Boleslaw I

Picture of Boleslaw I

Citizenship: Poland


Boleslaw I continued his father`s policy of unification of the Polish lands. After the death of Mieszko I, section between the sons of his principality, Boleslav banished his brothers and restored the unity of Poland. In 997 he was able to connect Krakow and Krakow land, one of the richest Polish territories, the former before the possession of the Czech princes. At the same time the power has been restored over East Pomerania Poland, which after the death of Mieszko I tried to achieve independence. In 999 Boleslaw conquered Moravia, and in the next year - a part of the territory of Slovakia. The limits of the Polish state under Boleslav I extended from the Elbe and the Baltic Sea to the Carpathians and Hungary from the Czech Republic to Volyn.

The organization of the Church

Of great importance to Christianity and the prince gave the organization of the Polish Church. In Poland arrived Bishop Adalbert of Prague, better known in Poland under the name of Wojciech, who in 997 went to Christianize the Prussians, zhivuyuschih on land to the north-east of Poland Duchy. The mission was not a success, and he was killed by Wojciech and later canonized. Boleslaw I bought the remains of St. Adalbert-Vojtech and solemnly carried to Gniezno. His Holiness was considered the patron saint of Poland. Simultaneously, Boleslav I managed to get the Pope`s establishment in 1000 of the Polish archbishopric in Gniezno, reporting directly to the Pope. There were also founded the bishopric in Wroclaw, Cracow and Kolobrzeg. Establishment of a national church organization and religious policy Boleslaw I greatly increased the prestige of Poland in the international arena.

Boleslav and Empire

In 1000 Boleslav solemnly took the Emperor Otto III in Gniezno. Otto III liberated Poland from the Universe duties to the empire of Western Pomerania and gave the prince the title of "Brother and partner of the empire." Polish Union, Empire and Papacy offers great opportunities before the prince. The emperor even appealed to Rome asking for the coronation of King Boleslav of Poland. However, the death of Otto III (1002) upset the prince plans. The crown was given to the Hungarian Prince Stephen, the new Emperor Henry II began to conduct anti-Polish policy.

Meanwhile, taking advantage of the death of his cousin Margrave of Meissen Eckhardt and using the rights of his wife, daughter Rikdaga Meissen, Boleslav invaded in 1002 in Meissen and March of Lusatia in eastern Germany, capturing even a few items on the left bank of the Elbe. When Henry II arrived in Merseburg, including the Saxon princes, gathered to swear allegiance to the new king, appeared to him the Polish prince to recognize these areas for them. The king rejected the proposal and gave his son killed Margravate Meissen Margrave Gunzelin. Boleslaw the Brave refused to clean the area of ??employment and on the way back, attacked the German defenses.

In 1002, taking advantage of the expulsion of the Czech Duke Boleslaw III of, Boleslaw the Brave invaded the Czech Republic, Prague and took Czech proclaimed himself Prince. When Henry II ordered him homage (Czech Republic was considered an imperial fief), followed by a resolute refusal. The position of the German king at this time was very critical. Against it broke the conspiracy of the German nobility, which was attended by his brother Bruno; conspirators entered into an alliance with the Polish prince. However, the conspiracy was soon suppressed, and Henry II of, entering into an alliance with the anti-Polish lutici, moved his troops to the Czech Republic. In Prague and other cities, a rebellion broke out. Poles were forced to leave the Czech Republic in 1004 the representative of Premyslid Jaromir was rebuilt on the Czech throne, which resumed homage to the German emperor.

Continuing the offensive, German troops in alliance with the Czechs and lutici in 1004 drove the Poles from Misnenskoy brand. The following year, they made a new campaign by invading Poland and reaching Poznan, but were stopped. Boleslaw the Brave went to make peace (1005), by which Poland refused Nyssa and Misnenskoy areas and recognized the independence of the Czech Republic. Moravia remained in Poland until 1021. This agreement, the terms of which are not known in sufficient detail, ended the first phase of the war against the new German King of Poland.

In 1007 a new war. Henry II of, who was at that time under Valenciennes, did not have sufficient forces are now: the Poles were moved only Saxons lutici took a wait and gavolyane even entered into negotiations with Boleslaw the Brave. The Saxons were defeated, and the Poles recaptured Misnenskuyu and Lusatian region and devastated the East Saxon brand until Magdeburg (1008). Germany concluded an alliance with Hungary and tried to recapture the lost area, but success is not achieved.

In 1010 the Emperor undertook a new campaign, which began with the devastation of Eastern brands. Reaching through the Lausitz Oder to Nimpcha in Silesia, sick, Henry was forced to return without having achieved anything. To unite the forces for the struggle against Poland, Henry II in 1012 ordered the Saxon nobility to refrain from strife within five years. New margraves were also appointed. However, the Saxons were not eager to wage war against Poland, so little suited to their own interests, and even in alliance with the pagan lutici. This fact and the desire Boleslaw a free hand to act against Kiev Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich led to peace talks at Trinity in 1013 in Merseburg. As a result, Boleslav got Lausitz and Earth miltsenov as the German county and received compensation as a vassal king. He promised Henry to accompany him to Rome for the imperial crown, the king also pledged to provide military assistance in the fight against Boleslav Kiev. The daughter of the palatine of Lorraine Ezzo Rihentsa married to the son of Boleslaw, Mieszko.

According to the contract of 1013 by German knights followed Boleslav in the campaign against Russia, but Boleslav not fulfilled promises to send troops to Italy (1014). In view of the decisive failure of Boleslaw the Brave to appear at the court of the German princes, appointed by Henry II in Merseburg, the Emperor confiscated belonged to the Polish prince and Misnenskuyu Sorbian area and, in July 1015 again acted against him. The Emperor passed the Oder at Crossen and broke the Polish squad, led by the son of Boleslaw, Mieszko. However, neither the northern army with lutici under the command of Duke Bernhard of Saxony, which reached Kiistrin or southern army of Bohemians and Bavarians, invading Silesia, could not connect to the Emperor, so that the rear guard of the army when it returned was completely defeated. In pursuit of the retreating troops randomly Henry II, the Poles again crossed the Elbe and burned Meissen (Misny). After fruitless negotiations, and an alliance with Yaroslav of Kiev, have been ineffective, the emperor at the end of July 1017 was put forward by Nimpch in Silesia, but failed to capture it. Finally, the Saxon princes had the emperor assistance in concluding peace with Boleslav in January 1018 in Bautzen. Judging by the fact that Thietmar of Merseburg wrote that the world has entered into a "do not like to be, but as it could be," for the emperor, it was a necessary step, not fully meet the objectives of its policies.

In Bautzen (Budishinskomu) the world in 1018, the emperor recognized the Boleslaw I lennye rights March of Lusatia (Lausitz) and Moravia, while Meissen returned to the emperor. Boleslav took a fourth wife Oda, daughter Ekkerhard Meissen. This world is also provided Boleslav possibility of a military campaign against Russia and the construction of his son-in-Svyatopolk on the throne of Kiev. In 1018, the German knights went back to Boleslav east.

Participation in Russian strife

In 1018 Boleslav, called his son-in-Svyatopolk Damned and free on the western front after Budishinskogo world moved to Volyn, defeated his brother and rival Yaroslav Vladimirovich (the Wise) on the banks of the Bug, captured Kiev and, instead pass it Svyatopolk himself did attempt to gain a foothold there. But the people of Kiev, angry frenzy his squad, started beating the Poles, and Boleslav had to hurriedly leave Kiev, depriving Svjatopolka military aid. But he held for a cherven cities.

The Coronation of Boleslaw

April 18, 1025 Boleslaw the Brave was crowned King of Poland by the Polish bishops. This was to greatly enhance the prestige of the Polish monarch. However, almost continuous wars of conquest Boleslav led to the complete isolation of Poland: the Empire, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia - all neighboring states and Poland were sharply hostile to it.


Contemporaries, even opponents, unanimously characterize Boleslav as a clever, cunning, and the experienced politician. Russian chronicler says Boleslaw "byashe smyslen", is not very fond of his Thietmar of Merseburg emphasizes "fox resourcefulness" Polish Prince. In his youth Boleslav famous for valor in battle and earned the nickname the Brave; courage and endurance has not changed him in later years, when he was a very obese, could no longer be saddled his horse and personally lead troops into battle. Start the Polish state, pledged at Boleslav, experienced a temporary anarchy after his death and were durable.

Marriage and children

ok.984) Daughter Rikdaga, Margrave of Meissen

(985) Hungarian Judith, daughter Geza, Hungary, prince

Bezprym (987-1032)

(987) Emnilda Nyssa, the daughter of Prince Lusatian Dobromir

Mieszko II, king of Poland (1025-1034)

Otto (1000-1034)

Regelinda (989-1014), Single (1002) for Germany, Margrave of Meissen

Daughter (1001-1018), married (1015) for Svyatopolk, Grand Prince of Kiev

(03/02/1018) Oda Meissen, Ekkerharda daughter, Margrave of Meissen

Matilda (1017-1035), Single (1035) Otto of Schweinfurt Duke of Swabia

In addition, Boleslav, capturing Kiev August 14, 1018, was raped on the townspeople`s eyes and took in a concubine Peredslavu Vladimirovna, beloved sister of Yaroslav the Wise, to which previously wooed and was refused, and then, leaving Kiev, took her (and perhaps first Jaroslav wife Anna) in Poland. According to a contemporary, chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg, Boleslaw gave it the appearance of a regular marriage union (although already married); perhaps it was to confirm his ownership of Kiev.