Battle of Cedynia 24.06.972 A.D.

Today is an anniversary of the Battle of Cedynia, which is said to be a  first major battle of the Polish state (after uniting the tribes).

Cedynia battle monument ad mound.

Cedynia battle monument and mound.

Mieszko I, the Duke of Polans, succesfully campaigned the area around Cedynia and joined those lands to the Polan state. The problem was the  Holy Roman emperor Otto and Saxon nobility also wanted the lands. Mieszko was able to settle up the dispute with the emperor, however Saxon Eastern March nobility did not agree on that, and under margrave Odo (Hodo) I they challenged the Mieszko’s influence. Odo wanted to gather taxes from the tribes living next to the Odra (Oder) river, and Mieszko wanted to secure Odra line up to Wolin (Jomsborg) On the 24th of June 972 A.D. two armies, consiting of around 4000 people each (cavalry and infantry) met in Cedynia. It was a Polan victory. Polans took small casualties while Saxons were slaughtered.

As the great Thietmar of Merseburg says:

“Interea Hodo, venerabilis marchio, Miseconem, inperatori fidelem tributumque usque in Vurta fluvium solventem, exercitu petivit collecto. Ad cujus auxilium pater meus comes Sigifridus, tunc juvenis necdumque conjugali sociatus amori, venit solum cum suis, et in die sancti Johannis Baptistae adversus eum pugnantes, primoque vincentes, a fratre ejusdem Cideburo, exceptis tantum comitibus prefatis, omnes optimi milites interfecti oppecierunt in loco, qui vocatur Cidini. Hac de fama miserabili inperator turbatus, de Italia nuncios misit, precipientes Hodoni atque Miseconi, si gratiam suimet habere voluissent, usque dum ipse veniens causam discuteret, in pace permanerent”.

“Meanwhile, the honorable margrave Hodo [Odo I] attacked duke Miseco [Mieszko I], who loyally paid tribute to the Emperor [Otto I] for the lands up to the Vurta [Warta, Warthe], with an army. To his aid came alone my [Thietmar’s] father lord Sigifrid [Siegfried von Walbeck], then an unmarried juvenile, with his [men], and on the day of John the Baptist [24 June] they fought against him [Miesko], and [only] first were victorious, since his [Miesko’s] brother Cidebur [Czcibor], except for the aforementioned great lords [Odo and Siegfried], slew all the best warriors at the site called Cidini [Cedynia, Zehden]. Disturbed by this miserable story, from Italy the emperor sent orders to Hodo but also Miseco, that by his graciousness, until he arrived himself to investigate the case, they were to remain peaceful.”

Annual reenactment is taking place in Cedynia.

Here’s a short trailer of what one can expect during the Days of Cedynia

Sources:, Thietmar’s chronicle