Article

Poland

Pawel Kras

in Medieval Studies

ISBN: 9780195396584
Published online December 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396584-0059
Poland

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
  • Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400)
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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Scholars usually date the medieval history of Poland as starting in the mid-10th century, when the first written information about the Piast state was recorded in written sources. However, the emergence of the Western Slavic state of Polanie can be safely dated to an earlier period, which is confirmed by archeological excavations in Greater Poland, at least to the end of the 9th century. Mieszko I (d. 992), duke of the Polanie state, is the first well-recorded historical monarch. His baptism in 966 marked a turning point in the early medieval history of the Polish state and became a symbol of Poland’s entrance into the recorded history of Europe. The end of the medieval period in the history of Poland is still under discussion. It is hard to point to a particular date or historical event that might symbolically mark the closing of the Polish Middle Ages. Nevertheless, such attempts have been made proposing various political, military, or cultural events as the final dates of a medieval Polish state—for example, the Thirteen Year War against the Teutonic Knights (1454–1466), which yielded Eastern Pomerania with Gdańsk back to Poland and made the Teutonic state in Prussia vassal to the Polish state; the first session of the Polish parliament, the Seym, in 1493; the unfortunate campaign in the Duchy of Moldavia in 1497; the death of King Jan Olbracht and coronation of his brother Alexander I in 1501; or the death of the latter and the 1506 coronation of Sigismund I, widely considered the first Renaissance monarch on the Polish throne.

Article.  14700 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy ; Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400) ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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