Jaromar I, Prince of Rügen
BackgroundJaromar was a Ranish
Rani (Slavic tribe)
The Rani or Rujani were a West Slavic tribe based on the island of Rugia and the southwestern mainland across the Strelasund in what is today northeastern Germany....
nobleman, who was a native of the island of Rügen
Rügen is Germany's largest island. Located in the Baltic Sea, it is part of the Vorpommern-Rügen district of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.- Geography :Rügen is located off the north-eastern coast of Germany in the Baltic Sea...
. Jaromar rose to be ruler of the Principality of Rügen as result of the Danish conquest of Rügen
Pomerania during the High Middle Ages
Pomerania during the High Middle Ages covers the History of Pomerania in the 12th and 13th centuries.The early 12th century Obodrite, Polish, Saxon, and Danish conquests resulted in vassalage and Christianization of the formerly pagan and independent Pomeranian tribes...
in 1168. His predecessor was Tezlaw, who in 1168 had submitted to the Danish.
Danish conquestThe Danish organized a war to Christianize the formerly pagan islanders and to destroy the pagan strongholds and cult places. This action also served to have their piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...
and raids to Danish lands ended. The Danish navy, led by among other militaries, Archbishop Absalon
Absalon was a Danish archbishop and statesman, who was the Bishop of Roskilde from 1158 to 1192 and Archbishop of Lund from 1178 until his death. He was the foremost politician and churchfather of Denmark in the second half of the 12th century, and was the closest advisor of King Valdemar I of...
, conquered and destroyed the fortress of Cape Arkona
Cape Arkona is a cape on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Cape Arkona is the tip of the Wittow peninsula, just a few kilometres north of the Jasmund National Park....
. The temple fortress of Arkona (Jaromarsburg) had been the religious centre of the Slavic Rani. The island of Rügen was incorporated into the Danish Archdiocese of Roskilde.
The Danish set up Rügen as their vassal. Jaromar, who was not committed to hitherto pagan rulers of the island, accepted Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...
and promised loyalty to King Valdemar I of Denmark
Valdemar I of Denmark
Valdemar I of Denmark , also known as Valdemar the Great, was King of Denmark from 1157 until 1182.-Biography:...
Jaromar allied with the Hvide
Hvide was a medieval Danish clan, and afterwards in early modern era a Danish noble surname of presumably one surviving branch of leaders of that clan. Before 16th century it was not used as surname...
Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus , better known as Galen of Pergamon , was a prominent Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher...
Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus 'great', designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities...
clans, who were leaders of Zealand and Skåne. Jaromar had his son and heir Wizlaw I
Wizlaw I, Prince of Rügen
Wizlaw I. was a Prince of Rügen.- Life :The first surviving mention of Wizlaw I dates to 1193. His parents were Jaromar I and Hildegard of Denmark , the daughter of Canute V of Denmark Wizlaw I. (c. 1180 - 7 June 1250) was a Prince of Rügen.- Life :The first surviving mention of Wizlaw I dates to...
marry a lady from these Danish magnates' families, who were influential in those parts of Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...
that were closest to Rügen.
By 1185, Jaromar I had started construction of St. Mary's Church (Marienkirche) erected in his stronghold Rugard (which later became the town Bergen-auf-Rügen). In 1193, the church was completed and then consecrated as a monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...
church, making it Rügen's oldest maintained building. It is commonly believed that Jaromar was buried under the gravestone embedded in the church's outer wall. Additionally he founded the Cistercian Eldena Abbey
Eldena Abbey , originally Hilda Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery near the present town of Greifswald in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany...
- Buchholz, Werner Deutsche Geschichte im Osten Europas. Pommern (Siedler Verlag. 2002) ISBN-10: 3886807800
- Addison, James Thayer Medieval Missionary: A Study of the Conversion of Northern Europe Ad 500 to 1300 (Kessinger Publishing. 2003) ISBN 0766175677.