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The Gniezno Summit

The Religious Premises of the Founding of the Archbishopric of Gniezno

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Roman Michałowski

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.