Polish Monarch. Born the son of Zofia Teofillia and Jakub Sobieski, a royal courtier, he was a well educated polish noble, and in 1665, he was appointed grand marshal; the following year, he became hetman of the Polish army. In 1667, he led the defeat of the Tatars and the Cossacks, and in 1668, he was named Commander-in-Chief of the army. The king died in 1673, shortly after Sobieski won a notable victory over the Turks, and his military success contributed to his election as king of Poland in May 1674. He was crowned in February 1676. Initially following a pro-French policy, he found it impossible to reconcile Polish interests and those of France, whose wanted only a vassal to use against the Habsburgs. He moved away from a French alliance, and treated with the Holy Roman emperor, allying with him against the Turks. During the Second Siege of Vienna in 1683, Sobieski and his 25,000 men led the relief force to a decisive victory over the Turks at the Battle of Kahlenberg, effectively saving Europe from invasion by the Ottoman Turks, and marking the end of Ottoman expansion into Europe. Sobieski was hailed as the "savior of Vienna and European civilization.” In 1684, astronomer Jan Heweliusz named a newly delineated constellation Scutum Sobiescianum (Shield of Sobieski) to commemorate the victory. Between 1684 and 1691, Sobieski fought to liberate Moldavia and Walachia (Romania) from Ottoman rule, and to expand Poland’s influence, but his efforts were largely unsuccessful. Despite his notable victories as a general, his efforts on the domestic front, such as an attempt to strengthen the position of the crown and stabilize the army failed. After 1691, his health broke and he was often ill. He succumbed to a probable stroke at age 66.
Bio by: Iola