United Kingdom of Poland

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This article is about the Polish state from 1320 to 1386. See also Kingdom of Poland.

United Kingdom of Poland Regnum Poloniae


Flag of Poland

The coat of arms of Poland

Official language

Polish, Latin



Political system

state monarchy

Type of state

hereditary monarchy

Personal unions

Unia polsko-węgierska(1370–1382)Unia polsko-litewska(1385–1440)

Area – total

270,0004 km²

Population (1370) – total – population density – nations and ethnic groups

2,500,000(approx. 1370)9.3 persons/km²Polish, Ruthenians, Germans, Armenians and Jews


Prague penny² Cracow penny


Polish lands and coronation of Wladyslaw Lokietek as king of Poland20 January 1320


Wladyslaw Jagiello as king of Poland4 March 1386

Dominant religion

Roman Catholic Church, Judaism, in Ruthenian lands: Armenian Church, Orthodox Church

Dependent territories

Fiefdoms:Inowroclaw,Dobrzynski,Gniewkowski,Santock lands,Sieradzkie,Leczyckie,Mazowieckie³,Ziemia krzemieniecka4,Ziemia wieluńska with Czestochowa,Chelmsko-Belskie,Podolskie,Wlodzimierskie.

Poland in 1370.

1 royal hymn. ² in cities and villages under German (Magdeburg) law.³ was divided into several smaller principalities (including Plock, Czersk, Warsaw, Sochaczew), which at different times recognized Polish sovereignty. 4 Polish-Lithuanian condominium in 1352-1366.

The United Kingdom of Poland, or the reborn Kingdom of Poland (Latin: Regnum Poloniae) – the Polish state in the period from January 20, 1320[1] to March 4, 1386, i.e. during the reign of the last two Piasts and the Andegawens. Administratively, it was divided into provinces and provinces or lands. It was located in the region of the Polish and Ukrainian Highlands on the territory of modern Poland and Ukraine.

The most important rivers of the Kingdom were on: Warta, Narew, Vistula, Pilica, San, Dniester

The state bordered with: Bohemia (through the vassal principalities of Silesia), Hungary, the Duchy of Halic-Volhynia (until 1340), Lithuania, Mazovia (from 1351 a fief of Poland), Plock (from 1386 a fief of Poland), the state of the Teutonic Order. In 1370 it reached its maximum territorial extent of 270,000 km² and had a population of about 2.5 million at the time.

The form of government was a state monarchy, which replaced the feudal patrimonial monarchy. The head of state was the king, who ruled the country through a developed state administration. The years 1320-1370 were a period of increasing royal power, but the years 1370-1386 were already a period of diminishing it in favor of the nobility. Cities and villages were located under Magdeburg, Poznan and Chelmno laws. An important work of King Casimir was the Wiślicko-Piotrkow Statutes, issued in 1346, regulating the social system, civil and criminal law, the judiciary and administration. During his reign, the concept of the Crown of the Kingdom was also established, which took away the ruler’s right to freely dispose of the lands of the state, i.e. divide the kingdom among his sons and grant its lands to other states.

Society was divided into: Nobility, bourgeoisie, peasants, clergy and Jews. The main nationalities were Poles, Germans, Ruthenians, Jews, Armenians and Vlachs. Most of the population was Christian (Latin and Armenian Catholics, Orthodox); the exception was Jews, who professed Judaism. The aforementioned religions produced their own ecclesiastical administration in Poland.

Economic development can be seen only during the reign of Casimir the Great, because during the reign of his father Wladyslaw Lokietek, the state waged wars almost constantly with its neighbors (Teutonic Knights, Brandenburg, Bohemia) and their allies, but with the help of a powerful neighbor – Hungary. During Casimir’s reign, agriculture, mining, trade, colonization developed, Polish coinage – the Cracow penny – was minted; this increased revenue to the state treasury.

The state also developed militarily (under Casimir). Still, the basic fighting force was the common army consisting of the general nobility. Village chiefs and village heads were also introduced to serve in the army. To defend the borders he built many castles and fortifications. Each castle had to have a well. No buildings were built around the castle and trees were cleared; they were impregnable especially if they stood on a hill. Often the only way to capture a castle was to starve its garrison. Cities were fortified and charged with the cost of maintaining the fortifications (walls, towers, city gates). Peasants were called up under arms only in critical situations.

Table of contents

1 History 2 Organization of the state

3 International relations

3.1 Armed conflicts

3.1.1 Major battles and sieges

3.2 Diplomacy

3.2.1 Peace treaties 3.2.2 Covenants

3.3 Demography 3.4 Nationalities and ethnic groups

4 Royal court

4.1 Kings

4.1.1 Luxembourgers 4.1.2 Piasts 4.1.3 Andegavens

4.2 Casimir III: king, queens…. and mistresses 4.3 Hedwig: two weddings

5 Economy

5.1 Agriculture 5.2 Mining 5.3 Settlement: expansion of cities and villages 5.4 Trade 5.5 Currency 5.6 Treasury

6 Geography

6.1 Physical and geographic units 6.2 Rivers 6.3 Neighbors

7 Armed forces

7.1 Defense system

8 See also 9 Footnotes 10 Bibliography 11 External links

History[edit | edit code].

Separate articles: the history of Poland (1320-1386) and the unification of the Piast monarchy.

During this period, Poland first waged war against the Teutonic Order, and then primarily diplomatic disputes with the Teutonic Knights and the Luxemburgs. As a result of the actions of King Casimir the Great and his advisors, in 1335 the Luxembourgers received Silesia and relinquished, in exchange for 20,000 mounds of Prague pennies, their rights to the title of King of Poland[2]. Thus, Piast, who ruled in Cracow, was recognized by the international community as king of Poland. His actions in the following years allowed him to end the dispute with the Teutonic Knights and conclude the Peace of Kalisz (1343), and then to undertake expansion into Halicko-Wlodzimierska Rus.

After the death of Casimir the Great (1370), the Polish throne was assumed by Louis of Hungary from the Andegawen dynasty. The period of his reign is also the beginning of the supremacy of the nobility in the political life of the country, bestowed with the first general privilege in Kosice in 1374.

Ludwig’s death (1382) was followed by a period of the longest interregnum in history. In the end, Ludwig’s daughter Jadwiga of Anjou became king of Poland on October 16, 1384. In 1386 Jadwiga married the Lithuanian prince Jogaila, who was crowned king of Poland on March 4, 1386.

Organization of the state[edit | edit code].

Separate articles: Statutes of Wiślicko-Piotrkowska and Statutes of Casimir the Great.

This section is incomplete. If you can, expand it.

International relations[edit | edit code].

Armed conflicts[edit | edit code].

See more in the article Armed conflicts in Polish history, in the United Monarchy section.

1323-1323 – Polish-Hungarian expedition to Halicko-Vlodzimierska Rus.

1326-1329 – the Polish-Brandenburg War 1327-1332 – the Polish-Teutonic War

1327-1332 – Polish-Czech War 1340-1366 – War for the Duchy of Halicko-Vlodzimiersk (stages 1 and 2) 1345-1348 – Polish-Czech War

1370-1392 – war for the duchy of Halicz-Vlodzimiersk (stage 3) 1381-1386 – conflict with Siemowit IV

Major battles and sieges[edit | edit code].

1327 – battle of Gostynin

1331 – battle of Plowce

1332 – siege of Brest Kujawski

1340 – the siege of Lviv

1341 – the Battle of Vistula River

1345 – the siege of Cracow

1350 – the Battle of Zhukov

1375 – the Battle of Gniewkowo

1376 – the siege of Zlotorya

Diplomacy[edit | edit code].

Peace treaties[edit | edit code].

1332 – Armistice between Poland and Bohemia 1329 – Polish-Brandenburg Peace at Landsberg

1343 – Polish-Teutonic peace in Kalisz

1348 – Polish-Czech peace at Namyslow

Covenants[edit | edit code].

1320 – Polish-Hungarian alliance 1325 – Polish-Lithuanian alliance 1335 – Polish-Czech-Hungarian alliance 1343 – Polish-West Pomeranian alliance 1345 – Wittelsbach alliance, with Casimir the Great and Louis of Hungary

Demography[edit | edit code].

A large demographic increase in population took place as early as the 13th century, when colonists from western Europe (mainly German and Walloon settlers) began to arrive in Poland.

Population growth in the 14th century took place throughout Central Europe (while in Western Europe, pestilence led to a significant decrease). Polish demography in this period is difficult to trace due to territorial changes. The population in the districts varied, so it would be best to calculate the population by district, but this is hardly possible due to historical sources. The population during the reign of Casimir the Great was about 2 million. This was the result of constant territorial changes – the loss of Gdansk Pomerania and Silesia, which had a population of about 500,000, and the annexation of Halich Ruthenia (with a small population).

Nationalities and ethnic groups[edit | edit code].

The society of Poland after unification consisted mainly of Poles. It was also inhabited by quite a few[style to be improved] Jews and Armenians. After the Polish expansion policy was directed to the east and the conquest of the Halicz-Volhynia principality, Ruthenians joined the society. Since the incorporation of this principality into Poland, it became an ethnically and religiously diverse country. More Armenian settlers began arriving in the conquered Ruthenian lands. From medieval sources[which ones? which ones?] we can deduce that they were a significant part of the Crown’s society economically[footnote needed].


Nationality,ethnic group

Language Religion Additional information



Polish Roman Catholicism



Hebrew, Yiddish




Ruthenian Orthodoxy



German Roman Catholicism



Armenian Apostolic Armenian Church



Eastern Roman languages Orthodoxy

Royal court[edit | edit code].

Kings[edit | edit code].

Luxemburgs[edit | edit code]

John of Luxembourg

Count of Luxembourg (1309-1346)

King of Bohemia (1310-1346)

King of Poland (1310-1335) (titular)[2].

Piasts[edit | edit code].

Władysław I Łokietek

Duke of Brest (1267-1300) Duke of Sieradz (1288-1300)

prince of Sandomierz (1289-1292)

fief of Wenceslas II (1292-1300)

regent in the duchy of Dobrzyń (1293-1295) duke of Łęczyca (1294-1300)

prince of Wielkopolska and Pomerania (1296-1300) prince of Wisliczka (1304-1320)

Duke of Brest (1305-1320) Duke of Sieradz (1305-1320)

Duke of Sandomierz (1305-1320) Duke of Cracow

prince of Gdansk (1306-1309)

prince of Greater Poland (1314-1320)

King of Poland (Cracow) (1320-1333)[2].

Casimir III the Great (son of Ladislaus I the Short)

King of Poland (Cracow) (1333-1370)[2].

Prince of Halych (1340-1343)

prince of Halych (1349-1370)

prince of Volhynia (1349-1350)

Andegavens[edit | edit code].

Louis I of Andegavia, known as the Hungarian (nephew of Casimir III the Great)

King of Hungary (1342-1382)

King of Poland (1370-1382)[3]

Prince of Halych (1370-1382)[4].

Jadwiga of Anjou (daughter of Louis of Anjou)

king of Poland (1384-1399)

Prince of Halych (1387-1399)


Ladislaus II Jagiello king of Poland (1386 – 1434) grand duke of Lithuania

Casimir III: king, queens…. and mistresses[edit | edit code].

This section should be refined: from 2011-12 → improve the style – it should be encyclopedic.More detailed information on what needs to be improved can perhaps be found in the discussion of this section. Once the imperfections have been eliminated, the {{Refinement}} template should be removed from this section.

Casimir’s first marriage began in 1325, that is, while his father was still reigning, and was “proof” of the alliance he had previously made with pagan Lithuania. The future king married the daughter of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas – Aldona, who took the name Anna after her baptism. She gave him two daughters, Elisabeth and Kunegunda. In 1330 (then the marriage continued), Prince Casimir was on a diplomatic mission in Buda to the friendly Polish Hungarian royal court. There he became inflamed with love lust for the lovely Clara Zach. Casimir’s sister, Queen Elisabeth of Hungary, is said to have lured the girl into a bedroom and left immediately; then Casimir showed up to ensnare the maiden. Her father Felicjan Zach learned of his daughter’s dishonor by the Polish prince shortly after his return to Cracow. The enraged knight threw himself with a sword at King Charles Robert, whose wife Elisabeth (the one who lured Clare into the bedroom) stood in his way and, defending her husband, lost four fingers. However, the fury of the knight Zach weakened his combat prowess, as the cuts of his sword were ineffective, and the king’s pageant easily pierced him with his sword. Later, the entire Zach family was slaughtered[5]. In 1333, King Ladislaus Lokietek died, and Casimir was crowned king. Six years later, on May 26, 1339, Queen Aldona Anna died. She was the first woman to be buried in Wawel Castle.

Two years later, he married the daughter of the Hessian landgrave Henry II Zelazny – Adelaide. Soon after the wedding, the marriage began to fall apart due to Casimir’s infidelities and lack of offspring. The queen was settled in a castle in Zarnowiec on the Pilica River.

King Casimir III from an unknown mistress probably had three sons (Niemierza, Jan and Pełka, whose existence is not certain) and several daughters. Around 1352, the ruler fell in love with the famous Jewish woman Esther.

Jerzy Wyrozumski believes that she was the mother of Niemierza and Jan. She is a legendary figure: it was said that Casimir built a castle in Lobzów for her, and in Opoczno the royal mistress’s house was shown to each other. When her compatriots discovered that Ester did not observe the Sabbath (supposedly thanks to a bribed mayor), they wanted to stone her, but she escaped through underground passageways to Wawel, but before that she buried gold and diamonds.

After Esther, the king’s next mistress was the beautiful Bohemian townswoman Krystyna Rokiczana, with whom he entered into a morganatic marriage in 1356. This led to the queen’s return to Hesse. The love ended after the admission of an eye testimony, when he distrusted the relationship, having become convinced that she had baldness and scabs on her head. He divorced her… This divorce led to further dynastic turmoil, as neither his wife nor the Pope wanted to recognize the divorce nor the new marriages. While Queen Adelaide was still alive, he remarried in 1365 to Jadwiga of Glogow and Zagan, with whom he had three daughters. In 1367 he divorced Adelaide[footnote needed], and Jadwiga became Queen of Poland. After the king’s death, she lived another 20 years….



Wife’s nationality Date of birth Date of death Duration of marriage Wife’s father Offspring Additional information.


Aldona Anna

Lithuanian 1310[footnote needed].

1339 1325-1339 Gediminas

Elisabeth and Kunegunda


Adelaide of Hesse

German woman 1321[footnote needed].

1371 1341-1368[footnote needed].

Henry II Iron no offspring Marriage ended in divorce in 1368[footnote needed].


Krystyna Rokiczana

Bohemian before 1330 after 1365 1356-1365 no data no offspring.

Morganatic, bigamous marriage. She was spurned by the king shortly after her marriage after she was discovered to have baldness and scabies.


Jadwiga of Zagan

Pole 1340/1350 1390 1365-1370 Henry V of Zelazny

Anna, Kunegunda, Jadwiga 1365-1367 – bigamous marriage,1367-1370 – queen of Poland.



Nationality of the mistress Date of birth Date of death Duration of the affair Father of the mistress Husband of the mistress Children of the affair Additional information.


Klara Zach

Hungarian c. 1310[footnote needed].

1335[footnote needed].

1330 Felician Zach no husband no offspring She was not a mistress; she was tricked into the bedroom where Casimir came.



Jewish woman no data no data c. 1352-? no data no husband probably two sons

Jadwiga: two weddings[edit | edit code].

Jan Matejko, Dmitri of Goraya stopping Jadwiga from breaking down the door at the royal castle in Kraków.

On August 15, 1378, Polish royal Jadwiga was betrothed to Austrian Prince Wilhelm Habsburg. There was even a wedding ceremony held between the children with the prostrations (sponsalia de futuro).

On August 23, 1385, Jadwiga (already king of Poland) and Wilhelm decided to confirm their earlier nuptials in Cracow. But the Polish lords of the Council of the Kingdom of Poland, were against the marriage. It was then that Jadwiga came up with the idea of repentance, or carnal consumption. Wilhelm, with the acquiescence of Jadwiga’s mother Elżbieta Bośniaczka, arrived in Cracow, but was not allowed into the castle. He did, however, manage to make his way to Wawel Castle with a large entourage accompanying him, which was to certify that the bedding had taken place. They headed for the queen’s chambers, for the prince considered Jadwiga his rightful spouse and openly headed for the bed. News of this quickly spread through the castle and Krakow. Council members rushed towards the queen’s hall, and were outraged: Wilhelm had broken the ban on entering the castle[style to be corrected]. A consummated marriage would be a threat to Jagiello’s seating on the throne and thus the union with Lithuania. Lords of the Council rushed to the queen’s bedroom. They were already banging on the door[style to be improved]. Hedwig asked her betrothed to leave. Wilhelm escaped lowered in a basket on ropes along the castle wall. Hedwig still tries to leave the castle, but is stopped by guards[style to be improved]. – Listen to Jan Długosz, followed by Karol Szajnocha: – “Who forbade,” asks the queen, “the Lords. – And they forbid me, the queen! Pass the axe! – This is how far the prohibition did not go: it was given”[style to be improved]. Hedwig began to chop the axe against the door. She was in a fit of rage, so one must appreciate the courage of the aged Crown Treasurer Dmitri Goray, who approached and asked her to desist from this senseless act[style to be improved].

However, Hedwig was the king, so she also had to consider the interests of the state. She was horrified that she was to marry a man who was about 20 years older than her[style to be improved]. Jadwiga’s chances of marrying Wilhelm collapsed when Grand Duke Jagiello of Lithuania came to Krakow from Lublin in January for his baptism, Jadwiga’s hand and the throne of Poland. The queen sent her courtier Zawisza of Oleśnica to look in on Jagiello as a guest. The Lithuanian prince quickly realized why the knight had come and invited him to the bathhouse to have a look at the future king. Zawisza told Hedwig that: Jagiello has a cheerful countenance, is well-built, steadfast, does not drink alcohol, only spring water[footnote needed]. On February 15, Jagiello was baptized in the Latin rite. On February 18, the calm queen (after Zawisza’s assurances) stood up to marry in the interests of the state and the entire Christian world. On March 4, 1386, in Wawel Cathedral, Grand Duke of Lithuania Wladyslaw Jagiello was crowned king of Poland. The event marked the beginning of the first period of his reign, in cooperation with his young wife Jadwiga who was undoubtedly under the strong influence of Malopolska’s magnanimous elite.

We will never know again whether Jadwiga had a heart for her husband, or rather, her thoughts were with her beloved William[style to be improved].

Hedwig died in the summer of 1399 at the age of 25, shortly after the death of her daughter Elizabeth Boniface, who was a few weeks old.

Economy[edit | edit code].

Agriculture[edit | edit code].

Settlers arriving in Poland located towns and villages under German law. From the west, they brought with them western ways of farming. New tools and farming techniques were adopted fairly quickly in Polish agriculture. Another transformation in agriculture made by the colonists was the introduction of the (common in the West) three-field system. However, despite the development of agriculture in this part of Europe, the blossoming of new farming techniques lagged behind in some Polish districts, such as Mazovia and Halicko-Vlodzimierska Rus.

Mining[edit | edit code].

Central Europe at the time was already specialized in the export of raw materials, which strongly activated the nobility under economic insight, which expanded the role of this layer of society. Central European mining was dominated by Hungary and Bohemia. Poland, after losing Silesia, lost access to gold mines in the region. Nowhere on Polish soil was gold mined. All Polish mines (except the mine in Inowrocław) were located in Malopolska.

Raw material mining centers:

Olkusz – silver, lead

Chęciny – silver, lead, copper

Wąchock – iron

Wieliczka – rock salt (see: Wieliczka Salt Mine)

Bochnia – rock salt (see: Bochnia Salt Mine)

Inowrocław – rock salt (see: Inowrocław Salt Mines “Solino”, Salt Mine “Solno” in Inowrocław)

The salt mines in Wieliczka and Bochnia were owned by a company established in the 13th century – Żupa krakowska.

Salt mines in Wieliczka and Bochnia, as well as lead mines in Olkusz and Chęciny, had an important impact on the Polish economy. Polish lead was needed in Bohemia, Saxony and Hungary as an auxiliary raw material for silver mining.

Settlement: expansion of towns and villages[edit | edit code].

Arriving settlers located towns and villages under Magdeburg law. Cities were plentiful in this period, but they were very small. Small towns were very common in Central Europe and had a population of about 1,000. Large cities (by local standards) were quite rare and smaller than Western European medium-sized cities. A town or village founded under German law had fiscal and judicial immunity. Settlement in this period covered the entire kingdom (both its western parts and the Ruthenian lands), but in varying degrees of intensity. It developed in royal, ecclesiastical and knightly estates. However, settlers were needed to create new urban and rural settlements. The influx of Germans was declining and headed more to the cities than to the countryside. In addition, the location of new settlements was expensive. The cost of the investment was covered by the principleholder or the landowner, or both at the same time. The rule-keeper’s investment lord was reflected in the size of the hereditary emolument to which he was entitled. Investment funds were also required to rebuild old settlements under the rent law. The creation of landholdings of relatively large acreage (from about 17 to 25 hectares) would have been impossible without the replenishment of livestock and improved working tools. The settlement movement of the time, therefore, was an investment movement. Royal estates were at the forefront of this movement. However, church and knightly estates were not far behind.

It is difficult to assess the monarch’s contribution to the development of cities, villages, etc. The Cracow Cathedral Chronicle, in a paragraph formerly attributed to Jan of Czarnkow, informs that during Casimir’s reign “as many villages and towns were settled in the forests, groves and places overgrown with bushes as there were almost at any other time in the Kingdom of Poland.” This opinion was written shortly after the king’s death. We do not have an inventory of pre-Casimir settlements, nor of those established during his reign. Thus, it is difficult to assess how many settlements arrived during his reign, but the growth of settlements must have been great, as the chronicler wrote. We find evidence of the increase in the number of settlements in other sources, namely, in location documents. Roughly a thousand of them have survived from the times of Kazimierz Poland. However, they do not provide specific information on the number of settlements. They were, however, documents concerning, among other things, the renewal of the Magdeburg law granted to them earlier, and others concerned contacts with aldermen and village heads. The information contained in the Cracow Cathedral Chronicle is very valuable, but it only gives one side of the settlement process – the creation of new settlements – and no mention was made of the expansion of existing settlements.

Trade[edit | edit code].

Many Polish cities belonged to the Hanseatic League, the largest trade union in Europe. Through the efforts of the Polish king, new merchant routes were established, providing more favorable conditions for international exchange. By creating customs barriers and granting privileges to cities (the right of composition and road compulsion), Casimir strengthened the position of native merchants, which was complained about in neighboring countries. It is worth mentioning that in trade with Hungary, salt prices were deliberately undercut in order to beat the competition there in mining this mineral[6].

Currency[edit | edit code].

Separate articles: Denar, Prague penny and Cracow penny.

Prior to the introduction of the penny system, the brakteat denarius was mainly used in the Polish lands. In 1300, a silver penny coin was introduced in Bohemia (the Prague penny), which also became a circulating coin in neighboring countries (Poland, Austria and Hungary) and in Halich Ruthenia and Lithuania. The last Piasts attempted to create a Polish coinage operating throughout the country. During the reign of Wladyslaw Lokietek, a gold coin was minted (on the model of the florins), but the small issue and lack of access to raw materials (gold), show that it was not intended to be put into circulation. The Prague penny ceased to be the main coin in Poland when it was supplanted by the monetary reform of Casimir the Great, which in 1367 led to the introduction of a new penny coin – the Cracow penny. 10 years earlier, the king had announced the monetary reform: “Since one is the ruler of all, with the advice and consent of all our dignitaries there is to be one coin in our kingdom, which should be perpetual and good in value, so that by this means it will be more pleasing and desirable than others.”[6]

State treasury[edit | edit code].

The state treasury was significantly supplied by income from the lease of salt mines. In addition, it received income from landed estates held by the monarch (his domain), from the mint, and from customs and tolls. The basis of the state’s finances were taxes, among other things, poradlne łanowe[7]. Casimir’s far-sighted economic policy brought an increase in the wealth of society, thanks in part to tax exemptions in the first years after the location of towns and villages. Wealthier subjects as taxpayers were better able to serve the state[6].

Geography[edit | edit code].

Separate articles: geography of Poland and geography of Ukraine.

Poland at the time was landlocked and was mainly an upland country, with few lowlands, lake districts and mountains. Uplands were found in almost the entire area of the country except Greater Poland and Mazovia. They all belonged to the (physico-geographic province) Polish Uplands. Uplands were separated from each other by basins.Lake districts occurred in the north of the country.

Physical-geographic units[edit | edit code].

Separate article: physical-geographic regionalization of Poland.

Non-alpine Central Europe – uplands

Polish uplands

Malopolska Upland

Silesian-Cracow upland

Krakow-Czestochowa Upland

Czestochowa Upland Krzeszowice Ditch Tenczyński Ridge Świętokrzyskie Mountains

Niecka Nidziańska Przedborska Upland Kielecko-Sandomierska Upland

Lubelskie-Lwów Upland

Lubelska Upland Roztocze

Lviv Upland (from 1349)

Eastern European Lowlands

Ukrainian highlands

Volyn-Podolska Upland (from 1349)

Volyn upland Podolska upland

Non-alpine Central Europe – lowlands and lake districts

Central European plain

Central European lowland

South Greater Poland lowland

Mazovian Lowland (the Duchy of Mazovia – a fief of Poland – was located here at that time)

North Mazovian Lowland Central Mazovian Lowland South Mazovian Hills

South Baltic Lake District

South Pomeranian Lake District

Inowrocław Plain Wrzesin Plain

Dobrzyn Lake District

Rivers[edit | edit code].

Separate articles: rivers in Poland and rivers in Ukraine.

The most important rivers of the Kingdom were in:

West: Warta

North: the Narew

The center: the Vistula, Pilica, San, Wieprz

East: the upper Dniester

South: Dunajec

River Length in km Length in Poland in km Catchment of the country through which it flowed

Vistula 1047 ?? Baltic Sea

Cieszyn, Poland, Mazovia, Teutonic state

Warta 808.2 no data Oder Poland, Brandenburg

Dniester 1352 no data Black Sea

Halicko-Volyn principality, Moldavia, Poland

San 443.4 no data Vistula Halic-Volyn principality, Poland

Wieprz 303 no data Vistula Halic-Volyn principality, Poland

Bug 772 no data Vistula Halic-Volyn principality, Lithuania, Poland

Narew 884 no data Vistula Lithuania, Poland

Neighbors[edit | edit code].

State of the Teutonic Order Duchy of Pomerania March of Brandenburg

Kingdom of Bohemia

Silesian principalities (fiefdoms of Bohemia)

Kingdom of Hungary Grand Duchy of Lithuania

The Duchy of Halicko-Volhynia (until 1340) The Hospodardom of Moldavia

Duchy of Mazovia (from 1351 a fief of Poland)

Duchy of Plock (since 1386 a fief of Poland)

Armed forces[edit | edit code].

Separate article: History of the Polish army.

Military service was a universal duty of all those who owned land under knightly right, so they owned it and enjoyed immunity. This was formulated in Article.39 of the Statute of Greater Poland, from where we learn that it was not a purely personal duty of the knight, but extended to a smaller or larger number of people he was obliged to lead with him. On the other hand, Article 13 of the Statute of Lesser Poland regulated the military service of village heads. All documents of privileges and location contracts mention the military duties of the reeves, sometimes even strictly defined as to the value of the horse, armor, or the number of accompanying reeves. The fief relationship that bound the reeve to his superior lord, by its very nature, should also have bound him to his lord in terms of military duties. And Article 14 of the Statute of Malopolska defined the knightly duties of the clergy. If a clergyman held land under knightly right, he had to fulfill his military duties to the state. if he could not, then he had to transfer his property to a lay relative; otherwise, they were confiscated.

To avoid sham military service or uncoordinated actions, knights were bound by law to a specific military unit – the ensign: family (knights from one family), land (knights from one land), court (royal army). The king, under threat of confiscation of property, forbade knights to sneak out from under the ensign during war expeditions and defensive actions, because, as the relevant article of the Statute of Lesser Poland justifies, “the shabby is the part that will not submit to its whole.”

In defense of the peasant population, in Article 45 of the Statute of Lesser Poland, the king ruled that “the turmoil of war, due to disorderly chivalry, used to ravage more of one’s own lands than of others, and this due to unseemly plunder.” Regardless of this article, the king promulgated a special coordination on an unknown date, in which he forbade knights from arranging stopovers during war expeditions after monasteries, villages, towns and church buildings, and established a price list that forbade knights from taking foodstuffs and fodder for free[8].

Combat units: The basis of the Polish armed forces in the late Middle Ages was the common army.

Ensign – the basic organizational unit of knightly riding.

Ancestral ensign – gathered knights from the same family.

Land ensign – brought together knights from the same land.

Court ensign – consisted of the royal court army.

Armored – heavy riding. In contrast to the common movement, this was a professional army. They wore chainmail and were armed with swords and spears.

Mercenary army – military formations that fought for money.

Defense system[edit | edit code].

The defense of the state in the 14th century was extended to landowners and burghers. All landowners were burdened with military service and had to appear at the call of the monarch, with military mail proportional to their wealth. The nobility was charged with building and maintaining defensive castles on the land from which they came. The bourgeoisie and peasants were not drafted into the army. Cities were burdened with the cost of urban fortifications (walls, towers, gates) and their defense. Great changes occurred in the fortification system. The wooden and earthen Piast castles were replaced by newer and better masonry castles. The castle was further protected by walls, reinforced by towers. In addition, there was a moat around the castle, and consequently they had a drawbridge, which, when raised, provided additional defense for the gate. Obligatory in every castle was a well. More than once it had to be very deep if the castle stood on a mountain. Around the castle all the trees were cut down and no buildings were built. There was pure emptiness. This gave a great advantage to the defenders, since the attackers had no cover and sieges only succeeded when the defenders were in danger of starving to death. Casimir the Great envisioned the construction of castles along the entire border with Silesia and the Teutonic state. After conquering Halich Rus, he began its fortification. He built and rebuilt some 53 castles and 27 fortifications (masonry), and this must have been a huge financial undertaking for the country. The Kosice Privilege of 1374 limited the military duties of the nobility[9].

Fortified cities

Lesser Poland – Kazimierz, Wieliczka, Skawina, Lelów, Sandomierz, Wiślica, Szydłów, Radom, Opoczno, Lublin, Będzin, Olkusz, Bodzentyn, Ilza, Tarnow. Greater Poland – Kalisz, Pyzdry, Stawiszyn, Konin, Wieluń, Żnin. Kuyavia – Rypin. Ziemia sieradzka – Piotrków. Ziemia łęczycka – Łęczyca, Inowłódz. Mazovia – Plock. Ruthenia – Lviv, Krosno.


Lesser Poland – Wawel, Lublin, Sieciechów, Solec, Zawichost, Nowe Miasto Korczyn, Lanckorona. Greater Poland – Kalisz, Konin, Nakło, Wieluń, Międzyrzecz, Ostrzeszów, Bolesławiec. Kuyavia – Kruszwica, Zlotoria, Przedecz, Bydgoszcz. Ziemia sieradzka – Sieradz, Brzeźnica. Ziemia łęczycka – Łęczyca, Inowłódz. Ruthenia – Lviv (two castle-towns), Przemyśl, Sanok, Lubaczów, Trembowla, Halicz[8].

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