Testament of Boles%C5%82aw III Wrymouth
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Testament of Boles%C5%82aw III Wrymouth
Fragmentation of Poland between the sons of Boles?aw III in 1138:
  Seniorate Province of W?adys?aw II.
  Silesian Province of W?adys?aw II.
  Masovian Province of Boles?aw IV.
  Greater Poland Province of Mieszko III.
  Sandomierz Province of Henry.

  czyca Province of Salomea of Berg.
  Pomeranian vassals under the rule of W?adys?aw II.

The last will and testament of the Piast duke Boles?aw III Wrymouth of Poland,[1] established rules for governance of the Polish kingdom by his four surviving sons after his death. By issuing it, Boles?aw planned to guarantee that his heirs would not fight among themselves, and would preserve the unity of his lands under the Piast dynasty. However, he failed; soon after his death his sons fought each other, and Poland entered a period of fragmentation lasting about 200 years.[2]

Provisions

Boles?aw III issued the document around January 1115 (between the birth of his son Leszek and the rebellion of Skarbimir); it would be enacted upon his death in 1138.[3]

Poland subdivided into five provinces among the sons of Boles?aw

Boles?aw divided the country into five principalities:

The youngest son Casimir II the Just was not assigned any province; it is speculated that he was born after Boles?aw's death, or that he was destined for a religious career.

The senioral principle established in the testament stated that at all times the eldest member of the dynasty (the Senior Prince, the Princeps or High Duke) was to have supreme power over the rest (Dux, the Dukes) and was also to control an indivisible "seniorate province" : a vast strip of land running north-south down the middle of Poland, with Kraków (the Kingdom of Poland's capital) its chief city. The Senior's prerogatives also included control over the Pomeranian vassals in Pomerelia, as a fief. The Senior was tasked with defense of borders, the right to have troops in provinces of other Dukes, carrying out foreign policy, supervision over the clergy (including the right to nominate bishops and archbishops), and minting of currency.

Aftermath

The senioral principle was soon broken, with W?adys?aw II attempting to increase his power and his younger half-brothers opposing him. After initial success (taking over the czyca Land after the death of Salomea), he was eventually defeated and expelled from Poland in 1146. With the help of Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa his sons managed to retain the Silesian Province in 1163, losing the Seniorate, which had passed to their uncle Boles?aw IV. This led to a period of nearly 200 years of Poland's feudal fragmentation; the estrangement of the Silesian Piasts deepening after the death of Duke Henry II the Pious at the disastrous Battle of Legnica in 1241.

The Polish throne at Kraków remained contested between the descendants of Boles?aw's III sons. Once Duke W?adys?aw I the Elbow-high, a descendant of Boles?aw IV, was crowned King of Poland in 1320, he would reign on a smaller dominium, with Pomerelia lost to the State of the Teutonic Order and Silesia mostly vassalized by the Kingdom of Bohemia.

See also

References

Further reading

  • Bieniak J., Powstanie ksi?stwa opolsko-raciborskiego jako wyraz przekszta?cania si? Polski w dzielnicow? poliarchi?, in: Sacra Silentii Provintia. 800 lat dziedzicznego ksi?stwa opolskiego (1202-2002), Opole 2003, pp. 37-81.
  • Bieniak J., Polska elita polityczna XII wieku, cz. I, (w:) Spo?ecze?stwo Polski ?redniowiecznej t. II, Warszawa 1982, s. 29-61,
  • Buczek K., Jeszcze o testamencie Boles?awa Krzywoustego, ,,Przegl?d Historyczny" 60, 1969, z. 4, s. 621-637,
  • Dowiat J., Polska - pa?stwem ?redniowiecznej Europy, Warszawa 1968, s. 225-229,
  • Dalewski Z., W?adza Przestrze? Ceremonia?. Miejsce i uroczysto stanowienia w?adcy w Polsce ?redniowiecznej do ko?ca XIV w, Warszawa 1996, s. 72-85.
  • Dworsatschek M., W?adys?aw II Wygnaniec, Wroc?aw 1998, s. 13, 36-51.
  • Gawlas S., O kszta?t zjednoczonego Królestwa. Niemieckie w?adztwo terytorialne a geneza spo?eczno-ustrojowej odr?bno?ci Polski, Warszawa 2000, s. 78-79.
  • Labuda G., Testament Boles?awa Krzywoustego, (w:) Opuscula Casimiro Tymieniecki septuagenario dedicata, Pozna? 1959, s. 171-194.
  • Labuda G., Zabiegi o utrzymanie jedno?ci pa?stwa polskiego w latach 1138-1146, ,,Kwartalnik Historyczny" 66, 1959, z. 4, s. 1147-1167,
  • ?owmia?ski H., Pocz?tki Polski, t. VI cz. I, Warszawa 1985, s. 134-165,
  • Maleczy?ski K., Testament Boles?awa Krzywoustego (recenzja z: G. Labuda, Testament...), ,,Sobótka" 16, 1961, z. 1, s. 109-110
  • Natanson-Leski J., Nowy rzut oka na podzia?y wed?ug statutu Boles?awa Krzywoustego, ,,Czasopismo Prawno-Historyczne", t. 8, 1956, z. 2, s. 225-226.
  • Rymar E., Primogenitura zasad? reguluj?c? nast?pstwo w pryncypat w ustawie sukcesyjnej Boles?awa Krzywoustego, cz. I ,,Sobótka" 48, 1993, z. I, s. 1-15, cz. II ,,Sobótka" 49, 1944, z. 1-2, s. 1-18,
  • Sosnowska A., Tytulatura pierwszej generacji ksit dzielnicowych z dynastii Piastów (1138-1202), ,,Historia" 5, 1997, nr 1, s. 7-28.
  • Spors J., Podzia? dzielnicowy Polski wed?ug statutu Boles?awa Krzywoustego ze szczególnym uwzgl?dnieniem dzielnicy seniorackiej, S?upsk 1978,
  • Teterycz A., Rz?dy ksi?cia Henryka, syna Boles?awa Krzywoustego w ziemi Sandomierskiej, (w:) Mazowsze, Pomorze, Prusy. Gda?skie Studia Historyczne z Dziejów ?redniowiecza t. 7, red. B. ?liwi?ski, Gda?sk 2000, s. 245-269
  • Wojciechowski T., Szkice historyczne jedenastego wieku, ,,Kwartalnik Historyczny" 31, 1917, s. 351 i nast?pna.,

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