Ida of Formbach-Ratelnberg

Ida of Austria (c. 1055 – September 1101) was a Margravine of Austria by marriage to Leopold II of Austria. She was a crusader, participating in the Crusade of 1101 with her own army.[1]

Ida of Formbach-Ratelnberg
Ida of Formbach-Ratelnberg on the tree
Ida depicted on the family tree (Genealogy of the Babenberg Ladies)
c. 1055
DiedSeptember 1101
Heraclea Cybistra, Cilicia
Noble familyHouse of Babenberg
Spouse(s)Leopold II of Austria
Leopold III, Margrave of Austria
FatherRapoto IV of Cham[disputed ]


Ida was the daughter of Rapoto IV of Cham and Mathilde.[disputed ] She is also known as Itha. She married Leopold II of Austria and had a son, Leopold III. She was known as one of the great beauties of her day.

In 1101, Ida, alongside Thiemo of Salzburg and the Bavarian dukes Welf IV and William IX, joined the Crusade of 1101,[1] and raised and led her own army toward Jerusalem.

In September of that year, Ida and her army were among those ambushed at Heraclea Cybistra by the sultan Kilij Arslan I. Ekkehard of Aura reports that Ida was killed in the fighting, but rumors persisted that she survived, and was carried off to a harem, according to Albert von Aachen. Later legends claimed that she was the mother of the Muslim hero Zengi, as in Historia Welforum, but this is impossible on chronological grounds. However, Ekkehard of Aura's is probably the most likely version, as he is the only one who can rely on eyewitnesses who were survivors of the Battle of Heraclea Cybistra, whom Ekkehard met a few weeks later in Jaffa, while Albert von Aachen and the author of the Historia Welforum reported only after hearsay.

In fictionEdit

Ida's fate is depicted in Beloved Pilgrim (2011) by Christopher Hawthorne.


See alsoEdit

Family treeEdit


  1. ^ a b Steven Runciman: Geschichte der Kreuzzüge ('A History of the Crusades'). München 1978 (Sonderausgabe), p. 341.