From Polish State to Polish-Lithuanian Union: Rule of Jageillos

After a period of unrest in the thirteenth century wherein Poland had to struggle with foreign foes and internal bickering, the 1300s saw her forge an alliance with Lithuania, courtesy a marriage between Jadwiga, Casimir's descendant and Ladislaus Jagiello, the Grand Duke of Lithuania.

Jagiello, a protégé of the Jagiellon dynasty (1385-1569) was the first to head the nascent Polish-Lithuanian union. Thus began an empire, which soon became one of the mightiest in Europe, extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The Jagiello rule constitutes the golden era of Polish history.

Ladislaus III (1434-44) earned Poland the distinction of upholding the Christian cause against Muslim intruders.

Sigismund I (1506-48) was successful in unifying the warring internal factions and introduced the Renaissance age in Poland. During his reign, Poland also took giant strides in the economic sphere.

Under Sigismund II (1548-72), the Lublin Union of 1569 accorded to the creation of an unified Polish-Lithuanian state.

Arts and sciences thrived during this age. A celebrity of this age was the astronomer Copernicus.