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Sigismund I,1467–1548, king of Poland (1506–48), son of Casimir IVCasimir IV,
1427–92, king of Poland (1447–92). He became (1440) ruler of Lithuania and in 1447 succeeded his brother Ladislaus III as king of Poland. He united the two nations more closely by placing them on an equal footing.
..... Click the link for more information. . Elected to succeed his brother, Alexander I, Sigismund faced the problem of consolidating his domestic power in order successfully to counter external threats to Poland. The enactment (1505) during Alexander's rule of the law Nihil Novi, which forbade the kings to enact laws without the consent of the diet, seriously handicapped Sigismund in his struggle with the magnates and nobles. Nevertheless, he established (1527) a regular army and a fiscal system to finance its maintenance. Intermittent war with Vasily IIIVasily III
(Vasily Ivanovich) , 1479–1533, grand duke of Moscow (1505–33). Carrying on the policies of his father, Ivan III, he rounded out the territorial consolidation of the Russian state, formally annexing Pskov (1510), Ryazan (1517), and Novgorod-Seversk (1523)
..... Click the link for more information. of Moscow began in 1507; in 1514 Smolensk fell to the Muscovite forces. In 1515 Sigismund entered an alliance with Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian IMaximilian I,
1459–1519, Holy Roman emperor and German king (1493–1519), son and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. As emperor, he aspired to restore forceful imperial leadership and inaugurate much-needed administrative reforms in the increasingly
..... Click the link for more information. . Maximilian acknowledged the provisions of the Second Peace of ToruńToruń
, Ger. Thorn, city (1993 est. pop. 201,700), capital (with Bydgoszcz) of Kujawsko-Pomorskie prov., N central Poland, on the Vistula River. It is a river port and a railway junction.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Sigismund consented to the marriage of the children of his brother, Uladislaus IIUladislaus II
, Hung. Ulászló II, c.1456–1516, king of Hungary (1490–1516) and, as Ladislaus II, king of Bohemia (1471–1516); son of Casimir IV of Poland.
..... Click the link for more information. of Bohemia and Hungary, with the grandchildren of Maximilian. Through this double marriage contract Bohemia and Hungary passed to the house of Hapsburg on the death (1526) of Sigismund's nephew, Louis IILouis II,
1506–26, king of Hungary and Bohemia (1516–26), son and successor of Uladislaus II. He was the last of the Jagiello dynasty in the two kingdoms. In the face of intensified attacks by Sultan Sulayman I, Louis hastily sought (1526) to unite Hungary and
..... Click the link for more information. . Sigismund's wars against the Teutonic KnightsTeutonic Knights
or Teutonic Order
, German military religious order founded (1190–91) during the siege of Acre in the Third Crusade. It was originally known as the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutons in Jerusalem.
..... Click the link for more information. ended in 1525, when their grand master, Albert of BrandenburgAlbert of Brandenburg,
1490–1568, grand master of the Teutonic Knights (1511–25), first duke of Prussia (1525–68); grandson of Elector Albert Achilles of Brandenburg.
..... Click the link for more information. , having converted to Lutheranism, secularized the order and did homage to Sigismund, who invested him with the domains of the order as the first duke of Prussia. Sigismund sought peaceful relations with the khans of Crimea but was still involved in border warfare with them. Sigismund was a humanist; he and his second wife, Bona Sforza, daughter of Gian Galeazzo SforzaSforza
, Italian family that ruled the duchy of Milan from 1450 to 1535. Rising from peasant origins, the Sforzas became condottieri and used this military position to become rulers in Milan. The family governed by force, ruse, and power politics.
..... Click the link for more information. of Milan, were patrons of Renaissance culture, which began to flower in Poland during their reign. He was succeeded by his son, Sigismund IISigismund II
or Sigismund Augustus,
1520–72, king of Poland (1548–72). Crowned in 1530 to assure his succession, he assumed the royal functions at the death of his father, Sigismund I.
..... Click the link for more information. .
(in Hungarian, Zsigmond; in Czech, Zyk-mund). Born Feb. 15, 1368, in Nuremberg; died Dec. 9, 1437, in Znaim (now Znojmo, Czechoslovakia). Holy Roman Emperor from 1410 to 1437, king of Hungary from 1387 to 1437, and king of Bohemia from 1419 to 1421 and in 1436 and 1437.
The son of Emperor Charles IV, Sigismund was the last of the Luxembourg dynasty. He became king of Hungary after marrying the daughter of King Louis the Great of Hungary. He led a crusade of Western European feudal lords against the Turks but was defeated by Bayazid I at the battle of Nicopolis in 1396. He was one of the initiators of and a participant in the church’s Council of Constance (1414–1418); at the council, he sanctioned the execution of J. Hus, to whom he had given a written guarantee of safe conduct. Inheriting the Bohemian throne on the death of his brother Václav IV, Sigismund waged a struggle against the Hussite revolutionary movement, organizing with the pope crusades against the Hussites. In 1421 he was deposed from the Bohemian throne by the diet of Čáslav; however, in 1436 he was again proclaimed king by the diet of Jihlava.