Radziwiłł (Radzivil; Lithuanian: Radvilas). A Lithuanian magnate family in the 15th- to 16th-century Lithuanian-Ruthenian state and the 16th- to 18th-century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The progenitor was the Lithuanian noble Radvilas Astikas. In the 16th century the Radziwiłłs established links through marriage with the Jagiellon dynasty, the Hohenzollern dynasty, and other European royal dynasties and became the only Lithuanian family to receive the title of princes of the Holy Roman Empire (1547). The family owned thousands of rural estates as well as castles and towns, many of them in Volhynia voivodeship and Kyiv voivodeship. It also had its own private army with some 6,000 soldiers. Twenty-two of its members held high military and political offices (grand hetman, grand chancellor, voivode) in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Several Radziwiłłs were directly involved in Ukrainian history. Albrycht-Stanisław (b 1 July 1593 in Olyka, Volhynia, d 12 November 1636 in Gdańsk) was the Lithuanian grand chancellor from 1623. His Memoriale rerum gestarum in Polonia, 1632–1656 (4 vols, 1968–74; Polish trans: Pamiętnik o dziejach w Polsce, 3 vols, 1980) contains valuable observations and information about the Cossack-Polish War. Janusz (b 2 December 1612, d 31 December 1655) was the Lithuanian field hetman (1646–54) and grand hetman (1654–5) during the Cossack-Polish War. He fought the invading Cossacks in Belarus in 1649, defeated them at Loev on 6 July 1651, and captured Kyiv on 4 August 1651, after which he exacted harsh retributions against its inhabitants. In 1654 his army was defeated by the allied Cossack and Muscovite forces. Janusz's son, Bogusław (b 3 May 1620, d 31 December 1669), was the Lithuanian equerry from 1646. During the later part of the Cossack-Polish War he made a pact with Sweden and in 1656 requested that Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky take his domain of Slutsk principality under his protection. In 1657–65 Bogusław was the governor of ducal Prussia and an ally of Sweden against King Jan II Casimir Vasa. He donated the Radziwiłł Chronicle to a library in Königsberg. His autobiography was published in Warsaw in 1979. Karol Stanisław (b 27 February 1734, d 21 November 1790) was a leader of the Confederation of Bar in 1768.

Lubomyr Wynar, Arkadii Zhukovsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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