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The Oxford History of Poland-LithuaniaVolume I: The Making of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, 1385-1569$
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Robert Frost

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208693

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208693.001.0001

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(p.151) 14 Švitrigaila
The Oxford History of Poland-Lithuania

Robert Frost

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines events in Lithuania after Vytautas’s death in 1430 and the dispute over the Lithuanian succession. It considers the ambiguous nature of Horodło’s provisions on the matter, arguing that the election of Jagiełło’s youngest brother Švitrigaila as grand duke by Lithuanian and Ruthenian nobles was not a bid to break the union on the part of the Lithuanians, as is often argued, but an appeal to the principles of election and consultation enshrined in Horodło, which Jagiełło had ignored when he indicated he wished to rule Lithuania directly after Vytautas’s death. It examines how Švitrigaila secured his position, sought through marriage to found his own dynasty that might threaten the position of Jagiełło’s sons, and brought the union state to the brink of civil war.

Keywords:   Švitrigaila, Jagiełło, grand duke, Horodło, election

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