The Gniezno Summit

The Religious Premises of the Founding of the Archbishopric of Gniezno


In The Gniezno Summit Roman Michałowski analyses the reasons behind the founding of the Archbishopric of Gniezno during Otto III’s encounter with Bolesław Chrobry in Gniezno in 1000.
For Michałowski there were two main reasons. One was the martyrdom of St. Adalbert, the Apostle of the Prussians. His body was buried in Gniezno, which put the Gniezno bishopric on a par with bishoprics founded by the Apostles. This was an important argument in favour of Gniezno being raised to the rank of archbishopric. The other reason was Otto III’s spirituality. The emperor was fascinated with the idea of asceticism and abandoning the world. Hence his political programme, the Renovatio Imperii Romanorum, also had religious aims, and Otto tried to support missions among the pagans. To that end he needed an archbishopric on the north-eastern outskirts of the Empire.

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Roman Michałowski, Ph.D. (1979), University of Warsaw, is Professor of the Medieval History at that university. He has published monographs and many articles on the Middle Ages, including Princeps fundator (Arx Regia, 1993).
"[This is] a fascinating exploration of politics, church-state relations, and piety in the early Middle Ages. While its title suggests a rather tight focus on a particular moment in Polish history, in fact the book encompasses the Frankish and Saxon worlds of the ninth and tenth centuries, with occasional forays further afield and further back in time. This makes good sense, for the early history of Poland’s ecclesiastical development was firmly rooted in larger European conventions and processes. [...] The book deserves a broad readership not only among scholars of Poland’s medieval history but medievalists in general." Robert E. Alvis, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, in: Slavic Review, 76/4 (2017), pp. 1078-1079.

List of Abbreviations vii
Introduction 1
1 Archbishoprics and Church Provinces in the Early Medieval Latin
Church 8
1 The Emergence of the Archbishopric and the Church Province as
Institutions 8
2 The Ideological Content of the Term Archbishopric 15
3 The Example of Salzburg 42
4 The Example of Passau 55
5 The Example of Benevento 68
6 Summing Up 72
2 The Founding of the Archbishopric of Gniezno: Religious Premises and
Political Consequences 74
1 Introductory Remarks 74
2 An Overview of Events 81
3 Otto III, a Servant of Jesus Christ and Adalbert the Martyr 95
4 St. Adalbert’s Shrine on the Tiber Island 136
5 The Meaning of the Title Archiepiscopus sancti Adalberti 182
6 Bolesław Chrobry as an Imperial Associate 187
7 German Archbishoprics in the Face of Otto III’s Church Policy 206
8 Summing Up 221
3 Otto III’s Political Thought and Spirituality 223
1 Renovatio Imperii Romanorum and its Religious Premises 223
2 The Spirit of Asceticism and Penance 265
3 The King’s Sinfulness in Ottonian Historiography 273
4 Otto III’s Spirituality and Religious Movements in Ottonian
Europe 294
5 Summing Up 329
Conclusion 332
Afterword to the English Edition 340
Bibliography 345
Index 388
All interested in the history of Central Europe in the Early Middle Ages and in the history of the Holy Roman Empire and the church in the Middle Ages.
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