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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.158) 15 Rus′
The Oxford History of Poland-Lithuania

Robert Frost

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the situation of the union’s Orthodox Ruthenian population following the adoption of Catholicism by the Lithuanian elite. It charts the reaction of Orthodox Ruthenians, excluded from the privileges granted to Catholic nobles, and yet keen to share in them, and to play their part in the grand duchy’s embryonic community of the realm. It considers Jagiełło and Vytautas’s policy towards the Orthodox Church, and the idea of church union, and examines the overthrow of Švitrigaila by Lithuanians concerned at his favouring of Ruthenians. It analyses the union of Hrodna and the establishment of Žygimantas, Vytautas’s brother, as grand duke, the extension of privileges to Orthodox nobles, and the coming of civil war.

Keywords:   Rusʹ, Orthodox Church, Švitrigaila, Žygimantas, church union, noble privilege, civil war

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