebezh. Another road connects Sebezh with Opochka. There are local roads; the railway connecting Moscow and Riga passes Sebezh. Sebezh contains one cultural heritage monument of federal significance and additionally fifteen objects classified as cultural and historical heritage of local significance.
The federally protected monument is the Trinity Church, a Catholic church consecrated in 1648, when Sebezh was still part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It is the oldest baroque structure in Russia; as of 2013, the church is closed to the public because of reconstruction. Sebezh is home to the Sebezh District Museum, founded in 1927 and displaying collections of local interest. Semyon Dimanstein, Jewish Soviet state activist, publisher Zinovy Gerdt, Russian Soviet actor Witold Rudziński, Polish composer Псковское областное Собрание депутатов. Закон №833-оз от 5 февраля 2009 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Псковской области». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Псковская правда", №20, 10 февраля 2009 г.. Псковское областное Собрание депутатов. Закон №420-оз от 28 февраля 2005 г. «Об установлении границ и статусе вновь образуемых муниципальных образований на территории Псковской области», в ред. Закона №1542-ОЗ от 5 июня 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Псковской области "Об установлении границ и статусе вновь образуемых муниципальных образований на территории Псковской области"».
Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Псковская правда", №41–43, №44–46, №49–51, 4 марта 2005 г. 5 марта 2005 г. 11 марта 2005 г.. Архивный отдел Псковского облисполкома. Государственный архив Псковской области. "Административно-территориальное деление Псковской области. Справочник". Книга I. Лениздат, 1988 Official website of Pskov Oblast. Information about Sebezh Unofficial website of Sebezh
Vitebsk, or Viciebsk, is a city in Belarus. The capital of the Viciebsk Region, it had 342,381 inhabitants in 2004, making it the country's fourth-largest city, it is served by Viciebsk Air Base. Viciebsk developed from a river harbor where the Vićba River flows into the larger Western Dvina, spanned in the city by the Kirov Bridge. Archaeological research indicates. In the 9th century, Slavic settlements of the tribal union of the Krivichs replaced them. According to the Chronicle of Michael Brigandine, Princess Olga of Kiev founded Viciebsk in 974. Other versions give 947 or 914. Academician Boris Rybakov and historian Leonid Alekseyev have come to the conclusion, based on the chronicles, that Princess Olga of Kiev could have established Viciebsk in 947. Leonid Alekseyev suggested that the chroniclers, when transferring the date from the account of the Byzantine era to a new era, obtained the year 947 mistakenly written in copying manuscripts as 974. An important place on trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks, Viciebsk became by the end of the 12th century a center of trade and commerce, the center of an independent principality, following Polotsk, at times and Kiev princes.
The official year of the founding of Viciebsk is 974, based on an anachronistic legend of founding by Olga of Kiev, but the first mention in historical records dates from 1021, when Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev gave it to Bryachislav Izyaslavich, Prince of Polotsk. In the 12th and 13th centuries Viciebsk functioned as the capital of the Principality of Viciebsk, an appanage principality which thrived at the crossroads of the river routes between the Baltic and Black seas. In 1320 the city was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as dowry of the Princess Maria, the first wife of Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas. By 1351 the city had erected a stone Upper and Lower Castle, the prince's palace. In 1410 Viciebsk participated in the Battle of Grunwald. In 1597 the townsfolk of Viciebsk were privileged with Magdeburg rights. However, the rights were taken away in 1623 after the citizens revolted against the imposed Union of Brest and killed Archbishop Josaphat Kuntsevych of Polotsk; the city was completely destroyed in 1708, during the Great Northern War.
In the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the Russian Empire annexed Viciebsk. Under the Russian Empire the historic centre of Viciebsk was rebuilt in the Neoclassical style. Before World War II Viciebsk had a significant Jewish population: according to Russian census of 1897, out of the total population of 65,900, Jews constituted 34,400; the most famous of its Jewish natives was the painter Marc Chagall. In 1919 Viciebsk was proclaimed to be part of the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia, but was soon transferred to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and to the short-lived Lithuanian–Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1924 it was returned to the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. During World War II the city came under Nazi German occupation. Much of the old city was destroyed in the ensuing battles between the Germans and Red Army soldiers. Most of the local Jews perished in the Viciebsk Ghetto massacre of October 1941. In the first postwar five-year period the city was rebuilt.
Its industrial complex covered machinery, light industry, machine tools. In 1959 a TV tower was started broadcasting the 1st Central Television program. In the same year, during excavations on Liberation Square, a birch-bark scroll was found dating from the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, it read: From Stpana to Nezhilovi. If hast sold trousers, buy me rye for 6 hryvnia, and if some didst not sold, send to my person. And if thou hast sold, do good to buy rye for me In January 1991 Viciebsk celebrated the first Marc Chagall Festival. In June 1992, a monument to Chagall was erected on his native Pokrovskaja Street and a memorial inscription was placed on the wall of his house. Since 1992 Viciebsk has been hosting the annual Slavianski Bazaar in Viciebsk, an international art festival; the main participants are artists from Russia and Ukraine, with guests from many other countries, both Slavic and non-Slavic. In 1999 a free economic zone "Viciebsk" was established; the city built the Ice Sports Palace, there was a remarkable improvement and expansion in the city.
The central stadium was reconstructed and the Summer Amphitheatre for the international art festival, the Slavic Bazaar, the railway station and other historical sites and facilities were restored, a number of new churches and other public facilities were built, together with the construction of new residential areas. The city has one of the oldest buildings in the country: the Annunciation Church; this magnificent six-pillared building dates back to the period of Kievan Rus since the city at the time was pagan and didn't belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church or the Russian Orthodox Church or the Kievan Rus state. It was constructed in the 1140s as a pagan church, rebuilt in the 14th and 17th centuries as Roman Catholic Church, repaired in 1883 and destroyed by the Communist administration in 1961; the church was in ruins until 1992. Churches from the Polish-Lithuanian period were destroyed, although the Resurrection Church has been rebuilt; the Orthodox cathedral
The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem the Teutonic Order, is a Catholic religious order founded as a military order c. 1190 in Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Teutonic Order was formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals, its members have been known as the Teutonic Knights, having a small voluntary and mercenary military membership, serving as a crusading military order for protection of Christians in the Holy Land and the Baltics during the Middle Ages. Purely religious since 1929, the Teutonic Order still confers limited honorary knighthoods; the Bailiwick of Utrecht of the Teutonic Order, a Protestant chivalric order, is descended from the same medieval military order and continues to award knighthoods and perform charitable work. The full name of the Order in German is Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus St. Mariens in Jerusalem or in Latin Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum, thus the term "Teutonic" echoes the German origins of the order in its Latin name.
It is known in German as the Deutscher Orden also as Deutscher Ritterorden, Deutschherrenorden, Deutschritterorden, Die Herren im weißen Mantel, etc. The Teutonic Knights have been known as Zakon Krzyżacki in Polish and as Kryžiuočių Ordinas in Lithuanian, Vācu Ordenis in Latvian, Saksa Ordu or Ordu in Estonian, as well as various names in other languages. Knighthood was associated to service; the knight was always required to help the sick and wounded after a battle and was regarded to be brave and determined. Formed in the year 1192 in Acre, in the Levant, the medieval Order played an important role in Outremer, controlling the port tolls of Acre. After Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East, the Order moved to Transylvania in 1211 to help defend the South-Eastern borders of the Kingdom of Hungary against the Cumans; the Knights were expelled by force of arms by King Andrew II of Hungary in 1225, after attempting to place themselves under papal instead of the original Hungarian sovereignty and thus to become independent.
In 1230, following the Golden Bull of Rimini, Grand Master Hermann von Salza and Duke Konrad I of Masovia launched the Prussian Crusade, a joint invasion of Prussia intended to Christianize the Baltic Old Prussians. The Knights had taken steps against their Polish hosts and with the Holy Roman Emperor's support, had changed the status of Chełmno Land, where they were invited by the Polish prince, into their own property. Starting from there, the Order created the independent Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights, adding continuously the conquered Prussians' territory, subsequently conquered Livonia. Over time, the kings of Poland denounced the Order for expropriating their lands Chełmno Land and the Polish lands of Pomerelia and Dobrzyń Land; the Order theoretically lost its main purpose in Europe with the Christianization of Lithuania. However, it initiated numerous campaigns against its Christian neighbours, the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Novgorod Republic; the Teutonic Knights had a strong economic base which enabled them to hire mercenaries from throughout Europe to augment their feudal levies, they became a naval power in the Baltic Sea.
In 1410, a Polish-Lithuanian army decisively defeated the Order and broke its military power at the Battle of Grunwald. However, the capital of the Teutonic Knights was defended in the following Siege of Marienburg and the Order was saved from collapse. In 1515, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I made a marriage alliance with Sigismund I of Poland-Lithuania. Thereafter, the empire did not support the Order against Poland. In 1525, Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg resigned and converted to Lutheranism, becoming Duke of Prussia as a vassal of Poland. Soon after, the Order lost its holdings in the Protestant areas of Germany; the Order did keep its considerable holdings in Catholic areas of Germany until 1809, when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its dissolution and the Order lost its last secular holdings. However, the Order continued to exist as a ceremonial body, it was outlawed by Adolf Hitler in 1938, but re-established in 1945. Today it operates with charitable aims in Central Europe; the Knights wore white surcoats with a black cross.
A cross pattée was sometimes used as their coat of arms. The motto of the Order was: "Helfen, Heilen". 1198 Formation 1218 Siege of Damietta 1228–1229 The Sixth Crusade 1237 absorption of The Livonian Brothers of the Sword 1242 The Battle on the Ice 1242–1249 First Prussian Uprising 1249 Treaty of Christburg with the pagan Prussians signed on February 9 1249 Battle of Krücken 1260 Battle of Durbe 1260–1274 Great Prussian Uprising 1262 Siege of Königsberg 1263 Battle of Löbau 1264 Siege of Bartenstein 1270 Battle of Karuse 1271 Battle of Pagastin 1279 Battle of Aizkraukle 1291 Siege of Acre (1291
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state that lasted from the 13th century to 1795, when the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria. The state was founded by one of the polytheistic Baltic tribes from Aukštaitija; the Grand Duchy expanded to include large portions of the former Kievan Rus' and other Slavic lands, including what is now Belarus and parts of Ukraine and Russia. At its greatest extent, in the 15th century, it was the largest state in Europe, it was a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state, with great diversity in languages and cultural heritage. Consolidation of the Lithuanian lands began in the late 12th century. Mindaugas, the first ruler of the Grand Duchy, was crowned as Catholic King of Lithuania in 1253; the pagan state was targeted in the religious crusade by the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order. The multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state emerged only at the late reign of Gediminas and continued to expand under his son Algirdas.
Algirdas's successor Jogaila signed the Union of Krewo in 1386, bringing two major changes in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: conversion to Catholicism and establishment of a dynastic union between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. The reign of Vytautas the Great marked both the greatest territorial expansion of the Grand Duchy and the defeat of the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, it marked the rise of the Lithuanian nobility. After Vytautas's death, Lithuania's relationship with the Kingdom of Poland deteriorated. Lithuanian noblemen, including the Radvila family, attempted to break the personal union with Poland. However, unsuccessful wars with the Grand Duchy of Moscow forced the union to remain intact; the Union of Lublin of 1569 created a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the federation, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania maintained its political distinctiveness and had separate government, laws and treasury; the federation was terminated by the passing of the Constitution of 3 May 1791, when there was supposed to be now a single country, the Commonwealth of Poland, under one monarch and one parliament.
Shortly afterward, the unitary character of the state was confirmed by adopting the Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations. However, the newly-reformed Commonwealth was invaded by Russia in 1792 and partitioned between the neighbours, with a truncated state remaining only nominally independent. After the Kościuszko Uprising, the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria in 1795; the Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania have the complete name of the state as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Samogitia. The title of "grand duchy" was applied to Lithuania from the 14th century onward. In other languages, the grand duchy is referred to as: Belarusian: Вялікае Княства Літоўскае German: Großfürstentum Litauen Estonian: Leedu Suurvürstiriik Latin: Magnus Ducatus Lituaniae Latvian: Lieitija or Lietuvas Lielkņaziste Lithuanian: Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė Old literary Lithuanian: Didi Kunigystė Lietuvos Polish: Wielkie Księstwo Litewskie Russian: Великое княжество Литовское Ruthenian: Великое князство Литовское Ukrainian: Велике князiвство Литовське The first written reference to Lithuania is found in the Quedlinburg Chronicle, which dates from 1009.
In the 12th century, Slavic chronicles refer to Lithuania as one of the areas attacked by the Rus'. Pagan Lithuanians paid tribute to Polotsk, but they soon grew in strength and organized their own small-scale raids. At some point between 1180 and 1183 the situation began to change, the Lithuanians started to organize sustainable military raids on the Slavic provinces, raiding the Principality of Polotsk as well as Pskov, threatening Novgorod; the sudden spark of military raids marked consolidation of the Lithuanian lands in Aukštaitija. The Livonian Order and Teutonic Knights, crusading military orders, were established in Riga in 1202 and in Prussia in 1226; the Christian orders posed a significant threat to pagan Baltic tribes and further galvanized the formation of the state. The peace treaty with Galicia–Volhynia of 1219 provides evidence of cooperation between Lithuanians and Samogitians; this treaty lists 21 Lithuanian dukes, including five senior Lithuanian dukes from Aukštaitija and several dukes from Žemaitija.
Although they had battled in the past, the Lithuanians and the Žemaičiai now faced a common enemy. Živinbudas had the most authority and at least several dukes were from the same families. The formal acknowledgment of common interests and the establishment of a hierarchy among the signatories of the treaty foreshadowed the emergence of the state. Mindaugas, the duke of southern Lithuania, was among the five senior dukes mentioned in the treaty with Galicia–Volhynia; the Livonian Rhymed Chronicle, reports that by the mid-1230s, Mindaugas had acquired supreme power in the whole of Lithuania. In 1236, the Samogitians, led by Vykintas, defeated the Livonian Order in the Battle of Saule; the Order was forced to become a branch of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia, making Samogitia, a strip of land that separated Livonia from Prussia, the main target of both orders. The battle provided a break in the wars with the Knights, Lithuania exploited this situation, arranging attacks towards the Ruthenian provinces and annexing Navahrudak and Hrodna.
Belarusian historians consider that Mindаugas was invited to rule Navahrudak and that the union was peaceful. In 1248 a civil war broke out be
Duchy of Lithuania
Duchy of Lithuania was a state-territorial formation of ethnic Lithuanians, that existed from the 13th century until 1413. Most of the time it was a nucleus of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Other alternative names of the territorial formation, used in different periods, were Aukštaitija or Land of Lithuania, Duchy of Vilnius, Lithuania Propria or Lithuania; the formation emerged in the central and eastern part of the present-day Lithuania, known as Aukštaitija, as the Lietuva Land. It is supposed to have formed in the central Lithuania on the left bank of the Neris River and swiftly expanded eastwards; this land was mentioned in 1009 as Litua. The territory was ruled by chieftains of an ethnic Lithuanian tribe, Aukštaitians or "Lithuanians", in the initial meaning of the name. After the expansion of the Lithuanian state in the 13th century, when it became known as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Lithuania, the Duchy of Lithuania became an administrative unit, governed by dukes and inherited by dynastic links.
The main administrative center of the Duchy until the late 13th century might have been Kernavė. It is plausible that the Duchy of Lithuania, that became known as the Duchy of Vilnius since the 14th century, was formed of the eastern part of the original Duchy of Lithuania under the rule of Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytenis at the end of the 13th century, it is known for certain that the Duchy of Trakai existed at the beginning of Kęstutis' rule in 1337 as his domain. It was a progenitor of the future Trakai Voivodeship; the last Duke of Lithuania was Vytautas the Great, who received it in 1392 from Jogaila as a result of the Astrava Treaty, who in turn had inherited it from his father Algirdas. Since 1397, the Duchy had the status of an Eldership, comparable to that of the Eldership of Samogitia. After the administrative reform of 1413 by Vytautas, based on the Union of Horodło, the Duchy ceased to exist, becoming a part of the newly established Vilnius Voivodeship. History of Lithuania History of Vilnius History of Lithuania Lithuania proper