House of Welf
The House of Welf is a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century. The House of Welf is the older branch of the House of Este, a dynasty whose earliest known members lived in Lombardy in the late 9th/early 10th century, sometimes called Welf-Este; the first member was Welf Duke of Bavaria. Welf IV was the son of Welf III's sister Kunigunde of Altdorf and her husband Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan. In 1070, Welf IV became duke of Bavaria. Welf II, Duke of Bavaria married Countess Matilda of Tuscany, who died childless and left him her possessions, including Tuscany, Modena and Reggio, which played a role in the Investiture Controversy. Since the Welf dynasty sided with the Pope in this controversy, partisans of the Pope came to be known in Italy as Guelphs. Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, from 1120–1126, was the first of the three dukes of the Welf dynasty called Henry, his wife Wulfhild was the heiress of the house of Billung, possessing the territory around Lüneburg in Lower Saxony.
Their son, Henry the Proud was the son-in-law and heir of Lothair II, Holy Roman Emperor and became duke of Saxony on Lothair's death. Lothair left his territory around Brunswick, inherited from his mother of the Brunonids, to his daughter Gertrud, her husband Henry the Proud became the favoured candidate in the imperial election against Conrad III of the Hohenstaufen. But Henry lost the election, as the other princes feared his power and temperament, was dispossessed of his duchies by Conrad III. Henry's brother Welf VI, Margrave of Tuscany left his Swabian territories around Ravensburg, the original possessions of the Elder House of Welf, to his nephew Emperor Frederick I and thus to the House of Hohenstaufen; the next duke of the Welf dynasty Henry the Lion recovered his father's two duchies, Saxony in 1142, Bavaria in 1156 and thus ruled vast parts of Germany. In 1168 he married Matilda, the daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, sister of Richard I of England, gaining more influence.
His first cousin, Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, tried to get along with him, but when Henry refused to assist him once more in an Italian war campaign, conflict became inevitable. Dispossessed of his duchies after the Battle of Legnano in 1176 by Emperor Frederick I and the other princes of the German Empire eager to claim parts of his vast territories, he was exiled to the court of his father-in-law Henry II in Normandy in 1180, but returned to Germany three years later. Henry made his peace with the Hohenstaufen Emperor in 1185, returned to his much diminished lands around Brunswick without recovering his two duchies. Bavaria had been given to Otto I, Duke of Bavaria, the Duchy of Saxony was divided between the Archbishop of Cologne, the House of Ascania and others. Henry died at Brunswick in 1195. Henry the Lion's son Otto of Brunswick was elected King of the Romans and crowned Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV after years of further conflicts with the Hohenstaufen emperors.
He incurred the wrath of Pope Innocent III and was excommunicated in 1215. Otto was forced to abdicate the imperial throne by the Hohenstaufen Frederick II, he was the only Welf to become emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Henry the Lion's grandson Otto the Child became duke of a part of Saxony in 1235, the new Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, died there in 1252; the duchy was divided several times during the High Middle Ages amongst various lines of the House of Welf. The subordinate states had the legal status of principalities within the duchy, which remained as an undivided imperial fief; each state was named after the ruler's residence, e.g. the rulers of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel lived in Wolfenbüttel. Whenever a branch of the family died out in the male line, the territory was given to another line, as the duchy remained enfeoffed to the family as a whole rather than its individual members. All members of the House of Welf, male or female, bore the title Duke/Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg in addition to the style of the subordinate principality.
By 1705, the subordinate principalities had taken their final form as the Electorate of Hanover and the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, these would become the Kingdom of Hanover and the Duchy of Brunswick after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. In 1269 the Principality of Brunswick was formed following the first division of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In 1432, as a result of increasing tensions with the townsfolk of Brunswick, the Brunswick Line moved their residence to Wolfenbüttel Castle, thus the name Wolfenbüttel became the unofficial name of this principality. With Ivan VI of Russia the Brunswick line had a short intermezzo on the Russian imperial throne in 1740. Not until 1754 was the residence moved back to Brunswick, into the new Brunswick Palace. In 1814 the principality became the Duchy of Brunswick, ruled by the senior branch of the House of Welf. In 1432 the estates gained by the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel between the Deister and Leine split away as the Principality of Calenberg.
In 1495 it was expanded in 1584 went back to the Wolfenbüttel Line. In 1634, as a result of inheritance distributions, it went to the House of Luneburg residing at Celle Castle. In 1635 it was given to George, younger brother of Prince Ernest II of Lüneburg, who chose Hanover as his residence. New territory was added in 1665, in 1705 the Principality of Luneburg was taken over by the Hanoverians. In 1692 Duke Ernest A
Matilda of Ringelheim
Saint Matilda was Duchess of Saxony from 912 and German queen from 919 by her marriage with Henry the Fowler, the first king of the Ottonian dynasty. Upon her husband's death in 936, she founded Quedlinburg Abbey to commemorate the late king. Matilda lived to see Western Imperial rule restored when her eldest son Otto was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962, her surname refers to Ringelheim, where her comital Immedinger relatives established a nunnery about 940. The details of St. Matilda's life come from brief mentions in the Res gestae saxonicae by the monastic historian Widukind of Corvey, from two hagiographies: the Vita antiquior, written about 974, Vita posterior, circa 1003. Matilda was born in Enger in the Westphalian part of the German stem duchy of Saxony, she was the daughter of the local count Dietrich and his wife Reinhild, a noblewoman of Danish and Frisian descent. Matilda's biographers traced her ancestry back to the legendary Saxon leader Widukind, buried in the Enger church, her sister Frederuna married Count Wichmann a member of the Billung dynasty.
As a young girl she was sent to Herford Abbey, where her grandmother Matilda was abbess and where her reputation for beauty and virtue –and also her extensive Westphalian dowry– is said to have attracted the attention of the Saxon duke Otto the Illustrious, who betrothed her to his son and heir, about 20 years her senior. By the conjugal union, the Ottonian dynasty enlarged their possessions in the western parts of Saxony. Henry's previous marriage with Hatheburg of Merseburg was annulled, they were married at the Pfalz of Wallhausen in 909. As the eldest surviving son, Henry succeeded his father as Duke of Saxony in 912 and upon the death of King Conrad I was elected King of East Francia in 919, he and Matilda had three sons and two daughters: Hedwig, who married the West Frankish duke Hugh the Great and became the mother of Hugh Capet, the first King of the Franks of the House of Capet Otto, who succeeded his father as Duke of Saxony and King of Germany from 936, crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 Gerberga, married Duke Giselbert of Lorraine and King Louis IV of France Henry, appointed Duke of Bavaria from 948 Bruno Saint, became Archbishop of Cologne in 953 and Duke of Lorraine in 954.
In 929 Matilda received the estates of Quedlinburg, Pöhlde, Nordhausen in Thuringia and Duderstadt as her wittum. After her husband died in 936 at Memleben and her son, now King Otto I of East Francia, established Quedlinburg Abbey near Halberstadt in Saxony in Henry's memory; the abbey was a convent of noble canonesses, where her granddaughter named Matilda, became abbess in 966. At first the Queen Mother remained at the court of her son. During quarrels between the new king and his rebellious brother Henry, Matilda seemed to have favoured her younger son, as he was born after his father's accession to the throne. In turn, a cabal of royal advisors is reported to have accused her of decreasing the royal treasury in order to pay for her charitable activities. After a brief exile at her Westphalian estates in Enger, where she established a college of canons in 947, Matilda was brought back to court at the urging of King Otto's first wife, the Anglo-Saxon princess Edith of Wessex. Matilda died after long illness on 14 March 968 in Quedlinburg Abbey, outliving her husband by 32 years, having seen the restoration of the Holy Roman Empire.
Her and Henry's mortal remains are buried in the crypt of St. Servatius Church in Quedlinburg. Medieval chroniclers like Liutprand of Cremona and Thietmar of Merseburg celebrated Matilda for her devotion to prayer and almsgiving, her first biographer depicted her leaving her husband's side in the middle of the night and sneaking off to church to pray. St. Matilda founded many religious institutions, including the canonry of Quedlinburg, which became a center of ecclesiastical and secular life in Germany under the rule of the Ottonian dynasty, she founded the convents of St. Wigbert in Quedlinburg, in Pöhlde and Nordhausen the source of at least one of her vitae, she was canonized, with her cult confined to Saxony and Bavaria. St. Matilda's feast day according to the regional German calendar of saints is 14 March. In 1856–58 the Neo-Gothic St. Matilda's Church was erected in Quedlinburg, according to plans designed by the Austrian architect Friedrich Schmidt. Another St. Matilda's Church was consecrated in Laatzen, Lower Saxony in 1938.
The Melkite Greek Catholic community of Aleppo built a church dedicated to Saint Matilda in 1964. There is a stained glass window dedicated to Saint Matilda in the parish church of Ireland. Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicae, ed. Paul Hirsch and H.-E. Lohmann, Die Sachsengeschichte des Widukind von Korvei. MGH SS rer. Germ. in usum scholarum 60. Hanover, 1935. Available online from the Digital Monumenta Germaniae Historica Vita Mathildis reginae antiquior, ed. Bernd Schütte. Die Lebensbeschreibungen der Königin Mathilde. MGH SS rer. Germ. in usum scholarum 66. Hanover, 1994. 107-142. Available from the Digital MGH. MGH SS 10. 573-82. Vita Mathildis reginae posterior, ed. Bernd Schütte. Die Lebensbeschreibungen der Königin Mathilde. MGH SS rer. Germ. in usum scholarum 66. Hanover, 1994. 14
Ordulf, Duke of Saxony
Ordulf was the duke of Saxony from 1059, when he succeeded his father Bernard II, until his death. He was a member of the Billung family, his entire reign was occupied by wars with the Wends. He was allied with Denmark in this endeavor, he strengthened the alliance by marrying Wulfhild of Norway, the daughter of King Olaf II of Norway, in 1042, their son Magnus succeeded Ordulf as Duke of Saxony. Ordulf's second wife, Gertrude of Haldensleben, daughter of a Count Conrad, was imprisoned in Mainz in 1076 and died 21 February 1116, their son Bernard died after a fall from a horse in Lüneburg on 15 July of an unknown year. Ordulf is buried in the Church of St. Michael in Lüneburg. Fenske, Lutz. "Ordulf". Deutsche Biographie. Neue Deutsche Biographie. Retrieved 26 October 2017
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto I, traditionally known as Otto the Great, was German king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henry I the Matilda. Otto inherited the Duchy of Saxony and the kingship of the Germans upon his father's death in 936, he continued his father's work of unifying all German tribes into a single kingdom and expanded the king's powers at the expense of the aristocracy. Through strategic marriages and personal appointments, Otto installed members of his family in the kingdom's most important duchies; this reduced the various dukes, co-equals with the king, to royal subjects under his authority. Otto transformed the Roman Catholic Church in Germany to strengthen royal authority and subjected its clergy to his personal control. After putting down a brief civil war among the rebellious duchies, Otto defeated the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld in 955, thus ending the Hungarian invasions of Western Europe; the victory against the pagan Magyars earned Otto a reputation as a savior of Christendom and secured his hold over the kingdom.
By 961, Otto had conquered the Kingdom of Italy. The patronage of Otto and his immediate successors facilitated a so-called "Ottonian Renaissance" of arts and architecture. Following the example of Charlemagne's coronation as "Emperor of the Romans" in 800, Otto was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 by Pope John XII in Rome. Otto's years were marked by conflicts with the papacy and struggles to stabilize his rule over Italy. Reigning from Rome, Otto sought to improve relations with the Byzantine Empire, which opposed his claim to emperorship and his realm's further expansion to the south. To resolve this conflict, the Byzantine princess Theophanu married his son Otto II in April 972. Otto returned to Germany in August 972 and died at Memleben in May 973. Otto II succeeded him as Holy Roman Emperor. Otto was born on 23 November 912, the oldest son of the Duke of Saxony, Henry the Fowler and his second wife Matilda, the daughter of Dietrich of Ringelheim, a Saxon count in Westphalia. Henry had married Hatheburg of Merseburg a daughter of a Saxon count, in 906, but this marriage was annulled in 909 after she had given birth to Henry's first son and Otto's half-brother Thankmar.
Otto had four full siblings: Hedwig, Gerberga and Bruno. On 23 December 918, King of East Francia and Duke of Franconia, died. According to the Res gestae saxonicae by the Saxon chronicler Widukind of Corvey, Conrad persuaded his younger brother Eberhard of Franconia, the presumptive heir, to offer the crown of East Francia to Otto's father Henry. Although Conrad and Henry had been at odds with one another since 912, Henry had not opposed the king since 915. Furthermore, Conrad's repeated battles with German dukes, most with Arnulf, Duke of Bavaria, Burchard II, Duke of Swabia, had weakened the position and resources of the Conradines. After several months of hesitation and the other Frankish and Saxon nobles elected Henry as king at the Imperial Diet of Fritzlar in May 919. For the first time, a Saxon instead of a Frank reigned over the kingdom. Burchard II of Swabia soon swore fealty to the new king, but Arnulf of Bavaria did not recognize Henry's position. According to the Annales iuvavenses, Arnulf was elected king by the Bavarians in opposition to Henry, but his "reign" was short-lived.
In 921, Henry forced him into submission. Arnulf had to accept Henry's sovereignty. Otto first gained experience as a military commander when the German kingdom fought against Wendish tribes on its eastern border. While campaigning against the Wends/West Slavs in 929, Otto's illegitimate son William, the future Archbishop of Mainz, was born to a captive Wendish noblewoman. With Henry's dominion over the entire kingdom secured by 929, the king began to prepare his succession over the kingdom. No written evidence for his arrangements is extant, but during this time Otto is first called king in a document of the Abbey of Reichenau. While Henry consolidated power within Germany, he prepared for an alliance with Anglo-Saxon England by finding a bride for Otto. Association with another royal house would give Henry additional legitimacy and strengthen the bonds between the two Saxon kingdoms. To seal the alliance, King Æthelstan of England sent Henry two of his half-sisters, so he could choose the one which best pleased him.
Henry selected Eadgyth as Otto's bride and the two were married in 930. Several years shortly before Henry's death, an Imperial Diet at Erfurt formally ratified the king's succession arrangements; some of his estates and treasures were to be distributed among Thankmar and Bruno. But departing from customary Carolingian inheritance, the king designated Otto as the sole heir apparent without a prior formal election by the various dukes. Henry died from the effects of a cerebral stroke on 2 July 936 at his palace, the Kaiserpfalz in Memleben, was buried at Quedlinburg Abbey. At the time of his death, all of the various German tribes were united in a single realm. At the age of 24, Otto assumed his father's position as Duke of Saxony and King of Germany, his coronation was held on 7 August 936 in Charlemagne's former capital of Aachen, where Otto was anointed and crowned by Hildebert, the Archbishop of Mainz. Though he was a Saxon by birth, Otto appeared at the coronation in Frankish dress in an attempt to demonstrate his sovereignty over the Duchy of Lotharingia and his role as true successor to Charlemagne
Bernard II, Duke of Saxony
Bernard II was the Duke of Saxony between 1011 and 1059, the third of the Billung dynasty as a son of Bernard I and Hildegard. Besides his position in Saxony, he had the rights of a count in Frisia. Bernard is regarded as the greatest of the Billungers, he was a supporter of Holy Roman Emperor Henry II, he accompanied him into Poland to negotiate the Peace of Bautzen of 1018. In 1019–1020, however, he revolted against Henry and gained the recognition of the tribal laws of Saxony, something his father had failed to do, he returned to war with the Obodrites and Lutici and drew them into his sphere of influence through their leader Gottschalk. He supported Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II in 1024 and his son Henry III, though he began to fear the latter for his closeness to the Archbishop Adalbert of Bremen, whom he considered a spy and inveterate enemy of the dukes of Saxony. Although he was a critical ally of the Danes, who provided fundamental support for Henry's wars in the Low Countries, Bernard was on the brink of rebellion until the death of Adalbert.
The remainder of his reign, was quiet. In 1045, he erected the Alsterburg in Hamburg, he was succeeded without incident by his son Ordulf. He is buried in the Church of Saint Michael in Lüneburg. Bernard II, Duke of Saxony married to Eilika of daughter of Henry of Schweinfurt, they had these children together: Gertrude of Saxony, married firstly to Floris I, Count of Holland, secondly to Robert I, Count of Flanders Ordulf, Duke of Saxony, who married Ulfhilde or Wulfhilde of Norway, daughter of King Olaf II of Norway and his wife Queen Astrid Hermann Ida of Saxony, who married Albert III, Count of Namur
House of Ascania
The House of Ascania is a dynasty of German rulers. It is known as the House of Anhalt, which refers to its longest-held possession, Anhalt; the Ascanians are named after Ascania Castle, known as Schloss Askanien in German, located near and named after Aschersleben. The castle was the seat of the County of Ascania, a title, subsumed into the titles of the princes of Anhalt; the earliest known member of the house, Count of Ballenstedt, first appears in a document of 1036. He is assumed to have been a grandson of Margrave of the Saxon Ostmark. From Odo, the Ascanians inherited large properties in the Saxon Eastern March. Esiko's grandson was Otto, Count of Ballenstedt, who died in 1123. By Otto's marriage to Eilika, daughter of Magnus, Duke of Saxony, the Ascanians became heirs to half of the property of the House of Billung, former dukes of Saxony. Otto's son, Albert the Bear, with the help of his mother's inheritance, the first Ascanian duke of Saxony in 1139. However, he soon lost control of Saxony to the rival House of Guelph.
Albert inherited the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1157 from its last Wendish ruler, he became the first Ascanian margrave. Albert, his descendants of the House of Ascania made considerable progress in Christianizing and Germanizing the lands; as a borderland between German and Slavic cultures, the country was known as a march. In 1237 and 1244, two towns, Cölln and Berlin, were founded during the rule of Otto and Johann, grandsons of Margrave Albert the Bear, they were united into one city, Berlin. The emblem of the House of Ascania, a red eagle and bear, became the heraldic emblems of Berlin. In 1320, the Brandenburg Ascanian line came to an end. After the Emperor had deposed the Guelph rulers of Saxony in 1180, Ascanians returned to rule the Duchy of Saxony, reduced to its eastern half by the Emperor; however in eastern Saxony, the Ascanians could establish control only in limited areas near the River Elbe. In the 13th century, the Principality of Anhalt was split off from the Duchy of Saxony.
The remaining state was split into Saxe-Lauenburg and Saxe-Wittenberg. The Ascanian dynasties in the two Saxon states became extinct in 1689 and in 1422 but Ascanians continued to rule in the smaller state of Anhalt and its various subdivisions until the monarchy was abolished in 1918. Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia from 1762–1796, was a member of the House of Ascania, herself the daughter of Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst. County and Duchy of Anhalt: c. 1100–1918 Duchy and Electorate of Saxony: 1112, 1139–1142, 1180–1422 County of Weimar-Orlamünde: 1112–1486 Margravate of Brandenburg: 1157–1320 Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg: 1269–1689 Principality of Lüneburg: 1369–1388 Principality and Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg: 1252–1468 and 1603–1863 Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst: 1252–1396 and 1544–1796 Principality of Anhalt-Aschersleben: 1252–1315 Principality and Duchy of Anhalt-Köthen: 1396–1561 and 1603–1847 Principality and Duchy of Anhalt-Dessau 1396–1561 and 1603–1863 Principality of Anhalt-Plötzkau 1544–1553 and 1603–1665 Principality of Anhalt-Harzgerode 1635–1709 Principality of Anhalt-Mühlingen: 1667–1714 Principality of Anhalt-Dornburg: 1667–1742 Principality of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym: 1718–1812 Russian Empire: 1762–1796 Askanien, Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1888 Trillmich, Kaiser Konrad II.
Und seine Zeit, Bonn, 1991 Ducal Family of Anhalt ] - official website European Heraldry page Marek, Miroslav. "GENEALOGY. EU: House of Ascania". Genealogy. EU. Stirnet: Brandenburg1 Stirnet: Ascania1