In English, the largest state of early modern east-central Europe is usually called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The Polish and Lithuanian versions mean the Republic of the Two Nations (implicitly – Polish and Lithuanian), but this is a relatively recent usage among historians. This elusively named polit, conventionally dated 1569-1795, is often judged by the fact of its dismemberment by the absolute monarchies of Russia, Prussia and Austria. However, a brisk pursuit of the terms Rzeczpospolita (Commonwealth or Republic) and Obojga Narodów (of the Two Nations) reveals much about the composition and enduring values of this remarkable community of citizens.
We invite you to an inaugural lecture of Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski entitled “In Search of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth” This event will be taking place in-person and also live-streamed via the UCL YouTube channel. This event is free to attend and open to all.
Richard Butterwick (since 2012 Butterwick-Pawlikowski) studied History at Cambridge, gained his DPhil. at Oxford, and was awarded his DLitt. by the Polish Academy of Sciences. He has taught at SSEES since 2005, becoming Professor of Polish-Lithuanian History in 2013. His principal books are Poland’s Last King and English Culture (1998), The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church (2012), The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1733-1795: Light and Flame (2020) and The Constitution of 3 May 1791: Testament of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (2021).
The event will take place on 21 March 2022 at 6.00 PM – 8.00 PM.