14th Century Flag of Poland. Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The country known today as Poland has been the site of many different groups of peoples from antiquity through to the present day. The indigenous population of Polans emerged at the end of the antique period, and from the 9th century onwards became a dominant dynasty under the Piasts. The kingdom developed across the high and late medieval period, sometimes being split into principalities, The marriage of Jadwiga of Poland and Władysław II Jagiełło, duke of Lithuania, in 1386, saw the formation of the Polish-Lithuanian union, which was to be transformed into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. From this point onwards an elective monarchy was established, and lasted until the third partition of Poland on 24 October 1795 and the abdication of Stanisław Augustus on 25 November 1795. Poland regained its sovereignty at the end of World War One, however the monarchy was never re-established.

You can find out more about some of the women who ruled areas within the Polish-Lithuanian regions below!


Ardelean, Florin Nicolae, Christopher Nicholson, and Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, eds. Between Worlds: The Age of the Jagiellonians. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013

Bogucka, Maria. Women in Early Modern Polish Society, Against the European Background. Abingdon: Routledge, 2004

Kosior, Katarzyna. Becoming A Queen in Early Modern Europe. East and West. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019

Nagy, Balázs, and Marcell Sebők, eds. The Man of Many Devices, Who Wandered Full Many Ways: Festschrift in Honor of János M. Bak. Budapest: CEU Press, 1999

Stone, Daniel. A History of East Central Europe Volume 4: The Polish-Lithuanian State, 1386-1795. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001.

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