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Boleslaw I Chrobry

Boleslaw I Chrobry. King of Poland
Born in 967AD; son of MIESZKO I Mieszko I of Poland and Dobrawa of Bohemia.

He Reigned as Duke: 992 – 18 April 1025. He reigned as King: 18 April – 17 June 1025 His coronation as King was on 18 April 1025, in Gniezno Cathedral, Poland.

Predecessor Mieszko I Successor Mieszko II Lambert Wives Hunilda (?), daughter of Rikdag Judith of Hungary Emnilda of Lusatia Oda of Meissen Issue With Hunilda: a daughter, Princess of Pomerania With Judith: Bezprym With Enmilda: a daughter nun; Regelinda, Margravine of Meissen; Mieszko II Lambert; a daughter, Grand Princess of Kiev; Otto With Oda: Matilda He died on 17 June 1025 (aged 58), probably in Kraków. He was buried in the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Poznan.

Boleslaw I Chrobry (Boleslaw I the Valiant, or the Brave; Czech: Boleslav Chrabrý, About this sound Polish (help·info); 967 – 17 June 1025; previously also known as Boleslaw I the Great, "Wielki"), was a Duke of Poland during 992–1025 and the first crowned King of Poland since 18 April 1025 until his death two months later. He was also Duke of Bohemia as Boleslav IV during 1002–03.

He was the first-born son of Mieszko I by his first wife Dobrawa, daughter of Boleslav I the Cruel, Duke of Bohemia.[1][2] Boleslaw I the Brave was named after his maternal grandfather. He assumed the control over the country in 992 after having expelled his step-mother Oda of Haldensleben and his half-brothers.

He supported the missionary views of Adalbert, Bishop of Prague and Bruno of Querfurt. The martyrdom of the first (in 997) and his imminent canonization was used for political purposes, leading the called Congress of Gniezno (11 March 1000), where was established a Polish church structure with a Metropolitan See at Gniezno -independent of the German Archbishopric of Magdeburg, which had tried to lay claim to Polish church jurisdictions- and the Bishoprics of Kraków, Wroclaw and Kolobrzeg; in addition, Boleslaw formally renounced tribute payments to the Holy Roman Empire. An ally of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, who may have crowned him "rex" (King), following his death (1002), Boleslaw carried out a series of successful wars against the Holy Roman Empire and Otto's cousin and heir, Henry II, ending in the Peace of Bautzen (1018).

In the summer of 1018, in one of his expeditions, Boleslaw I captured Kiev, where he installed as ruler his son-in-law Sviatopolk I. According to legend, he chipped his sword when striking Kiev's Golden Gate. Later, a sword called Szczerbiec ("Chipper") would become the coronation sword of Poland's Kings.

Boleslaw I was a remarkable politician, strategist, and statesman. He not only turned Poland into a country comparable to older western monarchies, but he raised it to the front rank of European states. Boleslaw conducted successful military campaigns in the west, south and east. He consolidated the Polish lands and conquered territories that lie outside the borders of modern Poland, including Slovakia, Moravia, Red Ruthenia, Meissen, Lusatia, and Bohemia. He was a powerful mediator in Central European affairs.

Finally, as the culmination of his reign, he had himself crowned King of Poland (1025), the first Polish ruler to do so.

He was an able administrator who established the "Prince's Law" and built many forts, churches, monasteries and bridges. He introduced the first Polish monetary unit, the grzywna, divided into 240 denarii,[1] and minted his own coinage.

Boleslaw I is widely considered to have been one of Poland's most capable and accomplished Piast rulers.

Boleslaw I was born in 967, in Poznan as the first child of Mieszko I, Duke of Poland and his first wife, the Bohemian princess Dobrawa. At age six he may have been sent to the Imperial court in Germany as a hostage, according to the agreements of the Imperial Diet of Quedlinburg (although some historians now dispute this detail).[3] Another theory holds that Boleslaw spent some time during the 980s at the court of his maternal uncle, Duke Boleslav II the Pious of Bohemia.

In 984 Mieszko I arranged the marriage of the eighteen-year-old Boleslaw with the daughter of Rikdag, Margrave of Meissen,.[3] It's believed that following the wedding he became the ruler of Lesser Poland with his capital at Kraków. The death of Margrave Rikdag in 985 left the marriage without any political value, and shortly thereafter Boleslaw repudiated his wife.

At the end of 985, probably at the instigation of Boleslav II the Pious, Boleslaw married an unknown Hungarian princess[4] with whom he had a son, Bezprym.[5] However, this union also proved short-lived, probably because of the deterioration in political relations between Poland and Hungary, and around 987 the union was dissolved.

By 989, and perhaps as early as 987, Boleslaw married Emnilda, daughter of Dobromir, most likely a Slavic prince of Lusatia. Other historians have argued that Emnilda was a Moravian princess, or a daughter of the last independent prince of the Vistulans, before their incorporation into the Polish state.[3] Through this marriage he had, among others, the future king Mieszko II. At this time Boleslaw's rule in Lesser Poland may have been at Bohemian fief. Presuming that it was, he added this province to Poland only after the death of Duke Boleslav II the Pious in 999.[6] However assuming that Mieszko I took control of Lesser Poland in 990 (which is likely), then Boleslaw I was bestowed the rule in Lesser Poland by his father but without its territory being included in the Polish realm. Boleslaw does not appear in the surviving summary of the Dagome Iudex document, and as such it may be supposed that Lesser Poland was already known as Boleslaw's inheritance, while his two surviving half-brothers Mieszko and Lambert, sons of Mieszko I by his second wife Oda, were to divide the rest of the realm between themselves. Another theory explains Boleslaw's absence from the document through an old Slavic custom whereby children received their inheritance as soon as they reached the age of majority. Thus Boleslaw might have received Kraków as his part of his father's legacy before the writing of the Dagome iudex.


The circumstances in which Boleslaw took control of the country following the passing of his father, Mieszko, anticipated what would later become a prevalent practice among the Piast dynasty. It consisted of struggle for control, usually a military one, among the offspring of nearly every deceased monarch of the Piast dynasty. Boleslaw was no different, and shortly after the death of Mieszko I (25 May 992), he banished his stepmother Oda and his two half-brothers, as they were competitors to the throne. The exact circumstances of Boleslaw's ascension to the Ducal throne are unknown, but it is known that by June, he was the unquestioned ruler of Poland – as Emperor Otto III asked for his military aid in the summer of 992. Immediately after gaining the full control over Poland, Boleslaw also quelled the opposition of powerful families by blinding two of their leaders, the magnates Odylen and Przybywoj.[8] As cruel a sentence as this was, it proved most effective as it resulted in such obedience of his subjects that from that point on there was no mention of any challenge to his position whatsoever.

Extent of his domains

Poland at the beginning of the reign of Boleslaw I

Boleslaw inherited from his father a realm that was close in dimensions to modern-day Poland. It centered on the core of Polanian country, the later Greater Poland (Wielkopolska). Greater Poland encompassed the valley of river Warta, stretched to the north to the Notec river and to the south it encompassed Kalisz. Outside of this core the nascent Poland included the surrounding areas subdued by Boleslaw's father, Mieszko I which included: parts of Pomerania to the north, including Kolobrzeg in the west and Gdansk in the east, Mazovia with its capital at Plock to the east and Silesia to the south-west. It is disputed whether Lesser Poland, centered around Kraków, was incorporated into the Polish realm by Mieszko I before 992 or whether it was added by Boleslaw in 999. Either way by the year 1000 Boleslaw was the lord of a domain larger than contemporary England, Denmark, León or Burgundy.

Duke of Poland

First years (992–1000)[edit] Boleslaw Chrobry Denarius from the 11th century with Latin name Princes Polonie Statue of Boleslaw I Chrobry at Wroclaw It appears, from the lack of any record of international activity, that Boleslaw spent the first years as ruler more concerned about gaining the throne and remaining on it than trying to increase the size of his dominion. It is during this period of consolidation of power that he allied himself with Otto III, the Emperor of Germany, and in 995 he aided the Holy Roman Emperor in his expedition against the Lusatians. Endeavoring to extend his influence to the territory of the Prussians, Boleslaw encouraged Christianizing missions in the Prussian lands. Most famous of those was the mission of Vojtech from the Bohemian princely Slavník clan, former bishop of Prague. Known as Adalbert of Prague upon the death of Adalbert of Magdeburg in 981, Adalbert's mission took place in 997 and ended in the missionary's martyrdom at the hands of the pagan Prussians. This took place in April 997 on the Baltic Sea coast in the vicinity of Truso (a medieval emporia near modern city of Elblag). The remains of the missionary were held for ransom by the Prussians and Bohemian Premyslid rulers refused to pay for Adalbert's body. Consequently it was purchased by Duke Boleslaw, according to one story, in exchange for its weight in gold, and buried in Gniezno.[3][9] In 999 Bishop Adalbert was canonized as Saint Adalbert by Pope Sylvester II. He was later made the patron saint of Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and Prussia. Canonization of Adalbert/Vojtech increased the prestige of the Polish church in Europe and the prestige of Polish state on the international arena.

Congress of Gniezno and alliance with the Holy Roman Empire (1000–1002)[edit] Main article: Congress of Gniezno Boleslaw I as depicted on Gniezno Doors, mid. 12th century By the year 1000, Boleslaw had consolidated his position as Duke (Dux) of Poland. Not only did he not meet any internal opposition, but he furthermore had gained the respect of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III (980–1002).[10] Consequently in the year 1000, Otto III visited Poland under the pretext of a pilgrimage to the grave of his friend, the recently canonized Bishop Adalbert (Vojtech). In addition to the religious motivation, Otto III's voyage also carried a strong political agenda: he had intentions to renew the Holy Roman Empire based on a federal concept he called "Renovatio Imperii Romanorum".[11] Within the federal framework, Polish and Hungarian duchies were to be upgraded to eastern federati of the empire.

The Emperor needed to assess Poland's strength and establish its status within the Holy Roman Empire. The ensuing Congress of Gniezno, where Boleslaw entertained his distinguished guest, is one of the most famous episodes of medieval Polish history. During the time the emperor spent in Poland, Boleslaw did not hide the wealth of his country, in fact he showed off its affluence at every step as he tried to dazzle the emperor. Among other gifts the Polish ruler presented to Otto III were 300 armored knights, while the Emperor responded with a gift of a copy of the lance of Saint Maurice. Evidently Otto III was impressed with what he saw and decided that Poland should be treated as a kingdom on par with Germany and Italy, not merely as a tributary duchy like Bohemia.[12] Since Otto III had intentions to renew the Empire it was towards this end that the Emperor placed his Imperial crown on Boleslaw's brow and invested him with the titles frater et cooperator Imperii ("Brother and Partner of the Empire") and populi Romani amicus et socius.[11] He also raised Boleslaw to the dignity of patricius or "elder of the Roman nation".[13] This episode has long been a subject of debate among historians. Some historians see this as an act of favor between an Emperor and his vassal, others as a gesture of friendship between equals. Could placing of the Imperial crown on Boleslaw's head mean that the Emperor crowned the Polish Duke? Most modern historians agree that it could not. Though it was undoubtedly a sign of Otto's respect for the Polish ruler, it could not truly mean Boleslaw was King as only the Pope had the authority to invest a prince with the crown and elevate his realm to a status of a kingdom.[10] According to one source afterwards Boleslaw traveled with the Emperor to Aix-la-Chapelle where Otto III had the tomb of Charlemagne opened. From there Otto III is reputed to have removed the Imperial throne itself and presented it to the Polish Duke.

Other political talks took place as well. Otto III decided that Poland will no longer be required to pay tribute to the Empire. Gniezno was confirmed as an Archbishopric and a Metropolitan See for the Polish area. Three new Bishoprics were created and confirmed with papal consent. They were placed at Kraków, Wroclaw and Kolobrzeg. The Poznan missionary Bishopric was confirmed as subject directly to the Vatican. Boleslaw and his heirs gained the right of investiture of bishops. The future marriage of Boleslaw's son Mieszko to Richeza (Polish: Rycheza), niece of Otto III, was also probably agreed upon at this point.

The untimely death of Otto III at age 22 in 1002 upset the ambitious renovatio plans, which were never fully implemented. Henry II, Otto III's less idealistic successor, and an opponent of Otto's policies, reversed the course of Imperial policy towards the east.

Occupation of Meissen, Lusatia, Bautzen and the intervention in Bohemia (1002–1003)

Statues of Boleslaw I and Mieszko I by Christian Daniel Rauch in the Golden Chapel, Poznan Cathedral The excellent relations Poland and Holy Roman Empire enjoyed during the Reign of Otto III quickly deteriorated following his death. Boleslaw supported Eckard I, Margrave of Meissen, for the German throne. When Eckard was assassinated in April, Boleslaw lent his support to Henry IV, Duke of Bavaria, and helped him ascend to the German throne as Henry II. Boleslaw took advantage of internal strife following the Emperor's death and occupied important areas to the west of the Oder: Margraviate of Meissen and March of Lusatia, including strongholds Budziszyn and Strzala. Boleslaw claimed a hereditary right to Meissen as a relative of its former ruler Margrave Rikdag (only through marriage; he was the former husband of his daughter). Henry II accepted Boleslaw's gains and allowed the Polish Duke to keep Lusatia as a fief. The one exception was Meissen, which Boleslaw was not allowed to keep. Though at this point Polish–German relations were normalized, soon thereafter Henry II organized a failed assassination attempt on Boleslaw's life and relations between the two countries were severed.

In the same year (1003) Boleslaw became entangled in Bohemian affairs when Duke Vladivoj died. Boleslaw helped a pretender, Boleslav III the Red, to gain the throne. Boleslav III, however, undermined his position by ordering a massacre of the leading nobles, the Vršovci, at Vyšehrad. The nobles who survived the massacre secretly sent messengers to Boleslaw and entreated him to come to their aid. The Polish Duke willingly agreed, and invited Boleslav III to visit him at his castle in Kraków. There, Boleslav III was trapped, blinded and imprisoned, probably dying in captivity some thirty years later. Boleslaw I, claiming the Bohemian Ducal throne for himself, invaded Bohemia in 1003 and took Prague without any serious opposition, ruling as Boleslav IV for a little over a year. It is also likely that Polish forces took control of Moravia and Upper Hungary (present day Slovakia) in 1003 as well. The proper conquest date of the Hungarian territories is 1003 or 1015 and this area stayed a part of Poland until 1018.

Polish-German War (1002–1018)

As mentioned above, Boleslaw had taken control of the marches of Lusatia, Sorbian Meissen, and the cities of Budziszyn (Bautzen) and Meissen in 1002, and refused to pay the tribute to the Empire from the conquered territories.

Henry II, allied with the Lutici, answered with an offensive a year later. Though the first attack was not successful, already in the autumn of 1004 the German forces deposed Boleslaw from the Bohemian throne. Boleslaw did manage to keep Moravia and Slovakia, however, over which he exercised control until 1018. During the next part of the offensive Henry II retook Meissen and in 1005 his army advanced as far into Poland as the city of Poznan where a peace treaty was signed.[18] According to the peace treaty Boleslaw lost Lusatia and Meissen and likely gave up his claim to the Bohemian throne. Also in 1005, a pagan rebellion in Pomerania overturned Boleslaw's rule and resulted in the destruction of the just implemented local bishopric.

In 1007 Henry denounced the Peace of Poznan, which caused Boleslaw's attack on the Archbishopric of Magdeburg as well as the re-occupation of marches of Lusatia and Meissen including the city of Bautzen. The German counter-offensive began three years later, in 1010. It was of no significant consequence, beyond some pillaging in Silesia. In 1012 a five-year peace was signed. Boleslaw broke the peace however, and once again invaded Lusatia. Boleslaw's forces pillaged and burned the city of Lubusz (Lebus).[18] In 1013 a peace accord was signed at Merseburg. As part of the treaty Boleslaw paid homage to Henry II for the March of Lusatia and Sorbian Meissen as fiefs. A marriage of Boleslaw's son Mieszko with Richeza of Lotharingia, daughter of the Count Palatine Ezzo of Lotharingia and granddaughter of Emperor Otto II was also performed.

In 1014 Boleslaw sent his son Mieszko to Bohemia in order to form an alliance with duke Oldrich against Emperor Henry. Boleslaw also refused to aid the Emperor militarily in his Italian expedition. This led to imperial intervention in Poland and so in 1015 a war erupted once again. The war started out well for the Emperor as he was able to defeat the Polish forces at Ciani. Once the imperial forces crossed the river Oder, Boleslaw sent a detachment of Moravian knights in a diversionary attack against the Eastern March of the empire. Soon thereafter the imperial army retreated from Poland without any permanent gains. Following this Boleslaw's forces took the initiative. The Margrave of Meissen, Gero II, was defeated and killed during a clash with the Polish forces late in 1015.

Later that year, Boleslaw's son Mieszko was sent to plunder Meissen. His attempt at conquering the city however, failed.[18] In 1017 Boleslaw defeated Margrave Henry V of Bavaria. In 1017 with Czech and Wendish support Henry II once again invaded Poland, however, once again to very little effect. He did besiege cities of Glogów and Niemcza, but was unable to take them. Taking advantage of Czech troops' involvement, Boleslaw ordered his son to invade Bohemia, where Mieszko met very little resistance. On 30 January 1018, the Peace of Bautzen (which made Boleslaw a clear winner), was signed. The Polish ruler was able to keep the contested marches of Lusatia and Sorbian Meissen not as fiefs, but as part of Polish territory, and also received military aid in his expedition against Kievan Rus. Also, Boleslaw (then a widower) reinforced his dynastic bonds with the German nobility through his marriage with Oda, daughter of Margrave Eckard I of Meissen. The wedding took place four days later, on 3 February in the castle of Cziczani (also Sciciani, at the site of either modern Groß-Seitschen[20] or Zützen).

Intervention in the Kievan Succession (1015–1019)[edit] Main article: Boleslaw I's intervention in the Kievan succession crisis, 1018

Boleslaw I Chrobry entering conquered Kiev. Painting by Jan Matejko Boleslaw organized his first expedition against his eastern neighbor in 1015, but the decisive engagements were to take place in 1018 after the peace of Budziszyn was already signed. At the request of his son-in-law Sviatopolk I of Kiev, the Polish duke invaded Kievan Rus' with an army of between 2,000–5,000 Polish warriors, in addition to Thietmar's reported 1,000 Pechenegs, 300 German knights, and 500 Hungarian mercenaries.[22] After collecting his forces during June, Boleslaw led his troops to the border in July and on 23 July at the banks of the Bug River, near Wielen, he defeated the forces of Yaroslav the Wise prince of Kiev, in what became known as the Battle at Bug river. All primary sources agree that the Polish prince was victorious in battle.[23][24] Yaroslav retreated north to Novgorod, rather than to Kiev. The victory opened the road to Kiev, already under harassment from Boleslaw's Pecheneg allies. The city, which suffered from fires caused by the Pecheneg siege, surrendered upon seeing the main Polish force on 14 August. The entering army, led by Boleslaw, was ceremonially welcomed by the local archbishop and the family of Vladimir I of Kiev. Boleslaw may have deployed his troops in the capital of Rus for no more than six months (see Kiev Expedition of 1018) but had to recall them eventually due to popular uprising against the Poles. According to popular legend Boleslaw notched his sword (Szczerbiec) hitting the Golden Gate of Kiev. During this campaign Poland re-annexed the Red Strongholds, later called Red Ruthenia, lost by Boleslaw's father in 981.

In 1015 Boleslaw sent a detachment of Polish horsemen to aid his nephew Canute the Great, son of his sister Swietoslawa, in his conquest of England.

Coronation[edit] Main article: Crown of Boleslaw I the Brave Poland at the end of the reign of Boleslaw I. Coronation of Boleslaw I Chrobry, by Jan Matejko. Historians disputed the exact date of Boleslaw's coronation. Some believe that since 1000 the Polish ruler asked to the Pope a consent for his coronation, following the Congress of Gniezno. Independent German sources clearly confirmed that after Henry II's death in 1024, Boleslaw took advantage of the interregnum in Germany and crowned himself King in 1025 (the exact date or place is unknown[25]), thus raising Poland to the rank of a kingdom before its neighbor Bohemia. He was the first Polish king (rex), his predecessors having been considered dukes (dux) by the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy. Others (like Johannes Fried) believes that the coronation of 1025 was only the renewal of a previous coronation performed in 1000 (multiple coronations are common at the time).

Wipo of Burgundy in his Chronicle describes this event: Capitulum IX: De Bolizlao duce Sclavorum.Eodem anno supra quem notavimus Bolizlaus Sclavigena, dux Bolanorum, insignia regalia regium et al iniuriam regis nomen sibi Chuonradi aptavit, cuius temeritatem cito walrus exinanivit.[26] Hence it's assumed that Boleslaw received permission for his coronation from Pope John XIX (who at that point had a bad relationship with the Holy Roman Empire). Stanislaw Zakrzewski put forward the theory that the coronation had the tacit consent of Conrad II and the Papacy only confirmed this fact. This was further confirmed by Jaroslaw Sochacki, who added other facts who supported Zakrzewski's theory: Conrad II confirmed the title of King to Mieszko II Lambert, Boleslaw's heir. The agreement between the Holy Roman Empire and the Counts of Tusculum, rulers of Rome (1012-1046). The interaction between the Empire and the Papacy at the time to granted crowns. The connection of Boleslaw with the Papacy came only in the years 1003-1014.

Death and Burial[edit] Boleslaw I died shortly after his coronation, most likely from an illness. The whereabouts of Boleslaw's burial are uncertain. According to Jan Dlugosz (and followed by modern historians and archaeologists) he was buried in the Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, Poznan. In the 14th century, King Casimir III the Great ordened the build of a Gothic sarcophagus which he transferred Boleslaw's remains. The sarcophagus was partially destroyed in 1772 during a fire, and completely a few years later (1790) due to the collapse of the south tower. Then, the remains were moved to the Chapter house, where three bone fragments where donated to Tadeusz Czacki (in 1801, at his request). Czacki, a notable Polish historian, pedagogue and numismatist, placed one of the bone fragments in his ancestral mausoleum in Poryck (now Pavlivka) in the Volhynia region; the other two where gave to Princess Izabela Czartoryska née Flemming, who placed them in her recently founded Czartoryski Museum in Pulawy. After many historical twists, the burial place of Boleslaw I ultimately remained at Poznan Cathedral, in the namely Golden Chapel inside the temple.[28] Is known the content of his Epitaph, which in part came from the original tombstone, it's also one of the first sources (dated to the period immediately after Boleslaw's death, probably during the reign of Mieszko II[29]) who gave the King his widely known nickname of "Brave" (Polish: Chrobry) -later Gallus Anonymus in the Chapter 6 of his Gesta principum Polonorum named the Polish ruler as Bolezlavus qui dicebatur Gloriosus seu Chrabri-.

Legacy[edit] Military[edit] Boleslaw I Chrobry, Painting by Aleksander Lesser. At the time of his death Boleslaw left Poland larger than the land he had inherited: he had added to his domains the long-contested marches of Lusatia and Sorbian Meissen as well as Red Ruthenia and possibly Lesser Poland. Militarily, at the time, Poland was unquestionably a considerable power as Boleslaw was able to fight successful campaigns against both Holy Roman Empire and the Kievan Rus. On the other hand it must be highlighted that his long-term involvement in the war against Germany allowed Western Pomerania to gain independence from the Polish aegis. Another negative side of Boleslaw's drawn out military campaigns was a damaging influence on the economy of his kingdom. With the passing of each year, Boleslaw needed ever-increasing amounts to finance his wars, especially when fought on two fronts; in Germany and Kiev. Unceasing war had placed ever-increasing fiscal obligations on his subjects, which in turn caused negative sentiment, sentiment that increased throughout his reign, and that would erupt into popular revolt soon after his death.

Economy[edit] Boleslaw was a gifted and organized administrator. He was largely responsible for fully implementing the "Prince's Law" throughout the Polish lands. The Prince's Law created a sort of nationalized economy, controlled by the state, whose sole duty it was to finance the prince's spending needs. These needs were considerable, as the Duke was responsible for all manner of building projects. The foundation of the "Prince's Law" lay in a network of fortified towns called grody, but the ruler also commissioned the building of churches, monasteries, roads, bridges etc., in short the development of an infrastructure. The building projects were financed by collecting taxes in money or goods. Also peasants were required to house the monarch or provide the prince with different manner of goods and services which included communications, hunting, military or others. To produce necessary goods Boleslaw organized a network of service settlements that specialized each in manufacturing about 30 different goods, such as: barrels, arches, metal wares, spears, as well as settlements responsible for animal husbandry, i.e., swine, horses or cattle. Hundreds of villages were thus specialized and named to reflect their particular job. To this day one may find scores of settlements in Poland with names left over from that era, such as: Szewce (cobblers), Kuchary (cooks) or Kobylniki (mare breeders). This system functioned well enough to support Boleslaw throughout his 33 year reign.

Political[edit] Increasing both the internal and external strength of the realm was of paramount importance to Boleslaw, especially in the face of increasing pressure from the magnates. The magnates demanded a larger share in the administration of the country while Boleslaw sought to strengthen the central authority of the ruler. Boleslaw's coronation, sometime in 1025, was aimed precisely to reinforce his leading position. In general an overall integration of the country took place during his reign.

Boleslaw was able to establish an independent Polish church structure with a Metropolitan See at Gniezno, with papal and imperial sanction. His work laid a foundation for the use of designation "Poland" that was to unite all regions of the realm, as well as for the use of one symbol to represent the supreme authority of the prince. The symbol was a sign of Gniezno's knightly class: the white eagle.

Marriages and IssueWIFE (1):
First marriage: 984–985
An unknown daughter of Rikdag, Margrave of Meissen, variously named Henilda, Hemnilda, Herminilda or Oda. After Rikdag's death in 985, she was repudiated by her husband and sent away.

CHILDREN of Boleslaw I Chrobry and WIFE (1):
  1. (daughter) (b. ca. 985 – d. aft. 997), married ca. 996/97 to an undentified Prince of Pomerania.

WIFE (2):
Second marriage: 986 – 987/89
An unknown Hungarian princess formerly believed to be Judith, daughter of Géza, Grand Prince of the Hungarians. Around 987, as a consequence of the deterioration in the political relations between Poland and Hungary, she was repudiated.

CHILDREN of Boleslaw I Chrobry and (Judith?):
  1. Bezprym (b. ca. 986 – d. 1032).

WIFE (3):
Third marriage: 987/89 – 1013
Emnilda, daughter of Dobromir, a Western Slavic prince.

CHILDREN of Boleslaw I Chrobry and Emnilda:
  1. daughter (b. 988 – d. aft 1013), a nun.
  2. Regelinda (b. 989 – d. 21 March aft. 1014), married by 30 April 1002 to Herman I, Margrave of Meissen.
  3. Mieszko II Lambert (b. 990 – d. 10/11 May 1034).
  4. daughter (b. ca. 991 – d. aft. 14 August 1018), married bef. 15 July 1015 to Sviatopolk I, Grand Prince of Kiev.
  5. Otto (b. 1000 – d. 1033).

WIFE (4):
Fourth marriage: 1018–1025
Oda (b. ca. 995[33] – d. aft. 1025).
Daughter of Eckard I, Margrave of Meissen. She was nicknamed the Younger (Polish: Mlodsza) probably in reference to either Boleslaw's step-mother or first wife.

CHILDREN of Boleslaw I Chrobry and Oda:
  1. Matilda (b. aft. 1018 – d. aft. 1036), betrothed (or married) on 18 May 1035 to Otto of Schweinfurt, since 1048 Duke Otto III of Swabia


Boleslaw I Chrobry