| Matt Facts: Matthew dislikes drinking cold drinks from coffee mugs. He also hates plastic forks. | | Did you Know? Toothpicks are overrated. | | Words of Inspiration: "You can tell a lot about a fellow by the way he eats Jelly Beans" – R.Regan | | Did you know? There are no Pez Facts. Pez is, in fact, not factual. | | Matt Facts: Matthew's fortune cookies always predict success. | | Words of Inspiration: When I'm sad I stop being sad and be awesome instead - Barney Stinson | | Did you know? "Buf­falo buf­falo Buf­falo buf­falo buf­falo buf­falo Buf­falo buf­falo” is a gram­mat­i­cally valid sentence. | | Matt Facts: Matthew is best served on the rocks with a slice of lemon. | | Words of Inspiration: "Life is futile." | | Did you Know? Dinosaurs and Dandelions is the name of a popular blog that has been around since the 15 April 2010 | | Matt Facts: Unlike some people, Matthew only celebrates his birthday once a year. | | Words of Inspiration: "I'll be back" - The Terminator. | | Did you Know? The two modern breeds of Cocker Spaniel, American and English, are thought to have been descended from only two dogs? | | Matt Facts: On the second to last full moon of the year, Matthew develops an itch on his right shoulder. | | Words of Inspiration: “You can do it!” - Rob Schneider, in every Adam Sandler movie ever | | Did you know? Lettuce is often eaten raw. | | Words of Inspiration: "Science is always at work and never sleeps – just like Rust" | | Did you Know? When you dream, every­thing you see in that dream, you’ve seen before in real life. | | Matt Facts: Matthew officially endorses the Cadbury's Moro bar as being delicious | | Did You Know? A tadpole is also called a 'pollywog'. | | Matt Facts: Matthew has his own Facebook fan page. Creepy. | | Did You Know? Cats sleep for 70% of their lives. | | Words of Inspiration: "End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it." - Gandalf. | | Did you Know? This is the end. The journey ends here. Then it starts all over again. |

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Empires of the World: Lithuania?

You've stumbled upon Empires of the World - a grand tour of all of the major civilizations of the world. First up; Lithuania.

At its Peak

While today Lithuania is one of the three small Baltic states in North Eastern Europe, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania once stretched from the Baltic to the Black sea.
Lithuania dominating circa 1387

Beginning in the 12th century the Lithuanian Dukes spread their empire southwards, claiming control of the area from the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Mongolian Hordes. At it's peak the Duchy consisted of over 850,000 km2 with an estimated 4.25 million inhabitants, making it the largest country in Europe in the 14th century. In 1387 the state was Christianised, after prayer books were translated into Lithuanian.


The Grand Duchy of Moscow began to rise in the 16th century, putting pressure on Lithuania. In response Lithuania began to ally itself closely with Poland and the two countries united in 1569, forming the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. After the Napoleonic Wars, much of Lithuania was annexed by the Russian Empire. It was given independence at the end of World War I before being occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940.


Lithuania declared itself independent from the Soviet Union in 1990 and joined the European Union in 2004. Since the Global Financial Crises Lithuania has had one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and it is scheduled to hold the EU Presidency in the second half of 2013. Surely the future is once again bright for Lithuania.