The so‑called “council of eight” in the summer campaign of 1410
The paper presents the issue of the functioning of a narrow group of royal advisors – the so‑called “council of eight” during the summer campaign of 1410, about which Jan Długosz wrote in his chronicle. Several days after entering the Prussian territory, the king chose from among all his advisors eight trusted people led by Vytautas the Great. The circumstances in which this group was selected allow to perceive the king’s decision as a remedial measure against the difficulties in the realisation of the campaign plan. These people were chosen due to their influence with the nobility and their importance in the king’s environment. Other criteria – political allegiance, territorial origin – played a secondary role. The main idea of selecting this narrow group of advisors was to improve the efficiency of the decision‑making process in the time of war. Its functioning was visible in the key moments of the campaign (councils before and after the Battle of Grunwald, talks with Heinrich von Plauen, decision to stop the siege of Marienburg). Most of the members were given management over the castles won in Prussia from the king. This exclusive group was dissolved with the end of the summer campaign.