Etichonids

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The Etichonids were an important noble family, probably of Frankish, Burgundian or Visigothic origin, who ruled the Duchy of Alsace in the Early Middle Ages (7th–10th centuries). The dynasty is named for Eticho (also known as Aldarich) who ruled from 662 to 690.

The earliest accounts record the family's beginnings in the pagus Attoariensis around Dijon in northern Burgundy. In the mid-7th century a duke of the region named Amalgar and his wife Aquilina are noticed as major founders and patrons of monasteries. King Dagobert I and his father made donations to them to recover their loyalty and compensate them for the losses that they had sustained as supporters of Queen Brunhild and her grandson, Sigebert II. Amalgar and his wife founded a convent at Brégille and an abbey at Bèze, installing a son and daughter in the abbacies, they were succeeded by their third child, Adalrich,[1] who was the father of Adalrich, Duke of Alsace. This second Adalrich was the first to secure the ducal title, his name, Eticho, a variation of Adalrich, is used by modern scholars as the name of the family.

Under the Etichonids, Alsace was generally divided into a northern and a southern county, Nordgau and Sundgau; these counties, as well as the monasteries of the duchy, were brought under tighter control of the dukes with the rise of the Etichonids. There exists scholarly debate concerning whether or not the Etichonids were in conflict or alliance with the Carolingians, but it is possible that they were both: opponents of the extension of Charles Martel's authority in the 720s when he first made war on Alemannia, but allies when the Alemanni, under Duke Theudebald invaded Alsace (which had a large Alemannic element in its population) in the early 740s; the last Etichonid duke, Liutfrid, may have died fighting Theudebald on behalf of Pepin the Short.

Among the descendants of the Etichonids, in the female line were Hugh of Tours and his family, including his daughter Ermengard, who was wife to Lothair I and thus mother to three Carolingian kings. In the 10th century the Etichonids remained powerful in Alsace as counts, but their power was circumscribed significantly by the Ottonians and by the 11th century, Pope Leo IX seems unaware that his ancestors, the lords (or counts) of Dabo and Eguisheim for the previous half century were in fact the direct descendants of the last Etichonids. Many notable European families trace their lineage to the Etichonids, including the Habsburgs.

Etichonid dukes and counts in Alsace[edit]

(Note: Here the numbering of the counts is the same for all states, as all were titled Counts of Alsace, despite of the different parts of land and its particular numbering of the rulers.)

Ruler Born Reign Death Ruling part Consort Notes
Eticho I Adalric Adalric.jpg 635 662-690 20 February 690 Alsace Berswinde
c.655
six children
Founder of the family and first count of Nordgau.
Adalbert I 665 690-722 722 Alsace Gerlinde of Pfalzel
six children

Berlinde
two children
Also duke of Alsace.
Eberhard I ? 722-747 747 Sundgau ?
one child
Son of Adalbert I, retained Sundgau, the southern part of Alsace.
Eticho II 700 722-723 723 Nordgau Unknown
two children
Son of Eticho I, retained Nordgau, the northern part of Alsace.
Alberic I ? 723-747 747 Nordgau Unknown
four children
Son of Eticho II.
Liutfrid I 700 747-767 767 Sundgau Hiltrude
two children
Son of Adalbert I.
Rhutard I ? 747-765 747 Nordgau Hirmisende
no children
Son of Liutfrid I, probably an usurper. Left no descendants. Nordgau passed to the Alberic's heir, Eberhard.
Eberhard II ? 765-777 777 Nordgau Unknown
one child
Son of Alberic I.
Liutfrid II 745 767-769
770-802
802 Sundgau Hiltrude of Wormsgau
four children
Son of Liutfrid I.
Garin ? c.769 769? Sundgau Unknown Probably usurpers, as they don't seem to have family connections with the Etichonids.
Pirathlion c.770 770?
Udalric ? 778-804 804? Nordgau Unknown Probably usurpers, as they don't seem to have family connections with the Etichonids.
Ruthelin ? 805-c.810? before 817? Nordgau Unknown
Erchangaire ? c.810?-817 817? Nordgau Unknown
Wuorand ? 817 817? Nordgau Unknown
Hugh I c.760 802-837 20 October 837 Sundgau Ava of Morvois
four children
Son of Liutfrid II.
Eberhard III ? 817-864 864 Nordgau Unknown
one child
Son of Eberhard II.
Liutfrid III ? 837-864 864 Sundgau Unknown
two children
Son of Hugh I.
Adalbert II ? 864-898 864 Nordgau Unknown Probably usurper.
Hugh II ? 864-880 880 Sundgau Unknown
no children
Son of Liutfrid III, left no descendants. He was succeeded by his brother Liutfrid.
Liutfrid IV ? 880-910 910 Sundgau Unknown
one child
Son of Liutfrid III.
Eberhard IV 840 898-910 910 Nordgau Adelinda
two children
Son of Eberhard III.
Liutfrid V ? 910-938 938 Sundgau Unknown
one child
Son of Liutfrid III, left no descendants. He was succeeded by his brother Liutfrid.
Hugh III ? 910-940 940 Nordgau Adelinda
two children
Brother of Eberhard II. Also known as Hugo III.
Guntram the Rich Guntram the Rich.jpg c.920 938-954 20 March 973 Sundgau Unknown
one child
Son of Hugh III, ruled Sundgau for a period, before returning it to the heir of Liutfrid V. Guntram was grandfather of Radbot, Count of Habsburg, founder of the House of Habsburg.
Hugh IV ? 940-959 959 Nordgau Unknown Also known as Hugo IV.
Liutfrid VI ? 954-977 977 Sundgau Unknown
one child
Son or brother of Liutfrid V.
Eberhard V ? 959-973 18 December 973 Nordgau Liutgarde of Lotharingia
one child
Brother of Hugh II.
Hugh V Raucus ? 973-986 986 Nordgau Unknown Brother of Eberhard IV.
Liutfrid VII ? 977-c.1003 c.1003? Sundgau Unknown
one child
Son of Liutfrid VI. Left no descendants; the county seemed to have returned to non-hereditary rulership, by members of nobility with apparently no relation with the Etichonids.
  • c. 1003: Otto I
  • c. 1027: Giselbert
  • c. 1048: Berengar
  • c. 1052: Kuno
  • c. 1063: Rudolph
  • c. 1084: Henry

Then Sundgau might have been given to the Habsburgs.

Eberhard VI ? 986-1016 1016 Nordgau Bertha
no children
Left no descendants.
Hugh VI Fr Moselle Hesse Eglise abbatiale gisant Hugues IV de Nordgau detail.JPG c.970 1000-1016 1048 Eguisheim-Dagsburg Heilwig of Dagsburg
eight children
Acquired Eguisheim, and by marriage added Dagsburg to his patrimony. Between his children was Bruno of Eguisheim-Dagsburg. After his brother's death in 1016, he was the heir to Nordgau, which became annexed to Eguisheim.
1016-c.1030? Eguisheim-Dagsburg-Nordgau
c.1030-1038 Nordgau
1038-1046 Eguisheim-Nordgau
Gerhard I ? c.1030?-1038 1038 Eguisheim Petronice of Lorraine
no children
Left no descendants. Eguisheim reverted to his brother.
Hugh VII ? c.1030?-1046 18 November 1049 Dagsburg Mathilde d'Eename
two children
Inherited Dagsburg, and after his brother's death, reunited it with Eguisheim.
1046-1049 Eguisheim-Dagsburg-Nordgau
Henry I ? 1049-1065 28 June c.1065 Eguisheim-Dagsburg-Nordgau Unknown
c.1040
four children
Gerhard II ? 1065 c.1100? Nordgau Richarda
four children
1098-c.1100? Eguisheim
Hugh VIII ? 1065-1089 5 September 1089 Dagsburg-Nordgau Mathilde of Montbéliard
no children
Inherits Dagsburg and Nordgau. He was dispossessed of Nordgau by Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, during the Investiture Controversy, and killed in the attempt of its recover. On his death with no descendants, his brother inherited only Dagsburg.
Albert I ? 1065-1089 24 August 1098 Eguisheim Hedwig
no children

Ermesinde of Luxembourg
1096
Longwy
two children
1089-1098 Dagsburg-Eguisheim
Hugh IX ? 1098-1137 1137 Dagsburg Gertrude of Loon
three children
Also known as Henry Hugh.
Hedwig ? c.1100?-1126 1126 Eguisheim Gerard I, Count of Vaudémont
1080
four children
After her death Eguisheim passed to Vaudémont line of the House of Lorraine.
Hugh X ? 1137-1175 1175 Dagsburg Lutgarde of Sulzbach
after 1142
four children
Also known as Henry Hugh.
Albert II ? 1175-1212 1212 Dagsburg Gertrude of Baden
1180
three children
Also count of Moha.
Gertrude 39. Thiébaud Ier, duc de Lorraine, et son épouse Gertrude de Dabo.jpg c.1190 1212-1225 1225 Dagsburg Theobald I, Duke of Lorraine
1215
no children

Theobald I of Navarre
1217
(annulled 1223)
no children

Simon of Leiningen
1224
no children
With no heirs, after her death Dagsburg passed to the Leiningen family.

Sources[edit]

  • Hummer, Hans J. Politics and Power in Early Medieval Europe: Alsace and the Frankish Realm 600–1000. Cambridge University Press: 2005. See mainly pp 46–55.

References[edit]

  1. ^ He is referred to as Liutheric, a mayor of the palace, in the Life of Odilia.