Poland and the Gregorian Reform

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Poland and the Gregorian Reform

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19. 42

This dissertation prepared under my direction by

A nthony F« Cza.jkowski................


Poland and the Gregorian Reform

has been accepted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the

Degree of

(Faculty Advn&r)



BY ANTHONY F. C2AJKOWSKI A.B., St. Joseph's Seminary A.M., Fordham University



ProQuest N um ber: 10992544

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CONCLUSION..................................183 BIBLIOGRAPHY................................ 193







In the annals of history there are noted, at vari­ ous times, outstanding movements which have left a profound impression on contemporary life and given a decisive impulse to following generations#

Hot the least among these signi­

ficant movements was the Gregorian Reform, or as it is some­ times less accurately called, the investiture Struggle, faking its spirit from the great reformer, Pope Gregory VII, the influence of this movement permeated the religious, social, political and economic phases of public life#


strong impetus given by the Gregorian Reform toward a res­ toration of a vigorous religious life received concrete ex­ pression in two great movements, the Crusades and the re­ newal of a thriving monastic spirit at the turn of the twelfth century, in what is called the Mew Monastic ism. fhe events and consequences of this movement have naturally provoked study and investigation through the cen­ turies.

As a result, a voluminous historiography has arisen

around the period of Pope Gregory VII as historians have delved into its various aspects.

Within the last century

the investigations have become increasingly sped alised with the result that each phase of the reform has been subjected to the most minute examination. Yet, there is one aspect of the movement which has not as yet received equal scrutiny with the others, namely, the relation of the Gregorian Reform to the Slavic countries. L


‘For, converted to Christianity in the tenth century, these”1 lands had definitely come within the ecclesiastical frame­ work at the time of the great struggle between Gregory VII and the German emperor, Kenry IV, in the West.

The ques­

tion, therefore, arises whether the powerful forces, %hich reached full expression within the Church in the pontifi­ cate of Gregory VII, were confined to Western Europe or whether they reached beyond the eastern boundaries of Ger­ many*

A further question also presents itself: did any

actions taken by the Slav rulers influence in any way the struggles between the Empire and the Papacy, and in their turn, did these struggles exert any influence on the Slav peoples?

Unfortunately, in Peeking the answers to these

questions, a thorough examination of the problem is handi­ capped by a relative lack of source material as compared to the western phase of the movement. Among these Slavic peoples the largest nation was that of the Poles.

Here, during the period of Gregory’s

papal reign three outstanding events occurred: first, the great reform Pope dispatched a letter to the Polish duke, Boleslaw II; secondly, the duke had himself crowned king of Poland in 1076; and thirdly, the bishop of Cracow, St. Stanislaw, was put to death by the hand of Boleslaw II. These three seemingly unrelated occurrences form the basis for our treatment of Poland’s place in the reform movement, for they reveal that country’s relation to the Papacy and


r the Empire, the two powerful antagonists in the bitter


struggle for reform. However, to evaluate properly the part played by Poland in the Gregorian period, it becomes necessary to consider that country’s development as a state from the time when it entered the stage of European polity.

For in

Poland's national development both Germany and the Papacy played an important role, so that when both these powers clashed during the pontificate of Gregory VII, the Polish people had to make a choice.

In consequence, the Polish

king, Boleslaw II, turned to the support of the Apostolic See and profited from the occasion to further the inter­ ests of his country in the face of German power.

He broke

off all vassal dependence on the German emperor and had himself crowned king with papal approbation, the first Polish ruler to receive such favor.

His defiant action

against Henry IV added another fissure to the crumbling foundations of the German state and contributed to the young emperor's decision to seek Gregory VII's pardon at Canossa. To understand fully why Poland decided to adhere to the papal rather than to the imperial cause as her Slavic neighbor Bohemia did, will be made clear by a study of Poland's relation to Germany and to the Holy See prior to the reform period.

This study will similarly present

the influx of reform ideas into Poland in order that the L





clerical reaction to the reform decrees can be properly appreciated.

Thus, a detailed investigation will be made

of the political and religious relations of Poland both to Germany and to the Papacy.

Having laid this groundwork,

we shall be in a position to determine the significance of Gregory VII’s letter to the Polish duke Boleslaw and the letter’s formal coronation as king of Poland.

To deter­

mine the extent of the Gregorian reform in the religious life of Poland, we shall then discuss that third outstand­ ing event in king Boleslaw1s reign, namely, the death of St.. Stanislaw, bishop of Cracow. Although this outline of the subject appears simple in application, many difficulties arise in its execution.

As already stated, the primary obstacle is

the comparative dearth of source material as compared to other countries; moreover, the sources that are available, show a notable lack of harmony, no major event in Polish history It-being in complete accord among the chroniclers and annalists, a circumstance tdiihh has given rise to much controversy among students of Poland’s history.


out, therefore, it becomes necessary to select the most trustworthy or most probable account.

Most controversy

revolves around the death of St. Stanislaw, of which two of our earliest chronicles give completely different versions.

The first, by Gallus, in a vague passage, im­

plies that Stanislaw suffered death for conspiracy with L




the Czechs against king Boleslaw II*

Kadlubek, on the


other hand, presents Stanislaw as a holy bishop whose cen­ sure of the Polish king Vs evil deeds brought upon himself the royal anger and finally death,

These variant accounts

have given rise to two conflicting schools of Polish historiography. Briefly, then, such is the scope of our study, and such are its problems.

In the following pages we shall

attempt to trace Poland1® historic and ecclesiastical rise in relation to the Umpire and the Papacy, her part in the conflict of Gregory VII and Henry IV and the influence of the reform spirit on the Church in Poland. For many helpful suggestions and corrections I am indebted to Father Demetrius B* Zema, S,J., F.H.S., to idiom I wish to extend my heart-felt gratitude.

In addi­

tion, I am most grateful to Er. William Roehrenbeck, Librarian of the Fordham University Library, for his aid and efforts in securing books from other libraries.


ly, I wish to thank the attendants of the Slavonic Depart­ ment of the Mew York Public Library, especially Mr. lf*%Berlstein, for their courtesy and service during the long months of research*






CHAPTER I POLITICAL RISE OF POLAND: RELATIONS WITH GERMANY The political history of Poland formally began

in the tenth century when, appearing out of the twilight surrounding the life of the numerous Slavonic tribes, it made its entrance into the family ©f Christian states* It arose simultaneously and under the same influence of external pressure which at that time was calling into being a Czech state and a Russian state in the South around Kiev*

That external pressure came from the con­

stant incursions from the East and the evexjlhresent danger of German conquest from the West*

The entry of Poland

into the domain of history synchronizes with, and is, indeed, directly due to a significant event which occurred in the middle of the tenth century*

When Mieszko 1, the

fifth ruler of the Polish house of Piast ascended the throne in 962, both he and his subjects were strangers to Christi­ anity, even in name*

Indeed, almost all the kingdoms of

the North at that time were steeped in idolatry, only a small portion of the Saxons and some Hungarians having accepted the Gospel* At the period when the authentic history of Poland began, the Germans had already become the most powerful nation of Europe*

Prom as far back as Charle­

magne, there had begun that expansion of the Teutonic nations toward the East now characterized as der Drang L.


*“ "H B§SM Osten. The Slavs between the Elbe and the Oder rivers, less warlike and smaller in stature than the Armans, poor­ ly organized by comparison and relatively ill-armed, were slowly subjugated.3, The territory beyond the Oder was distinctly Polish and this likewise was soon to be the scene of attacks by German dukes and margraves, who pretended to the dis­ tinction of conquering the Slavs for the purpose of convert­ ing them.

The chief scourge of the Polish lands was the

margrave of hausitz, Geron, whose superior arms forced Mieszko to submit on the field of battle,



him to recognize the suzerainty of the victor over his lands and to acknowledge himself as Geron1s vassal.

As vassal of

the German margrave, Mieszko was further obliged to ack­ nowledge the ©verlordship of the German Emperor, Otto I, and as a token of his vassalage to pay a tribute for the land he held on the left bank of the river Warta.


This subjection to the German rulers marks the beginning ©f Polandfs_ feudal relations with Germany.


forth, the story of these relations will present a picture of German rulers endeavoring to retain their control over the Poles, the Polish dukes utilizing every advantage in 1. Paul Super, Events and Personalities in Polish History, Torun, 1936, P.7. 2* Widukindi Res Gestae S&xonicae. (ed.) George Waitz, Monuments Germanise Historlca. Scriptores, T. Ill, pp. 463-4; Thietmari Chronicon. Ced.) johannes M. Lappenberg. SS., T. Ill, p. 748. j3 . Chronic on Folono-SilesiacuauM.G.H.. SS. T. XlX, p. 558^

a [-


an effort t© liberate themselves from that overlordship# Mieszko, irked by Poland’s vassal dependence on Geron and Otto I, and realizing that his own inadequate resources could effect little against his belligerent Western neighbors, now sought aid in the form of an alliance with the Czechs.

Such an alliance would serve the double

purpose of providing him with allies and, since the Czechs were already Catholic, the German pretext for raiding Poland in order to make converts would lose its effect#

To seal

the alliance, Mieszko asked for the hand of Bombrowka, the daughter of the Czech king, Boleslaw I,


and, since the

Czechs themselves had experienced a long period of depreda­ tion at the hands of Germans, received a favorable reply. For despite fourteen years of resistance, the Czech Boleslaw I had been forced to swear fealty to the German king in 950* How both rulers realized that a Czech-Polish alliance would create a strong barrier against the Germans.


The Czech

king, however, could not consent to a marriage with a paganj for thanks to the evangelizing activity of Saints Cyril and Methodius the Czechs* in 870,had been brought into the Christ­ ian fold.

Therefor* the conditions set for the marriage

and subsequent alliance provided that Mieszko should be 1 . Joannis Dlugossus seu Longinus, Historiae Folonicae.

Libri XII, Lipsiae, Joannis Ludovicus Gleditsehius, 1711, c. 91—92♦ 2 0 Feliks Koneczny, Dzlele Polski 2a Piastow, Krakow, 1902, p. 30. L




Fully realizing the importance of receiving

Baptism, not only to gain Czech allies, but also to remove the pretext for German raids, the Polish ruler accepted Boleslaw* s stipulations and welcomed Bombrowka to Poland with her retinue of servants and priests in the year 965* Forthwith, Bombrowka9s chaplain proceeded to instruct Mieszko in the articles of faith and, in 966, the Polish ruler accepted the waters of Baptism.


Thus, in 966, Poland entered the family of Christian nations*

Its baptism at the hands of Czech

priests had far-reaching consequences, in__aajEauch as, henceforth all pretext for invasion was denied the Germans.^ Even more important for the future history of Poland was the orientation towards the West which Baptism at the hands of Czech priests implied, for Poland could now claim the powerful protection of the Holy See; moreover, allegiance to Rome served to introduce the Poles into the great 1* Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. (ed* ) cF. Szlachtowski et R* Koepke, H.G.K.. SS*« T. IX, p. 428* There is a dis­ agreement among the chroniclers as to whether Baptism preceded or followed the marriage. Thietmar notes that Bombrowka converted Mieszko after the marriage. Gallus. Chronicae Polonorum. recorded that Bombrowka agreed to the marriage only after the Polish ruler had received the waters of Baptism. Most of the Chronicles, e.g* Annales Mechovienses. M.G.H. SS.. T* XIX, p. 668 , Annales Cracovienses Breves. M.G.H. SS.t T. XIX, p- 664T Annales Catabuli Cracovienses. M.G.B.* SS*. T. XIX, p. 685, Annales Capituli Posnaniensis. M.G.H. SS*. T. XIX, p. 438, all place the Baptism a year after the marriage* That is the version we follow. 2 . Wladyslaw Konopczynski, A Brief Outline of Polish History. Geneva, 1919, p. 8 * L J

mediaeval tradition of the west so that they could partake of much of the progress of western culture*


geographically belonging to eastern Europe, by refusing to follow the teachings of the Greek Church Poland def­ initely established herself as a western state# ciding to be Catholic, Poland began to face West*

In de­ This

course separated her from most of the other Glav nations, the Russians, the Bulgarians, the Serbs and others who were of the Eastern Orthodox faith#

Entering Christendom

through the western and Latin door the Polish people had the advantage of welcoming monks from Western Europe who brought the light of Latin learning and the advantages of western civilisation.


In addition, by entering the Catholic Church the Polish kings had become lawful sovereigns in the eyes of Western contemporaries, for as long as the Poles had remained heathen they continued to be legitimate prey of any Christian king, while as a Christian people they attained an equal status with other western nations# Another consequence of the conversion was a new relation­ ship which arose between Germany and Poland#

Being now a

Christian, Jfiessk© was bound to recognise the imperial power in Europe, vdiich had been conferred on Otto I by the Pope in 962, while by the same token he could expect pro­ tection from the emperor against the attacks of the German 1. Roman Grodecki i Stanislaw Zachorowski,Dsieie Polski Sredniowieczne.i > Krakow, Tom I, pp# 45-6*


margrave, Geron.

For as Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I widened”1

his policy from a purely German to a European ruler, thus aiming at a elose union of all Christian nations and the conversion of heathen peoples.

Since many Slavic lands

recognized his imperial suzerainty, he considered it ©b-* ligatory to alter his former German policy of continual attack on the Slavs in favor of conciliation and protection. Mieszko, therefore, acknowledged himself as a tributary of the emperor winperatori fidelem tributumque usque in Vurta fluvium solventemH.^

In return, the Germans considered the

Polish ruler as f*amicus imperatoris1*2 which implied that he was to assist the emperor in propagating the faith among the heathen, at the same time connoting that Mieszko would receive support from Otto in case of attack by the margraves. This new relationship of Mieszko to the emperor became evident shortly after his Baptism, for, in 967, a certain German margrave, Wichman, adhering to the established practice of his countrymen, invaded the Polish lands, but met with successful opposition.

Being no longer supported

by a Christian Germany against a heathen Poland this was a novel situation for a German aggressor.

Without this

support, Wichman was decisively defeated and, dying, en­ trusted his sword to Miesako as the r,amicus imperatoris*1 1. Thietmar, Chronic on. M.G.H. SS., T. 1X1, p. 753. 2. Widukind, Res Gestae Saxonicae. II.G.H. SS., T. Ill, p. 464. " L



for "transmission "to Otto.^* ©ae benefits accruing to Mieszko in virtue of his new status as a Christian ruler were mani­ fested again shortly afterwards, in 972, for it was at that time that margrave Hodo of Lausitz, successor of Geron, de­ manded the tribute which Mieszko as a vanquished ruler had previously paid to Geron, and when the Polish ruler refused to comply, the refusal resulted in a war in which the mar­ grave suffered a terrible defeat, his best troops being cut to pieces.


But despite his victory, Mieszko accepted

the emperor *s summons t© come to the city of Quedlinburg, in 973, in order that the contending parties might be re­ conciled.

Mieszko dutifully presented himself at the Bene­

dictine abbey of that city where for the first time he met his lord, the emperor.

Otto I took the side of the Polish

ruler and calling him his “amicus”, fully recognized his princely authority, now no longer as a vassal of Germany, but of the empire, and forbidding the margraves to make any further incursions into Polish lands.

For his part,

Mieszko reiterated his fealty to the emperor, but the mar­ graves, defending their warlike actions, charged that the Polish prince would turn against them and the emperor as soon as the imperial power would be elsewhere engaged. In the light of this accusation, and to insure Mieszko1s 1 . Ibid.. p. 464, “Accipe, inquit, hunc gladium, et defer

domino tuo, pro qui signo victoriae ilium teneat, imperatorique amico transmitt at, quo sciat aut hostem oceisum irridere vel certe propinquum deflere.” Vita S. Adalberti Secunda Brunone Arch.«M.G.H.SS.4vIV.59g.


obedience, Otto X demanded a hostage and received toe eldest son of toe Polish king, Boleslaw, as a token of faith, (March, 973).1

Thus Mieszko1s appearance before

the person of the emperor had guaranteed the inviola­ bility of his western frontiers and had explicitly ack­ nowledged the imperial suzerainty over his lands. Two months after the meeting at Quedlinburg, Otto I died and there arose a dispute as to the succession to the throne, to toich aspired both Otto1s son, Otto IX, and Henry the Quarrelsome of Bavaria.

Mieszko, using

every opportunity to gain more power for himself and to embarrass Germany, supported the pretender, Henry the i. Otto XX defeated Henry together with his Czech allies and thereupon turned toward Poland in 979.

Since there were

no decisive results, peace was concluded between Otto and the Polish ruler, who further strengthened his position by an advantageous marriage with Oda, daughter of the Saxon 3 margrave, Theod#ric, for his first wife, Bombrowka, had died in 977.

This marriage alliance having strengthened

Mieszko1s security from the West, he employed this 1. Thietmar, Chronic on. M.G.H. SS., T. Ill, p. '753$ Annalista Saxo, (ed. G. Waitz). M.G.K.. SS.. T. ¥1. p. 624$ Annales Magdaburgenses. M.G.H. SS.V T. XVI, p. 153. 2* Lambert! Hersfeldensis Annales. ex Recensione Hessii in Bsum Seholarum ex Monument is Germaniae Hi storicis, (ed. Georgius Heinricus Pertz), Hanover, 1343, p. 20. 3. Annalista Saxo. M.G.H. SS.. T. VI, pp. 633-634$ Annales Gradicenses et Qpatowicenses. M.G.H. SS.. T. XVII, p. 646. L



opportunity to weaken his dependence on the empire hy taking advantage of Otto’s preoccupations in Italy, and avoiding an oath of fealty to him.

Since his new marriage

assured him peace with the margraves, Mieszko utilized the ten years of Otto IIfs reign for the internal developmemt of his country.


When Otto II died, the German kingdom was he set by two great dangers, a revolt among' the Slavs and a civil war over succession to the crown.

Henry the Bavarian

again laid claim to the throne and, as ten years before, was supported against Otto III by Mieszko and Boleslaw, the Czech king.

However, as it soon became evident to the

Polish duke that the pretender had little chance of success, he transferred his support to Otto III} to signify this support Mieszko sent troops to the aid of the German army against the revolting Slavs, mainly the Luitizi, and as a further token, in 985, he presented himself a second time o at Quealinburg to swear fealty to the emperor. His ducal authority was again recognized, but with the understanding that as a vassal he was required to furnish a quota of troops to fight the rebellious heathen Slavs.

A con­

sequence of his amity with the emperor was a gradual with­ drawal from his alliance with the Czechs who had incurred the imperial anger in the war for succession and


1 . Koneczny, Dzieie Folski Za Piastow. p. 38. 2. Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales. p. 21. 3. Thietmar, Chronlcon. M.G.H. SS., T. Ill, p. 770. U "



feeling terminated in the outbreak ©f Czech-Polish hostil-"1 ities in 990.


In the conflicts of these years Polish and

German armies fought side by side.

In fact, Mieszko again

visited Otto III at Easter, 991, and helped him to conquer o Brandenburg. But this was the last important action of his life, for death ended his labors in 992• ^ His achievements entitle Mieszko to be regarded as the founder of the Polish kingdom; for upon his accession to the throne, in 962, he had found danger on all sides, especially from the East, but pursuing a brilliant diplo­ matic policy enabled him to ease the position of his coun­ try.

fhus, in order t© resist the Saxons, Czechs and

Ruthenians who menaced his borders, he recognized the suzerainty of Otto; as a further measure towards the pro­ tection of his lands he created the first permanent Polish military force composed of 3000 knights.^

Moreover, to

defend himself if the attitude of the German monarch were to change, Mieszko placed himself under the protection of the Pope.

Joachim Bartoszewicz aptly sums up Mieszko*s

reign: 1* Annales Hildesheimenses. M.G.H. SS.. T. Ill, p. 68 . 2. Lambert of Hersefeld, Annales. p. 22: Annales Hlldesheimenses. M.G.H. SS.. T. V.p. 67, 68 ; fhietmar, Chronic on. M.G.H., SS.. T. Ill, p. 153. Annales M&gdaburgenses. M.G.H.. SS.. f. XVI. p. 153. 3. fhietmar. Chronicon. I. Ill, p. 784; Annales Hilde­ sheimenses. M.G.H.. SS. . T. Ill, p. 69. 4 . Konopczynski, Brief Outline of Polish Bidtory. p. 9.



^ Son premier prince chretien, Mieszko, entre en scene comme vassal de l*empereur remain, qui etait alors un prince allemend, Obton Ier. Bn acceptant la double suzerainete, religieuse et politique, des puissances qui alors s^e partageaient la domination ,du monde de la papaute et de l 1empire romain, la Pologne sauva son existence, menace© par les Allemands, qui d^ja se poussaient dans les pays slavs yers X*Est, ebtrouva les moyens d* organiser son Ebab •

Bub despite Mieszko*s distinct achievements, there remained much bo be accomplished before Poland could be considered a greab power.

The polibical insti-

tubion which he creabed was nob sbrong enough bo east off all foreign dependence, nor had he succeeded in unifying all bhe Polish lands,2 a bask lefb bo his son, Boleslaw I, sometimes called bhe “Polish Charlemagne1** Boleslaw, b o m in 967, was Mieszko1s eldesb son. His braining ab his father*s courb and his shorb sojourn as hostage ab bhe imperial courb enabled him bo recognize bhe needs of his country in relabion bo Germany and the other Slav nabions.

Discerning that bhe weakness of the

Slav bribes lay in bheir lack of unity, the creation of a unified Slav state became his dominant purpose.


Mieszko had divided his lands among his sons, before his death, Boleslaw*s primary efforts were perforce directed 1 . Joachim Bartoszewiez, La Pologne. Ce QuyElle A Ete*

Ce Qu’Elle Est Aetuellement*Ce Qu*Elle Devraib^tre,1918, Paris, p. 13. # , 2. Stanislaw Arnold, “Budowniczowie Fanstwowosci Polskiej**, Polska* Jei Bzieie i Kultura* (ed. Stanislaw Lam), Warszawa, Tom 1, 1931, p. 61*

towards Poland herself.


These efforts were directed to


the unification of the segments allotted to his own 4

■brothers and to his half-brothers, the sons of Oda, Mieszko1 second wife*

In pursuit of his plan he exiled from the


country his stepmother Oda together with her sons, causing' her chief supporters, Przybiwoj and Gdiljen to be blinded.** With his rivals for power thus removed, he proceeded to unite all the Polish provinces under his undisputed rule* However, before Boleslaw had an opportunity to consolidate and unify his country completely, his vassal obligations required him to furnish military aid to the Germans against the pagan Slavs who had revolted in 994. ^ However, even this apparent diversion of his plan was shrewdly turned t© his own ultimate interests; for, taking advantage of Otto XII1s absence in Italy in 996, he con­ quered one Slav tribe after another*

In his effort to

consolidate all the Western Slav races under one rule he defeated all Pomerania between the Oder and the Vistula, took western Silesia from the Czechs, including Cracow, and subjugated a portion of Hungary.^

But sine©/^Prussians

still remained unconquered on his frontiers and he was convinced that religious differences were the principal 1* Mieszko had three sons by his second wife, Mieszko, Sventopuik and a third whose name is not know for certain. 2. Thietmar, Chronicon. M.G.H. SS., T. Ill, p. 784; Annalista Saxo. M.G.H. SS., T. VI, p. 637. 3. Annales Bildesheimenses. M.G.H. SS., T. Ill, p* 69; Annalista Saxo. M.G.H. SS., T. VI, p* 637 , 640. L4. Thietmar, Chronicon. M.G.H. §£., T. Ill* pi 793.

obstacle to his ambition of subduing' them,he determined to convert his savage neighbors to Christianity, dispatch­ ing the former bishop of Prague, Adalbert (Wojciech) for that purpose*


Adalbert, who in 996, had met the emperor

Otto III in Rome and enjoyed the high esteem of the young emperor, went among the heathen Prussians and met a martyr’s o death, (997) ^ Deeply affected by the martyrdom, Boleslaw sent a delegation to the Prussians to buy the body and, having obtained it, had it interred in the cathedral church at C&esen* The martyrdom of Adalbert had far-reaching con­ sequences for Poland*

Shortly after his death, he was

canonized, and his fame spread throughout western Europe to such an extent that chapels were created in Germany, in Italy and even at Rome, for he was personally known in these lands.

Otto III, young and deeply religious, was

profoundly moved by the news of his friend’s death, and as a result, Poland as well as her ruler were looked upon in the lUght of a new dignity, not only by the emperor, t

but by Western Europe as a whole. This new dignity, based on the possession of the remains of the martyr, was enhanced by the power that Boleslaw had acquired.

Having successfully checkmated the

1. Adalbert had left Prague due to the tyrannical rule of the Czech king, Boleslaw II. 2. Annales Capituli Cracovienses. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 686. Annales Polonorum. M.G.H. SS., T. IX, p. 619.


nsobemian and Ruthenian invasions, he had created a state


stretching from the Baltic to the Carpathians. In the year 999 the old commercial town of Cracow was annexed and, after beating back a Hungarian invasion, Boleslaw added 1

Trans-Carpathian Slavonia to Poland«

By the size of her

territory as well as her superior military organization, Poland was becoming a strong power in Europe.



Boleslaw*s sister became the wife of Sven, King of Den­ mark and the mother of Canute, King of England; his father1s sister, Adelaid Belahnegini, became the wife of King Gejza of Hungary and gave birth to a son, Stephen, who was later to introduce the Christian faith into his kingdom and become its patron saint. 3 Boleslaw had thus become a powerful ruler whose prominence was lost neither upon the young emperor nor upon the Pope.

Otto, therefore, in order that his gran­

diose scheme of a revived Roman Empire might be facilitated, decided to establish closer ties with the strong Polish duke.

Otto himself was more Italian thap German and, toge­

ther with his former tutor, Pope Sylvester II, was planning a great Christian state.

Boleslaw had endeared himself to

Otto by his treatment of St. Adalbert, and Poland was high 1. Edward H. Lewinski-Corwin, The Political History of Poland. Hew York, n.d. p. 18. 2. Known in Scandinavia under the name Siegrieda Stavrada. 3. George Slocoribe, A History of Poland. London, 1939, p. 28. L



in his esteem as the martyr’s resting-place*

Since the

Germans viewed the emperor’s visionary schemes with dis­ pleasure, Otto saw in Boleslaw a valuable ally for the fulfilling of his plan of christianizing the whole of Europe and bringing it under his sceptre.

For the sake of

his plan he deserted the anti-Slav policy of his predeces­ sors, Poland thereby entering for the first time within the range of European politics. In the year 1000, Otto III, having decided to visit the tomb of St* Adalbert, set out for that purpose with a large retinue 11with such as had never before accom­ panied an emperor out of Home or had ever accompanied him 1

back”, many nobles and bishops from Rome and Germany parti­ cipating in his triumphal procession.

At the frontier,

Boleslaw met his suzerain with a large contingent of troops and together they proceeded to the cathedral church at Gnesen.

Otto traversed the last portion of the journey

barefoot as a simple pilgrim and, arriving at the tomb of his former friend and adviser, he spent many hours in fervent prayer.


Boleslaw now began to overwhelm the young and impressionable emperor with the power and wealth of his country.

He invited Otto to the largest and most ornate

1. Thietmar, Chronicon. M.G.H. SS. T. III. P. 780: "Hullus imperator maiori umquam gloria a Roma egreditur neque revertitur”• 2. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 428. l.


21 r -1 building in "the realm and Tor "three days feasted and enter­ tained him and his retinue*

The gold and silver plates and

implements were given as gifts to the guests, while each day’s entertainment exceeded the other in splendor*


law also offered the emperor what he knew was even more welcome than gifts, namely, 300 armed men for his wars in 1

Italy* Such liberality had its desired effect.


emperor was greatly impressed by his display of riches and power, wherefore he resolved to elevate the Polish ruler in dignity*


Heretofore, Boleslaw had been a vassal of the

emperor, just as his father had been, and was reckoned by the emperor and the Germans as no higher than a count or 3 a duke* In an outburst of youthful enthusiasm Otto proclaimed that such a great man should not be considered unum de princioibus ducem aut comitem* but that he was worthy of the royal crown.

Then, with the advice of his

retinue, he removed his own crown and placed it on the 1. Thietmar, Chronicon* M.G.H* SB* T. Ill, p. 780. 2 • Gallus, Chronic ae Pdlonorum * M *G *H * SS * T. IX, p. 429: ^Cujus gloriam et potentiam et divitias imperator Homanus considerans, admiranda dixit: ’Per coronam imperii mei, majors sunt quae video, quam fame percepi*, suorumque consultu magnatum coram omnibus adjecit:’Non est dignum tantum ac virum talem, sicut unum de principibus ducem aut comitem nominari, sed in regale solium glorianter redimitum dyademate sublimari.11 , 3. Joachim Lelewel, Polska Wiekdw Srednich* Poznan, T. Ill, 1856, p. 29. 4. Gallus, Chronicae Folonorum* M.G.H. SS* T. IX, p. 428. L


22 r*



head, of the Polish ruler.

In addition, he presented


Boleslaw with a nail from the True Cross and the lance of St* Maurice, the traditional insignia for the coronation *i

of German emperors.

In fact, so fraternal was the spirit

of those present that the emperor styled the Polish ruler fffratrem et cooperatorem imperii** and called him ,fpopuli 2

Romani amicum et sociuxa”.

As a concrete expression of

his new dignity Boleslaw was henceforth exempt from the obligations imposed by Otto I on his father for the lands held beyond the river Oder.

Thereafter the Polish king

was to be a friend and coworker of the Roman empire against mutual enemies and together they were to convert the hea3 then tribes. Moreover, Otto transferred t o o the Polish king his own suzerain power not only over all Polish peoples beyond the Oder, but also over all those Slavs who would be 4 converted in the future. Thus Otto III recognized Boleslaw was a powerful ruler in Eastern Europe, and to ✓cement their friendly relations even more firmly, a marriage was arranged between Boleslaw* s son,Mieszko II (Mieczyslaw), and Rieheza (Ryxa), niece of Otto III.

Other matters received their attention,

among them the establishment of a Polish hierarchy, inde­ pendent of the Church in Germany, a topic which we shall 1. Ibid.* p. 428: flEt accipiens imperiale dyadema capitis sui, capiti Bolezlavi in amicitiae foedus imposivit.*1 Of. Dlugossus, Historlae Polonicae* c* 131. 2 . Gallus* Chronicae Polonorum* MiG.EL SS_. .T. IXA p. 429. _ 3. Adam T. I, p. 101. L4. Gallus, Chronicae Poi.onornimTHk.G. . TV 1X» p. 429. j


discuss in the following chapter.

“i With these solutions of y

the chief political and ecclesiastical problems, Otto left Gnesen and as a parting gift Boleslaw gave him an arm of St. Adalbert. There has been much discussion among historians as to what this coronation really meant.

Many have inter­

preted the placing of the crown on Boleslaw* s head as a legal coronation.

There is, however, a German interpreta­

tion, which denies that Boleslaw was crowned by Otto III in 1000.


Had he been so crowned, they argue, he would

not have considered it necessary to crown himself in 1024. Bamdtkie, the Polish historian, in refuting this version, contends that Boleslaw did actually reeeive a royal crown in 1000 at G&iesen and as long- as his coronator, Otto III, lived, Boleslaw continued to be an ally of the empire, but when, upon the death of Otto III, Henry II ascended the throne in 1002, and when hostilities broke out between Poland and Germany, the Germans regarded Boleslaw as a rebel against the empire and as such considered as deprived of his royal title,

While the war lasted, Boleslaw could

do nothing to assert his royal dignity, but eventually, in 1024, he had himself crowned King1 by his archbishop.


1. Thietmar, being a good German nationalist, made no men­ tion of the coronation, although he later implied that he knew about it. . 2. Jerzy Samuel Badtkie, Krdtkie Wyobrazenie Dzieow Krolestwa Polakiego, Wroclaw, Wilhelm Bogumil Korn, 1810, Tom I, p. 142. L.



This explanation by Bandtkie of the second coronation seems dubious.

In reality the ceremony of 1000

cannot be considered a coronation, for two elements were necessary for a proper coronation: the imperial and papal, both of which were indispensible for the legality of the act.

At Gnesen, by placing his crown on the head of Boles­

law, Otto was signifying his imperial consent; the second portion of the ceremony would have to be the anointing, performed by the Pope or his legate, of which there is no 4 mention in any of the chronicles. Neither Gallus, Kadlubek nor Bogufal, our earliest writers, refers to a religious ceremony at the coronation.


Therefore, what occurred at

Gnesen was not a coronation ceremony in the accepted sense of the term.

That Boleslaw himself realized this fact is

evident from his later efforts to obtain papal permission for a coronation.

Of this Charles Forster says:

Mais a cett^ epoque de jferveur, tout monarque chretien tenait a Stre sacre par le pape, et Boleslas lui-m&ne n^ se eonsiderait i>^s comme reunissant tous les earacteres de la dignite monarchique, tant que cette faveur lui manquait, aussi la sollicita-tril avec ardeur aupr&s du saint-siege par de nombreux envoyes. La gloire aequise ne lui suffisait pas, et Boleslas pensait sans doute que, pour aff/srmir tout, k fait son trone, 1* as sentiment de Home etait indis­ pensable.2 Therefore, even though his triumph was not complete, Boleslaw had accomplished much at Gnesen, for Otto had honored him as a friend and ally, all tribute to 1 . Naruszewicz, Hist orya Narodu Polskiego, p. 99n. 2. Charles Forster, Pologne. Paris, Firmin Didot, 1840, p.49. L



r n the empire was discarded and suzerainty was given him over the Slavs beyond the Oder.

Moreover, he had received the

imperial consent to the royal crown which implied that he was free to petition the Pope for the royal title and unction.

Poland was thereafter no longer a vassal state

of Germany, and, aside from recognizing the nominal sove­ reignty of the emperor, became an independent country. However, the amicable relations between Germany and Poland which existed during the lifetime of Otto, were not destined to continue for long.

*Phe action of Otto was

that of a youthful enthusiast 5 it did not represent the sentiment of the German people, for when Otto died in 1002, a change took place in Germano-Polish relations, Ottofs friendly policy toward the Slavs being abandoned in favor of the former anti-Slavic campaigns which Boleslaw was quick to combat. Ihe means at Boleslaw1s disposal for anti-German action at this time were many, for analogous to the con­ ditions which existed after the death of the first two Ottos, in 1002, a pretender, Henry of Bavaria, son of Henry the Quarrelsome, was laying* claim to the throne.


more Ekkehard, the Margrave of Meissen, whose prowess had made him the bulwark of the eastern border of Germany, had been killed and conditions in Germany were unsettled. 1. Thietmar, Chronic on. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p* 793. L_



r Taking advantage of this unrest, Boleslaw proceeded to


conquer the territory lying* between Poland and Germany proper, which included the Lausitzer and Milziener Marks, X made up of Bautzen, Strehla and Meissen, thus gaining control of the whole Thuringian Mark east of the Elbe.


Recording these events, the nationalistic Thietmar was moved to record indignantly: *'God forgive the Emperor for ever having elevated Boleslaw of Poland after he had once 3 been reduced to tribute*1. Proclaiming* that he had conquered these terri­ tories with the consent of the new king, Henry II, Boleslaw proceeded to the royal court at Merseburg in iluly, 1002, to obtain Henry’s consent for the retention of his conquests. Henry's policy was to weaken his eastern neighbor, but as yet internal conditions in Germany prevented him from taking forceful action.

He grudgingly ceded Lausitzer and Mil-

ziemer to Boleslaw but withheld the Mark of Meissen which 4 he granted to Ekkehard's brother Gunzelin. It seemed that friendly relations between Germany and Poland might be pre­ served by this compromise. However, as Boleslaw was leaving* Merseburg, an attack was made upon his person from which he barely escaped 1 . Ibid.. p. 792: ,r...omnem Geronis marcham comitis, citra

Albim jacentem." 2. Ibid., p. 799. 3. Ibid.. p. 799. 4. Ibid.« p. 79S. L


27 r


with his life, although several of his escorting retinue 1

were killed*

The Polish ruler suspected that Henry was

involved in this attempt on his life and, in anger, began devastating the lands to the south*

He proceeded to Bohemia,

where a civil war was in progress, and there he had himself proclaimed duke.


As ruler of Bohemia Boleslaw refused to

pay the customary tribute due from that country to the empe­ ror.

To this challenge Henry II fs answer was war.


German emperor entered Bohemia and, winning the Czechs over to his side, expelled the defiant Pole from the country.^ Henry then restored his own suzerainty over the Czech land and installed the native prince, Jaromir, as ruler of the country. After this restoration a combined German and Czech force invaded Poland in 1005 and devastated the land 4 as far north as Posen, although this was the limit of the emperor’s achievements against the Polish duke. For re5 6 peated campaigns in 1005, 1007, 1010-1012, and 1015-1018 all resulted in failure.

There was, indeed, an interlude

1. Ibid.. pp. 793-796; Annalista Saxo. M.G.H. SS. T. VI, p. 649. 2. Annalista Saxo. M.G.H. SS. T. VI, p. 650. 3. Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae. c. 139-140. 4. Thietmar, Chronic on. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 799, 800, 805, 808, 813. Axmales Ouedlinbur^enses. M.G.H. SS.. T. Ill, p. 79. Ex Vita S. Romualdi Auctore Petfo Damlani, (ed.) G. Waitz, M.G.H. SSr T. IV. n. 852: Annalista Saxo. M.G.H. SS. T. VI, p. 650-656; Annales Magdeburgenses, M.G.H. SS.. T. XVI, p. 153. 5. Th ietmar. Chronic on. M.G.H. §S. T. Ill, p. 815; Annales Quedllnburgenses. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 79. l6 . Th.ietmar. chronXcbn.7mT5.57 SS. T. Ill, p. 826.


of peace, 1013-10X5, when an armistice was agreed upon at Magdeburg, under pressure of Henry's preoccupations with Italy and Boleslaw* s desire to extend his power into 1 ----Russia. In fact, so eager was the Emperor for this diver­ sion of Polish forces towards Russia and away from Germany that he agreed to furnish a contingent of troops for Boleslaw*s Russian venture.

But,in 1015, after this short­

lived truce, war was resumed, during which nothing was spared from fire or sword in all the territory between 2

the rivers Elbe and Bober. Boleslaw, however, was able to withstand the imperial forces which were supported by Saxon, Bavarian and Bohemian fighting men, so that, in 1018, Henry II was finally obliged to make peace.

In January of that year,

both rulers met at Bautzen and reached an agreement whereby Poland was to retain possession of Lausitz (whether as fief or in full possession is uncertain), Milsko and Moravia. This compact was a long step toward Boleslaw*s envisioned independence from Germany.

Assured now of peace with the

emperor, Boleslaw could securely turn eastward where he sacked Kiev in Russia and with the booty taken vastly ..u 1. Ibid.. p. 832, 834. 2. German chroniclers elaim that the renewal of the war was due to Boleslaw. Annales Hildesheimenses. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 94 notes **the Poles lied according to their custom*1. Thietmar reports that -vdiile Henry II, having' returned from Italy? was occupied with the western part of his kingdom, Boleslaw overran the Thuringian Mark and stormed Meissen. Cf. Lambert, Annales. Anno l 1015, p. 23. j


enrich Cracow* As a result of his successul wars Boleslaw had

extended the frontiers of Poland from the Baltic on the Horth to the Danube on the South, to the rivers Bug and Dniester in the East and to the Elbe in the West* ^ He > had enlarged Poland*s frontiers to the edge of the Baltic by overcoming the Pomeranians, had conquered Silesia, Chrobatia and ^or&via from the Czechs, had wrested hausitz from the Germans and acquired Czerwien, Przemysl and Belz from the Russians.

Of his wars against the Czechs and

Russians, Oskar Halecki says: Sa politique tcheque et ruihfene a*applique tout d*abord comme une consequence de son conflit avec Henri IX, qui voulait avoir a Prague un vassal docile et a Kiev un alli^ contre la Pologne* Celle-ci etait donee menacee par une ligue de ses principaux. voisins et surtout, comme tant de fois dans l*avenir, dfune attaque simultame de l*Ouest et de L ’Est. Parant k ce danger, Boleslas pensait dg^lement a grouper tou^ les ^Slaves du Herd sous l,egide de la Pologne et a creer ainsi un nouvel empire qui, dans le systeme europeen, aurait prks sa place entre les deux moiti^s du monde chretien, soumises £ 1une k. la preponderance de lfAllemagne, IB autre a celle de Byzance.® Boleslaw, was, therefore, the true founder of Poland and is appropriately chlled the "Polish Charlemagne*1. Although hi© victories had made his strong enough to escape !• Annales Quedlinburjgenses* M.G.H. SS. T* III, p. 84; Thietmar, Chronicon. M.G.H. SS. Tv III, p. 861; Anna­ lista Saxo. M.G.H. SS. T. VI* n. 673: -Annales Magdebursenses. M.G.H* SS* T. XVI, pp. 165-166. 2. Lewinski-Corwin, History of Poland, p. 19. 3. Oskar Halecki, La Pologne de 963"It 1914% Paris, 1933, p. 25. L


rfrom German domination, he desired a more tangible indiea- ”1 tion of this.

For instance, a formal coronation would mean

that Poland was independent of Germany.

Besides, it would

have the added significance that as a mere province of Germany, Poland would follow the old Slavic custom of equal rights of inheritance for all male heirs, which has already been noted after the death of Mieszko I.

But the elevation

of Poland from a principality to a kingdom would result in the institution of primogeniture, by which the realm would pass undivided to the eldest son.


Although Boleslaw I regarded his coronation at Gnesen as valid and consideredlihimself a true king, he was aware that a formal anointing was necessary.

Many attempts

were made to obtain papal consent, but due to the obstruc­ tive influence of Henry II in Italy, permission to that effect was not forthcoming.

So long as Henry II lived,

therefore, Boleslaw was aware that the papal court would not give its assent.

But, in 1024, this obstacle seemed

to be removed by the death of Pope Benedict VIII in April, and of Henry II in July*

Boleslaw immediately dispatched

a petition for the royal crown to the new Pope, John XIX* But meanwhile, Conrad II had been elected emperor and the imperial influence over the Papacy was in no way diminished* Bnpatient, them, at the delay in obtaining papal consent 1. Jan D§browski, (pseud. J. Grabiee), Dzieie Narodu pqlskiego, Krakow, 1909, p. 26. L.



to the anointing, Boleslaw convoked his hierarchy at Gnesen where, in December, 1024, he was formally anointed by the archbishop.


In Germany the news of this coronation was

received with indignation and considered as an insult to the emperor; nevertheless, the coronation was recognized.


This formal coronation had a manifold signifi­ cance for Poland: to the other countries of Europe it symbolized the complete independence which was the fruit of the long wars with the empire; it gave notice to these countries that Poland was taking its place with the other Christian kingdoms; internally, it strongly accentuated the cohesiveness of the realm andc created in the crown a symbol of unity around which all the elements and forces in the State revolved. The coronation served as a fitting climax to Boleslaw1s life.

He had enlarged and unified his country,

had won independence from Germany and had received the crown,

However, the enjoyment of his new dignity was brief,

1. Kazimierz Gorzycki. Zarys Snolecznei History! Panstwa Polskiesco. Lwow, 1901, p. 12, suggests that the Pope gave the bishops to understand that he was not opposed to the coronation and would not protest it. Ho protest was received as a result of the coronation. Annales Magdeburgenses. M.G.H. SS. T. XVI, p. 169: VBolezlavo due Polonie; obitu Heinrici imperatoris eomperto, elatus animo. superbiae veneno perfunditur, adeo ut uneto imponi sibi coronam temere est usurpatus11. Wiponis, Vita Chuonradi Imperatoris. M.G.H. SS.~T. XI, p. 264; Annalista Saxo. M.G.H. SS. T. VI, p. 676; Annales Quedlinburgenses. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, 3* Grodecki« Dzieje Polski. p. 78. L-


for he died a few months later, "leaving behind him the reputation of the greatest sovereign of the age“.^ Later generations honored him with the name Chrobry (Brave) • 'The rule of the realm devolved upon Boleslaw*s son, Mieczyslaw II (Mieszko 11).^

There was, indeed, an

older son, Bezprym, b o m of a Hungarian wife whom Boleslaw had set aside, but during the lifetime of Boleslaw, he had been sent to an Italian hermitage of the order of St. Romuald near Ravenna, thus clearing the way for the undis­ puted succession of the younger son, Mieszko.

With great

ambition Mieszko II set out to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious father, having himself and Richeza, his 3 German wife, crowned by archbishop Hippolitus, thus reite­ rating the independence of Poland although he had neither his father’s ability nor his good-fortune to maintain that 1. F. E. Whitton, A History of Poland. London, 1917, p. 15; Slocombe, A History of Poland, p. 30: “At the death of Boleslaw Chrobry, Poland attained a degree of influence and extent beyond which she was not destined to rise for several centuries. She had absorbed almost all the Western Slav States including Bohemia; and the dead King’s sceptre had been wielded over territory of about 13,000 sq. miles in area, and his subjects numbered almost two millions - a not inconsiderable figure at that period, wjien the population of France amounted in the first halifef the fourteenth century to no more than ten millions. He had united all the Poles under his rule and crowned himself King of Poland, owning no allegiance spiritual or temporal to other than the Pope." 2. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 436. 3* Annales Quedliriburgenses. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 90; Annales Hildesheimenses. M.G.H. SSv T. -Ill, p. 97; Anna­ lista Saxo. M.G.H. SS. T. VI, p p . 676-678; Wipo, Vita Chuonradi. M.G.H. SS. T. XI, p. 264; Annale,s Magdebur" senses. M.G.H. SS. T. XVI, p. 169. j


For Boleslaw* s kingdom, an accretion of many

conquests, had been kept together by that monarches personal prowess.

After Chrobry*s death there were latent disruptive

forces which arose to plague his weaker successor. Mieszko IX continued his fatherTs anti-German policy, diplomatically by communicating with disaffected forces in Germany,^ and militarily by force of arms.


er there was any formal understanding with the anti-imperial elements in Germany is unknown, but, in 1028, Mieszko dis­ regarded his father *s treaty

of Bautzen by falling upon the

middle border between Germany and Poland and devastating the frontier lands as far as eastern Saxony.


The German

emperor, Conrad II, retaliated by a double act: he himself hurried to the imperilled area and, at the same time, in­ duced Poland’s neighbor, Brzetyslaw, duke of Bohemia, to attack Moravia which had been taken by Boleslaw Chrobry in 3 1003. Although the Czechs succeeded in Moravia, Conrad* s campaign was a failure, due, in large part, to the conside­ rable number of his troops who were immobilized by Hungarian 1. There is an extant letter sent by Mathilda, wife of a Lotharingian count, and daughter of Frederick, Duke of Swabia. It is contained in a Saeramentary or Ordo Romanorum sent to Mieszko. Migne, Patres Latini. Vol« CL.I, c. I331# Frederick was the leader of opposition to Con­ rad II in Germany, and the sending of the Ordo Romanorum„ was probably an attempt to obtain an ally in the East. The anti-imperial policy of Polish rulers was well known in Germany. Cf. Grodecki, Dzieje Polski. p. 81 . 2 . Annales Hildesheimenses. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 97 : “orientalis partes Saxoniae cum valido suorum exercitu violenter invasit, et incendiis ac depraedationibus per actis.11 l_ 3 . Dlugossus, Historiae Folonicae. c. 182 .


attacks upon the province of* Bavaria. But due to internal dissensions Mieszko’s good fortunes soonuunderwent a change*

Bezprym, Mieszko*s

older brother, returning to Poland from his involuntary eremitical life in Italy, began to plot with discontented factions for a restitution of his lost rights*

He was

joined by Mieszko’s younger brother, Otto, who, according to the old Slavic custom of equal inheritance, felt himself entitled to a portion of the kingdom*

The conspirators

solicited the aid of Mieszko*s chief enemy, the emperor Conrad II*

Learning of his two brothers’ machinations, 1

Mieszko ordered them banished from the land,

which seemed

to be a mistake, for the exiled brothers, finding refuge at- the neighboring Russian court, entered into a strong coalition against their brother who was, at this very time, waging a successful campaign west of the river Elbe along the Middle Border*

In fact, in the course of

the years 1029-1030 Mieszko fired and destroyed a hundred towns and villages and took nine thousand captives, incluo ding the bishop of Brandenburg. Realizing that the situation on his Polish frontier was acute, Conrad directed his full attention to 1. Grodeeki, Pzie.ie Polski* p. 83 f considers this a very lenient puhishment. He points out that in Bohemia and Hungary death or blindness was the usual method of royal revenge. 2* Annales Hildesheimenses* M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, pp. 97-98$ Annalista Saxo* M.G.H, §S. T. VI, p. 678.


that front.

Accordingly, he concluded an agreement with


the Russian grand-duke so that together they might launch a double attack on Mieszko.

Moreover, to free his troops

on the Hungarian front, Conrad made a peace treaty with St. Stephen, king of Hungary, by the terms of which Ger­ many yielded territory between the rivers Fischa and Leitha, while, in the meantime, Bezprym and Otto were extending further aid to Conrad by preparing their partisans within Poland to co-ordinate an internal uprising with the com­ bined Russian-German attack,

The German emperor had pro­

mised Bezprym aid in his endeavors to obtain the Polish crown, in return for which the aspirant pledged to take an oath of fealty to Conrad and to recognize his suzerainty over the land.


The co-ordinated attack by all the neighboring princes was launched in the Autumn of 1031, and the impact of the combined forces was irresistible.

The emperor

seized the march of Lausitz, Canute of Denmark took Pome­ rania, while to the share of Jaroslaw, Grand Duke of Kiev, fell the castles of Cherwien.

The Czechs, who had taken

Moravia, and Stephen of Hungary, lately allied to Germany, 1. Wipo, Vita Chuonradi. M.G.H. SS. T. XI, p. 268; Annales Hildesheimenses. M.G.H. SS. T.IXT,p. 98. 2* Annales Hildeshe imenses, M.G.H. SS. T. Ill* p* 98, (1031) 11.. .Bezbraim imperatori coronam, cum aliis regalibus, quae sibi frater ejus injuste usurpaverat, transmis it, ae semet humili mandamine per legates suos imperatori subditurum promisit.11 L_



r _

also took part in the attack*



Sensing his inability to withstand these attacks on all his frontiers, Mieszko suppliantly turned to Conrad for a peace*

The emperor accepted the proposal and terms

of peace were drawn up which specified that Mieszko was to return all his loot and prisoners and was, in addition, to give up the inarch of Lausitz, which was henceforth never to return to Poland.

But even this humbling peace failed

to save Poland, for Bezprym appeared at the frontiers of the country at the head of a Russian army, while his adhe­ rents rose up within the country at the same time*


to resist both foreign and domestic assaults, Mieszko was obliged to flee from Poland, finding refuge at the court of Udalrie, duke of Bohemia.

Bezprym then became the

ruler of Poland. To stabilize his very precarious hold on the throne, Bezprym offered Conrad the royal insignia and the royal title which Boleslaw Chrobry and Mieszko II had assumed against the will of the German emperors •^ Conrad naturally accepted the Polish crown, which was the symbol of Polish royalty and, in return, recognized the rule of Bezprym*

However, the reign of the new ruler was

1. Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae, c. 188. 2. There is some question as to the part that Mieszko II*s German wife, Rieheza, performed in the transaction. Grodecki, Dzie.ie Polski, p. 84, says that Rieheza took the royal insignia and brought them to Conrad while her husband-was still alive. Gallus and most Polish chronic, lers, report that Rieheza left Poland after Mieszko*s ae atn * _*

37 r ^ n short-lived, for his surrender of the Polish crown aroused discontent within the land.

Within a few months an assas-

sin's hand had put an end to his reign.1 Bezprym* s death terminating all disputes as to succession, Mieszko II returned to the rule of his country. Bealizing, however, that his continued tenure to the throne

depended on the good-will of the emperor, the Polish ruler, in July, 1033, proceeded to Merseburg to recognize the suzerainty of the emperor.

There, following the example

of Bezprym, his brother, Mieszko renounced the royal crown and the royal title ’’eoronae ac totius regalis ornament! 2

oblxtus11, hoping to guarantee the safety of his country and to keep intact what remained of his father’s realm by this degrading action.

But Conrad was not satisfied.

Determined to revenge the former ambitious defiance against Germany by Boleslaw Chrobry, the present situation offered him ample opportunity for doing so.

He strove, therefore,

to utilize the favorable circumstances to end the constant Polish treat to Germany’s eastern border and, at the same time, to insure Poland’s subjection to the empire.


ing the principle: divide et imoera.Poland was partitioned into three parts: one part, probably the largest, was given to Mieszko as a fief of the empire with the added obligation of paying an annual tribute; a second part went 1. Annales Hildesheimenses. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 98. 2. Ibid., p. 98. L.


as "to Otto, Mieszko fs younger brother, as a reward for his aid in humbling* the Polish ruler; and the third was received by Dietrich, uncle of Mieszko and a relative of Conrad."^ Thus Mieszko, no longer king of Poland, had become a mere prince of a portion of that country and a vassal of the emperor, thereby undoing within a few years Boleslaw Chrobry*s life-long labors of territorial acquisition and his memorable achievement of raising his principality into a kingdom* Conrad’s purpose was obvious.

Primarily, a

divided Poland would be in no position to menace Germany, while a partitioned country would create internal warfare as each ruler tried to extend his power.

Each of the three

men took possession of his respective realm, but their rule was short-lived, for first Dietrich, then Otto, met a violent end.

With their deaths, possibly due to Mieszko*s

own connivance, Poland was again unified, but for a short tipe only, since Mieszko himself met a sudden death in 1034.

He was perhaps insane towards the end of his life, 2 ' as some chroniclers report. From Mieszkofs death in 1034 until the accession of Casimir in 1040, the history of Poland became very

1. Dietrich was related to the emperor through Rieheza, the German wife of Mieszko II. Cf. Grodecki, “Upadek i Odnowienie Krolestwa1*~in Polska. Jeie Dzle.ie i Kultura od Czasow NaJdawniei szych do Chwili Obfcnei. ed♦ Stanislaw ham, Warszawa, T. I, 1931, p. 24. 2. Dlugossus, Historiae PoIonicae. c. 188. L


39 r


There is conflicting evidence about the suc­

cession, about Rieheza, Mieszko*s German wife, about Casimir and his monastic career and, finally, concerning Casimir*s accession to the throne* From conflicting reports of the chroniclers, it seems that Mieszko left two sons, Boleslaw and Casimir* The Polish writers, Grodecki

and Koneczny^ suggest that

Mieszko had put Casimir, while a child, into a monastery so as to insure undivided succession for his elder son, Boleslaw*

Koneczny further surmises that, since Mieszko

did not wish to have his son educated in a monastery out­ side of ^oland, he placed him in some Benedictine monastery within the country.

But Boleslaw*s death, probably violent,

followed shortly after his accession to the throne and Casimir remained as the only male heir of the Piast family. Because of the obscurity surrounding the reign of Boleslaw, whose existence was unknown to earlier historians, he has peen called Boleslaw **the Forgotten** •^ However, whatever the mystery surrounding Boleslawfs reign and Casimir* s early monastic life, it is certain that the latter did become ruler of Poland.

Since he was

still too young to rule, a regency was set up for him under 1* Grodecki* Dzie.ie Polski- r>- 88-

2* Koneczny, Dzie-ie Polski Za Piastow, p. 88 * 3. Grodecki, Polska. Je.ib Rzeczy i Kultura. p. 75




mother Rieheza,

but that did not prevent disruptive


and maleontented elements which had so devastated Poland under his father, Mieszko II, to rise again to plague the country*

Bielski, in his Kronika Pnlska, attributes the

discontent of the people to Rieheza* s actions, claiming that she set aside Polish councillors, installed Germans as her advisers and imposed enormous taxes on the Poles 2

while favoring the Germans• The chronicler Gallus, on the other hand, claims that she governed the country well, but Q that the “traitors” drove her from Poland* Most probably a combination of both reasons accounts for the expulsion of Casimir and his mother from the country*

It must be

remembered that Rieheza was a cousin of the emperor through 4 her mother Mathilda, who was the daughter of Otto I. Accor­ dingly, rule by a member of the imperial family was bound 1* According to the Brunwilarensis Monasterii Fundatio* ed. Rudolf Koepke, M.G*H. SS.. T. XI, p. 402, Rieheza left Poland prior to the death of her husband, carrying with her the royal crowns* This account attributes her de­ parture to the vices of her husband and to his insanity. Grodecki, Dzie.ie Polski* p. 85, concludes from this account that Rieheza really acted as an intermediary of Bezprym to make h0Iand a fief of the empire* We^follow the account given by Gallus, Chronicae Rolonorum* M.G.H. SS. T. IX, pp. 436-437. and Dlu&ossus. Historiae PolOcae, c. 189 ff. Cf* Supra* p. 37* 2 * Marcin Bielski, Kronika Polska* Warszawa, p. 161. (2bior Pisarzow Polskich, Cz^^c Czwarta, Tom XI). 3. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum* M.G.H. SS* T. IX, p. 430: “Quae cum libere filium educaret, et pro modo femineo regnum honor ifice gubernaret, traditores earn de regno propter invidiam ejeeerunt”. 4. Pierre David, Casimir le Maine et Boleslas le Penitent* (Etudes Historiques et litteraires sur la Cologne medievale, No. 5), Paris, 1932,p. 5. L.



■to irk the Poles and any action by the dowager queenregent was certain to he interpreted as anti-Polish* Furthermore, the forces which had expelled Mieszko in favor of Bezprym were still active and this Bolish national and ©nti-geraan party brought about the exile of Rieheza and her son, Casimir.


Rieheza, carrying with her much treasure and the royal crowns, fled to the Saxon court of the emperor Conrad for protection, from whence later she went to the old monas­ tery of Brauweiler near Cologne, renovated it and, becoming a nun, spent the rest of her life there.^

Casimir, on the

other hand, sought refuge at the court of St. Stephen, king of Hungary, but fearful lest the Czechs jattempt to take him prisoner, he proceeded to his mother’s haven in Germany 3 to gain the emperor’s protection. From Germany his mqjther 4 sent him for study to Paris, whence he later proceeded to 1. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 430 j 2 . fhere is some question whether both fled together or whether Rieheza fled first and was followed shortly thereafter by Casimir. B&adtkie, Krotkie Wyobrazenia. p. 197. 2* Harratio Monachi Brunvillarensis. Brunvillarensis Menasterii ffundatio. M.G.H. SS. T. XT, p. 403. 3. Bielski, Kronika Polska, p. 163, states that the Czechs wished to take him prisoner to revenge the acts of Boles law Chrobry against their country and also to gain the Polish crown for their king*. Cf. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum, M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 437. 4. Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae, c. 198: ’’QuaesituPa autem filio suo charissimo Eazimiro Poloniae Rikscha, dum jam in Almaniae terris consisteret, ampliora virtutum et industriae ultra dotes naturae ornamenta, ipsum studiis liberalibus imbuendum Parisiis, adjunctis honestis paedagogis & servitoribus datis nummariis & sumptibus & caetera suppellectili transmittit.” j

42 r"

Italy for further education,


but became depressed, espe­


cially when he learned of the deplorable conditions in his country.

Calling himself now Carolus, he returned to

France where he entered the Benedictine Order at the monas2

tery of Cluny.

Here, shut away from the world, he

1 . Ibid., c. 199. 2. Ibid., c. 199. Casimir1s entrance into Cluny is one of the most disputed topics in Polish history. Galltis, Chronicae Polonoruia. M.G.B. SS. T. IX, the earliest Polish chronicler is silent about this. However, the Chronicon Polono-Silesiacum. M.G.H. SB. T. XIX, p. 559, relates, HUnde cum ipsa propulsa cum filio suo tempore Conradi primi imperatoris exularet in Alamania, filius qui litterarum studiis instab at ob studii gratiam ultro in Gallias proficiscitur et ad Cluniacum perveniens reli­ gion® monachorum illorum delectatus, ibidem monachus factus ad gradum subdiaconatus promotus est.*1 Cf. also Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae. c. 199-200, and Ex Vita S. Stanislai Majiore. M.G.H. SS. T. XXIX, p. 509. Many historians deny that Casimir became a monk. Slocombe, A History of Poland, says* "From his mother Casimir acquired a marked taste for science and a deep devotion to the Christian faith. His education was exceptional, his early life having been spent with learned clerics, and from this fact probably arose the legend cherished in later years that he had himself been a monk, and had relinquished his religious duties to wear the crown of Poland.11 David, Casimir et Boleslas. p. 22, says the legend arises from an old Cluniae tradition which told how, when Alphonse, king of A&rgon had been killed in 1134, his countrymen sought out Bamire, of the royal family, in the monastery of St. Pons de Tomieres in Languedoc ^ and made him king. He received a dispensation from his vows and married. David claims that, this story of a monk becoming a king was transmitted from monastery to monastery until it finally reached fyniec where Dlugossus heard of it and drew a parallel between the case of Ramire and Casimir. Despite the objections to the story of Casimir becoming a monk, the evidence in favor of it seems more probable than the explanations offered against it.




progressed in the religious life until he attained the


rank of deacon. Poland had, in the meantime, become the scene of great


With the flight of the royal family,

the local lords took the control of the country into their own hands and a period of anarchy followed.

Bielski re­

ports that the magnates met at various times to elect a new

king but could not agree on a suitable candidate. For somewanted Jaroslaw, prince of Russia, others refused to agree for he was of the Greek faith. Some voted for Maslaw, count of Masovia, others did not want him for he was proud and cruel....Some wanted Brzetyslaw, the Czech prince, others refused, for he was illegitimate....Some wanted someone from among themselves, to be like what Piast once had been, but others refused this, saying, MHe would become proud, caring only for his own interests, while oppressing others.^1 Since no agreement could be reached, the sepa­

ratism which had become evident in the reign of Mieszko now came into full play.

Taking* advantage of the lack of

central authority, the territorial lords assumed complete sovereignty over their lands.

In Masovia, for instance,

count Maslaw seized power and organized a powerful state, while all other forces of separatism, disorder and anarchy, once set in motion, could not be checked. The serfs, imitating the example of their masters, rose in a body to revenge the impositions and exactions to which they had been subjected, for the wars of Mieszko I 1. Bielski, Kronika Polska, p. 164. L,



•Boleslaw Ghrobry and Mieszko II had imposed many hardships n upon them and in the chaos of the time they readily saw an opportunity for casting off the shackles of their serf­ dom.

Turning, therefore, against their masters, the serfs

pillaged and burned the crops and homes; moreover, associ­ ating the Church and the priests with the reigning class and resenting the ecclesiastical tithes, the dormant paga­ nism of the lowest classes came to the surface#

For its

was scarcely seventy years since Christianity had been brought into the country and in many places the religious beliefs were only a thin veneer over an inner paganism. As a result, churches and monasteries were plundered and priests subjected to the same fate as the masters.1


Masovia, where count Maslaw had established a strong per­ sonal rule and whither Christianity had not entered as fully as elsewhere, thereby causing less opposition in the latent paganism, was spared the ordeal of fire and sword. Added to the terrible internal civil war was the inevitable attack by Poland's neighbors*

The disorders

within the Polish state were an inviting opportunity not to be disregarded by the neighboring princes.

Thus the

Pomeranians refused to pay their tribute to Poland, while Jaroslaw, duke of Kiev, attacking from the East, devastated 1. Ex Vita Stanislai Majore. M.G.H. SS. T. XXIX, p. 509. 2* Annales Hildesheimenses. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 99. 3. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 437.


•the land as far West as Masovia. attack came from Bohemia.

But the most terrible


Here Brzetyslaw, the Czech

prince, called his people to a Crusade against the rampant paganism in Poland and, in 1038, proceeded through Silesia to Cracow, complete lack of unity among the Polish popula­ tion preventing any effectual opposition to his progress. After freely plundering' the treasures of Cracow, including those amassed by Boleslaw Chrobry, he directed his army to Gnesen, the Metropolitan See of Poland.

Arriving at

that holy city, accompanied by Severus, the bishop of Praguq, he ordered the remains of St. Adalbert removed to Bohemia and then, after taking additional wealth and treasures from Gnesen, he returned to his own country.


Overcome by the attacks from without and within , the Poles decided that their salvation lay solely in the return of the monarchy under Casimir.

At this stage in

the story we again encounter many conflicting accounts, for the circumstances surrounding Casimir*s return to the throne are clouded in doubt.

The difficulties arise from

the question of whether Casimir was actually a monk.

If we

accept the account of his entry as a religious into Cluny, 3 4 then we may follow Dlugossus and Biel ski in their accounts 1 . Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae. c. 200.

Ihid.* c* 195 ff* Polish chronicles report that the p priests of the cathedral of Gnesen had hidden the body of St. Adalbert and showed the Czechs the boiy of St. Gaudentius, brother of Adalbert, which was carried off to Prague. 3. Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicaev c. 206 ff. i4. Bielski, Kronika Polska, pp. 167-171. j


Hbf the delgations sent by Polish leaders to obtain the


return of Casimirj if, however, we follow Gallus there is then no question of Casimir leaving the monastery, but only of his returning to Germany at his own wish.


A third

version presents the emperor as the chief agent in obtaining the return of Casimir to the throne as a counter-balance 2

to the growing power of Brzetyslaw, duke of Bohemia. It is most probable that all these versions con­ tain some part of the whole story, each one merely empha­ sizing one portion above the others.

We have already

accepted the verity of Dlugossus" account about Casimir*s entry into Cluny.

Thus after the depredations and disorders

of six years* duration, the magnates, bishops and clergy decided to ask Casimir to resume his throne.


since the young prince had travelled widely, his where­ abouts and monastic profession were unknown to the Polish people.

Accordingly, they sent a delegation to his mother

Hicheza at Saalfeld in Saxony to request her forgiveness for the hardships she had experienced earlier at their hands and to beg her permission for her son*s return to the throne of Poland.

Richeza, still resentful at her

expulsion from the country, told the delegates that her son would not return to Poland because of the treai$ipp| which both she and he had received.

Moreover, even if he

wished to return, she told them, he could not because he 1. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum, M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 437. Grodecki, Pzie.ie Polski. pp. 91-92. j


47 %8ls already a deaeon at Cluny.}


Although rebuked, the delegation was not discour­ aged since thay had now learned the whereabouts of* their prince.

Therefore they proceeded to Cluny and suppliantly

besoughtd Casimir to return to his devastated land.


listened sympathetically to their tearful entreaties, but reluctantly informed them that since he was lieady in major orders it was not licit for him to leave the moaas2


The disappointed delegates next approached the

abbot with the request to release their prince from his monastic life, but the abbot explained that it was not in his power to free a monk from his vows; only the Pope possessed that faculty.

The Polish delegation immediately

proceeded to Home to Home where they presented their case to Pope Benedict IX. cessful.

Here, at last, the mission was suc­

The Pope, alarmed by the spread of paganism in

Poland, decided not only to grant a dispensation for 3 Casimir to leave Cluny and to return to his country, but also released him from his vow of chastity in order that 4 the Piast dynasty be not left without an heir. 1. Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae. c. 207. 2• Ibid., c• 208• 3. Ex Vita S. Stanislai Mai ore. M.G.H. SS. T. XXIX, p. 509: 11Auditis"*autem papa Benedictus Polonie desolacionibus christianae fidei compassus casibus gentique orbate principe miserus ducem Kazimirum ad tenenda regni Polonie gubernacula redire decrevit." 4. Ibid.. p. 509: MNe ergo stirps regia vel duealis omnino deperiret et regnum Polonie successore careret, cum eodem duee Kazimiro et matrimonium legitime posset eontrahere, misericorditer dispensavit.11 ij


With this papal dispensation, the delegation hurried back to Cluny with their joyful news,



and toge­

ther with Casimir, they went to Germany where they presented him first to his mother and then to the emperor.

The empe­

ror, now Henry III (for Conrad II had died in 1039), showed himself sympathetic to any plan which might restore order in Poland; for Brzetyslaw, the duke of Bohemia, was building up a powerful Slav state by his conquests at the expense of Poland and other neighboring countries.

This strong Bohe­

mian state could prove very menacing to Germany, wherefore the German ruler was willing to use Poland against Bohemia just as emperor Henry II had earlier allied himself with Bohemia against a strong Poland under Boleslaw Chrobry. Henry III, accordingly, took the Polish principality under his protection and provided 500 armed German troops to accompany Casimir to his realm.


1 . Dlugossus, Historiae Pplonicae. c. 213. 2. Ibid"., c. 214 ff.; Annalista Saxo. M.G.H. SS. T. VI, pp. 683-684; Gallus. Chronicae Polonorum, M.G.H. SS.. T. IX, p. 437, narrates that Casimir heard about the devastation of his land while he was living in Germany and decided to return to Poland. He made known his in­ tentions to his mother who asked him not to return to the perfidious people who had not yet been fully Christian­ ized. Instead she told him to remain peacefully on his mother’s large estate. To this was added the emperor&s request that he remain in Germany and as an inducement a large grant of land would be made him. Casimir, how­ ever, refused these sollicitations and, taking 500 knights, entered Poland. Grodecki, Dziele Polski. pp. 91-92. writes that it was not to the interest of the empire for Bohemia to grow too strong nor for Poland to disappear from the map of Europe. To counter-balance the strength of Brzetyslaw Conrad II (he gives 1038 as the year of Casimir’s return) decided to put Casimir back on the


Casimir was welcomed by a considerable section of bis people, especially by the clergy and the classes who had suffered most by the absence of authority.


faced by a difficult task, the new ruler was able to re­ build his realm by skilfull diplomacy, by establishing order from within and by resisting armed attacks upon his frontiers. To regain the loot and the territories taken by the Czech for aid.

king, Brzetyslaw, Casimir turned to Henry III Wien the Czech ruler refused to restore the

requested booty, the emperor sent armed contingents and the combined German-Polish foree humbled the Bohemian prince, causing him to come to Batisbon where he humbly promised to pay tribute to Henry.


Thusm by the help of

Casimir, .Henry III had abased Bohemia and now had both Slav powers under his authority. Assured then of peace from the side of Bohemia, Casimir turned his attention to his eastern neighbors where he effected an alliance with Jaroslaw, the duke of Kiev, by marrying the latter1s sister, Marya Dobrogniewa.



measures gave him a free hand to settle a pressing problem the Polish throne. He, therefore, gave his ward 500 German knights with which to return to his country. 1. Bielski, Kronika Polska, p. 176. 2. Marya Dobrogniewa was the sister of Anne who married Henry I of France. This is another indication of the ties which bound Poland to the western states and which bore fruit in the influx of French monks into the country. L



•at home.

Fordduring the Interregnum, count Mas law, having “i

established a strong state in Masovia and now ruling the province as an independent monarch, had not only refused to recognize Casimir*s sovereignty over his land or to pay the customary tribute, but was also the leader of the separatist element which had driven Richeza and her son 1

out of Poland.

Casimir, now at peace with his neighbors,

by force of arms undertook to bring Masovia under his authority,

naturally, Maslaw, in return, stirred up the

pagan tribes of Prussia, Jadzwingow, Lithuania and Pome­ rania, which bordered on Poland, to ward off this expedi­ tion, but the Polish duke, aided by contingents sent by his brother-in-law, Jaroslaw, the duke of Kiev, defeated the 2

rebellious Maslaw and reannexed Masovia to Poland.


meant that of the territory lost under Mieszko II and during the Interregnum only Silesia still remained outside the Polish sphere.

But to regain this territory was more

difficult than the others since it closely involved German interests.

Relations with Germany required skilfull diplo­

macy on the part of Casimir and to these matters the Polish ruler now directed his attention. From his accession Casimir had maintained vassal relations with the emperor.

As a faithful vassal he had

1. Gallus, Chronicae Folonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 438. Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae. c. 223-226. 2. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum, M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 438. L


‘helped Henry to humble the Czech king, Brzetyslaw, in 1041 and in return, had hoped to regain Silesia.

But the empe­

ror had permitted the Czech prince to retain that province and Casimir, in resentment, absented himself from the emperor’s court at Goslar in 1042 and 1043.

When Henry

demanded an explanation of his absence, Casimir dispatched delegates to perform the oath of fealty in his name and to give his preoccupations with internal conditions as the reason for his absence.

Thus Polish-German relations

remained peaceful until 1046 when Casimir, emboldened by his conquest of Masovia, marched into the province of Pomerania."^ Ziemomysl, the duke of Pomerania and Brzetys­ law, the Czech king, were moved by this action to accuse Casimir to the emperor for violating their frontiers. Henry III, as suzerain of all three, summoned them to his eourt at Merseburg to arbitrate the case.

Once again,

Casimir was compelled to obey his feudal summons and duti­ fully to observe the verdict restoring peace, but, in 1050 he defiantly repudiated his feudal oath and counteracted the emperor's decision of 1041 which confirmed the Czech possession of Silesia. For, in that year, Casimir, having already conquered Masovia and Pomerania and seeing that Hnery III was preoccupied in the West, marched into Silesia.


wronged Czech prince immediately appealed to the emperor 1. Ibid., p. 438. L '

and, in Autumn of the year 1050, Henry III began preparing an army against Poland.

But sickness and trouble in Hun­

gary deterred him from action and Casimir, using this dis­ traction, hurried to Goslar in November in order to appease the German ruler.

There, he accordingly, promised obe­

dience to the emperor and furnished troops for Henry* s Hungarian expedition of that year.


But the Polish ruler

retained Silesia during the Hungarian operations and, appearing again before the emperor in 1054, was allowed to annex that province to Poland.

In return, however,

Casimir was required to pay the Czech prince 500 pounds of silver and 30 p unds of gold annually as tribute for 2


This acquisition was a great political triumph

for Casimir, for he had now united_ under Polish sway all the lands occupied by purely ^olish tribes.

Satisfied in

having restored to Poland her former boundaries, he now devoted his attention to internal administrative and eeeleo siastical reform. So successful was he in these internal endeavors that he acquired the name of Casimir !,the Bestorer,f. Death terminated his labors in 1058. Casimir had rebuilt the country which he had found despoiled and, in addition, had freed it from foreign incisions, but to the_^^^

he,,was, unable to .

1. Dlugossus, Historiae pblbhlcae. c. 237. 2. Ahhales Gradicenses et Opatowicehses, II.G.H. SB. T. XVI, p. 647.

rliberate it from political and tributary dependence upon the empire which still regarded Poland as a province.



diplomatic skill and military aid he had appeased Germany and weakened his neighbors, an achievement which enabled him to strengthen Poland internally; however, it remained for his son, Bole slaw IX, to employ this internal strength for the further aggrandizement of Poland and for the casting off of German dependence. In retrospect, thus far, we have followed Poland*s political rise from the time of Mieszko 1 to the reign of Casimir the Restorer.

It is a story of close relations with

the German Empire. Bnder Mieszko I Poland had been a vassal state, while under his successor, Boleslaw I, the Polish state had gained almost absolute independence with the resultant formal coronation.

But Boleslaw I*s constructive

accomplShments were nullified by the weak rule of his son, Mieszko II, and by foreign attacks.

In the Interregnum

which followed Mieszko II*s death, Poland was brought to the point of disappearing as a state and Germany was enabled to restore full sovereignty over this neighboring state. Then, Casimir had rebuilt Poland into a strong state, but the country remained a dependency of the German Empire. The great political disorders within Germany consequent on Henry IV*s conflict with the papacy were to present Casimir*s successor, Boleslaw II, with the opportunity of duplicating his namesake’s accomplishments in gaining independence from ^Germany.

With the accession of Boleslaw II to the throne J


Sire enter the period of the Gregorian reform.


studying this prince*s relations with the German empire, an investigation of Poland*s relations with the Papacy would be in order.








Although Christianity came into Poland with the Baptism of Mieszko in 966, traces of Christianity had un­ doubtedly been left there by the many Christians #10 from the neighboring country of Moravia had sought refuge in Poland after the Hungarian invasion b&d devastated their lands*

Apart from these, Christian hermits had built their

cells in Bohemia and Poland, while pilgrims and merchants passed continually through these lands, thus enabling those with whom they came in contact to become acquainted with the teachings of the Gospel.^

There must have been, there­

fore, a certain number of Christians among the heathen Poles, though no organized Church existed.


This explains the

comparatively peaceful acceptance of the new faith and of the Christian code of morals by the population of the country.*^ -


- .



1. Bielski, Kronika Polska, p. 117. He says that some of the merchants served at the court of Mieszko I, and at their urging he became a Christian. 2. Although there is no historical evidence for this, many Polish historians surmise that monks from Ireland, Fulda and Corbe preached Christianity to the Poles. Cf^ H.Orsza (pseud, for Helen Radlinska z Rajchmanow) 2 Dzieiow Narodu, Warszawa, M. Arcta, 1908, Tom X, pp. 67769, Alifesander Bruckner, Dzieje Kultury^ Polskie.i. Krakow, W. L. Anqjzyc i Spolka, 1931, Tom I, p. 221. 3. This peaceful acceptance probably accounts for the dearth of info* mat ion in the historical sources. - Had the introduc­ tion of Christianity been violent the contemporary chronic­ lers would have noted the fact, but since it was progress­ ive and peaceful, it did not come to their notice. Cf. Orsza, 2 Pzie.iow Narodu. pp. 66-6 . L




The organization of the Church in Poland dates


fro® the marriage of Mieszko I to Dombrowka, daughter of the King of Bohemia, in 965, or more specifically, from his Baptism in 066.^

For then, by royal decree all idols and

temples were destroyed and were replaced by crosses and churches.

The first missionaries were those who came with

Dombrowka from Bohemia, but because they were probably few 3 in number, had to be augmented by priests sent from Germany* The head of the missionary activity was Jordan, probably a German, who functioned at first as an "episcopus gentium11 a* missionary bishop among the heathen, without any permanent See*

But after a number of churches had been

established, an Episcopal See was created for Jordan at Poznan (968), although Gnesen was the seat of the Piast dynasty.

However, as a vassal of the emperor, Mieszko

1. Dlugossus, Historiae Folonorum, c* 93, states that the duke on becoming* baptized changed his name from Mieszko, which he considered barbarous, to Miecslaus (Mieczyslaw). 2. Ibid.. c. 94. 3. The Czechs did not yet have their own bishops in the country, which indicates that their Church was not yet well organized. 4. Cf. Arnold, Polska. Je.i Dzie.iei Kultura. Tom. I, p. 58. Two reasons are given for the creation of the episcopal See in Posen instead of at Gnesen. Gnesen had been the centre of the pagan cult and was consequently less Christian than Posen. The Polish king would, therefore, prefer to establish his episcopal centre in the city where Christianity had made most progress. A second reason, and the one which more probably explains the preference of the one cityover the other, was the fact that Posen was nearer the German border and so nearer organized Christianity.



rcould not consider with favor the establishment of an inde-^1 pendant church in Poland, since religious independence: was closely linked with political independence. Accordingly, the organization of the Polish Church was brought into the German ecclesiastical frame-work. Hence we see that Otto I established an archiepiscopal See at Magdeburg, in 968, which was to have jurisdiction over all the Slav bishoprics, namely, Zestz, Meissen, Merseburg, Brandeburg, Kavelberg and Poznan.1

Poznan was thereby placed

under the spiritual jurisdiction of the archiepiscopal See of Magdeburg, while German influence seemed to be paramount over Poland,2 whose political and ecclesiastical organiza­ tion now depended on the empire.

Yet, even though Mieszko

accepted German jurisdiction and German priests for the evangelization of his country, nevertheless, he strove to counter-act their influence by summoning ecclesiastics from Italy and Prance. 1. MBrevis apostolici de fine X sec fragmentum, in quo fundatio archiepiscopatus de Magdeburg pro metropoli episcopatum in partibus Slavorum constitutorum refertur ut cohfirmatur11 Codex Diplomaticus~Ma,ioris Poloniae, (ed. Societas Llterarlae PbznanlensiS), Fdzhan, J.I. Kraszewski, 1877, Tom X, pp. 1-2. ft...a piissimo Ottone decretum est ut ultra fluvios Albiam et Salam et Odoram, in civitatibus in quibus §lim barbaria ritus maxima ingruit superstitio, quarum nomina sunt hee; Citizi, Misni, Merseburg, Brandenburg, Havelbergan, Foznani, in honore aancti Salvatoris domini nostri Thesu Christi episcopia fundasstur11. Of. Thietmar, Chronic on, M.G.SS, T. Ill, p. 750; Annalist a Saxo, M.G. SS., T. VI, p. 622; Annales Magdeburgenses, M.G.SS. T. XVI, p. 149, 151; Hermoldi Chronica Slavorum, (ed. I.M. Lappanberg), M.G.SS., T. XXI, p. 19. 2. Valerian Krasinski. Sketch of the Religious History of L

the^Jj^avonic Hations",' Edinburgh, jfohnstone & Hunter, I80I4

The work of Christianization advanced apace and Mieszko and his wife founded many churches.


Proof of the

success of missionary activities in Poland is the fact that it was from that country that Christianity was intro­ duced into Hungary; for its was Mieszko*s sister, Adelaide, who, having received the waters of Baptism at the same time as her brother, married Gejza, the pagan king of Hungary.

More than that, she brought priests with her

from Poland to preach the Gospel not only at her court but throughout the country with the result that the king, his 2

court and the majority of the people embraced Christianity. Although the evangelization of Poland was pro­ ceeding smoothly, it must be remembered that Mieszko was 1 . Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae. c. 95: says that Mieszko


established archbishoprics in Gnesen and Cracow, and seven bishoprics, c. 95-96. Having founded these nine episcopal Bees, he is supposed to have assigned to their bishops tithes and to have founded canonries, monaste­ ries and parish churches. Cardinal Egidius, bishop of Tusculum, was sent by Pope John XIII to preside over and organize the new Church. Since there were not sufficient priests and bishops to carry out the work, Egidius invi­ ted clergy from Italy and France to come to Poland. The tithe was to be gathered for the benefit of the bishops. Such was the origin of the Polish clergy and of the immense wealth of the Church in Poland according to Dlugossus. Wo other chronicler mentions these founda­ tions, nor Is there any record of a papal legate arriving in Poland in the tenth century. Thietmar mentions only three episcopal Sees for the year 1000. Heither Gallus, Kadlubek nor Bogufal, who wrote at least two centuries before Dlugossus makes any mention of the bishoprics noted in Dlugossus* work as founded by Mieszko I. It is very doubtful whether they were actually founded,in the reign of Mieszko. Cf. Bandtkie, Krotkie Wyobrazania. p. 125n. ' Annales Silesiaci Compilati, M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 537/ Adelaide was the mother of St. Stephen, the first king of Hungary to receive the royal crown.

r -i largely prompted by political considerations in accepting Christianity, for the surest way he saw of escaping the danger of annexation to the empire was to place himself under the protection of the Papacy.

Unfortunately, the

circumstances affecting the relations between the Papacy and Poland are obscured by the many conflicting accounts that are extant so that our knowledge is perforce fragmen­ tary and to a certain extent uncertain. Thus, the historian Feliks Konaczny notes that Hieszko placed his realm under papal protection as early as 974, on the occasion of the ceremonial clipping of Boleslaw* s hair on his attaining the age of seven.


with, an embassy was sent to Home in order to present a few locks of hair to the Pope, as a symbol that the father was entrusting his eldest son tdjthe Pope's tutelage.

This sym­

bolic act was accompanied by the petition requesting the Pope to recognize Boleslaw*s right of inheritance and succession to his father's throne.

This, of course, implied

on the Pope's part the recognition of the integrity of the Piast realm, but it also meant that Boleslaw desired to be a vassal of the Apostolic See.

The Pope accepted the

gift and its implications while at the same time he learned from the envoys of the progress which Christianity had made in the Polish territories.


How much legend is

1. Feliks Koneczny, Dzieje Polski Za Piastow. Krakow, 1902, pp. 57-58. h



interwoven irrto Koneczny’s account, is not certain, ^ but that Poland did establish protective relations with the Papacy is placed beyond reasonable doubt by a document known as "Dagome judex11, which, however, has been inter­ preted in various senses*

The text of this document is as

follows: Dagome judex et Ote senatrix filiique eorum 994-996; beato Petro Poloniam conferunt* Item in alio tomo, sub Johanne XV Papae Dagome judex et Ote senatrix et filii eorum Misica et Lambertus leguntur beato Petro contulisse unam civitatem in integrum, que est Sehinesghe, cum omnibus suis pertinentiis infra hos affines; sicuti incipit a primo latere longum mare fine Pruzze usque in locum qui dicitur Husse, et fine Russe extendente usque in Craccoa, et ab ipsa Craccoa usque as flumen Oddere recte in locum qui dicitur Alemure, et ab ipsa Alemura usque in terram Milze, et a fine Milze recte intra Oddere, et exinde ducente juxta flumgn Oddere usque in praedictam civitatem Sehinesghe. These lines have been a source of great diffi­ culty for investigators of early Polish history.


instance, the questions arises Who were Dagome and Lambert? Are the dates 994-996 correct? Who applied for the Pope’s protection, an actual person named Dagon^ or was Dagome merely Mieszko’s surname?

Or was Ote (Oda) the initiator

of the appeal to the Pope? Many solutions are offered in answer to these problems.

Grodecki and Paul Fabre agree in the surmise

1. Paul Fabre, "La Pologne et le Saint-Siege de Xe au Xllle Siecle”, in Etudes d ’histoire du Moven Age dediees a Gabriel Monod. Paris, 1896, p. 166n. 2* Codex Diplomat icus Mai oris Poloniae. Tom. I, p. 3. L j



that Mieszko (whose surname, they say, was Dagom) appealed to the Papacy for protection in the years 985-992.



ing to them, he had married Oda and had three sons by her, Mieszko, Sventopulk and a third vfoose name is not known.


Between 985, when John XY ascended the throne, and Mieszko1s death in 992, a petition was sent to Borne by Mieszko in the name of himself, his wife and of the two sons, offering 2

to place Poland under the suzerainty of the Holy See. But this interpretation fails to answer two

questions: first, why was the name of Boleslaw, Mieszko*s son by his first wife, Dombrowka, omitted?


how explain the dates 994-996 in the document?


and Fabre, indeed., attempt to answer these problems.


former simply states that probably the compiler of the papal regest in which the document is found, omitted the 3 name of Boleslaw by mistake; Fabre, on the other hand, surmises that Boleslaw had already been placed under the Holy Seefs suzerainty by the ceremony of presenting his hair-locks to the Pope and, therefore, it was unnecessary 4 to include his name with the others in this document. 1. Thietmar, Chronicon. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 784: «Haec genuit viro suimet tres filios Mizeconem, Sventopulcum et .... 2. Grodecki, Dzie.ie Polski. p. 54; Fabre, op.cit.» p. 165, explains the discrepancy between Sventopulk, the name given by Thietmar, and Lambert, the name in the document, by saying that Lambert was either the German transcrip­ tion of Sventopulk or merely a surname. 3. Grodecki, Dzie.ie P^lskl, p. 55. 4. Fabre, pp. pit., p. 166h. This is further borne out by the JLack of any mention of Boleslaw* sdis inheritance. l. In fact, Boleslaw was constantly at the side of Mieszko*]


Two other versions of this document reject the idea that the omission of Boleslaw1s name was accidental* On the contrary, the document is understood to have heen purposely directed against the oldest son of Mieszko.


first explanation has it that besides Boleslaw, Mieszko had three sons by Oda, his second wife, whose names were Mieszko, Sventopulk and Lambert.


Their mother, fearful

that Boleslaw might disinherit them, was anxious to insure their share in the realm after Mieszko*s death, wherefore she persuaded her husband to protect the interests of the younger sons against Boleslaw by placing Poland under papal protection.

Accordingly, between 985 and 992, Mieszko,

whose surname was Dagome, placed Poland under the Holy See^ tutelage in the name of himself, his wife, Oda, and of their sons, Mieszko and Lambert.

Hence, according to

this hypothesis, the act was inspired by Oda whose aim was to find in the Papacy a safeguard against the intrigues of her stepson, Boleslaw. The third interpretation takes the document at face value to mean that Mieszko married Oda in 977 and had three sons, Mieszko, Sventopulk and another whose name was probably Boleslaw.

As Mieszko grew old, Oda began to

take part in the government of the realm, supported by Dagome, Odiljen and Pribuwoj, with whose aid she ruled the 1 . The name Lambert is added to fill in the blank in

Thietmar1s account.





But when Mieszko died, Boleslaw succeeded to the n

throne and his first act was to drive out of the land Oda and her aa ns and to cause her advisers, Odiljen and Pri.

buwoj, to be blinded,


while Dagome, a very high official

in the realm, either a judge (judex) or a high administrator, followed Oda into exile.

In her distress Oda carried her-

complaints, not to the emperor’s court, but to Home, % journeying to Italy with her sons and their protector, the faithful Dagome, in 993,

Of the sons, Sventopulk had al­

ready died, while Boleslaw, the third son, met the famous St, Romuald, leader of the ascetic movement and founder of the Camaldolese Order in Italy, and took the religious habit.


According to custom, he changed his name upon

entering the religious life and took that of Lambert, Thus, according to this last interpretation of the '’Dagome judex", Dagome (judex), Oda (Ota) and Misico and Lambert (the religious name of the third son) betook themselves to Rome where, in 994 or 995, they offered their kingdom to Pope John XV, begging the protection of the Apostolic 3 See, It is difficult to decide which version is the most acceptable since each of them has certain strong 1 , Thietmar, Chronic on, M.G,H, SS, T, III, p, 784. 2, Ex Petri Damiani Vita S. Romualdi. M.G.H. SS. T. IV, p. 850: "Habebat autem equum satis egregium, quem sibi Busclavi Sclavonici regis filius dederat, factus ab eo monachus". 3, Lelewel, op. cit., pp, 70-71. L_



’points in its favor*

But whatever the points of difference1*

the main facts stand sufficiently clear* namely, that some­ time within the last fifteen years of the tenth century* the country of Poland was offered to the Papacy in return for protection.

But since there is no evidence of papal

intercession in behalf of Oda and her sons, it is most probable that the vassal relations with the Holy See were established by Mieszko, rather than by Oda against Boleslaw, especially as Mieszko had already assured himself of pro­ tection against the raiding margraves by acknowledging himself as a vassal of the emperor. guard in

Then as a further safe­

the emperor fs power should fail or be turned

against himself, Mieszko placed his realm under the Pope’s wardship and, as usual in such transactions, the extent of the territory was clearly defined.


The act of commending territory to the Holy See customarily implied an obligation on the part of the peti­ tioner to pay an annual sum as a token of dependence.


payment, which was made to the Apostolic fisc, was the ex­ ternal sign of the reciprocal relations of dependence on the one side, and protection on the other, which the act of commendation established between the parties.


The precise

amount which Mieszko bound himself to pay is not specified 1. For an exhaustive study of the ’’Dagopje judex” Cf. Bernhard Stasiewski, Untersuchungen Uber Drei Quellwn Zur XLtesten Geschichte und Mlrchengeschichte Polens. Breslau, 1933. 2. Fabre, ,fLa Pologne et le Saint-Siege”, op. cit., p. 166. LI



by earlier notices.


'Thus, by the act of “Dagome judex”


P0land became the very first state to establish protective relations with Rome.2

Theretofore, only ecclesiastical

institutions, such as abbeys and dioceses, had commended themselves to the Holy See and placed their possessions under the defense of the highest moral force in the world.


How Poland also adopted this practice of commendation and initiated the custom of placing secular kingdoms under the protective arm of the Papacy, thus setting a precedent soon to be followed by many other principalities. Commenting on this protective relation between Poland and the Papacy, Halecki writes: /

Cet aete d ’un prine§ a peine converti etait plus qu*un hommage fait a l’Eglise, et le denier de saint-Pierre que la Pologne payera a ce titre plus qu’un simple qymbole. Compensant ses actes de soumiss^on a l*Eglise, Mieszko donna ainsi a son jeune Etat la meilleure garantie possible de son independence et de sa securite. Apres des sidcles, ce lien intime avec le saint-Siege, jamais oublie, servira a la Pologne d !appui solide dans les crises les plus graves qu*elle aura a traverser. Oppose aux pretentions imperial®s, il assurers l^ntegrite de ses frontiers, voire son caractere national: il sera an meme temps 1 *expression exterieure d fun principe d fordre a spirituel qui animera toute l !histoire polonaise.

1. Demetrius B. Zema, The Influence of Economic Factors in the Gregorian Reform of the Eleventh Century. Cambridge, 1939, p. 281. 2. Fabre, "La Pologne et le Saint-Siege11, op. cit., p. 166. 3 . Ibid.% p. 166. 4. Halecki, La Pologne * p. 21.




Thus by the time of Boleslaw*s accession to the n throne, Poland had already established close relations with Rome and the Papacy, and Boleslaw further manifested his adherence to the Church by supporting many missionary activities and founding churches.


Many other noteworthy events

are recorded during his reign which definitely established an organized Church in P0land and which bespeak the close ties that existed between that region and western countries. Extremely fortunate for Boleslaw and his country was the advent of St. Adalbert to Poland.

Educated in

Magdeburg, the archiepiscopal See over all Slavic lands, 2

Adalbert became a priest and subsequently bishop of Prague 3 in 982, but due to disorders within his country he was 4 forced to leave his episcopal city. The chronicles report that following his departure he travelled in Hungary, 5 baptized Stephen and evangelized his country, whence he proceeded to Italy where a spirit of reform was stirring under the influence of such dynamic men as St. Hilus and '6 St. Romuald. There, in 990, together with his brother '

Gaudentius, Adalbert took the monastic vows and remained 1. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 428. 2. Arnold, Polska. Je.i Dzie.ie i Rultura. p. 62. 3. Annales Cracovienses Compilati, M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 5865 Annales Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 616, 617. 4. Annales Silesiaci Compilati. M.G.H. SS., T. XIX, p. 537. 5. Ibid., pi 537; Annales Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, 57617. 6 . Annales Sandwogii, M.G.H. SS. T. XXIX, p. 425; Annales Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 617. L



*for some years.

Thither also, came the young emperor,


Otto III, in 996, and embraced the ascetic life practised by the holy monks, Adalbert among them.

The former bishop

of Prague made a deep impression on Otto which resulted in a strong bond of friendship between them.


The circumstances surrounding Adalbert*s coming to Poland are not quite clear.

Koneczny states that in the

latter part of 996 Otto III decided to return to Germany and that he persuaded Adalbert to accompany him.


together to Magdeburg, there they met the archbishop, who it will be remembered, was the Metropolitan over the Slav churches, and from whom Adalbert obtained immunity from his jurisdiction.

In view of this, it is probable that

Adalbert and Otto III had decided to create an archbishopric for the Church in Poland; at all events, the former bishop of Prague proceeded to Poland to take possession of the new post.

Having arrived in that country, Adalbert at

once began the visitation of the dioceses already estab­ lished in the land, with the definite purpose of re-orga­ nizing the hierarchy.

Having first visited the diocese

of Cracow which was still in the hands of the Czech prince and under a Czech bishop, conferred with the bishop of Cracow concerning the re-organization of the Church, Adalbert proceeded to Posen, the oldest episcopal See in 1 . Koneczny, Dzieje Polski, p. 68 . L.




It was about this time that our bishop met Duke Boleslaw.

An immediate result of their meeting was the

establishment of a Benedictine monastery in Meseritz near 1


Adalbert, however, could come to no understanding

with Unger, the German bishop of Posen, who J*ad succeeded Jordan.

For Unger was unwilling to see his power, extending

over the whole of Poland, limited by the creation of a new archbishopric, seeing that under the new ecclesiastical organization planned by Adalbert, he would be reduced to 2

merely one of the suffragans.

Hence in order to avoid

difficulties with bishop Unger, it was decided that an achiepiscopal see should be established in Gnesen instead of at Posen, and that Adalbert was to be the first arch­ bishop.^ But before entering upon the administration and organization of the Church in Poland under the Metropolitan See of Gnesen, Adalbert deemed it a prior obligation to convert the heathen Slavs along the Blatic.


in that same year, 996, he visited Pomerania, baptized the ruler of that land and introduced Christianity into the 4 territory around Danzig. In the following year, he 1. Pierre David,/ Les Benedict ins et l'ordre de Cluny dans la Pologne medidvale. (Publications du Centre FraneoPolonais de Recherches Historiques de Cracovie, Tom I, fasc. 1 ). '/ 2. Koneczny, Dzieje Polski Za Piastow, p. 71. Annales Silesiaci Compilati. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 637. 4* Koneczny, Dzie.ie Polski Za Piastow. p. 71. L j


r . . visited the heathen Prussian tribe living on the right


bank of the Vistula river and it was here that he met a martyr*s death in the year 997.


As already noted in the

preceding chapter, the Polish Duke Boleslaw purchased the body from the Prussians and had it interred with due 2

solemnity in the cathedral church of Gnesen.


immediately following his death, Adalbert was revered as a saint and chapels and churches began to rise in his honor in various parts of Europe; in Hungary, in Pomerania, in Aix- la-Chape lie in Germany, and in Pereum near Bavenna 3 and in Home itself . However, even after the death of archbishop Adalbert, Duke Boleslaw refused to allow the German Unger to be raised to the archiepiseopdl dignity, but instead, named Gaudentius (Badzym), the martyrfs brother, to that office*

In order to legalize this step, the duke sent

his appointee to Borne to obtain the Pope*s consent and also to receive approval of the further step of making Gnesen 4 the Metropolitan See of Poland. In Borne, Gaudentius met the emperor, Otto III, who was visiting his former tutor, 1. Annales Silesiaci Compilati*M.G.H.SS. T. XIX, p. 537$ Annales Craeovienses Breves* M.G.H. SS* T. XIX, p. 665; Annales Polonorum* M.G.H*. SS. T. XIX,- p. 618; Vide supra, p. 18. 2. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum* M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 428; Hfostea vero corpus ipsius~ab ipsisPrusis Bolezlavus auri pdndere comparavit et in Gneznensi metropoli condigno honore collocavit. ** , 3* Koneczny, Dzieie Polski Za Pi astow* p. 71; Ex Petri Damiani Vita S. Romualdi* M.G.H* SS* T. IV, p. 853. 4. Koneczny, Dzie.ie Polski * p* 71.


■pope Sylvester II.

There both Otto III and Sylvester II


approved the plan of establishing Gnesen as the primatial See and, in 999, Gaudentius was consecrated as its arehbishop.

At the same time, inspired by the presence of*

the martyr’s brother, Otto III vowed to make a pilgrimage to Gnesen, to the tomb of Adalbert, his former friend and confessor.


Some of the Polish chronicles relate that about this time, 999 §r 1000, Duke Boleslaw petitioned Sylvester 3 II for the royal crown; they also note that after he had annexed Cracow to Poland in that year, he sent its bishop, Lambert, to Home, while Stephen, the king of Hungary also sent bishop Astricus to secure the crown for Hungary. In this connect ion, the chroniclers report that Pope Sylvester had already decided to confer pne crown upon the Polish ruler, but enlightened by a vision (visions monitus ange, 4 lica) he bestowed it upon king Stephen instead. Curiously 1. Annales Sandwogii. M.G.H. SS. T. XXIX, p. 425. 2. Koneczny, Dzieie Polski. p. 72. 3* Annales Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 519; Annales Cracovienses Compilati. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 586; Anna­ les Kamenzenses. M.G.H.' SS. T. XIX, p. 581. It is sur­ prising to note that all these chronicles mention Duke Mieszko as the petitioning prince. However, Mieszko was not living' in 999 and Boleslaw I was on the throne. It is neb possible to place the date earlier, for Lambert be­ came bishop in 995. Furthermore, all accounts mention Sylvester as the reigning Pope (999-1003). Annales Sandwogii. M.G.H. SS. T. XXIX, p. 425, mentions Boleslaw as the petitioner: “Anno domino millesimo. Boleslaw Magnus mittit Lambertum episcopum ad curiam Romanam pro obtinenda corona.” 4. Annales Silesiaci Compilati. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 537. L



enough, most Polish historians Pail to mention this event, n or, if they do, fail to give it due emphasis.

Yet the

event itself is important because it established another tie which bound Poland to the Papacy. In the year 1000,in fulfillment of his


Otto III set out on his pilgrimage to the tomb of Adalbert. We have already noted how warmly he was received by Boles­ law and how he placed his own crown on the brow of the Polish ruler.


But In addition to this coronation, the

emperor resolved upon another enterprise which proved of great significance for Poland.

He undertook to put into

execution St. Adalbert’s plan for the organization of the Church in Poland and for its emancipation from the authority of the German archbishop at Magdeburg.

In the execution of

this project, Gnesen, the city which guarded the body of 2

the martyr was declared the archiepiscopal see of Poland. Dependent on Gnesen was the bishop of the city of Cracow, which had been annexed to Poland only the year previous, but which already possessed an episcopal tradition.



thermore, two new bishoprics were created, one for Silesia at Breslau, the other for Pomerania at Colberg.

As arch­

bishop over this newly-established Church organization, Otto installed Gaudentius, the brother of St. Adalbert, who had 1. Cf. Chapter I, p. 21*22. ‘ 2. fhietmar, Chronic on. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 781. 3. Annales Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 616: H995. ' Lampertus episcopus Cracovie efficitur tercius.’1 L_



been consecrated in Rome a year earlier. But the problem presented, by the attitude of the bishop of Posen yet remained.

For the bishop Unger

had formerly shown himself uncooperative to Adalbert and was still firmly opposed to any diminution of his wide jurisdiction.

As before, so now, in the re-organization

of the Church in Poland he preferred to remain under the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Magdeburg, rather than of the new appointee at Gnesen.

Otto, them, acceding to

the wishes of bishop Unger and ldjjbh to diminish the number 1 of dioceses subject to Magdeburg, excluded Posen from the new ecclesiastical organization.


Thus, as a result of

.Otto's efforts, there were five bishoprics in Poland by the year 1000: Cracow, Breslau and Colberg under the juris­ diction of Gnesen, and Posen under that of a foreign arch­ bishop at Magdeburg. But Otto III went beyond the establishment of a Polish hierarchy: he also transferred to the newlycrowned ruler, Boleslaw, the imperial prerogatives in 1 . Lelewel, op. cit•, p. 32. 2. Thietmar, Chronicon. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 781: uNee mora, fecit ibi archiepiscopum, ut spero, legitime, sine consensu tamen prefati praesulis, (Posnaniensis scilicet) cujus diocesi omnis haec regio subjecta est;' committens eundem predicti martyris fratri Radimo, eidemque subjiciens Reinbernum, Salsae Chorlbergiensis ecclesiae episeopum. Popponem Cracoaensem, Johannem Wrotizlaensem, Vungero Posnaniensi excepto.’1 Cf. Annales Hagdeburgenses, M.G.H. SS. T. XVI, p. 109; Gesta Episcoporum Magdeburgensium. M.G.H. SS. T. XIV, p • 390• L



ecclesiastical matters, especially the right of creating


and investing new bishops, a function which the emperors had assumed long before.


Moreover, the young emperor

granted to Boleslaw I jurisdiction not only over all the Slavs living beyond the river Oder, but also over such Slavs as might be brought under Polish rule in the future. After the conclusion of the emperor!s visit, this re­ organization of the Church and the transfer of imperial prerogatives to the Kjjjg Qf Poland was duly ratified by 2

Pope Sylvester II. 1. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 429: "Insuper etiam in ecclesiasticis honoribus quitquid ad imperium pertinebat in regno Polonorum, vel in aliis superatis ab eo vel superandis regionibus barbarorum, suae suorumque postestati concessit." Ibid.. p. 429: "••.cujus pactiohis decretum papa Silves­ ter sanetae Homanae ecclesiae privilegio coHfirmavii." The change of attitude toward Boleslaw within a year might seem surprising, for it was noted that in 999 a crovm had been refused him, probably on the grounds that Sylvester did not believe that Poland had progressed far enough on the road to civilization and Christianity to . merit the royal crown. Otto III was present in Home and probably concurred in this opinion. Therefore, it was decided to establish a Church organization in Poland and Gaudentius was consecrated as archbishop for this pur­ pose. Ihen Otto III arrived in Gnesen, therefore, he probably had in mind the idea of establishing the Church organization, but at the same time to leave the political position of Poland as it was. But when he arrived at Gnesen and saw all the treasures and splendors which the ' Polish duke displayed, he was moved to change his opi­ nion about the civilized and Christian nature of the Polish state. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 429, notes in this respect: "Cujus gloriam et potentiam et divitias imperator Hbmanus considerans, admirando dixit: ’Per coronam* imperil mei, majora sunt quae video, qua® fama percepi1', Then in a burst of youthful enthusiasm he bestowed the crown on Boleslaw.

74 r

Thus the pilgrimage of Otto III to Gnesen was

most significant for Poland.


Hot only had the Polish king

gained recognition as a monarch from Otto, but he had also obtained ecclesiastical independence for his country.


forth, the Polish Church, freed from all dependence on Germany, was under the protection and patronage of the Polish prince, who, since he had obtained the right to found and endow churches, was accordingly, enabled to take the same important part in the establishment of dioceses and the appointment of bishops asthe emperor enjoyed in Germany.

As to the archbishop ofGnesen, he now owed

allegiance directly and solely tothe Pope. In this role of patron, Boleslaw immediately assiimed supervision of ecclesiastical affairs and initiated a policy of furthering the Church*s work of expansion.


this endeavor was added the desire of bringing Poland into closer cultural ties with western Europe, now that Boleslaw, by his diplomatic and military feats had gained the respect and recognition of Christendom.

He aspired to raise the

Polish nation to the cultural level of the Latin and Geraan peoples and realized that, as a prime requisite, his people 1

must have a deeper understanding of their faith. # The more effectively to accomplish his purpose, Boleslaw turned to his fellow Christians of the West for assistance and received missionaries from Italy, France and a few from 1 . Arnold, Polska. Je.i Dzie.ie i Kultura, p. 67.




r\ Germany.*

It was, naturally, upon Italy that Boleslaw


mainly depended for aid^ since St. Adalbert had lived in that country for some years -and identified! himself with the ascetic movement there in progress.

The interment of

his martyred body at the archiepiscopal centre of Poland had, moreover, formed very close ties between Polish and Italian religious life. In this connection it must be recalled that at this time the spirit of reform was gaining ground in Italy ' and that its leading promoters were Sts. Hilus and Romuald, the very men with whom Adalbert had formed close associa1


From Italy this movement was already spreading to

France, where the* congregation of Cluny had already pre2

pared the ground.

While St. Romuald's efforts were directed

toward gathering together men who desired to follow an asce­ tic and eremitical life and live according to a strict Bene­ dictine rule, as early as 971 he began to £ound hermitages. In that year he erected one in Pereum near Ravenna; later, in 998, at the request of Otto III, who was then visiting Italy, the saintly ascetic became abbot of the monastery of Classis, on the outskirts of Ravenna.

But, as the

burden of administrative work interfered with his ascetic life and irked the holy man, he decided to resign his posi- ■ tion.

Therefore, late in 999, Romuald took advantage of

1. Ibid., p. 62. 2. Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Szkice Historvczne Jedynastego Roku, Krakow, 1904, p. 4.



rOtto 111*8 halt at Ravenna, when the emperor was on his


way from Rome to visit St. Adalberts tomb at Gnesen, to obtain release from his abbatial duties.

Then, while the

young emperor pursued his journey to the shrine of the martyr-bishop, Romuald took up his abode at the famous monastery of Monte Cassino. After a brief stay at Monte Cassino, Romuald went back to Pereum where he again met Otto III, now returning from his pilgrimage to Gnesen where he was inspired with a fervent veneration for the martyred saint, which made a deep impression on those about him.


growing more ascetic, the young ruler chose Pereum as the most suitable place in which to perform his Easter duties and he spent the entire Lenten period of 1001 under the spiritual tutelage of Saint Romuald.

During his sojourn

at Pereum Otto’s prayers were directed to his former friend, Adalbert, in whose honor he founded there an oratory and a new monastery.


This strong devotion to the

Polish martyr on the part of Otto fired the hearts of the other hermits and inspired them to imitate the missionary activities of St. Adalbert. It was at this very time that Boleslaw dispatched 3 an appeal to Romuald to send missionaries to Poland. The 1. Ibid., p. 5. 2. Ex Petri Damiani Vita S. Romualdi. M.G.H. SS. T. IV, p. 353. 3. Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae. c. 142. L





holy man, mindful of Adalbert's fate, asked for volunteers and three monks presented themselves, Bruno, Benedict and John,

Bruno was to go to Home for papal sanction, while

Benedict and John proceeded immediately to Poland to com­ mence their evangelizing work.

At their departure, the

emperor presented the two departing missionaries with costly gifts, liturgical books and other ecclesiastical implements,


Benedict and John arrived in Poland toward the end of 1001, or early in 1002, and received a very cordial welcome from King Boleslaw who soon constructed eremitical cells and a church for them at Cazimierz,


Polish dis­

ciples soon imitated their example: Isaac, Mathew, Christinus and Barnabas were accepted by the two Italian mis­ sionaries and together they began their missionary aeti. , 3 vities. Over in the West, Otto III had died in the meantime,. and with the succession of Henry II to the impe­ rial throne, the pro-Slav policy of Otto was yielding* to the more traditional German policy of opposition.


broke out, as already noted, and Boleslaw desired to obtain from the Papacy a confirmation of his coronation by Otto III at Gnesen, for already the Germans were denying its 1* Ex Petri Damiani Vita S, Romualdi« M.G,B, SS, 1. IV, p. 852. 2, Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae. c. 142. 3, Wojciechov/ski, Szkice Histbryczne, p« 8 ; Dlugossus, .. ■Polonicae, c. 142. L Historiae '




The Polish ruler decided to entrust the impor-"1

tant mission to someone both capable and trustworthy, and whom could he find more worthy of trust and less liable to arouse suspicion than the hermits who had arrived in Poland?

In view of that, Boleslaw paid a secret visit to

the hermitage, asking the hermits to chose one of their number to carry his petition and to deliver his gifts to 3 the Pope. One of them, probably Barnabas, set out on the pretext of returning to Italy to procure more mission­ aries for Poland;^howev er, one of the servants in the hermitage, learning of the money and the gifts which the king had brought, led a number of bandits into the cloister 1. Ex Petri Damiani Vita S. Romualdi. M.G.H. SS. T. IV, p. 852 s "Buselavus autem volens cdronam sui regni ex Romaha auctoritate suscipere, praedictos venerabiles viros capit obnixa supplicatione deposeere, ut ipsi plurima ejus dona papae deferrent et coronam sibi a sede apostolica reportarent." Cf. Naruszewicz, op. cit.% p. 131. 2. A brother of Boleslaw is reported to have entered the monastic state under the tutelage of Romuald and, therefore, the order would be sympathetic to the ruler*s desire for a crown. Cf. Naruszewicz, op. cit.. p. 131; Wojciechowski, Szkice Historvczne. pp. 5-6} Ex Petri Damiani Vita S. Romualdi. M.G.H. §§. T. IV, p. 850. 3 . Ex Petri Damiani Vita ST Romuaidi. M.G.H. SS. T. IV, p. 852; "praedictos venerabiles viros coepit obnixia supplicatione deposeere...** 4. Annales Kamenzenses. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 581; "Anno 1003, heremite in Folonia martirizati sunt in Kazmir Benedictus, Matheus, Christinus, Johannes, Ysaac." Only Barnabas is not listed and, by a process of elimi­ nation, therefore, he must have been the one v&io undertook the mission.



79 r


who killed the five remaining hermits*


Forunately, the


delegated monk had set out in. time to escape death) hut the emperor, Henry II, either warned of the mission or suspecting that Boleslaw would attempt to send someone to Home, commanded that legates dispatched by Boleslaw were to be seized*

As a result, the hermit was apprehended

and detained, and Boleslaw1s attempts to secure papal appro­ bation to the coronation w&se frustrated*5 1 * Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae, c* 143; Ahn^! es Sand-

w§>gli. MjJiJg* §S. T. XXIX, p. 425$ Annales Oracdvienses Breves* M.G.H, SS. T. XIX,' p. 665; Annales"Kamenzenses* MaG.H* SS. T. XIX, p* 581; Annales Posnaniensis* M.G.H. SS. T. XXIX, p. 470; Annales Mechovienses, MG.H. SS. * T* XIX, p. 668 . : “ 2- M Petri Damiani Vita S. Romualdi, M.G.H. SS. T. IV, . p. 853: 11... imperatori ante® Henricus Busclavi consi­ lium non ignorans, undique vlas custodiri praeceperat, ut, si Busclavus Romam nuncios mitteret, in ejus ilico manibus devenirent. Monachus ergo, qiii nuper missus a sanctis martiribus fuerat, demum captus et mox carcerali custodiae mancipatus.** 3. There are other versions of the death of the hermits. Wojciechowski, Szkice Historyczne, pp. 7-9,says three hermits volunteered to go to Poland. Benedict and John went to that country to learn the language and to become acquainted with the customs, while Bruno journeyed to Home to obtain papal approbation for the mission. The two hermits established themselves in Poland and impa­ tiently awaited Bruno*s arrival with the papal license. After a year, Benedict aet out to intercept Bruno on his journey and in the winter of 1002-1003, he went as far as Prague, where Boleslaw, at war with Henry II, was staying. The Polish ruler refused to allow Benedict to travel further, but did permit his companion to continue his search for Bruno. Benedict then returned to the hermitage in Poland. Meanwhile, Bruno had received the papal commission and the archbishop* s pallium and had travelled as far as Hatisbon when his journey was halted by the outbreak of hostilities. Bruno, therefore, turned his missionary activities toward Hungary and Russia. At the hermitage in Poland, however, there was a plundering attack on the hermits in search of the treasure which Boleslaw was presumed to have left there. Only one

The death of the hermits, however, did not terminate Boleslaw* s efforts to evangelize his country. Barnabas eventually returned to Poland and became the abbot of the restored monastery.

Inasmuch as the example

of the disciples of Romuald inspired many ibles to follow this life, the community grew,


becoming so important that,

in 1008, Bruno himself, the leading disciple of Romuald, came to Poland and remained there for some time among the hermits.

Proof of the continued existence of the monastery

is furnished by the chronicler Thietmar who mentions an abbot Tuni, probably an Italian, for the years 1015 and 1018.


And besides this monastery at Kazimierz, other

monastic houses were established in Opatowa, Wroclaw and 3 Cpatowiec, in Western Poland. The story of this mission to Poland aptly illustrates the ecclesiastical ties which the Church in Poland maintained with Italy.

Italian monks became the

highest ecclesiastical dignitaries in Poland, as is evident from the elevation of Stephen Bossuta to the archbishopric 4 in 1029. Since their number was continually augmented by

1. 2. 3. 4. L

hermit escaped death, the one who had been sent by Boleslaw to search for Bruno and to proceed to Rome. Scarcely had he returned to Poland when Boleslaw again delegated him to inform the Holy See about the fate of the martyred saints, and, at the same time, to petition the Pope for a crown for Boleslaw. He was apprehended by imperial order and imprisoned at Magdeburg. Wojciechowski, Szkice Historyczne.p. 13. Thietmar. Chronicon. M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 842, 871. Wojciechowski, Szkice Historyczne.p. 51. Ibid., p. 23. j


rthe arrival of additional priests from Italy and also from”1 France they helped Boleslaw in the establishment and govern­ ment of new ehurehes. That Boleslaw continued to maintain the pro­ tective relations with the Papacy established by his father was demonstrated during the war with Henry II. Bruno, who had arrived in Poland in 1008, appealed to Henry in an attempt to restore peace between the emperor and the Polish ruler.

While doing so, he censured Henry II for

allying himself with the heathen tribes against Boleslaw a Christian king - 11who was a tributary of St. Peter*1. 1

(Sanctus Petrus, eujus tributarium se asserit).


years later, in 1013, Boleslaw himself acknowledged his obligation to pay the lfdenarius Petri”, but excused his failure to pay the promised fee.

Whether Boleslaw was

angered at the Paj^cy for the repeated failures to secure the crown, as some authors suggest,


or whether he wished

to arouse feeling in papal and ecclesiastical circles against Henry II, is uncertain, but the Polish ruler in­ formed the Papacy that he was unable to pay the customary tribute (promissum principi apostolorum Petro persolvere censum) because the emperor had apprehended his legates 3 and made the roads unsafe. However, the very fact that 1 . Fabre, MLa Pologne et le Saint-Siege*1, op. cit., p. 166. 2 . Naruszewicz, pp. cit., p. 165.

3. Thietmar, Chronicpn, M.G.H. SS. T. Ill, p. 833; Lelelwel, op. cit.. p. 69. L_




he found it necessary to explain himself shows that he


recognized an obligation to pay the fee. Thus, Boleslaw had not only launched the Church on an independent course, installing capable churchmen to supervise its progress, but with their help he also con­ structed the first schools, so that learning and faith 1

might be diffused among the people.

There still remained

the realization of one aspiration with which Boleslaw meant to climax his successful reign, namely, that of receiving papal approval for his anointment as king.

Numerous peti­

tions had failed, but finally, in the last year of his reign, 1024, Boleslaw, whether actually receiving permis­ sion, or anticipating it as certain, had himself anointed by the archbishop of Gnesen.2 By the time of Boleslaw*s death, therefore, Poland had reached that stage of development where the imperial power was forced to recognize her free and inde­ pendent status both in the political and ecclesiastical spheres#

Of the two, the ecclesiastical independence of

1. X.T.K. Dzieje Narodu Polskiego. Poznan, 1863, p. 27; Annales KaMenzenses. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 581: f,Ecclesiam Dei exaltavit, episcopatus distinxit et ditavit, attribuens eis predia, castra, fsmilias et servicia, omnem culturam eradieans ydolorum, ^ndans pacem et iusticiam in terra.** 2. Karol Szajnocha, Boleslaw Chrobry i Odrodzenie Sie Polski. Lwow, 1859, p. 99. Bruno of Querfurt, following in the footsteps of Adalbert, was put to death in 1009 among the Prussians. His whole-hearted defense of Boleslaw in his war with Hienry II inspired growing numbersof monks and teachers bo come to Poland. Cf. Kone­ czny, Dzieje Polski. pp. 78-79.


*the Church was more important, for even though political


independence was subsequently lost, the religious influ­ ence of the Italian and French churches far outweighed that 1

of the German. The organization established by Boleslaw was carried on by his son, Mieszko II.

As hitherto, the hierar­

chy was zealous in the evangelization of the country, and Mieszko continued his father’s policy of endowing churches.


In fact, there is extant a letter which extols him for his efforts in propagating the faith, in building churches and 3 for other pious deeds. However, political and military considerations soon turned his attention from internal development to war with his neighbors.

Civil war then rent

the country and the crown assumed by Boleslaw I and inhe4 rited by Mieszko II was lost. The destruction of Boleslaw1s political framework was soon followed by the devastation of the ecclesiastical foundations of Poland.

When Mieszko II died, it will be

recalled, Kicheza and her son, Casimir, were driven from the co&ntry and a period of chaos ensued during which there was an utter lack of authority, each local magnate being king of his territory.

Such absence of a strong

1. Koneczny, Dzie.ie ftolski, pp. 78-79. 2. Annales Polonorum-. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 621: ‘*1027. ijJolitus archiepiscopus primus obiit, sibi Bossuta succedit secundus. 1032. Bachelinus episcopus Cracovie post Gumponem sextus.11 3 . Migne, P.h. Vol. CLI, c. 1331-1332. 4. Vide supra, pp. 37-38. L



restraining influence and authority brought to the surface n the latent paganism and discontent of the serfs.


and religious in character, this destructive movement swept over the land putting churches and monasteries to the torch, and murdering priests and bishops.1

Under the impact of

these assaults, the ecclesiastical organization was shaken to its very foundations. lhat still remained standing after this storm of violence had passed, was destroyed, in 1038, by the invading army of the Czech king, Brzetyslaw.

This invader advanced

across Silesia to Cracow, plundering and murdering along 2

the way.

The people fled across the Vistula river,


the path open for Brzetyslaw to proceed to Gnesen; and even this, the archiepiscopal see, was plundered of its riches. When, finally, the army retraced its steps toward Bohemia, it carried with it the body of St. Adalbert on the possession of whose relies had been founded the Polish hierarchy,


together with great stores of wealth, including a huge cross 1 . Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 437:

Insuper etiam a fide catholica deviantes, quod sine voce lacrimabili dieere non valemus, adversus episcopos et sacerdotes Dei seditionem inceperunt, eorumque quosdam gladio quasi dignius pt#rernerunt, quosdam vero quasi morte dignos viliori lapidibus obruerunt. Ad extremum autem tarn ab extraneis quam ab indigenis ad tantam Polonia desolationem est redact a, quod ex toto paene divitiis et hominibus est exacta.11 Annales Hlldesheimenses. M.G.H. SS., T. V, p. 990. 2. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 437. 3* Ibid.. p. 437: f,Eo tempore Bohemi Gheznem et Poznan destruxerunt, sanctique corpus Adalberti abstulerunt.M Annales Posnaniensis. M.G.H. SS. T. XXIX, p. 470. L



r l and three gold tablets studded with costly gems*

- i Qaesen,


11le signe et comme la garantie de l’unite eeelesiastique 2 de la Pologne11 was, therefore, left so devastated that

wild animals made their dens in the church of St. Adalbert.


Other cities and their cathedrals suffered a similar fate, notably, St. Peter’s in Posen and the cathedral in Wroclaw. After the Czech forces had left Poland, the bishops of the country, led by Stephen, the archbishop of Gnesen, sent an appeal to the Pope to compel Brzetyslaw 4 and Severus, the bishop of Prague, to make retribution. In reply, Pope Benedict IX, condemned the desecration of the archiepiscopal city and ordered that the Czech king go into exile for three years while the bishop of Prague was to be deposed and was*to enter a monastery in penance 5 for his part in the plunder. Restitution of all posses­ sions was commanded, but meanwhile, Brzetyslaw*s legates had arrived in Home, who, by a lavish distribution of gifts at the corrupt papal court of Benedict IX, convinced the Curia of the impossibility of restoring the plundered 6 treasures. The bribed cardinals rescinded the judgments 1. Cosmas, Gbrohiba Boemorum, M.G.H. SS. T. XI, p. 67. 2. Fabre, MLa Pologne et le Saint-Siege” pp. cit., p. 167. 3. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 437: 11. ..et tain diu civitates praedictae in solitudine permanserunt, quod in ecclesia sancti Adalberti martiris sanetique Petri apostoli sua fere cubilia posuerunt •** 4. Dlugossus, Historiae fblonicae. c. 201. 5. Ibid.% c. 203. 6 . Ibid., c. 203. L_





against the Czech king and bishop, and instead, merely imposed on Brzetyslaw the obligation of building a monas1 tery in Poland. The prized possessions of Gnesen were not restored and the churches in that city and elsewhere lay as they were*

In the preceding chapter we have already outlined the appeal of the war-wearied people x&sJnixsLto Casimir to return to his country as well as the receipt of the papal dispensation which absolved him from his monastic vows.


Having obtained a dispensation from his vows, Casimir re­ entered his country and took possession of the throne. The

task of rehabilitating his country was an immense one,

but his success in regaining lost lands and rest oring peace 3 within the country has been noted. nevertheless, there still remained the necessity of restoring the ecclesiastical hierarchy and discipline within Poland, for the success of which undertaking the restored ruler’s monastic background contributed greatly. Since Gnesen and Posen, the former royal and episcopal centers of Poland, were in a state of devastation, Casimir made Cracow his capital.

It had suffered less than

other Polish cities from the violence of the aroused popu­ lace and from the plundering of the Czech army, and was therefore best suited for the work which Casimir 1. Bandtkie, Krdtkie Wyobrazenie. pp. 203-204. 2. Vide supra pp. 46-48. Vide supra pp. 49-52.




It was Cracow, then, which became the center

of Casimir!s work of restoration, a work in which he was greatly aided by his mother*s family, in particular, by his uncle, the archbishop of Cologne, to whom he appealed for monks to replace those who had been scattered or who had died at the hands of the marauders.^ Since Cologne was then the center of a rising reform movement in Germany, which drew its inspiration from Cluny and the Lorraine reformers, this appeal for priests from that city had a great significance for the future ecclesiastical history of Poland#

Casimir*s mother

and her family were patrons of this movement and, as early as 1024, Ezzo, father of Rieheza, had founded a Benedictine monastery at Brauweiler, three miles from Cologne, under the patronage of Sts. Nicholas and Medard.

To this monas­

tery came Benedictine monks from Saint Maximin of Treves, 3 which had already been reformed by Cluniac influence. Poppo de Stavelot became the abbot of Brauweiler and, thus, 1 . Jan D%browski, **0 Kolebkq Kultury Polskiej'*, Stu&ja

Staropolskie. Ksiega Ku Czci Aleksandr a Brucknera. Krakow, 1928, p. 17. 2. David, Casimir et Boleslas. p. 7. 3. David, Benedictins et Cluny, p. 29; David, Casimir et Boleslas. pp. 5-6; **Cette famille d*Ezzo fournit depuissants protecteurs a l*abbe Poppo de Stavelot, par qui la reforme clunisienne penetra dans les pays rhenans et en Allemagne. Tous les enfants d ’Ezzo, en partieulier Herman, archeveque de Cologne, et Rieheza elle-m^me, favoriserent son action reformatrice et rivaliserent de generosite. C*est une colonie de Stavelot, qui peupla la nouveau monastere de Saint-Medard et Saint-Nicolas de Brauweiler, fonde par Ezzo et les siens en 1024, a quelques kilometres de Cologne.*1

88 r

the Cluniac reform spread into the diocese of Cologne* After Kieheza had been driven from Poland she

returned to her paternal lands at Brauweiler and built new churches, both in there and in Cologne.

She herself

entered the religious life like her six sisters who were 1 abbesses of convents in Lorraine and in Saxony. The head of the family at this time was Herman, the archbishop of Cologne, relative of Henry III and of Pope Leo IX, chan­ cellor of Italy and fo the Holy See, chief adviser of the 2 emperor and anointer of the emperors at Aix-la-Chapelle. With his help and that of his mother, Casimir began the reorganization of the Church in Poland. Prom Cologne, therefore, at Casimir*s request, came Aaron* a Frenchman, to supervise the neto missionary activities in Poland.

He was a disciple of the reformer,

Poppo de Stavelot, and a member of the first colony which 3 came to Brauweiler in 1024. With him probably came also a Benedictine mission to carry on the religious work. They brought with them the canonical regulations in force at Cologne, the ordo divini officii and the relics of St. 4 Gereon. At Tyniec, near Cracow where they settled, they 1. Zofia in Gandershe im in Saxony, He ylewig in leus^on the Hhihe, Theophano in Essen, Adelaide in Niwellec in Bra­ bant and Ic^a in Cologne. Cf. Kazimierz SzkaradekKrotoski, Sw. Stanislaw BisEun i JeMo Zatarg z Krolem BolesZawem Smialym, Lwc5w, 1905, p. 13. 2. Ibid., p. 13. 3. David, Benedictins et Cluny, p. 31. 4. Szkaradek-Krotoski, p. 14. L.



*were joined by monks from the monastery of St* Jacob in v 1 Liege, where the reform was gaining force under such out­ standing men as Richard of St. Vannes, Poppo of Stavelot and Wazo, bishop of Liege.

The monks arriving from this

city, therefore, brought with them the spirit of Church reform just as it was beginning” to bloom and made it known 2

in Poland. In consequence, the work of religious rehabili­ tation began under the supervision of the abbot Aaron. But Casimir surmised that the reestablishment of the arehiepiscopal dignity and authority was a prime requisite for the organization and discipline of his Church.


he could not relocate the See at Gnesen, for the city was now in ruins and was still threatened by Mazovians and Pomeranians with whom Casimir was waging war.


was, therefore, the new center of the Church in Poland, and in 1046, Casimir sent the abbot Aaron to Cologne to receive the episcopal consecration from his uncle, Herman.


The Polish duke also dispatched a legation to Rome to ob­ tain the pallium and the arehiepiscopal dignity for his appointee from Pope Benedict IX.

With Aaron1s consecration

1 . Chronic on Polono- Sile siacum. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 559;

Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit., p. 15. 2. Ibid.% p. 23. 3. Annales Sandwogii, M.G.H. SS. T. XXIX, p. 426: “Aaron abbas Tynciensis in episcopum Cracovie postulatur et Colonie consecratur, archiepiscopatus privilegio insignitus.” Annales Polonorum, M.G.H. SS. T* XIX, p. 621. L


90 r*

and the receipt of papal permission, Cracow became the Metropolitan See of the country.



From Cracow the Church organization extended over the land.

After Silesia had been conquered, Casimir in­

stalled Hieronim as bishop at Breslau and sent monks to aid him, while Posen and Gnesen still remained in ruins and had to wait for later rulers for restoration. However, Casimir had to be careful in this work of organization not to overstep his feudal ties with the empire, for he was an acknowledged vassal of Henry III. Since Gnesen, which had possessed supreme jurisdiction over the Polish ecclesiastical organization had fallen, Magdeburg sought to re-establish its old claim of archiepiscopal sovereignty#

Although Aaron had been consecrated archbishop

of Cracow, it is doubtful whether he was recognized as the head of the Church by the emperor, especially since Bene­ dict IX, who had conferred the archiepiscopal pallium upon Aaron, was removed shortly after by Henry III at the Synod of Sutri in 1046.

The German influence predominated hence­

forth in the papal curia and it firmly opposed the inde3 pendence of the Church in Poland. Indeed, the metropolitan 1* Annales Polonorum. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX,p. 587$ Annales Cracoviensis Compilati. M.G.H. SS. T. XIX, p. 587: 111046. Aaron monaehus Tynciensis in episcopum asumitur, per Benedictum IX Colonie conseeratur, privilegio arcbiepiscopatus insignitur.11 2. Koneczny, Dzieie Polski. p. 119. 3. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit.. p. 27. L



'at Magdeburg, Hmfrifl, petitioned Pope Leo IX to confirm


his sovereign rights over the Church in Poland, which petition was granted.

Hence Casimir was compelled to

accept the imperial suzerainty, both in political and religious spheres. This dependence of the Polish Church on the German was further manifested shortly after the death of Henry III.

The queen-regent, Agnes, appointed her chaplain

to be bishop of Eichstadt in 1057 and bishops from all parts of Germany arrived at Pohlde for his consecration. Pope Victor II sent as his legate the young monk, Hilde­ brand.

Present also at this convocation was a Polish


in his obligatory role as a member of the German 2 episcopate. This was the first contact of Hildebrand,

the later Pope Gregory VII, with the Polish episcopate and he undoubtedly learned much about the needs of the Church 3 in that country. Casimir*s efforts, which earned him the surname HRestoreru, were thus directed mainly toward the develop­ ment of his realm, both politically and religiously, rather than towards gaining independence in both spheres.


1 . IbId., p. 22 .

2. Ibid.. p. 29. 2. Koneczny, Pzie.ie Polski. p. 120, says that the Pope sent his legate to Germany to arrange ecclesiastical matters. Casimir sent one of his bishops to meet him and they came together at Pohlde where a synod had been called by the papal legate, Hildebrand. The Polish bishop presented to the legates the needs of his country and probably succeeded in convincing Hildebrand. L-


'missionary activities of Aaron and his monks from Cologne and Liege Lore ample fruit, for along the Vistula they sowed the same seeds of reform whicbithey had garnered along the Moselle and the Khine."^ Casimir died in 1058, leaving behind him a country strengthened and well-organized, though still depending on the empire.

He had reconquered the lost

lands, had re-established peace, extirpated idolatry and had raised the Church from its prostrate position.


work was to be continued by his son, Boleslaw II, whose endeavors to gain political and ecclesiastical independence for his cpuntry coincided with the conflict of Henry IV and Gregory VII. In retrospect, thus far, we have noted the political relations of Poland to the empire, the assump­ tion of independence under Boleslaw I, the loss of the crown and independence under Mieszko II and the revival of the country under Casimir.

In the ecclesiastical sphere

we have considered the influences which introduced Christi­ anity into Poland, the organization of the early Church, the protective relations of the Polish rulers and the Papacy and finally the rehabilitation of the Church in Poland under Casimir.

In the political sphere the German

influence remained preponderant, though in the ecclesias­ tical sphere Italian and French monks were more instrumental 1. Szkaradek-Krotoski, pp. cit.. p. 29.



in spreading Christian teaching and culture.

However, the

German ecclesiastical influence cannot be minimized.


this connection Henry Grappin writes: II est a noter que l'Allemagne ne jopa pas, dans cette conversion dq la Pologne, le role qui lui est parfois attribue', et dont il n ’est pas douteux, d ’ailleurs, qu’elle essaya de se charger. Ce sont bien des missionaires de Boh&me^ qui apporterent la foi nouvelle. ^C’est bien un pretre de Boheme, Bohowid, qui benit le marriage de Mieszko et de JOombrowka. C’est le cardinal Gilles (Idzi), nonce du papa Jean XIII, et eviqpe de Tusculum, qui presida a I 1etablissement^ de l’Sglise romaine. Si Mieszko accepta des ecclesiastiques Allemands, il en fit venir aussi de Prance et dfitalie. II est k croire qu'il resista le plus possible au proselytisme intere^s^ des Teutons, car c*est seulement en 968, que l’eveque Jordan/put prendre possession de son siege de Posnanie, dependent de lfarhh^v&che de Magdebourg. Le successeur de Mieszko, Boleslas le Grand, fera venir des^moines d 1Italic, et fondera began preparing a punitive expedition against him.

He proclaimed

August twenty-second as the day oh which all the king’s 4 vassals were to gather for the Polish expedition and named Saxony as the place of mobilization; but since the Saxons were quick to discern that Henry was using the Polish ex­ pedition as a pretext for gathering a large army in their 1. Annales Altahenses, M.G.H* SS. T. p. :MIgitur per longum tempus potentes quosque rex ceperat contemnere, inferiores vero divitiis et facultatibus extollere et eorum consilio, quae agenda erant, amministrabat, optimatum vero raro quemquam secretis suis admittebat^ et quia multa inordinate fiebant, episcopi, duces aliique regni primores de regalibus se subtrahebant. " 2. Bruno, De Bello Saxonico» M.G.H* SS. T. V, p. 336. 3. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op* cit* , p. 4. Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales, p, 110. "Igitur exercitum suum in expeditionem adunari, septimo die post assumptionem sanctae Dei genitricis Mariae."





1 -l territory, they refused to send their custernary number of troops, giving as a pretext the danger of an attack on their borders by the Luitizi.


*fhe king, alarmed by the 3 hostile attitude of the Saxons, fled to Hersfeld. Here he awaited the arrival of the contingents summoned for the Polish campaign, but when they arrived, he postponed the date of launching battle.

When the Saxons learned of the

king’s departure from their land, they began destroying 4 the royal castles in the land and constituted Madnus Billing as their leader.

By the end of 1073, the whole of 5 Saxony was in open revolt, the expedition against Poland being perforce forgotten.

It was while Henry IV was so

preoccupied with the Polish campaign and the Saxon problems that a new Pope was elected in Home in the person of Greg­ ory VII.

Henry’s interests in central Europe prevented him

from offering anyopposition to the method of cho sing the Pope without imperial consent; indirectly, therefore, Boles1. Ibid* , p. 110: "Ubi satis adminiculorum visumest, cunctis regni principibus expeditionem indixit in Polenos, id causae praetendens, quod Boemos contra vetiturn suum bello impetissent et fines eorum ferro et igne infestassent. Hanc, ut dixi, causam in promptu habetat. Ceterum, ut fama vulgatior postmodum loquebatur, sub occasions Polenorum volebat in Saxoniam exercitum ducere, et deletis usque ad internitionem Saxonibus, loco eorum gentem Suevorum constituere." 2. Ibid. p. 113: "Igitur circiter Kalendas Augusti, adulta iam satisque roborata coniuratione, legatos mittunt ad regem, turn temporis Goslariae constituturn, postulantes, ut expeditio, quam in Polenos instituerat, sibi remitteretur; se adversum acerrimos hostes Luticios die ac nocte in procinctu atque in acie state.” 3.; Ibid. , p. 119* 4. Ibid., pp. 134-135• 5. Ibid. , p. 13 5* L_ J

law’s opposition to the emperor had aided the great reform Pope in obtaining the papal dignity without imperial inter­ vention. The chronicles do not say whether Boleslaw was in communication with the Saxon leaders, but the benefits he derived from the uprising and the marriage alliance between the two nations would tend to indicate that both ehemies of the German emperor were in correspondence.

For liagnus Bil­

lung was married to Boleslaw’s cousin who most probably had sought refuge at the Polish court together with her father Bela when he had fled from Hungary.

Her acquaint­

ance with Boleslaw would naturally indicate that through her the Saxon and Polish courts were drawn together. The relation of the Saxon revolt to Poland and her interests in eastern Europe were made evident shortly thereafter. For, while Henry was occupied in subduing the rebellious Saxons, he could spare no forces to bolster the weah hold of his brother-in-law Salomon on the throne of Hungary.

Boleslaw sent aid, therefore, to the pretender

Gejza and in three battles:^Salomon was decisively defeated. Once again, in 1074, the unfortunate prince was compelled to flee with his wife Judith to the imperial court**" where 1.


Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales, pp. 153-159: tfRex, dimissis legatis, non colemni more indietam expeditionem, sed repentino ac tumultario milite colleetum exercitum ducere (papabat) in Ungariam, eomperto, quod Salomon rex Ungariorum a Ioade, Beli filio, bello impetitus et tribus iam praeliis victus, amisso exercitu, vix de regno effugisset Sigiberti Gemblacensis Chronicon, M. G. H. SS. T. VI, p. 363 "Ungari contra Imperatorn rebeilant, regemgue suum Salomonem regno deturbatum sub diutina custodia excruciant. ”j Cf. Gallus, Chronioae Polonorum, M.G.H. SS. T.IX,p.441*


r n the banished prince sought the aid of his German brother-inlaw to restore him to the throne.

In return for imperial

aid, Salomon promised to surrender part of his realm to Henry, to pay tribute and to receive the kingdom as a fief 1 of the empire. At the same time, the exiled Salomon sent a letter to Pope Gregory VII beseeching him to intercede in his behalf against Gejza, but this double appeal for aid proved of no avail to the Hungarian prince. As for King Henry, he did attempt to come to the aid of his brother-in-law and thus crush "rebellion against the empire"


when, in August, 1074, he led an ill-prepared

and badly-organized army into Hungary.

On his side, Gejza

fou^it a war of attrition, cutting off supplies from the German army, thus exposing it to hunger and pestilence. In 3 face of this opposition, Henry was forced to withdraw his forces from Hungary and henceforth the German hegemony over Hungary came to an end.

Salomon continued to wage war on

the borders of Hungary and to retain the title of king; nevertheless, Boleslaw* s policy of supporting anti-imperial forces in Hungary had triumphed. Furthermore, judging from the fact that Salomon1s appeal to Rome was received with disfavor, Boleslaw showed himself to be acting in eonfonaity with the wishes of the Holy See.

For Pope Gregory VII strongly rebuked Salomon for

1. Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales, p. 159; Szkaradek-Korotski, op. cit. , p. 100. 2. Siegebert of Gembloux, Chronicon, M.G.H. SS. T. VI, p. 363. 3* Lambert of Hersefeld, Annales, p. 162: "Ipse tamen, ne

114 r 1 n acknowledging Hungary as a fief of the empire and in a let­ ter, dated October 28, 1074, wrote to the exiled prince that his action of placing Hungary under the German empire was "grievously offensive to St. Peter” , because Hungary, since the time of its first king, St. Stephen, had been the property of the Holy Roman Church and, as such, was under the complete jurisdiction and control of the Papacy.


spite this status of the country, however, Salomon "had de­ graded the right and honor of St. Peter... by accepting a kingdom which is his, as a fief from the king of the Ger1 mans.” Accordingly, the pope refused to grant any aid to Henry’s ward, Salomon, and Gejza, supported by Boleslaw, became the ruler of the country.

More than that, in the

following year, Gregory dispatched two letters to Hungary, acknov/ledging Gejza as the ruler of the country, although he addressed him as duke rather than king.


Thus the policy

of Boleslaw had been successful to the extent that he had t


tantum rei publicae commodum, casu oblaturn, sua ignavia corrumperetur, gragario tantum ac private milite eontentus, infesto exercitu ingressus est Ungariam, et nonaullas eius regiones hostiliter peragravit. Porro Ioas, qui Ungariam occupaverat comperto eius adventu, summa industria di operam dedit, ut in locis, in quibus irruptio hostium timebatur, nihil homines alimentorum, nihil animalia pabulorum reperirent, et sic ipse cum omnibus in quandam insulam, propter locorum difficultatem omnino hostibus inaccessibilem, se eondulit. Exercitus regis, qui ad tanti belli administratiunem nihil sumtuum praeparaverat, grawissima statim laborabat inedia, adeo ut homines plerosque, animalia pene. omnia brevi pestilentia et fames consumerent. Qua necessitate compulsus rex, nullo insigni facinore perpetrato. Ungaria excessit. " 1. Registrum Gregorii Vll., II, 13, {ed.Erich Caspar), Berl. lin, 1920, _pp. 144-146* „ -J 2. Registrum* IX, 63 ,70, (ed. )Caspar, pp.218-219,229-230.


r -1 eliminated German influence from the court of Hungary and, at the same time, waa aiding the Pope in his determined stand against the power of Henry. But even while Gejza was persisting in his efforts to gain the Hungarian throne, Bole slaw’§ attention was being elsewhere diverted, for political conditions in Russia had suddenlyochanged and Boleslaw was called upon to inter­ vene in the matter.

He had done so once before in 1069

when Izaslaw, the king of the Russians, had been driven from the throne.

At that time, the Russian prince had fled to

the Polish court because Boleslaw was his cousin and, just as in the case of Hungary and Bohemia, the Polish duke un­ dertook to restore the prince to the rule of his country. In execution of this plan, therefore, in 1069 > Boleslaw travelled to Russia, took the capital, Kiev, from the usurp­ ing brothers of Izaslaw and restored the latter to hist ofi1 ginal dignity. In this way he had not only extended his influence but had utilized the occasion to annex the border regions of Grody Czerwienskie to Poland. regal tenure was short-lived.


But Izaslaw1s

In 1073, he was again ex­

pelled from the country by his brothers, Swiatoslaw and Wszewolod, and, for a second time, he sought refuge and aid at the Polish court. The arrival of the Russian'exile coincided with 1. Dlugos^Ji^ Histofiae Poloiiicae, c. 264-265. 2. Chwalezewski* Kronika Polska, pp. 64-66. l


116 r Henry IV’s proclamation of the armed expedition against


Poland in retaliation for Boleslaw’s incursions into Bohe­ mia in 1072.

In view of this, the latter did not incline

towards diverting his forces to Russia for the purpose of aiding Izaslaw; however, since he needed money to prepare his army against the imminent German attack, he appropria­ ted a part of the treasure which the Russian prince had carried out of his country#^

Nevertheless, he had no in­

tention of aiding the exiled prince, for he himself was in need of allies in order to meet the danger with which Henry threatened him from the West and Wratyslaw, the Czech king, from the South.

And since, at the moment, an ally was

necessary in the East, Boleslaw abandoned the cause of his royal cousin and willingly received an embassy from Swiatoslaw, the new Russian ruler, which came to negotiate an al­ liance.

For the fact is that Swiatoslaw was apprehensive

of a Polish expedition which might restore Izaslaw and he wished to forestall any hostile action by opening negotiations for an armed alliance#


Boleslaw received the en­

voys favorably and concluded an alliance by the terms of which he abandoned the cause of the exiled Izaslaw, while &


1. Wojciechowski, Szkice Historyczne, p. 175* 2# Koneczny, Dzie.je Polski, p# 128, maintains that Boleslaw laid down as a condition for aiding Izaslaw that he should abandon the Eastern Church and heal the schism with Rome. He should also receive recognition as a Christian monarch# Swiatoslaw, the new ruler, agreed to these conditions and Boleslaw, therefore, reached an alliance with him# !_



r n the Russian ruler, on his part, was to furnish armed con­ tingents for the Polish wars agaihst the Germans and the Czechs.^ in the meantime, the exiled Russian prince, per­ ceiving that Boleslaw was coming to an understanding with his successful


directed his appeal to the two great­

est powers in Europe, namely, the Emperor and the Pope.



the Holy See he dispatched his son JaropeXE, offering his realm to the protection of the Papacy and seekihg confirma­ tion of his right to the crown.

He also laid before the

Pope a complaint against Boleslaw for appropriating the Russian treasures. ^ Having sent his son to Rome, Izaslaw himself sought aid from Boleslaw*s chief rival, Henry IV. Arriving at Mainz in January 1075, he petitioned the em­ peror for aid against his usurping brother, probably prom­ ising to make Russia a fief of the empire if he were suecessful.

Despite the fact that it was impossible for

Henry, now engaged'in the thickest of the Saxon wars, to undertake any armed intervention in Russia, the emperor, nevertheless, accepted the costly gifts which Izaslaw pre­ sented to him and promised aid. ^ Accordingly, Henry IV chose Burchard, pastor of a church at Treves, and brother of Swiatoslaw1s wife, to undertake a diplomatic mission to 1. Dlugossus, Historiae Polonicae, c. 273-27^ Wojciechowski, .Szkioe Historyczne, p7 1757”" 2. Naruszewicz, op. citI , pp. 362-263# 3# Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales, p. 166. 4. Sigebert of Gembloux, Chronic on, M.G. H. SS. T. VI, p. L_



118 r


Russia, where lie counselled the Russian ruler to renounce the royal dignity he had usurped and to restore Izaslaw to the throne, otherwise "he would feel the power and the arms 1 of the German realm". Thus, while Izaslaw remained in the protective custody of Dedi, margrave of Lausitz, Burchard was carrying out his mission of bringing Russia under German influence and succeeded in inducing Swiatoslaw, now alarmed by the threat of German armed intervention, to recognize Henry’s suzerainty over the land.

Having done his work,

Burchard returned to Germany late in the summer of 1075 > loaded with such treasures "as never within living memory have been brought into the German realm at one time"



recommended that the emperor take no action on favor of Izaslaw.

Thus, Henry had secured gifts from both princes,

which contributed greatly towards refilling his depleted treasury, while doing nothing for either brother. Some months earlier, Pope Gregory had received Izaslaw*s son, Jaropelk, who petitioned for papal protec­ tion.

In answer, the Pope recognized Izaslaw*s right to

the crown and, on April 20, 1075> dispatched a letter to prince Izaslaw, who is addressed by his surname, Deuebrius. In it, the great reform Pope acknowledged the receipt of the Russian prince’s request for papal protection and con­ firmed Izaslaw in the possession of his kingdom.


more," Pope Gregory wrote, "that these and other subjects 1. Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales, p. 166. Ibid., p. 190.

l 2.



r not included in this letter may be more firmly fixed in


your minds, we have dispatched these messengers, of whom one is well known as a faithful friend of yours, who will explain in detail what is here written and will supply by word of mouth what is missing”.'1' The Pope had, therefore, taken the exiled Russian •'V‘

prince under his protection and,

moreover, was sending

legates to further the work of the Church in that exjuntry. Thus, Izacslaw’s position was altered.

Previously, he had

turned against Boleslaw and had sought the aid of Henry, thereby adhering to the Henrician side, while his rival, Swiatoslaw, was allied with Boleslaw, who on various occa­ sions had shown himself to be sympatheticto the Pope’s anti-imperial policy.

As a result of Henry’s repudiation

of Izaslaw’s cause and of the admittance of the exiled prince under the protection of the Holy See, Boleslaw’s at­ titude toward the Russian prince underwent a change. Moreover, if Gregory’s letter to Izaslaw were not sufficient to convince Boleslaw of the Pope’s choice among the claimants to the Russian throne, another letter, sent three days later, on April 20, 1075> confirmed the Pope’s wishes.

This letter was addressed to Boleslaw and is the

only extant letter written by Pope Gregory to Poland.


1. Registrum, II, 74, ed. Caspar, pp. 236-237* Registrum, II, 73» ed. Caspar, pp. 233-235*



That there were other letters during the reign of this Pope and that this letter is merely one of many sent to Poland is certain.

For it is known that the letters preserved in

Gregory*s Registrum are only a part of the complete corres­ pondence which this indefatigable Pope carried on throughout his most eventful pontificate.1 Furthermore, since an exa­ mination of the Registrum

shows’that Gregory notified most

of the rulers of Europe of his elevation to the papal 2

throne, it is probable that he also notified the duke of Po­ land.

As a result of his legatine mission to Pohlde in 1057,

Gregory was already acquainted with conditions in Poland, and even earlier he had sojourned at Cologne in the company of the exiled Gregory VI. (1046-1048).

At this time the

archbishop of Cologne was supplying the motive power for the reorganization of the Polish Church and the young monk un­ doubtedly learned about the needs of the ecclesiastical organization from archbishop Herman, uncle of the Polish duke, Casimir. 3 It is safe to assume, therefore, that Poland had also received notification of Gregory1s elevation to the See of Peter, and considering the fact that twelve letters were dispatched to Bohemia^ and eight to Hungary^, it is most 1. Regi strum, I, 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 17, 19, 70, 71,75, ed. Cas­ par, p.3, 4, 5-6, 7, 17-13, 27-28, 31-32, 101-102,102-103,106. 2. Wo jciechowski, Szkice Historyczne, pp. 186-187. 3. Szkaradek-Korotoski, op. cit. ,p. 39. 4. Registrum, I, 17, 33, 45, 59, 61, II, 6, 7, 3, 71, 72, VII, 11. 5* Regi strum, I, 53, II, 13, 44, 63, 70, IV, 25, VI, 29, VIII, 22.

121 rprobable that Boleslaw, who was the strongest of the Slav 1 rulers, was hot ignored by Pope Gregory.


In view of the surmised notification, Boleslaw probably dispatched an envoy to Rome with the Peter’s Pence which had been .faithfully paid by his father, and by other Polish kings before him.

Moreover, the elevation of Gregory

seemed a propitious occasion for Boleslaw to obtain the ec­ clesiastical independence of Poland, and to receive confir­ mation for the erection of a Metropolitan See for the coun­ try.

The duke had already petitioned Alexander II for

permission to erect Gnesen into an archbishopric in 1064, but due to German influence at the papal court, that plan was not approved, Poland remaining dependent on the Metro­ politan See of Magdeburg, though the Polish bishops were not inclined to maintain close ties with that German center. That plan failing, Cracow continued to obtain episcopal consecration fqr its bishops at Cologne, while the bishops of Wroclaw travelled to Lyon in France, and the bishop of Posen received his episcopal powers in Provence.

Thus the

Polish bishops had no Metropolitan of their own, possessed no superior, and preferred to travel throughout Europe to 1. Wo.jciechowski, Szkice Historyczne, pp. 186-187, says that in 1080-1081, certain letters were selected from the total correspondence to be sent to certain bishops, one of whom wqs the bishop of Mainz, Siegfried, who was the archbishop of the province which included Prague. There­ fore , letters dealing with Bohemia would be of interest to Siegried and consequently all of them are enclosed in ‘tJie Regi strum. Since Poland was not of immediate inter­ est to the bishops to whom the letters were addressed, only one letter was enclosed. The remainder of the cor­ respondence, from which the few were selected, was sub- J



seek consecration rather than accept it at the hands of the

German archbishop of Mhgdeburg.

This lack of organization

naturally tended toward a break-down of discipline and vio1 lation of Canon Law. Such a loose condition of the Polish hierarchy would naturally be a matter of uttermost concern to the re­ form Pope, in view of which, it is probable that Boleslaw outlined the need for a centralized organization of the Church in that country shortly after Gregory became Pope and sent the plan to Rome together with the Peter’s Pence.


embassy was probably present at the Roman Lenten Synod of 1075 , where Boleslaw* s request could have been discussed. After the synod had concluded its deliberations, the papal chancery drew up a series of letters dealing with specific matters settled at the sessions and dispatched than to the persons concerned. 2

Thus from April 17th to the 20th, let3 ters were sent to Gejza, the duke of Hungary, to Wrarys4 5 law, duke of Bohemia, to Izaslaw, the Russian prince and

to the Polish duke.^

Moreover, Izaslaw of Russia and

Wratyslaw of Bohemia are known to have sent legates to Rome and the answer of the Papacy to these legates is contained in the letters mentioned.

From all this we may reasonably

assume that the letter sent to Boleslaw must also have been 1. Ibid., pp. 33-35. 2. Ibid. , p. 42. 3* Registrum.II, 70, ed. Caspar, pp. 229-230. 4. Registrum.II, 71, 00. 231-232. 5. Registrum.II, 72, 00. 236-237. 6. Registrum. II, 73, PP* 233-235.


r prompted by the presence of Polish legates in Rome,



text of the papal letter to the duke of Poland, dated April 27 , 1075 , is too long to quote in its entirety, but the sig­

nificant portions of it are as follows: But, since in due order and wise administration of the Christian religion depend primarily, under God, upon the pastors and rulers of God’s flock, our first attention must be given to the fact that the bishops of your country, having no fixed metropolitan see and placed under no superior control, are free to wander at their own will hither and yon contrary to the regulations of the holy fathers. Then again, the bishops are so few and their parishes so large that they are unable properly to perform the duties of their office toward their people. For these and other reasons, therefore, which we will not mention here, we have sent these messengers to confer with you in re­ gard to the care of the Church and the upbuilding of the body of Christ, which is the congregation of the faithful, and as to the needed reforms, either to settle matters according to the decrees of the holy fathers or to refer them to us for our decision. Give ear to them, therefore, as to ourself, remembering that in sending forth his disciple to preach the Gos­ pel, Christ said: "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me," Assist them with your own counsel and your kind favor that their efforts among you may bear fruit, for the sake of the apostolic message which they bring you, • * • • •

If these joys are a true delight to you, ih the midst of them all preserve the law of charity which you seem to have violated in the matter of the money which you have taken from the king of Russia, There­ fore, while sympathisizing greatly with you, we beg you, for the love of God and St, Peter, to make res­ titution of whatever was taken by yourself or by your people, knowing as you do, that no one who unjustly takes the goods of others can in any wise enter the kingdom of Christ and have his part in God, May this be received by you in the same spirit of charity in^which we send it, for the salvation of your soul. 1. Registrum, II, 73, ed. Caspar, pp. 233-235. L




-i From tlie tone of this letter, we can easily gather that

relations between Poland and the Holy See were very amicable* Besides the admonitions and counsels to a good life and a just reign, three main points stand out: first, that Boles­ law has transmitted Peter’s Pence to Rome; secondly, that the Pope wishes to have the ecclesiastical organization set on a. firm basis with a Metropolitan See and more bishops; and thirdly, almost as a postscript, Pope Gregory directs the Polish ruler to restore the treasures which he had taken from the Russian exile, prince Izaslaw. In order to super­ vise the re-organization of the Church and its discipline the reforming Pope sent legates who were also to discuss other matters not detailed in the letter.

Thus, although

this is the only extant letter which attests to the mainten­ ance of relations between Rome and Poland, nevertheless, its tone and provisions indicate that previous relations had been maintained and that chosen legates were to visit Poland following the dispatch of the letter. Indeed, conformably to the Pope’s instructions, legates were sent to Poland a,nd the work of reconstruction was begun.

There is no documentary evidence as to what exactly

was accomplished but ,in view of the papal instructions and subsequent events it is a logical surmise that the Metro­ politan See was recreated and new bishoprics were erected. The great cathedral

church at Gnesen, which had been begun

in 1064 upon the return of the body of St. Adalbert, was Lcompleted in 10?6 and was consecrated, probably in the

125 r 1 presence of the legates* With, comppetlon of the church,


the city was again erected into a Metropolitan See, inde­ pendent of Germany, according to the Pope’s instructions. Moreover, new bishoprics were created and new bishops con­ secrated.

This is evident from the description of the ec­

clesiastical organization of the early twelfth century as related by the earliest Polish chrnocler, Gallus.



organization which he outlines was undoubtedly the result of the efforts of the papal legates and


^ How

many new bishoprics were established or how many old ones *•

were recreated is uncertain, but A. Gfrorer surmises that at least eight bishoprics were in existence before the work of reconstruction was begun and that by 1076 this number was raised to fifteen4 Although it seems improbable that a country of Po5 land’s size should have fifteen bishops* at any rate the_ faet remains that a Metropolitan See was created for Poland by the papal legates and that the hierarchy was brought under closer canonical supervision.

At all events, Boleslaw had

1. 2. 3. 4.


Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit., p. 44. Gallus, Ghronicae Polonorum, M.G.H. SS. T. IX, p. Szkaradek-Korotoski, op. cit., p. 44* Fr. Gfrorer, Pabst Gregorius VII und sein Zeitalter, Vol. VII, Schaffhauseni 1^61, p. *>6i. TKe number of bishops as fifteen is based on Lambert of Hersfeld’s account of the coronation. Annales, p. 250. 5. Wo jciechowski, Szkice Historyczne , p. 132, maintains that Lambert had heard of fifteen bishopries in Poland, both actually in existence and planned. Thus there would have been fifteen bishoprics if all of them had been completed as planned, but Boleslaw’s flight from the country ended the work of reconstruction. He names ten bishops as actually possessing episcopal Sees.


126 r -l at last achieved the ecclesiastical independence of Poland, which was to serve as a prelude to political independence and royal coronation. In the meantime, while the ecclesiastical organization was being perfected, many events were coming about in the military and political spheres which proved most significant not only for Poland, but especially for those two antago­ nists, Gregory VII and Henry IV.

For, in April 1075, at

the very time when the Pope was dispatching his letter to Boleslaw, the German king had resolved to suppress the £>axon revolt which was threatening the whole fabric of the German state.

He accordingly proclaimed June sixth as the

day for the mobilization of all his forces for the eam-



Hearing of this imminent danger to the Saxons,

|Boleslaw sent messengers to them in May, 1076, promising armed contingents which would fight either in Saxony, ^against the Danes, or against any enemies of the Saxons. alternatives offered are significant.


As Saxony and Denmark

were too distant for Polish contingents to reach, the only choice left was for Boleslaw to attack the Czechs who were the allies of Henry IV and, therefore, also enemies of the Saxons.

These were the forces which the Polish ruler prom­

ised to attack, especially as the Czech king, Wratyslaw, constantly maintained close political ties with the German 1. Lambert, Annales, p. 174* 2. Ibid. , p. 178.

127 r 1 king and remained a rival of Boleslaw throughout this whole period.

Furthermore, Henry IV had promised the Maroh of

Lausitz was promised to the Czechs after the death of its 1 aged margrave, Dedi, and, since Lausitz was on the border of Poland, Boleslaw would certainly oppose its transfer to the Czech ruler. The Polish offer of aid w%s probably accepted by the 2

Saxons , but before Boleslaw could act, a decisive battle was fought on June ninth in Thuringia on the river Unstrut 3 between the Saxon and imperial forces , in which the Czech king, Wratyslaw, participated with a great army and was mainly responsible for Henry’s victory over his rebellious 4 vassals. Otto of Nordheim, the Saxon leader, was taken prisoner; other prominent rebels such as the archbishop of Magdeburg, Wezel', and Burkhardt, bishop of Halberstadt, opened negotiations for peace with Henry, while others fled to the March of Lausitz, bordering Poland.

Thus streng­

thened by victory, Henry IV was now prepared to enter Thurin­ gia and Saxony in order to smother all sparks of rebellion. However, before he could accomplish his purpose, King Henry suddenly turned his army eastward towards Bohemia and Hungary, where Boleslaw had raised an army and was either threatening or actually attacking the Czech and German bor­ ders.

In addition to that, the Polish ruler was probably in

1. Wojciechowski, Szkice Historyczne, p. 195» 2. Lambert of Hersfeld, A m i e s , pp. 178-179; "Hoc nuncio paululum recreatis animis. ” 3. Ibid., pp. 181-186. l_4. TETH. , pf 184.



correspondence with the margraves of the border regions who were in sympathy with the Saxons and for this reason, feeling that his eastern border was in danger, Henry turned in that direction to cope with it.

Thus, in August ahd

September of 1075» he centered his attention upon elimi­ nating the Polish danger.

He entered Hungary, bent upon

deposing Gejza, Boleslaw*s ward, but could accomplish nothing because the Hungarian ruler had already come to an amicable agreement with his Brother, Salomon,^ whom the G-erman king had come to support.

Thwarted in Hungary, Hen­

ry turned to the Marches of Meissen and Lausitz which were friendly to Poland and served as refuges for Saxon leaders. Advancing in Meissen with the Czech king, he proclaimed his full authority over the March and took vengeance on those who had aided the Saxons.

Its bishop, Beno, was imprisoned

and Ekbert II, the margrave, was removed in favor of the friendly Udalric of Godesheim.2 Henry might have continued his punitive expedition against the border regions had not news reached him that a large Saxon force was approaching.

He, therefore, withdrew

to Bohemia and thence to Ratisbon in northern Bavaria where news reached him that the margrave of Lausitz, Dedi, had died.

But, despite the: fact that Dedi left a son, Henry IT

1. Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales, p. 195* 2. Ibid. ,


p. 196.


intervened by bestowihg the province upon his faithful Czech ally, Wratyslaw,1 the prospect being that in the hands of the Czech prince the March would remain faithful, whereas under the margrave’s widow, Adela, who would become regent for her young son, Lausitz would become his active opponent*

For, as Adela was an avowed ally of the Saxons,

she was also an ally of Boleslaw*

It was this sort of

strategy by which Henry strove to sever the links which *

bound together Poland and Saxony, together.



Hence, this

expedition to the eastern borders was really an extension of the Saxon war, directed against Saxon allies, especially Poland.

It is evident that by October, 1075, Henry seemed

to have crushed completely the rebellion and to have elimi­ nated all the Saxon allies except Poland herself, though even here the Polish ruler was isolated.

The leading fig­

ures of the rebellion had starrendered, while all the par­ ticipants were forced to walk barefooted and to lay their arms at the king’s feet as a token of complete surrender. Meanwhile, Boleslay? himself was not inactive.



*of his promise to aid the Saxons, he attacked the Czech army late in 1075, thus rendering effective the alliance which he had formed with Swiatoslaw, the Russian duke, from whom he received contingents of armed men led by Swiatoslaw’s own son, Olega.With their aid the Polish duke 1. 2. 3. 4 . L_

Ibid., p. 197. Szkaradek-Korotski, op. cit. p. 105* Thompson, Feudal Germany, p. 213. Szkaradek-Krotoski, “op. cit. , p. 216. ‘

130 r


ravaged the Czech borders, thus upsetting Henry’s plans for the final settlement of the Saxon problem.

In fact, the

German king had already summoned all the princes of the realm to meet at Goslar at Christmas time in order to pass judgment on the Saxon leaders;^-but, when the time came, only the Gzeeh duke and a few bishops were present at the appointed place. 2

Nevertheless, Henry proceeded with thd

judgment of the rebellious Saxons, and in doing so exhibi­ ted an unwonted magnanimity towards them by releasing Otto of Nordheim from prison, granting him royal amnesty and formally admitting him to the king’s council.

Even more

significant was Henry’s appointment of Otto to the position of king’s viceroy in Saxony. ^ In view of the fact that Henry never showed himself to be a very magnanimous individual, the absence of his vassals and Henry’s indulgent attitude toward the rebels lious Otto appears surprising.

One is, therefore, justi­

fied, in surmising that events were moving in a direction to compel a change in Henry’s position since October, and to embolden his vassals so far as to absent themselves. An examination of the facts bear out this assumption.


by the month of December Henry’s conflict with Gregory VII was reaching a climax.

In fact, on December 8, 1075 > the

Pope had dispatched a lengthy epistle to Henry admonishing 1. Lambert of Hersfeld. Annales, p. 216. 2. Ibid., p. 216. 3. Ibid. , pp. 216-217. L




him to show more deference to the Holy See,



and two months

later the decree of excommunication cut the king off from the Church.

Another significant event was the attack of

Boleslaw on Henry’s eastern ally, Wratyslaw, which was the direct consequence of the Saxon war.

Alarmed by the attack

which threatened to enkindle once again the flame of re­ bellion within Saxony, Henry offered freedom and honors to Otto 0tvNordheim in order to maintain peace in the Saxon province. Boleslaw’s attaek was aimed at the provinces recently visited by Henry, namely, Lausitz and Meissen.

With the aid

of the Russian contingents the Polish antagonist raided the Czech borders as well as Lausitsz which had recently come 2

under Czech control, k 9 with the result that this attack served to divert Henry’s attention from Saxony toward Poland, new leaders arising within Saxony to take advantage of it. Two of thesje, Dietrich and Wilhelm, who had fled after the terrible defeat at the river Unstrut,3 raised a force of armed men and began raiding Thuringia;^ whereupon, in answer to this latest outbreak, Henry again ordered his vassals to gather for a Saxon expedition in June in the March of Meis[/' sen, also bordering Poland#

But, since the sentence of

excommunicatioh already lay upon his head, few obeyed the *

Registrum, III, 10, ed. Caspar, pp. 263-267* 2. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit*, pp. 107-108. 3* Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales, p. 224. 4** ibid. i P* 235* L




king’s summons.



Yet for all that, he himself set out

toward Bohemia where he joined forces with the Czechs, and together they inarched toward Meissen where Boleslaw was plundering the land.

But the moment Henry turned his back,

Gtto of Mordheim joined the Saxon movement and by July and August of 1076 a Saxon force of 7000 was facing Henry.


Meanwhile, in the East, Boleslaw. was driving deeper into the March of Meissen compelling Henry to take drastic steps in its defense.

The German king deprived the young mar­

grave of Meissen, Ikbert II, of the rule of his province, entrusting it to the faithful Czech king, Wratyslaw.



wronged Ekbeet thereupon joined forces with the Saxons and, attacking the Czech and imperial forces, drove them from his March.

Ekbert now became one of the most bitter oppo­

nents of king Henry and, as such, joined those allied with duke Boleslaw.

Thus thwarted in his attempt to weaken the

eastern allies of Saxony, and defeated in turn, Henry left Meissen in the hands of the Czechs and fled to the city of Worms.


At this juncture, within German proper, Henry was faeedf by an armed rebellion led by those who had renounced their oath of allegiance to the excommunicated king, while the defeat at Meissen had further impaired his prestige, and the Saxons were again in revolt.


Under such circumstances,

1. Wojciechowski, Szkice Historyczne, p. 199* 2. Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales, p. 235. 3. Ibid. , p. 239. Ibid. , p. 239* ----


133 r


tlae princes of Germany met in the city of Tribur in October of 1076, and counselled Henry either to seek absolution from the ban of excommunication o^ face deposition,^" even

they inviting Pope Gregory VII to come to arbitrate the case between them and Henry.

Acceding to their request, the Pon­

tiff set out for Germany in December.

This was the moment

for which Boleslaw had waited and for which he had labored. Since the beginning of his reign Boleslaw*s policy had been guided by two motives, independence in the ecclesias­ tical sphere and independence in the political sphere.


his actions had been directed toward freeing himself from vassalage to the empire.

To this end he had fought against

German influences at the Czech, Hungarian and Russian courts and placed himself at the head of a Slav anti-German bloc, 1

his most significant action being the support he lent to the Saxon rebellion.

In 1075, he had received permission

from the Roman pontiff to erect the Metropolitan See at Gnesen, which event satisfied his first ambition.

His next

#tep was to transform ecclesiastical independence into political independence.

In his:iletter Gregory had already

intimated to Boleslaw that besides reestablishing a strong hierarchy there were also other reasons why he was sending legates to Poland.

One of these reasons, undoubtedly, must

have been the erection of

Poland into a kingdom^ for Gregory

9 PP» 242-243* L.


■believed that one kingdom should not be subject to another, but "should possess its own liberty and not be subject to any other king” as he wrote to Duke Gejza of Hungary* ^ Therefore, the question of raising Poland into a king­ dom and of anointing Boleslaw must have been one of the subjects discussed by the legates and the duke.

As long as

King Henry remained within the Church, the Pope would natu­ rally hesitate to sanction any provocative act which might precipitate a break, but when the German ruler ordered the bishops of his country to depose Gregory at the Diet of p Worms on January 2U> 1076, the die was cast. The papal bull of excommunication followed immediately in February


and all vassals were released from their oath of obedience. Accordingly, Boleslaw was no longer bound to acknowledge i


Henry as his lord:, but the Polish war with the Czechs and later with Henry around Meissen delayed any action until late in Autumn.

By that time the Czech forces were no

longer threatening the Polish frontiers, while Hungary and Russia were friendly to the Polish prince.

Thus, about the

time when the German princes were meeting at Tribur, Boles­ law was petitioning the Pope for the crown.

Whether this

was done through the legates who had arrived with the papal 1. Registrum. II, 32, ed. Caspar, p. 218: "Notum autem tibi esse credimus regnum Ungarie, sicut et alia nobilisshna regna, in proprie libertatis statu debere esse et nulli regi alterius regni subici nisi sanctae et universali matri Romane ecclesiae, quae subiectos non habet ut ser­ vos , sed ut suscipit universos. ” 2. Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales, pp. 219-220. 3* Registrum. Ill, 10a, ed. Caspar, p. 270.


r n letter In 1075, or whether Boleslaw sent his own messengers to Rome is not known; at any rate approval was definitely given by the Roman pontiff.

It was not only granted as an

indication of papal gratitude for the role played by Boles­ law in supporting the Papacy against Henry, but also as an indication to set up an independent state under protection of the Holy See, just as in the days of Boleslaw I.


addition, the papal license recognized Poland as the dominant i state in eastern Europe and the largest of the Slav nations.1 However, the pope was not establishing any new relation or condition, for Poland had ceased to pay tribute to Germany in 1072 and, since that time, had acted as an independent state.

Therefore, the Pope*s consent to Boleslaw*s corona­

tion was merely the recognition of a de facto condition. Having obtained papal approbation, Boleslaw called together his bishops and had himself crowned king oh Christ,2 mas Day, 1076. There were fifteen bishops present, probab­ ly including papal legates and bishops from Hungary, Russia and Saxony, for it is hardly probable that Poland counted fifteen bishops at this time.

The nationalistic Lambert of

Hersfeld describes the event as follows: 1077* The Duke of Poland, who for many years was a tributary of the German kings, and whose realm has 1. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit. , p. 45« Annales Posnanienses, M. G. H. SSJEXXIX. p. 470; Annales Capituli Cracovienses, M. G. H. SS. T. XIX, p. 583; Annales Cracovienses Yetusti , H. G. H. SS. T*XIX. p. 577; Annales Sandwo&ii , M. G. H. SS T.XIX, p. 426: Annales Polonorum, M.G. H. SS. , T. XIX, p. 588. N.G. H. SS. , T. XIX, p. 621; Annales Cracovienses Compiialji

136 r

" i

long since been shaped and trandformed into a province by the German power * suddenly has exalted himself in pride, because he saw that the German princes were occupied with domestic quarrels and had no time to turn their arms toward suppressing foreign peoples; he usurped to himself the royal dignity and the royal name, placed the crown on his head and on Christmas Day was consecrated as king by 15 bishops. In return for the Pope’s consent to the coronation, Boleslaw, no doubt not only bound himself to continue the payment of Peter’s Pence


but also promised to carry out the

papal desire to restore the Russian exiled prince, Izaslaw, 3 to the throne. Thus Boleslaw had placed himself under papal pro­ tection and had established the independence of Poland. Whether this act contributed greatly toward Henry’s decision to intercept the Pope on his way to Germany is problematical; that it had some effect is more probable, for the German king had spent much time and effort in retaining


hegemony over the Slav lands, and this coronation was the negation of all his endeavors.

In the fape of the simul­

taneous revolt in Germany and the proclamation of Polish independence Henry IV had but one recourse if he hoped to retain his crown, namely to secure the removal of the ban of excommunication.

Thus, a month after Boleslaw’s solemn

coronation at Gnesen, Henry IV presented himself at the castle of Matilda at Canossa in Tuscanny and for three days, 1. Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales, p. 250. 2* Annales Altahenses Ma.jores t M. G. H. T. XX, pp. 823-824. 3. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. eltl pi • L


137 r

January 23-28, sought pardon from the Pope. i

Whether the


two events merely followed each other chronologically, or whether there was a relation of cause and effect between them, is open to question, but in view of the connection of Polish arms and politics with events transpiring in Rome, Germany ahd Saxony, a casual relation may be reasonably assumed.

Although not the chief reason for Henry’s journey

to Ganossa, the coronation remains as a strong contributary motive that impelled the German monarch to beg for the Pope’s mercy. The source makes no mention of any further GermanPolish relations during the reign of Boleslaw; however, after his coronation, he continued his policy of supporting friendly princes in neighboring countries.

Gejza, the Hun­

garian ruler, died in 1077 and Salomon, the avowed vassal of Henry IV, claimed the throne.

Boleslavs could not tol­

erate Salomon’s assumption of power; for, like Wratyslaw, Poland’s Czech neighbor, he would became an ally of Germany. Hence the Polish king champioijed the cause of Wladyslaw, brother of the deceased Gejza, .who had been reared from childhood in Poland and was, therefore, well-disposed to­ wards Boleslaw’s policies.

With thenaid of Boleslaw’s

forces, Salomon was driven from Hungary and Wladyslaw became king.2 1. Lambert of Hersfeld, Annales. p. 258. 2. Gallus, Chronic on Polonorum, H. G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 441; ’’Ipse quoque Salomonem regem de Ungaria suis viribus ’ L effugavit, et in sede Wladislaum sicut eminentem eorpore

138 rAs is evident from letters dispatched to Hungary, the else-”1 tion of this prince received the approval of Pope Gregory VII.1

Thus, once again, Boleslaw was shaping his policy to

parallel that of the Pope while at the same time he was counter-acting all German influences. But his efforts to execute papal wishes were best manifested

in the expedition sent out to restore Izaslaw

to the Russian throne.

That exiled monarch had placed him­

self under papal protection and Gregory had urged Boleslaw to restore the plundered Russian treasures.

In his letters

to Izaslaw and Boleslaw, the Pontiff had informed them that he was sending legates and it is almost certain that it was one and the same embassy that was spoken of in both letters. The legates who arrived in Poland to re-organize the Church 2

also had "other reasons" for coming.

Among these other

reasons was probably the matter of restoring Izaslaw to his former position as king of the Russians and Boleslaw probab­ ly promised to carry out the wish of the Pope as a prelimi­ nary of his coronation. Almost immediately after the Christmas coronation Boleslaw undertook to fulfill his premise, for on December 27, 1076, barely two days after the ceremony, Swiatoslaw, sic affluentem fanta nutritus Polonus factus 1. Registrum,

pietate. collocavit. Qui Wladislaus ab in­ in Polonia fuerat, et quasi moribus et vita fuerat. ” IV, 25; VI, 25; VI, 29; Ed. Caspar, pu 3S>t 3AO,


2* Registrum, II, 73* L


139 r


Izaslaw1s successor and opponent, died.

He was followed

to the throne immediately by his son, Wxzewolod, who de­ sired to continue his father’s friendly relations with Poland.

However, although Swiatoslaw had aided Boleslaw

with armed contingents in his German and Czech wars, and his successor would have continued this policy, the papal support of Izaslaw decided Boleslaw to intervene in favor 1 of the latter. With this in mind , Boleslaw set out with Izaslaw and an army in the Summer of 1077 to dethrone Wszewolod.


Apprised of Boleslaw*s advent, the Russian occupant of the throne went forth to meet him and agreed to step down from the throne in favor of the Polish king’s candidate, Izaslaw. This fact reveals Boleslaw’s prominent position among the Slav rulers, because as soon as he had withdrawn his support ffom any ruler, the latter had but one recourse, namely, to i


resign in favor cfthe Polish-supported candidate. ^

It was

in this way that Boleslaw had acted as agent of the Pope in putting into effect the implications of papal protection for the Russian prince. No further expeditions of Boleslaw are recorded; however, the circumstances of the period tend to suggest that he was no mere onlooker in the German struggles of 107# and 1079; for, despite papal absolution granted to Henry IV 1. Szkaradek-Kpotoski, op. cit., p* 112. 2. Wojciechowskil,': Szkice Historyczne, p. 263* Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit. , p. 113*


r n at Canossa, the German nobles elected Rudolph of Swabia as anti-king on March 15, 10771 and, as a result, war was resumed*


Wratyslaw, the king of Bohemia joined Henry’s

forces, while Wladyslaw, the Hungarian ruler, offered his aid to Henry IV’s rival;, Rudolph of Swabia,

It is difficult

to imagine that Boleslaw, who had been such an active oppo­ nent of Henry and Wratyslaw in the past, should remain neu­ tral in this phase of the conflict, especially sinee Wra­ tyslaw was again ranged on the side of the German king, and his ward, Wladyslaw of Hungary, is known to have fought 3 with the ant i-imperial forces* Being occupied with the Russian campaign in the Summer of 1077, the Polish king was presented from taking an active part in the early part of the civil war within Germany, but this expedition was of short duration*

As to the later phases of the internal con­

flict in Germany, circumstancial evidence would indicate that Boleslaw was a participant*

For instance, when, in

107S, the forces ranged against Henry were swelled by new adherents, and when all the elements supporting Rudolph of Swabia had joined in a great coalition, it is hardly 5

probable that Boleslaw was dissociated from it* x 1. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op* cit* , p. 113* 2. Lambert, Annales, pp. 265-267; Bruno, De Bello Saxonico, M* G* H* SS. T. VI, p. 3* Bernold, p.434 : "Undique igitur hujusmodi motus perprovineias omnes ab utiusque partis sectatoribus promiscue..•per totum annum ilium agebantur. " 4. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit., pp* 113-114* 5* Casus monasterii Patrishusensis * M* G* H*gff*T*XX,p* 646; L_



rIn January of 1079, Rudolph of Swabia, rallying all his


forces, compelled Henry IY to retreat and to sue for peace with the Saxons in order to ward off the danger from Saxony* But, within a few months the tables had turned.



April, 1079, Henry was attacking Leopold, the margrave of Austria, forcing him to abandon the banner of Rudolph, while the anti-king himself seemed too paralyzed to take counter­ action.

In fact, he gave evidence of being willing to nego­

tiate peace*

Moreover, by 1080, Henry’s bitter enemies,

the Billungs, Adela of Lausitz and Ekbert of Meissen, had made peace with him.

But, the question remains: why such

a sudden turn in the wheel of Henry’s fortune? A logical explanation would be that the state of affairs existing in January 1079, when Henry was on the verge of defeat, was affected by a renewal of the Saxo-Polish alliance against him.

Confronted by war in the West and the

East, the German ruler was forced to yield ground, but only for the time being.

An internal revolt had broken out in

Poland and, Polish arm/s being paralyzed, Boleslaw was comi

pelled to direct his full attention to these domestic prob ~ lems and to leave the foreign field of battle. 2 Arriving home, and unable to cope with this new situation the Polish king was obliged to flee the country.^

1. Berthold^ Annales, M. G.H. SS. T. V, pp. 314-316 2. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit. p. 117* 3* Annales Polonorum, .M. G. H. SS. T. XIX, p. 621; Chronicae Polonorum, M. G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 44* L_


l/,2 r


With the fall of Boleslav/, Polans withdrew from the coali­ tion against Henry IT and, under Boleslaw* s successor, Wlady­ slaw Herman, maintained neutrality towards the German king. ^ This period of the king’s fall and subsequent neutrality of Poland coincided with the recovery of power by Henry against Rudolph of Swabia.

Was it mere coincidence, or was Henry,

delivered from the danger of attack fr6|a the East, now en­ abled to direct his full strength against the insurgent ar­ mies?

Since Wratyslaw, the Czech king, was also allied to

Henry, it would seem that he could now render full aid to the G-erman king without fear

of the Polish armies.


papal and anti-imperial strength paralleled Polish strength, while the weakening of the farmer also coincided with the weakening of the latter. Thus in the long period of Boleslaw* s reign we observe the consistent policy of weakening the German forces by every possible means.

Prior to 1073, it took the

form of eliminating pro-German rulers from the neighboring Slav states, while during the pontificate of Gregory VII, Boleslaw turned tofopen war against Henry and by his aid enabled the Saxons to upset the whole political equilibrium of Germany.

Then while Henry lay under the ban of excommu­

nication, Boleslaw climaxed his career by the formal coro­ nation at Gnesen with the consent and the approval of the Roman Curia. 1. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit. , p. 118. L



Throughout this period, therefore, all of Boles­


law* s efforts were directed to the purpose of aiding the Papacy in weakening the powerful German opposition and his success is marked by the successes of Rudolph of Swabia until January, 1079*

With Boleslaw*s disappearance from

the helm of the Polish State, however, the anti-German coa­ lition was ibroken and the papal fortunes underwent a sharp decline,

Henry’s power consequently grew until Gregory was

forced to abandon the Leonine City to an anti-pope.

It is

not by mere coincidence that the success of both the papal, anti-German forces kept pace with those of Boleslaw, There must have been more than a mere chronological relation; indeed, from the facts presented above there must have been a definite casual relation.

This relation represents the

contribution of Poland to the Gregorian reform in the con­ stant threat to the German forces in the East, On the other hand , the Gregorian reform had also far-reaching significance for the internal development of Poland.

For through his legates, Gregory had established a

hierarchy in the country with the attached condition, no doubt, that the program of reform be enforced in the lives of the clergy, ecclesiastical discipline and administra­ tion.

This phase of the relation of the reform movement

to Poland is closely bound up with the fall of king Boleslaw from power and his subsequent exile, and the application of the reform program is linked with the conflict of the Polish Jsing and the bishop of Cracow, Stan islaw.

14& r




Heretofore, we have examined in detail the role which Poland played in the eventful years of Henry IV* s reign and her actions in the conflict between the emperor and the reform Pope.

From the events narrated in the pre-

ceding chapter it becomes clear that Boleslav’s policy of allying himself with Pope Gregory VII against King Henry contributed materially towards the effectiveness of the papal ban of excommunication.

The outcome of the Polish

choice between the two antagonists was the independence of the Church in Poland and the subsequent coronation of her ruler as symbolic of political emancipation. But the scope of the Gregorian reform was not confined to the conflict between the Empire and the Papa­ cy.

The reform which reached its culmination In the pon­

tificate of Gregory VII was essentially an effort to li­ berate the Church from secular control and from the evils which that control entailed.

For centuries prior to the

latter half of the eleventh century, laymen had been appropriating the Church’s lands and revenues of the church and had come to exercise a well-nigh complete jurisdiction over them, while beginning with the control of parishes lay domination extended to abbeys and bish­ oprics and even to the Papacy. L.

As a result, by the j


releventh century a vast majority of ecclesiastical esta­ blishments were under secular control, not in Germany alone, but more or less throughout Europe, with the con­ sequence that the doors were opened wide to simony, incon­ tinence and lay investiture, all of which largely under­ mined Church discipline and morals. These conditions were not confined to the German people, but their peculiar conception of property lay at the root of the problem.

As Ulrich Stutz has so well

pointed out, the German concept of property is that of a "thing" or an "object".^ Thus the church which was erected on a German estate was in no wise regarded as a Juridical personality, the subject of legal rights, but merely as a thing, as a chattel.


In conformity with this concept

when a layman built or endowed a church he not only retained proprietorship of the ground on which the altar stood, but also of the church or oratory Itself and of whatever revenue might accrue to it - moreover, the land­ lord still claimed the right to retain a hand in the administration, and also to appoint the priest whom he regarded as his employee, Canon Law to the contrary not­ withstanding. 1. Ulrich Stutz, "The^Proprietary Church as an Element of Mediaeval Germanic Ecclesiastical Law", in Mediaeval Germany, 911-1250. ed. and trans. by Geoffrey Barraclough, Vol. II, Oxford, 193&# PP* 35-70. 2. Ibid., p. *4-1. .





It wasthls concept which gave rise to the concept1

of the proprietary church system*

At first applied to the

chapels and oratories erected on the private estates, the system soon absorbed parish churches, abbeys and even blsh^1 This Germanic practice became so firmly rooted in oprics.

the western countries that it threatened to disrupt all 2

ecclesiastical discipline and institutions.

Such was the state of things when Gregory VII ascended the throne of Peter.

Prior to his elevation in

IO72, he had been an influential counsellor at the papal court where he had labored zealously to liberate the Papa., cy from German influence.

His efforts were succesful, at

least insofar as his own election was concerned, for im­ perial interference was singularly lacking when he was raised to the papal throne.

This was largely due to

Henry IV*s preocupatlons, when at the very time he busied himself with his proposed Polish expedition and the Saxon revolt, so that from the outset of his reign, Gregory benefitted from Polish anti-German Action. Immeditately upon his assumption of papal powers, Gregory VII pushed forward his traditional reform efforts with renewed vigor.

His endeavors to restore the ancient

discipline of the Church were expressed in the issue and enforcement of new decrees forbidding simony, clerical incontinence and lay investiture or the Investing of 1. Ibid., p. 6H2 . Ibid., p. 67


rbishops and abbots by secular rulers using the spiritual insignia of their office. But the application of the great Pope's ideas very soon aroused opposition in Germany where secular and royal control of ecclesiastical establishments was regar­ ded as a long-established and time-honored right.


opposition to papal edicts centered around the king, Henry IV, who opposed or disregarded the promulgation of reform decrees in his realm.

The willful violation of the

papal program brought reprimands from Gregory, but the young king was adamant and censure was followed by excom­ munication.

The formal exclusion of Henry IV from the

fold of the Church brought to a climax the fundamental opposition of the papal reform ideas to the German control of the Church.

Both sides girded for battle and looked

about for allies.

It was In this struggle that the Polish

duke had aided the papal party by his periodic attacks on Germany1s eastern borders or on German allies. In reward for which he had achieved political autonomy and eccle­ siastical independence for his country. These benefits that accrued to Poland by reason of the role she played in the conflict of the Empire with the Papacy are significant, but they do not fully explain her part in the Gregorian reform.

For the scope of Gre­

gory1s program was not restricted to Germany alone; It extended universally to the whole Church.

The question

^therefore arises whether Gregory's ideas, which aroused

rsuch a storm in Germany, had any influence on the Polish Church and, further, whether the influx of reform princi­ ples produced any important repercussions within the country. In order to evaluate the progress of the reform movement in Poland we must have some clear Idea of the ecclesiastical discipline and organization in that country prior to the period when the spirit of reform began to make itself felt.

Earlier in this work we have noted the

advent of missionaries Into the land as well as the subsequent establishment of dioceses and churches, so that we have a starting-point from which we can proceed to an examination of the religious life within that country. We already know that Poland owed its Christian­ ity to the heroic efforts of foreign itisslonarles who came from Bohemia, Italy, France and Germany,

These holy

men converted the natives and established monasteries which quickly became the centers of civilizing and Chris­ tianizing activity In the land.

But their labors were

Handicapped by the very fact that they were foreigners, for they found it difficult to master the strange Polish language and hence to acquaint themselves with the Polish customs, ^ Moreover, the Poles were a clannish people who continued to regard the missionaries as alien to their 1. Koneczny, Dzle.le Polskl, pp. 106-107*

v: m

rland so that much time elapsed before the preachers of the”1 Gospel could make any impression upon them. In order to facilitate the work of evangelization a native Polish clergy was needed, but since the people themselves were not yet deeply imbued with the faith, they / could not furnish many candidates for the priesthood.


preachers of the Gospel, to be sure, gained some disciples, as is evident from the adherence of the young men to the two Benedictine monks sent to Poland by St. Romuald, all of whom later suffered martyrs1 deaths."*" But the number of the native priests was relatively small and the foreign church­ men continued to administer the affairs of the Church in which they held the highest ecclesiastical offices.


it was not until 106l, almost a hundred years after Poland's conversion, that the first Polish bishop, Zula Lambert, was consecrated.2 As a result of this lack of priests, there were not enough ministers to perform properly the work of propagating and maintaining the faith.

In fact, as late as

IO75* Pope Gregory felt obliged to write to Duke Boleslaw that ”the bishops are so few and their parishes so large that they are unable properly to perform the duties of their office toward their people”.? Because the Polish people were not inclined to 1. Cf. supra, p. 2. Dlugossus, Chronlcae Polonlcae. c. 251; Annales Capltull. Cracovlenses. M.G.H.* 38. XIX, p. 5^7* 3. Reglstrum. II, 73, ed. Caspar, p. 23^. L


rgrant material support to the missionary priests whom at least in the beginning they regarded with suspicion, they were obliged to turn to the ruling class for sustenance. Obligingly, the king and the nobles erected and endowed churches for them and patronized their missionary activi­ ties.

But the chief patron was the king, for he built

many chapels and cells for the newly-arrived missionaries and furthered their endeavors in every way possible.'*' On the other hand, while the secular princes were generous with the Church, the clergy could not flatter themselves that they were enjoying Independence. For the German proprietary attitude towards the Church had already filtered into Poland, whose king Boleslaw I, had seen an example of it in the year 1000 when at Gnesen Otto III granted the newly-honored Polish monarch all the rights over the Church which he himself was exercising. In the exercise of these rights, the Polish kings appoint­ ed bishops which was equivalent to transforming the hierarchy Into a state Institution.


The extent to which the

evils associated with lay ownership In western Europe Infected the Polish Church is not clear, but there can be no doubt that simony, clerical incontinence and even lay Investiture did make their appearance.

However, due to

the saintly character of the missionaries, especially of those who came from the hermitages of St. Romuald In Italy T7 Karol Potkanskl» Plsma. Plgmlertne,. Krakow. 192^. Vol.II pp. 1S1-1&2; Bruckner, Dz 1ele Kultury. Polskle.1. p. 23^. 2. Wladyslaw Smolensk!, Dzieje Narodu rolsklego, Warszawa, L 1919, P. 19.


ror from Liege In France, the evils never became as widespread as in Germany*

Such abuses of clerical life as

filtered into the country occurred most probably among the secular clergy who had begun to grow in number by the middle of the eleventh century.

It is most probable that

clerical incontinence wasthe most persistent abuse, for the clergy were of a people not long converted and, more­ over, they had before them the example of clerical* laxness in other countries."* fhe total dependence of the Polish Church on secular support arose, therefor, from its own lack of re^ sources*

Even had the Church desired to cast off the se­

cular hold on ecclesiastical life, the peculiar Polish law of sale, possession and inheritance of property hindered the acquisition of complete title to land by churchmen.


According to the prevailing Polish custom no land could be purchased unless all the members of the seller*s family agreed to the transaction, the objection of a single mem­ ber invalidating the sale.

The same custom applied to

gifts and endowments for which unanimous family approval was similarly required.

Since in most cases gifts Implied

a diminution of patriarchal domains, there was ordinarily a dissenting voice from at least one member of the family which was enough to cancel the gift.

But even if no ob«

1. Bruckner, Dzieje Pultury Polsklej* p* 23^* 2. Koneczny, Dzleje Polski, p. 123. L.



rJection was raised to the donation of land to a bishop or abbot and the transfer was completed, there arose a further difficulty in that Polish custom intervened with the pro­ viso that gifts were tenable only for the lifetime of the grantee, for after the letter’s death the original grant reverted to the donor or his heirs#

According to this con­

cept, therefore, after the death of each bishop or abbot, the founder or endower of the bishopric or monastery had the right to reclaim his bequest#

It became necessary for

churchmen to renew the gifts constantly and there was never any certainty that a son would not reclaim what his father had granted.^* Hence the Polish law, which had its origin long before the appearance of Christianity in the country, re­ cognized no permanent ownership by a corporation or an institution.

This corresponded to the Germanic concept of

property which failed to recognize the possibility of a corporation owning wealth.

Both the Polish and Germanic

concepts had their origin before corporative institutions were known to them and, therefore, when bishoprics and i monasteries were eventually established with corporate rights of ownership, they were not recognized as such.


Gifts were made to the individual bishops or abbots rather than to the corporation and reverted to the donor upon the death of the recipient.

As in Germany so in

1 . Ibid.. pp. 124—125 2. Ibid.. p. 125. L



r "1 Poland the Church had to free Itself from the Implications of this principle In order to acquire property and re­ sources by which its dependence on secular control would be dl ssolved. Such were the conditions within the Polish Church up to the middle of the eleventh century*

In the following

period, after the death of Mieszko II, the church organ!za« tion was badly shaken by the pagan reaction that set in and by the attacks of the Czechs.

After the wave of violence

had passed, the restored ruler, Caslmlr, inaugurated his program of renovating and rehabilitating the ecclesiastical frame-work within the country and as a measure towards the accomplishment of this project new bands of missionaries were invited to Poland.

The Polish duke settled the new

arrivals in Cracow which now became the center of the king's restorative efforts.

Headed by Aaron, the newly-*

established monks introduced the reform ideas which were gaining strength in Liege and Lorraine, and Cracow became the reform center of Poland.

In other parts of the country,

however, the churches unaffected by reform ideas continued to function according to the older concepts outlined above. While Caslmlr was reestablishing bishopric©'- and erecting new churches, the monks of Tyniec in Cracow sowed the seeds of the Cluniac-Lotharingian reform which was rapidly gaining adherents in the West,

It is noteworthy,

that, in 1053* when Hildebrand was calling for a closer observance of monastic precepts among the regular clergy




in Germany,^" the newly—arrived monks at Cracow were intro— 2

ducing a rigid discipline,

which prescribed the vows of

poverty, obedience and chastity, the observance of silence and abstention from meat.^

In addition, the reformers

there instituted the daily recitation of Divine Office, while, shortly afterwards, the abbot Aaron strove to collect the secular clergy of his diocese into a community and to impose on them the rules of a canonical life.



the time the Roman synods of 1059 and 1063 were promul­ gating prescriptions about the vita canonlea for the uni­ versal Church, in Poland the communal clerical life was already being observed.^

The Polish model was predicated

on the monastic rule established in Liege by its famous bishop, Wazo, and was observed in the same spirit that motivated such outstanding reformers as Gregory VII, Peter Damian and Cardinal Humbert* The work of rehabilitation so well inaugurated by Duke Caslmlr was continued without interruption by his son, Boleslaw II#

This prince founded a famous monastery

at Mogilno in Gnesen in 1065 for a community of monks who were to aid the bishop of the city in his episcopal func— tions*


Boleslaw also continued his father*s policy of

1 * Szkaradek-Krotoski, op, cit., p, g. 2. Ibid. p. 29. 3* Ibid, p, 30.

4, Ibid., p* 305 David, Benedlctlns et Cluny, p. 31, 5# Szkaradek-Krotoski, op, clt, p. 30T b, Chwalczewski, Kronlka Polska, p, 5&» u



rbulldlng and endowing: churches, but his actions were prompted by motives different from those which had impelled Caslmlr.

For the father, a former monk, was genuinely in-*

terested in church reform, while Boleslaw’s primary aim was to attain ecclesiastical emancipation from Germany as a requisite for political independence.

As an example of this

pragmatic policy there stands Boleslaw*s foundation of the monastery at Mogllno.

The Polish prince’s motive in esta­

blishing this community of monks at Gnesen was for the pur-* pose of preparing the way for the increase of the bishop’s power so that his Episcopal See would be recognized as an Independent Metropolitan center. Throughout his reign, the succesor of Caslmlr had as his model his great-grandfather, Boleslaw I, who had achieved that political and ecclesiastical autonomy which the second Boleslaw so emulously desired.


besides acquiring ecclesiastical emancipation for his country, Boleslaw Chrobry had also assumed complete per­ sonal authority over the Polish Church and his successor of the same name doubtlessly desired to appropriate the same prerogatives to himself.

Accordingly Boleslaw II

began to exercise his royal power over church matters and many of the evils consequent on lay control flourish­ ed in the country. Therefore, when Gregory VII ascended the papal throne In 1073# the scene was being prepared for a Polish counterpart to the larger struggle of the Empire and the L



rPapacy, for in 1071, an energetic, strong-willed bishop, well-schooled in reform ideas, was elevated to the epis­ copal dignity in Cracow and forthwith began the application of strict canonical rules.

As in the reaction to the entry

of the reform program into Germany, the rigorous application of Pope Gregory*s decees was bound to lead to a clash with the royal control of ecclesiastical life in Poland.


ever, to understand more clearly what happened between the king and the bishop, it may be well to study more closely the life of Stanlslaw. Born of pious parents in the town of Szczepanow near Cracow, Stanislaw early displayed deep interest in learning and in the religious life."*

In compliance with

his desire, his parents sent him to the neighboring cathedral school at Cracow, which was functioning under the supervision of the monks from Liege. 2

This school, under

the guidance of bishop Aaron* was Instilling into young men the monastic spirit and inspiring Its students to imitate the ideas and examples of the teachers.

The edu­

cation which Stanlslaw received and the spirit of reform which he imbibed in Cracow created a deep Impression on the youthful student.

Acta Sanctorum, (ed. Godefrld Henschenius et Daniel Pabebroch1usV, Mali Tomus Secundus, T. XV, Paris, Victor Palme, p. 199* 20*4-. 2. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. eft„. p. 51*




When older, hie parents sent him for further education to Gnesen,'*’ and when he had reached the age of 2 twenty he made his way to Paris, then famed throughout Europe as an Intellectual center.^

Here he studied phllo-

sophy and theology, rapidly giving such evidence of high Intellectual attainments that his teachers urged him to continue his studies for a Doctorate in Canon Law and Theology, but the young man’s interests were being drawn toward the religious life. Returning to Poland after a six year sojourn in Paris, Stanlslaw petitioned the bishop of Cracow, now Zula Lambert, for Aaron had died, to admit him to Holy Orders.


Considering his learning, piety and other vir-

tues Zula Lambert ordained him to the priesthood and shortly thereafter also made him a canon in the cathedral g at Cracow.^ The exercise of his ministry broughthhlm

2. 3* k.



Acta Sanctorum. T. 15, P« 20^.: wPostea vero quam ado« lescentiam pertingens, gratia altioris cappesendae doctrinae, Scholas Gnesenenses adlturus (^uod eo tempore feracius lllic studium, et eruditio coplosior fc&beret.ur) in vlllagium Borowno pervenlsset...11 Ibid., p. 205: ’’Aetatem epheborum Stanislaus transgressus...” Ibid., p. 205, p. 199: MLutetlara lgitur, Parisiorum urbem, studlis lltterarum ex antlquo celebrem mittltur.” Ibid., p. 199, 206. Ibid.. p. 199? ’’Redlt doraum, tanquam ex mercatura mer« cator bonus; integris suls, pietate, modestia, castitate, sinceritate: quaesltis multls, excellentl doctrlna, re­ rum gerendarura dexteritate summa. Fama ejus permotus Lambertus Episcopus Cracovienses, vlr plus, Juvenem, reluctantem magis quam se ingerentem, ad sacros Ordines pertrahlt. Sacerdotem primura, post Canonicum ac Praedlcatorem Cracoviensem facit.” Cf. Annales Polonorum, M. G. H, T. XIX, p. 620. -j


rlnto close contact with the monks who had come from Cologn5 and Liege, and through them he undoubtedly arrived at the conviction that a reform of the Church was sorely needed. When Bishop Zula Lambert died In 1071* Stanislaw, the logical choice for the position, was raised to the episcopate,1 but whether through the customary direct appointment by the king, or through formal election by the o canons followed by royal approval is uncertain. Although he was chosen for the episcopal dignity in 1071# his con­ secration did not follow until 1072, because the absence of a Metropolitan bishop in Poland obliged him to travel to Cologne for the ceremony. Upon his return to Cracow and assuming his epis­ copal duties, Poland possessed a bishop who was well-versed in Canon Law and Theology, who had moved in the same reform 1.

Annales Polonorum, M. G-.H. 33. T. IX,p. 622; Annales Posnanlenses. M. G-.H~ 33. T. XXIX, p. 470; Annales Craco­ vienses Breves. M. G-.H. 33. T. XIX, p. 065; Annales Cra— covlenses Compllatl/ M.G.H. S3., T. XIX, p. 587: Annales Kamenzenses. M.G.H. 33. T. XIX, p. 581; Annales Meohovlenses. M. G. H. S3. T. XIX, p. 663; Annales Helnrlchowenses. M.G.H. S|T~T. XIX, p. 5^7; Annales Slleslae Superlorls. M. G. hT*"SS. T. XIX, p. 552; Annales Sanctae Crueis Polonlcl, M.G. H. 33. T. XIX, p. 679? Annales dapltuli Cracovienses, M.G.H. S3. T. XIX, p. 537I Annales Sandwogll, M.G.H. S3. T. XIX, p. k-26. Acta Sanctorum.*^?. 15, P* 199• ’’Morltur plenus dierum Lambertus: in cujus locum a sacro Collegio, universo populo expetente sufficitur Stanislaus.” This suggests that the election of Stanislaus was carried out by the canons without royal Interference. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. olt.. p. 53, further suggests that Duke Boleslaw, brought up in the religious atmosphere of his father1s court, probably allowed a free election of bishops. That is, however, only a presumption for in all other countries the kings were appointing their own candi­ dates.




circles which had produced the greatest of reformers, Gregory VII, and who himself was deeply imbued with the ideas of restoring strict discipline to the Church.


conformity with his beliefs, the new bishop began the enforcement of the reform decrees by fostering obedience among his clergy and leading them to a good life by his own example.1

Since clerical incontinence was plaguing

the Church throughout Europe, Stanisiaw was especially vigilant in his own diocese to apply strictly the ancient 2 laws and conciliar decrees on clerical celibacy. There** fore, because of the efforts of this bishop and the charac~ ter of its clergy, Cracow was in no great measure affected by this evil, although clerical marriage did obtain a 3 foothold in other portions of the country. Local application of the reform program, such as in Cracoif, became universal for the Church when Gregory VII became Pontiff.

From the beginning of the great re**

formerfs pontificate, his Roman Lenten synods clearly defined matters of church discipline and enjoined the strict observance of its decrees.

To make the application

of papal pronouncements and syhodal decrees, Gregory ins** tltuted the large-scale policy of dispatching legates to various countries while personally carrying on a volumi1. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. clt. p. 63* 2. Ibid., p. 65; Acta Sanctorum. T. 15, p. 207. 3 . Bruckner, Dzieje Kultury Polsklej„ claims that most of the secular clergy were married and it was not till the thirteenth century that celibacy was enforced, L



r nous correspondence with the heads of bishoprics, abbeys and kingdoms.


As already described above, Poland was

among the countries to receive papal legates and at least one letter. Shortly after the new Pope*s accession, the Polish Duke, Boleslaw II* dispatched messengers with Peter*s Pence to Rome, at the same time making use of this mission to give Rome an outline of the necessity of establishing a strong hierarchy in Poland, freed from German hegemony.

However, since the Polish ruler was

constantly occupied with his military campaigns In neighboring lands, one may doubt whether he personally supervised the dispatch of legates to Rome and the composition of the plan for a re-organization of the Polish Church.

The i|uestion naturally presents itself;

who faas then responsible for the correspondence with the Roman Curia? It must be remembered that the city of Cracow was established as the capital of the country during the time of Caslmlr.^

From that city as his base the

“Restorer” carried on his reconstructive efforts, and Cracow assumed the dignity of the prime episcopal See of Poland, an honor which it retained until Gnesen was raised to an archbishopric in IO76 ,

Until the year IO76 ,

1 . Dabrowski, "0 Kolebke Kultury Polsklej”, pp. 6£:ty» pp. 16— 1 7 • L


therefore* the bishop of Cracow would be the leading prelate in the realm. But besides the primary position of Cracow in the Polish Church* the saintly character of her priests must also be taken into consideration.

Coming originally

from Cologne and Liege* they brought with them reform principles and learning and had produced a profound cul­ tural and religious Impression on the people under their charge.


In Poland, perhaps more than in other European

countries* the clergy was the most learned class of so­ ciety and* consequently* were employed as the chief ad­ visers of the king.^

Especially significant in this

respect was the position of the bishop of the city* for his influence by nature extended to the royal court so that the Incumbent of the episcopal office possessed the honor of the highest ecclesiastical authority and pres­ tige in the realm.

This was especially significant

when Stanlslaw received episcopal appointment* a posi­ tion In which he must have enjoyed the confidence of the duke and be* without doubt* the guiding influence In the correspondence between Rome and Poland, Furthermore* when Pope Gregory1s legates tra­ velled eastward toward Poland with Instructions concern­ ing the re-organization of the hierarchy and other reforms* .X.bld,* p. 1 7 . 2. Ibid. * p. 18>. 3. Ibid.* p. 19.


rthey undoubtedly had the capital city of Cracow as their destination,1

On their arrival in the city they would

naturally be welcomed and entertained by bishop Stanlslaw, who would thus learn directly from their lips the ideas and wishes of the great Pope leading the reform*

By them he

would also be apprised of the decrees promulgated at the Roman Lenten synods of 107*4-, 1075 and IO76 condemning the great evils of simony, clerical incontinence and lay inves— p titure. Here, then, was a direct contact which brought the Cracow clergy under the influence of Gregory1s reform program. It is doubtful whether Boleslaw paid much attention to the legates1 proposals, for he was more in­ terested in plans looking to the growth of his authority, through the erection of an independent Polish hierarchy and in the arrangements for his coronation.

So far as

appeals for church reform were Involved he was indi­ fferent, although actual hostility was impossible if he T.

desired papal support.^

In this period of friendly relations between Boleslaw and the papacy, especially from the year of Gregory's accession in 1073 to that of Boleslaw*s coro­ nation In IO76, the reform party in Poland, with Stanls­ law at Its head, had an opportunity to put Into practice 1. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. clt., p. *4-72. Ibid., p. *4-73 . Ibid., p. k&.



many of the Gregorian precepts.


For the ideas of Gregory


and of the Cracow clergy were derived from the same sources, namely Cluny and the Lorraine reform movement. The decrees prohibiting married clergy were, of course, strictly applied in the diocese of Cracow,



Stanlslaw went further by extending his censure to marx riages between blood relations.^ It is no mere coinci­ dence that in August, 107^, Gregory was writing to the Bishops and abbots of England concerning just such con14. sanguineous marriages. The fact is that the step taken by the Polish bishop in this respect is but the execution of the decrees of the reform Pope, Gregory. Stanlslaw1s determination to liberate the Church from the Polish customs which governed the sale and posse­ ssion of property is indicated by an event which occurred at this time.

The Polish chronicler, Dlugossus, records

that Stanlslaw had bought a tract of land at Piotrowin near Cracow from a certain Peter and that all the bro­ thers and other relatives of the seller agreed to the £bl&»* PP* 66- 67. Acta Sanctorum, T. 15 , P. 207* 3* £* Ylta 3. Stanls.laj, Mlnore. M. G.H. SS. T. XXIX: Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. clt,. p. 67. Heglstrum. II, 1, ed. Caspar, pp, 12*1— 125. 5. ^lugossus, Chronlcae Polonlcae. c. 275: ”Coemerat vlr Sanctus Stanislaus pro sui Eplscopatus Cracovlensls amplltudine vlllam In sua diocesl, ad fluenta Vislae in tferra Lublinensl sitam, Plotrovln nominatam, apud Petram, qul Plotrek, dum vlveret nominabatur, nobilem armigerum, pro certa pecuniae quantitate, venditionique hujusmodi fratres & nepotes, pluresque vendens & emens ©dhibuerat, quo solidlor duraret venditlonls L contractus.*1





Stanislaw retained possession of the land without

opposition, while Peter was alive, but after his death the nephews and other relatives began to demand the restoration of the property.

Dlugossus attributes this demand to the

desire for revenge on the part of Duke Boleslaw.


however, seems doubtful in view of the fact that in other spheres amity continued to exist between the bishop and the duke. At any rate, this dispute came before the royal court whither Stanislaw was summoned.

The decision, it

seemed, was bound to go against him for his opponents had the customary rights of Polish law on their side. ^


gossus narrates that Stanislaw in this predicament carried his appeal to God and, going to the grave of Peter, called him back to life.


The resurrected man appeared before

the royal court and testified in favor of the bishop, thus insuring Stanislaw’s right to the land of Piotrowin. That many accretions of legend have embellished 3 this story is certain, but, legend or not, there is a foundation in fact which suggests that there existed a con­ flict between the two systems of law, namely, the Polish law of sale and possession and the absolute right of pur­ chase and ownership as defined in Roman and Canon Law. Stanislaw, upholding his right to the purchased land, won 1. Ibid. p. 275. 2. Ibid. , c. 276-277 3. Szkaradek-Krotoski, 0£. cit. , p. 69. L


16 5


the approbation of the royal court which thus superseded the ancient Polish custom.

Here was a signal victory, and

later generations were inclined to embellish the story by attributing the bishop’s success to supernatural aid.


though full victory for the Church was not to come till the 1 end of theiwelfth century, the success of Stanislaw was an important step in that direction. Throughout this period of reform activity on the part of Stanislaw and his clergy, circumstances point to the existence of friendly relations between bishop and duke. That such was the case is clear from the tone of the pater­ nal letter from G-regory to Boleslaw and from the Pope’s dispatch of the legates to Poland.

Furthermore, the Pontiff

consented to the erection of Gnesen into a Mteropolitan See and to the anointing of Boleslaw as king.

In the light of

all these facts, the Polish ruler was not inclined to take any untoward action such as would bring the wrath of the Pope upon him, for Gregory VII was not the sort of man to dismiss transgressions of moral or ecclesiastical law easily.


Amicable relations between Boleslaw and the Papacy -

and, consequently, with the Pope’s closest follower in Poland, Bishop Stanislaw - endured, then, at least until the time of coronation at the end of 1076. But after the coronation ceremony the attitude of 1. Pawlowski, Poland and Her People, p. 22. 2. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit. , pp. 69-73# 60. L


the king began to change*

Whether Boleslaw considered it

no longer necessary to play the part of faithful adherent to Rome, now that he had won the crown, or whether his visit to Kiev had corrupted his moral standards is uncertain. is most probable that


Boleslaw was inclined to imitate

his great-grandfather, Boleslaw I, who to the fullest extent exercised his royal powers to bring the hierarchy and the 1 Church completely under his control. Now at last, the two parties, that of the Polish crown and that of the reform element at Cracow, were destined to clash. It is precisely this conflict ^iiich gives rise to the most controversial question in all Polish history. Neither the contemporary sources nor later Polish historians are in agreement as to what actually happened.

Before pre­

senting the various viewpoints, it is relevant to examine the origin of the conflict in the backgrounds of the two con­ tending parties. Up to the year 1077, Boleslaw had maintained a friendly attitude toward Stanislaw and his party, even though he himself was not sympathetic to the spirit or re­ form which the bishop represented.

On the other hand,

Stanislaw probably never found it necessary publicly and seriously to oppose the king.

But in November, 1073, the

decrees of the Synod held in that year were dispatched from 1. Ibid., pp. 76-77


lib r a r y




Rome to all the churches of the Christian world.

The de­

crees condemned any lay interference in the election of hi shops, abbots and rectors, forbade the investitute of bishops and abbots by laymen, the buying of ordinations and 1 the diversion of tithes to unauthorized perso&s, By these decrees Gregory VII meant to liberate the Church from all secular control. 2 Since decrees of Synods were ordinarily sent to all countries, Stanislaw in due course probably received a copy of them and as a faithful servant of the Church he doubtlesly began to translate them into practice.

By so

doing he necessarily came into opposition with the king’s ideas concerning ecclesiastical discipline.

Herein lay

the basic ground of conflict between the two leaders, al­ though more proximate causes of the strife are recorded by chroniclers. These chroniclers uphold the view that the con­ flict was one between a dutiful bishop and a turbulent monarch. 3 However, they place the root of the trouble to Boleslaw’s Russian campaign to restore Izaslaw to the throne in 1077*

During that campaign, after Boleslaw had

Registrum, VI, 5b, ed. Caspar, pp. 402-406. 2. Brthold, Chronic on, M. G. H. SS, T. V, p. ^08. :" 3. Especially Dlugossus, Chronicae, Polonicae» who follows Kadlukek, Cf. also Annales Sanefae Crucis Pollonici, H. G. H. SS. T. XIX, p. 679.






entered Kiev, lie allowed his army to indulge in the luxuries 1 which the city provided. The king himself abandoned his rigorous military life by devoting himself to the allurements of this semi-Oriental city.


The army remained there for

some time; but the population in Poland was in the meantime growing restless, for BoleslawTs armies had fought almost continuously since 1072 when the king had defied Henry IV and had marched into Bohemia.

For approximately seven years

the soldiers had not seen their homes, having fought campaigns in Bohemia, Hungary, Russia and the border regions. During this long period the wives of the warriors had not seen their husbands and they began to forget their married status.

Some remarried, others found solace in the

arms of their manservants, who eventually usurped the master’s place in the household. 4 When news of this unfaithfulness reached Kiev, the outraged husbands became impatient to return to their homes and in this spirit set out for Poland without the king’s permission.

Boleslaw’s order to return to Kiev had

5 no effect on them and the greater part of the army deserted.

2. 3. A. 5. L

Act# Sanctorum, T. 15, pp. 218-219: "Universus enim Polonorum exercitus in varias voluptates, libidines et vitia solutus, scortis, comessationibus, unguentis et balneis invacabat; omnesque status et ordines facinus luxus et intemperantiae pervaserat, vitiis quoque Ruthenorum vic­ tor, Polonorum exercitus capi se et vinci sinebat." Ibid. p. 219. ' Dlugossus, Chrbnicae Polonicae, o. 280. Ibid., p. 281. Acta Sanctorum, T. 15, p. 219* J


r . * Angered by th-rs desertion and disobedience, Boleslaw set out in pursuit with the remainder of his troops, and, overtak­ ing the individual stragglers and bodies of troops on the way, he cut them down without mercy. ^ Arriving in Poland, he inflicted punishment not only upon the deserters but also upon the unfaithful wives and their lovers.

The lat­

ter hei put to death while the former were comeplled to suckle pups instead of their illegitimate children.


Shocked by this inhuman cruelty against soldiers, servants and women, Stanislaw felt bound to protest to Bo­ leslaw, who not only ignored the remonstrances of the bishop but even went so far as to introduce into Poland the unna3

tural vices he had learned in Kiev. Stanislaw’s protests, i urgent and repeated, were steadily scorned so that he was forced fihally to impose the ban of excommunication upon 6 Boleslaw. The church’s extreme penalty, thus courageously applied by the bishop, angered the irascible king to such an extent that he sought revenge upon the prelate.


cordingly, when he was informed that Stanislaw was celeb1. Dlugossus, Chronicae Polonicae, c. 281. 2* Ibid. , c. 282: "Mulieribus, quibus mariti pepercerant, quern ex servis suo ceperant , abjecto, catulos ad mamill&s in ultionemnadmissorum stuprorum, applicari mandat indignas agens eas prolem humanam, sed caninam, idoneas lactare, quae humanitatis oblitae, viris militam agentibus, toro violato, servis se miscuerant, denique exterminium, et quaelibet probra, non vitam promeruisse.11 3* Acta Sanctorum, T. 15, p. 219* 4. Ibid, p. 22% L


170 rating Hass at the Church of

Michael, the king set out

with a few soldiers for the designated place, where he ordered his troops to kill the bishop.

But the soldiers,

displaying a natural aversipn to murdering a priest while performing a sacred function in a consecrated place, re­ fused to obey the command; vhereupon, the king, unsheathing his sword, personally entered the sacred edifice and shed the blood of the bishop at the altar.'1' When nkws of this event reached Pope Gregory, he immediately placed the whole kingdom under an interdict.


Moreover, the shocked Pontiff deprived the guilty monarch of all the royal honor, dignity and prerogatives which had been conferred upon him barely three years before. ^ This was followed by the ban of excommunication which released all the king’s vassals, subjects, princes, soldiers and barons from their oath of obedience.^ As for the soldiers who accompanied Boleslaw on his murderous journey, the Pope forbade them to hold or enjoy any ecclesiastical offi­ ces, benefices, dignities and honors till the fourth gen­ eration.

Finally, Boleslaw was not only deprived of his

crown, but henceforth, no prelate might anoint or crown a ruler for Polandwithout

the consent ofthe

The barbarousmurder

HolySee. ^

of theholyprelate

and the

1. Dlugossus, Chronicae Pplonicae, c. 290-291. 2. Ibid.,c. 295. 3. Ibid. ,c. 295. 4. Ibid., c. 295* 3. Ibid. , c. 29f; Haruszewicz, op. cit. , p. 381. l



r “i subsequent ban of excommunication turned the whole country against Boleslaw.

The clergy of the land published the papal

ban and henceforth opposed the administration of an excommu­ nicated king.

Likewise the nobles, released from their

feudal oath, refused obedience and support of their former lord.

Beset by this many-sided opposition, Boleslaw exer­

ted all his energies to retain his precarious hold upon the throne, all without success.

Within a year he was compelled

to flee to Hungary and the rule of the Polish state devolved upon his younger brother, Wladyslaw Herman. Such is the story of the conflict between Stanis­ law and Boleslaw as related by Dlugossus and most of the other Polish chroniclers.

This account, which is based on

Kadlubek’s chronicle,1 presents Stanislaw as a saintly bishop, who by his opposition to the kingfs excesses in­ curred martyrdom.

But there are other explanations of the

events surrounding the death of the bishop.

One which has

attracted many adherents is based on an ambiguous passage in the chronicle of Gallus: Qualiter autem rex Bolezlavus de Polbnia sit ejeetus, longum ecistit ennarrare, sed hoc dieere liBt, quod non debuit ehristianus in christianos peceatum quodlibet corporaliter vindicare. Illud enim multum sibi nocuit, cum peccato peecatum adhibuit, cum pro traditione pontifieem truneationi membrorum adhibuit. Neque enim traditorem episcopum excusamus, neque regem vindieantem sic se turpiter eommendamus, sed hoc in medig deferamus, et ut in Ungaria receptus fuerit disseramus. 1. Ex Tine entii Chronicae Polonorum. M. G.H. SS. T 2. Gallus, Chronicae Polonorum, M. G.H. SS. T. IX, p. 441* L





From this account many historians have concluded that the conflict between the bishop and the king had no relation whatsoever to religious questions, but rather re­ volved around political intrigue for which Stanislaw was put to death as a traitor*

The main exponent of this inter­

pretation among modern students of Polish history is Tadeusz Wo jciwchowski who, in his work Szkice Historyczne Jedynastego Roku (Historical Sketches of the Eleventh Century) care­ fully examines the known facts surrounding the clash between the king and his bishop.

He states that the account of

Gallus is theonly reliable report that can be accepted, for it was written scarcely thirty years after the event.1 Wo^oiechowski maintains that the clash really had its origin in the coronation of Boleslaw in 1076.

For this

presumptuous act angered the German king and impelled him to seek means of humbling his former vassal.

Sinee Boleslaw’s

alliance with the rebellious Saxons rendered him too power­ ful to be humbled by force of arms, Henry IV was compelled to try other expedients.

He enlisted the aid of his Czech

ally, Wratyslaw, and together they decided to undermine Boleslaw’s position from within. Accordingly, they approached the king’s younger brother, Vladyslaw Herman, who had a long-standing grievance 1. The question resolves itself to this: which account is more trustworthy, that of Gallus or Kadlubek? Wojciechowski, op. cit. , pp. 249-254, claims the chronicle of Gallus is the only true account, for Kadlubek, writing about a hundred years later, had deliberately falsified l. his story. Wladyslaw Smolesnki, Pisma Historyczne, j



“i against Boleslaw - because when Casimir had died,he left undisputed succession to his eldest son instead of dividing the realm according to the old Polish custom of equal in­ heritance.

The younger son,,Wladyslaw Herman, feeling him­

self wronged and awaiting an opportunity for obtaining sa­ tisfaction was easily persuaded when the German and Czech rulers urged him to demand his share of the realm.


Wladyslaw Herman became the leader of a plot against his reigning brother. Shortly thereafter, many Poles joined the con­ spiracy, among thou bishop Stanislaw and the cathedral clergy of Cracow.

The latter groupfs adherence to the

plot was motivated by resentment at the loss of their po­ sition in the foremost episcopal city of Poland since Boles-r law had restored Gnesen as the Metropolitan See of the ✓ 2 country in 1076. Because of this, Stanislaw became one of Krakow, 1901, pp. 475-476, also supports the contention that Gallus is the chronicler to be followed. He says that after the death of Stanislaw a veil of secrecy de­ scended over the event for no one dared to throw the charge of treason against a bishop. Gallus was afraid to do so and merely hinted at it. As the clergy gained more power in the twelfth century, they felt it necessary to obliterate the blot of treason against a churchman and so they began spreading the story of the evil life of the King and the reprimands by the bishop. From this arose the legend of the martyrdom of Stanislaw. When Kadlubek was writing his chronicle , the legend was already widely circulated and he entered it in his chronicle. Cf. Z. Bujakowski, "Gallus i K a d l u b © k ” in Biblioteka Warszawaka, Rok 1912, T. IV, War. 1. Wo'jciechowski, op. cit. , p. 275. 2. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit. , p. 73 > derides this reason as a cause of the conflict. For, he says, as early as IO64 , long before Stanislaw* s accession to episcopal dig­ nity, Boleslaw had begun the construction of a Metropolis tan See.

17U r

the leading supporters of Wladyslaw and made use of his great influence to counsel the king’s soldiers to desert the royal banner.


When news of the conspiracy, and especially of the bishop’s role in it, reached Boleslaw, he commanded that the bishop be immediately tried at the king’s court for treason.

The trial found himrguilty of conspiring against

the crown, the penalty for which was death by dismember­ ment.

This sentence was executed upon the bishop, whose

body was then carried to the Church of St. Hichael for 2 burial. According to Wojciechowski’s interpretation, *

therefore, the death of Stanislaw resulted from political intrigue in favor of the Czechs and the Germans rather than from any religious differences. But,this writer continues, the execution of the bishop even for treason, shocked many people who

i now also joined the movement-against the king.


added support enabled the conspirators to drive Boles­ law from the country, whereupon Wladyslaw Herman assumed the reins of government.

Since the new ruler

was in close correspondence with the Germans and the Czechs, the policy of opposition against both countries, 1. Here Wojciechowski does not hesitate to make use of Kadlubek’s account of the desertion of the troops from the Russian campaign, although previously he had called the whole chronicle a fabrication. 2. Ibid. , pp. 310-311




so long maintained by Bolselaw, came to an end.


Poland remained neutral in the struggles in which her neigh­ bors were involved. T h u s , we have the two main interpretations of the episcopal-royal conflict, one based on Kadlubek, the other on Gallus.

But there are other versions to account for the

event, among them a very novel one by Kasimierz Gorzycki who views the whole matter as a clash of two opposing cler­ ical factions.

On the one hand there were the clergy who

had arrived from Italy, France and Germany who received their protection and sustenance from the king.

These formed

the "foreign” or "western" clerical party. On the other hand, there gradually appeared a body of native priests and bishops within the caintry who remained indifferent to the canonical regulations of the Church.

This "Slavic” party relied for

support on the noble class with which it became closely associated.

Thus two groups of clerics were in opposition,

the western or foreign who were adherents of the reform program, and the Slavonic, who practiced those evils which the reform Pope was continually denouncing.

It was natural,

then, that a conflict should arise between the two groups, Stanislaw, assumed leadership of the Slavonic clergy, and with the support of the noble class began a war against the foreign missionaries who were aided by the king.


though this clash between the eaatern and western clergies resulted in the death of Stanislaw, the bishop’s, or Slav­ o n i c party emerged victorious because it compelled Boleslawj

176 r

to flee from the country.



Akin to this version of Gorzycki is another which presents Boleslaw as the zealous executor of Pope Gregory V I I ’s reform program.

According to this account, he ener­

getically enforced the papal decrees, especially those concerning clerical celibacy, and thereby aroused the oppo­ sition of the Polish priestly class.

Led by the Bishop

Stanislaw, who was himself married, the clergy Joined the conspiracy against the king, which resulted in the death 2 of the bishop. Such are the various accounts which attempt to interpret the events which culminated in the violent end of Stanislaw. i,

Some of the versions have no foundation in fact

and must be considered mere speculations.

For instance, the

interpretation according to which Stanislaw was the leader of a lax clergy against a reform king is absurd in the light of Stanislaw’s early training and the character of the priests of Cracow.

As for the theory that the bishop’s

death was the penalty for treason against the king and for alliance with Wladyslaw Herman and the Czechs, there is no evidence for this outside of Gallus’ vague statement about Stanislaw’s treason.

Here two simultaneous events

are associated and given a casual or mutual relation.


over, Stanislaw* s admonitions to Boleslaw aroused the royal 1. Gorzycki, Zarys Spoleczne.i, pp. 75-63 2. Babrowski, Dzie.je Narodu Pplskiego, pp. 29-30. i



177 r


anger and anyone opposing the king was bound to be consider­ ed a traitbiv^

The later episode involving the murder of

Thomas a Becket, which so closely parallels the death of the Polish bishop, is an example of this royal intolerance of any opposition. Then the question arises as to what actually hap­ pened.

First, it is probable that Kadlubek*s narration is

the correct one, if for no other reason, than that it served as ground for the canonisation of Stanislaw.


Bull of Canonization issued by Pope Innocent IV on September

17, 1253, contains a long citation from Kadlubek concerning the life and miracles of Stanislaw.


But even in this

account allowance must be made for legendary accretions in the passage of a century after the event. The narrative of^Kadlubek is a story of the king’s evil life, his dissoluteness in Kiev, the unfaithfulness of the women, the desertion of the king’s army and Boleslaw’s inhuman punishment of the quilty persons.

The bishop of

Cracow, as shepherd of his flock, felt obliged to reprimand the king for his actions and thus aroused the anger of Bole­ slaw for which he paid with his life. Whether the matter of the unfaithfulness of the woaneh is to be taken literally is problematical.

It is

probably a generalization from isolated events but is pre­ sented as a simple explanation for a desertion whose causes 1. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit. , p. 139« 2. Smolenski, Pisma Historyczne, p. 478. L



were more complex and fundamental.

What probably happened

is this: Boleslaw and his army were almost continually absent from their homes while campaigning in one country after another, causing discontent among certain elements within Poland.

The drain of men and money for the expe­

ditions imposed great burdens on the Poles and added impetus to the course of opposition to Boleslaw.


factions which h&d driven out Mieszko II and Casimir had not been entirely suppressed and these now flocked to the i

banner of Wladyslaw Herman, the brother of Boleslaw. Meanwhile, the absence of the king also afford­ ed Stanislaw and the Cracow clergy an opportunity to effect reforms among their brethren throughout Poland. The climax of this activity came with the receipt of the Synodal decrees of November 1078,1 which so explicitly presented the papal case against lay control in any form. . Stanislaw as a loyal disciple of the reform Pope began putting these decrees into practice, thus largely eliminating royal control over the Church and its tem­ poral properties. When news of the reform activities reached Boleslaw he returned hastily to Cracow where he began to reassert his power and attempted to resume control over Church benefices, tithes, appointment of priests ££•


supra, p. 148.



and the like*

It was this which led to the admonitions of

Stanislaw and quite possibly, as Kadlubek reports, ulti­ mately to excommunication when the warnings went unheeded* In retaliation, the King, who was by nature a passionate man, went so far as to murder the prelate. The outrage caused horror and revulsion among the people against the king.

The malcontented faction

around Wladyslaw Herman, which heretofore had probably not been very powerful, now gained many adherents.


most the whole country turned against the murderer and for nearly a year Bpleslaw struggled to maintain his hold on the throne.1

But finally, abandoned by all, he

fled the country seeking asylum in Hungary.


Herman now became the ruler of Poland, not as king but as duke. It is uncertain whether Gregory VII took any action against Boleslaw and Poland.

Dlugossus tells us

that a ban of excommunication was published against the murderer and an interdict imposed upon the whole country. But as no annals or chronicles of Western Europe mention any action taken by Gregory against Poland, there exists 2 no confirmation of DlugossusT account. However, rela-



Lelewel, op. cit. , p. 258. Szkaradek"^Krotoski, op. cit. , p. 147 > attributes the silence about events in Poland in 1079 and 1080 among chroniclers as being due to the preocupation of all the chroniclers and writers with the great events occuring in Germany and Italy.



r -i tive to this it is perhaps significant that ¥ladyslaw Herman did not carry the royal dignity, but ruled only as duke. The would suggest that the royal crown which had been gran­ ted by Gregory to Boleslaw was not being withheld from his successor. ' For it seems hardly probable that Gregory would allow the murder of one of his bishops to go u n ­ heeded, especially of one who had been so staunch a sup­ porter of the reform ideals.

The version reported by

Dlugossus of the measures taken by the Pope against Poland and her king is, therefore, probably to be received as the correct one. Relative to papal action in response to the death of the holy bishop, it is interesting to study the Bull of Excommunication promulgated against Henry IV on Ilarch 17, 1080, less than a year after the murder at the chapel of St. Michael.

In the formal ban against the

German king, Pope Gregory, addressing himself to St. Peter, is moved to proclaim sorrowfully: And because you have commanded me to go up into a high mountain and denounce their crimes to the people of God and their sins to the sons of the Church, those limbs of the Devil have begun to rise up against me and have dared to lay hands upon me even unto blood. The kings of the earth, and the princes, both secular and clerical, have risen up, courtiers and' commons have taken counsel together against the Lord, and against you, his anointed, saying, 'Let us burst their chains and throw off their yoke,' and they have striven utterly to overwhelm me with death or banishment. jJL. Registrum, VII, 14a, ed. Caspar, pp. 480-481.



This passage has always been interpreted as re­ ferring to Henry IV1s disregard of papal wishes and ponti­ fical dignity. to imply more. ^

But the wording of the pronouncement seems For instance, the phrase, "those limbs of

the Devil have begun to rise up against me and have dared to lay hands upon me even unto blood” , cannot refer to Gregory individually for he had not suffered bodily harm at the hands of the German king.

The reference must be to

himself as a symbol of the Church and all its prelates, so that the shedding of the blood of any of his bishops would be the shedding of his own.

This is borne out by

the very next sentence when he writes, "The kings of the earth, and the prinees, both secular and clerical, have risen up ” , which would indicate that he has not only Henry IV in mind, but the rulers of all Europe.


since it was only in Poland that a bishop’s blood had been shed, and that only ten months before, Gregory may have reference to that event in his Bull of excom­ munication against Henry. With the death of bishop Stanislaw and the exile of King Boleslaw II ends the scope of this survey. Although the movement of reform, so ably represented by the bishop of Cracow, continued in Poland with varying success into the twelfth century,

a detailed study

would lie beyond the original purpose of this disserta1. Szkaradek-Krotoski, op. cit. , p. 148. .



— —




However, it must be remembered that the conflict of n

Boleslaw with Stanislaw resulted in the loss of that longsought royal dignity for Poland, since the successors of the exiled monarch no longer dared to assume the crown* Such were the ramifications of the Gregorian reform for Poland.

Having its origin in the introduction

of priests from Cologne and Liege, the reform movement found strong adherents among the zealous priests and monks at Cracow.

During the pontificate of Gregory VII

the leadership of this party passed to St. Stanislaw and his opposition to the immorality and excesses of the Polish king led to his death.

Thus, although on the mili­

tary and political fronts the Polish ruler was ranged on the side of Gregory VII, in matters of ecclesiastical discipline and royal authority over his churches, he inclined towards the example of Henry IV.

His attempts

to follow this two-fold policy eventually led to his deposition and exile, for the principles of the Grego­ rian movement had become too strongly entrenched to admit compromise.





ccSeiMTcm ■■'i —


n i j j '■ -■.

In the foregoing pages an attempt has been made to determine whether the state of Poland* situated in Central Europe on the eastern border of German territory* had any contact with the great movement of reform which bears Gregory VII*s name.

The examination of this phase

of the movement hinges on two main questions: first* whether the Polish nation exercised any influence on the progress of the reform* especially as regards the conflict between the Papacy with the German King; and secondly* whether the clergy and people of Poland were affected by the Church*s re-assertion of its authority and discipline. Poland’s contribution to the events of the period is traceable to its origin as a state* inasmuch as from the beginning of its political existence its rulers were bound by close feudal ties to the German empire which bordered it on the West.

Under its first king* Mieszko I, the nation

was bound to pay tribute as a fief of the empire and to fur­ nish troops as befitted a vassal. This irksome relationship was terminated by the "Polish Charlemagne*** Boleslaw I* who* by dint of shrewd diplomacy and military prowess* secured independence for his country and followed this success by a royal coronation. But Boleslaw* s strong rule could not survive the weak regime of his successor* Mieszko II* during whose reign internal disorder combined with foreign aggression to undo much of L


184 I"** rhis predecessor's work.

*1 His appeals for aid to the German

emperor resulted to the loss of the valued crown and the resumption of vassal relations between the two countries, national independence and royal dignity became only a memory for the ruler and people of Poland, but a fond mem­ ory never allowed to dim. After the turbulent years which saw the foreign incursions and internal turmoil that followed Mieszko II1s death, Casimir 11the Restorer11, with the aid of the emperor and of Hichezafs, his German mother* s, family, rebuilt the shattered foundations of his country.

But help from the

German powers necessarily implied close observance of the vassal obligations which bound Poland to the empire, and, to consequence, Casimir was obliged to sacrifice all aspi­ rations for political emancipation on the altar of necessity. But pursuing a prudent poliey he was able to transmit to his son, Boleslaw II, a strengthened country which could again enter into a contest for its independence. Boleslaw*s desire to attain political autonomy for his country coincided chronologically with the reign of Henry IV in Germany and with the clash between the Ger­ man Empire and the Papacy.

A capable, energetic and war­

like ruler, Boleslaw, by maintaining the balance of power to Central Europe, put himself to position to be a valuable ally either to the German King or to the Pope.

The tradi­

tional Polish antipathy for the Germans and the desire for ^the royal crown inclined Boleslaw to the side of Gregory V^I



with the outcome that the entire policy of Poland^ ruler


became anti-imperial. The-pursuance of this policy carried Polish arms into Hungary, Bohemia and Russia where Germanophile elements were claiming the respective crowns; while in Hungary and Russia the Polish prince succeeded so far as to enthrone friendly princes.

But Boleslaw*s most significant aet was

his alliance with the Saxons, since it definitely ranged Poland on the side of the Pope*s supporters and, at the same time, weakened Henry* s military power in Central Europe. Boleslaw* s warlike operations against the German king and against this latter*s Czech allies compelled Hen­ ry IV to divert his forces eastward at the very time when the German nobles were gathering at Tribur to demand his excommunication and deposition.

The manifold difficulties

in which Henry was involved afforded Boleslaw an excellent opportunity for emulating his great-grandfather*s achieve­ ment of obtaining emancipation for his country and a royal crown for his country.

With papal approbation, therefore,

the duke had himself crowned king of Poland on Christmas Bay, 1076, thereby realizing the triumph of his policy* But since an opponent of Henry was perforce an ally of the pope, victory for Boleslaw also connoted victory for Gre­ gory Vil, all of which leaves no doubt that Boleslaw* s coronation at Gnesen on Christinas Bay served as a strong jcontributory motive for Henry*s decision to seek Gregory*Sj


rabsolution at Canossa. 'That indirect service rendered by &ing Boleslaw to the papal cause marks the first phase of Poland's rela­ tion to the Gregorian reform*

‘The second phase is charac­

terized by the effects Which the reform movement produced in Poland and here once again the events that punctuate the course of the Church's campaign have their repercussions in the early history of the Polish people.

For instance,

the influence exercised by the first missionaries, espe­ cially of those arriving from France and Italy, told con­ siderably on the ecclesiastical history of Poland, not least by counterbalancing the influence of German infiltration. Moreover, from the accession of Poland's first king, Mieszko I, the Polish ination established vassal rela­ tions with the Holy See, becoming, by this act, the first country to place itself under the tutelage of the highest moral authority in Christendom.

As an outward sign ©f this

mutual relation of protection and vassalage the Polish rulers henceforth paid, with occasional exceptions, the Peter's Pence.

Thus missionaries from the West and her

vassal bond with Rome brought Poland within the orbit and under the influence of the western Church and western culture. Furthermore, the religious progress of the country corresponded to its political advance and the same event jWhich in the year 1000 rendered Poland politically





autonomous also emancipated the Church in that country from the control of the German hierarchy.

But the organization

brought into being by Boleslaw I was short-lived since the same forces of pagan reaction and Czech aggression Which brought political anarchy also destroyed the framework of the religious regime. But in Casimir*s efforts to restore the hierarchy in Poland are discernable the direct sources of that coun­ try^ role in the reform &§vement.

For even before the

reform ideas emanating from Cluny and Lorraine had found any appreciable following in Rome, monks arriving from Cologne and from Liege were already introducing strict observance of morals and discipline into the land of the Poles,

fhe leader of the reform centering in Cracow in

the time of Gregory VII was its bishop, Stanislaw, who distinguished himself by his enforcement of the Gregorian ideas and decrees.

Stanislaw* s main efforts were directed

toward the elimination of clerical abuses and irregular marriages, against both of which kinds of disorder the popes were waging relentless war in western countries. Moreover, since the Polish customary law had its own con­ ception of property which impeded acquisition of land by the Church, Stanislaw brought the matter before the royal court and triumphantly upheld the Church* s right to own proper independently of the secular powers. But the climax of Stanislaw* s activities came Lwith the promulgation of the decrees of the Roman Synod


rof November, 1078, which forbade any lay intervention in ecclesiastical matters.


The bishop's attempt to apply

these decrees in Poland led to strong opposition on the part of King Boleslaw, whose disregard of the Church reform measures was in keeping with his low moral standards and his inhuman treatment of his subjects.

The fearless bishop

upbraided the King and as his reprimands to the monarch went unheeded, the ban of excommunication was laid upon the erring ruler.

Per this, the irascible king sought revenge

and with his own hand slew the saintly bishop while the latter was celebrating Mass.

This outrage caused such a

strong popular revulsion against the monarch that he was compelled to flee the country. Such are the outstanding effects of the Gregorian reform in Poland.

Its uncompromising opposition to lay

control aroused the anger of the Polish ruler, while the efficacy of the papal ban and the horror produced among the people by the bishop's execution testify to what degree the Church's efforts in Poland to shake itself free from lay control had succeeded. Thus Poland's relation to the Gregorian reform presents two aspects: on the political side, she was an ally of the reform movement, while on the religious side, its ruler was at first indifferent and later definitely hostile to the reform principles when these involved the control of royal power. From the European viewpoint

Poland played its



rimportant part in the conflict between the Empire and the n Papacy when its troops joined with the Saxons against Henry, which f ighting alliance led directly to puke Boleslaw* s coronation. As these events are closely linked with King Henry going to Canossa, and for this, if no other reason, they are significant.

Hence, although Poland was not one

of the main participants in the mighty conflict that re­ sulted from the application of the Gregorian ideas, never­ theless, the constant harassing of German forces by the Poles in the East contributed no little towards strengthen­ ing the position of the Papacy in its struggle against the forces of anti-reform and must, therefore, be reckoned as one of the important causes of the measure of success achieved by the reform Papacy* Equally significant was the reform movement for Poland itself, even after the death of Stanislaw and the flight of the King.

For although the political policy

pursued by Boleslaw II against the Czechs and the Germane was abandoned, yet the ideas of reform s© strongly incul­ cated by the monks and clergy at Cracow continued to guide the religious life of Poland.

As the clergy resisted all

attempts on the part of Boleslaw*s successor, Wladyslaw Herman, and his German and Czech adviiers to apply Henry XV* s method of appointing prelates, the bishopric at Cracow remained vacant for four years after Stanislaw* s martyrdom, before Lambert was finally chosen to fill that See. l

In fact, so far did the new polish ruler depart j


rfrom Boleslaw*s anti-imperial policy that he married Judith1, Henry XV*a sister and widow of the Hungarian king, Salomon. And though, through this marriage German influence became paramount at the court of Poland, yet for all that, the reform ideas of Pope Gregory and of bishop Stanislaw re­ mained-sufficiently alive to prevent any measure hostile to the Papacy.

Thus, while Henry IV was supporting Guibert of

Bavenna or Clement III as the anti-Pope, and the emperor1s sister was urging her Polish husband to do likewise, Poland never really adhered to the anti-reform faction.


the .solemn transfer of Stanislaw* s martyred body to the cathedral church in Cracow betokened the triumph of his endeavors since it connotated a refutal of the claim that the bishop's death was the penalty for treason.

In fact,

the translation was the first step towards his canoniza­ tion.

Hence, although in the twelfth century, no strong

reform leaders arose in Poland to reassert ecclesiastical authority and enforce discipline and though many abuses crept into the land to the extent that clergy married, the ideas for which Stanislaw had fought and died were never forgotten. From our study of the early history of Poland and of its part in the conflict between the Empire and the Papacy, one important conclusion may be drawn, namely, that Poland was not a small, isolated country, totally cut off from all contact with western culture and civilization, La conclusion which belies the quite general notion that


rpoland became a power only in the late fourteenth century n under Wladyslaw Jagiello and took its place among European nations only after the defeat of the Teutonic Khights at the battle of Grunwald-Tannenberg in 1410.

As a matter of

historic fact, Poland was in contact with western Europe from the time of its emergence as a Christian nation, legates were sent to establish vassal relations with the Holy See as early as the last decade of the tenth century. Furthermore, the emperor himself travelled eastward to Gnesen in the year 1000, and expressed amazement at the progress and splendor of the country.

Shortly after that,

missionaries from Italy began preaching in Poland and Bruno himself, the leading disciple of St. Romuald, spent some time in Poland. Them besides the religious ties established with western Europe, there were the marriage alliances.

Not one

of the early Polish kings married a Polish woman, but all wed daughters of neighboring rulers, so much so that mar­ riage ties of the Polish crown extended throughout Europe. In fact, Wladyslaw Herman married the sister of Henry IV, while other marriages joined Poland to Russia, Hungary, Bohemia, Saxony, France and the smaller provinces. Moreover, many Poles left-the country to be educated in the West.

The chroniclers tell us that two

prominent men of Poland, Buke Casimir and St. Stanislaw studied in Paris, the leading intellectual center of the Ltime, but it is more than probable that other Poles also





travelled thither for study.

As a result of the matrimonial, religious, diplo­ matic and educational links which bound Poland to the other sections of Europe that country was placed in a position to take part in the leading events of the period.


the role that it played in the Gregorian reform was not, therefore, exceptional; it was but a natural consequence of her place in the European family of nations.





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