MARQUARD VON SALZBACH. Comendator Brandburgensis / Postcard

Comendator Brandburgensis.

Teutonic Knight.

Size: 15 x 10,5 cm

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Marquard von Salzbach was a Teutonic knight, who played a significant role in shaping the relations between the Teutonic knights and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1389-1410.

During the Lithuanian Civil War in 1381-1384 Vytautas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, captured Marquard after Vytautas reconciled with his cousin Jogaila. At that time Marquard was a castellan of the Marienburg, the Teutonic castle on the Neman river. Marquard became a friend and a close advisor to Vytautas. Grand Duke of Lithuania sent Marquard on a diplomatic mission to form an Alliance with the Teutonic knights. Civil war broke out in Lithuania in 1389, Marquard came free and returned to the knights, becoming a castellan of Ragnit, respected by experts, because of his fluency in lithuanian and in-depth knowledge of the Lithuanian Royal court.

When Vytautas turned against the knights, Marquard fought against Lithuania in an attempt to conquer Samogitia. Marquard helped to negotiate peace in the Treaty of Salynas in 1398. In 1399 Marquard  brought 1.600 cavalry to support Vytautas at the battle against the Golden Horde near the Vorskla river. The battle ended with a crushing defeat of the lithuanians, Vytautas barely managed to escape alive, only three Teutonic knights escaped with a few low-ranking soldiers.

In 1404 Marquard insulted Vytautas by attacking his murdered mother Birute. Personal conflict grew between the two, and was finally resolved during the 1410 battle of Grunwald, where Marquard participated as the commander of Brandenburg. According to Jan Dlugosz’ s notes in Banderia Prutenorum, Marquard was taken as a prisoner. Vytautas beheaded Marquard because he refused to apologize Vytautas for the insult.

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