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Boleslaus I of Poland

From Academic Kids

Bolesław I Chrobry
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Boleslaus_I.jpg
Boleslaw I Chrobry

Reign From 992
until 1025
Coronation On April 18, 1025 in Gniezno Cathedral, Poland
Royal House Piast
Coat of Arms Orzeł Piastowski
Parents Mieszko I
Dubrawka
Consorts Rikdaga
Judith
Enmilda
Oda
Children with Judith
Bezprym
with Enmilda
Regelina
Mieszko II Lambert
Otton
with Oda
Matylda
Date of Birth 966/967
Place of Birth  ?
Date of Death 1025
Place of Death  ?
Place of Burial Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, Poznań, Poland

Bolesław I Chrobry ('Boleslaus the Brave') (966/967 - 1025) of the Piast family, son of Mieszko I and of his first wife, the Czech princess Dobrawa, ruled as duke of Poland from 992 to 1025 and reigned as King of Poland in 1025.

Boleslaus's Career

In 984 Boleslaus married Rikdaga, the daughter of Riddag (Rikdag, Ricdag), the margrave of Meissen. Subsequently he married Judith, the daughter of Geza the Great Prince of Hungary; then Enmilda, the daughter of one Dobromir, a Lusatian prince; and Oda, daughter of the margrave of Meissen. His wives bore him sons including Bezprym, Mieszko II and Otton; and a daughter, Mathilde. After death of his father around 992 he was able to expel the second wife of his father, Oda, with her sons, and unite the country again.

In 997 Boleslaus sent Saint Adalbert of Prague to Prussia on the Baltic Sea to attempt to convert the Prussians to Christianity. By this time he already possessed Silesia and Pomerania (with its main city of Gdansk and Little Poland (with its main city of Cracow). In 999 he annexed present-day Moravia and in 1000 or 1001 Slovakia.
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Koronacja_Chrobrego_Matejko.jpg
"Coronation of the first King of Poland in 1001", oil on canvas, 1889, Royal Castle in Warsaw.

In A.D. 1000, while on a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Adalbert at Gniezno, the emperor Otto III invested Boleslaus with the title Frater et Cooperator Imperii ("Brother and Partner of the Empire"). Some historians say that the emperor also pledged the king's crown to Boleslaus. On the same visit Otto III accepted Gniezno's status as an archbishopric. For the consequences see the article on the meeting at the tomb of Saint Adalbert.

After the untimely death of Otto III in 1002 at the age of 22, Boleslaus conquered Meissen and Lusatia, in an attempt to wrest imperial territory for himself during the disputes over the throne; he and his father had both backed Henry the Quarrelsome against Otto earlier, and he accepted the accession of Henry II of Germany, the earlier Henry's son.

Boleslaus conquered and made himself duke of Bohemia and Moravia in 1003 - 1004; he defeated the Ruthenians and stormed Kyiv in 1018, annexing the Red Strongholds (Grody Czerwienskie) later called Red Ruthenia and making prince Sviatopolk his vassal there. The intermittent wars with Germany ended with the Peace of Bautzen, Budziszyn in 1018, which left Sorbian Meissen and Lusatia in Polish hands.

The emperor Henry II obliged Boleslaus to give a pledge of allegiance again for the lands he held in fief. After the death of Henry in 1024, Boleslaus crowned himself king, raising Poland to the rank of kingdom (1025).

The son of Boleslaus, Mieszko II crowned himself immediately after his father's death.

Boleslaus sent an army to aid his friend, or more probably to his nephew, Canute in his conquest of England.

The Significance of Boleslaus's reign in the history of Poland

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20 zloty banknote of Poland with face of Boleslaw Chrobry

Boleslaus was the first Polish King, since during his rule Poland became a Kingdom, despite the fact that some of the Polish rulers before 1295 never received a crown. He was the first Polish ruler baptised at birth, the first real Christian ruler. He founded the independent Polish province of the church and made Poland a strong power in Europe. Boleslaus for the first time unified all the provinces that subsequently came to comprise the traditional territory of Poland: Greater Poland, Little Poland, Masovia, Silesia and Pomerania. For the Sorbs of Lusatia he became the national hero.

Template:Kings and Dukes of Poland

Preceded by:Duke of BohemiaSucceeded by:
Boleslaus IIIJaromir
de:Bolesław I. (Polen)

et:Bolesław I Chrobry eo:Boleslaus I fr:Boleslas Ier le Vaillant it:Boleslao I di Polonia ja:ボレスワフ1世 (ポーランド王) pl:Bolesław I Chrobry pt:Boleslaw I da Polnia uk:Болеслав Хоробрий zh:波列斯瓦夫一世

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