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Judith of Poland

Polish princess
The basics
Date of birth
Date of death Jul 08, 1172
Spouse: Otto I, Margrave of Brandenburg
Children: Otto II, Margrave of Brandenburg Albert II, Margrave of Brandenburg
Father: Bolesław III Wrymouth
Sister(s): Richeza of Poland Queen of Sweden Agnes of Poland Dobroniega of Poland
Mother: Salomea of Berg
Brother(s): Henry of Sandomierz Bolesław IV the Curly Casimir II the Just Mieszko III the Old Władysław II the Exile
Authority VIAF id
The details

Judith of Poland (Polish: Judyta Bolesławówna, Hungarian: Judit lengyel hercegnő, German: Judith von Polen; b. c. 1130/35 – died 8 July 1171/75), was a Polish princess member of the House of Piast and by marriage Margravine of Brandenburg.

She was the daughter of Bolesław III Wrymouth, Duke of Poland, by his second wife Salomea, daughter of Henry, Count of Berg. She was probably named after either her paternal grandmother, Judith of Bohemia or her older half-sister, Princess consort of Murom.


Early years

Judith was one of the youngest children of her parents; her date of birth remains unknown. According to Polish medieval chronicles, she was sent to Hungary as a bride of the son of King Béla II. According to the Annales Cracovienses Compilati, this event took place in 1136; since it can be assumed that the Polish princess was younger than her betrothed, and also are known the birth dates of the youngest children of Bolesław III (Agnes in 1137 and Casimir in 1138), Judith in consequence could have been born between 1130 and 1135.

The marriage never took place: by 1146, the engagement was broken with the consent of both parties and Judith returned to Poland. The reason for this may have been the wedding of Mieszko (Judith's brother) with the Hungarian princess Elisabeth (daughter of King Béla II), which sufficiently secured the Polish-Hungarian alliance.

Margravine of Brandenburg

In Kruszwica on 6 January 1148 Judith married Otto, eldest son of Albert the Bear, the first Margrave of Brandenburg. This union was contracted in connection with the Ascanian efforts to support the Junior Dukes in opposition to King Conrad III of Germany, who supported the deposed High Duke Władysław II as legal ruler of Poland. During her marriage, she bore her husband two sons, Otto (who later succeeded his father as Margrave of Brandenburg) in 1149, and Henry (who inherited the Counties of Tangermünde and Gardelegen) in 1150.

Nothing is known about the political role that Judith had to play in Germany. After his father's death in 1170, Otto became the second Margrave of Brandenburg and Judith the Margravine consort.

Death and Aftermaths

Like her birth date, Judith's date of death remains unknown. Only the day, 8 July, is known thanks to the Regesta Historia Brandenburgensis, which records the death in "VIII Id Jul" of "Juditha marchionissa gemma Polonorum". By contrast, the year of death can be determined only through indirect sources. In documents from 1170 Judith is named as a living person, but according to chronicles from 1177 her husband Otto I was already married to his second wife, Ada of Holland. On this basis, it is assumed that Judith died between 1171 and 1175. She was buried in the Brandenburg Cathedral.

Judith's oldest son, Otto II, inherited the Margraviate of Brandenburg after the death of his father in 1184. He never married or had children; because his brother Henry died before him (in 1192) also without issue, after Otto II's death in 1205 Brandenburg was inherited by his younger half-brother Albert II, son of Otto I and Ada.


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