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European Kingdoms

Eastern Europe

 

Mazovia (Slavs)
Incorporating the Masovians

The Polish region of Mazovia was an eastern borderland territory which also encompassed western-central parts of Prussia. As one of a series of small states of Western Polans it was probably formed in the ninth or tenth century from the West Slavic tribe of the Masovians. It also incorporated elements of a Western Baltic tribe called the Galindians who, for some two millennia, had occupied Masuria and the northern fringes of Mazovia. In previous centuries the well-equipped cavalry of the southern Baltic tribes, especially it must be assumed the Galindians and the neighbouring Yotvingians, served to prevent the Slavs from penetrating into Baltic lands, but by the eighth and ninth centuries the Slavs were becoming an increasingly powerful threat to them.

This new Polan micro-state was quickly incorporated into the newly unified Polish state under Mieszko Piast. At this time in the tenth century, the Polish state encompassed territory similar to that of modern Poland. Until the arrival of the Teutonic Knights, the Prussian region of Chełmno (known by the Germans as Culmerland or Kulmerland) was a disputed part of Mazovia, a south-western tip of territory which was encircled by the River Vistula to the west and the Drewenz to the east.

992

The period in which Polish King Bolesław succeeds to the ducal throne is a confused one, but he is undisputed ruler of Poland in 992 (Greater Poland, Mazovia, Kuiavia, and parts of Pomerania, forming something close to the modern Polish territory).

1032 - 1034

Mieszko II Lambert

Prince of Poland.

1032

Poland is partitioned three ways, with Mieszko II probably in Great Poland, Mazovia, and Kuiavia. This possibly represent the first true division of Polish territory since its unification by 992.

1037/1038

The Polish 'state' collapses into anarchy. The Pagan Rebellion involves many minor princes, none of whose names or territories are known, except for Mieclaw of Mazovia, who tries to establish his own independent state. In summer 1039, Kazimierz I Karol Odnowiciel, 'the Restorer', gains control of Greater Poland and Kuiavia, gaining with it the title of prince of Poland.

c.1037 - 1047

Mieclaw

The cup-bearer of Mieszko II.

1039

In summer 1039, Kazimierz I Karol Odnowiciel, 'the Restorer', gains control of Greater Poland and Kuiavia, gaining with it the title of prince of Poland. As a result of the extensive raiding and the destruction of Gniezno by Duke Brestislav I of Bohemia, Kazimierz I moves the Polish capital to Krakow and soon gains control of Lesser Poland.

1040/1041

Kazimierz I gains control of Mazovia, uniting it with his growing Polish state. The fate of Mieclaw is unknown, but it is probable that he or his successor remains in place as a duke paying homage to the prince of Poland. Documented princes of Mazovia are patchy between here and 1138, making it unclear whether there is a recognised and permanent prince of the region or not.

Map of Eastern Europe AD 1054-1132
The death of Yaroslav 'the Wise' in 1054 saw the end of the descent of Rurikid power via agnatic seniority. His division of the succession weakened Kiev by creating what soon turned out to be rival principalities for each of his sons (click or tap on map to view full sized)

1058 - 1079

Wladyslaw I Herman

Probably sub-prince in Mazovia.

1102 - 1107

Zbigniew

Co-ruler in Poland, in Greater Poland, Kuiavia & Mazovia.

Duchy of Mazovia
AD 1138 - 1526

On 28 October 1138, Poland was again divided into several principalities: Great Poland, Mazovia, Kujavia, Silesia, and Sandomierz. Little Poland was reserved for the senior Polish prince who was nominal overlord for all the principalities until 1180. Further subdivisions occurred in Mazovia throughout the next two centuries which fractured the duchy into several tiny 'statelets' that were picked off by anyone with an eye to territorial expansion until, finally, the remainder was re-united towards the end of the fifteenth century, just before the duchy was reabsorbed back into Poland.

1138 - 1173

Bolesław IV Kedzierzawy (the Curly)

First duke of Mazovia-Kuyavia.

1141 - 1146

Bolesław IV rebels against Wladyslaw II between 1141-1143, and again from 1144-1146, securing the position of senior prince of Poland for himself.

1147 - 1166

The pagan Prussian tribes along the Baltic coast have been pushing southwards during Poland's troubled period. They now hold several districts in Mazovia, so Bolesław IV conceives of a 'Prussian Crusade' to Christianise them (and of course seize their lands). With the backing of the Pope and the emperor, and with the aid of Rus troops, the crusades continue until final defeat comes for the Poles in 1166.

1173 - 1186

Leszek

Son.

1177

Yet another rebellion, this time by Bolesław the Tall, sees more changes in rule across Poland. Bolesław is defeated by his own brother and son, Mieszko Tanglefoot and Jarosław of Opole respectively, allied to Mieszko III. The situation allows Kazimierz II Sprawiedliwy to be decided upon as the next senior prince and high duke of Poland.

1181

The authority of Kazimierz the Just as senior prince of Poland begins to crumble. In the first half of the year Mieszko the Old, with the assistance of Mestwin I of Pomerelia, conqueres the eastern Greater Polish lands of Gniezno and Kalisz. He also manages to persuade his son, Odon, to submit. At the same time, the young Duke Leszek of Mazovia decides to remove himself from the influence of Kazimierz. He names Mieszko the Younger, son of Mieszko the Old, as governor of Mazovia and Kuyavia.

1186 - 1194

Kazimierz II Sprawiedliwy 'the Just'

Uncle. Son of Bolesław III of Poland. Senior prince (1177).

1194 - 1247

Konrad I Mazowiecki / Conrad I

1194 - 1200

Helen of Znojmo

Regent. Died 1206.

1209 - 1222

Under Prince Konrad, attempts to conquer the Prussians are intensified, with large battles and crusades taking place in 1209, 1219, 1220, and 1222.

1228

Prince Konrad invites the Teutonic Knights to settle in the Lower Vistula on the border with the Prussians, who have been ravaging Mazovia. This is a district that straddles the Vistula between the heartland of Poland and Prussia (and occasionally includes the Prussian region of Chełmno). The Order attempts to Christianise the pagan Prussians and form its own military-religious state (known as the Ordenstaat) which it governs for the next three hundred years.

1229 - 1241

Prince Konrad opposes the prince of Krakow, Wladyslaw III, in 1229 and 1231, and then his successor, Henryk I, in 1233. Only in 1241 is he successful in becoming the senior ruler in Poland, and then only for two years.

Prince Konrad of Mazovia
Prince Konrad of Mazovia challenged continually for control of Poland, finally achieving his purpose in 1241. He was also responsible for inviting the Teutonic Knights into Prussia

Duchy of Mazovia in Płock

Subdivisions of Mazovia occurred under Konrad I and after his death. Płock formed the main division of the duchy under his son, Bolesław I. The other division was Czersk.

1234 - 1248

Bolesław I

Son of Konrad I. First duke of Mazovia (in Płock).

1248 - 1262

Ziemowit I / Siemowit I

Brother.

1262 - 1264

Prejeslawa

Widow of Ziemowit and regent.

1262 - 1313

Bolesław II Płocki

Duke of Mazovia.

1288 - 1289

 

The death of High Duke Leszek Czarny results in an eruption of further warfare between the Polish duchies as the various Piast houses vie for supremacy. Bolesław II of Płock initially seems to be successful, but then the nobles refuse to recognise him and he is quickly superseded by Henryk Prawy.

1294 - 1310

With the death of the heirless Konrad, Czersk is probably merged into other Mazovian territories although Mazovia as a whole is now dominated by Bolesław II. In 1310 it becomes a territory which is united with the duchy of Warsaw.

1313 - 1320

There is a period of uncertainty and division in Poland, during which Mazovia, having been united by Bolesław II, is then divided between his sons. Rawa is created as a new subdivision. On 20 January 1320, all of Poland (except for Silesia, Pomerania, and Mazovia) is reunited into the Polish kingdom with the coronation of Wladyslaw. Mazovia remains divided.

1313 - 1336

Waclaw I

Son of Bolesław I.

1329

Waclaw I becomes a vassal of Bohemia.

1336 - 1351

Bolesław III

1340

Bolesław III becomes a vassal of Bohemia. Following his death his lands are sub-divided between the other Mazovian possessions and Poland proper.

1341 - 1381

Ziemowit III / Siemowit III

Brother of Kazimierz of Czersk. Duke of Mazovia.

1370 - 1374

Ziemowit III manages to unite Mazovia by 1370, but then sub-divides it again. Ziemowit IV gains Płock, while Janusz I gains Czersk.

1374 - 1426

Ziemowit IV the Elder / Siemowit IV

Son of Ziemowit III. Died 1381.

1382

Ziemowit loses much of his territory to the Teutonic Knights, including Belz, Plonsk, Wizna, and Zawkrze.

1383

The attempt by Elector Sigismund of Brandenburg (Zygmunt Luksemburski to the Poles), a scion of the house of Luxembourg, to secure Poland is rebuffed by the nobility. They will only accept a successor who will settle within Poland itself. Elizabeth of Poland nominates another daughter, Jadwiga. Ziemowit IV the Elder, duke of Mazovia, lodges his own claim to the throne, but the nobility encourage Elizabeth of Poland to send Jadwiga so that she can confirm her own claim.

1426 - 1427

Trojden II

Brother.

1426 - 1455

Wladyslaw I

Son of Ziemowit IV. Duke of United Płock.

1442

Following the death of Kazimierz I, Belz is absorbed back into Płock.

1459

Most of Rawa is annexed by Płock.

1455 - 1481

Ann of Olesnica

Widow.

1454 - 1475

Kazimierz III / Casimir III

Son of Bolesław IV. Duke of Płock. Abdicated.

1455 - 1461

Ziemowit VI / Siemowit VI

Son of Wladyslaw I. Duke of United Płock & Czersk.

1455 - 1461/62

Wladyslaw II

Brother. Joint-ruler of United Płock.

1459

Ziemowit's United Płock is reduced to Gostynin, while Kazimierz continues to rule a greater duchy of Płock.

c.1462

Paul of Gizycko

Regent and bishop of United Płock and of Czersk.

1462

Belz, Gostynin, and Rawa are annexed by Poland while Płock, Plonsk, Wizna and Zawkrze go to the duchy of Warsaw.

1471 - 1495

Janusz II

Brother of Kazimierz III. Duke of Płock.

1495

The duchy is annexed by Poland following the death of Janusz.

Duchy of Czersk (& Warsaw)

Subdivisions of Mazovia occurred under Konrad I and after his death. Czersk was in northern Poland. The other division at this time was in Płock.

1264 - 1294

Konrad / Conrad II

First duke of Czersk. Died childless.

1294 - 1310

With the death of the heirless Konrad, Czersk is probably merged into other Mazovian territories although Mazovia as a whole is now dominated by Bolesław II of Płock. In 1310 it becomes a territory which is united with the duchy of Warsaw.

1310 - 1341

Trojden I

Brother of Ziemowit II of Rawa? Duke of Czersk & Warsaw.

1313 - 1320

There is a period of uncertainty and division in Poland, during which Mazovia, having been united by Bolesław II, is then divided between his sons. Rawa is created as a new subdivision. On 20 January 1320, all of Poland (except for Silesia, Pomerania, and Mazovia) is reunited into the Polish kingdom with the coronation of Wladyslaw. Mazovia remains divided.

1323

Maria, sister of Andrei, is the heiress of Galicia-Lvov upon her brother's death. Already married to Trojden I of Mazovia, the duchy is drawn closer to the Polish crown and Trojden's son, Bolesław, becomes its ruler when he is invited to ascend the throne of Galicia (Halicz) as Yuri II.

1341 - 1355

Kazimierz I / Casimir I

Duke of Czersk & Warsaw.

1355 - 1373

Czersk and Warsaw are merged into Płock by Ziemowit III / Siemowit III, but his territory is again divided after his death.

1373 - 1429

Janusz I

Son of Ziemowit III of Płock.

1429 - 1454

Bolesław IV

1454 - 1462

Ziemowit VI / Siemowit VI

Son of Wladyslaw I. Gained Płock (1455).

c.1462

Barbara Ruska

Regent of Czersk.

c.1462

Paul of Gizycko

Regent and bishop of Płock and of Czersk.

1462

Belz, Gostynin, and Rawa are annexed by Poland while Płock, Plonsk, Wizna and Zawkrze go to the duchy of Warsaw.

1471 - 1488

Bolesław V

Son of Bolesław IV.

1488

Following the death of Bolesław V, the duchy is united under his brother to the remainder of Mazovia.

Duchy of Rawa

Further subdivisions of Mazovia occurred after the reign of Bolesław II following his reunification of the entire duchy. Rawa was to the south-east of Płock and to the south-west of Warsaw.

1310 - 1345

Ziemowit II / Siemowit II

Son of Bolesław II of Płock. First duke of Rawa.

1345 - 1426

Rawa is probably merged into other Mazovian territories.

1426 - 1442

Ziemowit V / Siemowit V

Son of Ziemowit IV?

1442 - 1459

Margareth of Raciborz

1459

Margareth receives Gostynin as her dowry while the remainder of Rawa is annexed by Płock.

Duchy of Halicz

Halicz, or Galicia, was acquired by Bolesław Jerzy II after the previous ruling dynasty died out. Maria, heiress of Galicia-Lvov, was already married to Trojden I of Czersk, so the duchy had been drawn closer to the Polish crown. In 1323, the boyars invited Bolesław to rule Galicia. He converted to Orthodoxy and assumed the name Yuri II, but eventually proved unpopular.

1323 - 1340

Bolesław Jerzy II / Yuri II (Bolesław)

Son of Trojden I of Czersk. Poisoned by the boyars.

1340 - 1366

Following the death of Bolesław, Halicz is ruled locally, before being partitioned between Poland and Lithuania.

Duchy of Belz

Belz was a short-lived division which existed only for the lifetime of its sole ruler. In 1382, it had been a part of Płock which was seized by the Teutonic Knights.

1426 - 1442

Kazimierz I / Casimir I

Son of Ziemowit IV of Płock.

1442

Following the death of Kazimierz I, Belz is absorbed back into Płock.

Duchy of Mazovia

As Poland began to annexe Mazovian territory, and the number of divisions was reduced, a single Mazovia began to re-emerge in the fifteenth century.

1454 - 1503

Konrad III Rudy (the Red)

Son of Bolesław IV.

1462

Belz, Gostynin, and Rawa are annexed by Poland while Płock, Plonsk, Wizna and Zawkrze go to the duchy of Warsaw.

1488

The duchy of Czersk is united to the remainder of Mazovia following the death of Bolesław V.

Royal Castle in Mazovia
The first royal castle in Mazovia was built as a wooden fortress in the fourteenth century but this was replaced by the present building by later kings of Poland

1504 - 1524

Stanislaw I

Son.

1504 - 1526

Janusz III

Brother and co-regent.

1504 - 1518

Anne Radziwill

Mother and regent.

1526

Mazovia is absorbed into Poland, bringing the duchy to an end.

1793

The Second Partition of Poland-Lithuania is carried out on 23 January. Great Poland and parts of Mazovia go to Prussia while Russia gains Podolia (which is attached to Ukraine), Volynia, and more of Lithuania.

1795

The Third Partition of Poland-Lithuania is enacted on 7 January. It removes both states entirely from the map. Russia grabs the rest of Lithuania and almost all of Belarus as well as terminating the duchy of Courland. Prussia takes the rest of Mazovia (as New East Prussia) and Warsaw, while Austria gains Krakow and Little Poland, which are added to Galicia & Lodomeria.