Miejsce książąt opolskich w polityce Kazimierza Wielkiego względem Śląska.

Tomasz Nowakowski


The article analyzes consecutive diplomatic and military steeeps  undertaken by Casimir the Great towards Silesia. It analyzes the attitude towards the dukes of Opole, who did not ocuppy any particular place in that policy, against the background of the whole Silesian policy of the king.

A few stages can be distinguished in the king’s policy towards Silesia. Initially, the priority of his restitution programme was to restore supremacy over Gdansk Pomerania. Because of that, he tried to obtain a favourable disposition of the Luxembourgs. Thus, he either did not engage into the matters of Silesia or, as the ally of  Luxembourgs, acted from the position of power towards the dukes (1343). In this situation, prolonging the conflict with Teutonic Knights seems to have been a mistake, as it cost Casimir his influences in Silesia which were dating back to the times of  Wladyslaw the Elbow-high. It also did not bring him any major successes in the settlements with Luxembourgs which was clearly shown by the war with dukes of Glogau that took place in 1343. During the war Casimir restored supremacy over Wschowa for the price of evident deterioration of his relationships with the Luxembourgs. There are no traces that would suggest that at that time he kept in contact with the dukes, either old allays of his father (for example, Wladyslaw of Bytom) or his relative Bolek II the Small of Świdnica. All the more, he did not show any interest in the matters of the Duchy of Opole.

The dukes of Silesia could start perceiving king Casimir as their ally against the Bohemian expansion in 1345. In the war with the Luxembourgs, the king did not attack the dukes of Silesia, except for those of Glogau. He established contacts with some of the dukes. Known is the agreement between Wladyslaw of Bytom and Casimir the Great that was made on 15th hFebruary 1346 in Bytom. The duke promised that he would not allow John of Bohemia and his sons or Nicholas, Duke of Opava to enter his city until permanent peace was established. Wladyslaw’s act can be evaluated as an attempt of peace mediation that did not transform into a longer cooperation with the king of Poland.

The conclusion of a treaty in 1348 meant returning to the previous direction – consequent alliance with Charles IV. Casismir tried to use it again against the Teutonic Order and Brandenburg, howeever to no effect. His engagement into matters at Russia also contributed to his passivity towards Silesia.

The last phase took place in the 1360s, starting from 1364 when Casimir tried to resituate forrmer treatiees based on papacy. The Polish policy towards Silesia had been already changed by the marriage with Hedwig of Sagan,  although its main reason was the king’s desire for a descendant and successor. Successes in Hungary also contributed to that change. Angevins managed to keep and expand influences in Silesia, especially among the dukes of Bytom and Opole. Apart from that, Casimir the Great was influenced by the example of the success of Charles IV who, thanks to marriage with Anna, not only obtained a favourable disposition of his former enemy, Bolko of Świdnica, but also the whole kingdom (although only after the death of the widow). Since the marriage with Hedwig, which did not bring Casimir such spectacular benefits, dukes of Silesia began to appear around the king. It seems that he realized too ;ate that strenghening bonds with the dukes of Silesia and as a result undermining  the influences of Luxembourgs was the only way to recover Silesia.

Słowa kluczowe

Śląsk, księstwo opolskie, Polska, Jan I Luksemburski, Kazimierz Wielki

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