Homo religiosus: the phenomenon of Poland's Mieszko I
Over ten and a half centuries ago, the ruler of a vast territory in today’s western Poland was baptized in the Latin rite and began the Christianization of his people. That ruler, who hailed from the Piast dynasty, was Mieszko I, called “rex” (king) by his contemporary, the Saxon chronicler Widukind of Corvey – and “malik” (king) by the agent of the Caliph in Cordoba, Ibrahim ibn Yaqub, who visited Central Europe during the early years of Mieszko’s reign (~960-992). Today, ironically enough, Mieszko’s descendants label him but a “książe” (duke) – though they honor him, nonetheless. Indeed, as of this year, AD 2019, Poland has a new national holiday – namely, “Poland’s baptism”, to be celebrated on April 14th from here forward.