Zbigniew of Poland
|Duke of Poland|
Portrait by Leonard Chodźko.
|Died||8 July 1113 (?)|
|Place of death||Tyniec Abbey, Tyniec (?)|
|Predecessor||Władysław I Herman|
|Successor||Bolesław III Wrymouth|
|Father||Władysław I Herman|
- 1 Early years
- 2 Impediments to Succession
- 3 First return to Poland
- 4 Struggle for supremacy (1102–1106)
- 5 Second return to Poland
- 6 Blinding
- 7 Death
- 8 Ancestry
- 9 See also
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 References
Zbigniew was born around 1070 (1060 to 1076), the first child of Władysław I Herman and Przecława, a member of the Prawdzic clan. The location of his birth within Poland is unknown. There is doubt as to the nature of the relationship between Zbigniew's parents. Przecława may have been Prince Władysław's mistress or they may have married in a Pagan (and therefore unrecognised) ceremony. Despite his illegitimate origin, Zbigniew grew up in his father's court and in the absence of others, was recognised as his father's heir. In 1079, after his elder brother Bolesław II the Bold was deposed, Władysław I, became ruler of Poland. In 1080, Władysław I married Princess Judith, daughter of Duke Vratislaus II of Bohemia. Przecława was banished and died about 1092.
Impediments to Succession
In 1085, Władysław I recalled Mieszko Bolesławowic (the only son of the deposed Bolesław II), from exile in Hungary. In exchange for promised succession and rule over the district of Kraków, Mieszko accepted the rule of his uncle and relinquished his inheritance. Although popular with the Polish aristocracy, Mieszko was likely poisoned and died in 1089.
Bolesław III Wrymouth
In 1086, Judith gave birth to a son, Bolesław III Wrymouth. Although Zbigniew was too young to be ordained, he was posted to the Canonry of Kraków, a position likely arranged by Judith to keep Zbigniew from the line of succession. Dowager Duchess Maria Dobroniega, Zbigniew's paternal grandmother, guided his ecclesiastical studies. Judith died in 1086.
After the death of Judith of Bohemia in 1086, Władysław I married Judith of Swabia called Sophia. She was the sister of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor and the widow of the ex-King Solomon of Hungary. Zbigniew's relationship with Sophia was a cold one. Zbigniew was sent to Quedlinburg Abbey in Saxony where Sophia's sister Adelaide was Abbess. if Zbigniew become a monk, he would be rendered ineligible for the succession Although Władysław I had secured his son, Boreslav III's succession, his own position was threatened by those who recognised Zbigniew.
Despite being ruler of Poland, Władysław I fell in debt to his supporter, Count Palatine Sieciech. Sieciech was also the guardian of Bolesław III, still a minor, and (perhaps justifiably) had ambitions to rule. Sophia supported this ambition. In 1090, Sieciech, with his militia, took control of Gdańsk, Pomerania. Władysław I prevented further actions through fortification of major towns and burning of others. Several months later, a rebellion of the elite of Gdańsk restored their independence. In the autumn of 1091, Polish and Bohemian militia made a further but unsuccessful invasion of Pomerania which culminated in a battle at the Wda river.
In the late 11th century, the Rostislavich line, then in power in Russia, did not recognise Polish sovereignty. Vasilko of Terebovlia, allied with the Cumans invaded Poland. Sieciech was installed as ruler of Poland. He demonstrated this by minting his own coin and consolidated his position by appointing his supporters to the judiciary. Siechiech was a despot who caused a mass emigration from Polish territories to Bohemia
First return to Poland
In 1093, a group of powerful Silesian lords liberated Zbigniew and returned him to Poland. Initially, Zbigniew was protected by Magnus, the Castellan of Wrocław. The nobility of Hungary also lent support by detaining Siechiech and Bolesław III. Władysław I issued an Act of Legitimization which recognized Zbigniew as his son, a member of the Piast dynasty and the heir to the thrown.
Battle of Goplo
By 1096, Sieciech and Bolesław III had escaped Hungary and launched an expedition against Zbigniew. Zbigniew was defeated at the Battle of Goplo. Zbigniew was captured and imprisoned until the intervention of the Church secured his release on 1 May 1097 at the consecration of the rebuilt Gniezno Cathedral At the same the Act of Legitimization was reinstated.
Division of Poland
On learning of the treachery of Sieciech and Sophia, Zbigniew and his younger half-brother Bolesław III became allies. In 1098, both princes forced Władysław I to give them separate provinces. Władysław I conceded and made a formal division of his lands. Zbigniew received Greater Poland (including Gniezno), Kuyavia, Łęczyca and Sieradz Land. Bolesław III received Lesser Poland, Silesia and Lubusz Land. Władysław I kept Masovia and its capital, Plock as well as major cities including Wrocław, Kraków and Sandomierz.
Battle of the River Pilica
The division of Poland threatened the position of Sieciech. Sieciech prepared for war. Strangely, Władysław I supported Sieciech rather than his sons. With the threat of war, Zbigniew and Bolesław III renewed their alliance. This renewal was formalised by the magnate Skarbmir at the "Wiec" in Wrocław. A nobleman, Wojslaw (a relative of Sieciech) was removed from the guardianship of Bolesław III. In 1099, the opposing forces met in battle at the river Pilica near Zarnowiec. Zbigniew and Bolesław III prevailed.
Battle of Płock
Sieciech, still supported by Władysław I, hid in Sieciechów. A few months later, Zbigniew and Bolesław III attacked. In a campaign to encircle Sieciech and Władysław, Zbigniew marched against Masovia, where he took control of Płock, while Bołeslaw was directed to the South. Władysław I countered by returning to Masovia. The definitive battle between both forces took place near Płock. Władysław I was defeated. Sieciech was exiled to Germany in about 1100 but may have returned to Poland a blind man.
Struggle for supremacy (1102–1106)
Principle of the Senoriate
After the death of Władysław I on 4 June 1102, the division of the country between Zbigniew and Bolesław III was maintained. From the lands of Władysław I, Zbigniew received Masovia (with Płock) and Bolesław III received Sandomierz. However, disputes began between Zbigniew and Bolesław III over seniority.
The provinces of Zbigniew and Bolesław III operated as separate states with their own internal and foreign policies leading to discord between the two rulers. For example, Zbigniew objected to Bolesław III's military incursions into Pomerania. Zbigniew allied his province with Bohemia and wished no conflict with Pomerania while Bolesław III allied his province with Hungary and Kievan Rus.
Marriage of Bolesław III
The marriage of Bolesław III to Zbysława (ca. 1103), daughter of Sviatopolk II of Kiev, sealed Bolesław III's alliance with Kievan Rus. Threatened by this strengthening alliance, Zbigniew urged Borivoj II of Bohemia to invaded Bolesław III's lands. Bolesław III, reacted by ravaging and looting the Pomeranian border regions. The incursions effectively destroyed Zbigniew's peaceful relationship with the Pomeranian state. In 1105, Zbigniew and Bolesław III agreed to reciprocal compromise in matters of foreign policy. However, with respect to Pomerania, the agreement (the Tyniec Accord) failed.
In 1106, with the help of his Kievan and Hungarian allies, Bolesław III attacked Zbigniew’s lands. They took Kalisz, Gniezno, Spycimierz and Leczyca without difficulty. Bolesław III also captured Martin I, an ally of Zbigniew. In Łęczyca, through the mediation of the Bishop of Kraków, Baldwin, Zbigniew capitulated. Bolesław III became the 'High Duke of all Poland', and gained from Zbigniew the regions of Greater Poland, Kuyavia, Łęczyca and Sieradz Land. Zbigniew retained Masovia as a fiefdom.
Deposing and exile
Zbigniew resisted Bolesław III's ascendance by refusing to burn the fortress of Kurów in Puławy and by failing to provide military support for Bolesław III's campaign against Pomerania in the winter of 1107–1108. In response, Bolesław III and his allies attacked Masovia, forcing Zbigniew into exile. (Another source suggests the change in power occurred early in 1107.) Initially, Zbigniew took refuge in Pomerania and Bohemia; later, he went to the court of the King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V.
Second return to Poland
In 1108, Bolesław III attacked Bohemia causing a German-Bohemian attack against Hungary to fail. In 1109, Germany and Bohemia retaliated and so commenced the Polish-German War). Henry V sent an ultimatum to Bolesław III. He would cease his military action if Bolesław III returned half of Poland to Zbigniew; recognised the sovereignty of the Holy Roman Empire; and paid an annual "tribute" of 300 pieces of silver or provided 300 knights. Instead, hostilities began in Silesia. Bolesław III's defence of castles such as Bytom Odrzański, Wrocław culminating in the Battle of Głogów on 14 August 1109 prevailed. On 24 August 1109, following the Battle of Hundsfeld, Henry V retired. Of note is the participation of local villagers in the defence of Bolesław III's castles suggesting the beginnings of Polish nationalism.
Zbigniew, who had escaped to Bohemia, conducted a guerilla war across Silesia, for example, through arranging armed robberies. In 1110, Bolesław III attacked Bohemia in retaliation but despite heavy losses among the Bohemians, Soběslav, the ruler of Bohemia, prevailed.
In 1111 a truce was made between the Duke Vladislav I of Bohemia and Bolesław III. Specifically, Zbigniew was returned to Poland and allocated a grant of land, probably Sieradz. According to Gallus Anonymus, Zbigniew's arrogance so annoyed Bolesław III, in around 1111, a punishment was arranged.
- "Three days after his brother Zbigniew made the oath of fidelity, he was deceived and blinded."
Bolesław III was excommunicated by the Archbishop of Gniezno, Martin I, whom remained as strong a supporter of Zbigniew as ever. However, according to Gallus Anonymus, Bolesław III repented and Zbigniew pardoned him.
Little is known of the death of Zbigniew. Historians refer to an obituary of 8 July 1113 found at the Benedictine monastery of Lubin of one "Brother Zbigniew", a monk of Tyniec Abbey. The place of burial is recorded as the Benedictine monastery of Tyniec.
|Ancestors of Zbigniew of Poland|
- Gieysztor, Aleksander (1979). History of Poland. Warsaw: PWN—Polish Scientific Publishers. ISBN 83-01-00392-8.
- "Zbigniew". Internetowa encyklopedia PWN (in Polish). Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- "Zbigniew". WIEM Encyklopedia (in Polish). Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- Some sources gives date of birth after 1070 (WIEM Encyklopedia) and date of death 1112 (Gieysztor 1979, p. 138, 668).
- M. Spórna, P. Wierzbicki: Słownik władców Polski i pretendentów do tronu polskiego, p. 501; B. Snoch: Protoplasta książąt śląskich. Katowice, 1985, p. 13, ISBN 83-216-0644-X.
- Benyskiewicz, p. 74-75.
- K. Jasiński, Rodowód pierwszych Piastów, Wrocław – Warszaw (1992).
- According to J. Wagilewicza, Zbigniew's mother was named Krystyna; O. Balzer: Genealogia Piastów, p. 107. Today it is widely accepted that the mother of Zbigniew was Przecława, a member of the Prawdzic family. See A. Nawrot: Encyklopedia Historia, Kraków 2007, p. 738. ISBN 978-83-7327-782-3.
- M. Spórna, P. Wierzbicki: Słownik władców Polski i pretendentów do tronu polskiego, p. 499.
- O. Balzer: Genealogia Piastów, p. 107, doesn't consider Zbigniew's mother as Władysław I's wife; while T. Grudziński believed that until 1080, Władysław I remained unmarried. Other historians assert that Zbigniew's mother was the first wife of Władysław I. K. Jasiński: Rodowód pierwszych Piastów. Poznań, 2004, p. 164. ISBN 83-7063-409-5.
- S. Trawkowski: Zbigniew [in]: Poczet królów i książąt polskich. Warsaw 1978, p. 72.
- Krystyna Przecława Prawdzic
- R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol. I, p. 130.
- R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol I. pp. 127-128.
- This arrangement was designed to keep the status quo. M. Spórna, P. Wierzbicki: Słownik władców Polski i pretendentów do tronu polskiego, p. 353.
- M. Spórna, P. Wierzbicki: Słownik władców Polski i pretendentów do tronu polskiego, p. 353.
- K. Maleczyński, Bolesław III Krzywousty pp 22-23.
- S. Trawkowski: Władysław I Herman [in]: Poczet królów i książąt polskich, Warsaw 1978, p. 67.
- K. Maleczyński: Bolesław III Krzywousty pp. 22-23.
- M. Spórna, P. Wierzbicki: Słownik władców Polski i pretendentów do tronu polskiego, p. 229.
- P. Ksyk-Gąsiorowska: Zbigniew, [in]: Piastowie. Leksykon biograficzny Kraków 1999, p. 72. ISBN 83-08-02829-2.
- The Count Palatine Sieciech, supporter of Władysław I, and Sophia were responsible for Zbigniew's placement at the Abbey. R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol I, p. 129.
- S. Szczur: Historia Polski – średniowiecze p. 117.
- R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol. I, p. 128.
- K. Maleczyński: Bolesław III Krzywousty, p. 30.
- Sieciech aimed to rapidly integrate Pomerania into Poland. S. Szczur: Historia Polski – średniowiecze, pp. 117-118.
- M. Spórna, P. Wierzbicki: Słownik władców Polski i pretendentów do tronu polskiego, p. 445.
- K. Maleczyński: Bolesław III Krzywousty, p. 26.
- R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol. I, p. 129.
- L. Korczak: Władysław I Herman [in]: Piastowie. Leksykon biograficzny, Kraków 1999, p. 65. ISBN 83-08-02829-2.
- R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol. I, p. 131.
- The decision to give lands to Zbigniew and Bolesław was first mooted in 1093. K. Maleczyński: Bolesław III Krzywousty, pp. 34-35.
- Historians have presented different views about the division of the country. R. Grodecki suggests a first division was made during the reign of Duke Władysław I, in the years 1097-1098, and a second took place after his death in 1102, under the arbitration of Archbishop Martin. R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol. I, pp. 131-135. G. Labuda suggests the division occurred around 1097, but only when Bolesław had completed 12 years of service. G. Labuda: Korona i infuła. Od monarchii do poliarchii, Kraków 1996, pp. 16-69. ISBN 83-03-03659-9. K. Maleczyński sets the date of the first division at 1099. J. Wyrozumski: Historia Polski do roku 1505, Warsaw 1984, p. 101. ISBN 83-01-03732-6.
- S. Szczur: Historia Polski – średniowiecze, p. 119.
- Zbigniew would inherit the lands of Władysław I which were critical to the integrity of Poland as a sovereign state. R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol. I, pp. 131-132.
- S. Szczur: Historia Polski – średniowiecze, p. 120.
- Zdzisław S. Pietras, Bolesław Krzywousty, Cieszyn 1978, pp. 45-60.
- P. Jasienica: Polska Piastów, Warsaw 2007, p. 116. ISBN 978-83-7469-479-7.
- Z. S. Pietras: Bolesław Krzywousty Cieszyn 1978, p. 58.
- P. Jasienica: Polska Piastów, Warsaw 2007, p. 117. ISBN 978-83-7469-479-7.
- S. Szczur: Historia Polski – średniowiecze, p. 121.
- Grodecki argues that Zbigniew established the Principle of the Seniorate and that he was supported by Polish society. R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol. I, pp. 135-136. Labuda disputes this. G. Labuda: Korona i infuła. Od monarchii do poliarchii, Kraków 1996, pp. 16-17, ISBN 83-03-03659-9.
- R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol. I, p. 135.
- R. Drogi, Państwo Czeskie Przemyślidów (historia Czech, vol. III, cap. 1) Access 10 November 2005
- M. Spórna, P. Wierzbicki: Słownik władców Polski i pretendentów do tronu polskiego, p. 62.
- K. Maleczyński: Bolesław III Krzywousty, pp. 59-60.
- R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol. I, p. 137.
- M. Spórna, P. Wierzbicki: Słownik władców Polski i pretendentów do tronu polskiego, p. 500.
- S. Szczur: Historia Polski – średniowiecze, p. 122.
- K. Maleczyński: Bolesław III Krzywousty, p. 65.
- K. Maleczyński: Bolesław III Krzywousty, p. 68.
- M. Spórna, P. Wierzbicki: Słownik władców Polski i pretendentów do tronu polskiego, p. 63.
- K. Olejnik: Cedynia, Niemcza, Głogów, Krzyszków, Kraków 1988. ISBN 83-03-02038-2.
- R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski: Dzieje Polski średniowiecznej, vol I, p. 139.
- P. Ksyk-Gąsiorowska: Zbigniew, [in:] Piastowie. Leksykon biograficzny, Kraków 1999, p. 75. ISBN 83-08-02829-2.
- Historians debate the date of the blinding of Zbigniew. The year 1110 is mentioned by Kosmas of Prague in his chronicles: Kosmasa Kronika Czechów. Warsaw 1968, p. 115. Others propose 1111: Giesebrecht: Wendische Geschichte aus den Jahren 780 - 1182. Berlin: 1843, p. 176; M. Gumblowicz: Zur Geschichte Polens im Mittelalter. Zwei kritische Untersuchunden über die Chronik Baldwin Gallus. Aus dem Nachlass des Verfassers herausgegeben. Innsbruck 1898, p. 94, or 1112: O. Balzer: Genealogia Piastów, p. 117; S. Szczur: Historia Polski – średniowiecze, p. 124; T. Tyc: Zbigniew i Bolesław [in]: Arcybiskup Marcin i Gniezno, Poznań: 1927, p. 23. For the years 1112-1113 see R. Grodecki [in]: Gall Anonim: Kronika polska, Kraków 1923, pp. 28-29; M. Plezia [in]: Gall Anonim: Kronika polska, p. 38. See also B. Kozłowski: Death of Prince Zbigniew, brother of Bolesław Wrymouth (in Polish) [Access 2 September 2009]; and, for the year of 1113 see K. Maleczyński, Bolesław III Krzywousty, pp. 70-75.
- T. Tyc: Zbigniew i Bolesław [in]: Arcybiskup Marcin i Gniezno, Poznań 1927, pp. 30-40.
- Gall Anonim: Kronika polska, Wrocław: 2003, p. 159. ISBN 83-04-04610-5.
- M. Spórna, P. Wierzbicki: Słownik władców Polski i pretendentów do tronu polskiego, p. 501; B. Snoch: Protoplasta książąt śląskich, Katowice 1985, p. 13. ISBN 83-216-0644-X.
Zbigniew of Poland
Piast DynastyBorn: ca. 1073 Died: 8 June? 1113?
Władysław I Herman
|Duke of Poland
with Bolesław III
Bolesław III Wrymouth