Boleslaw I (Boleslaw the Brave) became Duke of Poland after his father, Mieszko I, died in 992. Boleslaw was an ambitious man who failed to honour his father’s wish that the Duchy of Poland be divided between Boleslaw and his step-brothers. Boleslaw reigned until 1025, by which time he had expanded Poland’s borders, conducted a succession of military campaigns, established the Polish church structure, placing it under direct papal control, and separated from the Holy Roman Empire, after a dispute with Henry II (Holy Roman Emperor from 1002). From 1002–18 Boleslaw I, an aggressive expansionist, attempted to seize Holy Roman territories in eastern Germany, retaining a small part of eastern Germany (modern Moravia). Boleslaw fought wars on all borders and, in 1018, seized Kiev and placed his son-in-law on the Kievan throne. In 1025, just before his death, the pope gave him the authority to declare himself the first king of Poland.
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