Феодальная система в Западной и Центральной Европе



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ЗНАЕТЕ ЛИ ВЫ?

Феодальная система в Западной и Центральной Европе



К 10-му веку в Европейских странах сформировались два враждебных класса: феодалы – землевладельцы и крепостные крестьяне. Класс феодалов – землевладельцев сформировался из нобилитета: старейшин, военачальников и их воинов, а также тех Римских рабовладельцев, которым удалось сохранить свои земли и богатства. В этот класс также входило верховное духовенство (high dignitaries) христианской церкви. Класс крепостных произошел из свободных членов общин и из бывших рабов.

Крепостной не был свободным человеком: он находился в личной зависимости (bondage) от феодала и был привязан к земле. Он вынужден был работать на феодала – землевладельца. И все же крепостные жили лучше, чем рабы.

Рабы не имели ни земли, ни орудий труда, (implements of labour) в то время как крепостной имел свой надел земли (plot), скот и орудия труда. Крепостной пользовался землей, выделенной ему феодалом. (parcelled out to him).

Раб работал только на своего хозяина. Крепостной трудился не только на своего господина, но и на своем наделе земли. Он должен был отдавать часть урожая со своего надела господину, но остальная часть оставалась для его собственных нужд и семьи.

Раба считали собственностью хозяина, его «говорящим орудием труда». Рабовладелец мог сделать с ним все, что угодно: продать или даже убить. Феодал также обладал властью над своими крепостными: он мог продавать или наказывать их, но закон запрещал ему убивать своих крепостных.

Рабы часто ломали орудия труда и очень плохо обрабатывали землю. Крепостной также трудился на полях своего господина под принуждением, но у него было совсем другое отношение к труду на своем собственном наделе земли. Крестьяне хорошо заботились о своих орудиях труда и улучшали их.

Крепостные работали лучше рабов, поэтому феодализм стал шагом вперед по сравнению с рабовладельческим строем.

 

Discussion

 

1. Analyze the causes leading to the emergence of a new social system during the Middle Ages. Discuss the complexity of this process (turbulances; wide-spread disorder; interrupted trade and agriculture, weak central governments, etc.)

2. The new forces in Medieval Europe and the changes in economy they brought about.

3. Analyze how changes in agriculture contributed to the growth of trade and town life.

Summary

Summarize the information from the Unit and be ready to speak on:

1. The specific features of the Early Middle Ages.

2. Byzantine legacy and its contribution to the history of Europe.

3. The system of government and landholding during the Middle Ages.

 


PART II

Unit 1

 

THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

Preview

1. Do you know when the first human being appeared in the territory of Belarus?

2. When did the Belarusian ethnic group begin to form?

3. There are different hypothesis as to the origin of the name Belarus. Which do you know? Which do you believe?

4. What do you know about the great Principality of Lithuania?

5. What can you tell about Rech Pospolitaya?

6. When did the lands on which Belarusians lived become part of the Russian Empire?

7. What was the most heroic and tragic period of the newest history of Belarus?

8. When did the Republic of Belarus become an independent state?

9. What outstanding people of Belarus are known all over the world? What are they famous for?

 

Text 1. Primordial Belarus – From Forest Tribes

To the Decline of Polatsk

Read the text and say in a few words the main points of the text.

The history of the Belarusian people and land can hardly have a definite origin, since the territories between the rivers Dnieper, Pripyat, and Bug were inhabited from time immemorial. However, the first evidence of Slavic tribes living there dates back to the very first centuries AD. These tribes lived in small communities located in forests or near rivers and lakes.

The land of Belarus looked different in those times. The area was completely covered by secular forests. Numerous lakes and rivers were full of fish; woods were the homes of lots of animals. This allowed our Belarusian ancestors to live by hunting, fishing and gathering. On small plots of land near water they also started farming, growing mostly rye, wheat, oats, buckwheat, and flax. In the villages, they kept domestic animals; in addition, bee-keeping was started and spread among the communities.

Each community had its chief, who was the top authority. The family as a social unit was very important, too. The father was its head, and the mother was its heart. Both men and women were tall, strong, and hardy. Most people had light brown hair and blue or grey eyes. The clothes of our Belarusian ancestors were usually white, made of flax or wool.

The belief of these tribes was paganism. They had their own pantheon of gods, each responsible for different aspect of their lives. All this information about the prehistoric times of Belarus has been determined, to a large extent from kurgans, or ancient graves, which are still numerous all over Northern Europe. These kurgans contain lots of things from their creators’ everyday life: earthenware, weapons, jewelry, clothes, and also Arabic, Indian, Scandinavian, Roman, and German coins, which show that our ancestors had established trade with many neighboring lands.

The tribes, which actually were historical ancestors of the Belarusian people, can be distinguished from other Slavic tribes after the 6th century. The largest tribe among them were the Kryvichy, or “relatives by blood”. They occupied the northern part of today’s Belarus. In the central part of Belarus lived the Dreulane; in the south, the Drehavichy; in the east, the Radzimichy. The northwestern part of the territory was occupied by a Baltic tribe, the Yatviags. All these tribes had much in common in their languages, customs and beliefs, and therefore they merged into one Belarusian people. The Kryvichy in the north founded the principalities of Polatsk and Smolensk and the Pskov republic; Dreulane united into the principality of Turau. The principalities of Polatsk and Turau became the first states on the territory of modern Belarus. They are first mentioned in the chronicles of the 9th century, and are also the oldest centers of Belarusian culture. Some Scandinavian songs mention Polatsk as already being a strong and powerful town in the 6th century.

After the people of Kiev were baptized in 988, the Belarusian principalities adopted Christianity together with the other Slavic states. However, some historians believe that Christianity came to Belarus much earlier from Scandinavia.

The power in early Belarusian states belonged to the vecha, or council of all the citizens of the town and vicinity. All the decisions about war and peace, trade, and internal affairs were made by the vecha. In case of war, the vecha chose a prince for commanding the army. The prince usually also had power over the army in peacetime.

One of the first known Polatsk princes was Rahvalod who lived in the 10th century. He struggled against the Kiev prince for influence in the Turau and Smolensk principalities, but lost the war and died in battle. Another historical figure in Polatsk was Prince Useslau “the Magician” (1044 – 1101), who lived at the time Polatsk achieved its highest power and wealth. It traded with many neighboring and remote countries, controlled other Belarusian towns, and had developed manufacturing. Useslau led the war against the Kiev princes for the control of Pskov and Novgorod – other Slavic principalities. One of the battles of this war occurred near the river Niamiga in 1067, and this is the first mention of the town of Minsk in a chronicle. In fact, the town was called Mensk from the word mena - change.

Mensk was at the crossroads from the Baltic to the lands to the south, and therefore was a convenient marketplace. The town kept this name until the 20th century. Unfortunately, the irony of history is that in 1067 – the official date of Minsk’s birth – it was totally destroyed in the battle. After the battle, which was won by Kiev, Useslau was imprisoned in Kiev. However, the Kievan prince was also fighting the Turkic tribes in the southern Ukraine at the same time, and this war was fatal for him. Seeing this, Kievans discharged Useslau and elected him as the Kiev prince. The newcomer defended Kiev from the enemy and governed the principality for eight months, after which he returned to his native Polatsk. During Useslau’s reign, many lands were joined to Polatsk, among them the Minsk, Vitebsk, Orsha and Slutsk principalities, as well as part of Livonia and other territories. Useslau was very popular among the people due to his intelligence, courage, and strong character. Many legends and stories about him were created; he was even called “The Magician”.

At that time the Slavic state in Kiev was called Rus, from which later the name Russia was derived. But the original Rus has nothing to do with Moskow or Siberia. It was the state on the territory of modern Ukraine, and only later, when Moscow was founded and gained power to unite other principalities, it took this name. At the time that Kiev and Polatsk flourished, Moscow and other eastern Slavic states were weak and unstable.

The name Belarus means “white Rus”, and there’s still no exact version of its origin. Some historians believe that “white” in old Slavic languages meant “free”, pointing to the fact that Belarus was never invaded by the Tatars or under their control, unlike the other principalities later in the 13-15th centuries. Others think that this name is older and served as a difference between Kievan Rus, Black Rus – a small territory in the western part of modern Belarus, and the territory known as White Rus. Whatever the source of this name, it is clear that it is very old and originally corresponded to the territory where the ancestors of the Belarusians lived and where the modern Republic of Belarus is situated.

Another remarkable figure in Belarusian history is Euphrasinnia, the granddaughter of Useslau, the Magician. She was one of the first Belarusian enlighteners. She founded a nunnery in Polatsk and led extensive educational work among the nuns and the neighboring people. Later she was canonized by the Belarusian Orthodox Church. The diamond-decorated cross of Euphrasinnia from her nunnery in Polatsk is a Belarusian national treasure; however, it was stolen during World War II and still there is no information about its location.

After Useslau the Magician, the glory of Polatsk began to diminish. The principality of Polatsk was divided into several smaller principalities which were half-dependent on their more powerful neighbors, mainly Kiev and Novgorod. Sometimes they managed to conquer some lands to the north of Belarus – Livonia and Estonia, but these victories were short-lived and insignificant, because the crusaders who occupied those territories quickly restored the status quo.

Meanwhile, to the northwest of Belarus, on the territories with mixed Baltic and Belarusian populations, a new state started its growth and development. It was called Lithuania (Litva) and initially consisted of Belarusians and the Orthodox Baltic tribe, the Yatviags, which later merged with Slavs. Later two Pagan Baltic tribes – Zhmudz and Aukshtota, which were the ancestors of modern Lithuanians – were forced to join the new state. The first capital of Lithuania was Kreva (now a village in northwestern Belarus); later Prince Mindaug moved it to Navahradak (now a town in the Hrodna region, Belarus), which used to be the center of Black Rus. Mindaug was one of the first known princes of Lithuania; he ascended to the throne in 1242. His father, Ryngold, was the first to conquer some Belarusian principalities. Mindaug and his successors, Lutavar, Viten, and Gedymin expanded their power over Polatsk, Vitebsk, Smolensk and Turau, mostly by the smart policy of marrying their children to Belarusian princes or princesses. According to some historic evidence, Mindaug himself belonged to the stock of Polatsk princes. This proves the tight connection between the Baltic and Belarusian tribes. The new state was called the Great Lithuanian Principality, and it was a federation of Belarusian lands under the power of the Great Prince. The Belarusian principalities in Lithuania were half-independent – they had their armed forces, local princes, kept their customs and traditions. In spite of the fact that Mindaug adopted Catholicism in order to avoid war with crusaders, most of the population of the principality remained Orthodox Christian.

 

Word Check

Ex. 1. Consult the text and find the English equivalents of the following.

исконный, первобытный рабство, крепостное состояние незапамятный, древний очевидность, доказательство вековой смелый, отважный гречиха пантеон глиняная посуда, гончарные изделия просвещать женский монастырь уменьшать(ся), ослаблять(ся) крестоносец преемник, наследник

Ex. 2. Match words or phrases from A with those from B.

A B
1) to avoid war a) первое свидетельство
2) from time immemorial b) иметь много общего
3) first evidence c) бороться за влияние
4) glory d) избегать войны
5) secular forests e) с незапамятных времен
6) to be at the crossroads f) освободить (заключенного)
7) to have much in common g) находиться на перекрестке
8) to have nothing to do with h) ослаблять
9) to struggle for influence i) слава
10) to discharge smb. j) вековые леса
11) to diminish k) не иметь ничего общего

 

Ex. 3. Find sentences and phrases in the text that are close or equivalent in meaning to the following.

1. Киев и Полоцк процветали.

2. выдающаяся личность в белорусской истории

3. крест Ефрасиньи, украшенный бриллиантами

4. национальное сокровище

5. позже слились со славянами

6. одежда, сделанная из льна и шерсти

7. согласно некоторым историческим свидетельствам

8. впервые упоминаются в летописях

9. белорусские княжества приняли христианство

10. чтобы избежать войны с крестоносцами

 

Comprehension

 

Ex. 1. Complete these sentences with the correct subjects.

1. …lived in small communities located in forests or near rivers.

2. …was its head, and was its heart.

3. …were tall, strong and hardy.

4. …contain lots of things from their creators’ everyday life: earthenware, weapons, jewelry, clothes.

5. …became the first states on the territory of modern Belarus.

6. …came to Belarus much earlier from Scandinavia.

7. …struggled against the Kiev prince for influence in the Turau and Smolensk principalities, but lost the war and died in the battle.

8. …led the war against the Kiev princes for the control of Pskov and Novgorod.

9. …was at the crossroads from the Baltics to the lands to the south and was a convenient marketplace.

10. …was very popular among the people due to his intelligence, courage and strong character.

11. …founded a nunnery in Polatsk and led extensive educational work among the nuns and the neighboring people.

Ex. 2. Are the following statements about the text true or false? Say why.

1. The territories between the rivers Dnieper, Pripyat, Dvina and Bug were inhabited from time immemorial.

2. The family as a social unit was not important.

3. All tribes (the Kryvichy, the Drehavichy, the Radzimichy, the Dreulane, the Yatviags) had much in common.

4. The principalities of Orsha and Slutsk became the first states on the territory of modern Belarus.

5. The power in early Belarusian states belonged to the vecha.

6. Rahvalod struggled against the Kiev prince and won the war.

7. Useslau was not popular among the people.

8. The first capital of Lithuania was Vilnya.

9. The diamond-decorated cross of Euphrasinnia is in Polatsk museum.

 

Ex. 3. Arrange the part in the chronological order

1. Useslau was imprisoned in Kiev.

2. One of the battles of this war occurred near the river Niamiga and this is the first mention of the town in a chronicle.

3. The principalities of Polatsk and Turau became the first states on the territory of modern Belarus.

4. Belarusian states adopted Christianity.

5. Kievans elected Useslau as the Kiev prince.

6. The principality of Polatsk was divided into several smaller principalities.

7. Rahvalod lost the war and died in the battle.

Ex. 4. Answer the following questions.

1. Why can the history of the Belarusian people and land hardly have a definite origin?

2. How did the land of Belarus look like in primordial times?

3. What was the belief of the Slavic tribes living in the first century AD?

4. In what parts of today’s Belarus did the largest tribe the Kryvichi live?

5. What principalities were first mentioned in the chronicles of the 9th century?

6. When did the Belarusian principalities adopt Christianity?

7. Who did the power in early Belarusian states belong to?

8. Who was one of the first known Polatsk princes?

9. When did Useslau “The Magician” live?

10. Why was Mensk a convenient marketplace?

11. Why did the Kievans elect Useslau as the Kiev prince?

12. Useslau was very popular among the people, wasn’t he?

13. What state does the name Rus refer to?

14. What does the name Belarus mean?

15. What do you know about Euphrasinnia?

16. What can you tell about the diamond – decorated cross of Euphrasinnia?

17. How did Mindaug and his successors expand their power over Polatsk, Vitebsk, Smolensk and Turau?

18. How was the new state called?

Discussion

 

1. Explain:

a) the meaning of the word “vecha”

(The power in early Belarusian states belonged to the vecha)

b) the meaning of the concept ”half-independent”.

(The Belarusian principalities in Lithuania were half-independent)

2. What do you think?

Why Useslau was called “The Magician” – “Чародей”?

3.Historians give several versions of the origin of the name Belarus. Which version do you support? Give your arguments.

4. You have taken part in some excavations of kurgans or ancient graves, haven’t you? Write a report about one of the excavations

5. Write an essay on the topic “Euphrasinnia Polatskaya is a remarkable figure in the Belarusian history”.

Text 2. The Development and Flourishing of Great Lithuania

Read the text and assimilate its information.

The Great prince Gedymin, who ascended to the throne in 1316, limited the power of the members of the federation and so the Great Lithuanian Principality became a true monarchy. Gedymin using the Tatar invasion in Kievan and Eastern Rus, joined the principalities of Kiev, Chernigov and Volyn. The Tatars were not able to reach Belarus mostly because of swamps in the south of the country, in the area called Palesse. However, in the time of Mindaug, when they were stronger, they managed once to enter Belarus, but were defeated by Lithuanian troops in 1249. Thus, Gedymin strengthened Lithuanian power in Eastern Europe, and the Lithuanian-Belarusian state gained its authority and influence. Gedymin also moved its capital to Vilnia (now Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania). The wisdom of Gedymin was in his policy towards the conquered lands: he never oppressed the local beliefs, customs and freedom of people. He understood that he could achieve more by goodness and loyalty than by brutal force.

Gedymin’s son, the Great Prince Alherd (1341 – 1377) continued his father’s expansion of Lithuania’s borders. He unyoked the Ukraine from the Tatars and joined the rest of the Ukranian lands to the Great Lithuanian Principality, including the seashore of the Black Sea. But at this time a new enemy appeared in the East – the principality of Moscow, the ancestor of today’s Russia. They constantly attacked Lithuania’s eastern neighbor and vassal – the Smolensk principality. Alherd had to help Smolensk, and he defeated the Moscow troops three times – in 1368, 1370, and 1373.

Alherd’s army fought to the gates of Moscow, but the Moscow prince Dmitry Donscoy, unable to resist the Lithuanian army, asked Alherd to spare his native town and promised him lots of trophies. Alherd took compassion on him and did not destroy Moscow, but expanded Lithuania’s borders yet farther to the East. Alherd wanted Lithuania to become the strongest power of Eastern Europe, and also a center of Orthodox belief. He asked the Constantinople Patriarch, the head of the Orthodox church, to found the metropoly in Navahradak. The Moscow prince asked for the same thing for Moscow, and both request were granted. Thus started the extreme rivalry between Lithuania and Moscow for religious and political influence in Eastern Europe.

After Alherd’s death in 1377, his younger son Yahaila (Jagiello) became the Great Prince, in accordance with the treaty between Alherd and his wife. This caused great discontent in Alherd’s older son, Andrei, and in the population of the western parts of Lithuania who hoped that the throne would be accepted by Alherd’s brother and councillor Keistut. In a short struggle for the throne, Keistut won; he imprisoned Yahaila and proclaimed himself the Great Prince, and soon released his nephew. Shortly after that Yahaila started a revolt against Keistut and occupied a part of the Vilnia region. He invited Keistut and his son Vitaut to Kreva for negotiations, and when they arrived, he captured them and killed Keistut five days later. Vitaut managed to escape from the execution having dressed in woman’s clothes. He turned for help to the crusaders who were always ready to participate in Lithuanian internal discords in order to weaken their competitor. Therefore Yahaila, trying to avoid conflicts with the crusaders, allowed Vitaut to return home and gave him the Harodnia (Hrodna) principality.

Still Yahaila’s position was not stable since he was surrounded by crusaders from the north and west and Muscovites and Tatars from the east. That’s why he decided to unite with neighboring Poland, which had the same problems with the crusaders. He asked to marry the Polish princess Jadzviga, and though she had already been engaged to the Austrian prince Wilhelm, polish aristocracy, which had always been searching for influence in Lithuanian ruling circles, decided to promote Yahaila’s proposal. Before their marriage in 1385 in Kreva. a dynasty union was signed between Lithuania and Poland, according to which the Great Prince also became the Polish king and ruled the two countries. Yahaila agreed to change his confession to Catholicism and also baptized the still Pagan tribes of Zhmudz and Aukshtota. He hoped to convert the Belarusian population to Catholicism, too, but only a small part accepted. According to the Kreva union, both countries still had their independent internal governments, but defence and international affairs were united. In the Polish-Lithuanian union, Lithuania was stronger and bigger, and the cultural development was also higher in Lithuania. When Yahaila moved to Krakow, the Polish capital, he took with him many Belarusian painters to work decorating his palace. Until the end of his life, Yahaila couldn’t speak Polish and used his native Belarusian. His second wife, Sonka, was a Belarusian patriot; she brought up her sons Wladyslaw and Kazimir, in the spirit of love of Belarus.

But for most of the Belarusians, the Kreva union was not satisfying. They believed that it tied Poland and the Great Principality too closely, and were apprehensive that in the future, the Polish king could be of non-Belarusian origin and he would nevertheless rule Lithuania. Yahaila’s cousin Vitaut was especially discontented, and in 1392 he managed to occupy the Great Prince’s throne by force. Yahaila, seeing that a fight with Vitaut would not be easy, had to accept him as an independent Prince under his wardship. Thus Vitaut became the Great Prince of Lithuania.

The first thing Vitaut had to as the Great Prince was to calm the princess under Lithuanian influence who didn’t want to obey anybody and were always ready to ask the crusaders or the Tatars for help. Vitaut succeeded in establishing his power over most of them and joined new lands to Lithuania. Smolensk and parts of the Tula and Kaluga principalities became territories of the Great principality; the Ryazan principality and republics of Great Novgorod and Pskov – the states of congeneric Kryvichy - became Lithuania’s protectorates. The Tatars of the Golden Horde respected Vitaut and even invited him to be a judge in Tatar internal conflicts. In 1398 the Golden Horde was invaded by a new conqueror from Middle Asia – emir Timur (Tamerlan) who, together with his huge army, was ready to take the field against Europe. The Khan Takhtamysh of the Golden Horde asked Vitaut for help, and the Great Prince agreed, seeing the possibility of expanding his influence up to the Volga river. He started thorough preparations for the war. He signed a peaceful union with the crusaders and gathered an army, which included in addition to the Belarusians, knights from all of Christian Europe. This force met Timur’s army in 1399 near the river Vorskla (in modern Ukraine). The cruel and bloody battle didn’t bring victory to anybody – Vitaut’s soldiers were defeated, but Timur’s troops were also weakened so that he did not feel strong enough to continue his campaign against the West and returned to Asia.

After this battle crusaders renewed their raids on Lithuania and northern Poland, having grown bolder after Vitaut’s failure to defeat Timur. Sometimes these raids turned into real wars. The Great Prince Vitaut and the Polish king Yahaila decided to stop the raids, and gathered a huge army of 100,000 warriors, which included representatives of all the East European peoples, and under the command of Vitaut this united army moved to Prussia, the nearest crusader’s state. The battle which took place on July, 15, 1410, near Grunvald (now in northern Poland) was hard and severe and the crusaders were utterly defeated by the united troops. After this battle, the Great Lithuanian Principality expanded its borders to the Baltic Sea and became the most powerful state in Eastern Europe. It occupied large territories from the Baltics to the Black Sea, having many neighboring states as vassals. The Moscow prince Vasily was Vitaut’s grandson, and the princes of Tver and Ryazan called him their master. In addition, the Czechs wanted to grant him their crown; in response to which Vitaut sent his nephew to be a regent in Prague.

The difficult thing was to get rid of the Polish influence and the consequences of the Kreva union. All Vitaut did for Lithuania was not good for Poland or, to be exact, for the Polish ruling aristocracy, which did not want Lithuania to be free from the sphere of their influence. Of course, the Poles were afraid of any open conflicts with Vitaut, but they used all their slyness and insidiousness to interfere with Lithuania’s policies. Vitaut wished Lithuania to be completely independent from Poland, and in 1429 he proclaimed his state a kingdom. Yahaila’s councillor, bishop Olesnicki, persuaded him to let Vitaut have the Polish crown, but Vitaut refused – he wanted only the Lithuanian throne. Then the Poles captured the Roman Emperor’s envoys, who carried a crown for Vitaut from the Vatican and took the crown away from them. Vitaut who was sick at that time didn’t outlive the new misfortune and died November, 27, 1430, before the coronation was to occur.

Vitaut’s reign and several decades after it are considered to be the period of the highest flourishing of Belarus and Belarusian culture. The Belarusian language was the state language of the Great Lithuanian Principality; all documents, laws, charts, and other official documents were issued in Belarusian; it was used also as an official language in some neighboring states like Moldavia. The statehood in Lithuania was also one of the most liberal in Eastern Europe. The principality had a parliament consisting of two chambers – Soym and Rada, which replaced the vecha.

The population belonged to three groups – shlakhta (or aristocracy), merchants and artisans, and peasants. The conditions for the lower groups of population were generally better than in the Moscow principality or Poland. The majority of Belarusian cities had their right of self-government, the so-called Magdeburg right, based on elections. All these conditions attracted oppressed people from other countries. Thus, in addition to the Belarusians who occupied the so-called Old Lithuania, Zhmudz, the Ukrainians, the indigenous population of the Principality, Tatars from the Golden Horde, and Jews from Germany and other countries of Europe also settled there. The liberal policy of Vitaut towards these peoples attracted them – they could feel free to use their language, religion, and traditions.

 

Word Check

 

Ex. 1. Consult the text and find the English equivalents of the following

болото, топь
снимать ярмо с кого-либо, освобождать от ига
вассал, слуга
жалость, сострадание
жалеть кого-либо, относиться с состраданием
глава рода, общины; родоначальник, основатель
член совета, советник
разногласие, раздоры
расходиться во взглядах
исповедь, вероисповедание
понятливый, сообразительный
быть недовольным
опека
однородный
протекторат
начинать сражение
смелый, наглый дерзкий
Пруссия
регент
хитрость, коварство, предательство
посланник, агент
ремесленник, мастеровой
туземный, местный

Ex. 2. Match words or phrases from A with those form B.

A B
1) to be apprehensive a) освобождать от ига
2) extreme rivalry b) вступить на трон
3) to ascend to the throne c) быть неспособным противостоять
4) to take compassion upon smb. d) расходиться во взглядах
5) to unyoke e) расширять границы
6) to strenghen power f) туземный, местный
7) to turn for help g) быть недовольным
8) to take the field h) внутренние разногласия
9) to be discontented i) начинать сражение
10) to discord j) обратиться за помощью
11) insidious k) укрепить власть
12) indigenous l) быть сообразительным
13) to expand borders m) жалеть кого-либo
14) to be unable to resist n) хитрый, коварный
15) internal discords o) сильное соперничество

Ex. 3. Find sentences and phrases in the text that are close or equivalent in meaning to the following.

1. Обе просьбы были удовлетворены.

2. Ограничил власть членов федерации.

3. Освободил Украину от татарского ига.

4. Он пожалел его.

5. Альгерд хотел, чтобы Литва стала самым сильным государством в Восточной Европе.

6. Освободил своего племянника.

7. Пригласил на переговоры.

8. Удалось избежать казни.

9. Ослабить соперника.

10. Согласиться изменить вероисповедание.

11. Она воспитала своих сыновей в духе любви к Беларуси.

12. Они понимали, что в будущем…

13. Под опекой.

14. Был готов начать сражение.

15. Великое Княжество Литовское расширило свои границы до Балтийского моря.

16. Избавиться от польского влияния и последствий Кревской унии.

17. Они использовали хитрость и коварство.

18. Советник Ягайлы.

19. Не пережил нового несчастья.

20. Имели право на самоуправление.

21. Местное население

Ex. 4. Use the following words and word combinations in sentences of your own

to take compassion upon smb. to unyoke to gain authority and influence to take the field to be discontented to be apprehensive in the spirit of love of Belarus under the wardship to outlive the misfortune  

 

Comprehension

Ex. 1.Complete these sentences with the correct subjects.

1. …ascended to the throne in 1316.

2. …unyoked the Ukraine from the Tatars.

3. …defeated the Moscow troops three times.

4. …imprisoned Yahaila and proclaimed himself the Great Prince.

5. …invited Keistut and his son Vitaut to Kreva for negotiations.

6. …asked to marry the Polish princes Yadzwiga.

7. …hoped to convert the Belarusian population to Catholicism.

8. …managed to occupy the Great Prince’s throne by force.

9. …asked Vitaut for help.

10. …renewed their raids on Lithuania and Northern Poland.

11. …had their rights of self-governing.

12. …didn’t outlive the new misfortune and died before the coronation was to occur.

Ex. 2. Restore the order in which the events appear.

1. Yahaila invited Keistut and his son Vitaut to Kreva for negotiations.

2. Vitaut signed a peaceful union with the crusaders and gathered an army, which included knights from all of Christian Europe.

3. Gedymin strengthened Lithuanian power in Eastern Europe and the Lithuanian-Belarusian state gained its authority and influence.

4. Keistut imprisoned Yahaila and proclaimed himself the Great Prince.

5. A dynasty union was signed between Lithuania and Poland.

6. The crusaders were utterly defeated at the Grunwald battle by the united troops.

7. Vitaut managed to occupy the Great Prince’s throne by force..

8. Alherd defeated Moscow troops three times.

 

Ex. 3. Split the text into parts and think of appropriate titles for each one.

 

Ex. 4. Answer the following questions.

1. When did Gedymin ascend to the throne?

2. How did Gedymin manage to join the principalities of Kiev, Chernigov and Volyn?

3. Did Gedymin’s son Alherd continue his father’s policy?

4. Why did the extreme rivalry start between Lithuania and Moscow?

5. Who became the Great Prince after Alherd’s death?

6. What caused great discontent in the population of the western parts of Lithuania?

7. Why wasn’t Yahaila’s position stable?

8. What do you know about the Kreva union?

9. How did Yahaila’s cousin Vitaut manage to occupy the Great Prince’s throne?

10. Did Vitaut succeed in eastablishing his power over the princes?

11. When did the Grunwald battle take place?

12. What were the consequences of the battle?

13. Why did Vitaut refuse to have the Polish crown?

14. Why did the policy of Vitaut attract peoples from other countries?

Discussion

1. Comment on the following statement:

“It is possible to achieve more by goodness and loyalty than by brutal force”.

2. Prove the statements by the information from the text.

a) Gedymin was a wise man.

b) Vitaut’s reign is the period of the highest flourishing of Belarus and Belarusian culture.

3.Write an essay on the topic « The Development and flourishing of Great Lithuania».



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