[Pagus:- 1. Bliesgau (fragment) c. 1121-1449. 2. Nordgau (fragment) c. 1125-c. 1181. Numbering conventions: Landgrave Dietrich of Lower Alsace is treated as Dietrich I of Homburg.]
The counts of Homburg represent the most junior comital line of the Folmars, but for several decades perhaps the most glorious. The genealogical reconstruction of the early twelfth-century Folmars is rife with conundrums, but much comes into focus through the resolution of a minor chronological discrepancy. Dietrich I, whose original castle was probably the Hunenburc in Alsace, emerges in 1121 and is associated in some way with the line of the counts of Blieskastel. We can affiliate him directly with Count Godfrey I of Blieskastel on the understanding that (1) he was born of a later marriage than his elder brothers, and (2) his mother transmitted right that culminated in his attainment of the landgravate of Lower Alsace.
Oriented thus , mention of Landgrave Dietrichs mother can actually be discovered in the chronicle of Alberic of Troisfontaines: she is Mathilde of Castris (Blieskastel), Homburg and Longwy. Alberic of Troisfontaines, who is relatively late and not always reliable, makes her a sister of Ermesinde of Luxembourg, but she is much more likely to be a sister-in-law that is, a sister of Ermesindes first husband Count Adalbert of Dagsburg. This will provide, in the first case, rights to jurisdiction in Nordgau, thus a presence in Lower Alsace from which the landgravial office could develop.
At Dietrichs death around 1148 the landgravial office passed to his eldest son Godfrey, but his younger sons Otto and Dietrich II both appear with comital title (beginning in 1159). As elsewhere among the Folmars, the comital office proliferated according to family structure rather than descend logically according to a unitary principle. But the higher offices were always unitary, of course, and the landgravial office subsequently passed to the house of Werd. We must therefore assume that Landgrave Godfrey had a daughter, and that she married Sigebert III of Werd. This will make understandable the fact that the county of Homburg now associated with a castle in the Saarland passed down the line without carrying the landgravate or anything of the importance of the predecessors.
The Homburg shield of gueules with lion in argent is closely related to the lion shield of Dagsburg-Egisheim, and among descendants of the Folmars it is the sole lion shield. We can attribute these circumstances in large part to the landgravial office, where relationship between the counts of Dagsburg and Homburg was such that a right to landgravial office devolved on the latter at the premature death of Count Hugo VII of Dagsburg in 1123. Lothar of Supplinburg, who came to the throne in 1125, appears not only to dispense lion shields but also to disseminate the landgravial office judiciously. The minority that existed in the comital house of Dagsburg at this time probably explains not only why the landgravate arrived to Homburg, but also why the lion shield of Dagsburg was devised with a border, as though a brisure.