2012 | 3 | 5-40
Article title

Polskie dziedzictwo w Prusach

Title variants
The Polish Legacy in Prussia
Languages of publication
Thousand years ago, after the entry of Poland as a Christian country into Europaean civilisation, on the opposite side of its north-eastern boundary there existed a pagan land called Prussia. Its inhabitants weren’t Slavs unlike Poles, but they belonged to the Balt tribes, as modern Lithuanians and Latvians, their nearest relatives. In those times that pagan Prussia was known, first of all, as a land of Christian martyrs, killed there by the pagans during their voyages to this country as Christian missionaries. Such was the fate of famous European bishops as Adalbert of Prague (997), or Bruno of Querfurt (1009). The core area of Prussian country was the Pregel basin, from north and east encircled by the Neman basin, from south and west by the Vistula basin. The latter of them was the borderland between Poland and Prussia, till the 13th century depopulated and in practice uninhabited, because of dangerous conditions for settlers life there. To normalise situation in this borderland, Conrad, Polish duke of Masovia, invited in 1226 the Teutonic Knights Order to the task of Christianisation those last pagans on the Polands’ borderland. This monastic order was founded in the Holy Land in time of the European crusades there, but when the crusades in the Near East came to their end, this order, displaced to Venice, was waiting for new proposals in Europe. They began in 1230 their new mission in Prusia, conquered and baptised the Prussians during the 13th century, creating in Prussia their own monastic state, similar to the later on Jesuit monastic state in Paraguay. Despite its name, not only Germans belonged to this order, but knights of various European countries. Their enemy was everybody, who opposed to their monastic state, first of all German settlers from Prussia and from Gdansk region, under the name of West Prussia incorporated to the Order State in 1309. Those German settlers after a great rebellion in 1454, accepted their incorporation to the Kingdom of Poland. After the 13-Years War 1454–1466 the Order State was divided into two parts tn the Torun Peace Treaty. West Prussia except the Pogesanian diocese, but together with the Warmian diocese, was incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland under the name of Kings’ Prussia. East Prussia, except the Warmian diocese, but together with the Pogesanian diocese stayed under the monastic rule, under the name of Order Prussia. Soon afterwards, the Lutheran reformation caused next great changes in the East Prussia, which accepting Lutheran confession stayed a secular principality now, The Teutonic Knights Order and both East Prussian dioceses, Sambian and Pogesanian were dissolved, their last Grand Master, duke Albrecht Hohenzollern, nephew of the king of Poland, paid him homage in 1525 and receipt the Dukal Prussia as a Polish fief. The Lutherans printed the Bible and other confessional books in languages of local worshippers allowing the survival of Polish language in the south and Lithuanian in the north of East Prussia causing their incorporation into modern Poland and modern Lithuania in the 20th century.
Physical description
  • Gdańsk
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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