The humanities and social science

2023 Issue №1

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Symbolism of loyalty to the power of Teutonic order among the Old Prussians in the 13—14th centuries



Formation of the State of Teutonic Order in Prussia in the XIIIth—XIVth centuries based beside military oppression on the relations with local population supported by the incorporation of them in the system of condition landholding. These relations implied, from the one hand, the representation by the Order its own status as a collective ruler, and from the other hand, symbolic expression of the loyalty of Old Prussians in various spheres of social communication: language, onomastic, objects of material culture. Definition of the ways to express loyalty that is the purpose of the article allows to characterize the comprehension of Old Prussians their own status in new political conditions. For this purpose by the using of the old comparative-historical, typological and diachronous-synchronous methods were re­sear­ched both written sources and funds from the Old Prussian necropolis. It allows to define that Old Prus­sians expressed their loyalty by the reception of Middle High German language, Chris­tian names and symbols and sign of Teutonic order. Being included in the culture of Old Prussians these elements co-existed with traditional names, language and principle of heathen fu­ne­ral rite. The resulting co-existence of the symbols different by their character became one of the basis for the relations between Old Prussians and Teutonic order that provided stable de­velopment of the State until 1525.