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Ladislaus II of Poland

Jagiello (Lithuanian Jogaila) (c.1350-1434), grand duke of Lithuania from 1377 (or 1378) until 1392 (or 1401), became king of Poland as Ladislaus II in 1386 after converting to Christianity and marrying Jadwiga, second of Poland's Angevin rulers. His Christian name was Wladyslaw.

His accession marked the start of the Jagiellonian dynasty, which was to rule both countries until 1572, presiding over their administrative union in 1569. The Jagiellonian era is usually characterised as the start of Poland's "golden age", when the country became a major European power and extended its frontiers to the north and east.

Jagiello's conversion marked the establishment of Christianity as the official religion of Lithuania following a brief period of Catholic kingship in the 1250s. Though pagan beliefs continued in the country for some time, the Lithuanian nobility gave its support to the new order upon being promised (in 1401) a voice in the election of the future Polish-Lithuanian rulers.

As Ladislaus II, his reign is noted for the crushing defeat inflicted on the Teutonic Knights in neighbouring Prussia by Polish, Lithuanian, Russian and Tatar forces at the Battle of Tannenberg (1410). He was succeeded by his son Ladislaus III.



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