Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy

Mieszko II Lambert, King of Poland

Mieszko II Lambert, King of Poland[1]

Male 990 - 1034  (44 years)

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  • Name Mieszko II Lambert 
    Suffix King of Poland 
    Born 990  Posen Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    History Mieszko II was born in Posen about 990, the son of Boleslaw I Chrobry \'the Brave\', king of Poland, and Enmilde, daughter of Dobromir, duke of Lusatia. About 1013 Mieszko II was married to Richeza de Lorraine, daughter of Ezzo/Ehrenfried, Pfalzgraf von Lothringen, and Mathilde of Saxony. Through her mother, Richeza was the granddaughter of Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor. Mieszko and Richeza had a son Kazimierz I Karol, who would succeed his father, and two daughters: Richeza/Ryksa married to Béla I, king of Hungary, and Gertruda married to Isjaslaw I, grand duke of Kiev. All three would have progeny.

    Mieszko II was very well educated for the period. He was able to read and write, and knew both Greek and Latin. He is unjustly known as Mieszko Gnusny (the \'Lazy\', \'Stagnant\' or \'Slothful\'). He received that epithet due to the unfortunate way his reign ended; but at the beginning he acted as a skilful and talented ruler. Before he became king in 1025, he probably served as his father\'s governor in Cracow, most likely from 1013, and reputedly built many churches.

    Beginning in 1028, he successfully waged war against Germany; he was able to repel the German army, and later even invaded Saxony. He allied Poland with Hungary, resulting in a temporary Hungarian occupation of Vienna. This war was probably prompted by family connections of Mieszko in Germany who opposed Emperor Konrad II.

    An understanding of what happened later requires an understanding of Mieszko\'s family. His older half-brother Bezprym was the son of Judith of Hungary, wife of Boleslaw and was later expelled by Mieszko. He also had a younger brother Otto. By Slavic custom, a father should divide his legacy among all his sons. However, since a kingdom cannot be divided, Mieszko\'s brothers received nothing from their father\'s legacy.

    As Bezprym was the eldest son, many probably felt that he should have succeeded his father as king. Bezprym had, however, always been disliked by his father, as indicated by his name (the Piasts tended to give names such as Boleslaw, Mieszko and later Kazimierz, Wladyslaw and emperors\' names such as Otto, Konrad and Heinrich; Bezprym was a commoner\'s name, which implied that Boleslaw did not wish Bezprym to succeed him). He was packed off to a monastery.

    Mieszko\'s two brothers escaped abroad: Otto to Germany, Bezprym to Kievan Rus. Soon after, the Holy Roman Emperor and Jaroslav I Vladimirovitch \'the Wise\', grand duke of Kiev, made alliance and simultaneously invaded Poland.

    Facing two enemies, Germany on the west and Rus on the east, Mieszko escaped to Bohemia, where he is said to have been castrated. Bezprym began his reign by sending his crown and regalia to Germany. Mieszko soon returned, but was forced to pledge fealty to the German Emperor, and Poland was divided between him, his brothers Otto and Bezprym, and a certain Thiedric (probably a nephew or cousin). Otto was killed by one of his own men, and Mieszko was able to reunite Poland.

    What happened next is a mystery. Historians now think that Mieszko was killed (in 1034) in a plot hatched by the aristocracy. After Mieszko\'s death, Poland\'s peasants revolted in a \'pagan reaction\'. The exact reasons and date are unknown. Mieszko\'s son, Kazimierz I Karol, was either expelled by this insurrection, or the insurrection was caused by the aristocracy\'s expulsion of him.

    Modern historians argue that the insurrection was less likely caused by religious than by economic factors (including huge new taxes for the Church, and the militarisation of the early Polish dukedom/kingdom - almost all the male population were drafted into the army). Priests, monks and knights were killed; and cities, churches and monasteries were burned.

    The chaos became still greater when unexpectedly the Czechs invaded from the south. The land became divided among local rulers, one of whom is known by name: Maslaw, ruler of Masovia. Greater Poland was so devastated that it ceased to be the core of the Polish kingdom. The capital was moved to Cracow in Lesser Poland.  [2
    Died 10 May, 1034 
    Person ID I1772  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 23 Feb 2018 

    Father Boleslaw I Chrobry, King of Poland,   b. Abt 967,   d. 17 Jun 1025  (Age ~ 58 years) 
    Mother Emnilde,   b. Abt 970/975,   d. Abt 1013/1017  (Age ~ 42 years) 
    Married 987 
    Family ID F1126  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Saint Richeza, de Lorraine,   b. Abt 995/1000,   d. 21 Mar, 1063, Saalfeld Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1013 
    Children 
    +1. Agatha, of Poland,   d. yes  [putative]
    Last Modified 23 Feb 2018 
    Family ID F1110  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Saint Richeza, de Lorraine,   b. Abt 995/1000,   d. 21 Mar, 1063, Saalfeld Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married Abt 1013 
    Children 
    +1. Richeza (Ryksa), of Poland, Queen of Hungary,   b. Abt 1018,   d. Aft 1063  (Age ~ 46 years)  [putative]
    Last Modified 3 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F1232  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Mieszko II Lambert, King of Poland
    Mieszko II Lambert, King of Poland

  • Sources 
    1. [S12] Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mieszko_II_Lambert.

    2. [S64] Genealogics, Leo Van de Pas, http://www.genealogics.org/getperson.php?personID=I00049959&tree=LEO.