Civitas Schinesghe

Civitas Schinesghe
Ziemia Polska (pl)
Polonia (la)
9th century–1025
Poland within Europe around 1000CE
Poland during 960-996.
Capital Gniezno
Languages Polish (Old Polish)
Religion Slavic paganism, Roman Catholicism (institutional since 966)
Government Monarchy
   d. 861 Piast Kołodziej first
  960–992 Mieszko I
  992–1025 Bolesław I Chrobry last
   Established 9th century
   Coronation of Bolesław I the Brave 1025
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Polish tribes
Great Moravia
Kingdom of Poland (1025–1385)
Expansion of Poland 960-992

Civitas Schinesghe is the first recorded name related to Poland as a political entity (the name is a latinization of hrady knezske or grody książęce "ducal fort") [1] first attested in 991/2. The original deed is missing, but mentioned in an 11th-century papal regesta called Dagome iudex, according to which the Piast duke Mieszko I of Poland had given the guidance of unam civitatem in integro, que vocatur Schinesghe ("a whole state, which is called Schinesghe") over to the Holy See.

Though a state of Poland is not explicitly mentioned, the name Schinesghe most likely refers to Gniezno, one of the main settlements of the West Slavic Polans. Their duke Mieszko had himself baptised upon the marriage with Princess Dobrawa of Bohemia in 965. In 1000 at the Congress of Gniezno the first Polish archdiocese was established and Mieszko's son Duke Bolesław I Chrobry was acknowledged as frater et cooperator of the Holy Roman Empire by Emperor Otto III.

The borders of Mieszko I's state

The analysis of the document can help reconstruct the borders of the Polish realm[2]

The last statement suggests that Schinesghe is on the Oder and on the Baltic coast and becomes clear only after reversig "sch" to "chs" giving clearly understandable Chsinesghe which is "książęce" in modern Polish, so "civitate Schinesghe" reads as "the cities of the Duke".


  1. According to Brygida Kürbis initial "Sc" is mistakenly recorded from "K". The original record would read so "Kninesne" or "Khinesghe" Dowiat, Jerzy (1961). Metryka chrztu Mieszka I i jej geneza. Warszawa. p. 91.
  2. Kürbis, B. Dagome iudex. Studium krytyczne. pp. 362–423.


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