Lithuanian-Horde Relations in the 1350–1370-ies in the Context of Italian Politics of Mamay

Oksana Gospodarenko
Candidate of Historical Sciences (Ph.D. in History), Аssociate Professor,
Mykolaiv V. O. Sukhomlynskyi National University (Ukraine, Mykolaiv),
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Analyzing the relationship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Golden Horde in the 1350–1370-ies, we should consider the following factors: most of the time in the relations between the countries, neither Lithuania or Horde were not cohesive states. However, a middle of the 14th century became a period of the important geopolitical changes for both countries. The relationships of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Golden Horde in the middle of the 14th century were ambiguous. As noted by B. Cherkas, the events of 1362 are have to be commonly assessed mostly in the context of the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, to a lesser extent Poland, Hungary or the Russian principalities. While it was the state of Juchids that had sufficient territorial losses. A key person in the Golden Horde during the period of «The Great Distemper» was Mamay. Since there is no information about any military clashes between the ruler of Lithuania and Mamay (as evidenced by the overlap of their литовсько-ординські стосунки... 30 студії. політика і право political goals), it is possible to assume the existence of a certain agreement on cooperation and spheres of influence between them in the autumn of 1362. Under the circumstances, prevailing in the Western part of the Horde, Mamay and Olgerd became allies. R. Pochekaev denies any possible union between Olgerd and Mamay. However, Y. Varvarovskiy still notes that Mamay is willing to establish diplomatic relations with Lithuania. In relations with Lithuania Mamay was most interested in the security of the Western borders and trade relations. The interest in the development of the Golden Horde trade through Lithuania, forced Mamay to grant all trade privileges to Kracow merchants (1372), and subsequently to Lviv ones (1379/1380). Significantly intensified relations with Lviv and Krakow were caused by the aggravation in the relations of Mamay in 1360–1370-ies with Venetian Tan and Genoese Kafa. Taking advantage of the weakening of the Horde, the Genoese joined the military to fight for the South coast of the Crimea with the Principality of Theodoro, captured Soldayyu through which the Tatars conducted their trade in the Black sea. Mamay was focused on the main problems of the Crimea by the refusal of attempts to seize the Saray. The Black sea crisis in the middle of the fourteenth century had more to force the Western emirs to revive trade with European countries. Besides the crisis in the Golden Horde was added neighborhood with such strong States as Hungary, Poland and Lithuania forced local nobility to the active political contacts with them. It is a well-known fact that Mamay strengthened the controlled territories in the Northern Black Sea region, the Crimea and the Northern Caucasus as in military and economic context befrore the late 60ies. Mamay’s interest to these areas, was probably caused by the fact that he had a personal possessions and had a friendly (and possibly family) relations with local rulers of the Golden Horde. Since Mamay was not willing to concentrate the whole western trade with the Golden Horde uder the rule of Venice and Genoa, he tried to find the new trade routes. Therefore, it is not surprising that he sought to develop North overland trade route through Lithuania in order to be completely independent from the Black Sea trade, which was controlled by Venice and Genoa. In terms of political stability, the Golden Horde controlled the important trade routes of the Great Silk road and Kama path, actively cooperating with the Venetian and Genoese merchants. However during the period of «The Great Distemper» the first place was not taken by common economic interests of all the Golden Horde but the local interests of their individual regions.



Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Golden Horde, «The Great Distemper», Blue Water, Kaffa, Tana.



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