Post-classical history

Krakôw, Treaty of (1525)

A peace treaty between the king of Poland and the grand master of the Teutonic Order that ended the territory of the order in Prussia.

After the failure of attempts by Grand Master Albrecht von Brandenburg-Ansbach to revise the Second Peace of Thorn, he and his advisors began to ponder the idea of secularizing the Teutonic Order in Prussia. A four-year truce with Poland was to expire in spring 1525, and war seemed inevitable. The order’s German and Livonian branches declined to provide any support for the grand master against the order’s enemies, and so Albrecht started negotiations with Poland. A peace treaty comprising thirty-one articles was drafted in Krakôw on 8 April 1525 that declared Prussia a secular duchy under Polish suzerainty. King Sigismund I of Poland (1506-1548) and representatives of the order and the Prussian estates confirmed the agreement the next day. On 10 April Albrecht paid homage to the king, which finally made him the new “duke in Prussia” (Lat. dux in Prussia). Prussia thus became a hereditary fief of the Ans- bach line of the Hohenzollern dynasty. The Teutonic Order in Prussia was dissolved, and its some sixty remaining brothers either emigrated to the Holy Roman Empire or joined the secular nobility of the duchy.

Aerial view of Krak des Chevaliers. (Courtesy Graham Loud)

Aerial view of Krak des Chevaliers. (Courtesy Graham Loud)

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