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Fenenna of Kuyavia

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Fenenna of Kuyavia

Fenenna of Kuyavia
Queen consort of Hungary
Reign 1290–1295
Issue Elizabeth of Töss
House House of Piast (by birth)
Árpád dynasty (by marriage)
Father Ziemomysł of Kuyavia
Mother Salome of Pomerania
Born c. 1276
Died 1295

Fenenna of Kuyavia (also known as of Inowrocław) (Polish: Fenenna kujawska or inowrocławska) (ca. 1276–1295) was a Polish princess and a member of the House of Piast in the Mazovia branch. By marriage, she was Queen of Hungary.

She was the daughter of Duke Ziemomysł of Inowrocław by his wife Salome, daughter of Duke Sambor II of Pomerania.

Her existence was corroborated by only two sources: the Genealogy of Saint Hedwig and the Chronicles of Jan Długosz, as well in the Hungarian sources. The Genealogy stated that an unnamed daughter of Duke Ziemomysł was betrothed to the King of Hungary. Based in this information, Jan Długosz stated that she married with King Stephen V. This erroneus information was maintained by the later historiography until the 19th century, when Fenenna was correctly described as the wife of King Andrew III.

Although Fenenna did not play a significant role in the Hungarian court, thanks to her was strengthened the alliance between her husband and her uncle Władysław I the Elbow-high, and also was beneficial to her Kuyavia relatives' relations with, among others, King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia. Shortly after Andrew III's death, their daughter Elizabeth was betrothed to the future Wenceslaus III, who claimed the Hungarian crown.


Birth and Name

Her parentage is confirmed in the Genealogy of Saint Hedwig. The marriage of her parents is placed around the first half of February 1268.[1] If she was the oldest child of the Ducal couple, she could have born at the end of that year. She was married in 1290, and in accordance with the Canonical Law of that time, the legal age to celebrate a marriage was 12 years old; but two years later, in 1292, she gave birth her only child, probably with 15 years. Accordingly, her date of birth could be ranked between 1268 and 1277.[2] Among the offspring of Duke Ziemomysł, Fenenna was placed as the second child, between Euphemia (who died in infancy) and Leszek.[3]

Her name was chosen from the Bible (later translated by Jakub Wujek), as one of the two wives of Elkanah, father of the Prophet Samuel.[4] This uncommon name was rarely used in Poland, and Fenenna was the only member of the Piast dynasty who bear it.[5]

Queen of Hungary

Fenenna's seal as Queen of Hungary, dated 1291.

The Genealogy of Saint Hedwig indicated that Fenenna was betrothed to the Hungarian king. According to Jan Długosz this Hungarian ruler was the King Stephen V. Despite that this assumption wasn't supported by any sources and proved to be false (Stephen V died in 1272) was maintained as truly until the 18th century.[6] Her husband was King Andrew III, a fact who was sufficiently confirmed by the Hungarian sources. From the period of her reign, between 1290–1295, there are several documents issued by the Queen of Hungary, who signed on as Fenena, Fennena, or in short Fenenna F. Legends on Hungarian stamps of 1291 certify that the Queen Fenenna was Ziemomysł's daughter. Finally, thanks to her marriage, the Polish Kingdom began a close cooperation with the Hungarian ruler.

In July 1290 Andrew III was crowned King of Hungary. One of his first actions was the conclusion of an alliance with Poland, in particular with Duke Władysław I the Elbow-high. In September began the negotiations and no later than 9 October arrived to Hungary the princess of Kuyavia as the King's bride.[7] Then the wedding took place. From 1290 were issued three documents who described Fenenna as Andrew III's wife and Queen of Hungary, of which only contains 24 November as a date. Therefore, the marriage of Andrew III with Fenenna took place between September and 24 November 1290. Probably during the wedding ceremony, or shortly after, Fenenna was crowned as Queen of Hungary.[8]

The marriage was pursued by Fenenna's uncle, Władysław I the Elbow-high, who wanted to attract allies to his fight for the Polish throne. The Hungarian-Kuyavian alliance has proven beneficial for both parties. The Dukes of Kuyavia helped Andrew III to defeated Charles Martel of Anjou, who claimed his rights after the death of his maternal uncle, King Ladislaus IV the Cuman, in 1290. In return, the Hungarians sent provisions and military support to Władysław I during his fighting against King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and Duke Henry III of Głogów. Documents issued by Andrew III from 1293 showed that the aid was sent to the Dukes of Kuyavia among the Hungarian nobility. It specifies that the King recompensed two Hungarian men, Paul and Serafila, for his help in winning Prędocin. In contrast, in 1297 was noted that Władysław I the Elbow-high, with the help of the Hungarians, invaded Greater Poland and Silesia.

From the surviving contemporary documents, was known that Fenenna wasn't play a greater role on the Hungarian court. However, her only existence maintain the alliance between her husband and her uncle Władysław I the Elbow-high. In 1292, Fenenna gave birth her only child, a daughter named Elizabeth.

Death and Aftermaths

The sources are silent about Fenenna's death. Therefore, the date of her death was determined only on basis of the negotiations of King Andrew III with the Austrian court for his second marriage with Agnes of Habsburg, and the documents issued by both Fenenna and Agnes. Almost all the known sources placed the second wedding of King Andrew III with Agnes of Habsburg in Vienna on 13 February 1296. However, although the year is generally accepted, the exact day and months varied in a number of partly independent sources. The documents issued by the Queen of Hungary at that time also contributed to the confusion. The last document issued by Fenenna was dated 8 September 1295, while the first document issued by Agnes was dated 1 May 1295. Since the marriage of Andrew III with the Austrian princess was in 1296, the document probably was incorrectly written and had to be moved back by one year. It is now accepted that Andrew III's wedding with Agnes of Habsburg was held in 1296, after a brief mourning after the death of his wife and quick marriage negotiations. In consequence, Fenenna was certainly dead by the end of 1295; the place of her burial is unknown.[9][10]

After her death, Andrew III entered into an agreement with Władysław I's opponent, Wenceslaus II. As a part of the settlement, was celebrated the engagement of his daughter Elizabeth with the son and heir of the Bohemian King, the future Wenceslaus III, in 1298. However, this marriage was never realized. Wenceslaus instead married Viola Elisabeth of Cieszyn, but later he planned of divorcing Viola and marrying with Elizabeth when he was assassinated.

When King Andrew III died in 1301, Elizabeth was taken by her stepmother Agnes to Austria and forced by her to join the Dominican monastery in Töss, Switzerland, where she died in 1338 as the last representative of the Arpad dynasty.



  1. ^ K. Jasiński, Rodowód Piastów małopolskich i kujawskich, Poznań – Wrocław 2001, p. 113–114.
  2. ^ K. Jasiński, Rodowód Piastów małopolskich i kujawskich, Poznań – Wrocław 2001, p. 137–138.
  3. ^ O. Balzer, Genealogia Piastów, vol. II, Kraków 2005, tabl. VI; according to K. Jasiński, Rodowód Piastów małopolskich i kujawskich, Poznań – Wrocław 2001, p. 138, she was the eldest child of the Duke of Inowrocław.
  4. ^ O. Balzer, Genealogia Piastów, vol. II, Kraków 2005, p. 616.
  5. ^ K. Jasiński, Rodowód Piastów małopolskich i kujawskich, Poznań – Wrocław 2001, p. 137.
  6. ^ O. Balzer, Genealogia Piastów, vol. II, Kraków 2005, p. 615.
  7. ^ J. Dąbrowski, Z czasów Łokietka. Studia nad stosunkami polsko-węgierskimi w XIV w.; "Rozprawy Akademii Umiejętności. Wydział Historyczno-Filozoficzny", 1916, p. 287; K. Jasiński, Rodowód Piastów małopolskich i kujawskich, Poznań – Wrocław 2001, p. 139.
  8. ^ K. Jasiński, Rodowód Piastów małopolskich i kujawskich, Poznań – Wrocław 2001, p. 137; previously O. Balzer, Genealogia Piastów, vol. II, Kraków 2005, p. 618–619, put the wedding date between 19 August and 24 November 1290.
  9. ^ O. Balzer, Genealogia Piastów, vol. II, Kraków 2005, p. 620.
  10. ^ K. Jasiński, Rodowód Piastów małopolskich i kujawskich, Poznań – Wrocław 2001, p. 139.
  11. ^ Ancestors of Elisabeth Piast
Fenenna of Kuyavia
Born: 1276 Died: 1295
Preceded by
Elisabeth of Sicily
Queen consort of Hungary
Succeeded by
Agnes of Austria
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