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Piast dynasty

This article is about a Polish dynasty. For other uses, see Piast (disambiguation).
Piast
100px
Country
Titles
  • King of Poland
  • King of Rus'
  • Duke of the Polans
  • Duke of Poland
  • Duke of Krakow
  • Duke of Kujawy
  • Duke of Mazovia
  • Duke of Sandomierz
  • Duke of Greater Poland
  • Duke of Silesia
  • and several other ducal titles (see Dukes of Silesia)
  • Duke of Sieradz-Łęczyca
  • Duke of Bohemia
  • Founded 960
    Founder semi-legendary Piast, son of legendary Chościsko
    Final ruler Casimir the Great, in the Kingdom of Poland, and George IV William of Legnica, in the Silesian duchies
    Dissolution 1370, in the Kingdom of Poland, and 1675, in the Duchies of Silesia
    Cadet branches

    The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland. The first documented Polish monarch was Prince Mieszko I (c. 930–992). The Piasts' royal rule in Poland ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir III the Great.

    Branches of the Piast dynasty continued to rule in the Duchy of Masovia and in the Duchies of Silesia, until the last male Silesian Piast died in 1675. The Piasts intermarried with several noble lines of Europe, and possessed numerous titles, some within the Holy Roman Empire.

    Origin of the name

    The early dukes and kings of Poland regarded themselves as descendants of the semi-legendary Piast the Wheelwright (Piast Kołodziej), first mentioned in the Cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum (Chronicles and deeds of the dukes or princes of the Poles), written c. 1113 by Gallus Anonymus. However, the term "Piast Dynasty" was not applied until the 17th century.[3][4] In a historical work the expression Piast dynasty was introduced by the Polish historian Adam Naruszewicz, it is not documented in contemporary sources.

    History

    The first "Piasts", probably of Polan descent, appeared around 940 in the territory of Greater Poland at the stronghold of Giecz. Shortly afterwards they relocated their residence to Gniezno, where Prince Mieszko I ruled over the Civitas Schinesghe from about 960. The name Polani, from Slavic: pole ("field"), did not appear until 1015. The Piasts temporarily also ruled over Pomerania, Bohemia and the Lusatias, as well as Ruthenia and, by pawning, the Hungarian Spiš region in present-day Slovakia. The ruler bore the title of a duke or a king, depending on their position of power.

    The Polish monarchy had to deal with the expansionist policies of the Holy Roman Empire in the west, resulting in a chequered co-existence, with Piast rulers like Mieszko I, Casimir I the Restorer or Władysław I Herman trying to protect the Polish state by treaties, oath of allegiances and marriage politics with the Imperial Ottonian and Salian dynasties. The Bohemian Přemyslid dynasty, the Hungarian Arpads and their Anjou successors, the Kievan Rus', later also the State of the Teutonic Order and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were mighty neighbours.

    The Piast position was decisively enfeebled by an era of fragmentation following the 1138 Testament of Bolesław III Krzywousty. For nearly 150 years, the Polish state shattered into several duchies, with the Piast duke against the formally valid principle of agnatic seniority fighting for the throne at Kraków, the capital of the Lesser Polish Seniorate Province. Numerous dukes like Mieszko III the Old, Władysław III Spindleshanks or Leszek I the White were crowned, only to be overthrown shortly afterwards. The senior branch of the Silesian Piasts, descendants of Bolesław III Krzywousty's eldest son Duke Władysław II the Exile, went separate ways and since the 14th century were vassals of the Bohemian Crown.

    After the Polish royal line and Piast junior branch had died out in 1370, the Polish crown fell to the Anjou king Louis I of Hungary, son of late King Casimir's sister Elizabeth Piast. The Masovian branch of the Piasts became extinct with the death of Duke Janusz III in 1526. The last ruling duke of the Silesian Piasts was George William of Legnica who died in 1675. His uncle Count August of Legnica, the last male Piast, died in 1679. The last legitimate heir, Duchess Karolina of Legnica-Brieg died in 1707 and is buried in Trzebnica Abbey. Nevertheless numerous families, like the illegitimate descendants of the Silesian duke Adam Wenceslaus of Cieszyn (1574–1617), link their genealogy to the dynasty.

    Coat of arms

    About 1295, Przemysł II used a coat of arms with a white eagle – a symbol later referred to as the Piast coat of arms or as the Piast Eagle.[5]

    Piast rulers

    Piast kings and rulers of Poland appear in list form in the following table. For a list of all rulers, see List of Polish monarchs.

    Dukes of the Polans

    Name
    Lifespan
    Reign start
    Reign end
    Notes
    Family
    Image
    Chościsko
    • Latin: Semovit filius Past Ckosisconis, Pazt filius Chosisconisu
    • Duke
    9th century 9th century 9th century A legendary ruler of the Polans, father of Piast the Wheelwright Polans (Tribe) 80px
    Piast the Wheelwright
    • Polish: Piast Kołodziej
      Latin:
      Past Ckosisconis, Pazt filius Chosisconisu
    • Duke
    9th century 9th century 9th century A legendary ruler of the Polans
    Son of Chościsko, father of Siemowit
    Founder of the Piast dynasty
    Piast 80px
    Siemowit
    • Ziemowit
    • Duke
    9th century 9th century 9th century A semi-legendary ruler of the Polans, son of Piast the Wheelwright and Rzepicha Piast 80px
    Lestek
    • Leszek, Lestko
    • Duke
    9th / 10th centuries 9th / 10th centuries 9th / 10th centuries A semi-legendary ruler of the Polans, son of Siemowit Piast 80px
    Siemomysł
    • Ziemomysł
    • Duke
    10th century 10th century 10th century A semi-legendary ruler of the Polans, son of Lestek Piast 80px

    Dukes and Kings of Poland

    Name
    Lifespan
    Reign start
    Reign end
    Notes
    Family
    Image
    Mieszko I of Poland
    • Duke
    ca. 940 – 25 May 992 ca. 960 992 Son of Siemomysł
    First Christian monarch
    Misico, dux Wandalorum
    Piast 80px
    Bolesław I the Brave
    967 – 17 June 1025 Duke: 992
    King: 18 April 1025
    Duke: 18 April 1025
    King: 17 June 1025
    Son of Mieszko I and Dobrawa of Bohemia
    First to be crowned King
    Regnum Sclavorum, Gothorum sive Polonorum
    Piast 80px
    Mieszko II Lambert ca. 990 – 10/11 May 1034 1025 1031 Son of Bolesław I and Emnilda of Lusatia Piast 80px
    Bezprym
    • Duke
    ca. 986 – 1032 1031 1032 Son of Bolesław I and Judith of Hungary (disputed) Piast 80px
    Otto Bolesławowic
    • Duke
    1000 – 1033 1032 1032 Son of Bolesław I and Emnilda Piast 80px
    Theodorick
    • Dytryk
    • Duke
    after 992 - after 1032 1032 1032 /1033 Grandson of Mieszko I and Oda of Haldensleben Piast 80px
    Mieszko II Lambert
    • Duke
    ca. 990 – 10/11 May 1034 1032 1034 Restored Piast 80px
    Bolesław the Forgotten
    • Polish: Bolesław Zapomniany
    • Duke
    before 1016 – 1038 or 1039 1034 1038 /1039 Semi-legendary, existence disputed Piast 80px
    Casimir I the Restorer
    • Polish: Kazimierz I Odnowiciel
    • Duke
    (1016-06-25)25 June 1016 – 28 November 1058(1058-11-28) (aged 42) 1039 1058 Son of Mieszko II and Richeza of Lotharingia Piast 80px
    Bolesław II the Bold
    ca. 1041 or 1042 – 2 or 3 April 1081 or 1082 Duke: 1058
    King: 1076
    Duke: 1076
    King: 1079
    Son of Kazimierz I and Maria Dobroniega of Kiev Piast 80px
    Władysław I Herman
    • Duke
    ca. 1044 – 4 June 1102 1079 1102 Son of Kazimierz I and Maria Dobroniega Piast 80px
    Zbigniew
    • Zbygniew
    • Duke
    ca. 1073 – 8 July 1113 1102 1107 Son of Władysław I and Przecława of Prawdzic coat of arms (disputed)
    First jointly with Władysław I 1098-1102
    Piast 80px
    Bolesław III Wrymouth
    • Polish: Bolesław III Krzywousty
    • Duke
    (1086-08-20)20 August 1086 – 28 October 1138(1138-10-28) (aged 52) 1107 1138 Son of Władysław I and Judith of Bohemia
    First jointly with Władysław 1098-1102
    Introduced senioral principle
    Piast 80px

    High Dukes of Poland (Fragmentation of the Kingdom)

    Name
    Lifespan
    Reign start
    Reign end
    Notes
    Family
    Image
    Władysław II the Exile
    • Polish: Władysław II Wygnaniec
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    1105 – 30 May 1159 1138 1146 Son of Bolesław III and Zbyslava of Kiev
    Also Duke of Silesia
    Exiled by his brothers
    Piast 80px
    Bolesław IV the Curly
    • Polish: Bolesław Kędzierzawy
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1125 – 5 January 1173 1146 1173 Son of Bolesław III and Salomea of Berg
    Also Duke of Masovia
    Piast 80px
    Mieszko III the Old
    • Polish: Mieszko III Stary
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1127 – 13 March 1202 1173 1177 Son of Bolesław III and Salomea
    Also Duke of Greater Poland
    Piast 80px
    Casimir II the Just
    • Polish: Kazimierz II Sprawiedliwy
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1138 – 5 May 1194 1177 1190 Son of Bolesław III and Salomea
    Also Duke of Wiślica and Sandomierz
    Piast 80px
    Mieszko III the Old
    • Polish: Mieszko III Stary
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1127 – 13 March 1202 1190 1190 Restored Piast 80px
    Casimir II the Just
    • Polish: Kazimierz II Sprawiedliwy
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1138 – 5 May 1194 1190 1194 Restored Piast 80px
    Leszek I the White
    • Polish: Leszek Biały
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1186 – 24 November 1227 1194 1198 Son of Casimir II and Helen of Znojmo
    Also Duke of Sandomierz
    Piast 80px
    Mieszko III the Old
    • Polish: Mieszko III Stary
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1127 – 13 March 1202 1198 1199 Restored Piast 80px
    Leszek I the White
    • Polish: Leszek Biały
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1186 – 24 November 1227 1199 1199 Restored Piast 80px
    Mieszko III the Old
    • Polish: Mieszko III Stary
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1127 – 13 March 1202 1199 1202 Restored Piast 80px
    Władysław III Spindleshanks
    • Polish: Władysław III Laskonogi
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1161/66 – 3 November 1231 1202 1202 Son of Mieszko III and Eudoxia of Kiev
    Also Duke of Greater Poland
    Piast 80px
    Leszek I the White
    • Polish: Leszek Biały
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1186 – 24 November 1227 1202 1210 Restored Piast 80px
    Mieszko IV Tanglefoot
    • Polish: Mieszko I Plątonogi
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1130 – 16 May 1211 1210 1211 Son of Władysław II and Agnes of Babenberg
    Also Duke of Silesia
    Piast 80px
    Leszek I the White
    • Polish: Leszek Biały
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1186 – 24 November 1227 1211 1225 Restored Piast 80px
    Henryk I the Bearded
    • Polish: Henryk I Brodaty
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1165 – 19 March 1238 1225 1225 Grandson of Władysław II, son of Bolesław I the Tall and Krystyna
    Also Duke of Silesia
    Piast 80px
    Leszek I the White
    • Polish: Leszek Biały
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1186 – 24 November 1227 1225 1227 Restored
    Assassinated
    Piast 80px
    Władysław III Spindleshanks
    • Polish: Władysław III Laskonogi
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1161/66 – 3 November 1231 1227 1229 Restored Piast 80px
    Konrad I of Masovia
    • Polish: Konrad I Mazowiecki
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1187/88 – 31 August 1247 1229 1232 Son of Kazimierz II and Helen of Znojmo
    Also Duke of Masovia
    Piast 80px
    Henryk I the Bearded
    • Polish: Henryk I Brodaty
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1165 – 19 March 1238 1232 1238 Restored Piast 80px
    Henryk II the Pious
    • Polish: Henryk II Pobożny
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1196 – 9 April 1241 1238 1241 Son of Henry I and Saint Hedwig of Andechs (Saint Hedwig of Silesia)
    Slso Duke of Wroclaw and Greater Poland
    Fell at Battle of Legnica
    Piast 80px
    Bolesław II Rogatka
    • Bolesław II the Horned
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1220 – 1225 1241 1241 Son of Henry II and Anne of Bohemia
    Also Duke of Silesia
    Piast 80px
    Konrad I of Masovia
    • Polish: Konrad I Mazowiecki
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1187/88 – 31 August 1247 1241 1243 Restored Piast 80px
    Bolesław V the Chaste
    • Polish: Bolesław Wstydliwy
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    21 June 1226 – 7 December 1279 1243 1279 Son of Leszek the White and Grzymislawa of Luck Piast 80px
    Leszek II the Black
    • Polish: Leszek Czarny
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1241 – 30 September 1288 1279 1288 Paternal grandson of Konrad I of Masovia
    Maternal grandson of Henry II
    Son of Casimir I of Kuyavia and Constance of Wrocław
    Piast 80px
    Bolesław II of Masovia
    • Boleslaw II of Płock
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1251 – 20 April 1313 1288 1288 Grandson of Konrad I of Masovia
    Duke of Masovia
    Piast 80px
    Henryk IV Probus
    • Polish: Henryk IV Prawy
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1257/58 – 23 June 1290 1288 1289 Paternal grandson of Henryk II
    Maternal grandson of Konrad I
    Son of Henry III the White and Judyta of Masovia
    Duke of Lower Silesia
    Piast 80px
    Bolesław II of Masovia
    • Boleslaw II of Płock
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1251 – 20 April 1313 1289 1289 Restored Piast 80px
    Władysław I the Elbow-high
    • Polish: Władysław I Łokietek
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    1261 – 2 March 1333 1289 1289 Grandson of Konrad I of Masovia
    Son of Kazimierz I of Kujawia and Euphrosyne of Opole
    Piast 80px
    Henryk IV Probus
    • Polish: Henryk IV Prawy
    • High Duke
      Supreme Prince
    ca. 1257/58 – 23 June 1290 1289 1290 Restored Piast 80px

    Kings of Poland (Reunification attempts)

    Name
    Lifespan
    Reign start
    Reign end
    Notes
    Family
    Image
    Przemysł II
    (1257-10-14)14 October 1257 – 8 February 1296(1296-02-08) (aged 38) High Duke: 1290
    King: 1295
    High Duke: 1291
    King: 1296
    Grandson of Henryk II
    Son of Przemysł I and Elisabeth of Wrocław
    Also Duke of Poznań, Greater Poland and Pomerania
    Piast 80px

    Kings of Poland (Reunited Kingdom)

    Name
    Lifespan
    Reign start
    Reign end
    Notes
    Family
    Image
    Władysław I the Elbow-high
    1261 – 2 March 1333 1320 1333 Restored
    Re-united the Kingdom of Poland
    Piast 80px
    Casimir III the Great
    (1310-04-30)30 April 1310 – 5 November 1370(1370-11-05) (aged 60) 1333 1370 Son of Władysław I the Elbow-high and Jadwiga of Kalisz
    Regarded as one of the greatest Polish monarchs
    Piast 80px

    Female Piasts

    Queen consorts

    File:Denar rys chrobry1.png
    Denar Princes Polonie, 11th century (in the times of Bolesław I Chrobry), one of the most famous coins in the history of Polish coinage.

    Priesthood

    File:Polska 992 - 1025.png
    Poland in the times of the Piast dynasty (992-1025)

    Archbishops

    Bishops

    See also

    References

    1. A. Małecki, Studya heraldyczne [Heraldic Studies], vol. I, Lwów 1890, pp. 268-285; M. L. Wójcik, Ród Gryfitów do końca XIII wieku. Pochodzenie — genealogia — rozsiedlenie, Historia CVII, Wrocław 1993, p. 39.
    2. Rodowód książąt pomorskich Edward Rymar Książnica Pomorska, 2005, page 53
    3. Encyklopedia Powszechna PWN Warsaw 1975 vol. III p. 505
    4. "Piast Dynasty". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 30 March 2011. The name Piast was not applied to the dynasty until the 17th century. 
    5. Górczyk, Wojciech, "Półksiężyc, orzeł, lew i smok. Uwagi o godłach napieczętnych Piastów" http://histmag.org/?id=3057&act=ac

    External links


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