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Memorial made in 2000 in Kołobrzeg
Silver relic coffin of St. Adalbert in Gniezno Cathedral.
Political map of Europe in 1000
Bolesław the Brave by Jan Matejko. Bolesław is holding the replica of the Holy Lance given him by Otto III.
Otto III in a medieval manuscript
The spearhead of the Holy Lance

The Congress of Gniezno (German: Akt von Gnesen, Gnesener Übereinkunft, Polish: Zjazd gnieźnieński) took place on March 11, 1000. Scholars disagree over the details of the decisions made at the meeting, especially whether the ruler of Poland was pledged the king's crown or not.

After his death in 997 AD during a mission in pagan Prussia, Adalbert of Prague was soon made a saint by the common effort of Boleslaus I of Poland and Otto III. Thus, Adalbert was the first Slavic bishop who became a saint[1]. His body, bought by Boleslaus I for its weight in gold, was put into the tomb in Gniezno, contemporary capital of Poland.

Otto III, who had been a friend of Adalbert[1], committed to a pilgrimage to St. Adalbert's tomb in Gniezno in his attempt to extend the influence of Christianity in Eastern Europe, and to renew the Empire based on a federal concept ("renovatio Imperii Romanorum") with the Polish and Hungarian duchies upgraded to eastern federati of the empire[2]. As part of this policy he also invested Saint-King Stephen the Great of Hungary with the king's crown. The dynasty of Piasts under Mieszko I which ruled Poland managed to gain the title and position as duke from the empire under margrave Gero and from the emperors Otto I and Otto II.

In 1000 A.D, while on the pilgrimage, Otto III invested Duke Boleslaus I of Poland with the titles frater et cooperator Imperii ("Brother and Partner of the Empire") and populi Romani amicus et socius[2].

On the same visit, Otto III raised Gniezno to the rank of an archbishopric. Three new dioceses subordinate to Gniezno were created: the Bishopric of Kraków (assigned to bishop Poppo), Wrocław (assigned to bishop Johannes) and Kołobrzeg (assigned to bishop Reinbern).[1] St. Adalbert's brother Radzim Gaudenty became the first archbishop of Gniezno[1]. Otto III gave Boleslaus a replica of his Holy Lance, and Boleslaus presented the Emperor with a relic, an arm of St. Adalbert in exchange.

The status of the Bishopric of Poznan (with bishop Unger, whose diocese had also comprised Gniezno before, and who had not supported the creation of a separate archdiocese in Gniezno) is subject to historical debate. An old view helds that it stayed independent and with Unger as a missionary bishop directly subordinated to the pope while a newer one holds that it was attached to the Bishopric of Magdeburg, the nearest German ecclesiastical province.[1][3]

Emperor Otto II, father of Otto III, had died at age 28 in 983 AD and his widow Theophanu and grandmother had reigned for the child-king Otto III. By the year 1000 AD at Gniezno Otto III was 20-years old, he died in 1002. Creating the separate archdiocese Gniezno resulted in keeping Poland independent from the Holy Roman Empire through the Middle Ages.

Due to Otto's early death in 1002, his renovatio policies were not fully applied. Henry II, Otto's successor, changed the empire's policies. Boleslaw expanded his realm to the South and West interflicting with the empire's interests. As a consequence, the excellent relations between the empire and the Polan duchy marked by the Congress of Gniezno turned into a state of hostility that soon emerged into a war (1004-1018). Poland lost Pomerania, and stayed outside the empire[2]. The Pomeranian diocese of Kołobrzeg, founded as a consequence of the Congress of Gniezno, was overthrown by the Pomeranians already in ~1007, bishop Reinbern returned to Boleslaw's court.

The event was described by German chronicle writer Thietmar of Merseburg and Gallus Anonymus, the first author of Polish history.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Janine Boßmann, Otto III. Und der Akt von Gnesen, 2007, pp.9-10, ISBN 3638853438, 9783638853439
  2. ^ a b c Andreas Lawaty, Hubert Orłowski, Deutsche und Polen: Geschichte, Kultur, Politik, 2003, p.24, ISBN 3406494366, 9783406494369
  3. ^ Nora Berend, Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus' C. 900-1200, 2007, pp.281-182, ISBN 0521876168, 9780521876162
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relic coffin of St. Adalbert in Gniezno Cathedral.]]

. Bolesław is holding the replica of the Holy Lance given him by Otto III.]]

]]

The Congress of Gniezno (German: Akt von Gnesen, Gnesener Übereinkunft, Polish: Zjazd gnieźnieński) took place on March 11, 1000. Scholars disagree over the details of the decisions made at the meeting, especially whether the ruler of Poland was pledged the king's crown or not.

After his death in 997 AD during a mission in pagan Prussia, Adalbert of Prague was soon made a saint by the common effort of Boleslaus I of Poland and Otto III. Thus, Adalbert was the first Slavic bishop who became a saint[1]. His body, bought by Boleslaus I for its weight in gold, was put into the tomb in Gniezno, contemporary capital of Poland.

Otto III, who had been a friend of Adalbert[1], committed to a pilgrimage to St. Adalbert's tomb in Gniezno in his attempt to extend the influence of Christianity in Eastern Europe, and to renew the Empire based on a federal concept ("renovatio Imperii Romanorum") with the Polish and Hungarian duchies upgraded to eastern federati of the empire[2]. As part of this policy he also invested Saint-King Stephen the Great of Hungary with the king's crown. The dynasty of Piasts under Mieszko I which ruled Poland managed to gain the title and position as duke from the empire under margrave Gero and from the emperors Otto I and Otto II.

In 1000 A.D, while on the pilgrimage, Otto III invested Duke Boleslaus I of Poland with the titles frater et cooperator Imperii ("Brother and Partner of the Empire") and populi Romani amicus et socius[2].

On the same visit, Otto III raised Gniezno to the rank of an archbishopric. Three new dioceses subordinate to Gniezno were created: the Bishopric of Kraków (assigned to bishop Poppo), Wrocław (assigned to bishop Johannes) and Kołobrzeg (assigned to bishop Reinbern).[1] St. Adalbert's brother Radzim Gaudenty became the first archbishop of Gniezno[1]. Otto III gave Boleslaus a replica of his Holy Lance, and Boleslaus presented the Emperor with a relic, an arm of St. Adalbert in exchange.

The status of the Bishopric of Poznan (with bishop Unger, whose diocese had also comprised Gniezno before, and who had not supported the creation of a separate archdiocese in Gniezno) is subject to historical debate. One view holds that it stayed independent and with Unger as a missionary bishop directly subordinate to the pope while a another one holds that it was attached to the Bishopric of Magdeburg, the nearest German ecclesiastical province.[1][3] However, generally, the congress is seen as having established complete ecclasiastical independence of the Polish church from Magdeburg.[4]


Emperor Otto II, father of Otto III, had died at age 28 in 983 AD and his widow Theophanu and grandmother had reigned for the child-king Otto III. By the year 1000 AD at Gniezno Otto III was 20-years old, he died in 1002. Creating the separate archdiocese Gniezno resulted in keeping Poland independent from the Holy Roman Empire through the Middle Ages.

Due to Otto's early death in 1002, his renovatio policies were not fully applied. Henry II, Otto's successor, changed the empire's policies. Boleslaw expanded his realm to the South and West interflicting with the empire's interests. As a consequence, the excellent relations between the empire and the Polan duchy marked by the Congress of Gniezno turned into a state of hostility that soon emerged into a war (1004-1018). Poland lost Pomerania, and stayed outside the empire[2]. The Pomeranian diocese of Kołobrzeg, founded as a consequence of the Congress of Gniezno, was overthrown by the Pomeranians already in ~1007, bishop Reinbern returned to Boleslaw's court.

The event was described by German chronicle writer Thietmar of Merseburg and Gallus Anonymus, the first author of Polish history.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Janine Boßmann, Otto III. Und der Akt von Gnesen, 2007, pp.9-10, ISBN 3638853438, 9783638853439
  2. ^ a b c Andreas Lawaty, Hubert Orłowski, Deutsche und Polen: Geschichte, Kultur, Politik, 2003, p.24, ISBN 3406494366, 9783406494369
  3. ^ Nora Berend, Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus' C. 900-1200, 2007, pp.281-182, ISBN 0521876168, 9780521876162
  4. ^ Uta-Renate Blumenthal, "The Investiture Controversy: Church and Monarchy from the Ninth to the Twelfth Century", University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991, pg. 38


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