Jagiellon dynasty

Jagiellon dynasty

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The Jagiellonian dynasty was a royal dynasty
Dynasty
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. Historians traditionally consider many sovereign states' history within a framework of successive dynasties, e.g., China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire...

 originating from the Lithuanian
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

  House of Gediminas
House of Gediminas
The family of Gediminas is a group of family members of Gediminas, Grand Duke of Lithuania , who interacted in the 14th century. The family included the siblings, children, and grandchildren of the Grand Duke and played the pivotal role in the history of Lithuania for the period as the Lithuanian...

 dynasty that reigned in Central European
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 countries (present day Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, parts of Russia (including nowadays Kaliningrad oblast), Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia) between the 14th and 16th century. Members of the dynasty were Grand Dukes of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

 (1377–1392 and 1440–1572), king
Kingdom of Poland (1385–1569)
The Kingdom of Poland of the Jagiellons was the Polish state created by the accession of Jogaila , Grand Duke of Lithuania, to the Polish throne in 1386. The Union of Krewo or Krėva Act, united Poland and Lithuania under the rule of a single monarch...

s of Poland (1386–1572), kings of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 (1440–1444 and 1490–1526), and kings of Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 (1471–1526).

The dynastic union between the two countries (converted into a full administrative union only in 1569) is the reason for the common appellation "Poland–Lithuania
Poland-Lithuania
Poland–Lithuania can refer to:* Polish–Lithuanian union from 1385 until 1569* Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 until 1795See also: Polish-Lithuanian...

" in discussions about the area from the Late Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century . The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era ....

 onwards. One Jagiellonian briefly ruled both Poland and Hungary (1440–44), and two others ruled both Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 (from 1490) and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 (1490–1526) and then continued in the distaff
Distaff
As a noun, a distaff is a tool used in spinning. It is designed to hold the unspun fibers, keeping them untangled and thus easing the spinning process. It is most commonly used to hold flax, and sometimes wool, but can be used for any type of fiber. Fiber is wrapped around the distaff, and tied in...

 line as the Eastern branch of the House of Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

.

Name


The name (other variations used in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 include: Jagiellonians, Jagiellos, Jogailos, Jagiellas) comes from Jogaila
Jogaila
Jogaila, later 'He is known under a number of names: ; ; . See also: Jogaila : names and titles. was Grand Duke of Lithuania , king consort of Kingdom of Poland , and sole King of Poland . He ruled in Lithuania from 1377, at first with his uncle Kęstutis...

, the first Polish king of that dynasty. In Polish, the dynasty is known as Jagiellonowie (singular: Jagiellon, adjective, used of dynasty members, also patronymic form: Jagiellończyk, if male, and Jagiellonka, if female); in Lithuanian
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

 it is called Jogailaičiai (sing.: Jogailaitis), in Belarusian
Belarusian language
The Belarusian language , sometimes referred to as White Russian or White Ruthenian, is the language of the Belarusian people...

 Яґайлавічы (Jagajłavičy, sing.: Яґайлавіч, Jagajłavič), in Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

 Jagellók (sing.: Jagelló), and in Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

 Jagellonci (sing.: Jagellonec; adjective: Jagellonský), as well as Jagello or Jagellon (fem. Jagellonica) in Latin. In all variations of that name (excepting in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 Jagellon), the letter J should be pronounced as in "Hallelujah" (or as Y in "yes"), and G as in "get".

Pre-dynasty background


Gediminids
Gediminids
The Gediminids were a dynasty of monarchs of Grand Duchy of Lithuania that reigned from the 14th to the 16th century. One branch of this dynasty, known as the Jagiellons, reigned also in Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Hungary and Kingdom of Bohemia...

 , the immediate predecessors of the first Jagiellonian, were monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

s of the medieval Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 with the title didysis kunigaikštis which would be translated as Great King according to the contemporary perception. The later construct for its translation is Grand Duke (for its etymology, see Grand Prince
Grand Prince
The title grand prince or great prince ranked in honour below emperor and tsar and above a sovereign prince .Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal, translation of these terms in English and Romance languages, which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns...

). Their realm, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

, was chiefly inhabited by Lithuanians and Ruthenians
Ruthenians
The name Ruthenian |Rus']]) is a culturally loaded term and has different meanings according to the context in which it is used. Initially, it was the ethnonym used for the East Slavic peoples who lived in Rus'. Later it was used predominantly for Ukrainians...

.

Jogaila
Jogaila
Jogaila, later 'He is known under a number of names: ; ; . See also: Jogaila : names and titles. was Grand Duke of Lithuania , king consort of Kingdom of Poland , and sole King of Poland . He ruled in Lithuania from 1377, at first with his uncle Kęstutis...

, the eponymous first ruler of the Jagiellonin dynasty, started as the Grand Duke
Grand Duke
The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

 of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

. He then converted to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and married the 11-year-old Jadwiga
Jadwiga of Poland
Jadwiga was monarch of Poland from 1384 to her death. Her official title was 'king' rather than 'queen', reflecting that she was a sovereign in her own right and not merely a royal consort. She was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, the daughter of King Louis I of Hungary and Elizabeth of...

, the second of Poland's Angevin
Capetian House of Anjou
The Capetian House of Anjou, also known as the House of Anjou-Sicily and House of Anjou-Naples, was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Charles I of Sicily, a son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century...

 rulers, and thereby becoming himself King of Poland, founded the dynasty. At the time, he called himself King Ladislaus (Polish: Władysław), without an ordinal number, but later historians have referred to him as Ladislaus II (of Poland) or sometimes Ladislaus II Jagiello of Poland and Lithuania.

The rule of Piasts, the earlier Polish ruling house (c. 962–1370) had ended with the death of Casimir III
Casimir III of Poland
Casimir III the Great , last King of Poland from the Piast dynasty , was the son of King Władysław I the Elbow-high and Hedwig of Kalisz.-Biography:...

.

Rulers of the House of Jagiello


Jagiellonians were hereditary rulers of Lithuania and Poland.

The Jagiellonian rulers of Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 and Poland
Kingdom of Poland (1385–1569)
The Kingdom of Poland of the Jagiellons was the Polish state created by the accession of Jogaila , Grand Duke of Lithuania, to the Polish throne in 1386. The Union of Krewo or Krėva Act, united Poland and Lithuania under the rule of a single monarch...

 (with dates of ruling in brackets) were:
  • Ladislaus (Jogaila)
    Jogaila
    Jogaila, later 'He is known under a number of names: ; ; . See also: Jogaila : names and titles. was Grand Duke of Lithuania , king consort of Kingdom of Poland , and sole King of Poland . He ruled in Lithuania from 1377, at first with his uncle Kęstutis...

     (in Lithuania 1377–1401; in Poland 1386–1434). (also known as Władysław II Jagiełło)
  • Ladislaus III (1434–44) (Only Poland)
  • Casimir IV (1447–92)
  • John Albert (1492–1501) (Only Poland)
  • Alexander (1501–05)
  • Sigismund I
    Sigismund I the Old
    Sigismund I of Poland , of the Jagiellon dynasty, reigned as King of Poland and also as the Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1506 until 1548...

     (1506–48)
  • Sigismund II Augustus
    Sigismund II Augustus
    Sigismund II Augustus I was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, the only son of Sigismund I the Old, whom Sigismund II succeeded in 1548...

     (1548–72) (also known as Sigismund II)


After Sigismund II Augustus, the dynasty underwent further changes. Sigismund II's heirs were his sisters, Anna Jagellonica and Catherine Jagellonica. The latter had married Duke John of Finland, who thereby from 1569 became King John III Vasa
John III of Sweden
-Family:John married his first wife, Catherine Jagellonica of Poland , house of Jagiello, in Vilnius on 4 October 1562. In Sweden, she is known as Katarina Jagellonica. She was the sister of king Sigismund II Augustus of Poland...

of Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, and they had a son, Sigismund III Vasa
Sigismund III Vasa
Sigismund III Vasa was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, a monarch of the united Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1587 to 1632, and King of Sweden from 1592 until he was deposed in 1599...

; as a result, the Polish branch of the Jagiellonians merged with the House of Vasa
House of Vasa
The House of Vasa was the Royal House of Sweden 1523-1654 and of Poland 1587-1668. It originated from a noble family in Uppland of which several members had high offices during the 15th century....

, which ruled Poland from 1587 until 1668. During the interval, among others, Stephen Bathory
Stefan Batory
Stephen Báthory was a Hungarian noble Prince of Transylvania , then King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania . He was a member of the Somlyó branch of the noble Hungarian Báthory family...

, the husband of the childless Anna, reigned.

Bohemia and Hungary


At one point, the Jagiellonians established dynastic control also over the kingdoms of Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 (from 1490 onwards) and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 (from 1490 on), with Vladislaus Jagiello
Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary
Vladislaus II, also known as Ladislaus Jagiellon ; was King of Bohemia from 1471 and King of Hungary from 1490 until his death in 1516...

 whom several history books call Vladisla(u)s II.

The Jagiellonian Kings of Bohemia and Hungary:
  • Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary
    Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary
    Vladislaus II, also known as Ladislaus Jagiellon ; was King of Bohemia from 1471 and King of Hungary from 1490 until his death in 1516...

     (Vladislaus Jagiello)
  • Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia
    Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia
    Louis II was King of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia from 1516 to 1526.- Early life :Louis was the son of Ladislaus II Jagiellon and his third wife, Anne de Foix....

     (Louis Jagiello). By Louis' sudden death in Battle of Mohács
    Battle of Mohács
    The Battle of Mohács was fought on August 29, 1526 near Mohács, Hungary. In the battle, forces of the Kingdom of Hungary led by King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia were defeated by forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent....

     in 1526, that royal line was extinguished in male line.
  • Anna of Bohemia and Hungary
    Anna of Bohemia and Hungary
    Anna of Bohemia and Hungary, also sometimes known as Anna Jagellonica was, by marriage to Ferdinand I, King of the Romans and later Holy Roman Emperor, Queen of the Romans.-Family:She was the elder child and only daughter of king Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary and his third...

    , Queen Consort
    Queen consort
    A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

    , sister of Louis. Her husband Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
    Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
    Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

     was elected King of Bohemia based on her rights. He was also elected King of Hungary in dispute at first with John Zápolya
    John Zápolya
    John Zápolya was King of Hungary from 1526 to 1540. His rule was disputed by Archduke Ferdinand I, who also claimed the title King of Hungary between 1526 and 1540. He was the voivode of Transylvania before his coronation.- Biography :...

     and then with John II Sigismund Zápolya
    John II Sigismund Zápolya
    John II Sigismund Zápolya was King of Hungary from 1540 to 1570 and Prince of Transylvania from 1570–1571.-Family:The son of King John I and Isabella Jagiełło, he succeeded his father as an infant...

    .

Maturity pattern


Anthropologists have noted the tendency of members of the Jagiellonian dynasty to marry late in life, and not procreate until older. Most of its males over the dynasty's two centuries (approximately between 1360 and 1560) managed to have their heirs only when well into their middle years.

This contrasts with the later Bourbons and Habsburg-Lorraines prolific Roman Catholic dynasties, whose members usually started to produce offspring while still in their teens. Also, interestingly enough, those Jagiellonians who continued the line lived to ripe old ages, while those who died in their twenties or thirties generally did not leave children. Because the average life span was relatively short in that time period, this habit of starting to produce children late axed many potential branches from the dynasty, since persons who were generally potential parents did not start procreating until their thirties.

This was no coincidence. In this dynasty, "maturity" and willingness to settle down occurred only later in life, not in one's twenties. It has been speculated that cultural reasons may have also been co-factors. However, it has been proposed that inherited features were the chief reason. Some female-line descendants within a couple of generations showed similar tendencies, such as Charles II, Archduke of Inner Austria, and Albert VII, Archduke of Austria
Albert VII, Archduke of Austria
Archduke Albert VII of Austria was, jointly with his wife, the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands between 1598 and 1621, ruling the Habsburg territories in the southern Low Countries and the north of modern France...

. However, the tendency later diminished, and after the 17th century all members resumed the trait of having their children at a young age.

This tendency to bear children late weakened the potential of the dynasty compared to others of same era. After just four generations, the dynasty went extinct in its male line. But those same four generations lasted two centuries, averaging approximately fifty years between siring each new generation:
  • Algirdas (1291–1377), Ladislaus (1351–1434), Casimir IV (1427–92), Sigismund I (1467–1548) and Sigismund II (1520–72).
  • Algirdas (1291–1377), Ladislaus (1351–1434), Casimir IV (1427–92), Ladislaus II (1456–1516) and Louis (1506–26)

(Generational chart: Zeroeth interval 60/60 years, first interval: 76/76 years, second interval 29/40 years, third interval 50/53 years)
Monarch Birth – death Age at birth of first child
to survive to adulthood
Age at birth of first child
Ladislaus 1351–1434 57 48
Casimir IV 1427–1492 29 29
Sigismund I* 1467–1548 46 46
Ladislaus II 1456–1516 47 47
  • Sigismund has a son at 1499 when he was not ruler of Lithuania neither Poland who died at 1536 and was not have law of heritage


Sometimes, women of this dynasty married only when relatively old. Catherine Jagellon, wife of John III of Sweden
John III of Sweden
-Family:John married his first wife, Catherine Jagellonica of Poland , house of Jagiello, in Vilnius on 4 October 1562. In Sweden, she is known as Katarina Jagellonica. She was the sister of king Sigismund II Augustus of Poland...

, was 11 years older than her husband, having remained unmarried into her thirties. She bore her children at ages 38, 40 and 42.

Jagiello himself was born to a father already in his fifties or sixties.

See also

  • List of Polish rulers
  • List of Lithuanian rulers
  • List of Hungarian rulers
  • List of Czech rulers
  • The Jagiellonian University in Kraków
    Kraków
    Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

  • Poland during the rule of the Jagiellonian dynasty

External links