Herman, Duke of Carinthia

Herman II of Spanheim (died 4 October 1181), a scion of the Rhenish House of Sponheim, was Duke of Carinthia from 1161 until his death.[1]

Herman II of Spanheim
Duke of Carinthia
PredecessorHenry V, Duke of Carinthia
SuccessorUlrich II, Duke of Carinthia
Died(1181-10-04)4 October 1181
BuriedSaint Paul's Abbey, Lavanttal
Noble familyHouse of Sponheim
Spouse(s)Agnes of Austria
FatherUlrich I, Duke of Carinthia
MotherJudith of Baden


He was the second son of Duke Ulrich I of Carinthia (d. 1144) and his wife Judith of Zähringen, daughter of Margrave Herman II of Baden.[1]


In April 1144 Duke Ulrich I died, Herman's elder brother Henry V succeeded him. He married Elizabeth, a daughter of Margrave Leopold of Styria, and died childless on 12 October 1161, whereafter Herman succeeded him as Carinthian duke.[1]

Herman reached the confirmation of his rule by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. In December 1161 he was solemnly enthroned on the Duke's Chair in the Zollfeld plain, in the presence of Archbishop Eberhard of Salzburg and Patriarch Ulrich II of Aquileia. In 1162 he accompanied the emperor on his campaign to Italy and the failed meeting with King Louis VII of France.

With varying degrees of success he tried to consolidate his position in Carinthia by achieving the office of a Vogt protector over the Diocese of Gurk as well as over the Carinthian possessions of the Bishopric of Bamberg and the Patriarchate of Aquileia. Like his brother, he was stuck in territorial disputes with the Otakar margraves of Styria and local nobles like the counts of Heunburg and Ortenburg. Upon the death of his uncle Margrave Engelbert III of Istria in 1173, Herman could not assume the margravial title, but inherited his personal possessions around the town of Sankt Veit which emerged as ducal residence.

About 1173, Herman married Agnes of Babenberg, daughter of Duke Henry II of Austria and widow of King Stephen III of Hungary.[2] They had two known sons:

Herman was the first Sponheim duke to be buried in St. Paul's Abbey in the Lavanttal, established by his great-grandfather Count Engelbert of Spanheim in 1091. He was succeeded by his eldest son Ulrich II.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Loud & Schenk 2017, p. xxxii.
  2. ^ a b Cyrus 2013, p. 225.


  • Cyrus, Cynthia J. (2013). Received Medievalisms: A Cognitive Geography of Viennese Women's Convents. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Loud, Graham A.; Schenk, Jochen, eds. (2017). The Origins of the German Principalities, 1100–1350: Essays by German Historians. Taylor & Francis.
Herman, Duke of Carinthia
 Died: 4 October 1181
Preceded by Duke of Carinthia
Succeeded by