FEMALE Agatha

Wife of Eadweard the Exile.

Because of the length, the discussion appears on two pages. This is the Appendices page, which also includes the Bibliography. The main discussion appears on the other page.

Link to main Agatha page


Appendices

Appendix 1: Agatha and Onomastics

Appendix 2: Was Eadmund married to a Hungarian princess?

Appendix 3: The meaning of germanus

Appendix 4: The mother and half-brothers of Heinrich III

Appendix 5: Who were the queens of Hungary during this period?

Appendix 6: Who was the king Malesclodus who appears in the Laws of Edward the Confessor?


Appendix 1: Agatha and Onomastics

At the time that Eadweard the Exile married his wife Agatha, the name Agatha was very uncommon in Western Europe. Thus, since it was extremely common for individuals to be named after older relatives, it is natural that those interested in Agatha's ancestry should ask where she got her name, and should investigate whether or not the name appears in the family of any proposed parent who is conjectured for her. Also, it has been noted that two of her children, Margaret and Christina, have then uncommon names that cannot be readily explained as coming from relatives of their father Eadweard, and that three children of Margaret, Alexander, David, and Mary, have then uncommon names which do not appear among known or likely relatives of either Margaret's father Eadweard or her husband Malcolm III.

Jetté was the first to advance onomastics in favor of the Russian Hypothesis [Jetté (1996), 424-6], followed by Ingham and Humphreys [Ingham (1998a, 1998b), Humphreys (2003, 2004)], but the onomastic argument was pressed the hardest by Pavsic [Pavsic (2001)]. The overuse of onomastic arguments (especially by Pavsic) was criticized by Parsons [Parsons (2002)]. Later, the Bulgarian Hypothesis also made major use of onomastic arguments [Mladjov (2003)].

Even in a well documented age, the use of onomastic evidence in genealogy is full of pitfalls. In a poorly documented age, onomastic evidence would be difficult to use even if there had been specific rules which were always followed, and there were no such rules. What we have during the period in question is a strong tendancy for children to be named after close relatives. This tendancy is stronger among elder children than it is among younger children (when some of the available names have already been used for siblings). Onomastic patterns were more constant in some families than they were in others. However, exceptions to the pattern were not infrequent. To give two examples, children were sometimes named after unrelated godparents or after the saint on whose feast day they were born.

Onomastic evidence has been argued in both positive and negative ways. In positive arguments via onomastic evidence, a (preferably uncommon) name or set of names is observed to be present in two different families, and as a result it is hypothesized that the two families were closely related, and further evidence is sought to either solidify or rule out such a relationship. In negative arguments using onomastic evidence, it is argued that certain individuals were probably not closely related because the names occurring in the families do not match well. We will start with onomastics as positive evidence, and then discuss its use as negative evidence.

When used properly, onomastic clues sometimes provide good evidence in genealogy. However, it is not difficult to find examples where onomastic evidence has been misused. A simple example of incorrect use of onomastic evidence regards the discussion by Jetté of the names Margaret and Christina [Jetté (1996), 425]. The two names Margaret and Christina are rare in Europe in the eleventh century, and the only other place where they are found together is in the family of Inge I (d. ca. 1116), king of Sweden, who had two daughters of those names [Kønigsfeldt (1856), table 12, 152-3]. According to the reasonably well documented genealogy of the Swedish royal family, Inge was the grandnephew of Ingegerde of Sweden, wife of Iaroslav I of Kiev [ibid., table 12, 151-2]. Thus, the argument goes, this is supposedly evidence in favor of the Russian Hypothesis that Iaroslav and Ingegerde were the parents of Agatha. The flaw in this argument was pointed out by Faris and Richardson [Faris-Richardson (1998), 229]. The problem with Jetté's logic is revealed when we ask the question "Who was named after whom?" Agatha's daughters were obviously not named after the two Swedish princesses, who were not even born at the time. It would also be very difficult to argue that the Swedish princesses were named after Agatha's daughters, since children are seldom named after distant (alleged) cousins. According to the Russian Hypothesis, the alleged common ancestor of the two Margarets and two Christinas would be Olaf of Sweden, but no Margaret and Christina are known from the immediate families of Olaf and his wife who would explain the supposed inheritance of these names. In fact, on the Swedish side, the names of Margaret and Christina could very well have come from the apparently unknown family of Inge's second wife Helene, who was the mother of these two daughters [Kønigsfeldt (1856), table 12, 152 & n. 51]. Since none of the proposed parents of Agatha is known to have had a Margaret or Christina in their immediate family, this line of onomastic research is at a current dead end.

A similar flaw invalidates Pavsic's claim that the existence of Agatha of Kiev, daughter of Vladimir II, son of Vsevelod I, son of Iaroslav I gives support to the existence of a daughter of Iaroslav named Agatha [Pavsic (2001), 61, 86]. Without direct proof that the name Agatha had already appeared in the family of Iaroslav I at the time of the birth of the elder Agatha, there is no onomastic evidence for placing Agatha in Iaroslav's family. The existence of an individual generations after the fact does not constitute good evidence. It is true that if the interesting conjecture of Jackman and Humphreys that Iaroslav was a son of Anna of Byzantium is valid, Iaroslav would have had a grandaunt named Agatha [Jackman (2000), 47; Humphreys (2004), 284-5; Jackman (2008), 66-75], which would in turn be onomastically favorable to the Russian Hypothesis. However, that conjecture is extremely speculative, and as it stands, the only one of the proposed theories for which the presence of the name Agatha can be regarded as an onomastic positive is the Bulgarian Hypothesis, which would make Eadweard's wife Agatha the granddaughter of another Agatha.

After noting that the elder children of Agatha's daughter Margaret were named after members of the English royal family, Pavsic states that "(t)he names given to the other three (Alexander, David, Mary) were alien to Scotland and England, and thus must have been inherited from the family of Margaret's mother, Agatha." [Pavsic (2001), 57] In fact, this is a serious overstatement, and these names appear to be at too distant a generation to provide any convincing onomastic evidence about Agatha's origin. Pavsic seems to be making two underlying assumptions here for which the evidence is insufficient. First, he is apparently assuming that the family of Malcolm III's mother is known and can be ruled out as a source for these names. In fact, the earliest testimony that we have about Malcolm's mother is from the fourteent century , and there is no certain evidence about her origin [see the page of Malcolm's mother Suthen]. The second apparent assumption is that these children were necessarily named after close relatives of one of their grandparents. The closest theoretical possibility of onomastic influence regarding these names is that Iaroslav I had a half-brother Gleb whose baptismal name was David [Ingham (1998a), 219-220]. The next closest possibility is that under the Bulgarian Hypothesis, Agatha's conjectured father Gavril Radomir had an uncle named David [Mladjov (2003), 74]. Thus, for example, if the Russian Hypothesis were true, it could be suggested that David I of Scotland was named after the baptismal (not given) name of a half-brother of his great-grandfather. Or, if the Bulgarian Hypothesis were true, David I would supposedly be named after a brother of his great-great-grandfather. These are very tenuous connections, not at all convincing as onomastic evidence. Agatha's grandchildren were in all probability born in Scotland, and there is no good reason to believe that the baptismal names of obscure Russian (presumed) relatives played a significant role in their naming. At the time Agatha's grandchildren Alexander and David were born, their parents already had numerous sons, and they may have been looking outside their family for names. The Biblical king David is an obvious candidate in the case of David I.

Thus, the use of onomastic evidence as positive evidence leaves us with very little. The name Agatha gives us one "plus" in the column of the Bulgarian Hypothesis (which would seem to be cancelled by "minuses" in other, non-onomastic evidence, as discussed elsewhere on these pages), with no other Agathas in the candidate families to offer support. The names Margaret and Christina do not appear as close relatives of proposed parents of Agatha, and examples named David are too far removed in number of generations to be convincing.

This brings us to the use of onomastic evidence as negative evidence. It has been suggested that some of the hypotheses can be ruled out as improbable because the use of the name Agatha cannot be readily explained under these hypotheses. In fact, we have already seen that the only hypothesis for which the name Agatha is clearly present among close relatives of the proposed parents is the Bulgarian Hypothesis. Yet, the Bulgarian Hypothesis is weak in other ways, and is far from being the most likely of the available conjectures. Thus, we would like to know the degree to which the lack of an obvious onomastic match can be regarded as negative evidence for a relationship. Thinness of records makes the use of onomastic evidence as negative evidence less reliable, for there is no guarantee that the relative after whom somebody was named actually appears in the records. Thus, negative onomastic evidence is the most useful when the names of the parents and siblings of the putative parents are well documented.

This last point is most relevant in the attempt to use the name Agatha as evidence against the German Hypothesis, which suggests that Agatha is a daughter of Liudolf von Braunschweig. In fact, there seems to be no proof of the identity of the paternal grandparents of Liudolf, and we likewise have nothing but unconfirmed conjectures for the parentage of Liudolf's wife Gertrude. Given these uncertainties, how can we say with confidence that Liudolf and /or Gertrude had no relative named Agatha? This shows how difficult it is to get negative information from onomastics in a poorly documented period.

However, there is another facet to this argument which has not yet been mentioned, which might be called geographical onomastics. The names Agatha, Margaret, and Christina were rare in Germany at the time, but they were more common in Eastern Europe and the Byzantine Empire. Ingham has noted that these names were in the Russian Litany of All Saints of the eleventh or twelfth centuries [Ingham (1998a), 220]. Thus, the name Agatha was a more likely name for a child born in the east than one born in the west. This tilts the evidence slightly in favor of the "eastern" theories (Russian Hypothesis, Polish Hypothesis, etc.) compared to the "western" ones (German Hypothesis, Bruno Hypothesis, etc).

There are two different arguments which, if valid, would remove this negative evidence from the German Hypothesis, but neither of them are convincing. Donald C. Jackman, who accepts the German Hypothesis as proven, gives Liudolf's father Bruno a conjectured distant Byzantine ancestry, and would explain Agatha's name on that basis [Jackman (2000), 40-1, 56]. However, this supposed Byzantine ancestry is based on unconvincing evidence. On the other hand, Faris and Richardson speculated that if Agatha was first married to a Russian and then to Eadweard, the name Agatha might have been given to her at her first marriage, and she would have been born with a different (presumably German) name. As they acknowledge, this scenario is very speculative, and there is no direct evidence for it [Faris-Richardson (1998), 233-4].

Thus, for the most part, onomastics provides no major evidence in the problem of Agatha's origin. It is a definite plus for the Bulgarian Hypothesis but does not offer any significant evidence in support of any of the other hypotheses. However, it does slant things slightly in favor of the "eastern" hypotheses versus the "western" hypotheses.


Appendix 2: Was Eadmund married to a Hungarian princess?

Ailred of Rievaulx, who personally knew Agatha's grandson king David I of Scotland, states that Eadmund, brother of Eadweard the Exile, was married to the daughter of the king of Hungary, and died shortly thereafter ["Porro Edmundo filiam suam [i.e., of the king of Hungary] dedit uxorem; Edwardo filiam germani sui Henrici imperatoris in matrimonium junxit. Sed paulo post Edmundus de temporalibus ad æterna transfertur: Edwardus sospitate et prosperitate fruitur." Ailred of Rievaulx, Genealogia Regum Anglorum, PL 195: 733]. Did such a marriage occur? If so, how does that affect the arguments involving Eadweard's marriage? Note that if the Hungarian king in question is identified as Stephen I, then Ailred's statement could clearly be regarded as a variant of the Hungarian Hypothesis, and thus much of the discussion for that hypothesis is likewise relevant here.

Often overlooked, Ailred's statement has not completely escaped notice. Lappenberg accepted the marriage, identifying Stephen I as the Hungarian king, and stated that Eadmund's widow married Eppo of Nellenburg and was the mother of St. Eberhard [Lappenburg (1843-81), 243]. Searle included the marriage in his tables, and gave Eadmund's wife the name Hedwig [Searle (1899), 350]. Ritchie comments on the distinction that Ailred makes between the wives of Eadmund and Eadweard [Ritchie (1954), 391]. Ronay not only accepts the marriage, but devotes an entire chapter to it, embellishing the story in the same way that he does throughout the book [Ronay (1989), 102-8]. Keynes mentions the marriage as an additional detail of Ailred which "may be reliable" [Keynes (1985), 367-8 n. 15].

First, we can eliminate Lappenberg's red herring that Eadmund's widow was the mother of St. Eberhard. According to the life of Eberhard, he was the son of Eppo, count of Nellenburg, by his wife Hedwig, daughter of Stephen (I), king of Hungary and his wife Gisela [Vita B. Eberhardi Monachi, AASS Apr., 1: 670]. In a notice in the autograph copy of Bernold's chronicle at the monastery of St. Salvatore in Schaffhausen, there is a statement that count Ebbo of Nellenburg was married in 1009 to Hedwig, consobrina of king Heinrich [Bernold, Chronicon (Annales Scafhusenses), s.a. 1009, MGH SS 5: 388; Hirsch (1862-75), 1: 539]. St. Eberhard is apparently the count Eberhard who appears in a document of 1037 [ibid., 1: 540], and St. Eberhard was recently deceased in 1079, having been 60 years old. Thus, Eberhard's mother could hardly have been married to Eadmund, who was born in 1016.

As noted in the discussion of the Hungarian Hypothesis, Stephen I could plausibly have been the father of a daughter the same age as or younger than Eadmund, although it is likely that his children were somewhat older. Furthermore, if Eadmund died as a son-in-law of Stephen I before Stephen's death in 1038, then there is no reason to expect that he would have appeared in the scanty Hungarian sources. Thus, the absence of any mention of such a marriage in continental sources would be easier to explain in Eadmund's case than it would be in Eadweard's case. Since the name of the Hungarian king who was Eadmund's supposed father-in-law is not specified by Ailred, the possibility that he was Peter Orseolo or Aba Samuel could also be considered. Far too little is known about the chronology of these two monarchs to decide if either one of them could make a chronologically feasible father-in-law of Eadmund, but there seems to be little evidence that would rule out either one of these possibilites.

So did Eadmund marry a daughter of a Hungarian king? A positive answer to this question would help to clarify some of the puzzling contradictions about Agatha's origin. If Eadmund did marry a Hungarian king's daughter, then confusion between the brothers Eadmund and Eadweard would explain all of the appearances of Agatha as the daughter of a Hungarian king. Ronay implied this confusion when he assigned Geoffrey Gaimar's confused and unreliable story of the Hungarian marriage of Margaret's father to Margaret's uncle instead [Ronay (1989), 102-8]. A Hungarian marriage for Eadmund is very plausible, but the evidence falls short of proof.


Appendix 3: The meaning of germanus

One important issue in the Agatha controversy has been the meaning of the statement that "Eadwardus vero Agatham, filiam germani imperatoris Heinrici, in matrimonium accepit." [John Worc. s.a. 1017 (1: 181)] In particular, what information does the word germanus (genetive singular germani) give us? As a noun, the classical Latin meaning of germanus is "full brother" (i.e., a brother having both parents in common), while the corresponding feminine form germana means "full sister". As an adjective, it can mean "of the same parents", "genuine", or "true", and capitalized, it can mean "German".

Grammatically, in the sentence in question, it is ambiguous whether germani is a genetive noun modifying filiam, or a genetive adjective modifying the genetive noun imperatoris. Thus, since there was no standard convention for capitalization in medieval manuscripts, the words "filiam germani imperatoris Heinrici" have sometimes been interpreted as "daughter of the German emperor Heinrich." However, it would be extremely rare during that time for the "Roman" emperor to be referred to as the "German emperor". Such nomenclature is not used by John of Worcester. Also, there is no emperor Heinrich who would make a believable father for Agatha. Thus, the meaning "German" for this instance of the word germanus can be rejected with confidence.

In fact, it is widely agreed that the word germanus, as it appears in this sentence, refers to a genealogical relationship. But what relationship? The usage of medieval Latin often varies from that of classical Latin. Various opinions on the meaning of the word have been stated by authors writing on Agatha. Fest said that the word germanus could mean brother, but could also mean "brother-in-law" [Fest (1938), 125 (not seen by me), quoted by Herzog (1939), 33, n. 3]. Moriarty states that "(t)he word 'germani' is a vague one" [Moriarty (1952), 56]. Ritchie states that the term means "full brother" [Ritchie ((1954), 390]. Vajay, who was mainly concerned with eliminating the "brother-in-law" possibility mentioned by Fest, is not very clear about his definition of the word, but he cited an entry in Thesaurus Linguae Latinae indicating that the definition included siblings and half-siblings ["Germanus-a-um. ... I: spectat ad fraternitatem. A: ... sensu stricto de iis qui naturali fraternitatis vinculo continentur, plerumque de fratribus (sororibus), qui ex iisdem parentibus orti sunt ... de iis denique, qui ab eadem matre diversoque patre geniti sunt ..." Vajay (1962), 78 n. 27, citing Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (Leipzig, 1919), 5: 1914 (not seen by me); (trans.: I: it refers to brotherhood. A: ... in the strict sense concerning those who are held together by bonds of natural (i.e., by birth) brotherhood, generally concerning brothers (sisters), who spring from the same parents ... finally concerning those, who are born of the same mother or father ...)]. Ronay regularly translates the word germanus as "kinsman", but states that "(i)n medieval Latin germanus meant brother or cousin, even in the vaguest formulation a close blood relation but never a relation by marriage." [Ronay (1989), 111, passim] Jetté does not discuss the word, but translates it as "brother" [Jetté (1996), 420]. Ingham follows Ronay in translating the word germanus from John of Worcester as "kinsman" [Ingham (1998b), 248 & n. 46], but then states that "John himself surely intended germanus to mean 'blood brother.' " [ibid., 249] He is right in stating that more evidence is needed on the subject [ibid., 260]. Humphreys translates germanus as "close male relation (brother?)" [Humphreys (2003), 32].

Since there appeared to be no studies on how the word germanus was used by John of Worcester, I decided to do such a study. With the assistance of the Google Books website, I searched for various declensions of the word germanus and of its corresponding feminine form germana in John of Worcester's work, turning up 55 examples [John Worc., i, 26 (2), 30, 32, 44, 58, 60, 65, 70, 101 (2), 117, 118 (2), 121, 130, 134, 137, 138, 144, 162, 180, 181 (2), 182, 193, 211, 212, 223, 226, 261, 265, 269, 272 (2), 273, 274 (3), 275; ii, 11, 19, 20, 21, 27, 34, 40 (3), 45, 49, 50 (2), 225]. I did a page-by-page search for the word for about fifty pages without finding any instances not found by the other search, so the list is likely to give a large majority of the occurrences of the word, although it is hard to rule out the possibility that a few examples were missed. The feminine form germana was included to increase the sample size, because it would have almost certainly been treated as analogous to the masculine form. Of the 55 occurrences, two concerned Agatha, one from the main body of the work and one from the genealogical appendix [ibid., 1: 181, 275]. This leaves 53 instances to study John's use of the word.

Of these 53 cases, all but one involve individuals who are stated to have been siblings by various secondary sources [mostly Searle (1899)]. This is strong evidence that John of Worcester considered germanus to mean "brother" and germana to mean "sister". In some of these cases, this reasoning could be considered circular, if, for example, John of Worcester's statement that A was a germanus of B is the primary source for the statement in a secondary source that A and B were siblings [e.g., "... clitonem Cinehardum, regis videlicet Sigeberti germanum, ..." John Worc., s.a. 784 (1: 60); Searle (1899), 339]. However, even in these cases, it shows that it has been common among scholars to translate germanus as "brother". In fact, some of John of Worcester's references to the word also give other information which directly verifies the sibling relation [e.g., "Ingels et Ine, ille famosus Occidentalium Saxonum rex, germani duo fuerunt; ... qui fuerunt filii Coenred, ..." John Worc. s.a. 849 (1: 70-1)], and some are evidently a direct translation of the Anglo-Saxon words bróðor (brother) or sweostor (sister) from a version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle [e.g., "Aþulf ealdormon Ealhswiðe broðor" ASC(A), s.a. 903; "dux Athulfus, Ealhswithæ reginæ, matris regis Eadwardi, germanus" John Worc., s.a. 903 (1: 118).

Other than the two references to Agatha, the one case not involving verified siblings occurs under the year 694, where a certain Mul, previously called a brother (frater) of the West-Saxon king Ceadwalla ["Ceadwallæ regis West-Saxonem fratrem Mul" John Worc., s.a. 687 (1: 40)], is called a germanus of Ine, Ceadwalla's successor ["Cantwarienses, facta pace cum Ine West-Saxonum rege, III.DCC.L. libras illi dedere; quia, ut prælibavimus, Mul germanum suum combussere." John Worc. s.a. 694 (1: 44)]. Now, assuming that the West-Saxon genealogies (perhaps not reliable) are accepted, Ceadwalla and Ine had different fathers, who were themselves distant cousins [see Searle (1899), 330-5]. Thus, in order to make Mul a brother of both Ceadwalla and Ine, one would have to conjecture either that Ceadwalla and Ine were half-brothers through their mother or that Mul was a half-brother of both Ceadwalla and Ine on different sides. This seems rather unlikely, and we would therefore appear at first glance to have a case in which distant cousins were called germani. However, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 694, John's probable source, has no mention of the relationship between Ine and Mul ["Her Cantware geþingodan wiþ Ine, & him gesaldon .xxx. m. forþon þe hie ær Mul for bærndon."ASC(A) s.a. 694], and it seems likely that the appearance of the word germanum in John's 694 entry is a result of a confusion (by either John or his source) between Ine and his predecessor Ceadwalla. Thus, except for this single example which is probably an error, there seems to be little reason to doubt that John of Worcester intended germanus to mean "brother", and we can reject the attempts to give germanus as used by John of Worcester a looser translation such as "relative".

Just as important for the Agatha controversy is the question of whether germanus/germana necessarily means "full sibling" or whether the meaning of "half-sibling" is allowed. Of the 52 occurrences of germanus/germana where siblings were involved, many were full siblings, and many of the cases are undetermined because only one parent is known. However, at least two of the occurrences involve individuals who were verifiably half-siblings. Under the year 672, John states that the abbess St. Æbbe was a germana of kings Osweald and Oswiu of Northumbria ["Sanctæ Æbbæ abbatissæ, videlicet sancti Oswaldi et Oswiu regum germanæ" John Worc. s.a. 672 (1: 30)]. However, in his life of St. Cuthbert, Bede states that Æbbe was a uterine sister of Oswiu ["Æbbe, ... erat soror uterina regis Osuiu." Vita S. Cudbercti, x, 16, Bede, Opera Minora, 68]. Now, John on an earlier occasion states that Osweald, Oswiu, and Æbbe (among others) were all children of Æthelfrith ["Æthelfrith ... XXIV. annis tenuit; cui sunt geniti VII. filii, Eanfrith, Oswald, Oslaf, Oswiu, Offa, Oswudu, Oslac, et una filia Æbbe nomine." John Worc. s.a. 593 (1: 9-10)]. Thus, it could be argued that John intended to make Æbbe a full sister of Osweald, due to his mistake in making Æbbe a daughter of Æthelfrith. Another example is that John makes Ludwig (Louis) the German a germanus of Charles (Karl) the Bald, whereas they were half-brothers ["... qui Karolus [Charles the Fat] Luduwici regis filius erat; ipse vero Luduwicus germanus fuit Karoli regis Francorum, patris Juthittæ prædictæ; qui duo germani fuerunt filii Luduwici; ..." John Worc. s.a. 885 (1: 101); for the relationship of these two half-brothers, see the page of emperor Louis the Pious]. Thus, it would appear that John was allowing the definition of germani to extend to half-brothers. In the other hand, it might be argued here that the word germanus means that John thought that Ludwig and Charles were full brothers. If so, it still illustrates how men who were only half-brothers could turn up as germani in the records.

In a long article on relationship terms in 1913, Joseph Depoin discussed the word germanus in some detail [Depoin (1913), 59-63]. He offers several examples where half-brothers with the same father are called germani. For example, Grifo, half-brother of Pépin "the Short", is called his germanus in the Annales Regni Francorum under the year 753, although the related so-called Annals of Einhard calls him a frater ["Pippinus rex ... Grifo ... germanus eius ..." Ann. Reg. Franc., s.a. 753, ARF 10; cf. "Pippinus rex ... fratris sui Grifonis ..." Ann. Einhard., s.a. 753, ARF 11; Depoin (1913), 60]. Also, a charter of Charles the Bald for the church of Nevers calls his half-brother Pépin of Aquitaine "germanus noster Pepinus" [Depoin (1913), 60]. Depoin's conclusion was that germanus meant specifically "brother having the same father". His main evidence for this was a tenth century piece from the cartulary of Cormery in which an abbot Robert refers to his full brother Gérard as his "frater germanus et uterinus" [Depoin (1913), 59]. The logic behind this is that since frater uterinus means "brother having the same mother", frater germanus must mean "brother having the same father". While this may be the meaning in this particular instance, Depoin does not make a convincing case that this practice was uniform.

In fact, there are cases in which the word germanus is evidently allowed to include cases where the individuals have only the same mother in common. An example of this comes from Adam of Bremen, where Cnut of England and Denmark and Olaf of Sweden are called germani fratres ["Eodemque tempore memorabiles aquilonis reges obierunt Chnut et Olaph, germani fratres." Adam of Bremen, ii, 71, MGH SS 7: 332]. It would be hard to argue here that Adam thought that Cnut and Olaf had the same parents, for elsewhere in the same work Adam states that after the death of Erik (Olaf's father), Svend married Erik's widow, the mother of Olaf, by whom he had Cnut ["Post mortem diu optatam Herici Suein ... accepit uxorem Herici relictam, matrem Olaph, quae peperit ei Chnut." Adam of Bremen, ii, 37, MGH SS 7: 319]. Thus, Adam thought that Olaf anf Cnut had only a mother in common, and yet he thought it appropriate to call them germani fratres. Another example comes from the tenth century life of abbot John of Gorze, where it is stated that bishop Adalbero I of Metz had several fratres ex matre, who are then referred to as germani. ["... quod fratres ei plures ex matre erant ... ipsis germanis ..." Vita Ioh. Gorz., c. 110, p. 139; also at MGH SS 4: 368]. This passage was noted by Depoin, who explained it by suggesting that Adalbero's father Wigeric had sons by another wife previous to his wife Cunégonde (Adalbero's mother), and that in this case fratres ex matre was being used to distinguish Adalbero's full brothers from his brother(s) who had only the same father [Depoin (1913), 60]. However, this explanation is undermined by the fact that there is no proof that Wigeric had a wife previous to Cunégonde, while Cunégonde is known to have had two husbands [see the pages of Cunégonde and Wigeric for furhter details]. Thus, the natural conclusion is that at least one of these fratres ex matre had a different father from Adalbero, for otherwise there is no clear need for the qualification ex matre.

One thing that needs to be emphasized is that there was no direct method of enforcement which would compel authors or scribes to use the "right" definition of such a word. Nevertheless, we generally expect that most authors having a reasonable reputation at least exercised some degree of care in their use of words. But how much care? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that a hypothetical writer intends to use the strictly defined version of germanus (meaning full brother), and also uses the word frater (meaning either full brother or half-brother). How would this work in practice? If our author is very careful and diligent, but also wants to convey as much information as possible, he probably uses germanus for those cases in which he is certain that the individuals had two parents in common, and frater for all cases where they are half-siblings or he is uncertain. What happens if he doesn't remember if the two individuals were full brothers or half-brothers, but knows where to find out? Does he just play it safe and call them fratres, or does he check his sources to see if the word germanus is appropriate? Clearly, this might well depend on whether the information is easily at hand or requires significant effort to find. But would the typical author be that careful in all cases? If a moderately careful writer knew that two men had one parent in common, but had no specific information about the other parent(s), would such an author always avoid calling the individuals germani? If the answer to this last question is "no" (which seems to be the case), then we can see how in practice, germanus might be used as almost interchangeable with frater, so that half-brothers can appear as germani, as in the examples provided.

For the Agatha controversy, however, the most important question is how John of Worcester used the word germanus. We have already seen that he evidently considered germani/germanae to be siblings, for the one exception to this is more likely an error than a deliberate description of distant cousins as germani. But did he consider germani/germanae to be full siblings or did he consider the word to extend to half-siblings? If the former, how careful was he? We have already seen examples of John using the word germanus/germana for half-siblings, and there were other cases where he probably had no information whether or not siblings were full siblings and yet still used the word germanus or germana (e.g., the case cited above involing Cyneheard and Sigebert). Thus, either he intended the word germanus to extend to half-siblings or he was not always one hundred per-cent careful to distinguish between the words germanus and frater.

So, what should be concluded from John of Worcester's statement that Agatha was "filiam germani imperatoris Heinrici". Taking the statement of John's genealogical appendix at face value that the Heinrich in question was the emperor Heinrich III, we run into the fact that Heinrich had no germani in the strictest sense of the word, i.e., no full brothers. However, he did have three known half-brothers through his mother [see Appendix 4]. This would seem to lead to four main possibilities:

  1. The word germanus meant "brother" and Agatha was the daughter of a half-brother of Heinrich III.
  2. The word germanus referred to a more distant relationship and Agatha was the daughter of some other relative of Heinrich III.
  3. The statement was not referring to Heinrich III, and one of the first two possibilites holds for some other emperor.
  4. The statement of John of Worcester about the origin of Agatha is inaccurate and/or unreliable.

Options number (2) and (3) have sometimes been preferred as a method for reconciling the evidence of John of Worcester with some other theory [e.g., Ritchie (1954), 392; Parsons (2002), 52-4; Mladov (2003), 56; Ravilious (2009), 73, 76]. However, as we have seen, John's typical use of the term germanus means a sibling, making item number (2) improbable. And John's explicit mention of Heinrich III in his genealogical appendix seriously undermines any attempt to argue item number (3). Thus, it is highly probable that one of the options (1) or (4) is true. Another way of stating the same conclusion would be as follows: If the statement of John of Worcester that Agatha was "filiam germani imperatoris Heinrici" is reliable (a hypothesis which can be plausibly argued either way), then the likely conclusion is that Agatha is a daughter of one of the half-brothers of Heinrich III.


Appendix 4: The mother and half-brothers of Heinrich III

The empress Gisela, mother by the emperor Konrad II of the emperor Heinrich III, had two additional husbands prior to Konrad II, and had sons by each marriage. In the German Hypothesis discussed above, these half-brothers of Heinrich III are candidates for the father of Agatha. Thus, it is interesting to know what can be discovered about Gisela and these elder sons (questions of chronology being the most important), independent of the sources mentioning Agatha. There is insufficient discussion of these matters by the main sources arguing in favor of the German Hypothesis [Herzog (1939); Vajay (1962); Ronay (1984); Ronay (1985); Faris & Richardson (1998)]. However, there is a voluminous literature on Gisela's family [e.g., Hirsch (1862-75), 1: 461-6; Böttger (1865), 450-498; Rieckenberg (1952); Dobbertin (1962), 48-51; Dobbertin (1972), 63-4; Hlawitschka (1987), 126-144; the last of which gives a good overview of the literature].

Among the earlier sources, only Annalista Saxo mentions both of the two previous marriages of Gisela ["... et Heinricum, filium suum ex Gisla, regem fecit. ... Gisla nupsit primum Ernesto, filio Liuppaldi marchionis, genuitque illi Herimannum ducem Suevorum. Duce Ernesto defuncto, accepit eam uxorem comes Bruno de Bruneswic, peperitque illi Liudolfum comitem. Comite Brunone etiam defuncto, duxit eam violenter Conradus suus cognatus, genuitque ex ea hunc de quo loquimur Heinricum." Annalista Saxo, s.a. 1026, MGH SS 6: 676; "Eo anno Liudolfus comes Saxonicus, filius Brunonis de Bruneswic et Gisle inperatricis, 9. Kal. Maii inmatura morte cum maximo suorum conprovincialium merore obiit. Et eius frater Herimannus dux Alemannie, filius Ernesti ducis et eiusdem Gisle inperatricis, inperatoris expedicionem in Romanie partes secutus, subita infirmitate preventus, bonis flebilis omnibus, 16 Kal. Iulii de hac vita decessit. Hi ambo privigni erant inperatoris Conradi, fratres Heinrici regis ex matre inperatrice. Genuit autem Liudolfus ex Gertrude comitissa Brunonem, qui iuxta villam Niethorp occisus est, et Ekbertum seniorem marchionem." ibid., s.a. 1038, MGH SS 6: 682]. Note that the 1026 entry states that Gisela was married first to Ernst (I) von Schwaben, second to Bruno von Braunschweig, and third to Konrad, clearly identified as emperor Konrad II in the 1038 entry. The entry also gives one son for each of the three marriages. The fact that Liudolf was a stepson (privignus) of Konrad II and a brother of Hermann IV of Swabia is verified by the Annals of Hildesheim ["Liudolfus comes, privignus imperatoris, 9. Kal. Maii inmatura morte obiit. Et eius frater Herimannus, Alaemanniae dux, subita infirmitate praeventus, bonis flebilis omnibus 16. Kal. Iulii denotavit." Ann. Hildesheim., s.a. 1038, MGH SS 3: 102], and by several other sources mentioned below. Also, Thietmar of Merseburg states that Konrad married the widow of duke Ernst ["Sauciatas est ibi Cono, cui iam inclite nupsit neptis sua, Ernesti ducis vidua." Thietmar, Chron., vii, 45, MGH SS 3: 856].

An additional brother Ernst II, son of Gisela by Ernst I von Schwaben, is revealed by other sources. Hermann von Reichenau (Herimannus Augiensis) states that duke Ernst I was succeeded by his son and that his widow married the future emperor Konrad, that duke Ernst II (d. 1030) was a stepson of Konrad II, and that duke Hermann IV was his brother ["Ernust dux Alamanniae in venatu ab Adalberone comite, feram appetente, sagitta vulneratus interiit, et ducatum eius filius aequivocus, viduam vero Giselam Counradus, filius Heinrici filii Ottonis ducis, futurus postea imperator, accepit." Herimannus Aug., Chronicon, s.a. 1015, MGH SS 5: 119; "Rebellio et discordia multa contra Counradum regem a patruele eius Counrado et Ernusto duce Alamanniae, privigno eius, Welph quoque Suevigena comite et aliis pluribus facta." ibid., s.a. 1025, MGH SS 5: 120; "Ernust dux cum exilio relaxatus ducatum suum recepisset, pravorum consilio usus, et denuo imperatori refragatus, ducatu privatur, et frater eius iunior Herimannus dux Suevorum efficitur. ... Ernust ..., cum aliis ceciderunt." ibid., s.a. 1030, MGH SS 5: 121]. Wipo, in his life of Konrad II, also confirms that Ernst II was a brother of the future Heinrich III through his mother, and that Ernst II and Hermann IV were brothers ["Sed dux Ernustus ..., interventu matris suae reginae et fratris sui Heinrici adhuc parvuli ..." Wipo, Vita Chuonradi imp., c. 10 (an. 1025), MGH SS 11: 264; "Imperator vero ducatum Alamanniae Herimanno iuniori, fratri eiusdem Ernusti, dedit, eumque Warmanno Constantiensi episcopo commendavit." Wipo, Vita Chuonradi imp., c. 25 (an. 1030), MGH SS 11: 268].

Little that is certain is known of Gisela's husband Bruno von Brauschweig. He mainly appears when the parentage of his son Liudolf is being given, and identification with men named Bruno in other records is not certain. Liudolf appears on 1 July 1028 as a witness to an act of his stepfather Konrad II, where he is called a privignus of the emperor ["Liudulfus comes privignus imperatoris" Hlawitschka (1987), 127 n. 55, citing MGH DD K II, 124]. He died on 15 or 23 April 1038 [Ann. Hildesheim., s.a. 1038, MGH SS 3: 102, see above; Annalista Saxo, s.a. 1038, MGH SS 6: 682, see above; both of these sources give 23 April; the Weissenburg necrology gives 15 April: "xvii. kal. mai. ... Liutolfus filius Gisilæ imperatricis" Fontes rerum Germ., 4: 311; Breßlau (1879-84), 2: 329 n. 1; for Liudolf as margrave in Friesland, see Böttger (1865), 490ff.]. As noted above, Liudolf's wife was named Gertrude [Annalista Saxo, s.a. 1038, MGH SS 6: 682; for a discussion of her possible parentage (which I did not find convincing), see Hlawitschka (1987), 144-8]. Liudolf's son Ekbert is mentioned in an act of Heinrich III dated 1051 and in an act of Heinrich IV dated 3 July 1057 ["... comitatum, quem Brvn eiusque filius scilicet noster frater Livtolfus, nec non et eius filius Echbreht comites ..." Hlawitschka (1987), 127 n. 54, citing MGH DD H III, 279; "... comitatum, quem Brvn eiusque filius scilicet patruus noster Livtolfus, nec non et eius filius Echbreht comites ..." Hlawitschka (1987), 127 n. 53, citing MGH DD H IV, 22]. Annalista Saxo mentions Liudolf's sons Bruno and Ekbert in the entry for 1057 ["... a Brunone et Ecberto comitibus, filiis Liudolfi de Bruneswic, qui fuerat patruus regis, ..." Annalista Saxo, s.a. 1057, MGH SS 6: 692]. Bruno and Gisela have been given additional conjectural children by some. Jackman gives Gisela and Bruno a daughter who married Konrad von Haldensleben [Jackman (2000), 23, 50, 53; Genealogia comitum Neuburgensium sive Formbacensium, MGH SS 24: 77 shows Gertrud, wife of Friedrich von Formbach and said by another source to be a daughter of Konrad, as a neptis of Heinrich III; the table at p. 53 apparently also shows Friedrich's father Thiemo as a son of Bruno and Gisela, but this appears to be an error in printing the table and not a relationship that was intended by the author; the wife of Konrad is also sometimes placed as a daughter of Gisela's son Liudolf, see Vajay (1971), 254]. Böttger gives Gisela and Bruno a daughter Gisela, who married Bertold, count of Sangerhausen [Böttger (1865), 457-8, based on a late chronicle].

Gisela was already married to Ernst in 1012 when, on the death of her brother Hermann III (d. 1 April 1012), duke of Swabia, her husband Ernst succeeded as duke ["Herimannus quoque iunior dux Alamanniae defunctus, Ernustum, sororis suae Giselae maritum, successorem accepit." Herimannus Augiensis, Chronicon, s.a. 1012, MGH SS 5: 119; for the date of death of Hermann III, see Stälin (1841), 473 n. 3]. Ernst I was killed by an arrow on 31 May1015, and was succeeded by his son Ernst II, who was still very small ("parvulus") [Herimannus Aug., Chronicon, s.a. 1015, MGH SS 5: 119, see above; "Ernist dux sagitta occisus est, et filius eius parvulus successit." Ann. Einsidlenses, s.a. 1015, MGH SS 3: 144; "... 2. Kalendas Iunii discessit, sepultus in Wirciburg iuxta patrem suum marchionem Liupoldum, ..." Thietmar, Chron., vii, 10, MGH SS 3: 841; "II. K. [Jun.] Ernost dux" Calend. Merseb., 115; "ii. kal. iun. Ernust dux" Kal. Nec. Inf. Mon. Ratisponae, Fontes rerum Germ. 3: 484]. According to Wipo, remarking on events between death of Heinrich II on 13 July 1024 and the election of Konrad II on 4 September 1024, Ernst II was still under the guardianship of his uncle archbishop Poppo at that time ["Treverensem quoque archiepiscopatum gubernavit Poppo, frater Ernusti ducis, vir pius et humilis, qui eodem tempore filium fratris sui, ducem Ernustum, cum ducatu Alamannico sub tutela habuit." Wipo, Vita Chuonradi imp., c. 1, MGH SS 11: 256]. However, in 1025 Ernst II rebelled against his stepfather Konrad II [Herimannus Aug., Chronicon, s.a. 1025, MGH SS 5: 120, see above]. In 1030, Ernst II was deprived of the duchy of Swabia, and he was killed on 17 August that year [Herimannus Aug., Chronicon, s.a. 1030, MGH SS 5: 121, see above; on the date of death, see Breßlau (1879-84), 1: 303 n. 1]. On hearing of the death of his stepson, the emperor Konrad II is said to have made the remark: "Seldom do rabid dogs enlarge the brood." ["Hoc cum nunciatum esset imperatori, fertur dixisse: 'Raro canes rabidi foeturam multiplicabunt.' " Wipo, Vita Chuonradi imp., c. 28 (an. 1030), MGH SS 11: 269]. This has often been taken to imply that Ernst II had no children [Dobbertin (1962), 49 n. 21; Hlawitschka (1987), 131; on the claim that Ernst married and had children, see also Breßlau (1879-84), 1: 468-72]. According to Wipo, Ernst's brother Hermann IV was under the guardianship of bishop Warmann of Konstanz at the time he succeeded his brother as duke of Swabia ["... Warmanno Constantiensi episcopo, qui tunc vice ducis Herimanni Alamanniam gubernabat, ..." Wipo, Vita Chuonradi imp., c. 28 (an. 1030), MGH SS 11: 269; see also ibid., c. 25 (an. 1030), MGH SS 11: 268, quoted above]. According to Annalista Saxo and the Annals of Hildesheim, Hermann died on 16 June 1038 [Annalista Saxo, s.a. 1038, MGH SS 6: 682, see above; Ann. Hildesheim., s.a. 1038, MGH SS 3: 102, see above]. Hermann von Reichenau gives the date as 28 July 1038 ["Herimannus quoque, dux Alamanniae, suis admodum flebili morte 5. Kal. Aug. occumbens, Tridenti tumulatus est." Herimannus Aug., Chronicon, s.a. 1038, MGH SS 5: 123].

Gisela's marriage with Konrad occurred probably late in 1016 or early in 1017. Their son, the future Heinrich III, was born on 28 October 1017 [Wipo states that Heinrich was in his eleventh year when he was consecrated as (joint-)king on Easter 1028: "Anno Domini 1028 indictione 11. imperator Chuonradus filium suum Heinricum, magni ingenii et bonae indolis puerum aetate undecim annorum, ... Tunc in principali dominica paschae consecratus et coronatus, ..." Wipo, Vita Chuonradi imp., c. 23, MGH SS 11: 267-8; Berthold places his death in his thirty-ninth year: Steindorff (1874-81), 1: 2 n. 1, citing MGH SS 5: 270 (the latter not checked by me); "... die natalitio apostolorum Simonis et Iudae, quo scilicet die etiam natus fuerat, sepulturae est traditum." Lambert von Hersfeld, Annales, s.a. 1056, MGH SS 5: 157-8; "Idem imperator 3. Non. Octobr. defunctus, anno aetatis suae 41. in die natalis sui, hoc est 5. Kalend. Novemb. Spirae a papa sepelitur, ..." Annales Augustani, s.a. 1056; the "aetatis suae 41" of the last source will not stand against the combined testimony of Wipo and Berthold, since there is not sufficient time between the death of Ernst of Swabia (31 May 1015) and 28 October 1015 for the marriage of Gisela and Konrad and the birth of Heinrich III; see also Steindorff (1874-81), 1: 2 n. 1]. Konrad and Gisela also had two daughters: Beatrix [Ann. Quedl., s.a. 1025, MGH SS 3: 90], and Mathilde, who was betrothed to king Henri I of France, but died before the marriage took place [Wipo, Vita Chuonradi imp., c. 32, MGH SS 11: 271]. Konrad II died on 4 June 1039 ["feria 2. hora diei 6. 2. Non. Iun. mense ... exspiravit." Ann. Hildesheim., s.a. 1039, MGH SS 3: 102; "... ex hac vita migravit 2. Non. Iunii, feria 2, indictione 7. [1039]" Wipo, Vita Chuonradi imp., c. 39, MGH SS 11: 274; Breßlau (1879-84), 2: 335 n. 2]. Gisela died on 14×5 February 1043 ["Gisela imperatrix apud Goslare ... 16. Kal. Mart. decessit, ..." Herimannus Aug., Chronicon, s.a. 1043, MGH SS 5: 124; most necrologies give 15 February, Steindorff (1874-81) 1: 173 n. 1].

The main points of controversy surrounding Gisela's family are raised in the following two related questions:

Before 1900, it was widely believed, based on numerous indications, that Gisela had been born around 989 or 990, i.e., about the same time as her third husband Konrad II. In 1900, the imperial graves in the cathedral of Speyer were opened, and a lead plaque was found which included a birthdate for Gisela. The main part of the inscription reads as follows.

ANNO. DOM. INCARN. D. CCCC. XCVIIII. III. IDVS NOV. FELICIT. NATAGISILA. IMPERATRIX. CVONRADI IMPERATORIS CONIVX. MAI PIISSIMI REGIS HENRICI. TERCII. INIMPERIO CVM VIRO SVO XIIII ANNIS MENSIBVS VIIII DIEBVS XVIII VIXII. INVIDVITATE AVT III ANNIS MENSIbus VIII diebus X domino serviens ex huius vite laboribus anno dominicae incarnat. MXLIII indictione XI Kal. XV. Mart. felicius ad dominum migravit. V. enim idus Martias sepulta ab episcopo Sigibodone Spirensi in eadem civitate presente filio suo Henrico ... [Rieckenberg (1952), 535-6; underlining indicates letters which are overlined in Rieckenberg's transcript; only the first three lines were completely engraved, indicated by capital letters]

This statement on this plaque, if correct, would place the birth of Gisela on 11 November 999, about a decate later than had previously been thought before the plaque's discovery. This has serious implications for the chronology of Gisela's children, which in turn would have definite consequences with regard to the German Hypothesis for the parentage of Agatha. As noted above, Gisela's son Heinrich III was born on 28 October 1017, and she had at least three sons born prior to Heinrich. Thus, if the plaque's birthdate were correct, Gisela would have been married to Ernst at the age of twelve or so, and would have had four children by her eighteenth birthday. In order for this to be at all believable, her three previous sons would have had to be born in rapid succession. Since there could be no child by a marriage previous to the one with Ernst, the marriage with Bruno would have to be the middle marriage, and thus supporters of a 999 birthdate for Gisela by necessity place the birth of Ernst II in 1014, Hermann in 1015, and Liudolf in 1016 [Brandenburg (1964), 8, 97; Dobbertin (1962), 49, 51; Dobbertin (1972), 63)]. The implications for the German Hypothesis are easy to see: If Gisela were born in 999, then the German Hypothesis would have a "tight" chronology (e.g., with Liudolf having Agatha ca. 1035 aged about 19, Agatha having Margaret ca. 1053 aged about 18, and Margaret having her first child ca. 1071 aged 18).

However, there are problems with the 999 birthdate, and also with the claim that the marriage to Bruno was the middle marriage. A number of indications that Gisela was significantly older than the supposed 999 birthdate, and that she was married to Bruno before she married Ernst, are given in the following list [see Hlawitschka (1987), 132-144].

To these reasons, one can add that the sources giving an early birthdate for Gisela or giving Bruno as the middle husband are not ideal. The lead plaque was clumsily made, and shows signs of having been made in great haste, undermining its reliability [Rieckenberg (1952), 536; Hlawitschka (1987), 133, 141]. Supporters of the date on the plaque point out that the most likely errors in copying the date would not produce an error of ten years [Dobbertin (1972), 63]. However, since the plaque was evidently made in a hurry, the date itself could have been hastily miscalculated. Also, as a source, Annalista Saxo is reasonably reliable, but it is not contemporary. Accidently mixing the order of three husbands is an error that could easily be made in such a work.

Thus, we are confronted with two sources making direct statements that Gisela was born in 999 and that Bruno was the middle husband, which are countered by numerous pieces of indirect evidence. While these pieces of evidence can be individually explained away with varying degrees of plausibility, their combined weight is quite strong. Thus, it must be concluded with a very high degree of probability that Gisela was born a decade or so earlier than 999, and that Bruno was her first husband. Her son Ernst was probably born about 1010 or earlier, and her son Liudolf a few years earlier than that. Once it is seen that the statements of the lead plaque about the birthdate of Gisela and of Annalista Saxo regarding the order of the marriage need to be set aside, these dates fit the remaining evidence fairly well.

It should be noted here that Liudolf has acquired other conjectured daughters who would then be sisters (or conjectured sisters) of Agatha if the German Hypothesis holds true. While none of these cases has any significant relevance to the case of Agatha, a couple of these supposed daughters merit a brief description here.

Of these, the most notable is Ida von Elsdorf, herself the subject of a significant literature [see, e.g., Krause (1875); Dobbertin (1962); Dobbertin (1972); Hlawitschka (1987), 128-155]. The apparent key to her ancestry is the statement of Albert von Stade, written two centuries after her birth, that she was a daughter of a brother of emperor Heinrich III and of a sister of pope Leo IX ["Hec [Ida] fuit filia fratris imperatoris Heinrici III, filia quoque sororis Leonis pape, qui et Bruno." Albert von Stade, Annales Stadenses, s.a. 1112, MGH SS 16: 319]. Thus, by process of elimination, because Heinrich's brothers Ernst II and Hermann IV are improbable candidates for the father of Ida, she has often been placed as a daughter of Liudolf [e.g., Krause (1875); Hlawitschka (1987), 128-155]. However, there is a chronological problem. Ida had a son Ekbert who was killed before 1054, evidently older than a mere child [Albert von Stade, Annales Stadenses, s.a. 1112, MGH SS 16: 319; Ida's avunculus Leo IX (d. 1054) was still pope at the time]. If Gisela were born in 999, then it would be clearly impossible for Ida to be her granddaughter. The chronology is extremely tight even if the birth of Gisela is placed a decade earlier. Dobbertin, who accepts the 999 birthdate of Gisela, would make Ida a stepdaughter of Liudolf by identifying Liudolf's wife Gertrude with the Gertrude, daughter of Ekbert, who was divorced from her husband Gottschalk in 1018 ["... Bernwardus episcopus ... Godescalcum, Eggihardi praesidis filium, et Gerdrudam, Egberhdi comitis filiam, separavit." Ann. Hildesheim., s.a. 1018, MGH SS 3: 95; Dobbertin (1962), 63-5]. By making Ida a daughter of Gottschalk and Gertrude, he is making Gertrude much older than her supposed second husband. Much is made uncertain by the lateness of Albert von Stade as a source, and the parentage of Ida seems inconclusive.

Another supposed daughter of Liudolf, conjectured by Vajay, is Mathilde, first wife of king Henri I of France, who should not be confused with another Mathilde mentioned above, daughter of Konrad II and Gisela, and briefly betrothed to Henri I before her premature death. Mathilde, first wife of Henri I of France, died at Paris in 1044, and is called "ex Caesarum progenie" by the Miracles of St. Benedict ["... anno Dominicæ Incarnationis millesimo quadragesimo quarto ... Mahildis regina Parisiis obiit, quam ex Cæsarum progenie matrimonio sibi asciverat præfatus rex; susceptaque regia ex ea prole, hominem decessit, monasterio Sancti Dionysii tradita sepulturae." Mirac. S. Benedict, vii, 3 (p. 252)]. She appears in two Fleury chronicles as a "neptis" of Heinrich III ["Idem rex Henricus neptem Henrici Alamannorum imperatoris duxit in uxorem: ex qua filiam unam procreavit; quæ infra lustrum defuncta est, matre ejus paulo post eam subsequente." RHF 11: 157; similarly, RHF 11: 276]. Vajay interprets this evidence as implying that Mathilde was a daughter of one of the siblings of Heinrich III, and settles on Liudolf as the father [Vajay (1971)]. Although not impossible, the evidence is less than convincing. The word "neptis" does not necessarily mean daughter of a sibling, and can often have a wider meaning.

With regard to Agatha, the most important conclusion of this Appendix is that there appear to be no major chronological problems with making Agatha a daughter of Liudolf. Indeed, the chronology of placing Agatha as a daughter of Liudolf is not so tight as Jetté would have us believe [Jetté (1996), 422].


Appendix 5: Who were the queens of Hungary during this period?

William of Malmesbury states that Agatha was a sister of the queen of Hungary, without identifying the queen ["... Hunorum regem petierunt; ubi, dum benigne aliquo tempore habiti essent, major diem obiit, minor Agatham reginæ sororem in matrimonium accepit." Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum, c. 180 (vol. 1, p. 218)]. Thus, it is of interest to know who the Hungarian queens were during this period. Unfortunately, the period is not very well documented, so there is no guarantee that this outline covers all women who were married to a hungarian king of the period.

Stephen (István) I (997-1038)

Stephen I (St. Stephen) was married to Gisela, sister of the emperor Heinrich II, documented by numerous sources [e.g., "Quorum regi, Stephano ex baptismate vocato, decenterque christianissimo, dedit memoratus imperator Henricus germanam suam in uxorem." Rodulfus Glaber, iii, 2 (p. 52); "... sororem suam Giselam Stephano regi eorum matrimonio copulavit." Adalbert, Vita Heinrici II imp., c. 30, MGH SS 4: 810; "Ad consortium vero regni praecipue causa sobolis propagandae sororem Romanae dignitatis augusti, videlicet Heinrici, qui ob mansuetudinem morum Pius est appellatus, Gislam nomine, sibi in matrimonio sociavit, ..." Vita Stephani Regis Ungariae, c. 10, MGH SS 11: 234; "Heinricus rex sorore sua Gisila Stephano regi Ungarorum data in uxorem, tam eum quam totum regnum eius ad fidem Christi vocavit." Auctarium Garstense, s.a. 1009, MGH SS 9: 567; similarly Ann. Admuntenses, MGH SS 9: 574]. Agatha was obviously not old enough to be a sister of Gisela.

Peter Orseolo (1038-41, 1044-6)

If Peter had a wife while he was king, it is not clear that any good documentation exists for her. He is often given a wife Tuta, who is supplied with various origins, but Tuta is sometimes given as a wife of Béla I instead.

After his exile and blinding, Peter married Judith von Schweinfurt, widow of Bretislav of Bohemia (d. 1055), a daughter of Heinrich von Schweinfurt and a sister of Otto von Schweinfurt ["Bracilaus, Boemie ducis Odolrici filius, Iudhitam, sororem Ottonis de Suinvorde, filiam sepedicti marchionis Heinrici, de monasterio ubi erudiabatur rapuit, ..." Ann. Saxo, s.a. 1021, MGH SS 6: 675]. Cosmas makes her incorrectly a daughter of Otto von Schweinfurt [Cosmas, Chron. Boemorum, i, 40, s.a. 1020, MGH SS 9: 62; ii, 14, s.a. 1055, MGH SS 9: 76; "4. Nonas Augusti Iudita coniunx Bracizlavi, ductrix Boemorum, obiit, quam quia filius suus Spitigneus eiecerat de regno suo, cum non posset aliter ulcisci iniuriam suam in filio, ad contumeliam eius et omnium Boemorum nupserat Petro regi Ungarorum." Cosmas, Chron. Boemorum, ii, 17, s.a. 1058, MGH SS 9: 78; similarly Ann. Saxo, s.a. 1058, MGH SS 6: 692]. Judith was not technically queen of Hungary, since she married her husband after he had been dethroned.

Aba Samuel (1041-4)

Nothing certain is known about the wife or wives (if any) of Aba Samuel. The thirteenth century chronicler Simon of Kéza calls him a sororius of Stephen I, which appears to be the basis of claims that Aba Samuel married a sister of Stephen ["... quemdam comitem nomine Abam sororium sancti regis Stephani ..." Simon of Kéza, Gesta Hungarorum, ii, 25, Chron. Hung., 80; Steindorff (1874-81), 1: 120 n. 1].

Andrew (András) I (1046-60)

The parentage of the wife of Andrew I as a daughter of Iaroslav I of Kiev is well documented by a statement of Adam of Bremen, a nearly contemporary source ["Haroldus a Graecia regressus, filiam regis Ruziae Gerzlef uxorem accepit. Alteram tulit Andreas, rex Ungrorum, de qua genitus est Salomon. Terciam duxit rex Francorum Heinricus, quae peperit ei Philippus." Adam of Bremen, iii, 11, Scholia 63, MGH SS 7: 339]. Her name is usually given as Anastasia, but I do not know a primary source for that name.

Béla I (1060-3)

The parentage of the wife of Béla I as a daughter of Mieszko II of Poland is given by the thirteenth century chronicler Simon of Kéza ["... ubi Bela Pomeranie ducem duello deuincens, filia Miske sibi datur in uxorem." Simon of Kéza, Gesta Hungarorum, ii, 27, Chron. Hung., 80]. Her name is usually given as Richenza, but I do not know a primary source for that name. Parsons states that she died before the accession of Béla [Parsons (2002), 46]. Béla is also sometimes given another queen named Tuta, who is otherwise often assigned as a wife of Peter Orseolo.

Salomon (1063-74)

Numerous sources document the wife of king Salomon as a daughter of the emperor Heinrich III, and some sources give her name as Judith. After the death of Salomon, she married (2), Wladyslaw I, king of Poland ["His diebus legati Ungrorum sepissime veniebant pacemque fieri postulabant, et, ut haec verior firmiorque haberetur in posterum, regis sororem, filio domini sui, nomine Salomoni, dari postulabant in coniugium." Ann. Altahens. Maj., s.a. 1058, MGH SS 20: 809; "Andreas Pannoniae rex, cum prius pacem pactumque per legatos cum Henrico rege confirmasset, etiam sororem eius minorem filio suo adhuc puero sponsam obtinuit." Chron. Herimann. Cont., s.a. 1059, MGH SS 13: 731; "Andreas Pannoniae rex, cum prius pacem pactumque per legatos cum Heinrico rege confirmasset, etiam sororem eius minorem Iuditham filio suo Salomoni adhuc puero sponsam obtinuit." Berthold, Annales, s.a. 1059, MGH SS 5: 271; "Ungari contra Salomonem regem suum rebellionem meditantur; sed terrore Heinrici imperatoris, cuius soror nupserat Salomoni, refrenantur."; Sigebert of Gembloux, Chronica, s.a. 1070, MGH SS 6: 362; "... Wladislavus dux, ..., sororem imperatoris tertii Henrici, uxorem prius Salemonis Ungariae regis, in matrimonium desponsavit, ..." Chron. Polon., ii, 1, MGH SS 9: 445; "[Vladislaus] ... esset coniugalis viduitas, regis Ungarie Salomonis relicte, tercii Henrici imperatoris sorori coniugatur, item Iudite, ..." Chron. Polono-Silesiacum, MGH SS 19: 560]. Simon of Kéza calls her Sophia ["... donec Sophiam suam filiam Salomoni regi, de Alamannia ductam traderet in uxorem, ..." Simon of Kéza, Gesta Hungarorum, ii, 30, Chron. Hung., 84]. Agatha was too old to be a sister of Judith.


Appendix 6: Who was the king Malesclodus who appears in the Laws of Edward the Confessor?

According to the so-called Laws of Edward the Confessor, dating from 1115×50 (probably 1130×5), Eadweard the Exile took refuge with Malesclodus, rex Rugorum, "quam nos uocamus Russeiam." [Laws Edw. Conf., c. 35-35.1 (p. 664)]. The identity of Malesclodus was discussed by Liebermann [Liebermann (1896), 37-8]. The title "rex Rugorum" was generally applied to the Russian rulers, so that the gloss "quam nos uocamus Russeiam" is just the usual interpretation. Nevertheless, some authors have interpreted it differently. According to Stubbs, some manuscripts of Roger de Hoveden give the variants "Dogorum" and "Hunnorum" [Stubbs, Intro. to Rog. Hoveden, 2: lxxxvi, n. 2, although the latter variant is not given in the critical apparatus at 2: 236]. William Stubbs, presumably interpreting Rugorum by Rugia (Rügen), states: "The passage is generally explaioned of Stephen king of Hungary, but it is surely very obscure. Is there confusion with Godescalc, prince of the Wends?" [ibid., lxxxvi, n. 2]. Johannes Steenstrup would interpret John of Worcester's rex Suuavorum and William of Malmesbury's rex Swevorum as rex Sclavorum (king of the Slavs), and would then interpret Malesclodus as being Mieszko of Poland [Steenstrup (1876-82), 3: 305-7]. John Ravilious would take this further and make Mieszko II the father of Agatha (i.e., the Polish Hypothesis discussed above) [Ravilious (2009), 75-6]. Among contemporary Russian princes, the name Mstislav (a brother of Iaroslav I) would at first glance seem to be the best match to Malesclodus [Ingham (1998b), 254-5, n. 60].

However, there are also good reasons for identifying Malesclodus with Iaroslav I of Kiev. A monk of St. Denis, in giving the parentage of Anna, wife of Henri I of France, calls her father Bullesclot, king of Russia ["Hic ex Anna, filia regis Russie nomine Bullesclot, genuit Philippum regem et Hugonem Magnum, Virmandensem postea comitem." Historia Regum Francorum Monasterii Sancti Dionysii, MGH SS 9: 404; Ingham notes that Bullesclot suggests the name Boleslav]. This is a clear reference to Iaroslav. Orderic Vitalis, describing the same marriage, gives Iaroslav the name Julius Clodius in his additions to Gesta Normannorum Ducum ["Mathildem, Iulii Clodii regis Rugorum filiam, in matrimonio habuit, ex qua duos filios Philippum et Hugonem unamque filiam genuit." GND (Orderic) vii, 12(28) (vol. 2, pp. 152-3)], and Julius Claudius in his ecclesiatical history ["Henricus autem, Francorum rex, Bertradam, Julii Claudii regis Russiæ filiam, uxorem duxit, quæ Philippum, et Hugonem Magnum, Crispeii comitem, peperit." OV vii, 1 (3: 159)]. Orderic was obviously confused about the name of Henri's wife, calling her Mathilde on one occasion (the name of Henri's other wife previous to Anna) and Bertrada on another (the name of one of the wives of Henri's son Philippe I). Except for the initial consonant, the name Malesclodus matches well with Bullesclot and Julius Clodius. This, combined with the fact that Malesclodus is described as rex Rugorum, makes it more likely than not that Malesclodus refers to Iaroslav I. Nevertheless, some uncertainty remains.


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Wm. Malmes., Gesta Regum = William Stubbs, ed., Willelmi Malmesbiriensis Monachi De gestis regum Anglorum. libri quinque; Historiæ Novellæ libri tres, 2 vols. (Rolls series 90, 1887-9). [I lack easy access to the more recent edition of William of Malmesbury's work edited by Mynors, Thomson, & Winterbottom.]

Wunder (1975) = Gerd Wunder, "Die letzten Prinzen des angelsächsischen Königshauses", Genealogisches Jahrbuch 35 (1975): 81-9.


I would like to thank John Ravilious for providing me with a copy of his article, and James Hansen for providing me with a copy of the Fest article.


Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 20 June 2010.

Minor revision uploaded 27 June 2010 (added early references, courtesy of Todd Farmerie).

Minor revision uploaded 4 July 2010.

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