Pomerania a province of Prussia, situated in the north-east, and bordering on the Baltic, was once the possession of the Slaves and Swedes, and has such a peculiar ecclesiastical record that we here take space to detail it. In the 6th century some Slavic tribes settled in Northern Germany, and called the coast along the Baltic Sea Pomoze, i.e. on the sea-coast. The foremost deities of this Wendish people were Belbog, Czernibog, Radogost, Swantewit. Herovit. Gerovit, and Triglav.
I. Introduction of Christianity. — About the year 1000 the bishopric of Colberg was founded as a dependence of the archbishopric of Gnesen, and Reinbern appointed bishop; but Reinbern having gone to Kief to attend the celebration of the nuptials of the daughter of Boleslaus with the son of the czar Wladimir, and stopping at the Russian court, this commencement proved fruitless. The attempt of Bernhard, a Spanish monk, to introduce Christianity, which was made a century afterwards, was equally unsuccessful. But Boleslaus Krzvvousti, king of Poland, having subjected to his rule part of Pomerania and wishing to make Christians of his new subjects, desired Otto, bishop of Bamberg, to bring those heathens the light of the Gospel. Otto, having obtained the agreement of pope Calixtus II, set on his way, April 19, 1124, over Prague, Breslau, Posen, and Gnesel, where he stopped seven days and celebrated Whitsuntide. Wratislav, the Pomeranian chief, who, as a boy, had been christened at Merseburg, came to meet the apostle, and gave him two of his warriors to guide him to Pvritz. In this place the pagans were engaged in the celebration of one of their feasts. Otto preached to the 4000 men assembled at that solemnity, and a week had scarcely elapsed, during which lie and his associates were busy instructing the daily increasing crowd in the Christian doctrines, when the bishop prescribed a three days' fasting, after which more than 7000 heathens were admitted to baptism. After erecting an altar, and leaving one of his priests, Otto went via Stargard to Kammin, the residence of the prince. The wife of the latter received the apostle with great joy. He stopped fifty days, converted 3585 persons, laid the foundation of a church, and left a priest, for whose maintenance the prince had granted some lands. Julin, afterwards called Wollin, mostly inhabited by pirates, was not so favorably disposed towards the new religion; but, after more or less persecution, the Christians were permitted to leave the town unscathed and cross the Divenow. Here Otto, after resting a few days, entered upon negotiations with the inhabitants: but all he could obtain from the chiefs of the city was that they would direct themselves by the example of Stettin, the oldest and noblest city of Pomerania. Thither Otto repaired, crossing the Haff, in company with Redamir, a citizen of Julin, and his son. The Stettinians at first turned a deaf ear to Otto's exhortations. Twice a week, on the market-days, he proceeded to the market place with his eighteen priests in sacerdotal ornaments, and preached before the multitude. The people from the country listened to his words less reluctantly than the denizens of the city; yet, after two months had thus elapsed, the latter declared that they would accept baptism, if Poland would consent to diminish the tribute, to grant to the country a permanent peace, and to draw up a deed of the transaction. The bishop, whose meek ways, friendly behavior, and works of charity had won every heart, obtained those concessions from the Poles, and on Oct. 25 he christened both sons of the prominent citizen Domizlav, the father soon afterwards; then five hundred relations and other connections of that powerful family an example which considerably influenced the people generally. The four temples of the city were destroyed, and Otto sent to the pope the three heads of the idol Triglay. After establishing two churches, one in honor of St. Adalbert-the patron saint of the Slaves-the other under the name of Peter and Paul, Otto, leaving two of his priests in the city, visited the towns of Garz and Lubezin, left a priest in each, and repaired to Julin, where the intelligence of Stettin's conversion had already been received. The inhabitants came to meet him on his way, and begged his pardon for their former conduct. Otto consecrated two altars in the city, interdicted the burying of the dead in forests, prohibited piracy, the intercourse with idolators, polygamy, and the inveterate custom of killing newborn girls when there were some girls already in the family. In the ensuing winter Otto, passing through Dodona (now Dodow), where he laid the foundations of two churches, went to Colberg and Belgard, the inhabitants of which did not prove open to his teachings. Hence he returned to Pyritz, Stettin, and Julin where he confirmed the proselytes, inaugurated the building of churches, and then journeyed over Dodona and Belgard to Colberg, where he buried the deacon Hermann, drowned in the Persante. On Ash Wednesday he set on his way homewards, having converted 22,166 persons and founded eleven churches; he traveled through Poland, Silesia, and Bohemia, and arrived at Bamberg on the Saturday before Easter, March 29. Epidemics and great mortality having afflicted Stettin, the idolators pointed at those plagues as being the punition visited by the gods upon the apostates. This caused a general relapse, and made Otto sensible of the necessity of interfering in person, and of converting the cities of Demmin, Götzkow, Usedom, and Wolgast, still left to idolatry. He set out April 19,1128, crossed Saxony and Mecklenburg, carrying on fifty wagons the articles required for fitting out the churches. June 10 Wratislav assembled at Usedom the nobles of the left bank of the Oder: they were baptized, and promised to protect the Christian faith in their dominions. Otto longed to gain also to Christianity the inhabitants of the island of Rügen, but insuperable obstacles lay in his way. In Stettin, where a very few had remained faithful, Otto was threatened with death; he at once repaired to the church of Paul and Peter, and while the song of hymns filled the vaults of the church, the sound of arms was heard outside. The crowd calmed down by and by, and dispersed; a sermon in the market-place, whither the clergy repaired in procession under the protection of Wirtska, retrieved the strayed flock. Julin followed again the example of Stettin. The saint now visited again all the places of Pomerania where he had worked, and, journeying through Poland, reached Bamberg Dec. 20. Though he did not again see the country he had converted, he watched from afar over these young Christian communities to the time of his death, which occurred June 30, 1139. The conversion of Pomerania, and its accession to the German empire in 1181, induced a number of monks and colonists to immigrate to the country of the Wends, depopulated by long wars. Wratislav, the first Christian prince, was in 1134 murdered by a heathen at Stolpe, near Anelam. On the spot where the deed had been committed a little church was built, and in 1153 the first monastery was founded there, and occupied by Benedictines from Berg, near Magdeburg. We mention some other notable monasteries: Kolbatz, 1163; Belbuck, 1170; Eldena, 1207; Brukow and Neucamp, 1231; Hiddensee, 1299; Pudagla, 1308; all of which stood under "abbates baculati." The following places of pilgrimage were distinguished:
1. The Gollenberg, near Coslin, celebrated throughout Europe, with a church consecrated to the Virgin, the spire of which served as a light- house;
2. The Revekohl, near Schmolsin (circle of Stolpe), a mountain on which a church had been founded in honor of St. Nicholas, the patron of mariners;
3. The Holy Mountain, south of the city of Pollnow, from 1290;
5. Wusseken, near Coslin, from 1395;
6. Kenz, near Barth, from 1405;
7. Werben, from 1474. While the largest part of the duchy of Pomerania, with part of the Ukermark, the Neumark, and of what is now called Western Prussia, was a dependency of the bishopric of Kammin, the western part of the country belonged to the diocese of Schwerin, and the island of Rügen, connected with Pomerania in 1325, resorted to the Danish bishopric of Roskilde.
The names of the bishops of Kammin are as follows:
1. Adalbert, a Franconian (1128-1162), resided at Julin.
2. Conrad (1162-1185). The seat of the bishops was transferred to Kammin, because Julin was destroyed by the Danes in 1175.
3. Siegfried (1186-1202). Under his administration there was a considerable immigration of Germans, who founded a number of cities. Jacob Beringer, a knight from Bamberg, who settled in Stettin, built in 1187 for the Germans the church of St. Jacob, with 30 altars.
4. Sigwin (1202-1217) preached himself. While he was bishop Stralsund was built, in 1209; and in 1214 the Templars arrived in Pomerania, and, owing to the great esteem they enjoyed, became counselors of the government. In November, 1216, Christian, the apostle and bishop of Prussia, visited Pomerania, his native country, and dwelt a few days with the old, sickly Sigwin at Kammin. Duke Casimir, in company with a number of Templars, undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher, where he died, in 1217.
5. Conrad II (1218-1238). Anastasia, the pious widow of Bogislav I, founded in 1223 the nunnery of the Virgins at Treptow, endowed it, and was buried in it.
6. Conrad III, count of Guitzkow (1233-1248). The abbot of Eldena, Wigard, founded in 1233 the city of Greifswalde. In 1240 Franciscans settled at Stettin, and in 1244 a nunnery was founded in the same city.
7. Dr. Wilhelm, resigned in the following year. Under his administration the nunnery of Marienfliess was built by Wratislav III, whose daughter Barbara was the first abbess.
8. Hermann, count of Gleichen (1249-1288), a relation of the margraves of Brandenburg, promoted German civilization, and preserved a predilection for Brandenburg. In 1263 a chapter composed of twelve canons was erected in the church of St. Mary at Stettin, and confirmed by Urban IV. In 1270 was founded the nunnery of Mary at Coslin, and in 1277 Barnim presented the diocese of Kammin with the town of Colberg.
9. Jarimar, prince of Rügen (1288-1296), directed the worldly business, while the Dominican Dr. Petrus administered the ecclesiastical affairs as a vicar, until 1299.
10. Henry of Wachholt (1299-1317), a Saxon, founded six archdeaconries (1303) at Kammin, Stargard, Stettin, Demmin, Usedom, and Stolpe. The possessions of the suppressed Templars were given to the Joannites; the latter had their house first at Rrike, and in 1382 at Wildenbruck. In 1313 Wratislav IV presented the Augustines with his mansion at Anelam.
11. Conrad IV (1317-1322) was a learned and eloquent prelate, zealous defender of the independence of his see, and a faithful ally to the dukes in agitated times.
12. He was succeeded until 1329 by Dr. Wilhelm.
13. Frederick, count of Eichstüdt (1329-1343), assisted the dukes in their wars, and was entrusted with diplomatic negotiations.
14. John, duke of Saxe-Lauenburg, grandson of Wratislav IV (1343-1370). In 1346 the collegiate church of St. Otto, with a deacon and twelve canons, was founded near the castle of Stettin. In 1350 the pest swept away two thirds of the inhabitants of the country; troops of Flagellants walked through the land. In 1360 the Carthusian monastery of Stettin was founded. The bishop held a synod; and in 1363, when Charles IV, emperor of Germany, married Elizabeth, the daughter of Bogislav V, he appeared at court at Cracow.
15. Philip Lumbach (1370-1386), an active pastor. After his death Wenceslas (although expelled from the empire) invested his chancellor with the episcopal dignity.
16. John, canon of Lebus.
17. Bogislav VIII administered the diocese for a short time.
18. John of Oppeln changed sees with the bishop of Kulm, Nicolas Buck (1398-1410).
19. Magnus, duke of Lower Saxe Lauenburg, a son of Eric (1410-1422), was at the Council of Constance. He was called to the see of Hildesheim, and is buried in the cathedral of that city.
20. Siegfried Buck, from Stolpe (1422-1446), accompanied, in 1423, king Eric of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and went in 1433 to the Council of Basle. He held a synod, in which he interdicted the game of dice and the sport to his clergy. In 1438 the Hussites, attracted by Bogislav IX, penetrated as far as Stettin, and plundered Kolbatz. In 1440 the Putzkaller sect arose near Barth, and subsisted during thirty years.
21. Henning Jven, a very benevolent prelate, was greatly beloved for his Christian indulgence. He used to say, "Aut sumus, aut fuimus, aut possumus esse quod hic est." In 1450 Barnim VIII undertook a pilgrimage to Rome with his wife, at the occasion of the jubilee. In 1454, on the Sunday Judica, the bishop held a synodi at Gilzow: the resolutions have been preserved. On Oct. 17, 1456, he inaugurated, in common with bishop Albert of Sydow, the Academy of Greifsevalde, and was appointed its chancellor and conservator.
22. Lewis, count of Eberstein, who resigned in 1480.
23. The Italian, Marino di Fregeno, till 1482. The see of Kammin remained vacant for five years, Vrolinus Westfal being administrator.
24. Benedict. Bohemian baron of Waldstein, canon at Olmiitz (14861499). Encouraged by him, Andrew, abbot of Michaelsberg at Bamberg, wrote in 1487 the life of St. Otto in Latin. In October, 1492, a synod met at Stargard.
25. Martin Carith, from Colberg, archdeacon at Arenswalde (1499-1521), resided at Cislin; accompanied, in 14961498, Bogislav X to the Holy Land; held Oct. 5, 1500, a synod in the church of St. Mary at Stettin; and ordered the synodal statutes and the Breviary to be printed, 1505. He died Nov. 26, 1521, at Stettin.
26. Erasmus of Manteufel, the last Catholic bishop of Kammin, lied in his mansion at Bast, Jan. 27, 1544.
II. Introduction of Protestantism. — The duke Barnim who had studied at Wittenberg during the first effervescence of the Reformation (1518-1520), and who had even been chosen rector of the university, took in hand the reins of government, together with his elder brother George, in 1523, and favored Protestantism. George, whose sympathies remained with the old Church, died early, and his son Philip followed his uncle's example. A number of preachers traveled through Pomerania, urging on the people the necessity of returning to the purity of Christ's Church. Among these apostles of the new creed were: Paul of Rhoda, from Mansfeld, who stopped at Stettin; John Amandus, who exerted himself strenuously at Königsberg, Stolpe, Stettin, and finally went to Goslar; Nicolas Klein, at Colberg and Cislin; Paul Klotze, at Marienthron; John Kniepstrow, at Stargard, Stettin, Greifswalde, and Stralsund; Peter Swawe, at Greifswalde; John Bugenhagen, Christian Kettelhodt, and John Kiureke, at Stralsund. At the time of the wars of the peasants, Pomerania was not exempt from civil and ecclesiastical troubles, and bloody riots took place, especially at Stettin and Stralsumnd. The bishop Erasmus von Manteufel invited his clergy to assemble at Stargard Aug. 20, 1525, in order to deliberate on the measures by which the progress of the Reformation could be stopped. The princes, to accomplish the ecclesiastical revolution, convoked a diet at Treptow Dec. 13, 1534, and invited the chapters thereto, with the threatening remark that, whether they attended or not, the resolutions should be law for them in any case. The bishop, the abbots, prelates, and a considerable part of the nobility, protested against the resolutions of the diet, and retired before its close. The remainder of the assembly declared for the Reformation. Bugenhagen composed a liturgy, and Erasmus was offered, if he would submit to the decision of the diet, to remain the chief of the new Church, and to preserve his dignity and the possessions connected with it; but he declined. Only a tenth of the monasteries was spared: the nunneries of Marienfliess, Stolpe, Bergen, Kammin, and Colberg-and these also had to undergo great modifications. Almost all the monks left the country. Care was taken, however, of those whom old age kept back; the younger monks were sent to Wittenberg, to study there at public expense, and those who were willing to marry were similarly assisted. After Erasmus's death, the two dukes could not at first agree on the choice of his successor. At last Bartholomew Swawe, Barnim's chancellor, united both suffrages. He was ordained, and invested in 1545 by three superintendents, in the presence of seven ministers; but part of the clergy, objecting to his being a married man, complained at the court of Charles V, and obtained in 1548 a decree of suspension. Bartholomew in this distress sent a prelate, Martin Weiher, to pope Paul III, in order to obtain the papal confirmation. The bishop's legate came back with letters from the apostolic legate and from the emperor, by which the chapter was empowered to elect Martin himself. Weiher was elected, and Julius III confirmed his election by a brief of Oct. 13,1551. But Oct. 24,1552, he was inaugurated again, this time according to the Protestant rite. After Martin's death, the princes, to avoid the difficulties resulting from further elections, determined to establish in the episcopal see only members of the ducal house. This noble family (it was five centuries old) was condemned to early extinction: in a period of a few years six princes died without posterity. Bogislav XIV, the last of them, by his alliance with Gustavus Adolphus, who succeeded in making himself the master of Pomerania, had so exhausted all his resources that his funeral ceremonies could be celebrated only seventeen years after his death, which occurred in 1637. His nephew, son of his sister, Ernst Bogislav, duke of Croy, had sold the bishopric of Kammin to Frederick William, elector of Brandenburg (1650). But, if we except the episcopal election, everything remained unchanged. See Milman, Mitslav, or the Conversion of Pomerania (1854). The history of Pomerania after this time is clearly Protestant, and will be treated in the art. PRUSSIA SEE PRUSSIA (q.v.).