|Grand Duke of Lithuania|
|Reign||29 June 1440 – 7 June 1492|
|Coronation||29 June 1440 in Vilnius Cathedral|
|Successor||Alexander I Jagiellon|
|King of Poland|
|Reign||25 June 1447 – 7 June 1492|
|Coronation||25 June 1447 in Wawel Cathedral|
|Successor||John I Albert|
|Born||30 November 1427|
|Died||7 June 1492 64) (aged|
Old Grodno Castle
Wawel Cathedral, Kraków
|Spouse||Elisabeth of Austria|
|Father||Władysław II Jagiełło|
|Mother||Sophia of Halshany|
Casimir IV (in full Casimir IV Andrew Jagiellon; Polish : Kazimierz IV Andrzej Jagiellończyk [kaˈʑimi̯ɛʒ jaɡi̯ɛlˈlɔɲt͡ʃɨk] ( listen ); Lithuanian: Kazimieras Jogailaitis ; 30 November 1427 – 7 June 1492) was Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1440 and King of Poland from 1447, until his death. He was one of the most active Polish rulers, under whom Poland, by defeating the Teutonic Knights in the Thirteen Years' War recovered Pomerania, and the Jagiellonian dynasty became one of the leading royal houses in Europe.
The great triumph of his reign was bringing Prussia under Polish rule.The rule of Casimir corresponded to the age of "new monarchies" in western Europe. By the 15th century Poland had narrowed the distance separating it from western Europe and become a significant factor in international relations. The demand for raw materials and semi-finished goods stimulated trade, producing a positive balance, and contributed to the growth of crafts and mining in the entire country. He was a recipient of the English Order of the Garter (KG), the highest order of chivalry and the most prestigious honour in England.
Following Casimir's death in 1492, John I Albert succeeded him as King of Poland, and Alexander Jagiellon was proclaimed Grand Duke of Lithuania.
Casimir Jagiellon was the third and youngest son of King Władysław II Jagiełło and his fourth wife, Sophia of Halshany.He often relied on his instinct and feelings and had little political knowledge, but shared a great interest in the diplomacy and economic affairs of the country. Throughout Casimir's youth, Bishop Zbigniew Oleśnicki was his mentor and tutor, however, the cleric felt a strong reluctance towards him, believing that he would be an unsuccessful monarch following Władysław's death.
The sudden death of Sigismund Kęstutaitis left the office of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania empty. The Voivode of Trakai, Jonas Goštautas, and other magnates of Lithuania, supported Casimir as a candidate to the throne. However many Polish noblemen hoped that the thirteen-year-old boy would become a Vice-regent for the Polish King in Lithuania.Casimir was invited by the Lithuanian magnates to Lithuania, and when he arrived in Vilnius in 1440, he was proclaimed as the Grand Duke of Lithuania on 29 June 1440 by the Council of Lords, contrary to the wishes of the Polish noble lords—an act supported and coordinated by Jonas Goštautas. When the news arrived in the Kingdom of Poland concerning the proclamation of Casimir as the Grand Duke of Lithuania, it was met with hostility, even to the point of military threats against Lithuania. Since the young Grand Duke was underage, the supreme control over the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was in the hands of the Lithuanian Council of Lords, presided by Jonas Goštautas. Casimir was taught Lithuanian language and the customs of Lithuania by appointed court officials.
During Casimir's rule the rights of the Lithuanian nobility—dukes, magnates, and boyars (lesser nobles), irrespective of their religion and ethnicity—were put on an equal footing to those of the Polish szlachta. Additionally, Casimir promised to protect the Grand Duchy's borders and not to appoint persons from the Polish Kingdom to the offices of the Grand Duchy. He accepted that decisions on matters concerning the Grand Duchy would not be made without the Council of Lords' consent. He also granted the subject region of Samogitia the right to elect its own elder. Casimir was the first ruler of Lithuania baptized at birth, becoming the first native Roman Catholic Grand Duke.
In 1427, the Polish nobility initiated an anti-Jagiellonian opposition and attempted to have Władysław II Jagiełło's sons Władysław III and Casimir IV Jagiellon declared illegitimate to the Polish throne as they, being sons of a Lithuanian noblewoman Sophia of Halshany, had no blood link to the previous ruling Polish dynasty, the Piasts, however Casimir's father ensured the succession for his sons.
Casimir succeeded his brother Władysław III (killed at the Battle of Varna in 1444) as King of Poland after a three-year interregnum on 25 June 1447. In 1454, he married Elisabeth of Austria, daughter of King Albert II of Germany and Elizabeth of Luxembourg, a descendant of King Casimir III of Poland. Her distant relative was Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor. The marriage strengthened the ties between the house of Jagiellon and the sovereigns of Hungary-Bohemia and put Casimir at odds with the emperor through internal Habsburg rivalry.
That same year, Casimir was approached by the Prussian Confederation for aid against the Teutonic Order, which he promised, by making the separatist Prussian regions a protectorate of the Polish Kingdom. However, when the insurgent cities rebelled against the Order, it resisted and the Thirteen Years' War (1454–1466) ensued. After a long and expensive war, Casimir and the Prussian Confederation defeated the Teutonic Order. In the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), the Order recognized Polish sovereignty over the seceded western Prussian regions, Royal Prussia, and the Polish crown's overlordship over the remaining Teutonic Monastic State, transformed in 1525 into a duchy, Ducal Prussia.
Elisabeth's only brother Ladislaus, king of Bohemia and Hungary, died in 1457, and after that Casimir and Elisabeth's dynastic interests were directed also towards her brother's kingdoms.
King Casimir IV died on 7 June 1492 in the Old Grodno Castle in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which was in a personal union with Poland.
The intervention of the Roman curia, which hitherto had been hostile to Casimir, was due to the permutations of European politics. The pope was anxious to get rid of the Hussite King of Bohemia, George Podebrad, as the first step towards the formation of a league against the Ottoman Turks. Casimir was to be a leading factor in this combination, and he took advantage of it to procure the election of his son Vladislaus II as the King of Bohemia. But he would not commit himself too far, and his ulterior plans were frustrated by the rivalry of Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, who even went so far as to stimulate the Teutonic Order to rise against Casimir. The death of Matthias in 1490 was a great relief to Poland, and Casimir employed the two remaining years of his reign in consolidating his position still further.
In 1490, Casimir's son John Albert was elected the King of Hungary by a party among the Hungarian nobles. He was, however, defeated by his older brother, King Vladislaus II of Bohemia. Casimir, who wanted to secure a separate realm for his sons, proposed John Albert. Most Hungarian barons and prelates preferred Vladislaus because his rule in Bohemia had indicated that he would respect their liberties. Vladislaus was crowned King of Hungary on 18 September 1490 in Székesfehérvár.
Around 1480 Casimir was allied with the Great Horde against Muscovy and Crimea. His failure to support Khan Akhmed at the Great stand on the Ugra River contributed to Russia's gaining its independence from the steppe nomads.
Alexander Jagiellon of the House of Jagiellon was the grand duke of Lithuania and later also king of Poland. He was the fourth son of Casimir IV Jagiellon. He was elected grand duke of Lithuania on the death of his father (1492) and king of Poland on the death of his brother John I Albert (1501).
Sigismund I the Old was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1506 until his death in 1548. Sigismund I was a member of the Jagiellonian dynasty, the son of Casimir IV and younger brother of Kings John I Albert and Alexander I Jagiellon. He was nicknamed "the Old" in later historiography to distinguish him from his son and successor, Sigismund II Augustus.
Władysław III, also known as Władysław of Varna, was King of Poland and the Supreme Duke of Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1434 and King of Hungary and Croatia from 1440 until his death at the Battle of Varna. He was the eldest son of Władysław II Jagiełło, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and the Lithuanian noblewoman Sophia of Halshany.
Jogaila, later Władysław II Jagiełło was Grand Duke of Lithuania (1377–1434) and then King of Poland (1386–1434), first alongside his wife Jadwiga until 1399, and then sole ruler of Poland. He ruled in Lithuania from 1377. Born a pagan, in 1386 he converted to Catholicism and was baptized as Władysław in Kraków, married the young Queen Jadwiga, and was crowned King of Poland as Władysław II Jagiełło. In 1387 he converted Lithuania to Christianity. His own reign in Poland started in 1399, upon the death of Queen Jadwiga, lasted a further thirty-five years, and laid the foundation for the centuries-long Polish–Lithuanian union. He was a member of the Jagiellonian dynasty in Poland that bears his name and was previously also known as the Gediminid dynasty in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The dynasty ruled both states until 1572, and became one of the most influential dynasties in late medieval and early modern Europe. During his reign, the Polish-Lithuanian state was the largest state in the Christian world.
The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland. The first documented Polish monarch was Duke Mieszko I. The Piasts' royal rule in Poland ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir III the Great.
Władysław I Łokietek, in English known as the "Elbow-high" or Ladislaus the Short was King of Poland from 1320 to 1333, and duke of several of the provinces and principalities in the preceding years. He was a member of the royal Piast dynasty, the son of Duke Casimir I of Kuyavia, and great-grandson of High-Duke Casimir II the Just.
John I Albert was King of Poland (1492–1501) and Duke of Głogów (1491–1498).
The Union of Grodno was a series of acts of the Polish–Lithuanian union between Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The first acts were signed in 1432 during the Lithuanian Civil War of 1431–1435. The acts confirmed the Union of Vilnius and Radom (1401). The Union established Sigismund Kęstutaitis as the Grand Duke of Lithuania and re-established Władysław II Jagiełło's seniority and dynastic interest in Lithuania.
Elizabeth of Austria was the wife of King Casimir IV of Poland and thus Queen of Poland and Grand Duchess of Lithuania. Orphaned at an early age, she spent her childhood in the court of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. As one of the three surviving grandchildren of Emperor Sigismund, she had a strong claim to the kingdoms of Hungary and Bohemia. That made her an attractive bride for a Polish prince. The Polish nobility, seeking to increase Polish influence in Hungary and Bohemia, pursued marriage with Elizabeth since she was born and finally succeeded in 1454. Her marriage to Casimir was one of the most successful royal marriages in Poland. She gave birth to thirteen children, eleven of whom survived to adulthood. Four of her sons were crowned as kings.
Sophia of Halshany or Sonka Olshanskaya was a Grand Duchy of Lithuania princess of Halshany. As the fourth and last wife of Jogaila, King of Poland and Supreme Duke of Lithuania, she was Queen consort of Poland (1422–1434). As the mother of Władysław III, King of Poland and Hungary, and Casimir IV, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland, she was the mother of the Jagiellon dynasty.
Vladislaus II of Opole was a Duke of Opole from 1356, Count palatine of Hungary during 1367–1372, ruler over Lubliniec since 1368, Duke of Wieluń during 1370–1392, ruler over Bolesławiec from 1370, Governor of Galicia–Volhynia during 1372–1378, ruler over Pszczyna during 1375–1396, Count palatine of Poland in 1378, Duke of Dobrzyń and Kujawy during 1378–1392, ruler over Głogówek from 1383 and ruler over Krnov during 1385–1392.
Jonas Gostautas or Goštautas was a Lithuanian nobleman from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania of the Gasztołd (Goštautai) noble family, a politician and skillful land owner. He served as Chancellor of Lithuania between 1443 and 1458 and was a very close advisor and mentor to Casimir IV Jagiellon before he became the third Jagiellonian King of Poland. Gostautas was not his surname, but a pagan Lithuanian given name retained after baptism by his immediate ancestor, while Jonas was his Christian name. His heirs, e.g., his sons like Martynas Goštautas, perhaps inherited the name as a surname. In 1413 at the Union of Horodło, Jonas was adopted by the Polish nobles into the Abdank clan.
The Polish–Teutonic War (1326–1332) was the war between the Kingdom of Poland and the State of the Teutonic Order over Pomerelia, fought from 1326 to 1332.
Barbara Zápolya (1495–1515) was Queen of Poland and Grand Duchess of Lithuania as the first wife of King Sigismund I the Old. Marriage to Barbara represented an alliance between Sigismund and the House of Zápolya against the Habsburgs in succession disputes over the throne to the Kingdom of Hungary. The alliance was short-lived as the renewed Muscovite–Lithuanian War forced Sigismund to look for Habsburg allies. The marriage was loving, but short. Barbara was the mother of Hedwig, Electress of Bradenburg, but died soon after the birth of her second daughter Anna.
Bolesław IV of Warsaw, was a Polish prince and member of the House of Piast in the Masovian branch. He was Duke of Warsaw during 1429–1454 and sovereign Duke of Podlachia in 1440–1444.
Jan IV of Oświęcim, was a Duke of Oświęcim during 1434–1456 and Duke of Gliwice from 1465 to 1482.
The First Congress of Vienna was held in 1515, attended by the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, and the Jagiellonian brothers, Vladislaus II, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia, and Sigismund I, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Previously, Vladislaus and Maximilian had agreed on a Habsburg-Jagiellon mutual-succession treaty in 1506. It became a turning point in the history of central Europe. After the death of Vladislaus, and later his son and heir, the childless King Louis II at the Battle of Mohács against the Ottomans in 1526, the Habsburg-Jagellion mutual succession treaty ultimately increased the power of the Habsburgs and diminished that of the Jagiellonians.
Sophia of Poland, was a princess, member of the Jagiellonian dynasty, great grand daughter of Emperor Sigismund and by marriage Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Brandenburg-Kulmbach.
The rule of the Jagiellonian dynasty in Poland between 1386 and 1572 spans the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period in European history. The Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogaila founded the dynasty; his marriage to Queen Jadwiga of Poland in 1386 strengthened an ongoing Polish–Lithuanian union. The partnership brought vast territories controlled by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania into Poland's sphere of influence and proved beneficial for both the Polish and Lithuanian people, who coexisted and cooperated in one of the largest political entities in Europe for the next four centuries.
The Jagiellonian dynasty was a royal dynasty, founded by Jogaila, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, who in 1386 was baptized as Władysław, married Queen Hedwig of Poland, and was crowned King of Poland as Władysław II Jagiełło. The dynasty reigned in several Central European countries between the 14th and 16th centuries. Members of the dynasty were Kings of Poland (1386–1572), Grand Dukes of Lithuania, Kings of Hungary, and Kings of Bohemia (1471–1526). The dynasty was a cadet branch of Gediminids.
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