ISSN 2084–1418
Wersją pierwotną czasopisma jest wersja papierowa

2011, Nr 1-2 (1), Preliminarium

Piotr Pranke
Pierwsi Piastowie w kręgach arystokratycznych Cesarstwa

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Słowa kluczowe: Piasts, historiography, aristocracy circles.

In historical research on origins of the first Piast’s state great meaning had hypothesis about its establishment by outer conquest. The response to that kind of beliefs were to show the authonomy of the state of first Piast’s and the conflict with Empire caused by the billing to defend the young monarchy. In 20th century the historiography emphasized also the aspect of establishment the Piast’s state as a result of inner conquest. Relatively recently the historicans paid attention to those aspects of written sources, which are showing Piast’s as rulers aspiring to find their place in aristocracy of the Empire. The Piast dynasty showed in written sources as the allies of the Empire, present also in commemorative sources. They were also, similar to the aristocracy of the Empire, connected by fidelity to the Emperor or they in the circle of opposition to the Emperor. The paper refers to not only the character of their relations, but also to the changes in their structure. The first one, mentioned by name, representative of the Piast dynasty, showed up in Widukind’s masterpiece, who dedicated his work to the Otton’s daughter – Mathilda. Appearing in the very first way to the history Mieszko was showed by Widukind as „rex Licikavicorum”. „Rex Licikavicorum” is a designation connected to imperial tradition, attributed the king’s title to the never earlier mentioned tribal “rulers” coming into Empire’s sphere of interests. This kind of designation refers also to the administrator one of smaller territorial controls. The character of Polanie tribe ruler was mentioned by Widukind in context of his relative’s history – Wichman. Nevertheless, the context of those historical facts pointed out the phenomenon of gradual “accustoming” of the Piast ruler and involving him in the acceptable by annalist political and cultural system. Widukind designated Mieszko also as „amicus imperatoris”. A interesting written source referring to the contacts between Piast’s and the Empire is the “Life of St. Udalryk”. It mentioned an oath made by Mieszko wounded in his arm by poisoned arrow. Mieszko sweared in the face of death to send to the St. Udalryk as a vote the hand made of silver, if he would be back in good health thanks to St. Udalryk’s protection. It’s worth to emphasize, that Mieszko came back to his strengths thanks to mediation of one of Otton I allies. The marriage with Oda (probably in year 979/980) was also significant. Thanks to this marriage Mieszko have found himself in aristocracy of the Empire. From this moment we can say about considerable promotion of Piast’s in hierarchy of the Empire. Perhaps with this marriage came also the preasence of Mieszko in obituarial sources from the territory of the Empire. Those obituraries were included in so called “obituary annals from Fulda”. Piast’s showed up also in Lüneburg, Regensburg and Bamberg. The last place – Bamberg performs a special role. Piast were in some point the official protectors of the Emperors grave there. Mieszko thirty years later was like one of the last dukes of the Reich.

Informacje o autorze:
PRANKE PIOTR – historyk, doktorant w Instytucie Historii i Archiwistyki Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu. E-mail: piotrpranke[at]