Historical Figures

Władysław Herman (1043-1102)

Władysław Herman in the graphics by Aleksander Lesser.

Władysław Herman

Prince of Poland from the Piast dynasty. He was the son of Kazimierz the Restorer and Maria Dobroniega. He ascended the throne around 1080, after his older brother, crowned King Bolesław the Bold, was forced to leave the country and died in Hungary under unknown circumstances.

Władysław Herman probably took power from the opposition party, which led to the expulsion of the king. It is possible that he himself was also involved in a conspiracy against his predecessor. He had two sons - Zbigniew from an unknown relationship and Bolesław Krzywousty, born to the Russian princess Zbysława. Another spouse played a special role at his side - the former Queen of Hungary, the ambitious Judith Maria Salicka. According to historians, the prince allowed her to significantly influence the affairs of the country. Above all, however, he entrusted a large part of his power to the leading official of the court - the palatine Sieciech, who commanded on behalf of Władysław Herman armed expeditions and made key political decisions.

When the sons rebelled against Władysław Herman, the prince agreed to divide the state between them, leaving only Mazovia for himself and at least nominal authority over the remaining districts. He is considered a shaky and inept ruler, although in the opinion of historians his criticism is exaggerated and not fully justified. The fact is, however, that he did not claim his brother's royal title. He was only a prince, like all subsequent Polish rulers, up to Przemysł II.