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Received 23 03 2017

Vladislav B. Sotirovi
Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania
Mykolo Romerio universitetas, Lietuva

The Idea of a Greater (United)

Croatia by Pavao Ritter Vitezovi:
An Early-Modern Model
of the National Identity
and Creation of the National
State of the Croato-Slavs
Pavao Ritterio Vitezoviiaus Didiosios (Jungtins) Kroatijos idja:
ankstyvasis modernus nacionalins tapatybs modelis
ir nacionalins kroat-slav valstybs krimas


Straipsnyje nagrinjamas kroat didiko publicisto ir istoriko Pavao Ritterio Vitezoviiaus (16521713)
Didiosios Kroatijos modelis. Daugelis istorik tyrinjo Vitezoviiaus politines mintis ir jo ipltot vie-
ningos Piet Slav valstybs, kaip platesnio vieningo Slav pasaulio dalies, ideologin sistem. Pasak vy-
raujanio mokslinink poirio, Vitezoviius buvo jugoslavizmo (suvienytos Piet Slav tautins valsty-
bs) ir netgi vieningo slavizmo, vieningo slav kultrinio ir politinio abipusikumo idjos pirmtakas. Jo
aminink tekstuose silomas alternatyvus bdas apibrti moderni Piet Slav etnini valstybi sienas.
Vitezoviius siek kurti kroat nacionalin valstyb remiantis pastangomis konsoliduoti kroat etnines
teritorijas ir etnolingvistines linijas. ios tapatybs sampratos analiz atskleidia, kaip buvo suprastos
numatytos ankstyvosios modernios kroat etnins valstybs sienos. Ji apima plaias teritorijas nuo Adrijos
jros iki Maskvos ir nuo Baltijos jros iki Juodosios jros. Vitezoviiaus poiris lietuvius ir Lenkijos-
Lietuvos Sjung liudija, kad argumentas, kuriuo grindiami jo reikalavimai Kroatijos tautinei valstybei,
paremtas etnolingvistine giminyste.

Key words: Croatia, Croats, Slavs, Lithuania, Lithuanians, national identity, Balkans.
RAKTAODIAI: Kroatija, kroatai, slavai, Lietuva, lietuviai, tautin tapatyb, Balkanai.

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The paper will examine the model for the creation of a Greater Croatia designed by the Croatian noble-
men, publicist and historian Pavao Ritter Vitezovi (16521713). Many historians have viewed Vitezovis
political thought and his developed ideological framework of a united South Slavic state as part of a
wider pan-Slavic world. According to the prevailing notion, Vitezovi was a precursor of the idea of Yu-
goslavism (a united Southern Slav nation state) and even Pan-Slavism, a pan-Slavic cultural and political
reciprocity. Yet a closer look at Vitezovi and his contemporaries writings suggests an alternative model
for outlining the borders of modern ethnic states among the Southern Slavs. Vitezovi argued for the crea-
tion of a Croat national state, based on the integration of the Croat ethnic territories and their consolida-
tion along ethno-linguistic lines. The analysis of Vitezovis understanding of nationhood explains how the
borders of an envisioned early modern Croat ethnic state had been perceived as including vast territories
from the Adriatic Sea to Moscow and from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. In this respect Vitezovis views
on the Lithuanians and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth will show that the argument used to substan-
tiate his claims for a Croatian nation state was based on an ethno-linguistic kinship.

An ideological concept of the Pan Croatianism
and a Greater (United) Croatia

A Croatian nobleman of ethnic Ger- ern territories of the Balkans. Conse-

man origin from Senj, Pavao Ritter quently, according to this belief, the fore-
Vitezovi (16521713), was the person fathers of present-day Eastern and West-
who transformed old Dalmatian Pan- ern Slavs emigrated from the Balkans
Slavic idea into the ideological concept and nearby Danubian lands and settled
of Pan-Croatianism that included all themselves on the wide territory of Eu-
Slavic population into the membership rope from the Elbe River on the West to
of the Croatian nationality. Dalmatian, the Volga River on the East.1 However,
and especially Ragusian (Dubrovnik) the South Slavs remained in the Bal-
humanists, in the 16th century accepted kans the peninsula that was considered
the old domestic popular tradition that as the motherland of all Slavonic people
all Slavs originated in fact in the Balkans (Istorija naroda Jugoslavije 1960: 224227).
and the south Danubian region. It means Subsequently, all famous historical actors
that according to this tradition, the South who originated in the Balkans were ap-
Slavs are autochthonous inhabitants at propriated as members of the Slavdom:
both the Balkan Peninsula and its neigh- Alexander the Great and his father Phi
boring south Danubian region. More lip II of Macedonia, Aristotle, St. Jerome
precisely, the entire Slavonic population (Hieronymus), Diocletian, Constantine
had its progenitors in the ancient Balkan the Great, SS. Cyril and Methodius, etc.2
Illyrians, Macedonians and Thracians. On the territory of present-day Serbia,
Principally, the ancient Illyrians were for instance, eighteen Roman Emperors
considered as the real ancestors of the of the Illyrian (Slavic?) origin were born
South, Eastern and Western Slavs who among whom Constantin the Great be-
have been living in the central and west- came most famous.

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Vladislav B. Sotirovi

P. R. Vitezovi, plemeniti i hrabreni According to the Peace Treaty of

gospn hrvatski i senski vlastelin (noble Sremski Karlovci, the border between
and brave gentleman and feudal lord the Habsburg Monarchy and the Otto-
from Senj) (Bogii 1970: 143), a Senjs man Sultanate was fixed on the Morish
delegate to the Hungarian feudal Parlia- and Tisa Rivers. Therefore, Transylvania
ment (Diet) in Sopron, a representative and Hungary became now parts of the
of the Croatian feudal Parliament (Sabor) Habsburg Monarchy, the Banat of
at the Imperial Court in Vienna, devel- Temeshvar of the Ottoman Sultanate
oped its ideology of Pan-Croatianism in while the region of Srem (Sirmium) was
the following writings: Kronika, aliti szpo- divided between these two empires. The
men vszega szvieta vikov (Chronicle, or a state border of the Habsburg Monarchy
Remembrance of all the Times of the became moved from the Kupa River to
World), Zagreb, 1696; Anagrammaton, the Una River (in the present-day Bos-
Sive Lauras auxiliatoribus Ungariae liber nia) and to the Mt. Velebit in Dalmatia.
secundus (The Second Book of Ana- However, the European peace was es-
grams, or a Laurel to the Helpers of tablished next year when on June 13th
Hungary), Vienna, 1689; Croatia rediviva: the Russian Empire and the Ottoman
Regnante Leopoldo Magno Caesare (Re- Sultanate signed a bilateral treaty in Is-
vived Croatia), Zagreb, 1700; and in tanbul (Constantinople) that was valid
Stemmatographia, sive Armorum Illyrico- for the next thirty years. According to
rum delineatio, descriptio et restitutio this treaty, Russia got Azov, stopped to
(Stemmatography, or the Delineation, pay annual tribute to the Tatar Han, re-
Description, and Restoration of the Illyr- ceived a right to freely visit the Christian
ian Coat of Arms), Vienna, 1701. Nev- holy places in Palestine and to have its
ertheless, the fundamental political pur- own diplomatic representative in Istan-
pose of these four works was to indicate bul (Dimi 1999: 266267).
to the Habsburg Emperor Leopold I P. R. Vitezovi clearly pointed out in
(16581705) the Croatian historical his Kronika that entire ex-Roman prov-
lands that should be united under the ince of Illyricum should be understood as
Habsburg imperial crown, but not to be a land populated by the Slavs (Vitezovich
divided between three Balkan super- 1696: 6). However, he implied the term
powers: the Republic of San Marco (Ven- Illyricum to the entire Balkan Peninsula
ice), the Ottoman Sultanate and the that was settled by the Slavs including
Habsburg Monarchy (Bratuli 1994: 74; and the Albanians who were (wrongly)
Istorija naroda Jugoslavije 1960: 948949). considered as direct descendents of the
Especially his Croatia rediviva was a ancient Illyrians. Moreover, taking into
political protest against the Austro-Ot- consideration the fact that the South
toman Peace Treaty of Sremski Karlovci Slavic (Roman Catholic) Renaissance au-
(Karlowitz), which, according to thors mainly (wrongly) applied the name
Vitezovi, deprived Croatia of her al- Illyrians and Illyricum to the Croats and
leged ancient historical and ethnical ter- Croatia, Vitezovi in fact called all de-
ritories (Ritter 1700; ii 1934: 44). scendents (the Slavs and Albanians) of

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the Illyrians as Croats. Thus, the main kans and a part of the South-East Europe
portion of the Balkans, from the Istrian into the Illyricum that was later described
Peninsula and the Adriatic Sea to the in his Croatia rediviva as the South Cro-
Black Sea, the Danube River and the Ae- atia (Ritter 1689; Ritter 1700).
gean Sea belonged exclusively to the P. R. Vitezovi actually divided the
Croatdom. Vitezovi stressed that the whole world into six ethnolinguistic, his-
idea of Illyrian-Slavic nationhood, or the torical, cultural and geographical areas,
Croatdom, was based on linguistic unity civilizations and cultures as they are:
and community for the simple reason I) Germania, which embraced the
that all of these territories and their in- whole German-speaking world: the Holy
habitants spoke and wrote szlavni nas Roman Empire of the German Nation,
(i.e., the Croatian) Illyrski aliti Szlovenski headed by Austria, the Kingdom of Swe-
jezik (our glorious Illyrian or Slavic den (Sweden, Norway, Finland), Den-
language) (Vitezovich 1696: 199; mark, East Prussia, Curonian Isthmus
Blaevi 2000, see map on p. 225). (Kuri Neria) with the Curonian Bay or
A Roman province of Illyricum was the Courish Lagoon (Kuri Marios), Me
established during the time of the Roman mel (Klaipda). However, Angliae regnum
Emperor Augustus conquering the West- (Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland)
ern Balkans in the years of 35 B.C. A.D. was included into Germania as well.
9. During the time of the Emperor Con- II) Italia cum parte Greciae (Italy with
stantine I (Great), one of (four) imperial the part of Greece) referred to the Apen-
Praefecturas (the largest administrative- nine Peninsula, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily,
territorial unites of the Roman Empire) Attica, Peloponnesus (Morea) and the
was the Illyricum which covered almost main number of the Aegean and the Io-
the whole Balkans (except present-day nian Islands, Malta and Crete.
Bulgaria and the European Turkey) and III) Illyricum that was the whole Bal-
the parts of the present-day Hungary and kans (except Attica and Peloponnesus
Austria. The Preafectura Illyricum was di- with the adjoining islands), Wallachia
vided into the following dioceses: Achaia, (Dacia and Cumania), Transylvania and
Thessalia, Macedonia, Dacia, Moesia Hungary.
Prima, Epirus Vetus, Epirus Nova, Prae- IV) Hispania, which was composed by
valitana, Dalmatia, Pannonia Prima, Pan- Spain and Portugal and their European
nonia Secunda, Savia, Noricum Ripense possessions and overseas colonies in Af-
and Noricum Mediterraneum (Wester- rica, Asia, Latin America with Florida
mann 1985: 3839, 4243). It partially and California.
covered the territories of modern Austria, V) Sarmatia that was composed by the
Slovenia and Hungary, but covered all territories of the Polish-Lithuanian Com-
present-day Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovi- monwealth (the Republic of Two Na-
na, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece (without tions) with Moldavia and Muscovy (i.e.,
the West Thrace) and Albania. Neverthe- the Russian Empire).
less, in his Anagrammaton Vitezovi VI) Gallia that was France (Ritter
included the entire territory of the Bal- 1689: 69117).

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Vladislav B. Sotirovi

A real ideological source for such Rus, Poles and Lithuanians.

division of the whole world was the P. R. Vitezovi found that the ances-
Slavic idea which decisively influenced tors of all North Croats (Wends and Sar-
Vitezovi who recognized that all Slavs matians) were the White Croats (Belohro-
belonged to a single ethnolinguistic batoi, from the Byzantine historical sourc-
community. Nevertheless, he metamor- es) who lived in the early Middle Ages
phosed this idea of Pan-Slavism eleven around the upper Dniester River and the
years later into the idea of a Pan-Croa- upper Vistula River, i.e., Galicia and
tianism and a Greater Croatia. In fact, Little Poland (Engel 1979: 1011; Wester-
Vitezovi claimed that all Slavs are the mann 1985: 5051, 5455; Macan 1992:
Balkan Illyrians who were autochtho- 1516; Klai 1971: 1822). A traditional
nous inhabitants of Illyricum. However, name from the sources for White Croatia
for him it was clear that ancient Illyrians was a Greater Croatia or an Ancient Croa-
were modern Croats and ancestors of all tia (orovi 1993: 34; Klai 1971: 21). At
Slavs. This ideology of Croatian-Slavic the time of Vitezovis writing of Croatia
ethnogenesis Vitezovi developed in his rediviva this territory was integral part
work Croatia rediviva that was an out- of the Republic of the Two Nations (the
line for more ambitious general history Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth).
of the Croats and Croatia, i.e. the entire The South Croatia, or Illyricum (the
Slavic population. In this work Vitezovi Balkans), was subdivided by Vitezovi
divided total territory of ethnic, histori- into two parts: Croatia Alba (White Croa-
cal and linguistic Croatia into two parts: tia), and Croatia Rubea (Red Croatia).
I) Croatia Septemtrionalis (the North Cro- Croatia Alba was composed by Croatia
atia), and II) Croatia Meridionalis (the Maritima (central and maritime Monte-
South Croatia). The boundary between negro, Dalmatia and the East Istria),
them was the Danube River. Northern Croatia Mediterranea (Croatia proper and
Croatia encompassed the entire territo- Bosnia-Herzegovina), Croatia Alpestris
ries of Bohemia, Moravia, Lusatia (Slovenia and the West Istria) and Croatia
(uica or uyca in the East Saxony Interamnia (Slavonia with a part of Pan-
and the South Brandenburg) (The Sorbs nonia). Croatia Rubea consisted of Serbia,
in Germany 1998: 5), Hungary, Transyl- the North-East Montenegro, Bulgaria,
vania, Wallachia, Muscovy, Poland and Macedonia, Epirus, Albania, Thessaly
Lithuania (Ritter 1700: 109). The people and Thrace (Vitezovis Odrysia) (Ritter
who were living in the North Croatia 1700: 32). Therefore, there have been
were divided into two groups: the Vitezovis limites totius Croatiae (bor-
North-West Croats, called the Venedicos ders of whole Croatia) that was settled
(Wends) and the North-East Croats, by ethnolinguistic Croats (Vitezovi 1699;
named as the Sarmaticos (Sarmatians). Ritter 1699; Vitezovi 1997: 188215;
The Wends consisted of the Czechs, Perkovi 1995: 225236). However, Vite
Moravians, and Sorbs (Sorabi, who lived zovi recognized the reality that his
in Lusatia), whereas the Sarmatians who Greater (United) Croatia and a Pan-Cro-
were living in Muscovy, Poland and atian national identity was not a unified
Lithuania (Ritter 1700: 10), i.e., were the in whole. In the other words, he acknowl-

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edged differences in borders, names, em- of the common Croat name especially for
blems, and customs: cum propriis tamen all South Slavs (the ancient Balkan Illyr-
singularum limitibus etymo, Insignibus, ians) with regional and historic differ-
rebusque ac magis memorabilibus populi ences was expressed in Vitezovis heral-
moribus (Ritter 1700: 32; Ritter 1701). dic manual Stemmatographia where he
After all, he believed that these distinc- presented all Croatian historical and
tions were of lesser importance than the ethnolinguistic lands in the South-East
common Croatian nationhood of all of Europe, like Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania,
these people and lands. His apotheosis etc. (Ritter 1701; Banac 1993: 223227).

The sources of ideological background

of P. R. Vitezovis Pan-Croatianism

The ideological background of P. R. next four historical sources relating to

Vitezovis Pan-Croatianism lies un- the early history of the Slavs, their ori-
doubtedly in the 16th17th centuries de- gin, ethnogenesis and their settlement at
veloped Pan-Slavic idea, which is pre- the Balkans:
sented in the first part of this article. 1) Already mentioned above Povest
Vitezovi accepted the main point of this vremennyh let.
idea all Slavs constitute a single ethno- 2) Letopis Popa Dukljanina or Barski
linguistic community of kinship.3 rodoslov (Chronicle of the Priest from
The basic elements of this assumption Dioclea or Bars Genealogy). This is
he found in the well-known and widely- a mid-12th century chronicle, possibly
read East Slavonic Povest vremennyh let originally written in the Slavic language,
or Nestors Chronicle (Primary Chroni- but surviving only in its Latin transla-
cle a compilation from the early 12th tion. The only survived copy of this
century, containing both oral and earlier manuscript can be found in the Manu-
written material), which main ideological script Collection of Library of Vatican
construction, i.e., tradition of the three under the signature: Vat. Lat. 6958. The
Slavic progenitors brothers Czech, Lech main part of this chronicle is based on
and Rus, who originated in the Balkans oral tradition. It is the most detailed
and Pannonian Plain around the Danube source for the early history of Montene-
River (Povest vremennyh let 1884: 4; Con- gro and Herzegovina and important
te 1986: 1415). This source became fur- source on history of Bosnia, Croatia and
ther developed in the various medieval Macedonia.
Dalmatian, Czech and Polish chronicles 3) Historia Salonitana (History of
and Renaissance-Baroque Slavic histories Split). This is the most important, but
written by the South Slavic authors, es- biased historical source for the history
pecially by those living in Dalmatia. of Dalmatian city of Split from the 7th to
Constructing his own ideology of a the 13th centuries. There is as well an ex-
Pan-Croatianism, P. R. Vitezovi, on the panded version of this work from the
first place, used information from the 16th century that is known as Historia

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Vladislav B. Sotirovi

Salonitana maior by Thomas the Archdea- ed all Croats (from the Balkans and out-
con of Split who died in 1268. side the Balkans) into Transdanubian
4) De Administrando Imperio (On gov- and Cisdanubian Croats. Furthermore,
erning of the state). This unfinished combining information from Povest vre-
work is dealing with the foreign policy mennyh let and those from Orbins Il
of the Byzantium, diplomatic techniques, Regno degli Slavi, Vitezovi concluded
and sketches of the neighbouring Slavic firstly that the brothers Czech, Lech and
and non-Slavic people. It is written by a Rus (i.e., the Czechs, Moravians, Poles,
Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Por- Russians and entire population of Polish-
phyrogenitus, 913959. Lithuanian Commonwealth including
P. R. Vitezovi, became ideologically and Lithuanians) were not only the na-
influenced and by three specific South tives of Illyricum (i.e., Croatia, according
Slavic authors who were the principal to him), but as well that all of them were
South Slavic champions of a Pan-Slavic actually ethnolinguistic Croats. He used
national and linguistic reciprocity: Vinko Porphyrogenitus text to claim and that
Pribojevi, Mavro Orbin, and Juraj the Serbs were of the Croat origin for the
Kriani. In addition to them, a Central reason that the Emperor wrote that the
European writer, Georg Horn the 17th Croats bordered themselves with the
century author who wrote in 1666 the Slavic Serbs who are called Croats (Klai
so-called Georgii Horni, sive Historia im- 1972: 3; see as well, Moravcsic 1949; Bury
periorum et regnorum, a conditio orbe ad 1906). Finally, the name Red Croatia
nostra tempora left as well a distinct (Croatia Rubea) from Letopis Popa Duk-
ideological impression on Vitezovi. ljanina (Ljetopis Popa Dukljanina 1967,
Surprisingly, P. R. Vitezovi in his 196), which was related to the mediaeval
work reconciled, on one hand, the legend Montenegro (called Duklja or Dioclea,
from Povest vremennyh let and informa- Doclea), Herzegovina and the North Al-
tion from Historia Salonitana that the Cro- bania, Vitezovi extended to the whole
ats (called in this latter work as the Cu- territory of the East Balkans populated
retes) were living in the Balkans in the by the Slavs (i.e., Illyrians or Croats in
first century B.C. with, on other hand, his opinion); whereas the name White
the information about the Croat settle- Croatia (Croatia Alba) from the same
ment in the Balkans that he found in source (Ljetopis Popa Dukljanina 1967,
Porphyrogenitus De Administrando Impe- 194195) that was related to the East
rio. Actually, for Vitezovi the most inter- Adriatic littoral, he extended to the whole
esting part of Porphyrogenitus work was portion of the West Balkans.
the chapter 30 where the Byzantine From the sentence Clarius Constant.
Emperor pointed out that the Balkan Porphirogenitus Imper. qui Sarmatas Be-
Croats lived in former time on the other lochrobatos, id est Albos, sive magnos, aut
side of Bavaria, where the White Croats can terram multam posidentes, appellat is clear
be found today(Klai 1972: 3). Vitezovi that Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus
from this information derived a conclu- De Administrando Imperio served to
sion that the Croats lived out from the Vitezovi to claim that all Western and
Balkans too, and consequently he divid- Eastern Slavs, i.e., the Czechs, Sorbs,

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Moravians and all inhabitants of the of the Lithuanian origin (Bumblauskas

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and 2007: 172179; Zinkeviius 2013: 162167).
Russia, originated in Belohrobatoi (White The ideological principles that guid-
Croats) who are also called by Vitezovi ed M. Stryjkowskis chronicle undoubt-
as the Sarmatians. edly strengthened both Pan-Slavic ideol-
The author of Croatia rediviva ac- ogy and the ideology of Sarmatism that
cepted an old idea of the Sarmatian ori- dominated Poland at the second half of
gin of the Slavs, especially of the Poles, the 16th century and the first half of the
by reading at his lifetime very popular 17th century, consolidating at the same
following four publications: time a Polish position within the Grand
1) The Polish historian Matthew Mie- Duchy of Lithuania (Kiaupa et al. 2000:
howitas Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis 292293). The Sarmatian myth was
Asiana et Europeana (Treatise about two transformed by the Poles from a geo-
Sarmatias Asian and European), Cra- graphic term to the ethnic dimension
cow, 1517, for whom ancient Sarmatians and became finally political program
were contemporary Russians. under the motto: Polonia caput ac Regina
2) The Polish poet Ian Kohanowski totius Sarmatiae (Conte 1986: 301).
(15301584). P. R. Vitezovi, in general, accepted
3) The Polish historian Martinu Kro old writings about the Slavs, or at least
mers, De origine et rebus gestis Polonarum the peoples whom he believed to be the
(Basel, 1555), who supported the idea of Slavs. For that reason, he accepted the
ethnic and linguistic Sarmatian-Slavic Polish Sarmatian ideology based on
symbiosis telling that the Slavic Sarma- the writings of the ancient Greek and Ro-
tians came to the Central and South-East man historians and geographers (for in-
Europe from Asian Sarmatia (north stance, Strabo 63 B.C. 23 A.D., Ptolemy
from the Black Sea) (Cromer 1555; Cy- 100168) who divided the territory of
narski 1968, 617). contemporary Poland into two parts: Ger-
4) The Polish historian Matthew mania (the West Poland) and Sarmatia (the
Stryjkowskis Kronika Polska, Litewska, East Poland) (Conte 1986: 292). Ptolemy
mudzka i wszystkiej Rusi (Chronicle of named the whole territory of the Central
Poland, Lithuania, emaitija/Samogitia, and the East Europe as Sarmatia (Sulimir-
and all the lands of Rus), Knigsberg, ski 1945: 26). It should be emphasized
1582. Vitezovi became particularly af- that the Roman Empire succeeded to es-
fected with Stryjkowskis association of tablish between the years of 16 B.C. and
the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (the GDL) 9 A.D. three new provinces Raetia, Nori-
with the Polish Sarmatian Empire. cum and Pannonia and to firm its own
P. R. Vitezovi accepted from these position along the Danube, only after the
four works of the Polish Renaissance au- military victories over two Sarmatian
thors the notion that European Sarma- peoples: Roxolanes and Iazyges. How-
tia encompassed Poland, Lithuania, ever, both of them were occupying the
Byelorussia, and Ukraine, i.e. the lands Roman province of Moesia Inferior (that
under the sceptre of the Polish Jagel- is today Bulgaria) from 69 B.C. The re-
lonian royal dynasty, which was, in fact, gion of Pannonia and the North-East Bal-

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Vladislav B. Sotirovi

kans (i.e. Hungary and Bulgaria) are ad nostra tempora (1666) into Venedicos (the
considered in Povest vremennyh let as Wends) and Sarmaticos (the Sarmatians).4
birth-places of the three brothers Slavic Finally, Vitezovi was influenced at the
progenitors (Povest vremennyh let 1884: great extend by the works of Juraj
4). For Vitezovi, it was quite logical to Kriani and Martin Cromer with regard
conclude that the Slavic progenitors from to the Pan-Slavic unity and reciprocity,
Povest vremennyh let originated in Pan- but he rejected their teaching that all
nonian-Danubian-Balkan Sarmatians, Slavs originated in Rus (Cromer 1555;
who are mentioned in the Roman annals. Kriani 16611667; Kriani 1859).5 In
The Stryjkowskis chronicle strength- sum, combining the works of Stryjkows-
ened the idea of Pan-Slavism in the eyes ki, Vrani, Kriani, Cromer and Horn,
of J. Kriani, but in the eyes of P. R. Vi Pavao Ritter Vitezovi effectively claimed
tezovi this Pan-Slavic ideology was con- all Western, Southern and Eastern Slavs
verted into the Pan-Croatian one. Fur- to be of the Croat ethnolinguistic origin.
thermore, Vitezovi was familiar with the Ultimately, in dealing with the Balkan
theory of the Sarmatian origin of all Slavs Croatia, he accepted an idea of the Croa-
that was developed in 1606 in the short tian 17thcentury historian from Dalma-
history De slowinis seu Sarmatis written tia Ivan Lui who divided a whole
by Dalmatian historian, inventor, phi- Croatia into three provinces: Maritima,
losopher and lexicographer from Mediterranea, and Interamnensis sive Savia.
ibenik Faust Vrani. The next step However, Vitezovi added additional
used by Vitezovi was to identify Por- two provinces of the Balkan Croatia: Ci-
phyrogenitus White Croats with the terior (Istria and Slovenia) and Ulterior
Slavi Vandali (the Vandalic Slavs), whose (Serbia). These were further divided into
were divided in Georgii Horni, sive Histo- upanije (counties) and comitatus
ria imperiorum et regnorum, a conditio orbe (judicial districts) (Vitezovi 1997: 195).

Political purpose of Vitezovis writings

The ultimate political purpose of P.Vi the beginning of irreversible decline of
tezovis works, based on his ideological the Ottoman power which consequently
construction, was of a triple nature. opened the so-called Eastern Question
First of all, he tried to refute the Ve- or the question of destiny of the Ottoman
netian claims on the territory of Dalma- Sultanate in Europe.
tia, the Istrian Peninsula, the Dalmatian A state of the Ottoman dynasty
Islands and Boka Kotorska (Cattaro Gulf reached its heyday in the mid-16th cen-
in the present-day Montenegro) that rose tury when it occupied and annexed most
during the Great Vienna War 16831699 of the Arab world, most of Hungary with
in which the Republic of St. Marco suc- Transylvania, Srem and Slavonia, Azer-
cessfully fought the Ottoman Sultanate baijan, Georgia and many of the islands
in a coalition with the Habsburg Empire in the East Mediterranean Sea. The Sul-
[Banac 1984, 73]. The war clearly marked tanate also inflicted several heavy naval

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defeats on Spain, Genoa and Venice. Af- in their struggle against Asiatic-Islamic
ter the fall in 1521 of a strongest Hungar- infedels who occupied their feudal do-
ian military fortress of Belgrade, known mains and destroyed their medieval in-
as a Gate of Hungary, a way to the Cen- dependent states. The European posses-
tral Europe became fully open to the Ot- sions of the Sultanate reached its maxi-
toman army. Subsequently, a biggest part mum extent as late as 1676 and in 1683
of historical Hungary became occupied the Ottomans were enough strong to
up to 1544 including and the biggest por- launch a decisive war for the heartland
tion of the present-day Croatia. After the of the Central Europe by putting Vienna
Mohcs Battle in 1526 Hungarian, Bohe- under the siege for two months (Bide-
mian and Croatian nobility elected the leux, Jeffries: 1999, 82). However, it was
Habsburg Emperor as their new ruller the last attempt by the Sultanate to pen-
and protector. etrate deeper into Europe an attempt
The Hungarian and Croatian feudal which became not only a total military
aristocracy hope to reconquer their his- fiasco but much more seriously, the be-
torical territories from the Ottomans ginning of the final end of the Ottoman
backed by the Habsburg rullers. There- state. In 1699, the Sultanate lost all of its
fore, any kind of revived Hungary or Central European possessions opening
Croatia was possible only within the the doors to the Habsburg Monarchy and
borders of the Habsburg Monarchy after Venice to divide between themselves con-
the military defeat of the Ottoman Sul- quered territories from the Sultanate. At
tanate. The House of Habsburgs before such circumstances, it was for the Croa-
1526 had their family domains only in tian nobility of the fundamental impor-
the region of Alpes: the Upper and Low- tance which lands from the Ottoman
er Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Sultanate are going to be included into
Gorizia and Tyrol. However, the invita- the Habsburg Monarchy as they could
tion to the Habsburg dynasty to become count only these territories to be united
the Hungarian-Croatian king in 1526 with the rest of the Habsburg-rulled
change dramatically the territorial base Croatia into a separate administrative-
of their rule as the Habsburgs started to territorial province under the name of
claim all historical lands of the pre-1526 Croatia. In the other words, all South
Kingdom of Hungary including and Slavic lands left outside the Habsburg
Croatia-Slavonia and the lands of the Monarchy were lost for united Croatia.
Kingdom of Bohemia together with Bo- As a result of the Venetian military
hemia itself, Moravia, Silesia and Lusatia victory over the Ottoman Sultanate at
(Magocsi 2002: 62). Subsequently, after the end of the Great Vienna War, the of-
1526 the geopolitical aims of the ficials of the Republic of St. Marco re-
Habsburgs coincided with those of the quired considerable territorial enlarge-
Hungarian and the Croatian nobility. ment of their possessions on the East
An example of the Spanish Recon- Adriatic littoral at the expense of both
quista from 1492 gave a great impetus to the Ottoman Sultanate and the South
the Christian Central European nobility Slavs. These territorial demands had

LOGOS 92 101
Vladislav B. Sotirovi

been based on the Venetian state-histor- clude into the Habsburg Monarchy all
ical and ethnolinguistic rights on the Croatian lands. For that purpose,
lands and people of the East Adriatic Vitezovi based Croatian territorial
seacoast. It was pointed out in the Vene- claims primarily on state-historical
tian territorial claims that Signorina ruled rights iura municipalia (at that time of
Istria, Dalmatia and the Adriatic Islands the feudal order, society and values the
since the year of 1000, strengthening her only justifiable rights in international re-
realm by the further territorial annexa- lations), but combining them to the cer-
tions in 1409, 1420, 1433, and 1669.6 Fur- tain degree as well with the Croatian eth-
ther, according to the opinion of the Ve- nolinguistic rights. Subsequently, for in-
netian authorities, the majority of popu- stance, the whole territory of Adriatic
lation of the East Adriatic littoral were Dalmatia was appropriated to Croats by
the Italian-speaking inhabitants, whose Vitezovi for the reason that the Croatian
wish, natural rights and interest were to King Peter Kreimir IV (10581075) in-
be liberated from the Ottoman sway and cluded this region into the Croatian me-
governed by the Italian-speaking Venice. diaeval state (Fine 1994: 278279; Klai
Due to their military victories over the 1971: 105111; Macan 1992: 3641): Cresi-
Ottomans and well-organized propa- mirus Croator Rex Adriaticum Mare suae
ganda network, the Venetians extended appropriabat jurisdictioni (Ritter 1700, 13).
their Dalmatian possessions according to P. R. Vitezovis writings were espe-
the Peace Treaty of Sremski Karlovci that cially directed against pro-Venetian texts
was signed with the Ottoman Sultanate of the famous historian and doctor of law
on January 26th, 1699. However, the trea- from Dalmatian city of Trogir Ivan Lui
ty was revised on April 15th, 1701 in the (Lucius Joannes 16041679) who is tra-
Venetian favour by acquisition of whole ditionally considered as a founder of the
Peloponnesus/Morea, some islands, the Croatian scientific historiography. Luis
city of Herzeg Novi, part of Boka Kotor- most important work De Regno Dalma-
ska, the mouth of the Neretva River and tiae et Croatiae libri six (The Kingdom of
continental Dalmatia up to the Dinaric Dalmatia and Croatia in Six Volumes),
Range (Istorija naroda Jugoslavije 1960: Amsterdam, 1668 that includes many
777778; Dimi 1999: 266). narrative sources, genealogical tables and
P. R. Vitezovi tried to negate Venetian historical-geographical maps, tells the
territorial claims on the South Slavic truth that Dalmatia in former time was a
Adriatic littoral, which was considered by separate territory from the state of Croa-
him as a Croatian state-historical and eth- tia and in fact the Venetian possession.
nolingiustic territory, which was at the However, Vitezovi, due to his Croato-
same time a part of the lands of the Hun- centric point of view, used every oppor-
garian Royal Crown inherited in 1526 by tunity to accuse Lui (Lucius) of Dal-
the Habsburg Monarchy. He was acctu- matocentric and pro-Venetian, attitude, a
ally protesting against the articles of the subject to which he devoted a whole work
1699 Habsburg-Ottoman peace treaty under the title Officiae Ioannis Lucii de
requiring its revision for the sake to in- Regno Dalmatiae et Croatiae Refutatae (Ref-

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utation of Luis Kingdom of Dalmatia presented his memorandum, printed un-

and Croatia) written in 1706. For this der the headline Croatia redivivai.e., his
purpose, Vitezovi referred to the Priest view of the real historical borders and
from Doclea who wrote in his chronicle territory of Croatia (Markovi 1987:
that a synonym for Croatia Alba (White 7199; Frst-Bjeli 2000: 211214;
Croatia) is Dalmatia Inferior (Lower Dal- Kovaevi 1973) to the Habsburg Em-
matia), while a synonym for Croatia Rubea peror Leopold I, urging him to liberate
(Red Croatia) is Dalmatia Superior (Upper and annex to the Habsburg Monarchy
Dalmatia) (Ljetopis Popa Dukljanina 1967: all Cisdanubian Croatian territories,
194196). Clearly, for both the Priest from what was actually the whole Balkans
Doclea and Pavao Ritter Vitezovi, Croa- without Central and South Greece. Sure-
tia and Dalmatia were the same territo- ly, Vitezovis political plan presented to
ries, just with two names. Leopold I fitted to the Habsburgs plans
Second of all, P. R. Vitezovis politi- of the future Habsburg foreign policy.
cal aim was to put all Croatian Balkan Thus, already in the late 1700, after sub-
territories under the sceptre of the Habs mission of manifesto Croatia rediviva
burg Emperor Leopold I. The regions in to the Habsburg authorities, the
question, which remained outside the Habsburg Emperor officially invited
borders of Croatia and the Habsburg Vitezovi to visit him in Vienna since
Monarchy after the Peace Treaty of Srem- certain and important reasons make your
ski Karlovci in 1699, became the object presence in order to provide some informa-
not only of Vitezovis Croatocentric, but tion urgently required, also bring all letters
as well as of the Habsburg imperial de- and documents delineating and defining
sires. For instance, during the first peace borderlines and demarcations of our said
treaty negotiations between the Habs Kingdom of Croatia you have on your per-
burg Monarchy and the Ottoman Sultan- son (Klai 1914: 105).
ate in 1689, the Habsburg diplomatic The fact is that Leopold I Habsburg,
representatives steadily demanded that as the Emperor of the Holy Roman Em-
the eastern frontier of the Habsburg pire of the German Nation, the King of
Monarchy had to follow the Morava Hungary and the King of Croatia, start-
River (in Serbia). It means that Bosnia- ed to frequently express the Habsburg
Herzegovina, Srem, Croatia, Slavonia hereditary claims on Dalmatia, at the
and the West Serbia had uncondition- expense of Venice, exactly after the con-
ally to be part of the Habsburg Monar- versation with Vitezovi in Vienna.
chy (Stoye 1994: 7172). Vitezovi himself confirmed that his
Unsatisfied with the newly estab- manifesto was accepted at the Viennese
lished borders accorded by the Peace imperial court with full attention: the
Treaty of Sremski Karlovci in January Viennese are applauding my Prodromus in
1699 (Weigl 1699), the Croatian represen- Croatiam Redivivam I have sent them
tative in the Habsburg Monarchys com- (Lettere del Cavaliere Ritter 1700).
mission for demarcation, a cartographer P. R. Vitezovi based his claims on
and historian Pavao Ritter Vitezovi, these Croatian territories on two prin-

LOGOS 92 103
Vladislav B. Sotirovi

ciples of legitimisation: 1. State-historic Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Rus-

rights of Croatia; and 2. The Croatian/ sian Empire (according to Vitezovi,
Illyrian form of the local place-names as Croatian Sarmatia). It should be pointed
the most reliable marker of the national out that Bohemia, Moravia and Lusatia,
character (Simpson 1991: 94; Blaevi which were considered by Vitezovi as
2000: 228229). A Croatia Meridionalis (the Croatian Venedia, already were parts of
South Croatia) was designed by Vitezovi the Habsburg Monarchy. A historic Bo-
to join the Habsburg Empire, and as a hemia became integral part of the
consequence, the whole Balkan Croatia Habsburg Monarchy in 1526, while Lu-
(Illyria) would be politically united un- satia, which was a part of the Holy Ro-
der the Habsburg administration. P. R. man Empire of the German Nation, was
Vitezovi attempted to institute the piece ruled by the members of the Habsburg
of evidence that historical borders of the dynasty as the German Emperors already
Kingdom of Croatia were considerably from 1438 onward (Brenger 1994: 8098;
larger than those Croatias borders estab- Kann 1990: 7; Johnson 1996: 60). There-
lished in his time. Beside the far-reaching fore, the final step of a Pan-Croatian po-
consequences of the future annexation litical unification should be annexation
of Dalmatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Croatia, which were according to and Russia into the Habsburg Monarchy.
Vitezovi the integral parts of a united As the matter of fact, this phase of a
historical (but as well and ethnolinguis- Pan-Croatian unification started to be
tic) Croatia, Pavao Ritter Vitezovi in fact realized by the First (1772) and the Third
formulated with his works a political (1795) partition of Poland and Lithuania
program that would have a significant when Galicia was incorporated into the
impact on the 19th-century Croatian na- Habsburg Monarchy in addition to Bu-
tional revival, officially named as the kovina (Bukowina) that became included
Illyrian Movement (Frst-Bjeli 2000: 211 into the Habsburg domains in 1775
214; Perkovi 1995: 225236). Shortly, (Hammond MCMLXXXIV: 24; Wester-
Vitezovi protested against geographical, mann 1985: 115; Kiaupa et al. 2000: 340
historical-administrative and ecclesiasti- 358). With partitions of Poland and
cal division of historic Croatia accord- Lithuania and annexation of Bukovina7,
ing to the 1699 peace treaty between the the parts of the territory of a Transdanu-
Habsburg Monarchy, the Republic of St. bian Croatia Septemtrionalis White/
Marco and the Ottoman Sultanate. Greater Croatia,8 became politically
Third of all, It can be understood that united by personal union (i.e., by the
according to Pavao Ritter Vitezovi, the Habsburg ruler) with the parts of a Cis-
second and final phase of a total Croa- danubian Croatia Meridionalis Croatia
tian historical-ethnolinguistic unifica- Alba or the West Balkans.
tion under the Habsburg government Finally, P. R. Vitezovis writings had
should be realized by the Habsburg oc- clear (geo)political purpose being in di-
cupation and annexation of the Polish- rect coordination with the Habsburg for-

104 LOGOS 92
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eign policy direction at the time. It is tary rights on Croatia, the Habsburgs
known fact that the Habsburgs laid their claimed from 1526 all Croatian terri-
territorial claims in the Central and tories as hereditary lands of the Habsburg
South-East Europe on the historical rights Monarchy. Subsequently, Vitezovi had
of the Hungarian Royal Crown. As the the only duty to prove that all South
Habsburgs were elected in 1526 by the Slavs are ethnolinguistic Croats. He
Hungarian nobility as the Kings of Hun- started in 1682 to urge the Habsburg au-
gary, accordingly, all pre-1526 Hungarian thorities to actively work on the realiza-
lands are inherited by the Habsburgs. tion of their foreign policy based on
Nevertheless, it was wrongly understood arbitrary understood hereditary rights
that Walachia, Moldavia, Bulgaria and of the Hungarian Royal Crown by send-
the Serb-populated lands at the Balkans ing the poetical letter to the Habsburg
were part of historical Hungary too and Emperor Leopold I in which he remined
therefore have to be liberated from the the Emperor that Dalmatia, Croatia and
Ottoman Sultanate and included into the Slavonia have to be annexed by the
Habsburg Monarchy. Habsburg Monarchy from the Ottoman
Basically, Vitezovis idea was to ideo- Sultanate and the Republic of Venice as
logically pave the road to creation of a these provinces were parts of the pre-
united Croatia with the help of the 1526 Kingdom of Hungary (Dimi 1999:
Habsburg foreign policy as all South 75). After the Great Vienna War, he con-
Slavs and their lands were already be- tinues to urge the Emperor with the new
fore the Great Vienna War considered by writings on his duty to liberate all he-
Vienna to be within the Habsburg sphere reditary lands of the Kingdom of Hun-
of interest. As the Hungarian Royal gary, but now under the name of revived
Crown enjoyed even from 1102 heredi- Croatia (Croatia rediviva).

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania in Vitezovis

anthropological-political ideology

One of the most significant questions (the Eastern and the Western) that re-
of our interest, which needs satisfactory sulted in the graduate process of Slaviza-
answer, is: Why P. R. Vitezovi consid- tion of Lithuanias cultural life and Lith-
ered Lithuania as a Croato-Slavonic land, uanias ruling class. This historical fact
and therefore, Lithuanias inhabitants as influenced Vitezovi to conclude that all
the Croato-Slavs? (or majority) inhabitants of Lithuania
The most possible and realistic an- were of the Slavic, i.e. the Croat origin.
swers to this question are: 2) Because of pro-Slavic and pro-
1) Because of historical development Polish historical sources and writings
of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which related to the affairs of the common
brought the ethnic Lithuanians into very Polish-Lithuanian state which were read
closer cultural relations with the Slavs and used by Vitezovi. Consequently, a

LOGOS 92 105
Vladislav B. Sotirovi

Croatian nobleman got impression that The conflict with the Polish Kingdom
the entire territory of the Polish-Lithua- over Galicia, Volynia and Podolia in the
nian Commonwealth was settled by the 14th15th centuries ended in the sharing
Slavic population and that their common of these three provinces, mainly popu-
spoken and written language was Slavic. lated by the Slavs, between Poland and
It will be presented in the next para- Lithuania (Kojelaviius 1650/1669: 489
graphs the most remarkable historical 513). It is known that nearly 150 Slavisms
facts in connection with this problem entered Lithuanian language, either from
and offered hypothetical answers to the the side of the East Slavs or from the
formulated question. Poles, before the 17th century (for in-
In several letters written by the Lith- stance, words like angelas, baniia,
uanian Grand Duke Gediminas (1316 gavnia, kaldos, kriktas, velykos, etc). A
1341) from 1322 to 1324 he named him- number of the Slavic borrowings in the
self as lethphanorum ruthenorumque rex Lithuanian language appreciably in-
(King of the Lithuanians and Ruthe- creased during the time of J. Kriani
nians9), although he did not have in and P. R. Vitezovi for both of whom
reality a title of the king. However, it the language was a crucial indicator of
clearly shows that he was a ruler of the the national identification.
Slavic subjects. When the Grand Duchy The Slavic population (for example,
of Lithuania during the time of Gedimi- tradesmen from Rus lands) was living
nas extended its state borders towards in Lithuanias capital Vilnius from the
the east and the south-east, i.e. when the time of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Al-
territories populated by the Slavic people girdas (13451377), who declared in 1358
became incorporated into the 14th-centu- that all lands of Rus should belong to
ry Lithuania, the country became multi- Lithuania (Kiaupa et al. 2000: 110). J.Kri
ethnic, multilinguistic and multiconfes- ani, who was travelling across the
sional medieval state in which gradually Kingdom of Poland and the Grand
the Slavs significantly outnumbered the Duchy of Lithuania and was living in
ethnic Lithuanians: for instance, there Vilnius for several months in a Domini-
were 70% of the Slavs and 30% of the can monastery, became familiar with
Lithuanians in the mid-16th century on ethnically and religiously heterogeneous
the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lith- situation within the Grand Duchy of
uania (Kapleris, Meitas 2013: 123). Fur- Lithuania, with number of Slavic popu-
thermore, in the following centuries, as lation in Lithuania and Vilnius and with
Lithuania was extending her borders far often usage for the official purposes of
to the east, south-east and south-west, the Slavic language within the Grand
making more profound contacts with her Duchy of Lithuania, which in general
Slavic neighbours and even including became a Lithuanian-Slavic state.
them into her states borders, the Lithu- An influence of the Slavic tradition,
anian language acquired significant and culture, and especially vernacular, within
numerous Slavic borrowings. the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, have been

106 LOGOS 92
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particularly strong in the area of writings so-called Brasta Bible in the Polish lan-
(literal-administrative language). In the guage in 1563 shows clearly that a sphere
first half of the 15th century the Old Sla- of influence of the Polish (i.e. Slavic)
vonic language was used in Lithuania as language within the Grand Duchy of
one of the three written languages along- Lithuania was significantly spreading
side with the Latin and the German. The on. At that time, the Lithuanian rulers,
so-called Old Church Slavonic language court and nobility (magnates) already
was used in Lithuania in relations with used overwhelmingly the Polish lan-
the Russian duchies, the Tartars in guage in a public life within the Grand
Crimea and in internal life of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It is paradoxically,
Duchy of Lithuania. For instance, during but true, that the Lithuanian aristocracy
the time of the Grand Duke of Lithuania, and ruling political elite, which tried to
Vytautas the Great 13901430, a state- defend Lithuanias state (political) inde-
official Slavonic language (Old Church pendence from the Kingdom of Poland,
Slavic) was used for writing of the first accepted both the Polish culture and the
annals of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes Polish language, which became an offi-
(Chronicle of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes, cial language of their communication
14291430, with Shorter Compilation of with a Polish-Lithuanian ruler and the
Lithuanian Chronicles added around Polish political elite. Shortly, Lithuanian
1446). Furthermore, Christianisation of magnates did not become defenders of
Lithuania from 1387 established strong the Lithuanian language, as they were
prerequisites for the usage of the Polish defenders of the Lithuanian independent
language for the official purposes in the statehood. Subsequently, spoken Polish
next centuries. language became very serious competi-
In a period of the Lithuanian history tor to the Lithuanian language (vernacu-
after the death of Vytautas the Great, in lar) within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
the official domestic civic life, in addition that finally led to the gradual, but in-
to the Lithuanian and the East Slavic evitable, Polonization, i.e. Slavization, of
language (spoken in the cities) were used Lithuanias cultural life.10 Literary and
as well as the German, Latin and the Pol- linguistic developments within the Re-
ish (spread in the second half of the 15th public of Two Nations (Poland-Lithua-
century). In the Renaissance time, there nia) helped to accelerate the Polonization
were many texts and books in the Grand of the ethnic Lithuanian, Russian, Bye-
Duchy of Lithuania printed in the Old lorussian and Ukrainian aristocratic
East Slavonic or the Polish language (as circles (Kamiski 1980; Kamiski 1983:
well as in the Lithuanian). It is a fact that 1445; Maczak 1992: 194; Bideleux, Jef-
on the territory of the Grand Duchy of fries 1999: 129).
Lithuania in the first half of the 16th cen- For Lithuanias ruling elite the notion
tury the first books were printed in two of nation was not connected with the
Slavonic languages: the Old East Sla- language (spoken or written) or ethnic-
vonic and the Polish. The printing of the ity as it was in the case of Kriani and

LOGOS 92 107
Vladislav B. Sotirovi

Vitezovi for whom spoken and written themselves with one cultural tradition
language was crucial national identifier. and as a united political nation (Da-
Contrary to these two Croatian intellec- vies 1981: 115159; Johnson 1996, 52).
tuals, for Lithuanias magnates the na- The ethnolinguistic structure of the
tion (natio) was connected to the state- Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the follow-
hood and social strata belonging, but not ing centuries was changing in the favour
to the language or ethnicity. Therefore, of the ethnic Slavs. Thus, at the time of
for example, during the conclusion of the the Lublin Union in 1569, the ethnic
Lublin Union with Poland in 1569 the Lithuanians constituted around one-
ruling elites of the Grand Duchy of Lith- third of the total Lithuanias population
uania, composed by the ethnic Lithua- (approximately 3.000.000 people were
nians and the ethnic Slavs, who spoke living at that time within the whole ter-
and wrote in the Polish language, called ritory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania).
themselves Lithuanians what means ac- However, at the same time 2/3 of the
tually natio Lithuanica (Lithuanias po- population of the Grand Duchy of Li
litical nation), i.e. the aristocracy who thuania were ethnic Slavs who lived in
lived within the state borders of the the Eastern and South-Eastern provinces
Grand Duchy of Lithuania.11 In this re- annexed by the Grand Dukes of Lithu-
spect, the most influential champion and ania, i.e. the former duchies of Polotsk,
ideologist of natio Lithuanica was Myko- Vitebsk, Volynia, Kiev and Smolensk
las Lietuvis (Vaclovas Mikolajaitis/Mi- (Kiaupa et al. 2000: 162). We have to keep
chalo Lituanus), a Lithuanian aristocrat in mind as well the fact that the Slavic
from Maiiagala, who developed his territories, ruled by the Lithuanians till
theory about political nation of the the Lublin Union of 1569, were approx-
Grand Duchy of Lithuania in his his- imately ten times bigger than Lithuania
toric treatise De Moribus Tartarorum, proper (Samalaviius 1995: 42).
Lithuanorum et Moschorum (On the Cus- After 1569, a linguistic polarization
toms of the Tartars, Lithuanians and within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Muscovites), written in the Latin in remained. There were still two basic spo-
1550 (incomplete text of this treatise was ken languages the Lithuanian and the
printed in 1615). It is a matter of fact that Slavic and two bureaucratic languag-
after the Lublin Union of 1569 the Poles es the Old Slavic and the Latin (Bide-
became the senior partners in the Polish- leux, Jeffries 1999: 122). However, in the
Lithuanian Commonwealth till its final West Belarus and the West Ukraine after
dismemberment in 1795 (Wandycz 1997: 1569, the educated, middle, and admin-
7278, 8893, 102107). The Lithuanian istrative classes and the landowning gen-
nobility, i.e. natio Lithuanica, became as- try became predominantly the Polish-
similated or Polonized to such extent speaking social strata. The spreading of
that the term Polish represented joint the Polish language in both written and
Lithuanian and Polish interests. In fact, spoken forms in Lithuania was going
Polish and Lithuanian ethnically differ- through the Lithuanias landowning and
ent groups of aristocracy identified political aristocracy who have been in

108 LOGOS 92
Aktualioji Tema

most frequent contacts with their Polish ing the Polish for the reason that peo-
counterparts, through the Polish priests, ple from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
monks and the Polish intellectuals. did not oppose in high degree the ap-
Especially the 17th century, a century propriation of the Polish language and
of J. Kriani and P. R. Vitezovi, was a culture (Kiaupa et al. 2000, 362). Accord-
period of expansion of the Polish lan- ing to Robert Bideleux and Ian Jeffries,
guage in the public life in the Grand since Lithuanian [language] is directly
Duchy of Lithuania. Moreover, at the related to the Slavonic languages, and
first year of realm of Friedrich August II since an old form of Byelorussian (not
Saxon (16971706/17091733) in 1697 the Lithuanian) was the official language of
Polish language officially eliminated the the grand duchy [of Lithuania], the Lith-
Old East Slavonic language from public uanian nobility probably felt some de-
offices in the Grand Duchy of Lithua- gree of cultural kinship with their Polish
nia coaequatio iurium (apoka 1936: counterparts Indeed, the Lithuanian
371374; Kiaupa et al. 2000: 265]. In the nobility gradually became thoroughly
late 17th century, both magnates and gen- polonized (Bideleux, Jeffries 1999:
try of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania 122) with the ironic result that Polish
knew Polish and used it. There was [language] eventually became more
formed, even, the so-called Lithuanian widely used among the Lithuanian than
type of the Polish language. On the same among the Polish nobility in the future
territories of the Polish Kingdom and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Da-
Grand Duchy of Lithuania through vies 1982: 2021).
which J. Kriani travelled, the urban Because of right belief that the Lithu-
centres were as well Polonized (i.e. got anian language is closely related to Sla-
Slavic feature). The lower classes and the vonic languages (the standpoint fa-
rural population of serfs were the East- voured by our-days contemporary lin-
ern Slavs. Even Lithuanias capital Vil- guistics) and because of the Polonization
nius or Ukrainian Lviv, a political-cul- (Slavization) of upper strata of the Lith-
tural centre of Galicia, became the Pol- uanian society, Pavao Ritter Vitezovi at
ish, i.e. the Slavic, that the Polish-speak- the end of the 17th century considered all
ers regarded them as essentially Poles (or at least overwhelming majority) in-
even at the beginning of the 20th century habitants of Lithuania as the Slavs (i.e.
(Johnson 1996, 52). the Croats) and Lithuania as the Slavic
The Polish historiography during the (i.e. the Croatian) country.
last two centuries created an image that As a result of the Polonization of the
a federal state of the Polish-Lithuanian vast territories of the East-Central Eu-
Commonwealth after 1569 was actually rope from 1569 to 1795 many Poles con-
only the Polish one. Certainly, cultural- sidered these lands as the Polish linguis-
linguistic Polonization spread faster, but tic and cultural space. It became a com-
in the sphere of politics and social life mon attitude of modern western histo-
the Polish-Lithuanian Comonwealth was rians of non-Polish origin to describe the
as well, gradually, but certainly becom- Republic of Two Nations as an exclu-

LOGOS 92 109
Vladislav B. Sotirovi

sively the Polish one, due to the great of the most significant sources about the
scope of the Polonization of the Lithu- ethnolinguistic situation within the bor-
anian society and culture. For example, ders of the Polish-Lithuanian Common-
Alan Palmer is in opinion that the ethnic wealth for both Kriani and Vitezovi.
Lithuanians were readily assimilated by In his Razgowori ob wladatelystwu (1661
the Poles: the greatest of the Polish dy- 1667), J. Kriani frequently cited Mar-
nasties, the Jagiellonian one (13861572) tinu Kromer, the author of a history of
was in fact of the Lithuanian origin, and Poland under the title De origine et rebus
Vilnius (Wilno) was a city, despite of its gestis Polonarum (Basel, 1555), who saw
Lithuanian foundation, a symbol of the Lithuania as an ordinary province of Po-
Polish-Lithuanian cultural union (Palm- land. Particularly it has been Kriani
er 1970: 4). Such impression had and who was acquainted with quite number
Juraj Kriani who passed across the of the Polish and other authors who
whole Ukraine, main part of Belarus and wrote on Slavic matters and who con-
who spent some time in Vilnius as well sidered the whole territory of the Polish-
becoming a member of estate circle of Lithuanian Commonwealth as exclu-
the Dominican Order in Lithuanias cap- sively Slavic country.
ital. At the turn of the 18th century, the As a consequence, J. Kriani became
members of natio Lithuanica and the acquainted with the work Bellum Prute-
Lithuanian middle class society faced the num (The Prussian War) written in 1515
real danger of denationalisation through by the poet Jan Vislicius who presented
the process of Polonization. Ultimately, the Lithuanian history as a part of the
it should not be forgotten that over- Slavic one. Vislicius viewed the future
whelming majority of 7,5 milion of total development of the Grand Duchy of Lith-
population of the Republic of Two Na- uania only within a united Polish Sarma-
tions (Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodow), i.e. tian Empire. After the Lublin Union of
the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1569, the Polish doctrine of Sarmatism,
(established by the Lublin Union in 1569) which proclaimed Lithuania, Samogitia
were the ethnic Slavs; the fact which in- (emaitia) and the Russian duchies as
duced P. R. Vitezovi to consider the integral parts of the Polish state, became
whole Republic as exclusively the Slavic popular on the territory of the Grand
state and, according to his Croatocentris- Duchy of Lithuania as a result of firm
tic theory, to understand the Polish-Lith- contacts of Lithuanias nobles (ethnic
uanian Commonwealth as in fact the Lithuanians and ethnic Slavs) with Po-
Croatian ethnolinguistic territory. land, the Polish culture and the Polish
A pro-Polish viewpoint of Stanislaw state ideology. It is quite sure that J.Kri
Orzechowski and especially of Martinu ani and P. R. Vitezovi were familiar
Kromer (Martin Cromer) about the Pol- with the Polish doctrine of Sarmatism and
ish-Lithuanian relationships, Lithuanias especially Kriani with the influence of
incorporation into the Polish Kingdom this doctrine among noble circles within
after 1569, and the Polonization of the the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. However,
Grand Duchy of Lithuania, became one the line of reasoning of the Sarmatian

110 LOGOS 92
Aktualioji Tema

doctrine presented the territory of the based very much on his personal experi-
Grand Duchy of Lithuania as the Slavic ence about the Polonization of Lithuania,
one; a viewpoint that was accepted by were one of the most significant sources
Vitezovi and even served him to name for Vitezovi, it is not surprisingly that
total population of the Kingdom of Po- Pavao Ritter Vitezovi interpolated the
land, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and whole territory of the Kingdom of Po-
Muscovite Russia as Sarmaticos, which land and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
belonged to his Croatia Septemtrionalis. into the Slavic lands, and furthermore,
Finally, if we know that Krianis according to his ideological doctrine
writings about the Slavic matters, into a Greater Croatia.

1 About the western borders of Slavic extension 4 About the problem of the homeland of the Vene-
in the early Middle Ages, see in (Engel 1979: 36). tae, see in (Darden 1997: 430435)
2 About the idea of Pan-Slavic ethnolinguistic 5 About the Slavic origin, see in (Gob 1991).
kinship in Dalmatia and Croatia, see in (Sotiro 6 About the Venetian territorial expansion in the
vi 2014). Balkans, see in (Difnik 1986: 330338; Wester-
3 Ideology, from a pure geopolitical perspective, as mann 1985: 63, 94).
social phenomena is in essence a scope of mean- 7 Bukovina was in the second half of the 15th cen-
ings that practically serves to create and/or to tury a vassal territory of the Polish-Lithuanian
maintain relationships of domination and subor- united state.
dination, through symbolic forms such as texts, 8 According to P. R. Vitezovis ideological cons-
landscapes and spaces (Cloke et al. 2009: 358). truction, this territory was a motherland of the
Therefore, it can be interpreted that P. R. Vi Czechs, Moravians, Sorbs, Poles, Lithuanians
tezovis ideological concept of Pan-Croatianism and Rus.
was founded on a geopolitical idea of subordina- 9 A meaning of the ethnonym Ruthenians is
tion of all Slavic people and their lands to the very disputed among the historians and ethno-
Croat national interest for the creation of a nation- logists. Undoubtedly, it lables the East Europe-
state. A nation-state is a form of political organiza- an Slavs in whole or in part.
tion that involves a framework of different institu- 10 For a more extensive treatment of the Polish-
tions which has to govern the inhabitants within Lithuanian relationships, see in (Davies 1981).
a particularly defined (state) territory. A nation- 11 About differences between the feudal-time po-
state, at any case, claims allegiance and legiti- litical and Romanticism-time linguistic con-
macy from its own inhabitants likewise from the ceptions of nation, see in (Hutchinson, Smith
other states, but on the fundamental basis that the 1994; Johnson 1996: 4562, 136148; Bideleux,
Government of the nation-state represents a Jeffries 1999: 153161; Guibernau, Rex 1999;
group of people living on its controlled territory Hobsbawm 2000).
that they are definied in cultural, ethnolinguistic
and political terms as a nation. TBC

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