21 June 2017

Under a common sky. Ethnic groups of the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania

Category: New publications, Editorial notes, News, 15 th century, Economic history, Cultural history, Memory studies


The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a nation of equal ethnic and religious identities, a characteristics frequently applied to the First Republic before partitions.

In talking and writing on this topic, religious tolerance is emphasized as a phenomenon of the Europe of the 16th and 17th centuries. Another association leads to the multi-ethnic character of the state populated by more nationalities than only Polish and Lithuanian, which are described by the denomination "both nations” (Obojga Narodów).

Texts collected in the volume bring into focus the nations of the ancient Republic, their number and geographic locations, social structures, inputs in political and cultural life of the nation of the noble class. The authors write about Lithuanians and Ruthenians, and also about newcomers including Germans, Jews, Armenians, Tatars, Karaites, Gypsies or Roma, as well as Italians, Scots and Dutch Mennonites. 

This is a revised version of the book published under the title Pod wspólnym niebem. Narody dawnej Rzeczypospolitej, Warszawa: Muzeum Historii Polski, Bellona, 2010.

The book translated into English thanks to financial suport from the Lanckoroński Foundation.




Michał Kopczyński, National Identity before nationalism: The case of the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania

Andrzej Rachuba, Polish-Lithuanian unions


Andrzej Rachuba, LITHUANIANS

Oleg Łatyszonek, BELARUSIANS

Mirosław Nagielski, UKRAINIANS


Igor Kąkolewski, GERMANS

Andrzej Żbikowski, JEWS

Krzysztof Stopka, ARMENIANS

Jan Tyszkiewicz, TATARS

Anna Sulimowicz, KARAITES



Wojciech Tygielski, ITALIANS

Jacek Wijaczka, SCOTS

Edmund Kizik, MENNONITES


Wojciech Tygielski, But where are the Poles?

Publisher: Polish History Museum in Warsaw and PIASA Books w New York

PIASA Book is an imprint of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America

Year of publication: 2017

ISBN: 978-83-65248-18-3

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