‘The Slippery Memory of Men’

The Place of Pomerania in the Medieval Kingdom of Poland


Paul Milliman's The Slippery Memory of Men is the first monograph on the role played by the early fourteenth-century trials between Poland and the Teutonic Knights in the restoration of the Polish kingdom. It is also only the second English-language monograph on this important transitional period in Polish history and the first in over 40 years. Milliman first analyzes the thirteenth-century borderland society of the south Baltic littoral, especially in Pomerania, and then uses the lengthy testimonies of over 150 witnesses from the fourteenth-century trials to examine the role of the memory of this borderland in informing the witnesses' views of where the kingdom of Poland was as well as who should be included within its boundaries.
Restricted Access


EUR €134.00USD $187.00

Biographical Note

Paul Milliman, Ph.D. (2007), Cornell University, is an assistant professor in the History Department at the University of Arizona.

Review Quotes

"...Because Pomerania would be at the center of many disputes between Germans and Poles in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, modern nationalists on both sides have frequently misrepresented the region’s medieval history. Milliman attempts to move beyond these problematic historiographical traditions by returning to the medieval sources. In the process, he provides a far more detailed and nuanced narrative of Pomerania’s medieval history than has ever appeared before in English, and he also calls attention to a variety of underutilized fourteenth-
century sources for the study of memory and identity formation in this pivotal frontier region."
Jonathan R. Lyon, University of Chicago, in The American Historical Review, Vol. 119, no 2, April 2014

Table of contents

Acknowledgments ... vii
List of Abbreviations ... xi
Maps ... xiii

Introduction ... 1
1. A iugo principum Polonie, a iugo Theutonicorum:
Pomerania and the South Baltic Frontier of Latin Christendom in the Early Thirteenth Century ... 23
2. Dealing with the Past and Planning for the Future: Contested Memories, Conflicted Loyalties, and the Partition
and Donation of Pomerania in the Late Thirteenth Century ... 65
3. The Restorations of the Kingdom of Poland and the Foundation of the Teutonic Ordensstaat at the Turn of the Fourteenth Century ... 94
4. Immortalis Discordia: Eternal Enmity, Massacre, and Memorialization in the German-Polish Borderlands ... 139
5. Pomerania between Poland and Prussia: Lordship, Ethnicity, Territoriality, and Memory ... 196
Conclusion ... 255

Appendix 1. The Procurator-General of the Teutonic Knights Pleads His Case to the Papal Curia Concerning the Gdańsk Massacre, 1310 ... 263
Appendix 2. The Claims Submitted by the Polish Procurators in 1320 ... 267
Appendix 3. The Claims Submitted by the Royal Procurator in 1339 ... 269

Bibliography ... 279
Index ... 313


All interested in medieval history, the history of East Central Europe, Polish history, the crusades, the Teutonic Knights, Prussia, state formation, religious and ethnic violence, historical consciousness, identity, and memory.


Collection Information