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Grand Dukes of Lithuania

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The Grand Dukes of Lithuania, c1200 - 1569

From King Mindaugas to Sigismund III.

The state of Lithuania formed in 1230s, when threatened by the Livonian Order in the north and the Teutonic Knights in the west, Baltic tribes united under Mindaugas leadership. He became the only crowned king of Lithuania. His state became known as Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

After Grand Duke Jogaila became also king of Poland in 1386, the two states became closer connected and since 1440 both were ruled by a common ruler. In 1569 Union of Lublin was signed and a new entity—the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth—emerged.

Early Grand Dukes (1236–1291)

Gediminid Dynasty (1291–1440)

Jagiellon Dynasty (1440–1572)

Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795)

The act of personal union with Poland was signed as early as 1385, however, continuous line of common rulers of the two countries started only with Casimir IV (even then Polish and Lithuanians twice selected different rulers following earlier common monarch's death, but the Lithuanian one always eventually assumed Polish throne). The monarchs retained separate titles for both parts of the state, and their numbering was kept separately. The Jagiellon dynasty was a direct continuation of the Gediminid dynasty.