Casimir II the Just

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Casimir II the Just (Polish: Kazimierz II Sprawiedliwy) (1138 – 5 May 1194) was a Duke of Wiślica during 1166–1173, Duke of Sandomierz since 1173 and Duke of Kraków and High Duke of Poland (see Seniorate Province) from 1177 until his death. The honorific title "the Just" wasn't contemporary; it only appeared in the 16th century.

He was the youngest son of Bolesław III Wrymouth, Duke of Poland, by his second wife Salomea, daughter of Henry, Count of Berg.



Early years

Casimir, the sixth but fourth surviving son of the Ducal couple, was born in 1138, shortly before his father's death, but also is possible that he born shortly after, and in consequence, was posthumous. Maybe this was the reason that in the Bolesław III's Testament, he was omitted and left without any land.

During his first years, Casimir and his sister Agnes (born in 1137) lived with their mother Salome in her widow land, Łęczyca. There, the young prince remained far away from the struggles of his older brothers Bolesław IV the Curly and Mieszko III the Old with their older half-brother Władysław II, who tried to reunite all Poland under his rule.

Salome of Berg died in 1144. Casimir and Agnes were cared by his older brother Bolesław IV and, although under his tutelage he could feel safe, he had any guarantee to receive part of the paternal inheritance in the future. When in 1154 he reached the proper age (according to the standards of that time), to take control over the lands of the family, he remained with nothing. Even worse, three years later (1157) his fate was decided in the successfully campaign of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. As a part of the treaty between Bolesław and Barbarossa, Casimir was sent to Germany as a hostage in order to secure the loyalty of his brother to the Emperor.

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