Mindaugas

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Mindaugas of Lithuania (also known as Mindowe) and his wife were baptized in 1251/3 by the bishop of Kulm from Culmer Land in the presence of the Master of the Teutonic Order or Teutonic Knights. A Teutonic Knight named Christian was consecrated by the pope as first bishop of Lithuania. The archbishop Albert of Riga undertook the consecration. Albert of Riga desired to have the new diocese as suffragan of his see. Mindaugas desired a special diocese for his territory and under Christian ( coadjutor bishop of Mainz) it was made directly dependent on Rome.

Mindaugas was crowned by pope Innocent IV as the first Lithuanian king.

This Lithuanian bishop Christian is not to be confused with another earlier one; Christian of Oliva, Apostle of Prussia.

The Baltic tribes continued to resist conversion to Christianity. Mindaugas was murdered by his nephew Traniate. Great confusion and relaps into paganism followed.

Only with Gediminas, who received title of grand duke of Lithuania in 1316 , did restoration of Lithuania start again. Gediminas undertook the restorations and building of many new cities with the help of colonists from Germany. The cities founded received German law statute (Magdeburg rights).

While the grand dukes of Lithuania starting with Jagiello also undertook ruling as the kings of Poland , their titles remained seperate. Mindaugas remained the only king of Lithuania.

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