Union of Horod%C5%82o
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Union of Horod%C5%82o
Poland and Lithuania 1386-1434
Mound of the Horod?o Union; the monument was built in 1861 in Horod?o to celebrate the 448th anniversary of the union.

The Union of Horod?o or Pact of Horod?o was a set of three acts signed in the town of Horod?o on 2 October 1413. The first act was signed by W?adys?aw II Jagieo, King of Poland, and Vytautas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. The second and third acts were composed by the Polish nobility (szlachta) and Lithuanian boyars, respectively.[1] The union amended the earlier Polish-Lithuanian unions of Krewo and Vilnius-Radom. Politically, Lithuania received more autonomy as, after the death of Vytautas, the Lithuanian nobles could choose another Grand Duke instead of passing the title to W?adys?aw II Jagieo or his heir. However, culturally, Lithuania and Poland grew closer. Lithuania adopted Polish institutions of castellans and voivodes. Catholic Lithuanian nobles and church officials were granted equal rights with the Polish nobles and clergy. Forty-seven selected Lithuanian nobles were adopted by Polish families and granted Polish coats of arm. Thus the union signified the beginnings of the Polonization of Lithuanian culture and the rise of the Lithuanian nobility. It was one of the major steps towards the modernization and Europeanization of Lithuania.[2]

Historical background

Poland and Lithuania had been joined in a personal union since the Union of Krewo of 1385. Both countries were ruled by W?adys?aw II Jagieo. However, after the Lithuanian Civil War (1389-1392) and the Ostrów Agreement, Vytautas gained the supreme power in Lithuania.[3] The legal basis for Polish-Lithuanian relations was revisited by the Union of Vilnius and Radom of 1401, which reiterated de facto Lithuanian independence and de jure Polish supremacy. Vytautas was to be known by the title of Grand Duke (magnus dux) and enjoyed vast power in Lithuania, while technically he was subordinate to W?adys?aw II Jagieo, 'Supreme Duke' (supremus dux) and King of Poland.[2] The union was signed after Vytautas' army was soundly defeated in the Battle of the Vorskla River and weakened Lithuania was looking for Polish support.[3] Taking advantage of the Lithuanian defeat, the Principality of Smolensk, Veliky Novgorod, and Pskov rebelled against Lithuanian rule, drawing Vytautas into a war with the Grand Duchy of Moscow.[4] However, within a few years peace was re-established in the east.

In 1409, the second Samogitian uprising against the Teutonic Knights escalated into the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War. Joint Polish-Lithuanian forces defeated the Knights in the decisive Battle of Grunwald in 1410. However, the war did not resolve all the disputes and by 1413 Poland-Lithuania was preparing for another war with the Knights (see Hunger War).[2][5] These developments encouraged Poland and Lithuania to review their relationship.


The treaty repeated the indissoluble character of the Polish-Lithuanian union while carefully balancing Polish and Lithuanian interests. The Lithuanians gained more autonomy as they received the right to elect a new Grand Duke after the death of Vytautas.[2] The earlier Union of Vilnius and Radom stipulated that Lithuania would pass to W?adys?aw II Jagieo or his heir. However, the Lithuanian nobles promised to consult the Polish nobles when choosing a successor to Vytautas. The reverse was also true: the Polish nobles promised to consult with the Lithuanians when electing the next Polish King.[1] The pact contained one of the first mentions of the Seimas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Polish and Lithuanian nobles agreed to hold a joint general sejm to discuss all major matters, but such a sejm did not take place until 1564.[1] Nevertheless, it was a recognition of the political powers of the Lithuanian nobles.[2]

The Lithuanian nobles and clergy were granted equal rights with the Polish nobility and clergy.[6] However, this extended only to Catholics; many Ruthenian nobles, who were Eastern Orthodox, were excluded.[7] Selected Lithuanian nobles, 47 in total, were adopted into Polish heraldic families and granted Polish coats of arm. This symbolic gesture signified their desire to adopt Western customs and integrate into Western society.[2] Equal rights encouraged cooperation and kinship between Polish and Lithuanian nobles. The influence of Polish culture continued to increase, culminating in the Union of Lublin of 1569.[1]

Another significant resolution was the adoption of Polish administrative divisions and offices like voivode and castellan by Lithuania. The union created the Voivodeship of Trakai and Vilnius, governed by two Lithuanian nobles.[2] Former Slavic principalities and duchies largely preserved their old political, social, and administrative features for another century. Kiev Voivodeship was established in 1471, and another five voivodeships were established between 1504 and 1514.[8] This administrative change signified the modernization of the Grand Duchy and a decline of traditional dynastic politics. Previously major regions of the Grand Duchy were ruled by members of the ruling dynasty (siblings, children, cousins, etc. of the Grand Duke). Such principalities remained semi-independent and their rulers could become powerful rivals of the Grand Duke with their own claims to the throne.[8] The new voivodeships were governed by trustworthy nobles, unrelated to the royal clan, who could be easily replaced. Soon the nobility replaced members of the ruling dynasty as the driving force behind Lithuanian politics.

Adopted Polish coat of arms

Arms Clan Polish representative Lithuanian representative
Herb Abdank.svg Abdank Piotr of Widawa (Judge of Sieradz),
Jakub of Rogo?no
Jonas Go?tautas (Jan Gaszto?d)
Herb Bogoria.jpg Bogorya Marek of Nakola Stanis?aw Visgintas (Wyszygin)
POL COA Cio?ek.svg Cio?ek Stanis?aw of Brze?a (?) Jan Eiviltas (Ewild)
Herb Debno.jpg D?bno Dobies?aw of Ole?nica (Castellan of Wojnicz) Albrecht Kareiva (Korewa) of Sowgotsko
POL COA Doliwa.svg Doliwa Maciej Kot (Castellan of Nakielsk),
Janusz Furman (Castellan of Mi?dzyrzec),
Piotr of Falkowa
POL COA Doga.svg Doga Unknown Mantvilas (Monstywild)
Herb Dryja.PNG Drya Janusz of Tuliszków (Castellan of Kalisz) Miko?aj Tautgirdas (Tawtygierd)
Herb Dzialosza.jpg Dzia?osza Unknown Wo?czko Rokutowicz
Herb Gieralt.png Giera?t Miko?aj of Gorzków (Bishop of Vilnius) Surgintas (Surgut) Reszy?ski
Herb Godziemba.PNG Godziemba Andrzej of Lubraniec (Judge of Kujawy),
Andrzej (Pastor of W?oc?awek)
Stanis?aw Butautas (Butowtowicz)
POL COA Gryf.svg Gryf Unknown Butautas (Butowd)
Herb Grzymala.jpg Grzyma?a Domarat of Kobylan (Castellan of Biecz) Jan Rimvydas (Rymwidowicz)
Herb Janina.jpg Janina Maciej (Bishop of Przemy?l),
Miko?aj of Suchodó? (Judge of Lublin),
Piotr of Tura (Judge of czyca)
Wojsym Danejkowicz (Danis?)
Herb Jastrzebiec.jpg Jastrz?biec Wojciech (Bishop of Kraków),
Marcin of Lubnica
Nirmedas (Nemir) (Starost of Polotsk)
Jelita herb.svg Jelita Klemens of Mokrsko (Castellan of Radom),
Florian of Korytnicy (Castellan of Wi?lica)
Girdutis (Gierdut)
Herb Kopacz.jpg Kopacz Unknown Getautas (Getowd)
Herb Korczak.jpg Korczak Unknown Czupa
POL COA Kot Morski.svg Kot Morski Unknown Vai?noras Vilgailaitis (Wojsnar Wilkolewicz)
POL COA Leliwa.svg Leliwa Jan of Tarnów (Voivode of Kraków),
Jadwiga of Le?enic
Albertas Manvydas (Moniwid) (Voivode of Vilnius)
POL COA Lis.svg Lis Krystyn of Kozichg?ówy (Castellan of S?cz) Jan Sangailas (Sunigaj?o) (Castellan of Trakai)
Herb Lodzia.jpg ?odzia Mo?cic of St?szew (Castellan of Pozna?) Mikusz Wilczkowicz
Herb ?ab?d? 1.svg ?ab?d? Dziers?aw of Skrzynna ? Gelgantas (Goligunt)
Herb Nalecz.jpg Nacz S?dziwoj of Ostroroga (Voivode of Pozna?),
Miko?aj of Czarnków (Judge of Poznan)
Herb Nowina.jpg Nowina Miko?aj of Sepna Miko?aj Beinoras (Boynar)
HerbOdrowaz.jpg Odrow Jan of Szczekociny (Castellan of Lublin) Visgirdas (Wyszegerd)
Herb Ogonczyk.jpg Ogo?czyk Wojciech of Ko?ciola (Castellan of Brzeg),
Miko?aj of Taczów
Jerzy Sangraw (Sungaila)
Herb Oksza.jpg Oksza Miko?aj of Strzelc (Judge of Sandomierz),
Klemens W?tróbka of Strzelc
Minmantas (Minimod) Sesnikowicz
Herb Ossorya.jpg Ossorya Miko?aj of Korabiowic Tvirbutas (Twerbut)
Herb Kuszaba.jpg Paprzyca Unknown Ma?tautas (Moszto?d)
Herb Pierzchala.jpg Pierzcha?a Piotr of W?oszczowa (Castellan of Dobrzyn) Dauk?as (Dauksza)
Herb Pobog.jpg Pobóg Jakub Koniecpolski (Voivode of Sieradz),
Piotr of Popowo
Herb Pomian.svg Pomian Jan Pella (Bishop of W?oc?awek) Stanis?aw Sak
POL COA Poraj.svg Poraj Mica? of Micha?ow (Voivode of Sandomierz),
Jaka (Judge of Kalisz)
Miko?aj Bilminas (Bylimin)
Herb Polkozic.jpg Pó?kozic Jan of Rzeszów (Bishop of Lviv),
Jan Lig?za of Bobrku (Voivode of czyca),
Micha of Bogumi?owice (Castellan of Sandomierz),
Jan of Bogumi?owice (Castellan of Czchów),
Pawe? of Bogumi?owice (Judge of Kraków),
Marcin of Wrocimowice (Chory of Kraków)
Wo?czko Kovaldas (Kukwa)
POL COA Rawicz.svg Rawicz Krystyn of Ostrów (Castellan of Kraków),
Grot of Jankowice (Castellan of Ma?ogojszcz)
Mingailas (Minigaj?o, then Miniga?) (Castellan of Vilnius)
Herb Rola.jpg Rola Jan of koszyn (Castellan of czyca),
Miko?aj of ...
Danguolis (Dangel)
Sulima herb.svg Sulima Stanis?aw Gamrat of Klimuntowic (Castellan of Po?aniec) Radvilas (Rodywi?-Radziwi?(?)), then Radziwi?(?)owicz
Herb Syrokomla.jpg Syrokomla Jakub of Kurdwanowa (Bishop of P?ock) Jonas Mingailis (Jan Minigel)
Herb Szreniawa.jpg Szreniawa Jan of ?a?cuchów and Grodziny (Castellan of Zawichost) Jotautas (Jadat)
Herb Swinka.jpg ?winka Unknown Andrzej Daukantas (Dewknotowicz)
Herb Topor.jpg Topór Maciej of W?sosz (Voivode of Kalisz) Jonas Butrimas (Jan Butrym) of ?yrmonów
Herb Traby.jpg Tr?by Miko?aj Tr?ba (Archbishop of Gniezno) Kristinas Astikas (O?cik)
POL COA Trzaska.svg Trzaska Unknown Vaidilas (Wojdy?o) Kuszulowicz
Herb Wadwicz.jpg Wadwicz Jan Myk of D?browy Petras Mantigirdaitis (Montygerd, then Montygerdowicz)
POL COA W.svg W Unknown Koczan Sukowicz
Herb Zadora.jpg Zadora Zbigniew of Brzezia (Crown Marshall) Jaunutis Valimantaitis (Jawnuta Wolimuntowicz), Voivode of Trakai (from his younger brother Mykolas K?sgaila the K?sgailos family descended)
Herb Zaremba.jpg Zaremba Jan of Królików (Castellan of Gniezno),
Marcin of Kalinów (Castellan of Sieradz)
Gintas (Ginet) Konczewicz


  1. ^ a b c d Simas Su?ied?lis, ed. (1970-1978). "Horodle, Union of". Encyclopedia Lituanica. II. Boston, Massachusetts: Juozas Kapo?ius. pp. 443-444. LCC 74-114275.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kiaupa, Zigmantas; J?rat? Kiaupien?; Albinas Kunevi?ius (2000) [1995]. The History of Lithuania Before 1795 (English ed.). Vilnius: Lithuanian Institute of History. pp. 154-155. ISBN 9986-810-13-2.
  3. ^ a b Stone, Daniel (2001). The Polish-Lithuanian State, 1386-1795. A History of East Central Europe. University of Washington Press. pp. 10-11. ISBN 0-295-98093-1.
  4. ^ (in Lithuanian) Ivinskis, Zenonas (1978). Lietuvos istorija iki Vytauto Did?iojo mirties. Rome: Lietuvi? katalik? mokslo akademija. p. 319. LCC 79346776.
  5. ^ Urban, William (2003). Tannenberg and After. Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center. pp. 195-196. ISBN 0-929700-25-2.
  6. ^ (in Lithuanian) Ivinskis, Zenonas (1978). Lietuvos istorija iki Vytauto Did?iojo mirties. Rome: Lietuvi? katalik? mokslo akademija. p. 367. LCC 79346776.
  7. ^ Subtelny, Orest (1988). Ukraine: A History. CUP Archive. p. 49.
  8. ^ a b Simas Su?ied?lis, ed. (1970-1978). "Administration". Encyclopedia Lituanica. I. Boston, Massachusetts: Juozas Kapo?ius. pp. 17-21. LCC 74-114275.

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