Sigismund the Old

Sigismund the Old Sigismund the Old (1467-1548) son of Casimir Jagiellonian, the grand duke of Lithuania and king of Poland from 1506. He married Bona Sforza, the duchess of Milan, who exerted a strong influence on the government and who supported her husband in his efforts to strengthen royal authority. Under Sigismund's reign, Renaissance spread in Poland, and the level of eduction among the magnates and the gentry grew. Nicholas Copernicus worked on his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. The king corresponded with Erasmus of Rotterdam. The townspeople became more active in the field of literature. Discussion on the Reformation developed freely. The gentry continued its struggle against the magnates and for restricting the Church's privileges. The Polish language began to prevail in literature and diplomacy. Sigismund incorporated Mazovia with Warsaw (the last province which remained outside Poland) and accepted the tribute of Prince Albrecht Hohenzollern. The state was powerful and no one threatened it. The golden age of the Renaissance began. [art]