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Author: Andrej Ryčkov

The article presents an analysis of internal factors behind the emergence of treason as a crime in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the mid-14th to mid-15th centuries. The research showed that the main social group in which this crime started to form in the early to mid-15th centuries were the grand duke’s adversaries and foes (Latin: adversarius, inimicus; Ruthenian: недруг, неприятель, враг; German: fynd). The appearance of terms for treason within the context of precisely this social group is evidence of the intensifying links between state structures, whereby closer bonds were established between the ruler and his officials/friends, primarily within the institutional milieu of the ruler’s court and the system of public offices. In this particular context, going beyond the boundaries of loyalty and allegiance was no longer understood just as a demonstration of hostility, but as the crime of treason.

Open Access
In: Lithuanian Historical Studies