In the Circle of Power: Friends of King Vladislav IV Vasa

Any early modern ruler had to have devoted supporters. Most of them gathered around the king in order to obtain specific official and financial benefits, and sometimes they had similar political views to the monarch. However, this issue looked a bit different in relation to Vladislav IV Vasa, king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania, who was considered by the nobility as a sympathetic and easy-going ruler (as opposed to his more secretive father, Sigismund III). Vladislav was a king who made friendships easily, and people close to him were very clearly at the centre of influence and thus political power. One of the main objectives of this article is to indicate when and how the magnates established private contacts with Vladislav as prince and how they developed once he became king. A separate issue discussed centres on categories related to the understanding of friendship as an element of privacy in the early modern period. Through an in-depth analysis of the letters and memoirs left by the elite of the Polish-Lithuanian state, case studies of private friendships emerge, including the King’s close relationships with Adam Kazanowski, Jan Stanislaw Sapieha, Gerard Denhoff, Aleksander Ludwik Radziwiłł, Krzysztof Radziwiłł and several others.
The article was made as a result of research conducted as part of SONATA 17 project titled ‘Social and economic clientele of Jan Stanisław Sapieha. A study of the history of factions in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania’ (project no. 2021/43/D/HS3/01419) financed by the National Science Centre in Kraków.
Ziober, A. (2023). In the Circle of Power: Friends of King Vladislav IV Vasa. The Court Historian, 28(2), 114–130.
Belongs to collection