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THE LITHUANIAN CONQUEST


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The Lithuanian Conquest

   The Lithuanian Conquest

The picture of Russia at this period would not be complete without a glance at the Lithuanian conquest, reaching into the 15th century. These people of very early Persian origin had been badly broken up by successive conflicts with the Germans, but they had maintained themselves throughout the turmoil of the dark ages, until, finally, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, they had been united through the influence of a prince named Minvog, who had come to power through the usual process of the extermination of his rivals.

Encouraged by the Mongol invasions he made war upon Western Russia until stopped as we have seen before, by Alexander Nevsky, who saved Novgorod from the Asiatics on the one hand and the Lithuanians on the other. Defeated by this great prince, he had appealed to the Pope and secured the assistance of the Teutonic knights. He embraced Christianity and was consecrated King of Lithuania. The danger passed, Rome was forgotten and the country fell back into anarchy under his descendants. The real founder of her power rose in the early part of the fourteenth century under Gedimin and he turned the exhaustion and division to his profit. He attacked Tchernigof and Volhynia, defeating the Russians aided by the auxiliary of Tartars, in 1321. Kief soon after soon fell under his power although it is not certain in what year this occurred, the annals of this age of universal disorder not being clear.

Whatever the exact date may have been this ancient city was destined to remain for four hundred years, or down to the time of Alexis Romanoff, in the hands of strangers.

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   The Lithuanian Conquest
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