Zemuzil, Duke of Pomerania
Zemuzil, Siemomysł or Siemosił (fl.
Floruit , abbreviated fl. , is a Latin verb meaning "flourished", denoting the period of time during which something was active...

 11th century) is the first historically verifiable Duke of Pomerania, recorded in 1046 in the Annals of Niederaltaich (Annales Altahensis maiorum).

Historical record

The Annals record reads: "His omnibus peractis rex inde discessit ac Mersiburc, natale sancti Iohannis celebraturus [24 June], perrexit. Illuc etiam Bratizlao dux Boemorum, Kazmir Bolaniorum, Zemuzil Bomeraniorum advenerunt atque regem donis decentibus honoraverunt. [...] Inde discedens apostolorum Petri et Pauli festa [29 June] Mihsina celebravit ubi etiam conventionem secundo habens duces praefatos inter se pacificavit." (Annales Altahensis maiorum ad a. 1046)

This entry describes Zemuzil's attendance of a meeting with Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry III , called the Black or the Pious, was a member of the Salian Dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors...

 in Merseburg
Merseburg is a town in the south of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt on the river Saale, approx. 14 km south of Halle . It is the capital of the Saalekreis district. It had a diocese founded by Archbishop Adalbert of Magdeburg....

 ("Mersiburc") on 24 June 1046, along with Bretislaus I, Duke of Bohemia ("Bratizlao dux Boemorum") and Casimir I of Poland
Casimir I of Poland
Casimir I the Restorer , was a Duke of Poland of the Piast dynasty and the de facto monarch of the entire country from 1034 until his death....

 ("Kazmir Bolaniorum"). The dukes "honored the emperor with decent gifts", which according to Schmidt (2009) was the payment of tribute
A tribute is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states, which could be called suzerains, exacted tribute from areas they had conquered or threatened to conquer...

. In a second meeting on 29 June in Meißen ("Mihsin"), according to the document, the "aforementioned dukes" concluded a mutual peace agreement.

Nature of the dispute

Roderich Schmidt (2009) assumes that the peace referenced in the document was necessary, among other reasons, because of fights between Zemuzil and Casimir, and that Zemuzil aided Miecław of Mazovia
Mazovia or Masovia is a geographical, historical and cultural region in east-central Poland. It is also a voivodeship in Poland.Its historic capital is Płock, which was the medieval residence of first Dukes of Masovia...

 who had fought against Casimir, previously expelled from Poland but restored with Henry's aid, and was defeated. According to Edward Rymar (2005) the most likely nature of the dispute was the non payment of tribute by the Pomeranian duke to Casimir. Rymar says that after Henry's intermediation Zemuzil failed to pay feudal dues and Casimir invaded and took control of Pomerania in the following year (1047).

Zemuzil's realm

According to Schmidt it is not possible on the basis of the 1046 record to decide the location of his realm. Edward Rymar, following Łowmiański, believes that Zemuzil was a ruler of a unified Pomeranian state with its center in Kołobrzeg (Kolberg) rather than a smaller duchy, which explains why he was treated by Henry as a co-equal with the rulers of Bohemia and Poland. Schmidt also argues that the mention of Zemuzil along with Bretislaus and Casimir suggest that they were equal in status, and that the political organisation of his realm in 1046 resembled the Bohemian and Polish ones.

On the other hand, Stabenow (1995) says that the great majority of historians regard Zemuzil as ruler of only a part of the area between Oder
The Oder is a river in Central Europe. It rises in the Czech Republic and flows through western Poland, later forming of the border between Poland and Germany, part of the Oder-Neisse line...

, Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

, Warta and Notec
Noteć is a river in central Poland with a length of 388 km and a basin area of 17,330 km². It is a tributary of the Warta river and lies completely within Poland....

, and that the location of his realm within this area is disputed. Stabenow further says that the 1046 entry constitutes the first written record of the Slavic Pomeranians.


Historians have made several attempts to reconstruct the duke's Slavic name from the version recorded by a German chronicler, "Zemuzil". Before the connection between the document from 1040 and the one from 1046 was made the name was variously rendered as Ziemomysł (by Oswald Balcer), Siemosił (by Aleksander Brückner
Aleksander Brückner
Aleksander Brückner was a Polish scholar of Slavic languages and literatures , philologist, lexicographer and historian of literature. He is among the most notable Slavicists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the first to prepare complete monographs on the history of Polish language...

) and even Wszemysł (this particular variant has been abandoned as a hypothesis). Zygmunt Wojciechowski in consultation with Slavicists considered "Zemuzil" to correspond to the diminutive form "Siemysł", short for "Siemomysł". The name appears among the members of the Piast dynasty with the Polish duke Siemomysł and the stem "-Siem", referring to "family" (hence "Siemomysł" is someone "thoughtful of their family"), is also found in the Piast name of the half-legendary Siemowit
Siemowit was, according to the chronicles of Gallus Anonymus, the son of Piast the Wheelwright and Rzepicha. He was considered one of the four legendary Piast princes, but is now considered as a ruler who existed as a historical person....



According to Rymar, Zemuzil was most likely a Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 or otherwise he would not have had Henry's support, although he might have kept this fact hidden from his still mostly pagan subjects.

Proposed genealogies

According to Edward Rymar, Zemuzil is often thought to have been the father or the grand father of the Pomeranian Duke Świętobor I
Świętobor, Duke of Pomerania
Świętobor was a Pomeranian duke of 11th and 12th century. According to Gesta principum Polonorum of the chronicler Gallus Anonymus, he was a relative of king of Poland, Bolesław III Wrymouth. In one particular instance, Świętobor was imprisoned by his rivals and Bolesław set out with military aid...

. Schmidt says it is not possible on the basis of the 1046 record to decide whether Zemuzil was an ancestor of later Pomeranian dukes, and cites similar conclusions of other German historians Martin Wehrmann and Adolf Hofmeister.

The 19th century German historian Johann Ludwig Quandt believed that Zemuzil and other early Pomeranian dukes of the Griffin dynasty
House of Pomerania
The House of Griffins or House of Pomerania, , also known as House of Greifen; House of Gryf, was a dynasty of Royal dukes that ruled the Duchy of Pomerania from the 12th century until 1637, after their power was temporarily derivated to Prussian Royal House...

 descended from Polish nobility of Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland is one of the historical regions of Poland, with its capital in the city of Kraków. It forms the southeastern corner of the country, and should not be confused with the modern Lesser Poland Voivodeship, which covers only a small, southern part of Lesser Poland...

, that Zemuzil was made a voivode of his duchy by the Polish king Bolesław I Chrobry, and that he was the grand father of Świętobor I. The Austro-Polish historian Oswald Balzer
Oswald Balzer
Oswald Marian Balzer was an Austro-Polish historian of law and statehood, one of the most renowned Polish historians of his times....

 linked the duke with the Piast dynasty through a matrilineal connection, making his mother the daughter of Bolesław I Chrobry. In a similar way, Henryk Łowmiański saw Zemuzil as the son of a daughter of Mieszko I, the first historical ruler of Poland.

Gerard Labuda
Gerard Labuda
Gerard Labuda was a Polish historian whose main fields of interest were the Middle Ages and the Western Slavs. He was born in what became the Polish Corridor after World War I...

 said that Zemuzil was most likely related to the Piasts through his mother. Rymar says that the 1040 document is one of the reasons why Zemuzil is sometimes thought to be related to the Polish Piast dynasty
Piast dynasty
The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland. It began with the semi-legendary Piast Kołodziej . The first historical ruler was Duke Mieszko I . The Piasts' royal rule in Poland ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir the Great...

. Stanisław Zakrzewski believed the duke to be a brother of the Dytryk proposed as the father of Sememizl by Labuda, and also hypothesized that Zemuzil was an ancestor of Świętobor.


A document from 1040 mentions a Sememizl. This document is a record of Henry III bestowing upon the cathedral in Naumburg
Naumburg is a town in Germany, on the Saale River. It is in the district Burgenlandkreis in the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt. It is approximately southwest of Leipzig, south-southwest of Halle, and north-northeast of Jena....

 few villages which Sememizl previously held as fiefs from Henry III. According to Edward Rymar, Sememizl is generally identified with Zemuzil due to rarity of this name among Polish Piasts and Pomeranian dukes. Gerard Labuda
Gerard Labuda
Gerard Labuda was a Polish historian whose main fields of interest were the Middle Ages and the Western Slavs. He was born in what became the Polish Corridor after World War I...

 doubted a connection between Zemuzil and Sememizl, whom he thought to be a son of Dytryk, one of the step brothers of Chrobry who had been banished by the Polish king to Germany.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.