Liudolf, Duke of Saxony

Liudolf (c. 805/820 – 11/12 March 866) was a Carolingian office bearer and count in the Duchy of Saxony from about 844. The ruling Liudolfing house, also known as the Ottonian dynasty, is named after him; he is its oldest verified member.

Count of Saxony
Liudolf from a 12th-century manuscript of the chronicle of Ekkehard of Aura
Bornc. 805/820
Died11/12 March 866
BuriedBrunshausen Abbey
Noble familyOttonian dynasty (Liudolfings)
Spouse(s)Oda of Billung
IssueBruno, Duke of Saxony
Otto I, Duke of Saxony
Liutgard of Saxony
Ludolf dux Saxonie at the top of a pedigree of the Ottonian dynasty, Chronica sancti Pantaleonis, Cologne, 12th century

Life edit

Liudolf was the son of a margrave (German: Markgraf) Bruno and his wife, Gisla.[1] Liudolf had extended possessions in the western Harz foothills and on the Leine river, he also served as a military leader (dux) in the wars of the East Frankish king Louis the German against Viking invasions, and the Polabian Slavs.[2] Later authors called Liudolf a Duke of the Eastern Saxons (dux Orientalis Saxonum, probably since 850) and Count of Eastphalia.

About 830 Liudolf married Oda,[3] daughter of a Frankish princeps named Billung and his wife Aeda. By marrying a Frankish nobleman's daughter, Liudolf followed suggestions set forth by Charlemagne about ensuring the integrity of the Carolingian Empire in the aftermath of the Saxon Wars through marriage. Oda died on 17 May 913, supposedly at the age of 107.[4] They had at least seven children:[5]

In 845/846, Liudolf and his wife went on a pilgrimage to Rome, and upon approval by Pope Sergius II they founded a house of holy canonesses dedicated to Pope Saints Anastasius and Innocent around 852. The monastery, duly established at their proprietary church in Brunshausen,[9] was consecrated by the Hildesheim bishop Altfrid and Liudolf's minor daughter Hathumoda became its first abbess.[3] The convent was relocated in 881 to form Gandersheim Abbey, elevated to an Imperial monastery by Liudolf's grandson Henry the Fowler in 919.

While King Louis the German was preoccupied with Imperial politics, Liudolf, relying on the rank as well as the allodial lands he had inherited from his ancestors, rose to a leading position among the Saxon nobles – made evident by the marriage of his daughter Liutgard with King Louis the Younger. He is buried in his proprietary monastery of Brunshausen. His successions by his sons Bruno and Otto met with no resistance.

References edit

  1. ^ Keene 2013, p. 30.
  2. ^ Stephenson 1935, p. 249.
  3. ^ a b Schutz 2010, p. 27.
  4. ^ Odilo of Cluny 2004, p. 24.
  5. ^ Althoff & Carroll 2004, p. 388.
  6. ^ a b Riche 1993, p. 229.
  7. ^ Widukind of Corvey 2014, p. 27.
  8. ^ a b c Riche 1993, p. Table 3.
  9. ^ Riche 1993, p. 186.

Sources edit

  • Althoff, Gerd; Carroll, Christopher (2004). Family, Friends and Followers: Political and Social Bonds in Medieval Europe. Cambridge University Press.
  • Keene, Catherine (2013). Saint Margaret, Queen of the Scots: A Life in Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Odilo of Cluny (2004). Queenship and sanctity: The lives of Mathilda and The epitaph of Adelheid. Translated by Gilsdorf, Sean. Catholic University of America Press.
  • Riche, Pierre (1993). The Carolingians: A Family who Forged Europe. Translated by Allen, Michael Idomir. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Schutz, Herbert (2010). The Medieval Empire in Central Europe: Dynastic Continuity in the Post-Carolingian Frankish Realm. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Stephenson, Carl (1935). Mediæval History: Europe from the Fourth to the Sixteenth Century. Harper & brothers.
  • Widukind of Corvey (2014). Deeds of the Saxons. Translated by Bachrach, Bernard S.; Bachrach, David S. Catholic University of America Press.
Liudolf, Duke of Saxony
Born: c. 805/20 Died: 11/12 March 866
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Count of Saxony
Succeeded by