Portrait of Grand Duke in Manuscripts

Mindovg’s little-known documents are out
Much has been said about the time the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was established. Scientists have issued hundreds of monographs, research papers and treatises and seem to have covered this historic period in full. No one could expect any discoveries or sensations. However, the book “Mindau, the king of Litovia in Documents and Testimonies” by Ales Zhlutka that has been recently presented in Minsk is now called “the book of the decade”.

Historians call it a unique edition, as it consists of original documents discovered in archives, not interpretation of other people’s works. The book includes all Mindovg-related documents in Latin that date back to the 13–14th centuries. The author had been studying these documents in the closed archives of Vatican, archive of Prussian culture in Berlin, and library of the Livonian order in the Lithuanian historic archive.

“There may be different approaches and interpretations, but there are things that no one can dismiss as unworthy and biased. These are original documents and archives,” Alexander Slobodchuk, first deputy head of the ideological department with Presidential Administration, said at the presentation. “It is owing to the persistent labor of the author that even non-experts can read the original documents and try to answer the key questions: where we are from and who we are. This is the main advantage of the book, I believe.”

Those delivering speeches at the presentation were unanimous that the book would never fall into oblivion.

“A research paper remains relevant for up to 30 years,” Professor Georgy Galenchenko said, “But such books as this one will live forever. The mind and conscience of the whole nation are based on such books.”

by Svetlana Litskevich
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