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Piast seal
Piast coat of arms

The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty of Polandmarker. It began with the semi-legendary Piast Kołodziej . The first historical ruler was Duke Mieszko I (10th cent.). The Piasts royal rule in Polandmarker ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir the Great. Branches of the Piasts dynasty continued to rule in the Duchy of Masovia and in the duchies of Silesia after 1370, until the last Silesian Piast died in 1675. The Piasts intermarried with several noble lines of Europe, and possessed numerous titles, including those within Holy Roman Empire.

Origin of the name

Although the early dukes and kings of Poland are said to have considered themselves Piast's descendants, the term "Piast Dynasty" was invented in the 17th century by historians, working for a number of rulers who governed duchies in Silesia. In a historical book the term was first used by Adam Naruszewicz in his History of the Polish Nation.

History of the dynasty

Piast Kołodziej was the legendary founder of the Piast dynasty. His name is first mentioned in the Cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum of Gallus Anonymus, written c. 1113. The last Silesian Piast George William of Liegnitz-Brieg-Wohlau (Brzeg and Legnica) died in 1675, although numerous families link their genealogy to the Piasts. His son August Freiherr von Liegnitz (1628) and Graf von Liegnitz (1664), the last legitimate male, died in 1679 and the last male through illegitimate line Ferdinand II Freiherr von und zu Hohenstein of the Dukes of Teschen died in 1706. Another illegitimate branch, the Grafen von Karlinsmarck zu Friedland (Korfantówmarker) und Strehlitz, born of Bernhard of Silesia-Oppeln, duke of Falkenberg, by a lady Karlinska of Karlowice, died out at the beginning of the 19th century in a French family.

A White Eagle was used about 1295 as arms by Przemysł II, which was later referred to as Piast coat of arms (see depiction) or as Piast Eagle.

For more information about the history of Poland under the Piasts, see History of Poland .

Piast kings and rulers of Poland are listed in the following table. For a list of all rulers, see List of Polish monarchs.

Name Reigned
Chościsko (legendary) 8th – 9th century
Piast Kołodziej (legendary) 8th – 9th century
Siemowit/Ziemowit 9th – 10th century
Lestko/Leszek 9th – 10th century
Siemomysł/Ziemomysł 9th – 10th century
Mieszko I see Dagome Iudex, first ruler 960–992
Boleslaus I of Poland (the Brave) 992–1025
Mieszko II Lambert 1025–1034
Bezprym 1031
Casimir the Restorer 1034–1058
Boleslaus II the Bold 1058–1079
Ladislaus Herman of Poland 1079–1102
Zbigniew and Boleslaus III of Poland (the Wrymouthed) 1102–1107
Boleslaus III of Poland the Wrymouthed 1107–1138
Ladislaus the Exile 1138–1146
Boleslaus the Curly 1146–1173
Mieszko the Old 1173–1177
Casimir the Just 1177–1194
Leszek the White and Ladislaus Spindleshanks 1194–1202
Ladislaus Spindleshanks 1202
Leszek the White 1202–1210
Mieszko IV Tanglefoot 1210–1211
Leszek the White 1211–1227
Ladislaus Spindleshanks 1228
Konrad of Masovia 1229–1232
Henry the Bearded 1232–1238
Henry the Pious 1238–1241
Konrad of Masovia 1241–1243
Boleslaus the Bashful 1243–1279
Leszek the Black 1279–1288
Henry IV Probus 1288–1290
Przemysl II 1290–1291
Ladislaus the Short 1306–1333
Casimir the Great 1333–1370

See also

Boleslaus of Masovia
List of Polish rulers
Dukes of Silesia and Silesian Piasts
Dukes of Masovia
Dukes of Greater Poland
Dukes of Kraków, Princes of Poland ( Collier's)
Dukes of Cuiavia
Dukes of Leczyca
Dukes of Sieradz


  1. Encyklopedia Powszechna PWN Warsaw 1975 vol. III page 505
  2. Encyclopedia Britannica: Piast Dynasty

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