Duchy of Livonia

Księstwo Inflanckie (pl)
Herzogtum Livland (de)
Ducatus Ultradunensis (la)
Duchy of Livonia
Vassal of Grand Duchy of Lithuania,
then of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Baltic coat of arms
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Coat of arms of Livonia

Coat of arms

Location of Livonia
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth with its major subdivisions after the 1618 Truce of Deulino, superimposed on present-day national borders. Livonia here is coloured dark grey, upper-right, over modern Estonia and Latvia. Swedish Estonia is coloured green.[1]
Capital Fellin (Viljandi)
58°22′N 25°36′E / 58.367°N 25.6°E / 58.367; 25.6Coordinates: 58°22′N 25°36′E / 58.367°N 25.6°E / 58.367; 25.6
Government Principality
Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland
 - 1573–75 Henry III de Valois
 - 1576–86 Stefan Batory
 - 1588–32 Sigismund III Vasa
 - 1566–78 Jan Hieronimowicz Chodkiewicz
Historical era Early Modern Age
 - Wilno Pact November 28 1561
 - Polish–Swedish War 162022
 - Treaty of Altmark September 25, 1629
 - 1st Partition of Poland August 5, 1772

The Duchy of Livonia[2] (Polish: Księstwo Inflanckie;[3] Latin: Ducatus Ultradunensis; Estonian: Liivimaa kubermang; Latvian: Pārdaugavas hercogiste; also referred to as Polish Livonia or Inflanty[4]) was a territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania — and later the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth — that existed from 1561 to 1621. It corresponds to the present-day areas of northern Latvia and southern Estonia.



Livonia had been part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1561, since the Livonian Order was secularized by the Union of Wilno and the Livonian Confederation dissolved during the Livonian Wars. Part of Livonia, formed the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, while the south-west part of today's Estonia and north-east part of today's Latvia, covering what is now Vidzeme and Latgalia, were ceded to Lithuania.

In 1566, it was declared as the Duchy of Livonia according to the Treaty of Union between the landowners of Livonia and authorities of Lithuania; Jan Hieronimowicz Chodkiewicz became the first Governor of the Duchy (1566–1578) in Sigulda castle. It was a province of Grand Duchy of Lithuania until 1569. After the Union of Lublin in 1569, it became a joint domain of the Polish Crown and the Grand Duchy.

Part of the Duchy was conquered by Swedes during the Polish–Swedish wars, and their gains were recognized in the Truce of Altmark in 1629. The Commonwealth retained southeastern parts of the Wenden Voivodeship, renamed to Inflanty Voivodeship with the capital in Daugavpils (Dyneburg), till the first Partition of Poland in 1772, when it was annexed by Catherine the Great's Russian Empire. The title "Grand Duke of Livonia" was used by later Russian Tsars.

Administrative divisions

See also


  1. ^ Please note that the island of Oesel while colored green was not part of Sweden until 1645 and belonged to Danish Crown. It was ceded to Sweden along with Gotland after signing the Second Treaty of Brömsebro (1645).
  2. ^ Trade, Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange: Continuity and Change in the North ISBN 90-6550-881-3, p 17
  3. ^ Foreword to the Past By Endre Bojtár; p176 ISBN 978-963-9116-42-9
  4. ^ Plakans, Andrejs (2011). A Concise History of the Baltic States. Cambridge University Press. p. 95. ISBN 0521541557. http://books.google.com/books?id=w6W2cHgJE2sC&pg=PA95&dq. 

External links

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