St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or St. Peter's Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, St. Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines, it has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom". Catholic tradition holds that the Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, chief among Jesus's Apostles and the first Bishop of Rome. Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the high altar of the Basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St. Peter's since the Early Christian period, there has been a church on this site since the time of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great.
Construction of the present basilica, which would replace Old St. Peter's Basilica from the 4th century AD, began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626. St. Peter's is famous for its liturgical functions; the Pope presides at a number of liturgies throughout the year, drawing audiences of 15,000 to over 80,000 people, either within the Basilica or the adjoining St. Peter's Square. St. Peter's has many historical associations, with the Early Christian Church, the Papacy, the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-reformation and numerous artists Michelangelo; as a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age. St. Peter's is one of the four churches in the world that hold the rank of Major Basilica, all four of which are in Rome. Contrary to popular misconception, it is not a cathedral. St. Peter's is a church built in the Renaissance style located in the Vatican City west of the River Tiber and near the Janiculum Hill and Hadrian's Mausoleum, its central dome dominates the skyline of Rome.
The basilica is approached via St. Peter's Square, a forecourt in two sections, both surrounded by tall colonnades; the first space is the second trapezoid. The façade of the basilica, with a giant order of columns, stretches across the end of the square and is approached by steps on which stand two 5.55 metres statues of the 1st-century apostles to Rome, Saints Peter and Paul. The basilica is cruciform in shape, with an elongated nave in the Latin cross form but the early designs were for a centrally planned structure and this is still in evidence in the architecture; the central space is dominated both externally and internally by one of the largest domes in the world. The entrance is through entrance hall, which stretches across the building. One of the decorated bronze doors leading from the narthex is the Holy Door, only opened during jubilees; the interior is of vast dimensions. One author wrote: "Only does it dawn upon us – as we watch people draw near to this or that monument, strangely they appear to shrink.
This in its turn overwhelms us."The nave which leads to the central dome is in three bays, with piers supporting a barrel-vault, the highest of any church. The nave is framed by wide aisles. There are chapels surrounding the dome. Moving around the basilica in a clockwise direction they are: The Baptistery, the Chapel of the Presentation of the Virgin, the larger Choir Chapel, the altar of the Transfiguration, the Clementine Chapel with the altar of Saint Gregory, the Sacristy Entrance, the Altar of the Lie, the left transept with altars to the Crucifixion of Saint Peter, Saint Joseph and Saint Thomas, the altar of the Sacred Heart, the Chapel of the Madonna of Column, the altar of Saint Peter and the Paralytic, the apse with the Chair of Saint Peter, the altar of Saint Peter raising Tabitha, the altar of St. Petronilla, the altar of the Archangel Michael, the altar of the Navicella, the right transept with altars of Saint Erasmus, Saints Processo and Martiniano, Saint Wenceslas, the altar of St. Jerome, the altar of Saint Basil, the Gregorian Chapel with the altar of the Madonna of Succour, the larger Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, the Chapel of Saint Sebastian and the Chapel of the Pietà.
At the heart of the basilica, beneath the high altar, is the Confessio or Chapel of the Confession, in reference to the confession of faith by St. Peter, which led to his martyrdom. Two curving marble staircases lead to this underground chapel at the level of the Constantinian church and above the purported burial place of Saint Peter; the entire interior of St. Peter's is lavishly decorated with marble, architectural sculpture and gilding; the basilica contains a large number of tombs of popes and other notable people, many of which are considered outstanding artworks. There are a number of sculptures in niches and chapels, including Michelangelo's Pietà; the central feature is a baldachin, or canopy over the Papal Altar, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The apse culminates in a sculptural ensemble by Bernini, containing the symbolic Chair of Saint Peter. One observer wrote: "St Peter's Basilica is the reason why Rome is still the center of the civilized world. For religious and architectural reasons it by itself justifies a journey to Rome, its interior offers a palimpsest of artistic styles at the
A minor basilica is a Catholic church building, granted the title of basilica by the Holy See or immemorial custom. Presently, the authorising decree is granted by the Pope through the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. In relation to churches, writers on architecture use the term "basilica" to describe a church built in a particular style; the early Christian purpose-built cathedral basilica of the bishop was in this style, constructed on the model of the semi-public secular basilicas, its growth in size and importance signalled the gradual transfer of civic power into episcopal hands, under way in the 5th century. In the 18th century, the term took on a canonical sense, unrelated to this architectural style. Basilicas in this canonical sense are divided into minor basilicas. Today all in Rome, are classified as major basilicas. Privileges attached to the status of basilica included a certain precedence before other churches, the right of the conopaeum and the bell, which were carried side by side in procession at the head of the clergy on state occasions, the wearing of a cappa magna by the canons or secular members of the collegiate chapter when assisting at the Divine Office.
In the case of major basilicas these umbraculae were made of cloth of gold and red velvet, while those of minor basilicas were of yellow and red silk—the colours traditionally associated with both the Papal See and the city of Rome. These external signs, except that of the cappa magna, are sometimes still seen in basilicas, but the latest regulations of the Holy See on the matter, issued in 1989, make no mention of them; the status of being a basilica now confers only two material privileges: the right to include the papal symbol of the crossed keys on a basilica's banners and seal, the right of the rector of the basilica to wear a distinctive mozzetta over his surplice. The other privileges now granted concern the liturgy of the celebration of the concession of the title of basilica, the granting of a plenary indulgence on certain days to those who pray in the basilica; the document imposes on basilicas the obligation to celebrate the liturgy with special care, requires that a church for which a grant of the title is requested should have been liturgically dedicated to God and be outstanding as a center of active and pastoral liturgy, setting an example for others.
It should be sufficiently large and with an ample sanctuary. It should be renowned for history, relics or sacred images, should be served by a sufficient number of priests and other ministers and by an adequate choir. Many basilicas are notable churches, receive significant pilgrimages. In December 2009 the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico set a record with 6.1 million pilgrims in two days for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As of November 15, 2017, there were 1,757 minor basilicas in the world. Of these 1,757 minor basilicas, three have the title of papal minor basilica and four the title of pontifical minor basilica; the three papal minor basilicas are Saint Lawrence outside the Walls and the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi and the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, both in Assisi. The four pontifical minor basilicas are the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in Bari, the Basilica of the Holy House in Loreto, the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, the Shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei.
All but the Paduan basilica were for some years jointly under the care of a Cardinalatial Commission for the Pontifical Shrines of Pompei and Bari, suppressed in 1996 to establish the Pontifical Delegation for the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii and the Pontifical Delegation for the Shrine of the Holy House of Loreto. All four pontifical minor basilicas now have individual pontifical delegates. For the Bari basilica, a dependency of the Secretariat of State, the pontifical delegate is the local metropolitan archbishop. For the basilicas of Loreto and Pompei, which are within their own territorial prelatures, the pontifical delegate is the local territorial prelate. Only for the Paduan basilica is the pontifical delegate distinct from the local bishop; the remaining 1,750 minor basilicas are all classified as such. In Torre del Greco is the Pontifical Basilica of the Holy Cross, called by that name not only on its own site, which recalls the visits to it of Pope Pius IX in 1849 and Pope John Paul II in 1990, but in the list of the world's minor basilicas, however, calls it a minor basilica.
Another such Italian church, recognized as a minor basilica, but not as a pontifical minor basilica, is the Pontificia Reale Basilica di S. Giacomo degli Spagnoli in Naples; this name, qualifying it as both royal, is confirmed by several other sources. One pontifical basilica in Spain listed not as a pontifical minor basilica, but as a minor basilica, is the Pontifical Basilica of St. Michael, the ownership of, since 1892 vested in the Apostolic Nunciature to the Kingdom of Spain; the description "pontifical basilica" is sometimes given without canonical justification to some churches that, whether pontifical or not, are not in the list of those with a right to the title of basilica. One in the town of Grumo Nevano in the province of Naples is called on the Italian Wikipedia the Pontifical Basilica of Saint Tammaro the Bishop, a designation confirmed by the inscription "Basilica Pontifica" o
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Poznań
The Archdiocese of Poznań is one of 14 archdioceses located in Poland, with the seat located in Poznań. 968: Established as Missionary Diocese of Poland with seat in Poznań subordinated directly to the Holy See 1000: Transformed to Diocese of Poznań subordinated directly to the Holy See 11th-12th century: Subordination of Diocese of Poznań to Metropolitan Archdioecese of Gniezno as suffragan diocese 16 July 1821: Raised to status of Metropolitan Archdiocese and joined with Archdiocese of Gniezno in personal union in aeque principaliter. 12 November 1948: dissolution of union between Archdioceses of Poznań and Gniezno Minor Basilicas: Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, Poznań Bazylika Niepokalanego Poczęcia NMP kk. Filipinów, Gostyń Kalisz Bishops of Poznań Roman Catholicism in Poland GCatholic.org Catholic Hierarchy Diocese website
Casimir I the Restorer
Casimir I the Restorer, was Duke of Poland of the Piast dynasty and the de jure monarch of the entire country from 1034 until his death. He was the only son of Mieszko II Lambert by his wife Richeza, daughter of Count Palatine Ezzo of Lotharingia and granddaughter of Emperor Otto II. Casimir is known as the Restorer because he managed to reunite all parts of the Polish Kingdom after a period of turmoil, he reinstated Masovia and Pomerania into his realm. However, he failed to crown himself King of Poland because of internal and external threats to his rule. Little is known of Casimir's early life, he must have spent his childhood at the royal court of Poland in Gniezno. In order to acquire a proper education, he was sent to one of the Polish monasteries in 1026. According to some older sources he wanted to have a career in the Church and asked for a dispensation to become a monk; this hypothesis, however, is not supported by modern historians. Regardless, he left church work for good in 1031. Casimir's father, Mieszko II, was crowned King of Poland in 1025 after the death of his father Bolesław I the Brave.
However, the powerful magnates of the country feared a strong central government like the one that existed under Bolesław I's rule. This led to considerable friction between the nobility. Taking advantage of the King's precarious situation, Mieszko II's older half-brother Bezprym and younger brother Otto turned against him and allied themselves with the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II, whose forces attacked Poland and regained Lusatia. Years of chaos and conflict followed, during which Mieszko II was forced to cede the throne to Bezprym in 1031, fled to Bohemia, was imprisoned by Duke Oldřich and castrated, returned to rule a portion of the kingdom regained the kingdom, died in May 1034 under suspicious circumstances. Sometime during the reign of Bezprym and his sisters were taken by their mother to Germany for refuge, it has been reported that Queen Richeza brought the Polish royal crown and regalia to Emperor Conrad II at Bezprym's request to indicate his acceptance of the primacy of his western neighbor, although the Queen could have taken them for safekeeping, or they could have been brought to the Emperor by another means.
At the time of his father's death in 1034, Casimir was about 18 years old and in Germany at the court of his uncle Hermann II, Archbishop of Köln. The central district of Greater Poland revolted against the nobles and Catholic clergy in a mass rebellion. A pagan revival in the area lasted for several years; the district of Masovia seceded and a local lord, Miecław, formed a state of his own. A similar situation occurred in Pomerania. In 1037 both the young prince and his mother attempted to seize the throne; this precipitated a rebellion by local barons, which coupled with the so-called "Pagan Reaction" of the commoners, forced Casimir and Richeza to flee to Saxony. However, soon Casimir returned to Poland and in 1038, once again, tried to regain power with the aide of his influential mother; this failed and he had to flee again, this time to the Kingdom of Hungary where he was imprisoned by Stephen I. The Dowager Queen remained in Germany as a nun until her death, in 1063. Taking advantage of the chaos and his neighbour's weakness, Duke Bretislaus I of Bohemia invaded and ravaged the country in 1039.
Lesser and Greater Poland were pillaged, Poznań was captured, Bretislaus sacked Gniezno, taking the relics of Saint Adalbert, Radim Gaudentius, the five hermit brothers with him. On the way back he conquered part of Silesia, including Wrocław, destroyed religious buildings which were built by Mieszko I during the feast of the conversion of Poland, plundered Mieszko I's tomb. After escaping to Hungary, Casimir went to Germany, where in 1039 his relative the Emperor Henry III gave him military and financial support. Casimir received a force of 1,000 heavy footmen and a significant amount of gold to restore his power in Poland. Casimir signed an alliance with Yaroslav I the Wise, the Prince of Kievan Rus', linked with him through Casimir's marriage with Yaroslav's sister, Maria Dobroniega. With this support, Casimir managed to retake most of his domain. In 1041, defeated in his second attempted invasion by Emperor Henry III, signed a treaty at Regensburg in which he renounced his claims to all Polish lands except for Silesia, to be incorporated into the Bohemian Kingdom.
It was Casimir's success in strengthening royal power and ending internal strife that earned him the epithet of "the Restorer". The treaty gained Casimir a period of peace on the southern border and the capital of Poland was moved to Kraków, the only major Polish city untouched by the wars, it is probable that the Holy Roman Emperor was pleased with the balance of power, restored to the region and forced Casimir not to crown himself the King of Poland. In 1046 Emperor Henry III held royal and imperial courts at Merseburg and Meissen, at which he ended the strife among the Duke of Pomerania, Duke Bretislaus of Bohemia, Casimir I. In 1047 Casimir, aided by his Kievan brother-in-law, started a war against Masovia and seized the land, it is probable that he defeated Miecław's allies from Pomerania and attached Gdańsk to Poland. This secured his power in central Poland. Three years against the will of the Emperor, Casimir seized Bohemian-controlled Silesia, thus securing most of his father's domain
Saint Peter known as Simon Peter, Simon, or Cephas, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Great Church. Pope Gregory I called him the "Prince of the Apostles". According to Catholic teaching, Jesus promised Peter in the "Rock of My Church" dialogue in Matthew 16:18 a special position in the Church, he is traditionally counted as the first Bishop of Rome—or pope—and by Eastern Christian tradition as the first Patriarch of Antioch. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and as the founder of the Church of Antioch and the Roman Church, but differ in their attitudes regarding the authority of his present-day successors; the New Testament indicates that Peter's father's name was John and was from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee or Gaulanitis. His brother Andrew was an apostle. According to New Testament accounts, Peter was one of twelve apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples.
A fisherman, he played a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus's inner circle, thrice denied Jesus and wept bitterly once he realised his deed, preached on the day of Pentecost. According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero, it is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. Tradition holds, his remains are said to be those contained in the underground Confessio of St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope Paul VI announced in 1968 the excavated discovery of a first-century Roman cemetery; every 29 June since 1736, a statue of Saint Peter in St. Peter's Basilica is adorned with papal tiara, ring of the fisherman, papal vestments, as part of the celebration of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. According to Catholic doctrine, the direct papal successor to Saint Peter is the incumbent pope Pope Francis.
Two general epistles in the New Testament are ascribed to Peter, but modern scholars reject the Petrine authorship of both. The Gospel of Mark was traditionally thought to show the influence of Peter's preaching and eyewitness memories. Several other books bearing his name—the Acts of Peter, Gospel of Peter, Preaching of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, Judgment of Peter—are considered by Christian denominations as apocryphal, are thus not included in their Bible canons. Peter's original name, as indicated in the New Testament, was "Simon" or "Simeon"; the Simon/Simeon variation has been explained as reflecting "the well-known custom among Jews at the time of giving the name of a famous patriarch or personage of the Old Testament to a male child along with a similar sounding Greek/Roman name". He was given the name כֵּיפָא in Aramaic, rendered in Greek as Κηφᾶς, whence Latin and English Cephas; the precise meaning of the Aramaic word is disputed, some saying that its usual meaning is "rock" or "crag", others saying that it means rather "stone" and in its application by Jesus to Simon, "precious stone" or "jewel", but most scholars agree that as a proper name it denotes a rough or tough character.
Both meanings, "stone" and "rock", are indicated in dictionaries of Syriac. Catholic theologian Rudolf Pesch argues that the Aramaic cepha means "stone, clump, clew" and that "rock" is only a connotation; the combined name Σίμων Πέτρος appears 19 times in the New Testament. In some Syriac documents he is called, in Simon Cephas. Peter's life story is told in the four canonical gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, New Testament letters, the non-canonical Gospel of the Hebrews and other Early Church accounts of his life and death. In the New Testament, he is among the first of the disciples called during Jesus' ministry. Peter became the first listed apostle ordained by Jesus in the early church. Peter was a fisherman in Bethsaida, he was named son of Jonah or John. The three Synoptic Gospels recount how Peter's mother-in-law was healed by Jesus at their home in Capernaum. 1 Cor. 9:5 has been taken to imply that he was married. In the Synoptic Gospels, Peter was a fisherman along with his brother and the sons of Zebedee and John.
The Gospel of John depicts Peter fishing after the resurrection of Jesus, in the story of the Catch of 153 fish. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew to be "fishers of men". A Franciscan church is built upon the traditional site of Apostle Peter's house. In Luke, Simon Peter owns the boat that Jesus uses to preach to the multitudes who were pressing on him at the shore of Lake Gennesaret. Jesu
Bretislav I, known as the "Bohemian Achilles", of the Přemyslid dynasty, was Duke of Bohemia from 1035 until his death. Bretislav was the son of his low-born concubine Božena; as an illegitimate son could not obtain a desirable wife by conventional means, he chose to kidnap his future wife Judith of Schweinfurt, a daughter of the Bavarian noble Henry of Schweinfurt, Margrave of Nordgau, in 1019 at Schweinfurt. During his father’s reign, in 1019 or 1029, Bretislav took back Moravia from Poland. About 1031, he invaded Hungary; the partition of Bohemia between Oldřich and his brother Jaromír in 1034 was the reason why Bretislav fled beyond the Bohemian border, only to come back to take the throne after Jaromír’s abdication. In 1035, Bretislav helped Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II in his war against the Lusatians. In 1039, he invaded Lesser and Greater Poland, captured Poznań, sacked Gniezno, brought the relics of St. Adalbert, Radim Gaudentius and the Five Brothers back with him. On the way back, he regained part of Silesia, including Wrocław.
His main goal was to set up an archbishopric in Prague and create a large state subject only to the Holy Roman Empire. His raid had an unintended enduring influence on Polish history, as the plundering and destruction of Gniezno pushed the next Polish rulers to move their capital to Kraków, which would retain this role for many centuries ahead. In 1040, the German King Henry III invaded Bohemia, but was forced to retreat after he lost the Battle at Brůdek; the following year, Henry III invaded again, skirted the border defences and laid siege to Bretislav in Prague. Forced by a mutiny among his nobles and betrayed by Bishop Šebíř of Prague, Bretislav had to renounce all of his conquests save for Moravia and recognize Henry III as his sovereign. 1042 Emperor Henry III granted Bretislav Silesia as lien. In 1047, Emperor Henry III negotiated a peace treaty between Bretislav and the Poles; this pact worked in Bretislav's favour, as the Polish ruler swore never again to attack Bohemia in return for an annual subsidy to Gniezno.
Bretislav was the author of decrees concerning the rules of Christianization, which included a ban on polygamy and trade on holidays. It was in 1030. In 1054, he established rules for the ducal succession and issued the famous Seniority Law that introduced agnatic seniority for order of succession. Younger members of the dynasty were supposed to govern fiefs, but only at the duke's discretion; the result of this succession policy was the relative indivisibility of the Czech lands, but bitter conflicts over succession and territorial primacy between members of the dynasty. It was ended by the elevation of Bohemia to the status of a kingdom under Ottokar I of Bohemia, which led to the establishment of primogeniture as the ruling principle for succession rights. Bretislav's eldest son Spytihněv was to succeed him as Duke of Bohemia with control over it domains. Moravia was divided between three of his younger sons; the Olomouc Appanage went to Vratislaus. The youngest son, Jaromír, became Bishop of Prague.
Bretislav died at Chrudim in 1055 during preparations for another invasion of Hungary and was succeeded by his son Spytihněv II as Duke of Bohemia. His sons Otto and Vratislav were shut out of the government by Spytihněv, but after his death both gained control of Moravia and Bohemia, respectively. Bretislav married the daughter of Margrave Henry of Schweinfurt; the House of Přemysl wished to confirm its good relationship with the Babenbergs through a marriage to Judith in 1020. Judith was a desirable bride, but Oldřich of Bohemia had only one son, he was of illegitimate birth, thus complicating the prospect of a marriage with the high-born Judith. Bretislav solved the problem by kidnapping Judith from a monastery in Schweinfurt, although he was never punished for the crime, he married Judith some time later. Their first son Spytihněv was born after ten years, which led to the hypothesis that the kidnapping happened in 1029, although Judith may have given birth to daughters before her first son.
In all, there were four sons from the marriage that survived into adulthood: Spytihněv II, Duke of Bohemia Vratislaus II of Bohemia Conrad I, Duke of Bohemia Otto I of Olomouc Jaromír, Bishop of PragueAncestry Bretislav I was buried in the old St. Vitus Church in Prague, founded by Wenceslaus I in 930, his tomb is now situated in the Chapel of St. Wenceslaus in the St. Vitus Cathedral built in the 1344–66 period. Bretislav I was depicted in the fresco composition of the Přemyslid dynasty at the Znojmo Rotunda, painted in the 1134–61 period. Berend, Nora. Central Europe in the High Middle Ages:Bohemia and Poland, c.900-c.1300. Cambridge University Press. Krzemieńska, Barbara. Břetislav I.: Čechy a střední Evropa v prvé polovině XI. století. Prague: Garamond. ISBN 80-901760-7-0. Krzemieńska, Barbara. "Břetislav I." pp. 324–329. Krofta, Kamil. "Bohemia to the Extinction of the Premyslids". In Tanner, J. R.. W.. N. Cambridge Medieval History:Victory of the Papacy. Vol. VI. Cambridge University Press. Mahoney, William.
The History of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. ABC-CLIO. Pánek, Jaroslav. A History of the Czech Lands. Charles Universi
Mieszko II Lambert
Mieszko II Lambert was King of Poland from 1025–1031, Duke from 1032 until his death. He was the second son of Bolesław I the Brave but the eldest born from his third wife Emnilda of Lusatia, he was named after his paternal grandfather, Mieszko I. His second name, sometimes erroneously considered to be a nickname, was given to him as a reference to Saint Lambert, it is probable that this name Lambert was chosen after Bolesław's half-brother Lambert. It is thought that the choice of this name for his son was an expression of warming relations between Bolesław I and his stepmother Oda, he organized two devastating invasions to Saxony in 1028 and 1030. Mieszko II ran a defensive war against Germany and the Kievan princes. Mieszko II was forced to escape from the country in 1031 after an attack of Yaroslav I the Wise, who installed Mieszko's older half-brother Bezprym onto the Polish throne. Mieszko took refuge in Bohemia. In 1032 he regained power in one of the three districts united the country, making good use of the remaining power structures.
At this time, several Polish territorial acquisitions of his father were lost: Upper Lusatia, part of Lower Lusatia, Red Ruthenia and central part of Upper Hungary and Moravia. Mieszko II was well educated for the period, he was able to read and write, knew both Greek and Latin. He is unjustly known as Mieszko II Gnuśny, he received that epithet due to the unfortunate way. Since Mieszko II was politically active before his father's death, Bolesław I appointed him as his successor, he participated in German politics, both as a representative of his father and the commander of the Polish troops. In 1013 Mieszko II went to Magdeburg, where he paid homage to the Emperor Henry II. A few months Bolesław I paid homage in person; the real purpose of Mieszko's visit is unclear since soon after his father paid homage to the Holy Roman Empire. The young prince paid homage for Milsko or Moravia and Lusatia; the relevant treaty stipulated that it was only a personal tribute, not entailing any legal obligations.
Another hypothesis assumes that the territories were transferred by Bolesław to him, as a result made Mieszko a vassal of the Empire. The position of the young prince, at the both Polish and Imperial courts, became stronger in 1013 when he married Richeza daughter of Count Palatine Ezzo of Lotharingia and niece of Emperor Otto III. Ezzo was a prince of a considerable influence as a great leader of the opposition against Henry II. Through the marriage with his daughter Mieszko, he entered into the circle of the Imperial family and became a person equal to, if not higher than the Emperor himself. After the wedding, in accordance with prevailing custom, Bolesław I the Brave gave a separate district to Mieszko II to rule: Kraków. One of his towns, was chosen by the prince as his residence. In the year 1014 Mieszko II was sent by his father to Bohemia as an emissary, he had to persuade Duke Oldřich to make an alliance against the Emperor Henry II. The mission failed as Oldřich imprisoned Mieszko, he was released only after the intervention of the Emperor, despite the planned betrayal of Bolesław I, loyally acted on behalf of his vassal.
As a result, Mieszko was sent to the Imperial court in Merseburg as a hostage. Henry II wanted to force the presence of Bolesław I in Merseburg and make him explain his actions; the plan failed however, under pressure from his relatives, the Emperor soon agreed to release Mieszko. A year Mieszko II stood at the head of Polish troops in the next war against the Emperor; the campaign wasn't favorable to Henry. His army needed over a month to reach the line of the Oder River, once there, his troops encountered strong resistance led by Mieszko and his father. Henry II sent a delegation to the Polish rulers, in an effort to induce them to conclude a peace settlement. Mieszko II refused, after the Emperor's failure to defeat his troops in battle, Henry decided to begin retreating to Dziadoszyce; the Polish prince went on pursuit, inflicted heavy losses on the German army. When the Polish army advanced to Meissen, Mieszko II unsuccessfully tried to besiege the castle of his brother-in-law, Margrave Herman I.
The fighting was resumed only in 1017 after the failure of peace talks. Imperial forces bypassed the main defensive site near besieged Niemcza. At the same time, at the head of ten legions, Mieszko went to Moravia and planned an allied attack together with Bohemia against the Emperor; this action forced the Emperor to give up on a plan of any frontal attack. A year the Peace of Bautzen was concluded, with terms favorable to the Polish side. Beginning in 1028, he waged war against the Holy Roman Empire, he was able to repel its invading army, even invaded Saxony. He allied Poland with Hungary; this war was prompted by family connections of Mieszko's in Germany who opposed Emperor Conrad II. Due to the death of Thietmar of Merseburg, the principal chronicler of that period, there is little information about Mieszko II's life from 1018 until 1025, when he took over the government of Poland. Only Gallus Anonymus mentions the Prince on occasion of the description of his father's trip to Rus in 1018: "due to the fact that his son Mieszko wasn't considered yet capable of taking the governm