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Jarosław, Duke of Opole

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Jaroslaw, of

Jaroslaw, Duke of Opole

Jarosław of Opole (Polish: Jarosław opolski ; aft. 1143 – 22 March 1201) was a Duke Opole from 1173 and Bishop of Wrocław from 1198 until his death.

Jarosław, Duke of Opole

He was the oldest son of Bolesław I the Tall, by his first wife Zvenislava, daughter of Vsevolod II Olgovich, Grand Prince of Kiev. His Russian name was given by his mother.


It is unknown whether he was born already in Silesia or in exile, but he was brought up in Altenburg in the Holy Roman Empire and spent his childhood in the court of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. After the recovery of Silesia by his father and uncle Mieszko I Tanglefoot in 1163, he moved there with the rest of his family and was there when probably began his activity in politics. However, the second marriage of his father with the German lady Christina changed diametrally his situation. Jarosław's stepmother began to intrigue, and Bolesław the Tall increasingly began to favored his younger sons. Jarosław was forced into a religious career (in the 1160s or the 1170s) and his father decided to leave his inheritance to his sons from his second marriage.

However, Jarosław wasn't content with being removed from power (because, as the firstborn son he should have inherited Bolesław the Tall's part of the Duchy of Silesia) and began to intrigue with his uncle Mieszko Tanglefoot. His opportunity to reasume his rights come over soon. As a result of civil war during 1172–1173 Bolesław the Tall was exiled in Erfurt. Fortunately for him, Frederick Barbarossa decided to intervene, and through his mediation Bolesław could regained the power in Lower Silesia, but was forced to create the Duchies of Racibórz (to Mieszko) and Opole (to Jarosław).

The next information founded to Jarosław was in the 1190s. In 1195 Jarosław supported his uncle Mieszko III the Old in the Battle of Mozgawą, there the Silesian troops (then unnecessary because Mieszko III fled the battle before they arrived) were defeated by the Sandomierz Komes Goworek of Rawa. Three years later (1198) Jarosław accepted entirely with his religious condition and has been elected Bishop of Wroclaw. Since them, the Duke-Bishop reconcilied with his father. A further sign of the reconciliation between father and son was that in that period the Silesian coins showed their names together. Jarosław died on 22 March 1201, few months before his father, who took the control over the Duchy of Opole. Ultimately, however, Opole was taken by Mieszko Tanglefoot at the beginning of the next year (1202), after a surprise attack to Henry I the Bearded, Bolesław the Tall's youngest son and successor. Jarosław was probably buried in Wroclaw.


Jarosław, Duke of Opole Wikipedia

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