STORIES
Freedom

Lev Sapega

by Valeriya from Slonim, Belarus

Lev Sapega, the outstanding politician and public (ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/)
Lev Sapega, the outstanding politician and public (ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/)

There was one great figure in the history of our state and town, in particular about whom I am going to tell you. His name is Lev Sapega. He is known as an outstanding Belorussian politician, a well-known public and military figure of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania,a diplomat and thinker.

Lev Sapega lived and worked many years ago - in the sixteenth century. He was a very educated man for his time. He was sent to study at an early age. At first he was taught by Calvinist teachers and then got a very good education at Leipzig University in Germany. After his training there he returned to his native land as a well-trained jurist, diplomat and philosopher. Lev Sapega knew many foreign languages: Greek, Latin, German and Polish.His broad mind, an unusual logic of thinking, brilliant memory and excellent knowledge of laws helped him to win some juridical cases and he soon was noticed by the king of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. As a result he was appointed to the post of the royal secretary. At this time he did a lot for his native Belorussian people. Thanks to him about 1000 Belorussian soldiers were freed from the Russian captivity. For this successful diplomatic mission he got further promotion and became a lifelong Head of Slonim. So our native town became his residence.

Sapega used the knowledge that he had got at university while working at the third Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania - a code of laws which determined the policy of the country. It's important to mention that throughout many years this great document was considered as the sample of legislation in Europe. By the way, the Statute was written in the Belorussian language and it worked for 252 years till the year of 1840.

 (www.albaruthenia.by.ru/sapega.htm)
(www.albaruthenia.by.ru/sapega.htm)

The Statute was not the only thing he did for the development of legislation. In those days he insisted on the same laws for both the ruling class and common people. Lev Sapega fought for man's independence and freedom and he understood freedom as life in accordance with the laws. As we see he was quite democratic in his views. And we see that many of his ideas were later developed by the politicians of Western Europe.

We are proud of this great man and of everything he has done for our country. Quite fairly, the history of Belarus of the second half of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century is considered the epoch of Lev Sapega. He was a devoted, self-denying patriot, for whom the service to Motherland was the highest duty.

Page created on 5/25/2015 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/5/2017 11:56:23 PM

Related Links

Lew Sapieha - Wikipedia
Statutes of Lithuania - The first constitution in Europe
Lev Sapega - Belarus Guide