The Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Golden Horde

Researcher

Ms. Dr. M. (Marie) Favereau-Doumenjou


Description

In my project, I propose to connect history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Chinggisid studies in a comparative but also interactive/ integrative perspective. In the 14th-16th Centuries, the relationships between the Jagiellon and the Jochids (heirs of the Jochid ulus, popularly known as the Golden Horde) went beyond the interregional political game and played a role in the complex models of rulership and nobility both societies developed. One should consider the Lithuania (by that time, tied to Poland) not as a border of Europe – usually described as a wall against the Turkic-Mongol invasions – but as a laboratory state for plurality and for a certain kind of modernity, especially in the diplomatic context where “Raison d’État” is preferred to religious ideology. In the same way, the Jochid ulus presents some innovative features with regard to its state machinery, a first time combination of Chinggisid and Islamic institutions.

I aim at discovering whether the Golden Horde could have been closer to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (in terms of political culture, military practices and administrative organization), than to the other post-Chinggisid states. Did the Jochids leave their mark on the Grand Duchy, taking into account that the Lithuanian state was one of the main successor states of the Great Horde in the 16thCentury?

Research tracks

I intend to follow four major research tracks:
- Who are the elite at the head of the western part of the Jochid ulus in the 14th C.?
- The role of the local elite/ nobilities within the state institutions of the Grand Duchy and of the Golden Horde (15th - 16th C.)
- The practices of diplomacy under the Jagiellon and the Jochids
- The birth of the Crimean Khanate (a. 1430), as a direct consequence of the alliance between the Grand Duchy and the Great Horde and, in the long run, as the most likely cause of the final collapse of the Jochid ulus in the 16th C.

My study will be based on Jochid official documents (yarlik, bitik), Italian sources (Senato Misti, Archivio di Stato di Venezia), Russian and Polish-Lithuanian sources (in Old Russian language and Latin).

Here are the first lines of a letter sent by the Jochid khan Toqtamish to the king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Władysław II Jagiełło, in 1391. This letter, written in Uyghur alphabet and Turkic language, is well preserved and kept at the State Archives of Warsaw (AGAD). In the text, the khan informs his fellow and vassal, simply called “Jogaila”, that despite the raids of Tamerlane into the Golden Horde territory, he is now able to rule his great nation (ulugh ulus) again. The khan asks him to recover the taxes and to reopen the roads to the ortak, the state official merchants that work for the Chinggisids.

Here are the first lines of a letter sent by the Jochid khan Toqtamish to the king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Władysław II Jagiełło, in 1391. This letter, written in Uyghur alphabet and Turkic language, is well preserved and kept at the State Archives of Warsaw (AGAD). In the text, the khan informs his fellow and vassal, simply called “Jogaila”, that despite the raids of Tamerlane into the Golden Horde territory, he is now able to rule his great nation (ulugh ulus) again. The khan asks him to recover the taxes and to reopen the roads to the ortak, the state official merchants that work for the Chinggisids.

Last Modified: 11-08-2014