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In the early 16th century a new stage in the history and cultural life of Lithuania began: the development of a national written culture.

Two basic periods are distinguished in the development of the written Lithuanian language:

1. The Old Period (16th-18th Centuries)
   1.1. 16th-17th Centuries
   1.2. 18th Century
2. The New Period (19th-20th Centuries)
   2.1. The First Half of the 19th Century 1883
   2.2. The End of the 19th Century The Beginning of the 20th Century (1883-1918)
   2.3. The Years of Independence (1918-1940)
   2.4. 1940 to the Present

Because of religious and cultural circumstances, Lithuanian was used as a written medium in both Lithuania and the Prussian Dukedom.

In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the written language is divided into two variants:

the eastern variant of the written language (based on the traditional language spoken in the capital of the Lithuanian state, in the Vilnius Bishopric);
the central variant of the written language (the language of the Samogitian Bishopric that developed from the traditional language of the historical Samogitian Duchy).

Three main functional styles are distinguished in the written Lithuanian language of the Old Period:

1. Ecclesiastical

ecclesiastical prose (biblical texts, prayers, sermons, etc.)
ecclesiastical poetry (hymns, psalms)

2. Bureaucratic

administrative-bureaucratic (various government orders and decrees)
legal-bureaucratic (various judicial oaths, agreements, etc.)

3. Literary

Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, The Institute of the Lithuanian Language, Lithuanian Institute of History, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, 2003 - 2006