Casimir the Great (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Casimir inherited a reunited Poland and shaped it into a major Central European power, which was subsequently nurtured through a brilliant golden age lasting three centuries.
Casimir was born on April 30, 1310, the third son, sixth and youngest child, of Queen Jadwiga and King Władysław I. Stephan, the oldest, had died in 1306, and Władysław, the second oldest, died in 1312, leaving Casimir heir to the throne almost from birth. He was destined to become the most notable, but unfortunately the last, monarch of the ancient Polish royal dynasty—the Piasts.
As a prince, Casimir received a limited education. His tutors, Archdeacon Jaroslaw Bogoria (later Archbishop of Kraków) and Spytko of Melsztyn, the Castellan of Kraków, instilled in him an appreciation of diplomacy and of the written law. From his father he learned the military craft, sharing the responsibilities of leadership with the king on numerous campaigns.
The prince’s experiential education was further deepened in 1329, when he was sent on a diplomatic mission to the Hungarian court in search of military aid for his father’s future campaigns. Sometime later, Casimir was made administrator of Great Poland, plus the districts of Sieradz and Kujawia, ruling through his father’s royal authority. The objective here was to strengthen the frontiers against German encroachment. It is clear that...
(The entire section is 2822 words.)
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