Sigismund Augustus

Sigismund Augustus Sigismund Augustus (1520-1572), the son of Sigismund the Old and Bona Sforza, crowned king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania in 1529, during his father's lifetime. He assumed power in 1548. He supported the reformatory movement of the gentry. The result was the re-seizure of royal lands and the setting up of a standing army. A supporter of tolerance, he prevented persecution and religious wars, for, as he declared in the Seym: "I am not the king of your consciences." He had no sons or daughters to inherit the throne, therefore he strove to consolidate Poland's links with Lithuania on the basis of a real union. He achieved this aim - the Union of Lublin of 1569 - three years before his death. His romantic love and marriage to Barbara Radziwillowna, and the latter's coronation was in contravention of the dynastic interests and reasons of state. The king built a large fleet and incorporated Livonia into the Polish-Lithuanian state. He was a Renaissance man, a well educated protector of science and learning which flourished under his reign. [art]

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