Sigismund III,1566–1632, king of Poland (1587–1632) and Sweden (1592–99). The son of John III of Sweden and Catherine, sister of 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. of Poland, he united the VasaVasa
, Pol. Waza, royal dynasty of Sweden (1523–1654) and Poland (1587–1668). Gustavus I, founder of the dynasty in Sweden, was succeeded by his sons Eric XIV (reigned 1560–68) and John III (reigned 1568–92).
..... Click the link for more information. and JagielloJagiello
, dynasty that ruled Poland and Lithuania from 1386 to 1572, Hungary from 1440 to 1444 and again from 1490 to 1526, and Bohemia from 1471 to 1526.
..... Click the link for more information. dynasties. He was a Roman Catholic; his marriage (1592) with Anne of Hapsburg linked him with the Catholic monarchs of Europe. A period of factional strife after the death (1586) of King Stephen BáthoryBáthory
, Pol. Batory, Hungarian noble family. Stephen Báthory, 1477–1534, a loyal adherent of John I of Hungary (John Zápolya), was made (1529) voivode [governor] of Transylvania.
..... Click the link for more information. was ended by the election of Sigismund as king of Poland, effected through the support of Jan ZamojskiZamojski or Zamoyski, Jan
, 1542–1605, Polish statesman, general, and author. He championed the rights of the lesser nobility; after the extinction (1572) of the Jagiello dynasty, he used his influence to restrict
..... Click the link for more information. , who opposed the candidacy of Maximilian of Austria. In 1592, Sigismund inherited the Swedish throne from his father, but his reluctance to accept Protestantism as the state religion in Sweden involved him in conflict with the Swedes and with his uncle, who was regent (see Charles IXCharles IX,
1550–1611, king of Sweden (1604–11), youngest son of Gustavus I. He was duke of Södermanland, Närke, and Värmland before his accession. During the reign of his brother, John III (1568–92), he opposed John's leanings toward Catholicism.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Although finally crowned in 1594, Sigismund was defeated (1598) at Stangebro and was formally deposed by the Swedish diet in 1599. He retained his claims to Sweden and after 1600 fought intermittently with his uncle and later with his nephew, Gustavus IIGustavus II
(Gustavus Adolphus), 1594–1632, king of Sweden (1611–32), son and successor of Charles IX. Military Achievements
Gustavus's excellent education, personal endowments, and early experience in affairs of state prepared him for his crucial role
..... Click the link for more information. , to whom he lost (1629) most of Livonia. Sigismund intervened in Russia, in the turmoil after the death of Boris GodunovGodunov, Boris
, c.1551–1605, czar of Russia (1598–1605). A favorite of Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible), he helped organize Ivan's social and administrative system.
..... Click the link for more information. , by sanctioning Polish support of the two pretenders who claimed to be DmitriDmitri
, 1582–91, czarevich, son of Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) of Russia. His brother, Feodor I, succeeded Ivan in 1584, but Boris Godunov actually ruled Russia for the period of Feodor's reign (1584–98).
..... Click the link for more information. . Sigismund dreamed of conquering all of Russia. In 1610, taking advantage of chaos in that country, Sigismund continued his military conquest and took Moscow. His son Ladislaus was elected czar, but Sigismund desired the throne for himself. As a Catholic, he was opposed for religious as well as political reasons. In 1612 an improvised Russian army under Prince Pozharski expelled the Poles, and Michael RomanovRomanov
, ruling dynasty of Russia from 1613 to 1917. The name Romanov was adopted in the 16th cent. by a family of boyars (great nobles) that traced its beginnings to the 14th cent. Czar Ivan IV took as his first wife Anastasia Romanov.
..... Click the link for more information. was elected czar of Russia. Poland retained Smolensk and other border towns. Peace with Russia came only after Sigismund's death—in 1634, under Ladislaus IVLadislaus IV,
1595–1648, king of Poland (1632–48), son and successor of Sigismund III. His reign was marked by struggles with his subjects and wars with the Swedes, the Russians, and the Ottomans.
..... Click the link for more information. , Sigismund's son and successor. Sigismund's pro-Catholic policy helped to effect the union (1596) of the Ruthenian Church in Poland-Lithuania with the Church of Rome. This period also saw the start of intermittent war with the Ottoman Empire, lasting until Poland obtained a favorable treaty in 1621. Sigismund's use of Austrian aid to limit the powers of the diet and the dissatisfaction of the Protestants led to a rebellion (1606–7) under Nicholas Zebrzydowski, the palatine of Kraków. Although the rebels were defeated, their cause triumphed; no more attempts were made to change the constitution.