The murder of Warcisław I in documents and historiography from the twelfth to sixteenth centuries

Monika Rusakiewicz


Duke Warcisław I of the Griffin dynasty ruled Pomerania at the time of the Christianising mission of Otto of Bamberg, initiated by Bolesław Krzywousty (Bolesław Wrymouth), conducted in 1124–25 and 1128. The three biographies of Otto of Bamberg constitute the richest source of information about Warcisław. In later sources, there are very few references to this Pomeranian duke; however, one event mentioned in some documents, over a span of several centuries, is the murder of Warcisław.  The question of the death of Warcisław is an important issue for many reasons. Primarily, an analysis of mentions of this event shows the modification of the image of Warcisław’s death in the historical sources. This is the result of borrowings from earlier texts and the different historical context of the creation of later sources. The main subject of this article is the sources from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, but the later views of scholars concerning Warcisław’s death are also discussed, which demonstrates that a discussion on this problem is taking place in historical writing to this day. 

Słowa kluczowe: Duke Warcislaw I, Saxo Grammaticus, Thomas Kantzow, Genealogia Stargardensis