- Bolesław III Wrymouth
Bolesław III Wrymouth ("Bolesław III Krzywousty");
1085– 1138) was Duke of Polandfrom 1102. He was the son of Duke Władysław I Hermanand Judith of Bohemia, daughter of Vratislaus II of Bohemia. His wife, the mother of his children, was Salome von Berg-Schelklingen.
Boleslaw had his older stepbrother
Zbigniew of Polandblinded, who died as a result.
Bolesław Wrymouth defeated the
Pomeranians at the Battle of Nakło ( 1109) and pledged allegiance to emperor Henry in 1110.
In several gruesome attacks Boleslaw III ravaged Pomerania and murdered so many people, that for years later heaps of bones were left still unburied. In an attack during the winter of
1120- 1121he conquered Stettin, the capital city of the Pomeranians and is said to have put 18000 people to death, and to have additionally transported to Poland another 8000 people together with their wives and children. He took control of largely depopulated Pomerania ( 1119- 1123), thus again gaining Polish access to the Baltic Seafor a short time. Boleslaw then tried to Christianize what was left of Pomerania's population after the massacre. He failed to find any willing Polish bishops, who all turned it down, and was able to convince a Spanish bishop, Bernard, wo was chased away.
Bernard retired to Bamberg where he saw to it that
Otto of Bambergwould take up the mission to the Pomeranians. Otto succeeded in 1124. The local government of the Duke of Pomerania was left in place.
Bolesław also defeated troops of the Emperor Henry V, who came to the aid of Boleslaw's brother
Zbigniew of Polandin ( 1109) at the Battles of Głogów and "Psie Pole" (the latter is known as the Battle of Hundsfeld). Boleslaw sought to keep his older brother from gaining the throne.
In the years 1113-1119 he had taken control over
Boleslaw ceased his tribute to the emperor upon his death in 1125.
1130in alliance with the Danish prince Magnus I of Gothenland, Bolesław threatened Rügen. Polish forces delivered by Danish fleet compelled Ranis to recognize his rule over the island, but ultimately failed to accomplish that goal. [ Edmund Kosiarz, Wojny na Bałtyku X-XIX w., Gdańsk 1978, p. 38.]
1135, Bolesław finally gave his belated oath of allegiance to the new Emperor Lothair II (Lothar von Supplinburg), and paid twelve years past due tribute. The emperor granted Boleslaw parts of Western Pomeraniaand Rügenas fiefs, however the emperor was not in control of these areas and Bolesław alsofailed to subdue them.
Bolesław also campaigned in
Hungary 1132– 1135, but to little effect.
Before his death in 1138, Bolesław Wrymouth published his testament (
Bolesław Wrymouth's testament) dividing his lands among four of his sons. The "senioral principle" established in the testament stated that at all times the eldest member of the dynasty was to have supreme power over the rest and was also to control an indivisible "senioral part": a vast strip of land running north-south down the middle of Poland, with Krakówits chief city. The Senior's prerogatives also included control over Pomerania, a fief of the Holy Roman Empire. The "senioral principle" was soon broken, leading to a period of nearly 200 years of Poland's feudal fragmentation.
Family and issue
With his first wife, Zbyslava, daughter of Grand Duke Sviatopolk II of
Kiev, Bolesław had one son:
* Vladislav II Wygnaniec, born 1105, Prince of Poland.Bolesław subsequently married
Salome von Berg-Schelklingen, by whom he had 14 children (six sons and eight daughters), of whom six sons and five daughters are known:
* Leszek (born
* Casimir the Older (d.
Bolesław IV the Curly(born 1120);
Mieszko III the Old(born 1126);
* Henryk of Sandomierz (born
* Casimir II the Just (born
Rikissa of Poland(born 1116), who married firstly Magnus the Strong, pretender of Sweden and Denmark; secondly Volodar of Polatsk, Prince of Minsk; and thirdly king Sverker I of Sweden
Dobronega of Poland(born 1128), who married Marquis Dietrich of Niederlausitz;
Gertruda of Poland;
* Judith of Poland (born
1130- 1135), who married Otto I of Brandenburg; and
Agnes of Poland(born 1137), who married Mstislav II Kyjevský.
History of Poland (966-1385)
* [http://www.wiw.pl/historia/atlas/mapa33.asp Map of the feudal dissolution]
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