Sigismund I the Old

Sigismund I the Old

Infobox Polish monarch
name=Sigismund I the Old

birthdate=birth date|1467|1|1|df=y
birthplace=Kozienice, Poland
deathdate=death date and age|1548|4|1|1467|1|1|df=y
deathplace=Kraków, Poland
burial_place=on 26 July 1548
Wawel Cathedral, Kraków
coronation_date=January 24, 1507
coronation_place=Wawel Cathedral, Kraków
family=Jagiellon dynasty in Crown of Poland, Gediminid in Grand Duchy of Lithuania
CoA_name=Pogoń Litewska
father=Casimir IV of Poland
mother=Elisabeth of Austria
consort_1=Katarzyna Ochstat Telniczanka (mistress)
children_1=Jan Ochstat, Regina Szafraniec, Catherine de Montfort
consort_2=Barbara Zapolya
children_2=Jadwiga Jagiellon, Anna
consort_3=Bona Sforza
children_3=Isabella of Hungary, Sigismund II of Poland, Zofia, Anna Jagiellon, Catherine of Sweden and Finland, Wojciech Olbracht

Sigismund I the Old ( _pl. Zygmunt I Stary; _lt. Žygimantas II Senasis; 1 January 14671 April 1548) of the Jagiellon dynasty reigned as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1506 to his death at age 81 in 1548. Before that, Sigismund had already been invested as Duke of Silesia.


The son of King Casimir IV Jagiellon and Elisabeth of Austria, Sigismund followed his brothers John I of Poland and Alexander I of Poland to the Polish throne. Their elder brother Ladislaus II of Hungary and Bohemia became king of Hungary and Bohemia.Sigismund was christened the namesake of his mother's maternal grandfather, Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, who had died in 1437.

Sigismund faced the challenge of consolidating internal power in order to face external threats to the country. During Alexander's reign, the law "Nihil novi" had been instituted, which forbade Kings of Poland from enacting laws without the consent of the Sejm. This proved crippling to Sigismund's dealings with the "szlachta" and magnates.

Despite this "Achilles heel", he established (1527) a conscription army and the bureaucracy needed to finance it.

After the death of Janusz III of Masovia in 1526, he succeeded in annexing the Duchy of Masovia.

Intermittently at war with Vasily III of Muscovy, starting in 1507 (before his army was fully under his command), 1514 marked the fall of Smolensk (under Polish domination) to the Muscovite forces (which lent force to his arguments for the necessity of a standing army). Those conflicts formed part of the Muscovite wars. 1515 he entered an alliance with the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I.

In return for Maximilian lending weight to the provisions of the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), Sigismund consented to the marriage of the children of Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary, his brother, to the grandchildren of Maximilian. Through this double marriage contract, Bohemia and Hungary passed to the House of Habsburg in 1526, on the death of Sigismund's nephew, Louis II.

The Polish wars against the Teutonic Knights ended in 1525, when Albert, Duke of Prussia, their marshal (and Sigismund's nephew), converted to Lutheranism, secularized the order, and paid homage to Sigismund. In return, he was given the domains of the Order, as the First Duke of Prussia. This was called the Prussian Homage.

Sigismund's eldest daughter Jadwiga (Hedwig) (1513-1573) married Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg.

In other matters of policy, Sigismund sought peaceful coexistence with the Khanate of Crimea, but was unable to completely end border skirmishes.Sigismund was a Humanist. He and his third consort, Bona Sforza, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Sforza of Milan, were both patrons of Renaissance culture, which under them began to flourish in Poland and in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

On Sigismund's death, his son Sigismund II August became the last Jagiellon king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.

Sigismund I owed some allegiance to the Imperial Habsburgs as a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece.


King Sigismund the Old instituted the death penalty for poaching a Wisent.


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boxstyle_1=background-color: #999;
boxstyle_2=background-color: #bbb;
boxstyle_3=background-color: #ddd;
boxstyle_4=background-color: #eee;
1= Sigismund I the Old
2= Casimir IV Jagiellon
3= Elisabeth of Austria
4= Jogaila
5= Sophia of Halshany
6= Albert II of Germany
7= Elisabeth II of Bohemia
8= Algirdas
9= Uliana Alexandrovna of Tver
10= Andrew of Halshany
11= Aleksandra Drucka
12=Albert IV, Duke of Austria
13=Johanna of Bavaria, Queen of Bohemia
14=Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
15=Barbara of Celje


ee also

* History of Poland (1385-1569)
* Zygmunt (bell)

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