Bezprym, Duke of Poland

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Bezprym I

Polish: Bezprym I, książę
Birthplace: Poland
Death: Died
Cause of death: otruty
Immediate Family:

Son of Bolesław I the Brave King of Poland, King and unknown Hungarian princess
Father of Roman?
Half brother of N/a-1 of Poland; N/a-2 of Poland; N, von Polen; Regelinda; Mieszko II Lambert, Duke and 3 others

Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Bezprym, Duke of Poland


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bezprym (986/987-1032), the firstborn son of King of Poland, Bolesław I Chrobry or Brave and his second wife Judith, daughter of Geza Hungarian. He was deprived of the throne of Poland due to giving it to his brother Mieszko II. Around 1003 Boleslaus sent Bezprym to Italy, where he became a monk in one of Saint Romuald's hermitages. In 1031, in alliance with Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor and Rus Grand Prince Yaroslav I the Wise, with Rus and German support he gained the throne. Mieszko II escaped to Bohemia and Bezprym then sent the Polish regalia to emperor. His reign was short-lived, as Bezprym was murdered in 1032 and Mieszko II returned to the throne of Poland. It is speculated that Bezprym might have began a movement known as pagan reaction, but only a few historians support this theory.

It is possible that while he was in Hungary he was appointed head of Veszprém and Zala county. In this case the name "Veszprém" originated from his name. Nevertheless, this hypothesis proposed by a Hungarian researcher didn't find acceptance among Polish historians.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Duke of Poland

Reign 1031 - 1032

Born ca. 986

Died 1032

Predecessor Mieszko II Lambert

Successor Mieszko II Lambert

Dynasty Piast dynasty

Father Bolesław I the Brave

Mother Judith of Hungary

Bezprym (b. ca. 986 - d. 1032), was a Duke of Poland during 1031-1032.

He was the eldest son of Bolesław I the Brave, King of Poland, but was deprived of the succession by his father, who around 1001 sent him to Italy, in order to became a monk at one of Saint Romuald's hermitages in Ravenna.

Expelled by his half-brother Mieszko II Lambert after the death of their father, in 1031 Bezprym became ruler of large areas of Poland following simultaneous attack of the German and Kievan forces and Mieszko II's escape to Bohemia. His reign was short-lived and, according to some sources, extremely cruel. He was murdered in 1032 and Mieszko II returned to the throne of Poland. It's speculated that Pagan Reaction began during his short reign

Contents [hide]

1 Life

1.1 Origin of his name

1.2 Early Years

1.3 Duke of Poland

1.3.1 Assumption of power

1.3.2 Government

1.4 Death and Aftermaths

2 See also

3 External Link

4 Bibliography

5 References


[edit]Origin of his name

In primary sources Bezprym appears as: Besprim (Chronicles of Thietmar of Merseburg) Besfrim (Annalista Saxo), Bezbriem (Chronicles of Hildesheim and Altaic Chronicles). This name wasn't used among the Polish nobility but was known in the Bohemian sources, where it appears as: Bezprim, Bezprem, Bezperem. According to one of the hypotheses the name is of Slavonic origin, and was probably originally pronounced as Bezprzem or Bezprzym.[1] Due to tradition and the impossibility of determining the correct version of the name, Bezprym remains the form used, although it probably requires modifications.[2]

Older historiography frequently combined the figures of Bolesław I two sons, Otto and Bezprym, or even attributed to Bezprym the middle name of Otto. Marian Gumowski also suggested, on the basis of numismatic research that this "combined" prince could have governed Bohemia in 1003. These theories are based on the chronicle of Wipo of Burgundy, who described only one brother of Mieszko II, Otto. Modern historians assume, however, that Bezprym in fact did exist, and that the chronicler erroneously combined Otto and Bezprym into one person.

[edit]Early Years

Bezprym was the only child of Bolesław I the Brave born from his second marriage with an unknown Hungarian princess[3] who, in older literature, was identified as Judith, daughter of Géza, Grand Duke of Hungary.[4] Though opinions vary about the identity of Bolesław I 's second wife, there is a number of researchers who still support the hypothesis of her being the daughter of Géza.[5] Soon after his birth, the marriage of his parents ended, probably because of the deterioration in political relations between Poland and Hungary. Bezprym's mother was repudiated and sent away, although probably she remained in Poland and died soon afterwards.[6]

Shortly after his divorce, Bolesław I remarried with Emnilda of Lusatia, who bore him five children. The eldest son of this union, the future Mieszko II Lambert, born in 990.

About Bezprym's first years of life, almost nothing is known, in contrast with his half-brother Mieszko II, whose youth was fully described in several contemporary sources. This probably showed that his father dislike him and considered Mieszko II as his successor since his birth, which was already confirmed by Bolesław I's later political activity.

Bezprym was then destined to the Church career, a fact who is demostrated in the Vita of St. Saint Romuald, an hermit from Ravenna. There is stated that in one of the hermitages resided a son of a Polish Duke, who in 1001 gave him a horse. According to modern historians, this Polish prince only could be Bezprym.[7] However, in earlier historiography, was theorised that the Polish prince who live in the hermitage of Ravenna was Lambert, son of Mieszko I[8] or an unknown son of Bolesław I from his first marriage with the daughter of Rikdag, Margrave of Meissen.[9][10]

It's possible that he was in Hungary and there he was appointed head of Veszprém and Zala county. In this case the name "Veszprém" originated from his name.[11] Nevertheless, this hypothesis proposed by a Hungarian researcher didn't find acceptance among Polish historians. Is also probable that Bezprym was present in the coronation of his father as King of Poland in Gniezno Cathedral on 25 April 1025.[12]

[edit]Duke of Poland

[edit]Assumption of power

Probably after Mieszko II took control over the government of Poland, both Bezprym and his youngest half-brother Otto for a short time resided in Poland. However, soon Mieszko II expelled Bezprym from the country,[13] and probably he did the same with Otto in 1030, when he discovered that they conspired against him with the help of Emperor Conrad II.

Bezprym took refuge in Kievan Rus and probably used the weaked position of Mieszko II as a excuse to gain the alliance of the Rurikids ruler Yaroslav I the Wise and Mstislav.[14] In 1031, when Mieszko II was defended the western border from the German expedition of Conrad II, Bezprym and the Kievan forces entered in Poland. Mieszko II at that time was busy defending Lusatia and consequently was unable to repel the Kievan attack. He then was forced to escape to Bohemia, were was imprisoned and castrated by orders of Duke Oldrich. Yaroslav I the Wise annexed Red Ruthenia to his domains, and Bezprym ascended to the Polish throne. Yaroslav I's troops intervene directly in the central provinces of the country, aimed at embedding the new Duke on the throne, but this fact is now considered doubtful. It's possible that the new rule of Bezprym was attractive to the population. Some scholars assume that he could even stand at the head of the so-called Pagan Reaction.[15]


Shortly after taking power, Bezprym sent to the Emperor the Royal crown and regalia. Thus, he resigned from the royal title and accepted the primacy of his western neighbor. The Royal crown and regalia was personally delivered by Mieszko II's wife, Queen Richeza. In 1031, together with her children Casimir, Ryksa and Gertruda, she left the country. At the court of Emperor Conrad II, the deposed Queen was received with all the honors, and also was allowed to continue to use the royal title. The departure of Richeza, and especially of her son, was extremely beneficial for Bezprym, because (at least temporarily) eliminated a possible pretender to the throne. Mieszko II wasn't considered too dangerous at that time, since he was imprisoned and castrated in Bohemia by orders of Duke Oldrich.

However, probably remained a large group of supporters of the former ruler. It's believed that Bezprym began his bloody persecution against them shortly after he began his government. Many representatives of the Polish social elite were forced to flee as a result. According to sources, some of them took refuge in Masovia. Perhaps among the victims of the repression, there were two Bishops, whose date of death recorded in 1032 in the Chronicles of the Chapter of Kraków: Roman and Lambert. The brutal fight with the opposition could lead to the above-mentioned Pagan Reaction. Probably was instigated the discontent against the power of the Church and with the state apparatus. Contemporary historiography places the riots in 1031-1032, during the reign of Bezprym. The reaction wasn't only a religious background, but social. Mainly was a reflection of the economic state caused by the aggressive policy of Bolesław I the Brave and less successful rule of Mieszko II. The defeat in the battle in the west during that period, cut off the basic source of livelihood of the Polish troops, who were forced to loot the western lands. As a result, the cost of the existence of an extensive army, probably was too much by the population. In addition, the devastating incursions of foreign troops was another cause of dissatisfaction among the citizenship.[16]

It is noteworthy that in the older historiography can be found the today generally rejected theory of the existence of an older son of Mieszko II, called Bolesław the Forgotten (Polish: Bolesław Zapomniany) —who apparently succeeded his father in 1034 until his death in 1038—, and, according to some historians[17] was the real instigator of the Pagan Reaction, who in consequence took around 1034.

[edit]Death and Aftermaths

The rule of Bezprym didn't last long, and the reason for his downfall was his extremely cruelty. According to the Chronicles of Hildesheim, he was murdered by his own men no later than spring of 1032. Probably the instigators of his death were his half-brothers, although the main conspirator was Otto, who remained free in Germany. The place of his burial is unknown.

The Polish state as a result of Bezprym's rule was been substantially weakened. After his death the country was split into three parts: between Mieszko II, Otto, and their cousin Dytryk. This significantly increased the impact of the Holy Roman Empire on Polish affairs. Poland also lost for nearly a half century its status of "kingdom".

[edit]See also

History of Poland (966-1385)

[edit]External Link

(in Polish) Bezprym, article by from author Krzysztof Kałuszko


O. Balzer, Genealogia Piastów, Editorial Avalon, Kraków 2005 (first edition 1895), ISBN 83-918497-0-8.

D. Borawska, Kryzys monarchii wczesnopiastowskiej w latach trzydziestych XI wieku, Warsaw 1964.

Gallus Anonymus, Cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum, translated by Roman Grodecki, introduction and development of Marian Plezia, Editorial Ossolineum, Wrocław 2003, pp. 36-37, 39-40, ISBN 83-04-04610-5.

Z. Górczak, Bunt Bezpryma jako początek tzw. reakcji pogańskiej w Polsce [in:] Nihil superfluum esse, edited by J. Strzelczyka and J. Dobosza, Poznań 2000, pp. 111-121.

A. F. Grabski, Bolesław Chrobry, Warsaw 1964.

R. Grodecki, Bezprym [in:] Polski Słownik Biograficzny, vol. II, Kraków 1936, p. 2.

R. Grodecki, S. Zachorowski, J. Dąbrowski, Dzieje Polski Średniowiecznej, vol. I, Editorial Platan, Kraków 1995 (first edition 1926), pp. 103-125, ISBN 83-7052-230-0.

K. Jasiński, Rodowód pierwszych Piastów, Oficyna Volumen Editorial, 1993, pp. 105-107, ISBN 83-85218-32-7.

G. Labuda, Mieszko II król Polski, Editorial Secesja, Kraków 1992, ISBN 83-85483-46-2.

G. Labuda, Pierwsze państwo polskie, National Agency Editorial, Kraków 1989, ISBN 83-03-02969-X.

S. Szczur, Historia Polski średniowiecze, Wydawnictwo Literackie 2002, pp. 75-81, ISBN 83-08-03272-9.

Forrás / Source:

Bezprym [szerkesztés]

Megtekintett lap (+/-)

A Wikipédiából, a szabad enciklopédiából.

Bezprym (986/987–1032), I. Boleszláv lengyel király elsőszülött fia a magyar Judittól, második feleségétől.

Származása és ifjúkora [szerkesztés]

Elterjedt nézet szerint Bezprym anyja a magyar Géza nagyfejedelem lánya volt, akit Boleszláv a Mieszkónak Gézával kötött szövetsége miatt vett el. A házasságról Thietmartól értesülünk, ő azonban csak annyit mond, hogy Boleszláv – 985, első feleségének apja, a meisseni őrgróf halála után, ami után első feleségét elkergette – „magyarországi nőt” vett el, ami azért furcsa, mert Gézát Thietmar név szerint ismerte és Boleszláv másik három felesége esetén név szerint megadta, kitől származtak. Ez arra utal, hogy Bezprym anyjának apja nevét nem tudta Thietmar, azaz nem Géza volt. Itt koruk miatt többen is szóba jöhetnek, például Taksony nagyfejedelem, Tormás vagy Tar Zerind. A kérdés valószínűleg soha nem lesz eldönthető. [1]

Hamarosan azonban Géza békés politikája miatt, akivel nem tudott így szövetségben harcolni, Boleszláv elkergette magyar feleségét is elsőszülött kisfiával, Bezprimmel együtt, akik Magyarországra jöttek. Itt a Bezprim nevet csak ő viselte, és Magyarországon csak két Bezprim helynév fordult elő a korabeli források szerint. Az egyik Veszprém, a másik nagy valószínűséggel a mai Zalaszentmárton. Bezprim egy több megyére kiterjedő hercegi uradalommal rendelkezhetett, aminek része lehetett I. István korabeli veszprémi várispánsága, s a kor szokása szerint Veszprém első ispánjáról, azaz róla kapta nevét. [1]

Uralkodása [szerkesztés]

1031-ben trónra lépett, II. Konrád német-római császár és I. Jaroszláv ruténiai herceg támogatásával, elűzve öccsét, aki 1025 óta uralkodott II. Mieszko néven. Mieszko, aki Boleszláv és Emmilda fia volt, Bohémiába menekült, Bezprym pedig a császárnak küldte el a lengyel koronaékszereket.

A szláv szokás szerint az apa felosztotta örökségét fiai között, I. Boleszláv azonban megváltoztatta ezt a szokást, hogy az újkeletű királyságot egyben tartsa, Bezprymet pedig nem kedvelte, ezért nem is ő lett az örököse. Sokan azonban úgy érezték, hogy mivel Bezprym volt a legidősebb fiú, neki kellene megkapnia a trónt.

Mieszko hamarosan visszatért, hűséget esküdött a császárnak, aki felosztotta Lengyelországot közte, Bezprym, az utóbbi édestestvére, Otton, és Thiedric közt. (Ez utóbbi valószínűleg egy unokatestvérük volt.)

Bezprym uralkodása azonban rövid életű volt. 1032-ben meggyilkolták és újra II. Mieszko lépett a trónra.

Forrás / Source:

Książę polski 1031r.

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Age 46