Boleslaus I


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Boleslaus I

(bō`ləslôs), c.966–1025, Polish ruler (992–1025), the first to call himself king; also called Boleslaus the Brave. He succeeded his father, Mieszko IMieszko I
or Mieczyslaw I
, c.922–992, duke of Poland (962–92), the first important member of the Piast dynasty. The first German invasions of Poland began in 963. To avert this threat, Mieszko obtained (c.
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, as duke of Poland, seized the territories left to his two brothers under their father's will, and set about increasing his holdings. With the sanction of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, he obtained (1000) the elevation of GnieznoGniezno
, Ger. Gnesen, city (1993 est. pop. 70,400), Wielkopolskie prov., central Poland. It is a railway junction and a trade and food-processing center; there is also light manufacturing. The legendary cradle of the Polish nation, Gniezno was the first capital of Poland.
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 into a metropolitan see, thus emancipating the Polish church from German control. Otto also supported plans for Polish political autonomy. Otto's successor, Holy Roman Emperor Henry IIHenry II,
973–1024, Holy Roman emperor (1014–24) and German king (1002–24), last of the Saxon line. He succeeded his father as duke of Bavaria. When Otto III died without an heir, Henry, who was Otto's second cousin and the great-grandson of Henry I, was
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, opposed Boleslaus's ambition; when Boleslaus overran Meissen and the East Mark, Henry refused to confirm his control of these territories. Boleslaus took advantage of dynastic troubles to occupy Bohemia in 1003; expelled in 1004, he still retained Moravia. He repelled a series of invasions of Poland by Henry. In 1018, in the Peace of Bautzen, Boleslaus received Lusatia as a fief of the Holy Roman Empire. Subsequently he campaigned successfully against Kiev. Boleslaus ranks among Poland's foremost rulers; he reorganized the administration, systematized taxation, and created a large standing army. Shortly before his death he was crowned king with the approval of the Holy See. He was succeeded by his son, Mieszko IIMieszko II
or Mieczyslaw II,
990–1034, king of Poland (1025–34), son and successor of Boleslaus I. His reign was marked by internal and external strife. Moravia was lost to Bohemia, Lusatia to Germany, and sections of Ruthenia to Kiev.
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.