Konstanty Ostrogski

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Konstanty Ostrogski
Kanstantyn Astroski. Канстантын Астроскі (XVIII) (2).jpg
Coat of armsOstrogski
Bornc. 1460
FatherIvan Ostrogski
MotherN. Bielska
Konstanty Ostrogski
Coat of armsPOL COA Ostrogski.svg
Noble familyOstrogski

Konstanty Iwanowicz Ostrogski (c. 1460 – 10 August 1530; Belarusian: Канстантын Іванавіч Астроскі, Ukrainian: Костянтин Іванович Острозький, Kostjantyn Ostroz'kyj, Lithuanian: Konstantinas Ostrogiškis, also known under his Ruthenian name Vasyl-Kostjantyn Ostroz'kyj and modern Belarusian transliteration Kanstancin Astrožski) was a prince and magnate of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later a Grand Hetman of Lithuania from 11 September 1497 until his death.

He started his military career under king John I of Poland. He took part in successful campaigns against the Tatars and Grand Duchy of Moscow. For his victory near Ochakiv against the forces of Mehmet Girey he was awarded with the title of Grand Hetman of Lithuania. He was the first person to receive this title. However, during a war with Muscovy he was defeated in the Battle of Vedrosha (1500) and held captive for three years. In 1503 he managed to escape and joined king Sigismund I the Old, who allowed him to resume his post as a Hetman. As one of the main military leaders (alongside Grand Hetmans of the Crown Mikołaj Firlej and Mikołaj Kamieniecki) of the alliance he continued to wage war against the Grand Duchy of Moscow and in 1512 achieved a great victory against the Tatars in the Battle of Wiśniowiec.

In 1514 another war with the Grand Duchy of Moscow started and Ostrogski became the commander in chief of all the Polish and Lithuanian forces (amounting to up to 35,000 soldiers). Among his subordinates were Jerzy Radziwiłł, Janusz Świerczowski, Witold Sampoliński and the future Hetman of the Crown Jan Tarnowski. On 8 September 1514 he achieved a significant victory in the Battle of Orsha, defeating an army of Vasili III. However, in 1517 his attempt to besiege the Russian fortress of Opochka became a serious defeat that destroyed any hopes to reconquer Smolensk.

He had two wives: Tatiana Koretska and Aleksandra Słucka. He had two sons: Ilia Ostrogski with Koretska, and Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski with Słucka.

He died in 1530 as a well-respected military commander. Despite his steady loyalty to the Catholic monarch as well as an old feud with an Orthodox Muscovy, Ostrogski himself remained a devout Orthodox in traditions of his family. He gave generously for construction of Orthodox churches and sponsored the creation of many church-affiliated schools for the orthodox children. As one of the wealthiest Orthodox nobles he was buried in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra in Kiev.

He is one of the characters on the famous painting by Jan Matejko, Prussian Homage.

The town of Starokostiantyniv still bears his name. The Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade is also named after him. For his wars against Crimea see Crimean-Nogai Raids, years 1508–1527, including Battle of Olshanitsa.

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