Opole (administrative)

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The opole (Latin : vicinia) [1] is a historical unit of administration in Poland. An opole was characterised by close geographical ties between a group of settlements and common legal responsibilities collectively affecting all of them. The institution of the opole predates the Kingdom of Poland, and began disappearing around the 13th to 15th centuries. It was the lowest unit of administration in the medieval Polish kingdom, subordinate to the castellany.

Poland Republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Kingdom of Poland (1025–1385) Polish state from the coronation of the first King Bolesław I the Brave in 1025 to the union with Lithuania and the rule of the Jagiellon dynasty in 1385

The Kingdom of Poland was the Polish state from the coronation of the first King Bolesław I the Brave in 1025 to the union with Lithuania and the rule of the Jagiellon dynasty in 1385.

A particular opole would be named after its largest, capital settlement. [2] Most notably, the term survived as a name of a major city in Poland, Opole, and is also associated with the Opolans tribe. [3]

Opole Place in Poland

Opole(listen) is a city located in southern Poland on the Oder River and the historical capital of Upper Silesia. With a population of approximately 128,140, it is currently the capital of the Opole Voivodeship and, also the seat of Opole County. With its long history dating back to the 8th century, Opole is one of the oldest cities in Poland. It is also the smallest city in Poland to be the largest city in a voivodeship.

Opolans were the West Slavic tribe that lived in the region of upper Odra. Their main settlement (gord) was Opole. They were mentioned in the Bavarian Geographer, under the name Opolini, as one of the seven tribes living in Silesia. The other six were: Dziadoszanie, Golęszyce, Ślężanie, Trzebowianie, Bobrzanie and Lupiglaa.

History and function

The organization of the opole predates the first Polish state, the Kingdom of Poland. [4] Opoles were characteristic of the Slavic tribes and had their genesis in ties between neighbourhoods. [4] In the loose organizational structure of those times, the opole stood as an intermediate stage between an extended family and the wider tribe; [5] Henryk Łowmiański refers to opoles as the "constituent units of the tribe". [6] At first, depending on the density of inhabitants, an opole could cover an area of between few dozen to a few hundred square kilometers, with an average area of about 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi). [4] Opoles would comprise both larger settlements and individual manors. [4]

An extended family is a family that extends beyond the nuclear family, consisting of parents like father, mother, and their children, aunts, uncles,grandparents and cousins, all living in the same household.

In anthropology, a tribe is a human social group. Exact definitions of what constitutes a tribe vary among anthropologists. The concept is often contrasted with other social groups concepts, such as nations, states, and forms of kinship.

Henryk Łowmiański Polish historian

Henryk Łowmiański was a Polish historian of the medieval period. A researcher of ancient history of Poland, Lithuania and the Slavs in general, Łowmiański was the author of many works, including the 6 volume Początki Polski.

Opoles had several forms of collective responsibility; for example the members of the opole were required to pay certain taxes as a unit and perform services for the state (such as providing cattle or aiding in searches for fugitives). [1] In some documents, the term opole would be used to refer to those obligations. [2]

Collective responsibility refers to responsibilities of organizations, groups and societies. Part of it is the concept known as collective guilt by which individuals who are part of such collectives to be responsible for other people's actions and occurrences by tolerating, ignoring, or harboring them, without actively engaging.

The close geographical ties between a group of settlements, and common legal responsibilities collectively affecting all of them, can be seen as the primary defining characteristics of an opole. [2] However, Bardach notes that practically nothing is known about the internal organization of the opole. [1] They were subordinate to the local castellany. [2]

Opoles began disappearing around the 13th to 15th centuries. [1] According to Bardach, the causes included a proliferation of settlements applying Magdeburg rights (German legal codes), and the advent of economic and judicial immunities among the feudal lords (nobility and clergy), which removed many settlements from the state's jurisdiction. [1] [2] Those processes accelerated around the time of the fragmentation of Poland (12th to 14th centuries). [2] Opoles disappeared earliest in Silesia and Lesser Poland, and survived the longest in the Masovia region of east-central Poland. [1]

Magdeburg rights set of town privileges first developed by Otto I (936–973) and based on the Flemish law

Magdeburg rights were a set of town privileges first developed by Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor (936–973) and based on the Flemish law, which regulated the degree of internal autonomy within cities and villages, granted by the local ruler. Named after the German city of Magdeburg, these town charters were perhaps the most important set of medieval laws in Central Europe thus far. They became the basis for the German town laws developed during many centuries in the Holy Roman Empire. Even more importantly, adopted and modified by numerous monarchs including the rulers of Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland, the laws were a milestone in urbanization of the entire region and prompted the development of thousands of villages and cities.

Silesia Historical region

Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic and Germany. Its area is about 40,000 km2 (15,444 sq mi), and its population about 8,000,000. Silesia is located along the Oder River. It consists of Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia.

Lesser Poland Historical region of Poland

Lesser Poland, often known by its Polish name Małopolska, is a historical region of Poland; its capital is the city of Kraków.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Juliusz Bardach, Boguslaw Lesnodorski, and Michal Pietrzak, Historia panstwa i prawa polskiego (Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1987, p.42-43
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Opole, Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich, Tom VII, nakł. Filipa Sulimierskiego i Władysława Walewskiego, 1886
  3. Barbara Ann Kipfer (2000). Encyclopedic dictionary of archaeology. Springer. p. 406. ISBN   978-0-306-46158-3 . Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Juliusz Bardach, Boguslaw Lesnodorski, and Michal Pietrzak, Historia panstwa i prawa polskiego (Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1987, p.19
  5. Włodzimierz Sochacki (2007). Historia dla maturzystów: repetytorium. Wlodzimierz Sochacki. pp. 108–. ISBN   978-83-60186-58-9 . Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  6. Henryk Łowmiański, Why Did the Polanian Tribe Unite the Polish State"', in Krzysztof Brzechczyn (2009). Idealization XIII: Modeling in History. Rodopi. pp. 175–176. ISBN   978-90-420-2831-9 . Retrieved 5 April 2012.