David of Grodno was born 1283 in Lithuania to Daumantas of Pskov (c1240-1299) and Agna of Šiauliai (c1242-c1263) and died 1326 Lithuania of battle wounds.

David (Lithuanian: David Gardiniškis, Belarusian: Давыд Гарадзенскі) was a castellan of Grodno and one of the most important military commanders of Gediminas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. He might have been the son of Daumantas of Pskov (c1240-1299) - who might have been the same person as Daumantas, for a short time Grand Duke of Lithuania - and great grandson of Alexander Nevsky. He supposedly returned to Lithuania, after his father's death in 1299. Polish historian Maciej Stryjkowski (c1547-c1593) claims that David was married to one of the daughters of Gediminas]]. He seems to have been a middleman between the pagan Gediminas and the Christian princes of the Rurikid family and frequently led into battle the united Lithuanian-Ruthenian armies.

David is mentioned for the first time in 1314, when he helped to relieve a siege of Navahradak by the Teutonic Knights. He did not engage in a battle, but instead destroyed food supplies that the Knights left behind. As a result, many Knights died of starvation and exhaustion on their way back to Prussia. In 1319 David was in charge of 800 men who raided Prussia as far as Łyna river. However, on their way back they were attacked by the Komtur of Tapiau (present-day Gvardeysk) and lost all booty.

Four years later, he took part in the Pskovian punitive expedition to Danish Estonia. At the time Pskov was nominally under Novgorod, which was entangled into a conflict with Tver and could not defend Pskov from the Livonian Order. In response to looting in Ladoga and Narva provinces, David, invited by Pskov nobles, led an expedition to Danish Estonia, an ally of the Order. In March and May of 1324, the Order unsuccessfully besieged his native city.

Since the end of 1324 David was based in Grodno. In November of 1324 he raided the lands of Masovian dukes who were allied with the Teutonic Knights. Later they complained to the pope that David destroyed 1 city, 117 villages, and many churches and monasteries. In 1326, he led the Lithuanian armies into Brandenburg and on the way back he was traitorously killed by a Masovian duke.


  • This article incorporates material from the public domain 1906 Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary.
  • (Lithuanian) Šapoka, Adolfas (1937). "Dovydas". In Vaclovas Biržiška. Lietuviškoji enciklopedija. 6. Kaunas: Spaudos Fondas. pp. 1334–1336. 


Footnotes (including sources)


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