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Kazimierz IV the Short:
1102 - 1144
Duke of Prussia: 1125 -1144
Duke of Samogitia: 1131 - 1144
King of Poland: 1144

Kazimierz IV the Short was a successful Duke of Prussia for almost 20 years before his election as King of Poland in the summer of 1144. He expanded his Duchy into Samogitia and even claimed the title for himself after the capture of Zhmud. His nickname, 'the Short', refers to his short stature, although it is sometimes used condescendingly to refer to his 4-day rule as king. He is often said to have been "good for Prussia, bad for Poland", and this is a mostly true statement- while his death was the immediate beginning of the Great Polish Succession Crisis, his son (later Kazimierz V of Poland) was personally trained by him and would save Poland from its crisis.


There is no doubt he was good for Prussia; during his rule he expanded into Samogitia, historically Lithuanian territory. He was a zealous knight, ready to fight off the predominantly Lithuanian pagans. In two wars, he and a few other Polish dukes defeated the rapidly-expanding and powerful Kingdom of Lithuania, seriously curbing any attempts at westward expansion by the pagan Queen. Instead, she expanded east and south, creating a massive pagan state in between Poland and Rus. This expansion, at its height reaching to Novgorod in the north, the Crimea to the south, and the Volga to the east, would shape the course of eastern European history forever.

Kazimierz IV of Poland was born in Malbork, in present-day Prussia. His father was Kazimierz II of Prussia, a descendant of Wladyslaw I of Mazovia, who was Boleslaw III's brother. Thus, he was closely related to the ruling Piast branch and was seen as a valid successor when he came of age. He was not that intelligent as a boy, but his honesty was admired by his father and he was extremely zealous. Later on he was noted to be an ambitious man and desired to expand Prussia to the east. He became Duke of Prussia in 1125, at the age of 23, and only 2 years later began the Prussian-Lithuanian War: a war against the burgeoning pagan Kingdom of Lithuania for the realm of Samogitia, which constituted Memel, Scalovia, and Zhmud.

The deciding turn in the battle was the Battle of Samland Forest- around 3000 Lithuanian troops were ambushed by a much smaller Prussian force (of around 1000) in forests surrounding Sambia. The battle was extremely one-sided; the Lithuanian forces, composed of a combination of Polish mercenary cavalry and Lithuanian peasant levies, fell apart quickly when the two groups could not distinguish the other. In the confusion, Prussian forces were able to cut down almost the entire Lithuanian contingent at the cost of almost nothing- historical records indicate perhaps less than 100 soldiers loyal to the Duchy of Prussia were killed. Although Kazimierz IV lost use of one of his legs in the battle, it was an impressive victory that disparaged the Lithuanians and caused them to surrender quickly.



Left to right: The Battle of Samland Forest; here, Polish mercenaries fighting for Lithuania are attacked by Lithuanian pikemen; the general confusion in the forest caused many friendly casualties for the Lithuanians. Comparably, the skirmish-focused and organized Poles were able to devastate the Lithuanians with arrow fire, a modern portrait of Kazimierz IV​

Acquiring these territories was seen as a great boon to Prussia and Poland and he was rewarded personally by king Kazimierz III. Becoming very popular against the nobles of Poland due to his contributions against the enemy pagans, he was chosen as the elected successor to the crown sometime around 1135. When king Kazimierz III died in 1144, the message was sent to Malbork that Kazimierz III of Prussia was to become Kazimierz IV of Poland. The day after the message was recieved, Kazimierz IV passed away. The Duke of Gdansk, Sczcepan I, who had befriended Kazimierz, then claimed the throne for himself. As Sczcepan could claim the crown of Poland but not Prussia or the former crown demesne, the Great Polish Succession Crisis had thus began.
 

the_hdk

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4 day rule? :p lolz

poor guy

one of the things I dislike in ck2 are the names. they should have make it possible to select what names are higher nobility and what are lower. names like Szczepan, Msciwoj etc for kings eew :(

so a Succession Crisis ? :) always love those
 

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4 day rule? :p lolz

poor guy

one of the things I dislike in ck2 are the names. they should have make it possible to select what names are higher nobility and what are lower. names like Szczepan, Msciwoj etc for kings eew :(

so a Succession Crisis ? :) always love those
I do find that weird too; but I name all my children August, Kazimierz, Mieszko or Boleslaw so it doesn't really matter.

This guy deserves to have a name like Szczepan anyways...
 

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Chapter Two - The Great Polish Succession Crisis
The Great Polish Succession Crisis, sometimes referred to as the 1144 crisis or the Great Crisis, was a time of troubles for the Polish crown. Quickly hopping from person to person, the crown would be long stained by the crisis. The crown's authority would be greatly weakened and it would take years to return it to its former strength. That being said, the Crisis, often viewed negatively by many, can actually be seen as a boon for House Piast, much as the Hungarian Civil War can. By the end of the civil war, the kingdom of Bohemia lay in the hands of the Polish king. Many pretenders were either killed or imprisoned, unable to continue their lines and culled down. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, the idea of changing the succession would be completely gone for the next 200 years after the defeat of the Usurpists.

For the large majority of the war, the kingdom would be divided into two parts: the Usurpists, referring to the support of Szczepan's initial usurpation of the throne, and the old Royalists- led by Kazimierz IV of Prussia (later Kazimierz V). Although Polish borders would change drastically in 1146, the situation between the two sides would remain mostly unchanged until 1148- a bloody stalemate.




Szczepan I the Fair:
1093 - 1144
Duke of Gdansk: 1125 -1144
King of Poland: 3 September, 1114 - 21 November, 1144


King Szczepan I the Fair is viewed as one of the worst kings in Polish history, although he was himself a very intelligent man. Although attractive, scholarly, and intelligent outwardly, he was actually an ambitious schemer who used the sudden death of Kazimierz IV of Poland to his advantage, taking the title of Krol- king- for himself. Szczepan I was born in Poznan, the bastard child of Jolanta Piast (the daughter of Kazimierz II of Prussia, who was the father of king Kazimierz IV). He was shunned as a child and was predominantly self-taught. He showed a remarkable ambition and ability in scholarly pursuits, and at 20 left his court to travel to Byzantium. There, he read the classic works at the Imperial Library of Constantinople. The emperor, married to a Piast, accepted him into his court. He returned from his travels 5 years later, armed with knowledge of ancient history. And as we know, history repeats itself.

As a man, Szczepan was viewed as attractive and kind outwardly. His intelligence was impressive to many and was noted by multiple different Polish kings. He was adored by many woman of the court- his unfortunate existence as a bastard, however, disparaged many. Although he was fair on the outside, his inner thoughts were quite different. He was a cynic and despised the influence of the Church. He was an incredible schemer, and this was only helped by his extreme paranoia and compulsive lying.


Left to right: Szczepan's family tree, part of the Imperial Library of Constantinople, the only remaining great library of the world

He inherited Gdansk, a formerly pagan city on the Baltic Coast, in 1125. The outlying areas were slowly brought under Szczepan's control. He met Kazimierz III of Prussia in 1132, after his conquests of Samogitia, and he was able to befriend the usually well composed and intelligent man. He may have genuinely been interested in making friends with the affable man; however, it is more likely that Szczepan would simply kill the maimed Kazimierz after his crowning and take the title for himself.

However, he did not even have to do this- while visiting the king-to-be Kazimierz IV's court, he passed away of a stroke. He and Kazimierz's son, the later Kazimierz V of Poland, were the only two to witness this. When the message for crowning came in, Szczepan I claimed the title of king of Poland. Kazimierz V did the same. This was the tumultuous beginning to the Crisis of 1144.


Left to right: The initial situation in the Great Polish Succession Crisis, the last battle of Szczepan I's reign, and the charge at Wąbrzeźno in mural form
Poland was divided fairly simply: on one side lay the Royalists, controlling Wielkopolskie and Malopolskie, the king's old demesne. They also held Prussia and Samogitia, held by those of Wladyslaw's line. The Usurpists, initially led by Szczepan I, controlled Danzig, and Kuyavia and Mazovia swore allegiance to them. Neither Kuyavia nor Mazovia was controlled by a Piast- Kuyavia was an arch-bishopric and Mazovia was held by house Czartoryski. at first, the Usurpists had the troop advantage. however, on October 30, after an early snowfall, around 1000 Royalist knights caught a largely infantry-based army of 6000 at Wąbrzeźno, in Kuyavia. Although the knights sustained heavy casualties (less than 100 survived), they broke the spirit and destroyed most of the first Usurpist army singlehandedly. Their heroic sacrifice is forever remembered through both great murals such as the one pictured above, and the great statue of their leader Sieciech Piast, who fell alongside his soldiers in the battle.

After Wąbrzeźno, the remaining Usurpist contingent retreated to Danzig. A fresh Royalist army of around 5000 assaulted the city on November 21, 1144. Supposedly, Szczepan I was met by the son of his former friend and slayed mercilessly. Although Danzig would be captured by the end of 1144, the face of the Crisis would be changed by the appointed successor of Szczepan I- Wladyslaw I, Duke of Silesia and Moravia, and first in line for the crown of Bohemia.

 
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Wladyslaw I the Truthful:
1116 - 1146
Duke of Silesia: 1117 - 1146
Duke of Moravia: 1138 - 1146
King of Poland: 1144 - 1146

Wladyslaw I the Truthful was king of Poland for around two years during its succession crisis. Although not having participated in the treachery of Szczepan I, he was considered the continuation of the Usurpists due to his nomination as king by the fake king Szczepan. He was a good man of strong moral character, simply caught in the wrong place with the wrong blood. Originally nominated for his character, the value of his lands became very clear after his succession and for many years he was viewed as Szczepan I was: decadent and generally poor-natured.


Wladyslaw I was born in 1116 in Chelminskie- within the Duchy of Prussia- to Kazimierz II of Prussia and Smiechna Poraj. He was the brother of king Kazimierz IV the Short, although 14 years younger. He was given the Duchy of Silesia two years after the Bohemian king's acquisition of it as a gesture of good faith to the ruling house of Poland. His father and later his elder brothers were regents. As a child he was often noted for his scheming and trickery, often stealing food and playing pranks on guards, only spared from his punishment by his father's rank. At the age of around 10, however, he was set straight by his much-older brother Kazimierz, later Kazimierz IV. He began using morality as his compass and was said to never have engaged in petty theft again. He also began to focus on his martial studies, seeking to compete in the tourneys becoming more and more popular in Bohemia at the time. By 16, he was a formidable knight. In the first Grand Tournament of Bohemia in 1132, he narrowly defeated the heir apparent of Bohemia, Ottokar in the melee and was victor in the joust as well, becoming the first winner of the Bohemian Grand Tournament. In 1138, Ottakar, the duke of Moravia, was killed in a jousting accident in the second Grand Tournament of Bohemia. He had bequeathed his lands to Wladyslaw I and they were thus inherited by him. The king of Bohemia, Ottokar I, was then weaker than his Duke, and with no male heir, chose to allow the Duke of Silesia and Moravia to succeed him.


Left to right: Bohemia in the mid-12th century, a knight tournament typical of the times

He succeeded Szczepan I in late 1144 and, overnight, altered the face of the succession crisis. Fresh levies from Silesia and Moravia moved to Poznan, and began laying siege to it in February of 1145. By many accounts, it appeared as if the Usurpists would defeat the Royalists. However, the Usurpist army was divided into two halves- one was in Silesia and the other in Danzig, the old Usurpist capital. The Duchy of Mazovia rebelled and forced the Usurpist forces stationed in Danzig to attempt to quell the rebellion. Royalist armies, bolstered by mercenaries, first marched on Poznan and forced the Usurpist forces into retreat. They were caught at Sroda, which was a total defeat for the Usurpists, numerically outmatched. Around 11000 Royalist forces defeated a contingent of around 7000.

Sroda was an open field, beneficial for cavalry. Royalists had more heavy cavalry, but the Usurpists, even though numerically outmatched, had great numbers of light cavalry. The Royalist's true advantage was their heavy infantry, which was fairly well-organized and cohesive. At this point, both sides were using mercenary groups in lieu of their own levies. An initial Usurpist cavalry charge was mauled by the Royalist heavy cavalry, and the numbers advantage thus decided the battle. Sroda became even more of a disaster for the Usurpists when the troops from Danzig, after bringing Mazovia back under control, moved to Poznan. They had not yet been informed of the first defeat at Sroda, and were met yet again on already-bloodied soil. This cohort of Usurpists was even smaller- only around 5000- and was also defeated soundly by a replenished army of 11000. Wladyslaw I was struck in the head and rendered incapable during the later hours of the battle.


Clockwise from bottom left: The First Battle of Sroda, a contemporary account of the battle at Sroda, The Second Battle of Sroda

Wladyslaw I passed away due to his head wounds in October of 1146, and was succeeded by his young son, Siemomysl, crowned Siemomysl I. He would later become the first Polish king of Bohemia, and would be the last Usurpist king before the old royal heir was reestablished.


[HR][/HR]

P.S. Are the picture sizes okay? I tried to fix them but I am not sure how they came out...
 
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P.S. Are the picture sizes okay? Some of them come out extremely small on my phone...
It's a bit difficult to see the numbers in the last 2 with the battle results. The rest are fine.

Also keep it up, I'm enjoying this AAR.
 
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Martellus.

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It's a bit difficult to see the numbers in the last 2 with the battle results. The rest are fine.

Also keep it up, I'm enjoying this AAR.
Thanks for the feedback!

Do you know of any way I could make the text larger on the images (I try to make them really big but imgur doesn't seem to care)?
 

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Thanks for the feedback!

Do you know of any way I could make the text larger on the images (I try to make them really big but imgur doesn't seem to care)?
You could do it either with Photoshop, Fireworks, Gimp or whatever you like, but it would be a pita.

And we can always zoom the browser. So I wouldn't worry if I was you.
 

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Siemomysl I the Scarred:
1136 - 1157
Duke of Moravia: 1146 - 1148
King of Bohemia: 1148 - 1157
King of Poland: 1146 - 1148

Siemomysl I was the last Usurpist king of Poland, and the first Piast king of Bohemia. His short rule is only really significant for these two particular reasons. Born in Wroclaw, in present-day Silesia, he was the first son of the then-popular Wladyslaw I of Silesia. After 1138, he was second in line for the kingdom of Bohemia, being the heir's first son. Wladyslaw's second son, Prendota, would die early, leaving Siemomysl as the only true heir. He was much as his father was as a child: scheming and backhanded. He was also seemingly arbitrary and extremely self-interested. His father was too concerned with his training to educate Siemomysl I, and he was thus lazy and decadent for most of his childhood.

Wladyslaw I passed away in 1146 and the throne was passed to him. He had no desire nor will to rule. In addition to this, his regent was Gniewosz I of Ungvar, his father's younger brother, who had no interest in teaching the boy proper manners nor the Polish state of affairs. Gniewosz himself was for more interested in the Hungarian Civil War and supporting Polish influence there, and rarely even advised Siemomysl I in his short reign.


Thus, the bad situation for the Usurpists that began at Sroda became even worse under Siemomysl I, who was more interested in the hallways of castle Ksiaz than the crown he held. Royalist forces lay siege to the castle and burned it to the ground. Caught inside in the fire, Siemomysl suffered heavy burn wounds and would be scarred for the rest of his ultimately short life, giving him his namesake. After the siege of Ksiaz was over, the young king was captured, and practically all Usurpist resistance quickly dissolved as both 'capitals' of Usurpist Poland- Danzig and Wroclaw- had been captured. He was stripped of his crown and many of his titles in 1148, but was crowned king of Bohemia only a few weeks later after the death of Ottokar I.


Left to right: Siemomysl and his younger brother, Prendota, along with their mother Kazimiera Premyslid- part of a Polish Premyslid line, castle Ksiaz, rebuilt after its destruction in 1147, the return of the Polish crown into its rightful hands

Although his historical significance as a Polish monarch ends here, it must be noted that he was the king of Bohemia for another 9 years. Ruling rather poorly and without interest, his kingdom was stabilized only by the powerful influence of his uncle, the King of Poland. With no male heir upon his death, he was succeeded by his closest relative, Kazimierz V of Poland- the man who had taken his original kingly title from him. In an even more ironic twist, his first son was born after his death and thus did not inherit any lands. Siemomysl's legacy and that of the Usurpists would thus die out by 1200 with his son, forever ending any possible pretender rebellion. With the only major succession crisis to ever grip Poland over, the Piast dynasty would return to its rapid expansion over foreign lands. The Polish crown in particular would make massive gains in both Russia and the Baltic, and create a new unitary state out of the old Lithuania, Livonia, and Kievan Rus.


[HR][/HR]

I am probably not going to have an update out "tomorrow" (Friday) or at all on the weekend, so the daily updating will be broken up until next week or maybe even later. The next couple of updates will almost certainly be much longer.
 

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I love AARs in which the AuthAAR creates terms outside of the game, making it feel like a real history, and indeed 'Usurpists' and 'Royalists' captures my imagination.
Thanks for the comment!

I was hoping Usurpists didn't sound too awkward but it seems okay I guess. Royalists also sounded a bit strange but I guess that's just me being a bit neurotic about things.

On a side note, is everything visible in terms of picture sizes?
 

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I was wondeing how you're making the maps. Are you just using photoshop, or something else?

Either way they all look fanttic and really contribute to the old, "Historical" feeling of this AAR.
 

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I was wondeing how you're making the maps. Are you just using photoshop, or something else?

Either way they all look fanttic and really contribute to the old, "Historical" feeling of this AAR.
I am using a baseline map that I found online and then putting it through photoshop. I usually add a few effects in successive order and it gives it that grainy blurred feel which I'm going for.

Now it is, with the new xtra big size. :laugh:
It's better than not seeing it :p

Thanks for the comments guys!
 

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Chapter Three - Rise of the Commonwealth and the Medius Poloniae


After the end of the Great Polish Succession Crisis, Poland would enter another period of territorial expansion and growth, known as the Medius Poloniae, or "Middle Poland. Although it is a period between two calamities- the Great Succession Crisis and the wars against the mongol hordes (sometimes the Forty Years War)- the Medius Poloniae was the most important period of time for the development of Poland proper. By the end of this period Poland had transformed from a localized kingdom between Germany and Rus into to a massive empire spanning across not only Rus, but Lithuania, the Terra Mariana north of it, and the ancestral lands of Poland. Poland would become a unitary state, a great Commonwealth of not only Poles but also those of the Rus, Lithuania, Livonia, and Lettigalia. The Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania, as it came to be known, would spread across around more than 1.5 million square kilometers of East Europe. Not considering the fact that the House Piast was under control of the large majority of Europe at one point or another, the Commonwealth of Poland, Lithuania, and Wschodrus (East Ruthenia, or the old Kievan Rus) would put around one-sixth of Europe directly under the wings of the great white eagle.


Top: Polish rulers by age of death. Bottom: Polish rulers by time of reign. In both graphs, the Medius Poloniae is highlighted.


This expansion was made possible by one of the Medius Poloniae's strangest traits: extremely short lived and short ruling kings. Excepting the Great Succession Crisis of 1144, nearly all of the shortest ruling kings were in this middle era, and the rules were consistently short. Even stranger was that no disease was present, the Medieval Warm Period (the increased worldwide temperatures from around 950 to 1250) was in full swing, and there was no overlying succession crisis. Instead, the short reigns were mostly due to death in battle and the poor medical situation of the times, not for any other particular reason. The kings of this time were also mostly very young, and the crown commonly switched between the lines of Wladyslaw Mazowiecki and Boleslaw III Smialy. This allowed for multiple marriages and wars to the same crowns in a very short period of time. The Galicjan War is a perfect example of rapid diplomatic shifts occurring during Middle Poland: Kazimierz VII was involved in a bloody war against the king of Rus for around 3 years, which saw not only the death of the Russian king but also the loss of the ancestral title of Halych-Volhynia. His successor, Kazimierz VIII, married the queen of Rus and the lands were inherited soon afterwards, during the reign of Mieszko III. Thus, the Medius Poloniae would be the most important period for the growth of Poland itself.



Kazimierz V the Alchemist:
1123 - 1168
High Duke of Poland: 1144 - 1148
Duke of Prussia: 1144 - 1148
King of Franconia: 1146 - 1158, 1159 - 1168
King of Bohemia: 1157
King of Poland: 1148 - 1168

Kazimierz V the Alchemist, or the Restorer as he is sometimes called, resembled his ancestor Kazimierz I in many ways. Similar physically and mentally, they both reunited the Polish kingdom after years of conflict and strife. In fact, they are so similar that many portraits of Kazimierz I are confused with those of Kazimierz V and vice versa. Both initially were sent to be priests, but displayed varying levels of interest in their studies. And, most importantly, both held their kingdoms together in a time where nation states surrounded their territories and looked for weaknesses. Kazimierz V must also be noted for his assistance in the securing of Norway and Sweden for house Piast, a feat few other Polish rulers would accomplish, as well as cementing Polish rule in northern Iberia.


Kazimierz V was born in Malbork, in the Duchy of Prussia, in 1123. He was the first son of king Kazimierz IV the Short- even so, he was sent to a monastery in 1134 to study and possibly find a career in religion, much as Kazimierz I did. This has prompted some historians to argue that, just as Kazimierz I had an older brother, Kazimierz V may have as well. However, there has been absolutely no evidence found of this 'forgotten' brother, compared to the scriptures writing of Kazimierz I's older brother, Boleslaw II the Forgotten. Kazimierz V left the Church at around the age of 20, in 1143. A year later, his father suffered a stroke after receiving a notice proclaiming him king. The only individuals who saw this were Kazimierz V and Szczepan I, who, shortly afterwards, proclaimed himself king. Meanwhile, Kazimierz V proclaimed himself High Duke of Poland, citing his control of old Poland as legitimacy.

As various Polish 'kings' came to the throne and passed away, Kazimierz V and his Royalist forces slowly advanced into the Usurpist lands. By 1168 Royalist forces had captured both Danzig and Wroclaw, and Kazimierz V threw the child-king Siemomysl off the throne and reclaimed the old crown for himself, as it rightfully should have been in 1144. After the war, part of Mazovia and Zhmud were lost, but were later recovered. Moravia and Silesia were split up under two different Piast dukes- Silesia was left in the hands of Siemomysl, and Moravia was given to a Bohemian- Petr Premyslid. This arrangement would stay in place until 1157, when Kazimierz V inherited the crown of Bohemia. As the Arch-bishop of Kuyavia had supported the Usurpist forces- they lowered church taxes- Kazimierz V revoked their landholding rights in Sieradz, the southern part of Kuyavia, absorbing it into his demesne. Finally, he gave Prussia to his younger brother Prendota.



Clockwise from top left: Kazimierz V at a young age, the Polish crown jewels, stored in Krakow and unused from 1144 to 1148, a map of Polish vassals in 1148 showing pre-GPSC (white) and post-GPSC (black) borders- also highlighted is Sieradz (red), revoked in 1149.​

The Bohemian king passed away in 1149 and the deposed child-king Siemomysl inherited the crown, becoming Siemomysl I of Bohemia. Kazimierz V was de facto ruler of this territory until 1157, when Siemomysl passed away without heir and he became legal king of the territory. He gave the kingdom and the duchies of Silesia, Moravia, and Bohemia to Borzywoj (Borivoj) II, the landless nephew of Kazimierz V. The Hungarian Civil War ended in the 1156- a year earlier- with the rise of Leszek I, originally king of Castille, Leon, Galicia, and Hungary. Leszek crushed the remaining Hungarians with Castillan levies, ruthlessly wiping out many towns and even some smaller cities almost entirely to achieve victory. He would later give Hungary to a third cousin, crowned Andrzej II, in late 1157.

Meanwhile, the Nordic countries would be brought under the control of the white eagle. Queen Scholastyka I Piast inherited the throne of Norway in 1159, as she was the youngest child of the previous queen, Saga I. Her children would not inherit the crown, but instead control the Duchy of Uppland which would later replace the Kingdom of Sweden. In Norway, August II of Vestlandet became August I of Norway around the same time- his line would hold on to the kingdom title until 1270. Although it was remarkably unstable, Denmark would be continually under the control of House Piast all the way until 1370, owing to the success of their blood ties to various other allied kingdoms.

Of note during Kazimierz V's rule was the beginning of formal communications with the Kingdom of Lithuania, a massive multi-ethnic pagan empire to the east of Poland. During the Great Succession Crisis, Lithuania had conquered Zhmud and Czersk, a county in Mazovia. Kazimierz V met their queen Jevna in 1150. Strangely enough, Jevna was married to a Czartoryski- a member of a Polish noble family that had long ruled Mazovia. She agreed to return Czersk and allow Zhmud to become a condominium shared between the two crowns in exchange for tolerance of Romuva pagans in Memel and Scalovia, held by Prussia at the time. The agreement was one of the first between a "heathen" nation and a Christian one, and was one of the first signs of an emerging Polish religious tolerance. Poland would also help Jevna secure Volhynia, which weakened Rus and allowed for the later acquisition of Galicja. During these wars, Kazimierz V would suffer a blow to the head, and was rendered almost completely incapable in 1164. His penchant for alchemy began here, as he believed that the mythical elixir of life could be used to restore his intelligence and strength. Unsurprisingly, he never found it, and would die 4 years later.



Clockwise from top: Poland and Lithuania Meet by Jan Matejko, an 19th century Polish court painter, The end to the Lithuanian war for Volhynia, supported by Poles, and the incapacitated Kazimierz V


Kazimierz V would attempt to acquire the Kingdom of Franconia for house Piast, but both his marriages, first to Adelinde I (1146 - 1158) and later to Mechtild I (1159 - 1168). He would only have one male child between the two queens, who would later go on to be the child-king Kazimierz VII. He would die without issue, ending any Piast claims on Franconia. He had 4 children with his first wife, Wislawa Czartoryski, but the only male one would pass away before his death. The death of Kazimierz V ended his male line and opened up opportunities for his younger brothers to compete for the title of heir to the Polish throne. Kazimierz V was succeeded by the youngest son of Kazimierz III the Quiet. He was crowned Kazimierz VI, and is often seen as the true beginning to the Medius Poloniae.

Kazimierz V was a great restorer, reclaiming the old borders of Poland and acquiring Bohemia as well. He rebuilt Poland in his own image, even naming some cities after himself- the best known being the district of Casimiria in Krakow. Perhaps more importantly, he established formal diplomatic relations with the great pagan kingdom of Lithuania, bringing them closer to the Kingdom of Poland and permitting his successor's marriage to their queen. He can be seen as the direct forerunner to the first unitary Polish-Lithuanian state because of this.


[HR][/HR]

Surprise!

Sorry if this update is too text heavy...
 
Last edited:

Stefanos_P

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I just love the images.

Also I have a softspot for Poland since my familiy lived in Krakow untill WWII.

I have a question: You often mention that some of your kings used to be in the church, how do you portray this ingame?
I assume you have free investiture and you name them heirs to some bishopric and then you remove them before their ihnerit?
Or is there a way to make a bishop your heir that I don't know of?

I guess that's more of a compound question...:laugh:
 

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I just love the images.

Also I have a softspot for Poland since my familiy lived in Krakow untill WWII.

I have a question: You often mention that some of your kings used to be in the church, how do you portray this ingame?
I assume you have free investiture and you name them heirs to some bishopric and then you remove them before their ihnerit?
Or is there a way to make a bishop your heir that I don't know of?

I guess that's more of a compound question...:laugh:
They have one of the theologian traits. I usually interpret this as an initial interest in Church affairs and then a return to secular stuff... for example, look at Kazimierz I the Restorer (historical figure)- he went to a church at the age of 10 and later decided he had no interest in theology- this is kind of what I was going for. There is no mechanic in the game to simulate this (unless, of course you get a bishop to educate your kid).

I have a very long family line of Poles from Rzeszow, so I'm kind of very partial to Poland as well... :D
 

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Kazimierz VI the Enlightened:
1144 - 1176
Duke of Belz: 1166 - 1168
King of Lithuania: 1160 - 1176
King of Poland: 1168 - 1176

Kazimierz VI, often referred to as the Enlightened (in Church documents as the Heathen) was king of Poland for only 8 years, but his rule saw some of the largest territorial gains to Poland proper. Even before he became king, he had been given the Duchy of Belz and had married to the pagan Queen of Lithuania, Eufemia I. He would both assist the Queen of Lithuania in her wars against Novgorod and the Finns in Livonia, and use her troops against Wschodrus in his war for Galicja. Although the crown of Sweden would be lost in 1172, the semi-independent Duchy of Uppland would remain a Piast stronghold until their usurpation of the crown over 100 years later.


Kazimierz VI was born in Krakow to Kazimierz III and Eugenia I of Swabia only a few months before Kazimierz III's death in August 1144. His birth was viewed as a good sign: Tomasz, Mieszko, and Boleslaw, Kazimierz III's first three sons, had all died before 1144. Wladyslaw, Kazimierz III's fourth son, chose to become a priest and was disqualified from succession. Thus, Kazimierz VI was the only child that could inherit out of all of Kazimierz III's children. He was hidden in Krakow for his infancy and early life. After the end of the Great Polish Succession Crisis, he went to Toledo, the provincial capital of Castille, where he was educated by his closest relative Leszek I. He was surprisingly tolerant of other faiths and was sent to be an envoy between the Kingdom of Poland and the Kingdom of Lithuania at an early age, where he met the pagan queen, Eufemia I Czartoryski. He was married to her in 1160, and her lands gave Kazimierz much support for the title of successor. Eufemia and Kazimierz were an interesting couple: Eufemia was a zealous pagan and Kazimierz a Catholic- historically religious 'enemies'. However, their marriage was happy and they had 11 children, 3 of whom would become kings. Kazimierz VI would be given the Duchy of Belz a few years later due to his services for both Poland and Lithuania, as well as in exchange for total Lithuanian sovereignty over Samogitia.

In 1168, Kazimierz would become Kazimierz VI of Poland after his third cousin's death. He immediately moved his capital to Krakow and invited Matfei Rurikovich, a son of the earlier king Vladimir II of Rus (sometimes referred to as Halych-Volhynia) to his court. He had claims on not only the crown of Halych-Volhynia, but also the duchies of Belz and Galich (Galicja). He was initially given the Duchy of Belz, and almost immediately afterwards Kazimierz VI declared war on the Kingdom of Rus for the Duchy of Galich. This war would last around three years and would be known as the Galicjan War- a massive defeat for the kingdom of Halych-Volhynia. At the start of the war, Polish dukes were not willing to give many of their troops to Kazimierz VI and thus he could only raise about 12000 men. Around 8000 of these went with Kazimierz towards Lvov,capturing it by 1169. The other 4000 went with Matfei and his levies, amounting around 5000. They first went through Hungary, and then reached Stanislawow, by the Hungarian border, in late 1168. Some Lithuanian troops were also sent by Eufemia I, although many were currently occupied with revolts in Vitebsk and Courland. These Lithuanian troops arrived in the north of Galicja, and would finish their siege of Brody by 1169.

Meanwhile, a Halych-Volhynian army of 25000 marched towards Lvov with the intent of recapturing the city. Matfei's army, which was now at Toropets, cut the army off at the river Styr after the Halych-Volhynian army crossed the river, at the town of Lutsk. Lithuanian and Polish troops arrived here in the 14th of June, 1169, and the battle of Lutsk began. The end result was absolutely devastating for the crown of Halych-Volhynia- mass charges by the Polish elite heavy cavalry pushed huge numbers of armoured infantry and generally poorly trained troops into the river, where they promptly drowned. Ultimately, about 1000 Poles were lost for more than 24 thousand Russians.


Top down from top left: Eufemia and Kazimierz, by Jan Matejko, the battle of Lutsk, troop movements during the Galicjan War, the diplomatic situation before the Galicjan War


After the battle of Lutsk, the Galicjan War quickly ended. Galich became a part of Matfei's realm and Poland expanded its lands into the old lands of Rus. Kazimierz VI, now known for his martial skills, was perhaps not as well liked diplomatically. Married to an extremely powerful pagan ruler, he was often under fire by the Church for a lack of interest in converting her and her lands to Catholicism. He was nearly excommunicated for his lack of zealousness. In private, he was a cynic and despised church practices- an almost exclusively secular ruler. He was extremely tolerant though, and not only allowed those of various religions to live in his territories, but also encouraged it to a point. His nickname, the Enlightened, came from his extensive knowledge of Church subjects and the arguments he produced against the classical Church doctrine (these were wildly unpopular).

He was not a reformer simply in religion; he began to introduce the practice of banking to both Poland itself, and the Piast Confederation (which had not met or been organized since 1142, long before his rule). Each Piast kingdom levied a small tax every year and placed this money within the vaults of Krakow, the nominal capital of Europe at the time. This money was used to facilitate trade between the Piast kingdoms and a portion could be taken out by kingdoms in need. The only issue with the system was that it was mostly unpopular with many Piast rulers, who saw any sort of usury as a sin. Thus, his attempts at reform were mostly ignored, although they were perhaps some of the first attempts at banking in medieval Europe. Internal reform in Poland brought large increases in efficiency of administration, which saved money that would instead be put into construction projects and accelerate Polish advancement and growth.

Due to his reforming tendencies and opposition to the Church, a few in Kazimierz VI's court began plotting against him, most notably Prendota I of Prussia, who had only recently ordered mass forced conversions of pagans in Chelminskie and Malbork, strongly supported the Church, and was a staunch conservative. Him and some minor nobles sought to lower the strength of the Polish throne- normally, they would have sought to usurp the throne, but the wounds of the Great Succession Crisis had not yet healed. When Kazimierz VI caught wind of this plot, he sought to imprison Prendota. Less than a week later, Prendota heard of this through a supportive debutante, and declared his independence in late 1175.


Clockwise from top left: Tomasz Branderski, the Polish spymaster in 1175 (he may have been a plotter himself), the battle of Mewe numerically, the rebellion of Prendota I, Polish archers at the battle of Mewe


Kazimierz VI and his army crushed the forces of Prendota with an army four times larger at Mewe. Prussia looked to be under Kazimierz VI's control until he passed away suddenly while staying in Gniezno, in 1176. During that time, Polish food stocks had been spoiled and it was possible that this was the cause of Kazimierz VI's death. He was succeeded by the child-king Kazimierz VII, who was king for a short period of time. Kazimierz VI was notable for both his martial prowess, which resulted in the conquest of Galicia, and his marriage with Eufemia of Lithuania, which not only allowed for the eventual inheritance of Lithuanian land and the establishment of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but also set a precedent of tolerance for future Polish kings. Kazimierz VI must also be noted for his attempts at bank reform and secularized position- both would be very influential in the decisions of later Piast kings.


[HR][/HR]

P.S. I was thinking of doing separate histories for each Piast branch (each kingdom), because some of them have very interesting histories. I would probably start this after I finished Poland proper.
Also, as the new 5.4 MEIOU update is probably coming around in the next week I am going to start work on my custom start- would there be any interest in me releasing this to the public (to play in EUIII and later Victoria II)?
 
Last edited:

the_hdk

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Dec 6, 2003
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yeah most def :)

also I was about to ask about the other cadet branches :)