Between Two Worlds: A Comparative Study of the Representation of Lithuania in Late Medieval German and Russian Chronicles


EES Dissertation


Department of History


This dissertation examines the various ways in which foreign rulers, theorists, and historians described the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in their attempt to understand and rationalize Lithuania’s ever-increasing presence in fourteenth-century European diplomacy. By comparative study of German and Russian chronicles, it analayzes what informed the choice of literary representation, when and why attitudes toward Lithuania changed in the sources, and whether these changes correspond to moments of instability (i.e.: Mongol incursion, Papal-Imperial conflict, military defeat, famine, etc.), unfolding ideologies on power and political legitimacy, or broader European diplomatic concerns.