Part Three (1092-1144)

Collected by Leszek z Szczytna

These notes were compiled from English language resources as a personal reference for my historical re-enactment activities, were not originally intended as a formal scholarly work, or for public release.  I am not a credentialed historian, and cannot read Polish or Latin.   The bibliography may not include all sources.  When sources disagreed, I chose the best synthesis in my own judgment.  Comments and speculations are my own, and may not align with scholarly consensus. 

These notes have been broken into four sections for easier loading and are organized chronologically. Please indicate which section you are interested in (unless you are already there):

  • Part One (623-1018)
  • Part Two (1019-1091)
  • Part Three (1092-1144)
  • Part Four (1145-1194; Bibliography)

    1092 Exiles (mostly to Bohemia), and dissidents, kidnap (rescue?) Zbigniew from monastery, and 'invade' Silesia, with Czech support!? Welcomed by Silesian magnates. Magnus, castellan of Wroclaw, agrees to act as 'guardian and spokesman' for Zbigniew (guardian? or jailer?)

    1093 Negotiations unproductive, Wladyslaw Herman attacks Silesia with Hungarian reinforcements. BUT! Laszlo of Hungary, angry over deaths of Boleslaw Smialy and Mieszko, 'enters' Polish camp, takes wojewoda Sieciech, and heir Boleslaw Krzywousty (Wrymouth) prisoner! (Force? or Stealth?). Wladyslaw concedes, legitimizes Zbigniew (ELDEST!). and sanctions his residence in Silesia. Kujavia declares for Zbigniew.

    1094? Sieciech escapes (how? friends?) Hungarians. Sieciech incites Wladyslaw to have another go at Zbigniew (how?). Sieciech's 'ties with the Silesian Mozni (?? -Manteuffel)' allow Wladyslaw to attack. Zbigniew (and ex-exiled friends?), lacking aid of Silesian Nobility (Magnus of Wroclaw??), escape to Kujavia. Wladyslaw defeats Kujavia, despite Pomeranian reinforcements. Zbigniew surrenders to Wladyslaw under guarantee of personal safety, but imprisoned in Sieciech's custody, in Sieciech's castle (treatment?).

    1097 Anti-Sieciech magnates force Wladyslaw to confirm legitimacy of Zbigniew.

    1099 Pope Urban II dies.

    1100 Anti-pope Clement III (Guibert of Ravenna) dies.

    1097 - 1102 Zbigniew and Boleslaw Krzywousty, with support of pro-Piasts, force Wladyslaw Herman into transfer of power. Poland divided:
    Zbigniew - Wielkopolska, Kujavia, Sieradz, and Leczca.
    Boleslaw - Malopolska, Silesia, Lubusz, small area of W. Wielkopolska
    Wladyslaw - Mazovia (Zbigniew to inherit), and major cities in Boleslaw's area (Boleslaw to inherit). Also retains position as Senior/Princeps.

    Somehow, Sieciech left in place, continues intrigues. 'Sieciech ... set many traps for both young men and ...turned the father's heart and mind away from his sons. In the cities that were granted to the young princes, he placed stewards and administrators of his own family or men of lower station. They were subject to the young princes, but [Sieciech] inclined them through his perfidious cunning to be disobedient.' -- Gall Anonim

    Wladyslaw orders Boleslaw vs Czechs. 'Circumstances' (?) made him suspect set up for assassination. Father/sons break. Princes call assembly in Wroclaw. Make case vs Sieciech. Assembly agrees, prepares to ouster Sieciech by force. Both sides prepare for civil war: '... took up positions with their armies ... in Zarnowiec [on Pilica river] ... finally convinced their father, through the influence of dignitaries and their own threats... ... said that the father also pledged ... never allow Sieciech to regain his previous rank. When Sieciech returned to the city which bears his name [Siecieshow, near Deblin, on Vistula - Gall says Sieciech built this city himself.(?)], the brothers came before their father humbly, calmly, and without weapons, and offered him their devotion, not as independent princes, but with bowed heads as knights [vassals] and his subjects. Then the father, and the sons, and all the nobles, now united, together with the whole army followed in pursuit of Sieciech... ...the prince himself [Wladyslaw], when it was thought that he was sound asleep, and without the knowledge of anyone but three of his most devoted confidants, quietly left the camp and crossed the Vistula by boat ... to reach Sieciech. All the nobility were outraged and declared that to abandon his sons and so many nobles and the army is ... a madman's choice. Immediately an assembly was called and it was decided that Boleslaw should take Sandomierz and Krakow, the largest and nearest seats of the kingdom, and he accepted their vows of fealty that they would be subject to his rule. Zbigniew was to hurry to Mazovia and take ... Plock ... but Zbigniew was intercepted by his father and did not achieve what he intended. [...] And after a time the sons assembled the nobles and an army and made camp on the opposite shore of the Vistula from Plock, and the Archbishop Marcin, a faithful elder with great foresight, ameliorated ... but with great difficulty between the father and the sons. Prince Wladyslaw, it is said, reaffirmed his vow... Then Boleslaw returned all the capitals ... sinewed to his father, but the father did not keep to the agreement... But finally the sons forced the father to exile Sieciech from Poland and thereby satisfy their demands.' -- Gall Anonim

    WHAT was Sieciech's hold on Wladyslaw? Wladyslaw caught up in 'Master Plan'? Homosexual lover? Heterosexual lover in Sieciech's following? Blackmail? drugs? magic? WHAT?

    Anonim reports Sieciech did return to Poland, but not to power. (Blinded, as was common?)

    Sieciech's actions, and lack of Senior designate on Wladyslaw's death greatly increased magnates' power vs ducal rule. Office of Palatine left vacant until after Wladyslaw's death.

    Zbigniew - older and calmer, proponent of 'good neighbor policy,' and diplomacy over military action.
    Boleslaw Krzywousty - like namesakes, enthusiastic and skilled warrior. Liked and respected by knights. Especially eager to (re-)annex rich Pomeranian Oder basin, in accord with long-standing Piast policy.


  • June 4 - Wladyslaw Herman dies without designating princeps (Senior). Poland divided. Dispute over Wladyslaw's land and treasury arbitrated by Archbishop Marcin:
    Zbigniew - Mazovia, Plock, and maybe Krakow.
    Boleslaw - Sandomierz, and Wroclaw.

    1103 Boleslaw weds Zbyslawa, daughter of grand prince of Kiev, Sviatopolk, and sister of Jaroslav of Volynia. Making alliances early for eventual showdown with Zbigniew. (Blame Boleslaw's ambition, Zbigniew probably thought he was doing quite well enough for a concubine's bastard.) Zbigniew makes treaty with Pomeranians (who knew they were on Krzywousty's hit list), and the Czechs, moving thereby towards the Imperial axis. (connections from Saxony?)

    1104 Zbigniew incites Czechs and Pomeranians to attack on two fronts. Boleslaw's lands badly ravaged, expansionism stalled.

    Boleslaw makes pact with Kalman of Hungary. If empire attacks one, the other will hold off the Czechs. Overtures to Apostolic See (hostile to Czech/Empire axis).

    1105 Wladyslaw II Wygnaniec (the Exile) born to Boleslaw and Zbyslawa.

    1106 Henry IV dies. Boleslaw and Zbigniew make pact; 'one without the other will not enter into agreements with enemies, whether in regard to war or peace, nor will one without the other enter into any alliance, and that each will aid the other against his enemies and provide all necessary aid.'(Gall Anonim). Boleslaw immediately marches on Pomerania. Zbigniew refuses aid, and sends his army to turn Boleslaw back at Pomeranian border. Zbigniew wants Pomeranians as allies, not raiders taking vengeance on his lands for Boleslaw's attack. Boleslaw 'convinces' Czechs to remain neutral (threat? bribe?) and attacks Zbigniew. Takes Kalisz, Gniezno, Spicymierz, and Leczyca. Gathers Hungarian and Rus troops and digs Zbigniew out of Mazovia. Zbigniew surrenders, and is left with only Mazovia held in fief, not independent principality.

    1107 Boleslaw attacks and occupies Pomeranian (Prussian?) Bialogrod (Belgard) and Kolobrzeg. Zbigniew fails to send troops due from vassal: 'Realizing that his brother did not honor any of the things he had pledged and vowed and that he was a hindrance to the entire country because he was dangerous and guilty, Boleslaw exiled him from all the lands of the Polish Kingdom, and with the aid of those who supported [Zbigniew] and defended the city on the borders of the state, he (Boleslaw) defeated the Hungarians and Russians.' -- Gall Anonim

    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
    Why was Boleslaw defeating his allies, the Hungarians and Russians, with the aid of Zbigniew's supporters, after exiling Zbigniew? Are these his foreign auxiliaries on a rampage, or going independent? It's probably not a double-cross attack, on either side, because Boleslaw honors his mutual assistance treaty with Kalman in 1108. Perhaps his foreign troops from the Mazovian, or Pomeranian campaign, (after being released?) attacked some 'city on the border' of Zbigniew's fief (Mazovia). (Excuse for lack of support in Pomerania?) Then, after exiling Zbigniew, Boleslaw helps repel the attackers, possibly improving image with local magnates. (Conceivably, a truly devious plot: Boleslaw arranges for attack, and either plans with attackers that they'll retreat (with whatever loot they've taken) when he attacks, or just double-crosses them, with an easy victory likely due to surprise factor.)
    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    Zbigniew seeks aid in Bohemia and Empire. Continuing theme of Polish disunity just when Empire is vulnerable, possibly Boleslaw gained support as leader best able to confront growing Imperial threat under Henry V. Strong enemies support unity. Or else attack by Empire was response to resurgent Polish strength and unity.

    1107 Winter - Fall 1108 Boleslaw assaults cities on routes through Notec swamps, frequent raids back-and-forth between Poles, Poms, and Prussians. Archbishop Marcin almost captured in one Pomeranian raid deep into Boleslaw's territories.


  • Fall - Germans attack Hungary. Boleslaw attacks Bohemia per pact of 1104. Pomeranians, with inside help, sieze Ujsie (Usch).

    1109 Pomeranians and Czechs ally, agree to support Zbigniew for throne, and coordinate attacks on Mazovia, and Silesia.

  • Summer - Poles besiege Naklo, major key to Notec access.
  • 10 Aug - Large, Pan-Pomeranian relief force routed, leaving entire Kraina area open. Poles occupy Naklo, six other cities, and Kraina in general. Further exploitation of opportunity stopped by impending Imperial attack. Kraina left as vassal state under ruler of Pomeranian Vistula basin, Swietopelk, distant cousin of Piast line.

    Henry V, on border of Poland, demands recognition, and half of kingdom for Zbigniew, and 300 grzywna annually or 300 knights for a campaign as tribute, or '...divide your kingdom with me by the sword if you are able.' Boleslaw's counteroffer of financial or military assistance to church, with Henry V as advocatus and intermediary for Apostolic See is rejected. Germans/Czechs attack Silesia. Unsuccessfully assault Lower Bytom (Beuthen), Glogow, and Wroclaw. No pitched battle, Henry V brought to table via guerrilla tactics.

    '...all his might, his gifts, and his promises had proved ... useless against [Glogow] ... he marched against ... Wroclaw, but there too he still had to reckon with Boleslaw's military talent and strength. Wherever the emperor ... stopped to camp, Boleslaw ... remained near the place... And ... Boleslaw was there just as an inseparable companion during the march; and if anyone dared to step out of formation, then he would not find his way back; and if a detachment, confident in its number, separated in order to search for supplies or fodder for the horses, then Boleslaw would ... cut off their retreat. And so the emperor's army that had come after plunder was itself plundered ... he drove so large and fine an army to the point of such fear that even the Czechs, who are born plunderers, were forced to exist on their own supplies, or go hungry, because no one dared leave camp; no squire attempted to gather grasses for the horses, nor did anyone even dare go beyond the guardposts to relieve their bodily functions. They were in fear of Boleslaw day and night; reminding one another that Boleslaw does not sleep. When they approached a thicket or bosk, they shouted "Be careful, Boleslaw is there." There was not a place where they did not believe Boleslaw was hiding. He ceaselessly harassed them ... cutting ... from the front of the formation, ... from the rear ... and from the sides... The emperor's soldiers marched all day long fully equipped, expecting Boleslaw... At night they slept in their armor ... finally others sang a song of Boleslaw's courage.' - Gall(us) Anonim

    This campaign legendary. Many exaggerations, and an unfounded tale exists of a German defeat at Psie Pole, near Wroclaw.
  • 21 Sept - Czech Prince Svatopluk is assassinated in camp by a Vrsovec to avenge wrongs against the family. After Wroclaw, Henry retreats.

    1110 Boleslaw aids exile Borivoj to Svatopluk's vacant throne. Borivoj overthrown quickly and exiled by brother Vladislav, Boleslaw tries again with youngest brother, Sobeslav.

  • Oct 8 - Czechs lose badly at River Trutina.

    Swietopelk renounces vassal oath while Boleslaw busy in south.

    1111 Daughter, name unknown, born to Boleslaw/Zbyslawa.

    Peace treaty with Czechs: Both sides agree to accept and adequately enfranchise pretenders, and agree not to support domestic dissent in neighboring states. Zbigniew returns -- blinded and soon dies.

    'Zbigniew followed the advice of foolish people, ... and came to Boleslaw not as a humble man, but as a defiant one, ... ordering a sword to be carried before him among an orchestra of musicians beating on drums and playing zithers, and exhibiting the air of a sovereign and not a subject, [not intending] to submit to his brother's orders, but himself to order his brother. Certain sensible people interpreted this in a way that even Zbigniew had not intended, and gave Boleslaw such advice that, because he believed it, [he will always grieve for his actions] ... [It was said]... "This man who was crushed by so many defeats, and exiled for so long, now [even uncertain of his status], arrives proud and with such pomp--what will he do ... if any power is given to him in Poland?" [It was also reported that Zbigniew had arranged for Boleslaw to be stabbed.]' -- Gall Anonim
    (Of course Gall may be recounting a convenient excuse.)

    1112 Unsuccessful campaign to regain Naklo and Kraina.

    1112 - 1116 Gall(us) Anonim actually writing his chronicles of Polish history to date. Gallus likely a Benedictine monk from Provence.

    There is a Benedictine monastery of St. Gall in the Swiss-German canton of St Gallen, at which another Anonymous Monk of St Gall (called so by scholars, not the monk himself) wrote a biography of Charlemagne in 884. Though confused, inaccurate and spiced with outright lies, this book was widely circulated and survives to this day. Somehow this seems a more likely place of origion, and possibly an inspiration, for Poland's "Gall Anonim" than Provence.

    1113 Poles take Wyszogrod (Wiessegrad), Naklo and Kraina, and perhaps Swiecie (Schwetz), opens route through Notec swamps, holds key to Vistula basin. Gall Anonim's excellent chronicles end.

    1113-1119 Conquest of Eastern Pomerania. Pomeranian revolt in 1117 led by Boleslaw's wojewoda and preceptor, Skarbimir. Reason for treason unknown (magnate/royal power struggle? Religious differences?). Revolt suppressed. Skarbimir, despite long service, blinded.

    1119-1123 Campaigns vs West Pomerania - lower Oder and Parsenta (Persante) basins. Final Holdouts Szczecin (Stettin), Uznam (Usedom) and Wolin (All islands or protected by water). Szczecin taken during winter when surrounding water was frozen. Notec area annexed to Wielkopolska, Vistula basin ruled by Polish governors recruited from local dynasties. Western Pomerania remained under Prince Warcislaw - Price - Recognition of Polish suzerainty, troop levy, tribute, and conversion to Christianity. Christianity important to tie area to episcopate of Gniezno.

    1124 Primary Mission headed by Otto, bishop of Bamberg. Boleslaw's chaplain, Wojciech, accompanies Otto, and nominated as first Bishop of Pomerania.

    **** Somewhere in here is destruction of major temple to pagan deity Trzyglawa in Szczecin. Temple was large, frescoed and contained a live black horse consulted as an oracle. ****

    1125 Boleslaw IV Kedzierzawy (curly-haired), born to Boleslaw and Salomea, daughter of count of Berg.

    1126 Mieszko III Stary (the Old) born to Boleslaw/Salomea.

    1127 Henryk born to Boleslaw/Salomea.

    Anti-Polish revolt in West Pomerania, and pagan revival in Szczecin and Wolin. Such revolts, and political maneuvers between Gniezno/Boleslaw, Archbishop Norbert of Magdeburg, and Otto of Bamberg/Emperor Lothar of Supplinberg, greatly impede Christianization of area. East Pomerania incorporated into Gniezno, Poznan, and the new diocese of Kujavia, and Lubusz (intended to be expanded into W. Pom.).

    1128-1137 Ten (10) children born to Boleslaw/Salomea, six daughters survive birth/infancy (WHAT A BREEDER WAS SALOMEA!!)

    1129-1130 Warcislaw revolts again. Poles suppress revolt with aid of Danes.

    1131 Danes defeated by Empire. Ally, Istvan of Hungary dies. Successor is Bela II, related to prince of Bohemia, and friendly towards Empire.

    1132 Poland and Rus support Boris for throne of Hungary. Total loss. Czechs attack and ravage Silesia repeatedly 1132-1134.

    1133 Pope Innocent II, pressured by Lothar and Norbert, issues Bulls denying independence of Gniezno and Lund (Scandinavian metropolitan). Polish bishoprics made subordinate to Magdeburg. Appeals filed, and overtures made to 'antipope' Anacletus II.

    1134 Albert the Bear new ruler of Nordmark.


  • Aug. - Called before Court by Bela II of Hungary, and Sobeslav of Bohemia, and lacking Danish allies, Boleslaw cuts deal with Lothar in Merseburg. Agrees to recognize Bela, make truce with Sobeslav, hold Pomerania and Rugia in fief (per old treaty with Mieszko I), and pay back tribute since 1123 (6000 POUNDS of silver!!). Gained right to expand into Rugia, and reconfirmation of independent Polish metropolitan.

    Warcislaw of West Pomerania assassinated. Young princes Boguslaw and Kazimierz succeed.

    1136 Albert the Bear defeats ducal family of Brzezans, and occupies area on east bank of Elbe.

    1138 Kazimierz II Sprawiedliwy (the Just) born to Boleslaw/Salomea.

    Lothar II dies.

  • March 7 - Conrad Hohenstaufen elected King of Germany. Conrad, backed by clergy and nobility of southern Empire faces Lothar's son-in-law, Henry (the Proud) Welf of Bavaria, heir to Lothar's private holdings, Lord of Tuscany, and heir to Countess Matilda(?), with the support of the dowager Empress, the archbishop of Magdeburg, and Margrave Conrad of Meissen. Denial of Henry's claim to succession in Saxony leads to civil war.
  • Oct 27 - Boleslaw Krzywousty dies. Aged 52. Wladyslaw, eldest son and only son (+ one sister) of first wife Zbyslawa, daughter of Sviatopolk of Kiev. succeeds as princeps, or Senior.

    Boleslaw Krzywousty reworks 'princeps/Senior' concept. Large Seniorate intended to give Princeps overwhelming advantage to prevent challenge by Magnates/Pretenders. Princeps also sovereign over Pomerania, empowered to appoint administrators and bishops in major cities of all provinces, coin money, collect fines, and supreme commander of military affairs. All patrimonies hereditary in princes' lines, reverting to Seniorate if line should expire.

    Wladyslaw - As princeps: Krakow, Sieradz, Leczyca, Eastern Wielkopolska (including Kalisz and Gniezno) Western Kujavia (incl. Kruszwica)
    Personal Patrimony - Silesia.
    Boleslav - Mazovia and Eastern Kujavia.
    Mieszko - Wielkopolska.
    Henryk - Sandomierz, and Lublin.
    Kazimierz - No Patrimony 'Destined for religious life' (--Manteueffel) (too young to defend/rule province? destined for genteel exile of clergy?)

    Wladyslaw married to Agnieszka of the Babenbergs, Daughter of Leopold III of Austria, sister to Leopold IV of Austria, Henry (II) Jasomirgott(?), Bishop Otto of Frisia, Archbishop Conrad of Salzburg, Gertrude, wife of Vladislav of Bohemia, and half-sister to, Conrad (III) Hohenstaufen King of Germany, and Emperor. Neither Boleslaw Krzywousty's widow, Salomea, nor Boleslaw Kedzierzawy's wife, Wierzchoslawa (daughter of Vsevolod, Prince of Novgorod), are her 'social equals.' Agnieszka less than diplomatic. Unsatisfied with Wladyslaw's position, she reportedly (- Wincenty Kadlubek, Polish chronicler) calls Wladyslaw, 'half-prince' or 'half a man' and goads him to oust his brothers. Wladyslaw ignores her demands, and grants Salomea part of his lands to maintain her until her death, and allows her to act as regent for young Henryk. Wladyslaw could be a 'nice guy' or merely unable to defeat brothers. Magnates, fearing central authority, support junior princes, and brother-in-law Conrad III has problems in Empire.

    Again, chaos in Empire met with chaos in Poland instead of capitalization.

    1138-1139 Obodrites ruled by Przybyslaw in west, and Niklot in east. Albert the Bear, after destruction of Saxon frontier settlement, conquers Przybyslaw, and appoints German count to rule and settles area with Germans.


  • Oct - Henry the Proud dies, leaving widow and young son Henry the Lion, but revolt and unrest continue in Saxony and Bavaria. Salomea takes advantage of civil war to secure allies for her get, vs Wladyslaw. Mieszko marries Elzbieta, sister of Bela II, of Hungary. Daughter, Dobronega Ludgarda, marries Dietrich, son of Conrad of Meissen.

    1140 Papal bull re: Pomeranian bishopric fails to mention authority of Gniezno.

    1141 Salomea and junior princes meet in Leczyca. Salomea plans to pledge three-year-old Judyta to son of Grand Duke Vsevolod of Kiev. Wladyslaw counters by marrying his son Boleslaw Wysoki (the Tall) to Wierzchoslawa, Vsevolod's daughter.

    Zdik, Bishop of Olomouc (Olmutz), missionary to Prussians fails due to lack of support from Polish authorities, possibly due to politics

    1142 Wladyslaw (with Russians?) attacks brothers. Seizes several cities. Archbishop (of Gniezno?) Jakub ze Znina, Krzywousty's (second) wojewoda, Wszebor, and many other magnates rally to Salomea's kids vs strong princeps. Neither side has decisive strength.

  • May - Compromise in Empire. Henry the Lion gets Saxony. Conrad's half brother, (and Agnieszka's brother) Henry Jasomirgott marries Henry the Proud's widow and gets Bavaria. Albert of Ballenstedt, 'the Bear,' perennial loser for emperor's side in Saxony, gets Nordmark (Again?).

    1144 Wladyslaw sends troops to Vsevolod's campaign vs Volodimirko of Galicia. Odon of Wielkopolska born to Mieszko Stary/Elzbieta.

  • July 27 - Salomea dies. Wladyslaw seeks to repossesses temporary fief. Juniors occupy Leczyca.

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