Referring to an account of Gallus Anonymous' chronicle describing the dispute about the division of the treasury and the kingdom that aroused between the sons of Duke Wladyslaw Herman of Poland - Boleslaw Wrymouth and Zbigniew - during their father's funeral in 1102, this paper examines the meaning of the ruler's funeral rites in political culture of Poland in the central Middle Ages. It argues that in Poland, as in other early and high medieval polities, participation in the predecessor's funeral was crucial for legitimizing and stabilizing of power of a new ruler. Assuming the role of a principal mourner, he could manifest his close relations with the deceased ruler and present himself as a real heir to the throne. The medieval authors, as Gallus, were fully aware of this role of monarch's funeral, and depending on their needs, they emphasized or neglected the successor's participation in the predecessor's funeral in order to maintain memory of described events which was consistent with their interests.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.