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Chapter Summary

The chronicle of an anonymous author referred to as Gallus contains a lengthy account of the tragic events which took place in 1111. This book assumes that in its general contours Gallus's narration reflects the actual course of the dramatic events leading to Zbigniew's return to Poland, Zbigniew's downfall, and Boleslaw's penance. The interpretation of Gallus' text significantly contributes to the better understanding of its content, and thereby to enable an accurate assessment of the events, described in the Chronicle, surrounding the conflict between Boleslaw Wrymouth and his older brother. Referring, as an example, to Gallus' tale about the conflict between the Piast dukes, the book looks more closely at the modes of using ritual as an effective tool of political action in the Middle Ages. It attempts at reconciling two opposed, yet complementary approaches to the problem of ritual and the modes of inquiry into texts that described it.

Keywords: Boleslaw's penance; Chronicle; Gallus; medieval Poland; Piast duke; political culture; ritual practice; Zbigniew's downfall



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