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THE TRAGIC 13th CENTURY OF POLAND


According to Kythe Szubielka

Webbed by Paul Wickenden of Thanet

These notes were written as a continuation to Leszek's timeline. If you would like to see Leszek's earlier effort, select one of the following pages:
  • Part One (623-1018)
  • Part Two (1019-1091)
  • Part Three (1092-1144)
  • Part Four (1145-1194; Bibliography)


    History

    1194 Casimir the Just, dies suddenly (poisoning is suspected) and is replaced by his son Leszek (known later as Leszek the White)(*4)

    Concerning the Szczerbiec- Details do not allow me to draw this more accurately but the Pommel shows a flowering vine, with the top vine sprouting a flower inside. The grip (or handle) has three sections: Top- is a dragon rampant facing dexter, Middle is a picture of the Madonna facing sinister, Bottom- is the image of a gryphon with a man's head facing (bearded) sinister (a banner stands in front and his left front paw rests on a cup or chalice). The left guard square- has a picture of christ facing dexter. The right guard square has a picture of an eagle displayed and facing sinister. The guard itself has leaves going from left square to right square and the writing is definitely Latin although not transcribable on this system. For a full black and white picture I suggest looking at pg 171 of the Area Handbook Series: Poland: A Country Study written by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress

    1203 Jews allowed to own land in Galicia.

    1205 The Order of Knights of the Sword was founded in Livonia, east of Prussia.(*1)

    1207 Leszek the White places Poland under the Holy See. By doing such he placed Poland more into the system of the vassal kingdoms of the church which opposed the imperial power. (*4)

    1210 was the year that the fourth Grandmaster of the Teutonic Knights was elected. It was Hermann von Salza, who transferred the order to Europe, first establishing it in Hungary and later in Prussia, where he laid the foundations for its power and settled the conditions according to which it rose and fell.(*1)

    1214 Leszek attempts to ally regions of Catholic Kingdoms by marrying a Hungarian prince to a Polish Duke's daughter. Unfortunately, this event fails when Daniel (Son of Roman of Volynia and Halicz, a powerful prince who, first supported by Poland, perished in 1205 in a mysterious conflict with Leszek) secures the succession of his father.(*4)

    1222 Henry The Bearded grants the Teutonic Order the village of Losice.

    1224 Konrad of Masovia creates the Brothers of Dobryn. In that same year they were defeated terribly by Prussian forces.(*1)

    1225 In his attempt to safeguard his lands from Prussian Barbarian invasions, Konrad of Masovia invites the Teutonic Order of Knights to settle on the Borders of Poland.(*3)

    1226 Konrad enlists the aide of the Knights of the Cross in conversion of the Prussians. The German's accepted and intended to establish a great German state on the ruins of both Lithuania and Poland.(*1)

    1227 Leszek attempted to force Prince Swientopelk to render hommage to him and as a result was killed by Swientopelk. Thus the dynastic throne was up for grabs.(*4). Election of Pope Gregory IX.

    April 23, 1228 Prince Conrad of Mazovia donates the Chelmno Lands to the Order of Teutonic Knights but maintains the authority over the Knights.

    1229 Because of Frederick II Hohenstaufen's entry into Jerusalem, the Archbishop of Caesarea places Jerusalem under Interdict.

    1230 Members of the Teutonic Order plant themselves on the Vistula river and settle the city of Thorn (or Torun, Polish).

    1231 Conrad of Mazovia encourages a small detachment of the Teutonic Knights to enter into the Prussian lands. This was the first step of the Order to decimate the Lettic Prussians and establish their own State.

    December 28, 1233 The Chelmno Charter is created and grants the Chelmno city statutes. This is the first written document concerning Torun.

    1234 A false document(*2) was prepared and presented by the Grand Master to Pope Gregory IX as the deed of donation from Konrad. This left Konrad in a rather difficult situation. In all reality, he had invited one of the largest powers in Europe into his lands and realized that they had taken the reign of power away from him in one swift blow.

    1238 The Order of Knights of the Sword joins the Teutonic Knights under Grand Master Hermann Von Salza.

    1239 The Franciscan monastery probably settled just outside the walls and established the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and other monastical buildings.

    Princess Kinga, daughter of Hungarian King Bela IV was betrothed to Boleslaw the Bashful, prince of the Krakow-Sandomierz province.

    1241 The Mongol Batu Khan, grandson of the terrible Genghis Khan, after the conquest of Russia, invaded and devastated southern Poland as far as Silesia. (*3). These individuals were also known as Tartars or Tatars.

    Cracow was burned to the ground by the Mongols and they continued until they took most of Little Poland and Silesia(*11).

    Description: The Tartars- The Tartars came through the world like a horde of wild beasts. they left not one thing alive nor one green blade of wheat standing. They were short, dark men of shaggy beards, and long hair twisted into little braids, and they rode on small horses which they covered with trophies that they had gained in war. Brave they were as lions, courageous they were as great dogs, but they had hearts of stone and knew not mercy, nor pity, nor tenderness, nor God. On their horses they carried round shields of leather and iron, and long spears often trailed from their saddles. About their shoulders and thighs they wore skins of animals. Some decorated their ears with golden rings-here and there one wore a gold ring in the nose. When they traveled, the dust rose high into the sky from beneath the hoofs of their little horses, and the thunder of the hoofbeats could be heard many miles away. They were so numerous that it tok days for the whole horde to pass any one given point, and for miles behind the army itself rumbled carts bearing slaves, provisions, and booty- usually gold.(*5)

    Description: Trumpeter of krakow- He was a very young man, perhaps nineteen or twenty, and wore a dark cloth suit that was caught at the knees with buckles, like the knickerbockers of a later generation; dark, thick hose extended from the knees to the tops of his soft, pointed sandals, and a short coat falling just below the waist was held together in front by a belt. The head covering was of leather and something like a cowl; it fell clear to his shoulders and ran up over the head in such a way that only his face and a bit of hair were visible. (*5)

    During the 12th century, Krakow's Jews prospered as merchants, traders and tax-farmers, and by century's end they were sufficiently important to have become mintmasters to princes, issuing coins with not only monarchs' names but also their own in Hebrew. Then in 1241, Mongol invasions so decimated Poland that its princes sought Western immigrants to repopulate their realm. These newcomers came primarily from Germany and brought with them their discriminatory guilds and their infectious hatred of the Jews.(*15)

    1242 Wroclaw is chartered under German Law, Law of Magdeburg. Recognizes the corporation of Wroclaw.(*7)(*10). Prince Alexander Nevsky (Russian Prince) defeats the Teutonic Knights at Frozen Lake Peipus in Estonia (*10) Retreat of Tartars from Poland. Although the Mongols continue to plague Poland for the next 50 years. (*11)

    1243 Boleslas V, called the Chaste becomes the uncontested master of Little Poland. It is also at this time that Konrad of Masovia and Henry of Silesia (called the Bearded) are the elder line of the Piasts.(*4) At the end of Frererick Barbarossa's reigh of the Teutonic Knights, he was more concerned about the fresh conflicts of Italy and in the Crusades as well as his conflicts with the Papacy. Later that year, Konrad of Masovia dies.

    1252 First recorded knowledge of the Salt mines of Wieliczka. Evidence supports that at one time they were one of the principal sources of revenue to the Polish Kings.

    1253 Stanislas, Bishop of Cracow, the victim of Boleslas the Bold, was canonized.

    Poznan is chartered under German Law, Law of Magdeburg. Recognizes the corporation of Poznan.(*7)

    1254 The celebration of Stanislas gathers the princes of Poland together in Cracow.

    1255 Description-Boleslaw Wstydliwy wg pieczeci: The photograph depicts a knight in the Polish Military drawn on paper. The outfit he wears is a pyramid style helm with nose guard. He wears a full body suit of ringmail which covers his head and arms (howerver there are metal elbow guards included). The tunic he wears is sleeveless and goes to just below knee level. It has many folds and is gathered at the waste by a belt (roughly two fingers wide) There is a simple buckle and the belt drapes to below waist level using the "Dangle Tie" method.

    The second belt worn over the tunic is attached high on his right hip (probably connected in some manner to the tunic gathering belt) and slopes down below his left hip where his sword is scabbarded. In his left arm he clutches the standard shield with the Polish Eagle emblazoned on the front (other references have shown the field of the shield to be red with the eagle turned left faced and done in white with black detailing).

    His footwear is a knee length metal boot done in a series of scale bands which interlink either at the front or sides into a pair of pointed toed shoes. He is wearing spurs which seem to connect.(*4)

    1257 Plans for the rebuilding of Cracow are started based on a system of grids.

    Lajkonik pageant -- A traditional pageant connected with the history of the Tartar invasions of Cracow in the twelfth century. Legend says that a local bargeman, after defeating the chief of the Tartars, put on his clothes and triumphally entered the Main Market Square with an entourage during the Corpus Christi procession. To commemorate that event, the Lajkonik pageant sets off every year on the octave of Corpus Christi. Lajkonik's costume was designed by Stanisław Wyspiański at the end of the nineteenth century. The procession makes a round of the Main Market Square, and then Lajkonik is treated to a glass of wine by the Mayor of Cracow.

    1260 Construction of the Church of St Johns was started.

    1264 The area known as the "New Town" was established and granted city status, however, the Old Town Councilors made certain not to include Vistula River access so as to keep the New Town from engaging in international trade.

    In 1264, Boleslav the Pious issued a charter giving the Jews complete freedom, permitting them to earn livelihoods in a wide variety of ways and imposing heavy penalties on anyone who harmed them bodily.

    The Jews in Krakow were living so well that by the time of Casimir the Great (1333-70), this most enlightened monarch would come to be called "King of the Serfs and the Jews."(*15)

    1265 Jewish liberties first confirmed by a charter.

    1279 Leszek the Black takes the throne when Boleslas V dies.

    1282 Przemysl II is nominated as hier to Danzig Pomerania by the Duke of Danzig Pomerania, son of the famous Swientopelk.

    1288 Leszek the Black dies and establishes Henry IV of Breslau (grandson of the hero of Lignica) as ruler.

    Discovery of rock salt in Wieliczka's vicinity (Kopalnia Soli Wieliczka -- the proper polish name). A mine is sunk and Queen Kinga is documented as being the finder of its location:

    1290 Henry IV dies prematurely and leaves the throne to Przemysl II, Duke of Great Poland, and the duchy of Breslau, not to Bohemia, but to his cousin, Henry of Glogow. In this way, Henry would inherit 3/4 of Poland when Przemysl passed away. Thus uniting Poland as it had not been for years and also gaining access to the Baltic Sea again.

    June 26, 1295 Archbishop of Gniezno, James Swinka, the principal promoter of the restoration of the Kingdom, with the approbation of the Holy See crowns Przemysl king of Poland.

    1296 Przemysl is assassinated and Poland is once again thrown into turmoil.



    Bibliography

    (*1) Sienkiewicz, Henryk. Knights of the Cross, Vol. 2. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1899.

    (*2) Lewicki, A. Dzieje Narodu Polskiego. Warsaw, 1899. Page 82.

    (*3) The United Nations Series: Poland. Edited by B. E. Schmitt. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1945.

    (*4) Halecki, O. A History of Poland. Barnes and Nobles Inc, 1993.

    (*5) Kelley, Eric P. The Trumpeter of Krakow. Macmillan Company, 1928.
    Descriptions of Costumes were taken from another source by an Author named Matejko. The book was Costumes in Poland of Other Days.

    (*6) Matejko, Jan. Costumes in Poland of Other Days. Krak'ow, Wydawn: Literackie, 1967.
    Also known as "Dresses of Poland." Covers costume period from 1228-1333. An interesting note is that these are the pictures that are the same ones used in Racinet's full color Pictorial History of Western Costumes (1987).

    (*7) Davies, Norman. Heart of Europe: A Short History of Poland. Oxford: Clarendon, 1984.

    (*8) Grzebieniowski, Tadeusz. Pocket Polish Dictionary Langenscheidt, 1958.
    All names were copied from Dictionary. Names with + are added names found in other sources.

    (*9) Benet, Sula. Song, Dance, and Customs of Peasant Poland. New York: AMS Press, 1903.

    (*10) Milosz, Czeslaw. The History of Polish Literature. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969.

    (*11) Poland: A Country Study. Edited by Glenn E. Curtis. Washington DC: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1992.

    (*12) Winter, Nevin O. Poland of Today and Yesterday. LC Page and Company, 1913.

    (*13) http ://anthropologie.unige.ch/~puissant/LP/ADAM/poland.txt.

    (*14) History and Society in Central Europe, Vol II: Nobilities in Central and Eastern Europe: Kinship, Property and Privilege. Edited by Janos M. Bak. Budapest: Hajnal Istvan Alapitviny; Krems: Medium AEvum Quotidianum Gesellschaft, 1994.
    Although the editors' original intention was to initiate an annual publication series, the second volume under review had to wait three years and had to be published with the help and cooperation of the Medium AEvum Quotidianum Society of Krems, Austria. Being about twice as bulky as its predecessor, this volume contains eight studies that stretch over nine centuries and cover a wide variety of topics concerning the social history of Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Bulgarian, and Austrian nobilities during the medieval and early modern periods.

    (*15) Funke, Phyllis Ellen. Contemporary Krakow: This Medieval City.

    (*16) Leszek z Szezytna. Notes on Polish History, Part IV (1145-1194; Bibliography).

    (*17) Dornberg, John. "Wieliczka Salt Mine." Smithsonian Magazine 24: 12 (March 1994): 96.


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