Subject and Keywords:
Silesia took shape as a distinct region along with the development of state and church structures under Piast rule. The formation of these structures led to the dissolution of tribal relations. The central indicator of regional identity, the name belonging to the cultural legacy of barbaricum, acquired two new meanings, one territorial by nature and another new, far removed from its original, ideological sense within various traditions, not necessarily all of them Silesian. Cultural interpretation has led the Ślęża mountain, a source of myths and an essential part of both many legends and of the landscape, to undergo a similar transformation. In the period under consideration the influence of a so-called anthroporegional structure reaching back to prehistoric times on the structure of settlement is noticeable. When compared to the tribal era, the period of early state formation of the Piast monarchy saw the increased significance of the Odra river as an axis for the establishment of administration in both the state and Church. The region’s integration progressed around its centre, located in Wrocław. The division of the Piast state into various territories after 1138 halted this process. The resulting divisions broke up regions formerly belonging to one diocese, and likely those previously belonging to one province as well. Among the significant issues in the formation of the region during the second half of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries were the restriction of the meaning of the term “Silesia” to the latter-day Lower Silesia, as well as the definition of its regional identity by territorial authorities to the Silesian titulature, rather than that of Wrocław. This was a reference a naming convention which was as old as the Ślężanie tribe. Silesia as a region thus became an undeniable fact of the social and political life of the fragmented Poland, while the extension of Silesian territory to the upper part of the Odra river occurred only in the 15th century.