Bolesław the Forgotten

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Bolesław the Forgotten also Cruel (Polish: Bolesław Zapomniany; before 1016 – 1038 or 1039), was a semi-legendary Duke of Poland of the Piast dynasty from 1034 until his death in 1038 or 1039.

He's described in the Wielkopolska Chronicle, written in the 14th century, where he is said to have been given power in Poland after the death of his father, Mieszko II Lambert, as he was the eldest son. According to the chronicle he was killed and deleted from the list of monarchs because of his cruelty.

Bolesław's life is also described in a text written by Wincenty z Kielczy (13th century) and some other sources. In the annals of Kraków chapter's the date of 1038 is also given as well as information about a "king Bolesław's" death. This date cannot be connected with Bolesław I Chrobry (d. 1025) and Bolesław II the Bold (d. 1081 in exile) so it may refer to the Forgotten.

In other Kraków annals Bolesław II the Bold is given as Bolesław III the Bold.

Bolesław is described in annals from Braunweiler, in Czech chronicle of Kosmas, and in Hungarian chronicle of Chartiritusa Bishop.

In older times Bolesław was widely described as historical monarch of Poland. Many Polish historians were sure about his existence: Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Oswald Balzer, Roman Grodecki, Feliks Koneczny, Stanisław Zakrzewski, and Zygmunt Wojciechowski.


  • Casimir I the Restorer was sent to monastery in Germany. Usually only the younger sons were sent to the monasteries, implying that Casimir had an older brother.
  • Name Casimir had not been used earlier in the Piast dynasty. It would be natural to name the eldest son as Bolesław, to honor Mieszko's father - Bolesław I Chrobry.
  • In the period 1034–1039 Casimir was living in Germany. It would have been impossible to leave the Polish state alone, without a monarch for such a long time.

Some say that Gall Anonym failed to describe Bolesław because of the ruler's part in the pagan reaction in Poland.


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