Adalrich, Duke of Alsace
Adalrich known as Eticho, was the Duke of Alsace, the founder of the family of the Etichonids and of the Habsburg, an important and influential figure in the power politic of late seventh-century Austrasia. Adalrich's family originated in the pagus Attoariensis around Dijon in northern Burgundy. In the mid-seventh century they began to be major founders and patrons of monasteries in the region under a duke named Amalgar and his wife Aquilina, they founded a convent at Brégille and an abbey for men at Bèze, installing children in both abbacies. They were succeeded by their third child, the father of Adalrich, Duke of Alsace. Adalrich first enters history as a member of the faction of nobles which invited Childeric II to take the kingship of Neustria and Burgundy in 673 after the death of Chlothar III, he married Berswinda, a relative of Leodegar, the famous Bishop of Autun, whose party he supported in the civil war which followed Childeric's assassination two years later. Adalrich was duke by March 675, when Childeric had granted him honores in Alsace with the title of dux and asked him to transfer some land to the founded abbey at Gregoriental on behalf of Abbot Valedio.
This grant was most the result of his support for Childeric in Burgundy, which had disputed possession of Alsace with Austrasia. Writers saw Adalrich as the successor in Alsace of Duke Boniface. After Childeric's assassination, Adalrich threw his support behind Dagobert II for the Austrasian throne. Adalrich abandoned Leodegar and went over to Ebroin, the mayor of the palace of Neustria, sometime before 677, when he appears as an ally of Theuderic, who granted him the monastery of Bèze. Taking advantage of the assassination of Hector of Provence in 679 to bid for power in Provence, he marched on Lyon but failed to take it and, returning to Alsace, switched his support to the Austrasians once more, only to find himself dispossessed of his lands in Alsace by King Theuderic III, an ally of Ebroin's who had opposed Dagobert in Austrasia since 675, who gave them to the Abbey of Bèze that year. Adalrich maintained his power in a restricted dukedom which did not encompass land west of the Vosges as it had under Boniface and his predecessors.
This land was a part of the kingdoms of Neustria and Burgundy, only the land between the Vosges and the Rhine south to the Sornegau Alsace proper, remained with Austrasia under Adalrich. The west of Vosges was under duke Theotchar. In Alsace, the civil war had resulted in a curtailed royal power and Adalrich's influence and authority, though restricted in territory, was augmented in practical scope. After the war, parts of the Frankish kingdom saw a more powerful viceregal hand under the exercise of the mayors of the palaces, while other regions were less directly affected by the royal prerogative; the Merovingian palace at Marlenheim in Alsace was never visited by a royal figure again in Adalrich's lifetime. While southern Austrasia had been the centre of Wulfoald's power, the Arnulflings were a north Austrasian family, who took scarce interest in Alsatian affairs until the 730s and 740s. Adalrich had made his allies counts, but in 683 he granted the comital office to his son and eventual successor Adalbert.
By controlling monasteries and counties in the family, Adalrich built up a powerful regional duchy to pass on to his Etichonid heirs. Adalrich had a rocky relationship with the monasteries of his realm, upon which he relied for his power, he is infamous for the suppression of that of Moutier-Grandval, for lording it over monasteries, including his own foundations. According to the Life of Germanus of Grandval, Adalrich "wickedly began oppressing the people in the vicinity of the monastery and to allege that they had always been rebels against his predecessors." He replaced him with his own man, Count Ericho. He exiled the people of the Sornegau. Many of the people exiled from the valley could not thus be exiled. Adalrich marched into the valley of the Sornegau with a large army of Alemanni at one end while his lieutenant Adalmund entered with a host by the other; the abbot, Germanus himself, his provost Randoald met Adalrich with books and relics in order to persuade him not to make violence. The duke granted a wadium, a device of recompense or promise, offered thus to spare the valley devastation, but for unknown reasons Germanus refused it.
The region was ravaged. As penance for his relationship to the deaths of two future saints and Germanus of Grandval, or out of a secret desire — disclosed it is said to his intimate friends — to found a place to the service of God and take up the religious life, Adalrich founded two monasteries in north central Alsace between 680 and 700: Ebersheim in honour of Saint Maurice and Hohenburg on the site of an old Roman fort discovered by his huntsmen and which he appropriated for his own military uses. Adalrich's daughter Odilia served as Hohenburg's first abbess and was named patron saint of Alsace by Pope Pius VII in 1807, his daughter Odilia was reputedly born blind, which Adalrich took as a punishment for some offence done to God. In order to save face with his retainers, he tried to persuade his wife to kill the infant child in secret. Bereswinda instead sent the child into hiding with a maid at the monastery of Palma. According to the Life of Odilia, a bishop named Erhard baptised the adolescent girl and smeared a chrism on her eyes, which miraculously restored her sight.
The bishop tried to restore the duke's relationship with his daug
Pepin the Short
Pepin the Short was the King of the Franks from 751 until his death. He was the first of the Carolingians to become king; the younger son of the Frankish prince Charles Martel and his wife Rotrude, Pepin's upbringing was distinguished by the ecclesiastical education he had received from the monks of St. Denis. Succeeding his father as the Mayor of the Palace in 741, Pepin reigned over Francia jointly with his elder brother Carloman. Pepin ruled in Neustria and Provence, while his older brother Carloman established himself in Austrasia and Thuringia; the brothers were active in suppressing revolts led by the Bavarians, Aquitanians and the Alemanni in the early years of their reign. In 743, they ended the Frankish interregnum by choosing Childeric III, to be the last Merovingian monarch, as figurehead king of the Franks. Being well disposed towards the church and Papacy on account of their ecclesiastical upbringing and Carloman continued their father's work in supporting Saint Boniface in reforming the Frankish church, evangelising the Saxons.
After Carloman, an intensely pious man, retired to religious life in 747, Pepin became the sole ruler of the Franks. He suppressed a revolt led by his half-brother Grifo, succeeded in becoming the undisputed master of all Francia. Giving up pretense, Pepin forced Childeric into a monastery and had himself proclaimed king of the Franks with support of Pope Zachary in 751; the decision was not supported by all members of the Carolingian family and Pepin had to put down a revolt led by Carloman's son and again by Grifo. As King, Pepin embarked on an ambitious program to expand his power, he continued the ecclesiastical reforms of Boniface. Pepin intervened in favour of the Papacy of Stephen II against the Lombards in Italy, he was able to secure several cities, which he gave to the Pope as part of the Donation of Pepin. This formed the legal basis for the Papal States in the Middle Ages; the Byzantines, keen to make good relations with the growing power of the Frankish empire, gave Pepin the title of Patricius.
In wars of expansion, Pepin conquered Septimania from the Islamic Umayyads, subjugated the southern realms by defeating Waiofar and his Gascon troops, after which the Gascon and Aquitanian lords saw no option but to pledge loyalty to the Franks. Pepin was, troubled by the relentless revolts of the Saxons and the Bavarians, he campaigned tirelessly in Germany, but the final subjugation of these tribes was left to his successors. Pepin was succeeded by his sons Charlemagne and Carloman. Although unquestionably one of the most powerful and successful rulers of his time, Pepin's reign is overshadowed by that of his more famous son. Pepin's father Charles Martel died in 741, he divided the rule of the Frankish kingdom between Pepin and his elder brother, his surviving sons by his first wife: Carloman became Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, Pepin became Mayor of the Palace of Neustria. Grifo, Charles's son by his second wife, demanded a share in the inheritance, but he was besieged in Laon, forced to surrender and imprisoned in a monastery by his two half-brothers.
In the Frankish realm the unity of the kingdom was connected with the person of the king. So Carloman, to secure this unity, raised the Merovingian Childeric to the throne. In 747 Carloman either resolved to or was pressured into entering a monastery; this left Francia in the hands of Pepin as sole mayor of dux et princeps Francorum. At the time of Carloman's retirement, Grifo escaped his imprisonment and fled to Duke Odilo of Bavaria, married to Hiltrude, Pepin's sister. Pepin put down the renewed revolt led by his half-brother and succeeded in restoring the boundaries of the kingdom. Under the reorganization of Francia by Charles Martel, the dux et princeps Francorum was the commander of the armies of the kingdom, in addition to his administrative duties as mayor of the palace; as mayor of the palace, Pepin was formally subject to the decisions of Childeric III who had only the title of King but no power. Since Pepin had control over the magnates and had the power of a king, he now addressed to Pope Zachary a suggestive question: In regard to the kings of the Franks who no longer possess the royal power: is this state of things proper?
Hard pressed by the Lombards, Pope Zachary welcomed this move by the Franks to end an intolerable condition and lay the constitutional foundations for the exercise of the royal power. The Pope replied. In these circumstances, the de facto power was considered more important than the de jure authority. After this decision the throne was declared vacant. Childeric III was confined to a monastery, he was the last of the Merovingians. Pepin was elected King of the Franks by an assembly of Frankish nobles, with a large portion of his army on hand; the earliest account of his election and anointing is the Clausula de Pippino written around 767. Meanwhile, Grifo continued his rebellion, but was killed in the battle of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in 753. Pepin was assisted by his friend Vergilius of Salzburg, an Irish monk who used a copy of the "Collectio canonum Hibernensis" to advise him to receive royal unction to assist his recognition as king. Anointed a first time in 751 in Soissons, Pepin added to his power after Pope Stephen II traveled all the way to Paris to anoint him a second time in a lavish ceremony at the Basilica of St Denis in 754, bestowing upon him the additional title of patric
Sundgau is a geographical territory in the southern Alsace region, on the eastern edge of France. The name is derived from Alemannic German Sunt-gowe, denoting an Alemannic county in the Old High German period; the principal city and historical capital is Altkirch. The smaller French pays of Sundgau, implemented by the 1999 Loi Voynet corresponds to the arrondissement of Altkirch, comprising four cantons and 112 communes in the south of the larger Sundgau region; the hilly region is bounded on the south by the Swiss border and the foothills of the Jura, in the east by the valley of the Rhine in the vicinity of Basel, to the north by Mulhouse and the potassium-rich basin of Alsace, to the west by the Belfort Gap. It comprises parts of the modern Department of Haut-Rhin and the Territory of Belfort in the regions of Alsace and the Franche-Comté; the fertile loess soil has traditionally favoured a non-specialised agriculture, with crop production being organised into strips. The main crops are maize and colza.
The Ill, the most important river in Alsace, crosses Sundgau from south to north before flowing into the Rhine. Its source is at Winkel in the foothills of the Jura. Other rivers define the region's valleys, such as the Largue, which rises near Courtavon, passes through Dannemarie, meets the Ill at Illfurth. In medieval times, monks raised carp in the small valley ponds and carpe frite remains a regional speciality; the images of two carp appear in the coat of arms of Sundgau. Archaeological digs have revealed vestiges of Neolithic settlements. Traces of Bronze Age cremation pyres have been found. Excavations at Illfurth date from the Iron Age. In the 1st century BC, the Sequani tribe, centered around Besançon, settled in Sundgau. From 70 BC, they waged perpetual warfare with their neighbours, the Aedui, calling upon German mercenaries, led by Ariovistus; when the conflict finished, the Germans settled into the region, the Sequani, to remove them appealed to the Romans. Julius Caesar defeated Ariovistus in 58 BC near Cernay, a long domination by the Romans commenced.
This ended in 405, when the Alamani crossed the Rhine and occupied Sundgau. They, in turn, were followed by the Franks following their victory at the Battle of Tolbiac in 496. Sundgau was incorporated into the kingdom of Austrasia and Christianity was introduced under the Merovingians. About 750, the Duchy of Alsace was divided into two counties and Sundgau, the latter being mentioned in the Treaty of Mersen in 870. Sundgau coincides with the lands of the counts of Ferrette and Habsburg, excepting the town of Mulhouse and its territories of Illzach and Modenheim. Geographically, Sundgau denotes a more restricted area comprising the hilly country to the south of Mulhouse and reaching to the valley of Lucelle. During the 9th century and the 10th century Sundgau was administered by the Lieutfried family. Following the breakup of Charlemagne's empire, the region entered a period of instability, culminating in the emergence of feudalism. From 925 on, the Sundgau belonged to the Duchy of Swabia. In 1125, son of Theodoric I of Montbéliard, inherited the south of Alsace and became count of Ferrette.
So, from 1125 to 1324, a large part of the Sundgau was administered by the counts of Ferrette. Ulrich III died with no male issue, his daughter Jeanne married Albert II, Duke of Austria in 1324, the County of Ferrette fell to Austria and was integrated with the other Habsburg possessions in the area. The Landgraviate of Sundgau, the successor of the Carolingian county, had been administered by the counts of Habsburg since 1135, they had owned the adjacent County of Sundgau earlier. The Habsburgs enlarged their possessions in the area with numerous acquisitions in the following centuries, until by the mid-14th century all of the former Carolingian county was in the possession of Habsburg, their consolidated territories in the area became known as the Sundgau, belonged to the Austrian Circle of the Empire after 1512. The Habsburgian Sundgau was administered from Ensisheim by a bailli and divided into four bailiwicks. Enguerrand VII, Lord of Coucy tried unsuccessfully to claim the Sundgau during the Gugler War of 1375.
As of 1500, the Austrian Sundgau encompassed most of the southern Alsace and was bordered by the following states: Imperial City of Colmar, County of Württemberg, the Austrian Breisgau, the Margraviate of Baden, the Imperial City of Basel, the Bishopric of Basel, the County of Württemberg, the Duchy of Lorraine, the Abbacy of Murbach, the Bishopric of Strasbourg. The Imperial City of Mulhouse formed an enclave surrounded by the Sundgau; the Reformation did not trouble Sundgau, despite the proximity of Mulhouse. The country maintained its fidelity to the religion of the Catholicism. Commencing in 1632, the Thirty Years' War broke upon Sundgau, with a violence unprecedented in the history of the region; the Swedish, supported by France, invaded the country and burning all in their path. In reaction, the inhabitants of the countryside revolted, but the rebellion was subdued, the Swedes hanged the ringleaders from roadside trees. From 1634, the Swedes ceded their fortresses to the French, in 1648 the war ended with th
County of Dagsburg
The County of Dagsburg with its capital Dagsburg existed in Lorraine from 11th to 18th centuries when the area was still part of Holy Roman Empire. The ancestral castle in Dabo, the Dagsburg Castle in Lorraine, was acquired by the Etichonids shortly before the year 1000 through the marriage of Hugo VI, Count of Nordgau and Count of Egisheim, with Heilwig of Dagsburg; the Etichonids built another Dagsburg Castle in Upper Alsace in 1150. The male members of the family used the title of Count of Dagsburg and Count of Egisheim at this time. Among their possessions were numerous manors in the upper Saar area and Waleffe and High justice in the Diocese of Metz; the Etichonids died out in 1225. Gertrude of Dagsburg, the last member of the family, left behind eleven castles and the vogtei over nine monasteries; the possessions around Dabo fell to the House of Leiningen in 1241. Another part of the inheritance went to the House of Zähringen, who at times left some of their rights to the archbishopric of Strasbourg, with whom they had territorial disputes.
The Bishop of Metz decided that the fiefs of Moha and Waleffe had fallen vacant, gave them to the Prince-Bishop of Liège. A branch called Dagsburg-Leiningen existed within the House of Leiningen from 1317 to 1797. Gerhard Köbler: Historisches Lexikon der deutschen Länder, 1992 Detlev Schwennicke: Europäische Stammtafeln, vol. I.2, 1999, table 200b
Charles Martel was a Frankish statesman and military leader who as Duke and Prince of the Franks and Mayor of the Palace, was the de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death. The son of the Frankish statesman Pepin of Herstal and a noblewoman named Alpaida, Charles asserted his claims to power as successor to his father as the power behind the throne in Frankish politics. Continuing and building on his father's work, he restored centralized government in Francia and began the series of military campaigns that re-established the Franks as the undisputed masters of all Gaul. According to a near-contemporary source, the Liber Historiae Francorum, Charles was "a warrior, uncommonly...effective in battle". Much attention has been paid to his success in defeating an Arab raid in Aquitaine at the Battle of Tours. Alongside his military endeavours, Charles has been traditionally credited with a seminal role in the development of the Frankish system of feudalism. At the end of his reign, Charles divided Francia between his sons and Pepin.
The latter became the first king of the Carolingian dynasty. Charles' grandson, extended the Frankish realms, became the first Emperor in the West since the fall of Rome. Charles, nicknamed "Martel", or "the Hammer", in chronicles, was the son of Pepin of Herstal and his second wife Alpaida, he had a brother named Childebrand, who became the Frankish dux of Burgundy. In older historiography, it was common to describe Charles as "illegitimate", but the dividing line between wives and concubines was not clear-cut in eighth-century Francia, it is that the accusation of "illegitimacy" derives from the desire of Pepin's first wife Plectrude to see her progeny as heirs to Pepin's power. After the reign of Dagobert I the Merovingians ceded power to the Pippinid Mayors of the Palace, who ruled the Frankish realm of Austrasia in all but name, they controlled the royal treasury, dispensed patronage, granted land and privileges in the name of the figurehead king. Charles' father, Pepin of Herstal, was able to unite the Frankish realm by conquering Neustria and Burgundy.
He was the first to call himself Duke and Prince of the Franks, a title taken up by Charles. In December 714, Pepin of Herstal died. Prior to his death, he had, at his wife Plectrude's urging, designated Theudoald, his grandson by their late son Grimoald, his heir in the entire realm; this was opposed by the nobles because Theudoald was a child of only eight years of age. To prevent Charles using this unrest to his own advantage, Plectrude had him imprisoned in Cologne, the city, intended to be her capital; this prevented an uprising on his behalf in Austrasia, but not in Neustria. Pepin's death occasioned open conflict between his heirs and the Neustrian nobles who sought political independence from Austrasian control. In 715, Dagobert III named Ragenfrid mayor of their palace declaring political independence. On 26 September 715, Ragenfrid's Neustrians met the young Theudoald's forces at the Battle of Compiegne. Theudoald fled back to Cologne. Before the end of the year, Charles Martel had escaped from prison and been acclaimed mayor by the nobles of Austrasia.
That same year, Dagobert III died and the Neustrians proclaimed Chilperic II, the cloistered son of Childeric II, as king. In 716, Chilperic and Ragenfrid together led an army into Austrasia intent on seizing the Pippinid wealth at Cologne; the Neustrians allied with another invading force under Radbod, King of the Frisians and met Charles in battle near Cologne, still held by Plectrude. Charles had little time to gather men, or prepare, the result was the only defeat of his career; the Frisians held off Charles, while the king and his mayor besieged Plectrude at Cologne, where she bought them off with a substantial portion of Pepin's treasure. They withdrew. Charles retreated to the hills of the Eifel to gather men, train them. Having made the proper preparations, in April 716, he fell upon the triumphant army near Malmedy as it was returning to its own province. In the ensuing Battle of Amblève, Martel attacked. According to one source, he split his forces into several groups. Another suggests that while this was his intention, he decided, given the enemy's unpreparedness, this was not necessary.
In any event, the suddenness of the assault lead them to believe they were facing a much larger host. Many of the enemy fled and Martel's troops gathered the spoils of the camp. Martel's reputation increased as a result, he attracted more followers; this battle is considered by historians as the turning point in Charles's struggle. Richard Gerberding points out that up to this time, much of Martel's support was from his mother's kindred in the lands around Liege. After Amblève, he seems to have won the backing of the influential Willibrord, founder of the Abbey of Echternach; the abbey had been built on land donated by Plectrude's mother, Irmina of Oeren, but most of Willibrord's missionary work had been carried out in Frisia. In joining Chilperic and Ragenfrid, Radbod of Frisia sacked Utrecht, burning churches and killing many missionaries. Willibrord and his monks were forced to flee to Echternach. Gerberding suggests that Willibrord had decided that the chances of preserving his life's work were better with a successful field commander like Martel than with Plectrude in Cologne.
Willibrord subsequently baptized Martel's son Pepin. Gerberding suggests a date of Easter 716. Martel received support from Bishop Pepo of Verdun. Charles took time to prepare. By the following spring, Charles had attracted e
Alamannia or Alemannia was the territory inhabited by the Germanic Alemanni peoples after they broke through the Roman limes in 213. The Alemanni expanded from the Main River basin during the 3rd century, raiding Roman provinces and settling on the left bank of the Rhine River beginning in the 4th century. Ruled by independent tribal kings during the 4th to 5th centuries, Alamannia lost its independence and became a duchy of the Frankish Empire in the 6th century; as the Holy Roman Empire started to form under King Conrad I of East Francia, the territory of Alamannia became the Duchy of Swabia in 915. Scribes used the term Suebia interchangeably with Alamannia in the 10th to 12th centuries; the territory of Alamannia as it existed from the 7th to 9th centuries centered on Lake Constance and included the High Rhine, the Black Forest and the Alsace on either side of the Upper Rhine, the upper Danube River basin as far as the confluence with the Lech River, with an unclear boundary towards Burgundy to the south-west in the Aare River basin.
Raetia Curiensis, although not part of Alemannia, was ruled by Alemannic counts, became part of the Duchy of Swabia since it was established by Burchard I. The territory corresponds to what was still the areal of Alemannic German in the modern period, i.e. French Alsace, German Baden and Swabia, German-speaking Switzerland and the Austrian Vorarlberg; the Alamanni were pushed south from their original area of settlement in the Main basin and in the 5th and 6th century settled new territory on either side of the Rhine. Alemannia under Frankish rule the Duchy of Swabia within the Holy Roman Empire covered a territory, more or less undisputed during the 7th to 13th centuries, organised into counties or pagi. In Swabia: Hegowe, between Lake Constance, the upper Danube and the Swabian Jura. Perahtoltaspara in the upper Neckar basin, left of the upper Danube as far as Ulm, including the source of the Danube. Nekargowe. Swiggerstal, Filiwigawe and Alba between the Neckar and the Danube. Duria between Ulm and Augsburg.
Albegowe and Augestigowe along the Lech forming the border to Bavaria. Rezia in the Northeastern corner, left of the Danube. Linzgowe and Argungowe north of Lake Constance. Eritgau, Folcholtespara and Illargowe on the right side of the Danube. In Baden: Brisigowe along the Upper Rhine opposite Sundgau, Mortunova, the Ortenau, along the Upper Rhine opposite Nordgau. Alpegowe, centered on St. Blaise Abbey, Black Forest In modern France: Suntgowe and Nordgowe In modern Switzerland: Augestigowe and Turgowe The territory between Alamannia and Upper Burgundy was known as Argowe; the pertinence of this territory to either Alamannia or Upper Burgundy was disputed. The county of Raetia Curiensis was absorbed into Alamannia in the early 10th century, it comprised the Retia proper. A loose confederation of unrelated tribes, the Alemanni underwent coalescence or ethnogenesis during the 3rd century, were ruled by kings throughout the 4th and 5th centuries until 496, when they were defeated by Clovis I of the Franks at the Battle of Tolbiac.
The Alemanni during the Roman Empire period were divided into a number of cantons or goviae, each presided by a tribal king. But there appears to have been the custom of the individual kings uniting under the leadership of a single king in military expeditions; some kings of the Alemanni of the 4th and 5th centuries are known by name, the first being Chrocus, a military leader who organized raids across the limes during the 3rd century. Chnodomarius supported Constantius II in the rebellion of Magnentius. Chnodomarius was the leader of the Alemannic army in the battle of Strasbourg in 357. Macrian, Urius, Ursicinus and Vestralpus were Alemannic kings who in 359 made treaties with Julian the Apostate. Macrian was deposed in an expedition ordered by Valentinian I in 370. Macrian appears to have been involved in building a large alliance of Alemannic tribes against Rome, which earned him the title of turbarum rex artifex; the Romans installed Fraomar as a successor of Marcian, but the Bucinobantes would not accept him and he was expelled and Macrian restored and Valentinian made the Bucinobantes his foederati in the war against the Franks.
Macrian was killed on campaign against the Franks, in an ambush laid by the Frankish king Mallobaudes. Gibuld is the last known king of the Alemanni, his raid on Passau is mentioned in the vita of Saint Lupus. The name of Gibuld's successor, defeated at Tolbiac is not known. After their defeat in 496, the Alemanni bucked the Frankish yoke and put themselves under the protection of Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoths, but after his death they were again subjugated by the Franks, under Theuderic I and Theudebert I. Thereafter, Alamannia was a nominal dukedom within Francia. Though ruled by their own dukes, it is not that they were often united under one duke in the 6th and 7th centuries; the Alemanni most appear as auxiliaries in expeditio
Pope Leo IX
Pope Leo IX, born Bruno of Egisheim-Dagsburg, was Pope from 12 February 1049 to his death in 1054. He was a powerful ruler of central Italy while holding the papacy, he is regarded as a saint by the Catholic Church, his feast day celebrated on 19 April. Leo IX is considered the most significant German Pope of the Middle Ages, he was a native of Egisheim, Upper Alsace. His family was of noble rank, his father, Count Hugh, was a cousin of Emperor Conrad II, he was educated at Toul. In the latter capacity he rendered important political services to his relative Conrad II, afterwards to Emperor Henry III, he became known as an earnest and reforming ecclesiastic by the zeal he showed in spreading the rule of the order of Cluny. On the death of Pope Damasus II in 1048, Bruno was selected as his successor by an assembly at Worms in December. Both the Emperor and the Roman delegates concurred. However, Bruno favored a canonical election and stipulated as a condition of his acceptance that he should first proceed to Rome and be elected by the voice of the clergy and people of Rome.
Setting out shortly after Christmas, he met with abbot Hugh of Cluny at Besançon, where he was joined by the young monk Hildebrand, who afterwards became Pope Gregory VII. Leo IX favored traditional morality in his reformation of the Catholic Church. One of his first public acts was to hold the well-known Easter synod of 1049, at which celibacy of the clergy was required anew; the Easter synod was where the Pope at least succeeded in making clear his own convictions against every kind of simony. The greater part of the year that followed was occupied in one of those progresses through Italy and France which form a marked feature in Leo IX's pontificate. After presiding over a synod at Pavia, he joined Henry III in Saxony and accompanied him to Cologne and Aachen, he summoned a meeting of the higher clergy in Reims in which several important reforming decrees were passed. At Mainz he held a council at which the Italian and French as well as the German clergy were represented, ambassadors of the Greek emperor were present.
Here too and the marriage of the clergy were the principal matters dealt with. After his return to Rome he held another Easter synod on 29 April 1050, it was occupied with the controversy about the teachings of Berengar of Tours. In the same year he presided over provincial synods at Salerno and Vercelli, in September revisited his native Germany, returning to Rome in time for a third Easter synod, at which the question of the reordination of those, ordained by simonists was considered. In 1052 he joined the Emperor at Pressburg and vainly sought to secure the submission of the Hungarians. At Regensburg and Worms, the papal presence was celebrated with various ecclesiastical solemnities. In early 1053, Leo arbitrated a dispute between the archbishop of Carthage and the bishop of Gummi-Mahdia over ecclesiastical precedence. In constant fear of attack from the Normans in the south of Italy, the Byzantines turned in desperation to the Normans' own spiritual chief, Pope Leo IX, according to William of Apulia, begged him "to liberate Italy that now lacks its freedom and to force that wicked people, who are pressing Apulia under their yoke, to leave."
After a fourth Easter synod in 1053, Leo IX set out against the Normans in the south with an army of Italians and Swabian mercenaries. "As fervent Christians the Normans were reluctant to fight their spiritual leader and tried to sue for peace but the Swabians mocked them – battle was inevitable."Leo IX led the army himself, but his forces suffered total defeat at the Battle of Civitate on 15 June 1053. Nonetheless, on going out from the city to meet the victorious enemy he was received with every token of submission, pleas for forgiveness and oaths of fidelity and homage. From June 1053 to March 1054 the Pope was held hostage at Benevento, in honourable captivity, until he acknowledged the Normans conquests in Calabria and Apulia, he did not long survive his return to Rome, where he died on 19 April 1054. Michael Cærularius, through the metropolitan of Bulgaria wrote to the pope denouncing the use of unleavened bread and fasting days in the Latin church, and afterwards closed down the Latin rite churches of Constantinople and stopped remembrance for the Pope in the diptychs and wrote letters to the other patriarchs against the pope. to which he earned denouncement from the Patriarch of Antioch, Peter III for trying to incite schism within the church.
Leo IX sent a letter to Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in 1054, that cited a large portion of the Donation of Constantine, believing it genuine. The official status of this letter is acknowledged in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 5, entry on Donation of Constantine, page 120: "The first pope who used it in an official act and relied upon it, was Leo IX.