Piast dynasty

Insigne Polonicum.svg Silesia.svg
Foundersemi-legendary Piast, son of legendary Chościsko
Final rulerCasimir the Great, in the Kingdom of Poland, and George IV William of Legnica, in the Silesian duchies
Dissolution1370, in the Kingdom of Poland, and 1675, in the Duchies of Silesia
Cadet branches

The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland.[3] The first documented Polish monarch was Duke Mieszko I (c. 930–992).[4] The Piasts' royal rule in Poland ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir III the Great.

Branches of the Piast dynasty continued to rule in the Duchy of Masovia and in the Duchies of Silesia until the last male Silesian Piast died in 1675. The Piasts intermarried with several noble lines of Europe, and possessed numerous titles, some within the Holy Roman Empire.

Origin of the name

The early dukes and kings of Poland are said to have regarded themselves as descendants of the semi-legendary Piast the Wheelwright (Piast Kołodziej),[5] first mentioned in the Cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum (Chronicles and deeds of the dukes or princes of the Poles), written c. 1113 by Gallus Anonymus. However, the term "Piast Dynasty" was not applied until the 17th century.[6][7] In a historical work the expression Piast dynasty was introduced by the Polish historian Adam Naruszewicz, it is not documented in contemporary sources.

No one in over a 1000 years of Polish history bore the first name Piast[8].