Mieszko I (? - 992)

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Son of Siemomysł, Mieszko I was the first historically recognised Duke of Poland, and the founder of Poland as a state. His rule began in c.960, extending to the regions of Wielkopolska, Łęczyca, Sieradz, Kuyavia (Kujawy), Mazovia (Mazowsze) and, possibly, the Gdansk Pomerania.
Mieszko entered into an alliance with the Czechs (Bohemians) and married, in c.965, Czech duchess Dobrawa/Doubravka. By accepting baptism in 966, he commenced a relation with the papacy and formation of an ecclesial organisation in Poland, including the first Polish bishopric – in Poznań, in 968, directly reporting to Rome.
Being an ally to Emperor Otto I, Mieszko defeated in 967 the Veleti, thus partly subduing the region of West Pomerania. 972 marked his victory over margrave Hodo (Odo I) at Cedynia. In 979, he halted Otto II’s offensive against Poland.
Once Dobrawa died in 977, Mieszko, taking advantage of the Empire’s armed assistance, subdued Silesia and Małopolska (the Lesser Poland). At the same time, in order to reinforce his capture, he yielded himself to the papal protection (as the document Dagome iudex testifies). Mieszko died in 992 and was buried in the Poznań cathedral underground crypt.


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