MALE Dietrich

Count in Westfalen, fl. 929.

Dietrich was a count in Westfalen (Westphalia), a region in Sachsen (Saxony) ["Cuius pater, nomine Thietricus, in occidentali regione comes fuerat gloriosus ..." Vita Mahthildis reginae, c. 2, MGH SS 4: 285]. Later sources which would make him a count of Ringelheim or of Oldenburg, or duke of Saxony, have no authority [see Waitz (1885), 17].

Date of birth: Unknown.
Place of birth:

Date of death: After 929.
The appearance of Dietrich in two lists of living individuals in 929 shows that he was then still alive. See the entry on Bertheid below.
Place of death: Unknown.

Father: Unknown.
Mother: Mathilde, living ca. 909, abbess of Herford.
["... Mahthild, mater Thietrici comitis, quae in Herivordinense sedem possedit abbatiae, ..." Vitae Mahthildis reginae, c. 2, MGH SS 4: 285]. See also the page of Mathilde and the Commentary section.

Spouse: Reinhild, d. after 931×2, of Danish-Frisian descent.
["Ab huius quoque posteris, postquam christianae se submiserunt religioni, praedictae pater puellae proddit nomine Tiedericus, cui nobilissima iuncta erat uxor Reinhilda, Fresonum Danorumque genere progrediens." Vita Mahthildis Reginae Antiquior, c. 2, MGH SS 10: 576; "A posteris ergo eiusdem Witikini, egregii ducis, processit stirps beatissimae Mahthildis. Cuius pater, nomine Thietricus, in occidentali regione comes fuerat gloriosus, et venerabilem Reinhildam, Danorum Fresonumque germine procreatum, moribus probabilem, sibimet adiunxerat coniugum." Vita Mahthildis Reginae, c. 2, MGH SS 4: 285]


FEMALE Mathilde, d. 14 March 968;
Heinrich I, d. 2 July 936, king of Germany.

FEMALE Bia, d. 25 May 929×932.
Bia was still alive in 929, when she appears in two entries in the confraternity books of St. Gallen and Reichenau [Althoff (1984), 366 (K 17); see below under Bertheid]. She was deceased by 931×2, the time of composition of a list of St. Gallen containing only deceased individuals [Althoff (1976), 402]. Her date of death was 25 May ["VIII. k. [Iunii] Bia soror regine Mahtild ob.." Calend. Merseb., 114; 25 May "Bia praeposita" Nec. Gandersheim, Althoff (1976), 402; "VIII. Kalend. Iunii Bia soror reg. Mathildis" Trèves diptych, Althoff (1976), 387]. See the Commentary section for a supposed marriage.

FEMALE Friderun, d. 10×12 January 971;
m. NN.
["IIII. Id. Ian. Friderim soror Mathilt reginae" Trèves diptych, Althoff (1976), 387] She appears as countess in the notice of her death ["Ob. Fridarun comitissa [2. Id. Ian.]" Annales necrologici Fuldenses, s.a. 971, MGH SS 13: 201], indicating that she married a count, but the marriage is unknown. She has often been identified with the daughter who married Wichmann, but that identification does not appear feasible (see below).

FEMALE Amalrada;
m. Eberhard, count of Hamaland.
The parentage and marriage of Amalrada is given in Sigebert of Gembloux's life of her son, bishop Thierry I of Metz ["Igitur virum vitae memorabilis et memoriae venerabilis Deodericum, ex pago Saxoniae Hamalant oriundum, comite Everardo patre et Amalrada matre accepimus progenitum, orbis ad ornatum quem vere credimus ortum. ... Matrem nempe eius scimus Mathildis reginae fuisse sororem, quae ex Heinrico rege genuit Ottonem maiorem et Heinricum ducem, ... Hae vero erant filiae Thiadrici ducis, ..." Sigebert, Vita Deoderici I, MGH SS 4: 464].

FEMALE NN (probably distinct from the above daughters);
m. Wichmann, d. 944, count in Saxony,
brother of Hermann, duke of Sachsen.
The evidence for this marriage is indirect. A count Egbert is referred to by the Annals of Quedlinburg and Hildesheim as son of a matertera of Otto the Great ["Sed et rex Otto periculosissime contra Abodritos conflixit, quos filius materterae eius Egbertus contra illum congregavit." Annales Quedlinburgenses, s.a. 955, MGH SS 3: 58; cf. Ann. Hildesheimenses, ibid.], and Widukind calls Egbert a consobrinus of the king ["consobrinus regis Ecberhtus" Widukind, iii, 18 (p. 96); "Consobrinus autem regis Ecberhtus", ibid., iii, 19 (p. 97)]. Thietmar states the same about count Wichmann the younger, evidently Egbert's brother ["... Wigmannum, materterae regis filium, et Ekbertum ..." Thietmar, ii, 6, MGH SS 3: 747]. Thus, a maternal aunt (matertera) of Otto was married to the father of Egbert and Wichmann the younger. The fact that Egbert and Wichmann were brothers is not directly attested, and their parentage is also not directly attested. However, there is strong evidence that their father was Wichmann the elder, brother of Hermann, duke of Sachsen. For example, Hermann is called a patruus of the yonger Wichmann [Widukind, iii, 24 (p. 99); ibid., iii (p. 110)], and a reference to Hermann and his nepotes is apparently referring to Wichmann and Egbert [Widukind, iii, 29 (p. 100)]. (For the elder Wichmann as a brother of Hermann, see the page of Hermann.) It has often been assumed that the aunt of Otto who married Wichmann was one of the otherwise known sisters of Mathilde, usually Friderun, sometimes Bia [see, e.g., Dümmler (1876), 580]. However, that appears not to have been the case [Althoff (1984), 73-4]. In events of the 950's, Widukind states that Wichmann the younger was "destitutus a patre et matre" [Widukind, iii, 50 (p. 110)]. Thus, Wichmann's mother would not have been Friderun, who survived until 971. Also, Widukind refers to the nepotes of Hermann as being adolescentes in about 953×4 [Widukind, iii, 29 (p. 100)]. Thus, there mother would probably not have been Bia, who was dead by 931×2 [Althoff (1984), 74]. See also the entry on Bertheid below.

For bishop Robert of Trèves and other possible additional children, see the Commentary section.

Probable additional daughter (perhaps the same as Wichmann's wife):
FEMALE Bertheid (Perectheid/Perehtheid), fl. 929.
Bertheid appears in two lists in memorial books with king Heinrich, queen Mathilde, Dietrich and other relations. The first list, from the memorial book of St. Gallen, reads: "Heinrich, Mathilt, Otto, Heinrich, Prun, Kerbrich, Adauui, Kysilbert, Thieterich, Reginhilt, Outo, Amalrat, Perectheid, Fridirun, Pia omnesque debitores eius." [see Schmid (1960), 186, plate 1; MGH Libri Confrat., 84 (I 265)]. Most of these individuals are easily identified. Besides Bertheid, the individuals on the list are king Heinrich I and his wife Mathilde, their children Otto I "the Great", Heinrich, Bruno, Gerberga, and Hedwig, Gerberga's husband Giselbert of Lorraine, Dietrich, his wife Reinhild, an otherwise unknown Otto or Udo, and Dietrich and Reinhild's daughters Amalrada, Friderun, and Bia. The other list, from the confraternity book of Reichenau, starts with the same first eight names (in a slightly different order), followed by fifteen other names, and then "Theotirih, Uuitechind, Reginhilt, Perehtheid, Pia, Friderun, Amalrat" and four other names [see Schmid (1960), 187, plate 2; MGH Libri Confrat., 227 (II 247)]. The man listed here between Dietrich and Reinhild is probably Dietrich's brother Widukind (see the page of Dietrich's mother Mathilde). The appearance of the four names Amalrada, Friderun, Bia, and Bertheid together on the two list argues strongly in favor of her being another sister, or at the very least a close relative [Schmid (1960), 188]. It is possible that Bertheid is to be identified with the wife of Wichmann.

Probable relative:
MALE Otto/Udo, fl. 929.
See above under Bertheid. Although Otto/Udo appears in only one of the above lists, every individual in that list other than Bertheid and Otto/Udo is known to have been a close relative of either Heinrich I or his wife Mathilde.

Ancestor: Widukind, fl. 777-785, Saxon leader.
(intervening generations unknown)
Widukind appears in the Frankish annals starting in 777 as a Saxon leader who refused to submit to Charlemagne ["... excepto quod Widochindis rebellis extitit cum paucis aliis ..." ARF, s.a. 777, 48]. The struggle finally ended in 785, when Widukind was baptized and the Saxons were subjugated ["Et ibi baptizati sunt supranominati Widochindus et Abbi una cum sociis eorum; et tunc tota Saxonia subiugata est." ARF, s.a. 785, 70]. The date of death of Widukind is unknown.

Dietrich's descent from the famous Saxon leader is given in a number of places, including by the historians Widukind and Thietmar, without specifying the exact nature of the descent ["Et hi erant stirpis magni ducis Widukindi, qui bellum potens gessit contra magnum Karolum per triginta ferme annos." Widukind, i, 31 (p. 38); "[Mathildis] ... filiam Theodrici et Reinildae, ex Widukinni regis tribu exortam, ..." Thietmar, Chronicon, i, 6, MGH SS 3: 737].


Supposed son (evidence weak):
MALE Robert, d. 18×19 May [or 19 June?] 956, archbishop of Trèves, 931-956.
Robert died of the pestilence in 956 ["Rotbertus Trevirensis episcopus, et Baldericus, et duo alii episcopi ex ea peste sine mora defuncti sunt." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 956, 142; "... pestilentia ... Ex qua Rodbertus archiepiscopus Treverensis et Hadamarus abbas Fuldensis obierunt; ..." Regino, Chronicon (continuation), s.a. 956, 169; Ann. Hildesheim., s.a. 956, MGH SS 3: 58; Lambert, Annales, s.a. 956, ibid., 59]. Dümmler states that the necrology of St. Maximinus at Hontheim gives 18 May for his death [Dümmler (1876), 281, n. 6, citing Prodromus II, 977], and cites the necrology of Weissenburg as giving 19 May [ibid.], but that source actually gives 19 June ["xiii. [kal. iul.] Ruodbertus archiepus Trever." Kalendarium necrologicum Weissenburgense, Fontes rerum Germ., 4: 312].

Although the claimed relationship between Dietrich and Robert was commonly accepted in the past, the evidence is either indirect or late, and arguments against the relationship began to appear in the 1980's [Hlawitschka (1987b), 40, n. 123, citing Winter (1981) and Hlawitschka (1987a), 36ff. (the latter two not seen by me)]. A document of Rather (10th century), indicates that Mathilde's son Bruno was a nepos of Robert ["Ne concessum nostris diebus illi suo atque (= atque suo) nepoti [Bruno], primatum scilicet dignissimo, ..." Rather, Conclusion deliberativa, c. 27, Waitz (1885), 108, n. 7, citing Ballerini's edition of Rather, p. 208]. One recension of Gesta Treverorum states that Robert's sister was married to the "emperor" ["Iste [Rubertus archiepiscopus] ... quod soror eius imperatori in matrimonio iuncta fuit; ..." Gesta Treverorum, MGH SS 8: 168]. That this "emperor" was king Heinrich I is suggested indirectly by Rather, but only stated explicitly by the late work of Aubry de Troisfontaines, who makes Robert a son of Dietrich and brother of Mathilde ["Quo tempore factus est Treverensis archiepiscopus Rupertus filius Theoderici Saxonie ducis, frater Mathildis regine Alemannie." Aubry de Troisfontaines, Chron., s.a. 921, MGH SS 23: 756]. Robert does not appear in two lists of 929 which include Dietrich and Reinhild and their daughters (see above under Bertheid), where we would expect him to appear if her really were a son of Dietrich.

Supposed son (unlikely): Ansfried, count, patruus of bishop Ansfried.
Supposed son (unlikely): Lambert, father of bishop Ansfried.
Supposed grandson (unlikely): Ansfried, d. 3 May 1010, count, bishop of Utrecht, 995-1010.
Ansfried, a layman and count, became bishop of Utrecht in 995 [Ann. Hildesheim., s.a. 995, MGH SS 3: 91] and died in 1010 [Ann. Quedlinburg., s.a. 1010, MGH SS 3: 80; Ann. Hildesh., Ann. Lambert, s.a. 1010, ibid. 93; Althoff (1984), 299 (B 36)]. The father of bishop Ansfried is stated to have been named Lambert [MGH SS 3: 777, n. 5]. Thietmar states that bishop Robert of Trèves was a patruus of bishop Ansfried, and that the latter had another patruus count Ansfried ["Vir felicis memoriae comes profecto Ansfridus, vir omni inquam bonitate conspicuus, alto progenitorum germine, dum adhuc esset puerulus, cum omni lege mundana a patruo suo Rodberto, Trevericae civitatis episcopo, tum divina adprime est institutus; inde a patruo suo, scilicet suo equivoco, 15 comitatuum comite, ..." Thietmar, iv, 22, MGH SS 3: 777]. Thus, the placement of these individuals in the family of Dietrich depend on the supposed father-son relationship between Dietrich and bishop Robert, and on the assumption that the word patruus is to be interpreted strictly as "paternal uncle" in both cases [see Wilmans (1867), 438; Baerten (1961), 1153-7].

Wilmans (and many others):
Falsely attributed father: NN/Immed/Sigebert, brother of Wikbert, bishop of Verden, 873×4-908?
Falsely attributed grandfather: Waltbert, count, d. after 872, son of Wikbert, son of Widukind.
Wilmans postulated that Dietrich's father was an unnamed son of Waltbert [Wilmans (1867), 436-8; see Hlawitschka (2006), 72-4, for a list of references which have followed Wilmans, usually without giving Dietrich's father a name, but sometimes with a name conjectured (e.g., Immed, Sigebert)] As the only descendants of Widukind whose exact line of descent is clearly documented, Wikbert, bishop of Verden, his father Waltbert, and Waltbert's father Wikbert (son of Widukind) make natural candidates to whom previous researchers have tried to connect those descendants whose exact line of descent is not known. However, as Schmid has shown, the documents of Wildeshausen have enough information about bishop Wikbert to show that Mathilde's husband was not a brother of Wikbert or a descendant of Waltbert [Schmid (1964), 14]. Whatever the relationship was between Dietrich and bishop Wikbert, Dietrich was not Wikbert's nephew.

Falsely attributed father (existence uncertain): Waltbert, son or grandson of Abbo, son-in-law of Widukind.
[Hlawitschka (2006), 73 cites Wenskus (1976), 131ff. (not seen by me) for this hypothesis.] The theory is based on the separation of Waltbert, the founder of Wildeshausen and Vreden, into two different people. [See Hlawitschka (2006), 73-4]

Supposed marriage of daughter Bia (doubtful, source unknown): Friedrich, ancestor of the counts of Wettin.
[Depoin (1907), 348, no source cited]

Falsely attributed earlier husbands of Amalrada: (1) Wigeric of Bidgau, d. 916×9; (2) Ricuin of Verdun, d. 923.
These marriages were first proposed by Depoin [Depoin (1907), 329-330], and the proposal was later developed further by Brière [Brière (1962)]. The basis of the hypothesis was a misinterpreted statement from the chronicle of Sigebert of Gembloux, which stated that bishop Thierry of Metz was succeeded by his nephew (fratruelis) Adalbero ["Deoderico Mettensium episcopo defuncto, succedit Adelbero fratruelis eius, ..." Sigebert of Gembloux, Chron., s.a. 1046, MGH SS 6: 358]. From the chronological placement of this entry, Sigebert is clearly referring to Thierry II (1005-46), son of Sigefroid of Luxemburg, and his nephew Adalbero III (1046-72), son of Frédéric. Depoin misread this as a reference to bishops Thierry I (son of Eberhard of Hamaland and Amalrada) and Adalbero II (son of duke Frédéric of Upper Lorraine), and sought a way to make them uncle and nephew. The scenario he suggested was that Wigeric's wife Cunégonde died during his lifetime, and that he next married Amalrada, by whom he had Frédéric, duke of Upper Lorraine. In this scenario, it is Amalrada (and not Cunégonde) who then married Ricuin, before marrying Eberhard of Hamaland, by whom she was mother of bishop Thierry I of Metz. This theory was severely criticized by Parisot [Parisot (1907-8), 58: 101-4; Parisot (1909)], and there is no reason to give it the slightest credence.

Falsely attributed daughter:
FEMALE Hildegard, m. Hermann, d. 1 April 973, duke of Sachsen.
This is based on the suggestion that Hermann's brother Wichmann (see above) was actually a brother-in-law [Decker-Hauff (1955), 269-70; against this, see Tellenbach (1956), 177]. There is no good reason to accept Decker-Hauff's hypothesis.


Althoff (1976) = Gerd Althoff, "Unerkannte Zeugnisse vom Totengedenken der Liudolfinger", Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 32 (1976): 370-404.

Althoff (1984) = Gerd Althoff, Adels- und Königsfamilien im Spiegel ihrer Memorialüberlieferung (Munich, 1984).

Baerten (1961) = J. Baerten, "Les Ansfrid au X siècle", Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire 39 (1961): 1144-58.

Brière (1962) = Pierre Brière, "Les origines de la première Maison de Luxembourg", Publications de la Section historique de l'Institut Grand-Ducal de Luxembourg 79 (1962): 9-22.

Calend. Merseb. = Ludwig Hesse, "Calendrium Merseburgense", Zeitschrift für Archivkunde, Diplomatik und Geschichte 1 (1834): 101-150.

Decker-Hauff (1955) = Hansmartin Decker-Hauff, "Die Ottonen und Schwaben", Zeitschrift für Württemburgische Landesgeschichte 14 (1955), 233-371.

Depoin (1907) = Joseph Depoin, "Wicman II, comte du Hamaland, bienfaiteur de Saint-Pierre de Gand au Xe siècle", in Paul Bergmans, ed., Annales du XXe Congrès (Gand, 1907), 2 vols (Ghent, 1907), 2: 315-351.

Dümmler (1876) = Rudolf Köpke & Ernst Dümmler, Kaiser Otto der Große (Leipzig, 1876).

Flodoard, Annales = Ph. Lauer, ed., Les Annales de Flodoard (Paris, 1905).

Hlawitschka (1987a) = Eduard Hlawitschka, "Kontroverses aus dem Umfeld von König Heinrichs I. Gemahlin Mathilde", in Deus qui mutat tempora, Festschrift für Alfons Becker (Sigmaringen, 1987), 33-54. [I have not seen this work.]

Hlawitschka (1987b) = Eduard Hlawitschka, Untersuchungen zu den Thronwechseln der ersten Hälfte des 11. Jahrhunderts und zur Adelsgeschichte Süddeutschlands (Sigmaringen, 1987).

MGH Libri Confrat. = Paul Piper, ed., Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Libri Confraternitatum Sancti Galli Augiensis Fabariensis (Berlin, 1884).

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Parisot (1907-8) = Robert Parisot, "Les Origines de la Haute-Lorraine et sa première maison ducale (959-1033), Mémoires de la Société d'Archéologie Lorraine et du Musée historique Lorrain 57 (1907): 151-428; 58 (1908): 5-265.

Parisot (1909) = Robert Parisot, review of Depoin, Wicmann II, comte du Hamaland, bienfaiteur de Saint-Pierre de Gand au dixième siècle, in Annales de l'Est et du Nord 5 (1909): 457-460.

Regino, Chronicon = Friedrich Kurze, ed., Reginonis abbatis Prumiensis Chronicon cum continuatione Treverensi (MGH SRG, Hannover, 1890).

Schmid (1960) = Karl Schmid, "Neue Quellen zum Verständnis des Adels im 10. Jahrhundert", Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins 108 (1960): 185-232.

Schmid (1964) = Karl Schmid, "Die Nachfahren Widukinds", Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 20 (1964): 1-47.

Tellenbach (1956) = Gerd Tellenbach, "Kritische Studien zur großfränkischen und alemanniscen Adelsgeschichte", Zeitschrift für Württemburgische Landesgeschichte 15 (1956): 169-190.

Waitz (1885) = Georg Waitz, Jahrbücher des Deutschen Reichs under König Heinrich I. (3rd, ed., Leipzig, 1885).

Wenskus (1976) = Reinhard Wenskus, Sächsischer Stammesadel und fränkischer Reichsadel (Göttingen, 1976). [I have not seen this work]

Widukind = Georg Waitz & Karl Andreas Kehr, eds., Widukindi monachi Corbeiensis Rerum Gestarum Saxonicarum libri tres (4th ed., MGH SRG 55, Hannover & Leipzig, 1904).

Wilmans (1867) = Roger Wilmans, Die Kaiserurkunden der Provinz Westfalen 777-1313 (I: Die Urkunden des Karolingischen Zeitalters 777-900) (Münster, 1867).

Winter (1981) = J. M. van Winter, "Ansfried en Dirk, twee namen uit de Nederlandse geschiedenis van de 10e en 11e eeuw", Naamkunde 13 (1981): 39-59. [I have not seen this work.]

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 3 April 2011.

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