Mieszko IV Tanglefoot

Mieszko I (also: Mieszko I. sacrum; Mieszko I. dangling leg; Polish: Mieszko I Plątonogi; Czech: Mesek I. Opolsko - Ratibořský Křivonohý, * 1132-1146; † May 16, 1211 ) was Duke of 1163-1173 Silesia, after the division of Silesia from 1173 Duke of Ratibor, from 1202 Duke of Opole; from 1210 as Mieszko IV Senior Duke ( Princeps ) of Poland. He came from the line of the Silesian Piast dynasty.

Origin and family

His father Wladyslaw II the " displaced persons " († 1159 ) was the founder of the Silesian Piast line. Mieszko's mother was Agnes, daughter of the Austrian Margrave Leopold III. Mieszko's brothers were:

  • Boleslaw I ( † 1201), Duke of Silesia
  • Conrad I ( † after 1178 ), Duke of Silesia
  • Mieszko Richildis sister was married to King Alfonso VII of Castile since 1152.

Between 1170 and 1178 to Mieszko married to Ludmilla († 1211 ), who probably came from the Bohemian Přemyslovci whose exact origin is not known. She gave birth to five children:


Mieszko was expelled in 1146 along with his parents and his older brother Boleslaw by his uncle Bolesław IV " Kraushaar ". After the family on the Roman-German King Konrad III court. Recording was made, Mieszko first spent some time on the imperial Palatinate Altenburg in Thuringia, where his younger brother Conrad was born. While in exile Mieszko was educated at the Benedictine Michael's Mount in Bamberg.

Only four years after the death of her father allowed Mieszko and Boleslaw with Emperor Frederick I " Barbarossa " to return to Silesia in 1163, while her younger brother Konrad initially remained in the kingdom. The returning brothers Mieszko and Boleslaw had to issue her uncle Duke Bolesław IV " Kraushaar " Silesia. They received their territories within the Polish Senioratsverfassung as independent duchy and were obliged to pay tribute to the emperor. Your territory, which included the later designated as Central and Lower Silesia and Opole country regions, they ruled first together.

After it came to a dispute between the brothers, the country was divided in 1173. Boleslaw than the older received funds and Lower Silesia with the areas of Legnica, Wroclaw and Opole. Mieszko received the territories of Ratibor and Teschen. Since Mieszko had been discriminated against in the division of Silesia, he received in 1177 from the new senior Duke Kasimir " the righteous " Bytom, Auschwitz, Zator, Sewerien and Pless assigned. After the death of Casimir 1194 Mieszko supported the candidacy of his uncle Mieszko " the old man " as princeps of Krakow against his cousin Leszek I. " whites ".

Mieszko conquered in 1202, a few months after the death of his brother Boleslaw, the Opole region, whose legacy was Boleslaw's son Henry II. Boleslaw had Opole in 1180 his son Yaroslav must be transferred to its lifetime, and after his death in 1201 it fell according to contract back to Boleslaw. On November 25, 1202 Henry had - in addition to the payment of 1000 marks of silver - renounce for the future on each of inheritance between the two Silesian duke lines. Mieszko Opole joined permanently with his previous dominion and thus became the founder of the Opole Silesian line of the Piast dynasty and the Duchy of Opole.

After the death of Mieszko III. " Old " in 1202 brought the Silesian princes entitled to the Krakow Presbytery, the state as the oldest living Mieszko I Piast. However, he was ignored by the Krakow aristocratic party favor Leszek " the whites." With papal confirmation of a new order of succession was adopted so that the Cracow country with Sandomir should remain the sons Leszeks as hereditary property. The new regime was not recognized by Mieszko I, and he led to the Presbytery a long struggle. It was only on June 9, 1210, Pope Innocent III ordered. the Bishop of Gniezno compliance with the Senioratsverfassung of 1138, established his claim to the Mieszko. Mieszko was then able to climb the Cracow throne, but died a year later.

As Duke of Opole him then about his 32- year-old son Kasimir followed Mieszko I. widow Ludmilla died on 20 October 1211.