Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus (Polish: Zygmunt), b 1 August 1520 in Cracow, d 7 July 1572 at a private estate in Knyszyn (near the Polish-Lithuanian border). (Portrait: Sigismund II Augustus.) King of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania; son of Sigismund I the Old. The last of the Jagiellon dynasty, he became grand duke of Lithuania while still a minor and was crowned king (and co-ruler) of Poland in 1530. In 1548 he assumed full control of both domains. His reign continued the voloka land reform (1557) and the promotion of Renaissance culture initiated during his father's era. It also saw the incorporation of the Ukrainian provinces of Podlachia, Volhynia, and Kyiv directly into the Polish realm, shortly before the formal merger of Poland and Lithuania by the Union of Lublin in 1569.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]