List of early Lithuanian dukes

List of early Lithuanian dukes

Early dukes of Lithuania (including Samogitia) reigned before Lithuanians were unified by Mindaugas into a state, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. While the Palemonids legend provides genealogy from the 10th century, only few dukes were mentioned by contemporary historical sources. All of them were mentioned in written sources the 13th century. Data about them is extremely scarce and is usually limited to few brief sentences. The primary sources are the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia and Hypatian Codex.

Rulers recorded in historical sources

*Žvelgaitis (Svelgates) – earliest known duke. In 1205, he attacked Riga and was killed in the battle, led by ruler of Semigallia, Vester. [lt icon cite book |last=Daugirdaitė-Sruogienė |first=Vanda |title=Lietuvos istorija |edition=6th |year=1966 |publisher=TERRA |location=Chicago, Illinois |id=LCC|67037106 ]
*Daugirutis (Dangerutis, Dangeruthe) – Livonians imprisonded this Lithuanian duke in 1213, where he killed himself. [lt icon cite encyclopedia | last=Jonynas | first=Ignas | editor=Vaclovas Biržiška | encyclopedia=Lietuviškoji enciklopedija | title=Daugirutis | year=1937 | publisher=Spaudos Fondas | volume=VI | location=Kaunas | pages=108 ]
*Stekšys (Stakys, Steksė) – another powerful duke, killed in 1214 near Lielvārde. [lt icon cite web |url= |title=Brandieji viduramžiai: II dalis (1183-1283 m.) |accessdate=2007-05-30 |last=Baranauskas |first=Tomas |authorlink=Tomas Baranauskas |work=Chronologija | ]
*Father of Mindaugas – several sources mention that he was a powerful duke, but do not give his name. 16th century geanelogies gave him the name of Ryngold or Ringaudas. [cite encyclopedia | editor=Simas Sužiedėlis | encyclopedia=Encyclopedia Lituanica | title=Ringaudas | year=1970-1978 | publisher=Juozas Kapočius | volume=IV | location=Boston, Massachusetts | id=LCC|74-114275 | pages=500-501]
* The following Lithuanian dukes signed a peace treaty with rulers of Halych-Volhynia in 1219: [lt icon cite journal |last=Butkevičienė |first= Birutė | coauthors= Vytautas Gricius |year=2003 |month=July |title=Mindaugas — Lietuvos karalius |journal= Mokslas ir gyvenimas |volume=7 |issue=547 |pages= |id=ISSN 0134-3084 |url= |accessdate= 2007-05-30]
**Duke elders
***Živinbudas (presumably the eldest duke)
***Vilikaila (brother of Daujotas)
***Mindaugas (brother of Dausprungas)
**Rulers of Samogitia
**Ruškaičiai family
***Velžys (son of Vyžeikis)
***Plikienė (wife of Plikys, probably a widow)
**Bulionys family (three brothers, all of them killed by Mindaugas)
***Vismantas (his wife was taken by Mindaugas for himself)
**Rulers of Deltuva

Of the dukes who signed the peace treaty, only four are mentioned in other written sources: Mindaugas, who went on to become the Grand Duke of Lithuania and was crowned as King of Lithuania in 1253, Vykintas, leader of anti-Mindaugas coalition during the civil war in 1248-1251, Bikšys and Ligeikis, both identified as Mindaugas relatives and nobles, mentioned in a document, dated 1260 and sometimes considered a forgery. [lt icon cite web| url= | title=Iškilūs žemaičiai ir jų darbai |date=2006-03-18 |publisher=Regionų kultūrinių iniciatyvų centras |accessdate=2007-05-30] [cite journal| url= |first=Tomas |last=Baranauskas |title=Kur buvo Lietuvos žemė? |journal=Voruta |date=2002-12-07| accessdate=2007-05-30 |volume=21-23 |issue=519-521]


ee also

*Palemonids – a list of early mythological early rulers of Lithuania
*List of Lithuanian rulers

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