Rusian genealogy

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Bernhard of the German Empire

b. unknown – d. unknown [1]



Baumgarten records a marriage of an unnamed daughter of Volodimer to Bernhard, margrave of the Saxon Nordmark. [6] He does not cite any primary evidence for the marriage and it does not exist in the Rusian chronicles, but the marriage is still more than plausible. Both Thietmar and Adam of Bremen record some elements of Bernhard’s rule, although neither record any marriage of his, but Adam does refer to his son, Bernhard II. [7]

The Saxon Nordmark was on the eastern border of the German Empire and abutted many Slavic tribes in addition to Poland. Thus, to them, the importance of the Slavs was clear, especially since the Slavs had revolted in 984 and burned their way through the Nordmark. To this end, there seems to have been a concerted effort around the turn of the eleventh century to marry into the Slavic tribes to attempt to keep the peace. The first marriage was Oda, Bernhard’s older sister, to Mieszko, the ruler of Poland. [8] Another sister, Mathilda, married a Slavic ruler, Pribislav. [9] It was most likely in reaction to these marriages, specifically that of Mieszko of the Poles, that Bernhard was married to a daughter of Volodimer. [10] This would be a typical balance of power move for Rus′ to make in order to ensure that they had equal relations with Poland, and so that Poland could not secure its western border to focus on its eastern. Unfortunately, little has been recorded about this marriage and so little more can be deduced at this time.


  1. Birth/Death: unknown.; unknown.[↑]
  2. Father: [↑]
  3. Mother: [↑]
  4. Margrave of Saxon Nordmark: Thietmar of Merseburg bk. 6, ch. 50.[↑]
  5. Marriage to N.N. Vladimirovna: Baumgarten 7, Table 1.[↑]
  6. Baumgarten, “"Généalogies,"” 7, table I.[↑]
  7. Adam of Bremen, xxiv, 21, 69. Thietmar of Merseburg[↑]
  8. Thietmar of Merseburg, 192.Thietmar of Merseburg, 192.[↑]
  9. Georg Wilhelm von Raumer, Historiche Charten und Stammtafeln zu den Regesta Historiae Brandenburgesis (Berlin: Trowitzsch und Sohn, 1837), table III.[↑]
  10. Baumgarten, “"Généalogies,"” 7, table I. Raumer does not include Bernhard’s marriage, but does indicate that he had children. Raumer, Historiche Charten und Stammtafeln zu den Regesta Historiae Brandenburgesis, Table III.[↑]