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In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, and Wrocław.However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Szczecin.The establishment of a Polish state can be traced back to 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of a territory roughly coextensive with that of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity.The origin of the name Polanie itself derives from the early Slavic word pole (field).In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian, Persian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites (Lechici), which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I.However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s.

The Jagiellon dynasty spanned the late Middle Ages and early Modern Era of Polish history.

In 1138, Poland fragmented into several smaller duchies when Bolesław divided his lands among his sons.

In 1226, Konrad I of Masovia, one of the regional Piast dukes, invited the Teutonic Knights to help him fight the Baltic Prussian pagans; a decision that led to centuries of warfare with the Knights.

Casimir III realized that the nation needed a class of educated people, especially lawyers, who could codify the country's laws and administer the courts and offices.

His efforts to create an institution of higher learning in Poland were finally rewarded when Pope Urban V granted him permission to open the University of Kraków.

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