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Kingdom of Poland (1076–1079)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kingdom of Poland
Królestwo Polskie (Polish)
Regnum Poloniae (Latin)
Official languagesPolish
Roman Catholicism (institutional)
Slavic paganism (practiced)
GovernmentPatrimonial monarchy
• 1076–1079
Bolesław II the Generous
Historical eraMiddle Ages
26 December 1076
• Dethronisation of Bolesław II the Generous
ISO 3166 codePL
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Poland
Duchy of Poland

The Kingdom of Poland[a] was a kingdom in Central Europe with patrimonial monarchy system. Its capital was Kraków. The state was reformed on 26 December 1076 from the Duchy of Poland, following the coronation of the duke Bolesław II the Generous as king. It existed until 1079 when Bolesław was forced to leave the country by the mutiny of the nobility, and succeeded by his brother, duke Władysław I Herman, reforming the state into the Duchy of Poland.


When Hildebrand of Sovana, an enemy of the German king, became Pope Gregory VII in 1073, Bolesław II the Generous saw in him a natural ally; he started to apply the Pope's reforms in the Archbishopric of Gniezno and commenced negotiations to obtain the royal crown. He spurred the ongoing revolt in Saxony, which had forced Henry IV to retreat from that region (he crushed the revolt at the Battle of Langensalza soon thereafter); the Polish king seized the occasion to launch an invasion against Henry IV's vassal, Vratislaus II of Bohemia, alongside an ally from Grand Prince Vladimir II Monomakh of Kiev.

Thanks to his support of the papal cause during the investiture controversy in the Holy Roman Empire, Bolesław II gained the royal crown of Poland: on Christmas Day of 1076 Archbishop Bogumił crowned him in the Gniezno Cathedral in the presence of a papal legate. King Henry's IV act of contrition at the Walk to Canossa in 1077 included also the imperial recognition of Bolesław II's royal title. Bolesław's new authority, along with his pride, however, caused the Polish magnates to rebel, as they feared the monarchy had started to grow too powerful.

In 1077 Bolesław II's troops helped two pretenders to assume the throne: Ladislaus I of Hungary, another son of Béla I, and again Iziaslav in Kiev. In 1078, while returning from the latter campaign, the Polish troops conquered Red Ruthenia. In 1079, however, the conflict with the Polish nobles culminated into open revolt and Bolesław was deposed and banished from the country. The circumstances that led to the King's banishment hinge on the person of Bishop Stanislaus of Kraków, who had excommunicated the king for his infidelity.

From historical records[1] it appears that Bishop Stanislaus was involved with the barons' opposition movement, plotting to remove the King and to place his brother Władysław Herman on the throne. Bolesław II unilaterally declared Stanislaus guilty of treason – Gallus Anonymus uses the word "traditor" meaning traitor. The historical record was first proposed by Master Wincenty Kadłubek, writing nearly 100 years after Gallus Anonymus and a century and a half after the actual affair.[2] Bolesław II on 11 April 1079 assaulted and then personally wielded the sword that murdered Bishop Stanislaus of Kraków during the celebration of a Mass.[3] Though the bishop had privately and then publicly warned the king to repent of adultery and other vices, Bolesław chose a course of action more characteristic of his nickname, "the Bold".

List of rulers


  1. ^ Polish: Królestwo Polskie; Latin: Regnum Poloniae


  1. ^ Gallus Anonymus Cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum
  2. ^ Chronica seu originale regum et principum Poloniae by Wincenty Kadlubek (between 1190 and 1208 CE)
  3. ^ "The Bishop Hacked to Death by His own King"


  • Oswald Balzer, Genealogia Piastów, Kraków 1895.
  • Norbert Delestowicz, Bolesław II Szczodry. Tragiczne losy wielkiego wojownika, 1040/1042 – 2/3 IV 1081 albo 1082, Kraków 2016, ISBN 978-83-7730-172-2.
  • Kazimierz Jasiński, Rodowód pierwszych Piastów, 2nd eddtion, Poznań 2004.
  • T. Rojek, XIII tajemnic historii, Warsaw 1989.
  • Jerzy Rajman, Zarys dziejów politycznych państwa polskiego Suplement IV, Oxford Educational, Inowrocław
  • Stanisław Rosik, Bolesław Szczodry i jego czasy, Wydawnictwo Dolnośląskie, Wrocław 2002
  • Aleksander Gieysztor, Poczet królów i książąt polskich, Czytelnik, Warsaw 1980
  • Jan Powierski, Kryzys rządów Bolesława Śmiałego, marpress, Gdańsk 1992, ISBN 83-85349-11-1.
  • T. Grudziński, Bolesław Śmiały-Szczodry i biskup Stanisław. Dzieje konfliktu, Warszawa 1983.
  • T. Wojciechowski, Szkice historyczne XI wieku, wyd. 4, Warsaw 1970.
This page was last edited on 14 September 2021, at 13:47
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