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Grand duchy Lithuanian. Tradition and section "inheritances". Vilnius: Publishing house of Vilnius University, 2008. 430 pages.



Lietuvos Didziosios Kunigaikstijos. Tradicija ir paveldo & #34; dalybos".

Vilnius: Vilniaus universiteto leidykla, 2008. — 430 p.

Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Tradition and section "inheritances".

Vilnius: Publishing house of Vilnius University, 2008. — 430 pages

The reviewed collection — result of realization on department of history of Vilnius University of the project devoted to studying history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL). The first section of the collection contains historiographic essays. History VKL is connected with a historical 11 uta of vi of a number of the states. Therefore, the analysis of the Lithuanian, Russian, Belarusian and Polish historiography of the principality is inevitable.

Professor of department of cultural history and the historical theory of Vilnius University A. Bumblauskas, being guided by the concepts of historical consciousness and historical culture developed by representatives of the German school of social history analyzes trends of development of a historiography of VKL in Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Poland, compares the most considerable national scientific directions. He comes to a natural conclusion that most actively problems of Grand Duchy of Lithuania are studied by the Lithuanian researchers. A. Bumblauskas sees differences in use of the concepts "Lithuania" and "Letuva" not only in national installations of politicians and scientists of the specified states. He believes that it is necessary to consider influence on terminology of the conflict relations between Poland and Lithuania in 1920 — 1922 it. concerning the Vilnius region, different vectors of foreign policy of Russia / the Soviet Union and Lithuania in 1920 — 1926 it., political events of 1990 — 1991 it. as a result of which Lithuania became the independent state again.

In article of the prof. Genrik Visner "Association as the factor which predetermined disintegration" an attempt to track the history of association of Poles and Lithuanians as a part of the uniform state is made. He emphasizes the negative attitude to the Lublin union of 1569 dominating in the Lithuanian society, noting that until the end of the Rechi Pospoligoy existence the isolation of the former lands of VKL and its of "the political people" remained. Creation of two Lithuanian nations became result of the Polish-Lithuanian interaction: actually Lithuanians ("Young Lithuania") and Polish Lithuanians, or Poles of the Lithuanian origin (expression of dad John Paul II). Two of these currents entered confrontation with each other in the years of World War I when there was a question of revival of the Polish and Lithuanian states. At the same time the conflict which cornerstone the dispute between Lithuanians was during the interwar period led to break in relations of the Republic of Lithuania with Poland.

G. Saganovich, professor of the European humanities university in Vilnius, addressed a Post-Soviet Belarusian historiography as, according to him, in Soviet period the Belarusian historians were not independent, the works wrote within the Marxist concepts approved by Moscow. It allocated two trends and respectively two periods in modern Belarusian researches incl.B the first half of the 1990th pt. national focused historiography which was looking for in VKL of tradition of own statehood prevailed. Supporters of this direction focused attention on nonviolent accession to Lithuania of the lands which are territorially entering modern Belarus (the author of article fairly notices that this thesis not new, it goes back to works of the Russian historians of the 19th century), called the principality the Belarusian-Lithuanian state, "recognized domination of Lithuanians in the sphere as political, emphasized the fact of demographic and territorial and economic superiority of Belarusians, domination of the old Belarusian culture and first of all the language used as state". Criticizing some provisions of this direction of the Belarusian historiography, the author in general assesses it positively as his adherents developed "such image of the past of the country which essentially differed from its Soviet version".

G. Saganovich negatively estimates the official Belarusian historiography dominating from the middle of the 1990th. It is characterized as reproduction of outdated postulates on oppression of the Belarusian people by the Lithuanian feudal lords, eventually, as "frank anti-historical policy in the sphere of historical science and education". At the same time the recent edition of six books of the Metrics and two volumes of the encyclopedia of VKL Saganovich explains with what the authorities did not manage to create in a wide circle of the relation to the principality as to the foreign state.

The St. Petersburg historian A. Filyushkin allocates and briefly characterizes four discourses of VKL which developed in the Russian and Soviet historiography in the XIX—XX centuries: a) discourse of aggression of VKL; b) historical hopelessness of VKL; c) need of gaining VKL and d) "correct Russia" as more successful sogshchalno-poligichesky model, than "Moscow despotism". Addressing modern studying VKL in Russia, Filyushkin notes that few fundamental works are devoted to Grand Duchy of Lithuania, studying separate problems remains destiny of a private research initiative.

Agreeing with the explanation of such situation offered by the author, it is possible to pay attention to one more factor. If VKL for the Lithuanian researchers is one of the most striking examples of independent statehood, and for the Belarusian scientists an important element of required national identity or a watershed in relation to the state political policy, then for the bulk of the Russian historians analyzing the corresponding era


the main object — the history of Northeast Russia. On its basis there was the Russian statehood; alternative ("other") Russia acting through VKL could not unite Russian lands. On the other hand, many Old Russian lands were a part of the principality, and contacts and the conflicts between the Moscow state and VKL can be considered as manifestation of the relations on The East — the West line. All this demands emergence of solid monographic researches because in the Russian historiography of VKL as A. Filyushkin notes, there are a lot more "white spots".

Point two more parts of the collection to existence of a wide range of problems, perspective researches. In them articles about the Lithuanian national consciousness at the end of the 14th century (E. Gudavichus), the relations of Catholic and orthodox churches are published in VKL in the XV—XVI centuries (G. Kirkiyena). Also opinions on a debatable question are expressed whether Grand Duchy of Lithuania the empire was (3. Norkus), about VKL reflection in Lithuania in XIX — the beginning the 20th century (Sh. Liyekis), about some aspects of formation of national identity of Lithuanians under the influence of political traditions of VKL and change of the Lithuanian representations of Russians and Russia (G. Potashenko) and other problems.

Article dots is interesting. departments of Slavic philology of Vilnius University of P. Lavrints, analyzing the Russian art literature of XIX — the first half of the 20th century. The author opens article a statement that the subject of ancient Lithuania and Lithuanians in the Russian literature was already considered in historical works. He reconstructs an image of Lithuanians, Lithuania and its history in prose and poetry of H.A. Touring, N.V. Kukolnik, V.A. Zhukovsky and other Russian writers. The researcher comes to a conclusion that the sfor of VI and r about on and highway and y with I an art stereotype "includes motives of the aggressive power and pagan culture, with pronounced exoticism", are present also "others Catholicism" and "scope of not subject updating deep, nearly mythological... antiquities". P. Lavrinets studies not only the works in whole or in part devoted to Lithuania but also minor plots. At the same time the value of the last for search of a steady image of Lithuania and Lithuanians sometimes is exaggerated. For example, in the drama H.A. Ostrovsky "Thunderstorm" in a conversation of two residents of the Volga town of Kalinov the painting representing a Gehenna of fire has a phrase that Lithuania "on us came on a silver platter". Contemporaries and the Russian critics recognized these words as sign of ignorance of kalinovets. Lavrinets does not agree with it, he found in the text of an episode a context to exclusively hostile and alien Russians of Lithuania.

In general the collection is the solid scientific publication allowing to get an idea of modern level and new approaches to studying history of Grand Duchy of Lithuania in Lithuania and also in Russia, Poland and Belarus.

V.N. Maslov,

department chair of social sciences and Russian literature of the Kaliningrad regional institute of development of education

Paul Peter
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