Polish High Dukes and Kings

The first historically attested ruler of the Polish state was Mieszko, a member of the Piast family. He converted to Christianity and was recognized as a duke (Latin dux) of the area known as Greater Poland (centered around the city of Poznań) in the 10th century. Mieszko's son was duke Bolesław the Brave, who in 1025 was acknowledged by the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire as a king (Latin rex). Bolesław's son Mieszko II was also a king, but their later descendants (with the exception of Bolesław II) were not crowned as kings for over 250 years.

When Bolesław III died in 1138, his will split the country between his five sons. His eldest son was to be the High Duke, theoretically above the others in power, ruling the area around Kraków. This division of the state led to a period of instability that lasted well over a century. The country began to become united again around 1300 under foreign rulers, the Czech Premyslids.

The Piasts soon returned to power, however their dynasty ended after the reign of Kazimierz III the Great. Kazimierz had no male children; he was succeeded by his nephew Louis (Ludwik) I of Hungary. Louis was succeeded by his daughter Jadwiga and her husband Jagiełło in 1382, thus ushering in the Jagiellon dynasty.

Through Jagiełło, the Jagiellons were also the hereditary Grand Dukes of Lithuania. In 1569 the two states were officially united as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. After this time the kings were elected by the nobles.

The Commonwealth became weak in the 18th century and finally came to an end when it was divided between the Russian Empire, Prussia, and the Habsburg Empire. Poland would not be an independent country again until 1918, at which time it became a republic.

Display      more options...
NameYears
Mieszko I962-992
Bolesław I the Brave992-1025
Mieszko II Lambert1025-1031
Kazimierz I the Restorer1040-1058
Bolesław II the Generous1058-1079
Władysław I Herman1079-1102
Zbigniew1102-1107
Bolesław III Wrymouth1102-1138
Władysław II the Exile1138-1146
Bolesław IV the Curly1146-1173
Mieszko III the Old1173-1177; 1191; 1198-1199; 1202
Kazimierz II the Just1177-1191; 1191-1194
Leszek I the White1194-1198; 1199-1202; 1206-1210; 1211-1227
Władysław III Spindleshanks1202-1206; 1227-1229
Mieszko IV Tanglefoot1210-1211
Konrad I1229-1232; 1241-1243
Henryk I the Bearded1232-1238
Henryk II the Pious1238-1241
Bolesław V the Chaste1241-1279
Leszek II the Black1279-1288
Henryk IV Probus1288-1290
Przemysł II1290-1296
Wacław II1296-1305
Wacław III1305-1306
Władysław I (or IV) the Short1306-1333
Kazimierz III the Great1333-1370
Ludwik I1370-1382
Jadwiga1384-1399
Władysław II1399-1434
Władysław III1434-1444
Kazimierz IV1447-1492
Jan I Albert1492-1501
Aleksander1501-1506
Zygmunt I the Old1506-1548
Zygmunt II Augustus1548-1572
Henryk1573-1575
Anna1575-1586
Stefan Báthory1576-1586
Zygmunt III Vasa1587-1632
Władysław IV1632-1648
Jan II Casimir1648-1668
Michał Korybut1669-1673
Jan III1674-1696
August II the Strong1697-1704; 1709-1733
Stanisław I1704-1709; 1733-1736
August III the Saxon1734-1763
Stanisław II August1764-1795