Mieszko I PIAST, Prince of Poland
- Born: Between 920 and 930, Poznan, Poland
- Married (1): 965
- Married (2): 978/9
- Died: 25 May 992, Poznan, Poland
The Chronicæ Polanorum names "Meschonem" as son of "Semimizl", specifying that he was first called by another name (not specified) and was blind for seven years from birth. The Annales Polanorum state that "Semomislaus genuit Miscko cecum" in 920, and in 931 state that "Mesko dux mirabiliter illuminator". Dzieciol says that the traditional view of Polish historians is that Mieszko was aged about 70 when he died. However, this appears old in light of the dates of his two known marriages and the dates of birth of his known children.
He is cited in 963 as MIESZKO I Prince of Poland by the chronicler Widukind of Corvey who records his defeat in two battles by "the Slavs" led by Wichman. In 965, Prince Mieszko formed an alliance with Boleslav I Duke of Bohemia, confirmed by his marriage to the latter's daughter, the new queen influencing her husband's baptism at Easter 966 and being instrumental in the start of Poland's conversion to Christianity. In 967, Pope John XIII established a missionary bishopric at Poznan under Bishop Jordan. According to Thietmar of Merseburg, Gero Markgraf von Ostmark obliged Prince Mieszko to pay tribute to Emperor Otto I "der Große". While it is unclear whether any relationship of vassalage to the empire resulted, after his conversion Mieszko was referred to as "amicum imperatoris". Widukind records that "Misacam" and his Bohemian allies defeated the western Pomeranians in 967 and killed their leader Wichman. Thietmar records that Prince Mieszko was attacked by Hodo Markgraf der Ostmark but defeated him at Zehden [Cydyna] 24 Jun 972. The dispute was mediated in Quedlinburg in 973 by Emperor Otto. Prince Mieszko left his son Boleslaw at the German court as a hostage, but placed him under the protection of the Holy See by sending a lock of his son's hair to the Pope. Better relations with Germany appear to have been restored by Prince Mieszko's third marriage. This probably gave the necessary diplomatic backing to Mieszko's conquest of Krakow and Silesia from the Bohemians towards the end of his reign. The Russian Primary Chronicle records that in 981 Vladimir Grand Prince of Kiev invaded Polish territory and conquered Czerwien, "Peremyshl" and other cities. In , Prince Mieszko donated his whole country to the papacy, signalling an assertion of his autonomy from the empire (at that time still controlled by the regent Empress Theophano) while at the same time affirming papal pre-eminence.
"Dagome iudex et Ote senatrix et filii eorum Misica et Lambertus" donated "civitatem…Schinesghe" to the papacy by charter dated to [Aug 995/25 May 992]. Thietmar describes Mieszko as "senex" at his death. 1
Mieszko married D˙bravka PŘEMYSLID, Princess of Bohemia, daughter of Boleslav I "Ukrutnř/the Cruel" PŘEMYSLID, Duke of Bohemia, and Biogota, in 965. (D˙bravka PŘEMYSLID was born between 940 and 945 in Praha, Bohemia and died in 977.)
Mieszko also married Oda VON HALDENSLEBEN, daughter of Dietrich VON HALDENSLEBEN, Markgraf der Nordmark, in 978/9. (Oda VON HALDENSLEBEN died in 1023.)