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Žyhimont I Stary ("The Old"; 1467-1548), Grand Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) and king of Poland (also Zygmunt, Sigismund; r. 1506-1548). Son of Kazimir IV and younger brother of Alaksandar. Žyhimont was well educated and fluent in several languages. His domestic policy, strongly influenced by his second, Italian-born wife, Bona Sforza (whom he married in 1518), was aimed at consolidating an absolutist monarchy. However, his attempts to limit the rights of the gentry and return the lands seized by magnates were not successful. He had to concede the right to be elected representatives in the Sojm to the gentry, as formalized by the 1529 Code of the GDL. In the area of external policy, Žyhimont had to contend with expansive Muscovy and fight the wars of 1507-1508, 1512-1522, and 1534-1537 with his eastern neighbor, resulting in territorial losses, including the city of Smalensk. A highlight of these wars was the overwhelming victory over the Russians at the 1514 Battle of Vorša. This allowed King Žyhimont to conclude the advantageous Treaty of Vienna (1515) in which the Austrian emperor agreed not to support Muscovy against the GDL and Prussia against Poland. One of Žyhimont's major achievements in foreign affairs was turning the secularized Teutonic Order into a fief of Poland (1525) and incorporating Mazovia into his kingdom (1526). Žyhimont's reign was marked by the flourishing of Renaissance arts and spread of humanism in his realm, a trend continued under his son Žyhimont II Aŭhust. His reign was highlighted by the literary activity of Francišak Skaryna and Mikoła Husoŭski.

Historical Dictionary of Belarus   Historical Dictionary of Belarus
Галоўная старонка   Галоўная старонка
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