from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Milzener ( Upper Sorbian Milčenjo ) were a West Slavic tribe in the area of ​​today's Upper Lusatia , which is first mentioned in the description of the Bavarian geographer from the middle of the 9th century . Here he was assigned 30 civitatessettlement chambers , possibly with a central castle complex in the middle of the associated settlements. They were the ancestors of the Sorbs who are still living in Upper Lusatia today . Their main castle was Budusin (Bautzen).

Settlement area

The exact delimitation of the Milzener settlement area is controversial in research. It essentially comprised a field landscape with fertile loess soils and an extension of about 50 kilometers in east-west and about 20 kilometers in north-south direction. The border to the north is likely to have formed the swampy and partially barren plains and to the south the Lusatian highlands . In the west, the ridge of the West Lusatian hills and mountains to the west and south-west of Kamenz form a natural barrier. To the east, to the neighboring area (the) Besunzane around Görlitz and possibly around Lubań (Lauban), the demarcation is less clear. After the Milzenern, the region around Bautzen was called Gau Milsca (cf. Thietmar von Merseburg ) in written sources from the 10th to 12th centuries .


In the early 8th century at the latest, the Milzeners from today's Poland immigrated to the area described. They founded small settlements in the open country and on river valleys and made Bautzen their prince seat. Their approx. 250 settlements mostly comprised only a few farming sites that belonged to a large family with an (estimated) total of 6,500 inhabitants. Around 932 the Milzeners were subjugated by King Heinrich I from Meissen and became “dependent on interest”. After Heinrich's death in 936, they were able to temporarily shake off German rule. In the Dagome iudex sent to the Pope under Mieszko I of Poland (* 945 ?; † May 25, 992), which was handed down as a regest from the 11th century , the land of the Milzener is mentioned as a border area of ​​his empire. In 990 they were again liable to pay tribute to the Roman-German king. Christianization began around 1000. In 1013 the Milzener area was granted to King Bolesław I of Poland in the Peace of Merseburg as an imperial fief. This decision was probably renewed in the Peace of Bautzen in 1018 , until the Milzenerland fell back to the Mark of Meißen in 1031 and to Duke Vratislav II of Bohemia in 1076 . Since the 11th century the Milzener expanded their settlement area by clearing, but at the end of the 11th century the German settlement began with the establishment of forest hoof villages .

By the 10th century the Besunzane were probably absorbed by the Spleeners, as their tribal name was no longer mentioned. The traces of the Milzener (as a tribal name) are lost in the 12th century; in later sources the Slavic-speaking inhabitants of Lusatia are only referred to as “Wenden” or “Sorbian”.


  • City Museum Bautzen (ed.), Matthias Wilhelm (text): Milceni et Silensi - Upper Lusatia and Silesia around the year 1000 in the time of Bolesław Chrobry . Booklet accompanying the joint exhibition of the Muzeum Miejskie Wrocławia, Archaeological Museum Department with the Bautzen City Museum from June 17th to November 11th in the City Museum. Bautzen [2001]; DNB 965021084 .
  • Joachim Meffert: The Ortenburg in Bautzen: The state of archaeological research and the excavations from 1999 to 2001 . Work and research reports on Saxon soil monument preservation 44 (2002), pp. 75–177; ISSN  0402-7817 .
  • Jasper von Richthofen: The state crown near Görlitz - an important Slavic fortification in eastern Upper Lusatia . Work and research reports on Saxon soil monument preservation 45 (2003), pp. 263–300; ISSN  0402-7817 .
  • Jasper von Richthofen (Ed.): Besunzane, Milzener, Sorbs: the Slavic Upper Lusatia between Poles, Germans and Czechs . Publication series of the Städt. Collections for History and Culture Görlitz NF Vol. 37. Oettel, Görlitz, Zittau 2004; ISBN 3-932693-90-6 .
  • Karin J. Sczech: Archaeological studies on Bautzen in Upper Lusatia in Slavic times . Archaeological research at the GWZO. Reports and contributions from the Humanities Center for History and Culture of East Central Europe eV 2003, pp. 49–64; DNB 972564888 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Siegfried Bayer: The Saxon Way of St. James on Frankenstrasse - a historical search for traces. ( Memento of the original from March 27, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. n.d., p. 48. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Thietmar von Merseburg: Chronicle I 16.