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Kingdom of Poland (1295–1296)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kingdom of Poland
Królestwo Polskie (Polish)
Regnum Poloniae (Latin)
Map of territories ruled by Przemysł II and Władysław I Łokietek between 1295 and 1296.
Map of territories ruled by Przemysł II and Władysław I Łokietek between 1295 and 1296.
Official languagesPolish
Roman Catholicism
• 1295–1296
Przemysł II
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Coronation of Przemysł II
26 June 1295
• Assassination of Przemysł II
8 February 1296
• Partition of the state
10 March 1296
ISO 3166 codePL
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Greater Poland
Duchy of Greater Poland
Margraviate of Brandenburg
Duchy of Głogów

The Kingdom of Poland[a] was a kingdom in Central Europe located in the Greater Poland, existing between 1295 and 1296. It was formed from the Duchy of Greater Poland on 26 June 1295, with the coronation of Przemysł II. Despite the title of the King of Poland used by the ruler, he controlled only the area of Greater Poland and Duchy of Pomerelia, with which the state was in the personal union. Its capital was Poznań. The country existed until 10 March 1296, when after the death of the king Przemysł II on 8 February 1296, the state was partitioned into the Duchy of Greater Poland, with some lands additionally being given to the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and the Duchy of Głogów.


The unification of Greater Poland and Pomerelia made Przemysł II the strongest Piast ruler. Already by 1290, and with the help of Archbishop Jakub of Gniezno, the duke began to prepare his coronation, earlier unsuccessfully pursued by Henryk IV Probus, the preliminary step for the unification of Poland.

Due to the occupation of Lesser Poland by Wenceslaus II, the Duke of Greater Poland had to postpone his plans until 1294. Only with the death of Mestwin II – an event which increased considerably his power among the Piasts rulers – Przemysł II, together with Archbishop Jakub, took the decisive decision for a coronation.

The coronation of Przemysł II and his wife Margaret took place at Gniezno Cathedral on Sunday 26 June 1295, the day of Saints John and Paul.[1] It is unknown why it took place as a simple coronation ceremony (ordinis cororandi) despite it was the first Polish coronation in 219 years. Besides Archbishop Jakub of Gniezno, the other main representants of church hierarchy who participated in the ceremony were:[2][3] Bishops Konrad of Lubusz, Jan II of Poznań, Wisław of Włocławek and Gedko II of Płock. From the Polish episcopate, Bishops Johann III Romka of Wrocław and Jan Muskata of Kraków were possibly either present in person or sent their consents.[4] Historians generally agree with the above list of Bishops who participated in the coronation. Certainly are some doubts about the presence of Bishop Konrad of Lubusz, who on 18 June was in Prague.[5] However, as was noted by Kazimierz Tymieniecki,[6] he could be able to make the travel to Gniezno for the coronation. There is no information about the secular witnesses of the coronation; certainly many dignitaries from both Greater Poland and Pomerelia must have arrived.[7] Similarly, no sources point to the presence of other Piasts rulers in the ceremony.[8]

The consent of Pope Boniface VIII wasn't necessary, because due to the earlier coronations Poland was already a Kingdom.[9] Contemporary sources do not definitively confirm that Przemysł II and Archbishop obtained the approval of the Holy See for the coronation. Only the Kronika oliwska[10] and the Kronika zbrasławska[11] stated that the coronation took place with such consent.

If there was an explicit approval, it could influence the later effort of Władysław the Elbow-high to obtain the Pope's permission for his own coronation; the coronation in 1320 took however place in very different circumstances, because Władysław had a competitor to the throne in the person of King John of Bohemia and the Papacy was then strongly influenced by the French court.[12] In 1295 the Papacy was an independent entity and the Polish episcopate could more calmly await the expected protests from Wenceslaus II.

Regardless of whether Przemysł II has obtained the consent of the Pope or not, the legality of his coronation was not questioned by his contemporaries. Even the Czech Kronika zbrasławska did not deny the royal title of the Duke of Greater Poland, although it called him King of Kalisz.[13] Finally, Wenceslaus II restricted his actions only to diplomatic protests to both Przemysł II (where he tried to persuade him to give up the crown) and the Papal Curia.[14]

The coronation of Przemysł II gave rise to a dispute between historians about the extent of his kingdom. Stanisław Kutrzeba pointed that Przemysł II, in fact, was crowned King of Greater Poland.[15] This theory caused a lively discussion, which to this day doesn't give a clear answer about the monarchical status of Przemysł II.[16] It could be expected however that Przemysł II wanted to revive through the coronation the old Kingdom of Poland, which also agrees with the inscription on the post-coronation seal Reddidit ipse pronis victricia signa Polonis,[17] although in reality Przemysł II was politically limited to Greater Poland and Gdańsk Pomerania.

King Przemysł II was assassinated on 8 February 1296. Following his death, between February and March,[18] the forces of the rulers of neighbouring states had entered the country. They were the forces of Władysław I Łokietek, supported by Bolesław II of Masovia, and Henry III, supported by Bolko I of Opole.[19]

It remains unknown if there were any battles fought between occupying armies. On 10 March 1296, Władysław Łokietek and Henry III had signed the truce agreement in Krzywiń,[20] In the agreement, Łokietek had recognised Henry III as ruler of the Greater Poland, in accordance to his previous agreement with Przemysł II. He also had given him the territories of the Greater Poland to the line of the Oder river. Łokietek had also adopted the oldest son of Henry III, Henry IV the Faithful, in the exchange of succising him on the throne of the Duchy of Poznań, once Henry IV would become adult.[21]

After the death of Przemysł II, Margraviate of Brandenburg had annexed the territories on the north from the Noteć river and the grods of Wieleń, Czarnków, Ujście, Santok and Drezdenko.[22]

At the same time Leszek of Inowrocław, the ruler of the Duchy of Inowrocław had invaded the Duchy of Pomerelia, with the intend of gaining the control over it. However, after the intervention by Łokietek, Leszek was forced to retreat to his state, annexing only Wyszogród [pl].[23]

List of rulers


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


  1. ^ Rocznik Traski, [in:] MPH, vol. II, p. 853; Rocznik Sędziwoja, [in:] MPH, vol. II, p. 879; Rocznik wielkopolski 1192–1309, edited by A. Bielowski, [in:] MPH, vol. III, p. 40.
  2. ^ according to the Chronicle of Greater Poland Rocznik wielkopolski 1192–1309, [in:] MPH, vol. III, p. 40.
  3. ^ Rocznik kapituły poznańskiej 965–1309, [in:] MPH, SN, vol. VI, Warsaw 1962, p. 53.
  4. ^ The consents of the Bishops of Wrocław and Kraków for the coronation are rejected by some historians. Indeed, their approval wasn't required for the validity of the coronation. Z. Dalewski: Ceremonia koronacji Przemysła II, [in:] Przemysł II. Odnowienie Królestwa Polskiego, edited by J. Krzyżaniakowej, Poznań 1997, p. 211.
  5. ^ O. Balzer: Królestwo Polskie 1295–1370, vol. I, Lwów 1919, p. 338.
  6. ^ K. Tymieniecki: Odnowienie dawnego królestwa polskiego, [in:] "Kwartalnik Historyczny", XXXIV, 1920, pp. 48–49.
  7. ^ A. Swieżawski: Przemysł. Król Polski, Warsaw 2006, pp. 164–165.
  8. ^ Władysław I the Elbow-high and, less likely, Siemowit of Dobrzyń and Bolesław II of Masovia could be present at the ceremony. J. Bieniak: Znaczenie polityczne koronacji Przemysła II, [in:] Orzeł biały. Herb państwa polskiego, edited by S. Kuczyńskiego, Warsaw 1996, p. 51, and T. Jurek: Dziedzic Królestwa Polskiego książę głogowski Henryk (1274–1309), Poznań 1993, p. 31, their assistance doesn't seem possible, because, according to the writings of 14th century chronicler Jan of Czarnków, the Piast princes could be very sensitive to any such restriction of their political freedom. See B. Nowacki: Przemysł II 1257–1296. Odnowiciel korony polskiej, Poznań 1997, p. 147.
  9. ^ For example, there are no preserved informations about a papal consent for the coronations of Wenceslaus II in 1300 and Ryksa-Elisabeth in 1303. Despite this fact, the approval of the Pope by Przemysł II is extremely popular among historians. K. Ożóg: Przemysł II, [in:] Piastowie, Leksykon biograficzny, Kraków 1999, p. 159, even detailed that the delegation sent to Rome was led by Dominican friar Piotr Żyła.
  10. ^ Chronica Oliviensis auctore Stanislao abbate Oliviensi, Secunda tabula benefactorum, [in:] MPH, vol. VI, Kraków 1893, p. 315.
  11. ^ Petra Zitavskeho kronika zbraslavska, [in:] Fontes rerum Bohemicarum, t. IV, edited by J. Emler, Prague, 1884, p. 60. The author stated that Przemysł II managed to get the crown as a result of misappropriation of funds, which were sent to Rome. A. Barciak: Czeskie echa koronacji Przemysła II, [in:] Przemysł II. Odnowienie Królestwa Polskiego, edited by J. Krzyżaniakowej, Poznań 1997, p. 225.
  12. ^ A. Swieżawski: Przemysł. Król Polski, Warsaw 2006, p. 163.
  13. ^ Perhaps the reason for this recognition was the subsequent marriage of Wenceslaus II to Przemysł II's daughter Richeza-Elizabeth. Petra Zitavskeho kronika zbraslavska, [in:] Fontes rerum Bohemicarum, vol. IV, edited by J. Emler, Prague, 1884, p. 60.
  14. ^ A. Barciak: Czeskie echa koronacji Przemysła II, [in:] Przemysł II. Odnowienie Królestwa Polskiego, edited by J. Krzyżaniakowej, Poznań 1997, p. 225.
  15. ^ S. Kutrzeba: Historia ustroju Polski w zarysie, vol. I, Korona, Warsaw 1905, pp. 44–45.
  16. ^ About the Greater Poland Kingdom wrote: S. Kętrzyński: O królestwie wielkopolskim, PH, VIII 1909, p. 131 ff; J. Baszkiewicz: Powstanie zjednoczonego państwa polskiego na przełomie XIII i XIV wieku, Warsaw 1954, p. 242. In turn, emphasized its universal nature (King of all Poland): S. Krzyżanowski: Regnum Poloniae, [in:] "Sprawozdanie Akademii Umiejętności, Wydział Historyczno-Filozoficzny", 1909, nr 5, p. 1; O. Balzer: Królestwo Polskie, vol. II, Lwów 1919, p. 321.
  17. ^ A. Swieżawski: Przemysł. Król Polski, Warsaw 2006, pp. 168–169.
  18. ^ Balzer O., Królestwo Polskie 1295–1370, t. I – III, Lviv 1919–1920. p. 350–351
  19. ^ T. Jurek, Dziedzic Królestwa Polskiego książę głogowski Henryk (1274–1309), Poznań 1993, p. 32–34
  20. ^ B. Śliwiński, Wiosna 1296 roku w Wielkopolsce i na Pomorzu Gdańskim, in Przemysł II. Odnowienie Królestwa Polskiego, redicted by J. Krzyżaniakowej, Poznań 1997, p. 233–235.
  21. ^ J. Bieniak, Wielkopolska, Kujawy, ziemia łęczycka i sieradzka wobec problemu zjednoczenia państwowego w latach 1300–1306, Toruń 1969, p. 122–123
  22. ^ Por. E. Długoposki, Władysław Łokietek na tle swoich czasów, Wrocław 1951, s. 33–34, K. Jasiński, Rola polityczna możnowładztwa wielkopolskiego w latach 1284–1314, in Roczniki Historyczne, v. 39, 1963, s. 227, H. Łowmiański, Początki Polski, t. VI/2, Warsaw 1985, p. 871
  23. ^ B. Śliwiński, Wiosna 1296 roku w Wielkopolsce i na Pomorzu Gdańskim, [w:] Przemysł II. Odnowienie Królestwa Polskiego, pod red. J. Krzyżaniakowej, Poznań 1997, ss. 237–242
This page was last edited on 21 September 2021, at 13:10
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