|Civ First Look|
Pious Jadwiga, praise be to the glory of God, the earth, and Poland! Most holy King, you will show your people the truth and the light, and they will move beyond to spread the word to others. Protected by great winged warriors, you will rise to meet any challenge you face with a devout grace unmatched by any other.
Jadwiga's Poland is a flexible power that has strengths in both the military and religious arenas. Don't settle too close to her cities for she can steal frontier tiles from you through her Fort or Encampment Culture Bomb.
Poland is a multi-faceted civilization that possesses strong military capabilities that can be re-purposed for other means. One of their Military Policy slot is converted to a Wildcard slot, allowing them to recruit a Great Prophet earlier than other civs and establish a Religion. In addition, creations of Forts and Encampments allow them to gain free tiles through their Culture Bomb ability. And with Jadwiga in charge, cities that lose tiles to Jadwiga also convert to her Religion. So even when Jadwiga plays militarily, perhaps choosing governments with Military policy slots and fortifying her frontier, Poland should still be very strong on the religious and economic fronts.
Jadwiga reigned as the first female monarch of the Kingdom of Poland from 1384 until her death in 1399. She was the youngest daughter of Louis the Great, King of Hungary and Poland, and his wife, Elizabeth of Bosnia. Jadwiga was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, but she was even more closely related to the native Piast dynasty of Poland through her ancestors. She was canonized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church in 1997.
Her marriage to William of Habsburg was planned in 1375 and she lived in Austria between 1378 and 1380. Jadwiga and William were allegedly regarded as her father's favored successors in Hungary after her eldest sister's death in 1379, since the Polish noblemen had paid homage to Louis' second daughter, Mary, and Mary's fiancé, Sigismund of Luxemburg that same year. However, Louis died and Mary was crowned "King of Hungary" on the demand of her mother in 1382. Sigismund of Luxemburg tried to seize Poland, but the Polish noblemen countered that they would only obey a daughter of King Louis if she settled in their country. The elderly Queen Elizabeth then nominated Jadwiga to reign in Poland, but did not send her to Kraków to be crowned. During the interregnum, Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia, became a candidate for the Polish throne. The nobles of Greater Poland especially favored him, proposing he marry Jadwiga. However, the noblemen of Lesser Poland opposed his election and persuaded Queen Elizabeth to send Jadwiga to Poland.
In late 14th century Poland, there was little expectation for the king's third daughter to do much beyond secure her country's future through a marriage alliance. Yet in her short life, the devout Jadwiga would rule all of Poland. Selfless and canny, she sought to bring disparate peoples together through a common (and comprehensible) faith. Jadwiga was born in 1373 to Elizabeth of Bosnia and Louis I, King of Hungary and Poland. Raised at the royal residences in Buda and Visegrad, Jadwiga was well-educated, fluent in five languages, and embarrassingly pious. When Louis's death in 1382 led to a succession crisis, Elizabeth sent young Jadwiga to Krakow to end it. Beloved by the Polish people for her kindness, endorsed by the Catholic church for her faith, and condoned by the stiff-necked Polish nobility for her affability, 11-year-old princess Jadwiga found herself crowned king of Greater Poland in 1384.
The new Polish king to rule in perilous times. A fistful of Casimir's more tenuous descendants still had claims to the throne. Worse, Poland was threatened by Germanic states and the rulers of Muscovy, as well as possible invasion by the Mongols and Tartars. To shore up allies and safeguard Poland's future, Jadwiga agreed to marry Jogaila, the Grand Duke of Lithuania—provided he (and his subjects) converted from paganism to Catholicism.
Thus, in 1386 Jadwiga wed the newly baptized Jogaila, who promptly took the name Wladyslaw II to make his rule palatable to the patriotic Poles. Wladyslaw was hastily crowned King jure uxoris (Latin for “by right of his wife”), two days before Lithuania was invaded by the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (in simpler terms, the Teutonic Knights). They claimed they sought to regain lands lost to Casimir—but really, any land would do.
The young king was instrumental in turning Lithuania from its pagan ways. She had a number of meetings with “Princes of the Church” concerning conversion and instructing the Lithuanians in their new faith. Wladyslaw was instrumental in this as well; it is said that he even cut down trees in the “sacred” groves of his homeland with his own hands. Jadwiga sponsored an annual scholarship for twenty Lithuanians to study at Prague's Charles University so they could return to strengthen the faith in their homeland. And she founded a bishopric in Vilnius, that hotbed of sin.
Jadwiga and Wladyslaw made a surprisingly effective team of co-rulers. During Jadwiga's diplomatic mission to meet the Master of the Teutonic Knights, her piety was said to so shame him for his order's greed and bloodthirstiness that they temporarily ceased their depredations. She also reconciled Wladyslaw with his cousin Witold, who sought to take the Lithuanian throne. In 1387 AD, Jadwiga led two military expeditions to reclaim lands in Ruthenia that had been claimed by Hungary. Although not much fighting occurred, Jadwiga's efforts ended with the province's return to Poland and Petru I of Moldavia paying homage to the Polish monarchs.
Being somewhat more polished than most of her subjects, Jadwiga also sought to enlighten them to the finer things. Jadwiga was a patron to many Polish artists and authors. Among her most notable contributions to the culture of Poland was the restoration of the Krakow Academy. She donated much of her personal jewelry to finance the school, which enrolled students in astronomy, law, and theology. Jadwiga also advocated for a wider comprehension of faith, and had the Bible translated from Latin into Polish vernacular.
Jadwiga's reign ended early. In 1399 she gave birth to her firstborn, a daughter—but within a month both mother and child were dead of complications from the delivery. Though Jadwiga lived only 25 years, she had been king for over half her life. By solidifying ties with Lithuania, she secured the future of both nations. Her co-ruler Wladyslaw managed to rule over Poland and Lithuania for another 35 years.
Jadwiga was barely in her sarcophagus in Wawel Cathedral before her subjects began to venerate her holiness. Stories of Jadwiga's sanctity spread across the land, as well as miracles attributed to her. In one, the figure of Christ on a black crucifix spoke to her as she prayed. In another, she gave a piece of jewelry to a poor stonemason; when she left, her footprint remained behind in the hardened plaster floor. In yet another, a coppersmith's son drowned while Jadwiga was part of a nearby Corpus Christi procession—she was said to restore his life by throwing her mantle over the boy. These three reported miracles were enough for the Catholic Church to canonize her as a saint in 1997.