Mieszko I

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Mieszko I

(myĕsh`kô) or

Mieczyslaw I

(–chĭsläf), c.922–992, duke of Poland (962–92), the first important member of the PiastPiast
, 1st dynasty of Polish dukes and kings. Its name was derived from that of its legendary ancestor, a simple peasant. The first historic member, Duke Mieszko I (reigned 962–92), began the unification of Poland and introduced Christianity.
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 dynasty. The first German invasions of Poland began in 963. To avert this threat, Mieszko obtained (c.963) a friendly treaty with Holy Roman Emperor Otto IOtto I
or Otto the Great,
912–73, Holy Roman emperor (962–73) and German king (936–73), son and successor of Henry I of Germany. He is often regarded as the founder of the Holy Roman Empire.
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, to whom he agreed to pay tribute. Mieszko later conquered Pomerania. In 966 he accepted Christianity and immediately began the conversion of Poland. Late in his reign he placed Poland under the protection of the pope, thus gaining papal support of Polish integrity. His son Boleslaus IBoleslaus I
, c.966–1025, Polish ruler (992–1025), the first to call himself king; also called Boleslaus the Brave. He succeeded his father, Mieszko I, as duke of Poland, seized the territories left to his two brothers under their father's will, and set about
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 succeeded him.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mieszko I


(Mieczysław I). Year of birth unknown; died May 25, 992. Poland’s first historical ruler. A member of the Piast dynasty and the son of Ziemomysl, Mieszko I ruled from 960 to 992. During his reign the Polish state began to evolve. He led wars against the Lusatians (967) for control of Pomerania and against the Bohemians (990) for Silesia and Małopolska. He formed an alliance with the Bohemian Prince Boleslav in an effort to weaken the Holy Roman Empire. In 966 he introduced Latin Christianity into Poland.


Koroliuk, V. D. Drevnepol’skoe gosudarstvo. Moscow, 1957. (See index).
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.