MALE Gerberga

Wife of Giselbert of Lorraine and of Louis IV of France.
Abbess of Notre-Dame de Soissons, 959.

In 929, Gerberga was married to Giselbert, duke of Lorraine ["Gisalbertus dux Gerburgam filiam Heinrici regis duxit uxorem" Continuatio Reginonis, s.a. 929, Regino, Chronicon, 158; "Gisalbertus dux Gerbirgam, Heinrichi regis filiam, duxit uxorem." Annales Heremi, s.a. 929, MGH SS 3: 141; "Gisalbertus dux Gerbirg duxit uxorem" Annales S. Maximini Trevirensis, s.a. 929, MGH SS 2: 213]. Giselbert died in 939, and Gerberga married king Louis IV of France ["Ludowicus rex, in regnum Lothariense regressus, relictam Gisleberti Gerbergam duxit uxorem, Othonis scilicet regis sororem." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 939, 74]. After the death of Louis, on 25 April 959, she is found as abbess of Notre-Dame de Soissons [RHF 9: 665]. Gerberga was still living on 17 May 968, when she appeared in an act of her son Lothaire [RHF 9: 622 (#22)].

Date of birth: say 913×4.
Her brother Otto the Great (b. 23 November 912) appears to have been the oldest child of Heinrich I, but Gerberga could not have been much younger.
Place of birth: Unknown.

Date of death: 5 May, 969 or later (984?).
Place of burial: Saint-Rémy de Reims.
As noted above, Gerberga was still alive on 17 May 968. Her epitaph at Saint-Rémy de Reims states that she died on 5 May ["Sol quintus Maii quam vidit carne resolvi" Epitaphium Gerbergæ reginæ, RHF 9: 104]. Although several secondary sources give 984 as the year [e.g., Werner (1967), table; ES 1: 3; Althoff (1984), 159; Settipani (1993), 330], the primary source for this date is unclear.

Father: Heinrich I, d. 2 July 936, king of Germany.
Mother: Mathilde, d. 14 March 968, daughter of count Dietrich.
See the page of
Heinrich I for further details.

[see above]

(1) m. 929, Giselbert, d. 2 October 939, duke of Lorraine.

(2) m. 939, Louis IV, d. 10 September 954, king of France.

A twelfth century genealogical table of the descendants of duke Ludolf of Saxony shows Gerbirch as the mother of Lotarius rex, Karlus dux, Matildis (mother of Rodulfus res, Berta, and Gepa), and Alfrada (mother of Irmendrudis, mother of Agnes, mother of another Agnes [i.e., Agnes de Poitou, wife of Heinrich III])

(by Giselbert)
These children are discussed in more detail on Giselbert's page.

MALE Henri, d. ca. 944, joint-duke of Lorraine (as a child).

FEMALE Hedwig, fl. ca. 934 (sometimes falsely identified as the wife of Sigefroid of Luxemburg)

FEMALE Alberada, m. Ragenold, d. 967, count of Roucy.

[FEMALE NN, betrothed to Berthold, duke of Bavaria. (same as one of the above daughters?)]

(probably by Giselbert)

FEMALE Gerberge, m. Albert, d. 8 September, 987 or after, count of Vermandois.

(by Louis)
Writing soon afterward, Witger lists Gerberga's children by Louis as Lothair, Charles, Louis, and Mathilde ["Et postea ex regina Gerberga Hlotharium Karolum Ludovicum et Mathildim." Witger, Genealogia Arnulfi comitis, MGH SS 9: 303].

MALE Lothaire, b. 941 (late), d. 2 March 986, king of France, 954-986;
m. 965×6 Emma, d. 2 November, 989 or later,
daughter of Lotario (Lothaire), king of Italy.
["Ludowico regi filius nascitur, ..." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 941, 82 (reported in 940 by Annales S. Quintini Veromandensis, s.a. 940, MGH SS 16: 507, but the chronology of these annals is inaccurate)] Lothaire was still a boy when he succeeded his father Louis IV as king in 954 ["Lotharius puer, filius Ludowici, apud sanctum Remigium rex consecratur ab Artoldo archiepiscopo, ..." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 954, MGH SS 3: 402]. He married Emma of Italy in late 965 or early 966 ["Lotharius rex uxorem accepit Emmam, filiam regis quondam Italici." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 966, 158; "Lotharius rex domnam Hemmam sibi coniugio copulavit." Regino, Chron. (continuation), s.a. 965 (last entry), 176; for Emma's parentage, see also Odilo, Epitaphium Adalheidae, MGH SS 4: 638]. Lothaire's date of death is given by two letters and an epitaph written by Gerbert [e.g., "... VI n. mart., qua die gloriosissimus rex Francorum Loth., clartissimum sidus, mundo subtractus est" Gerbert, Letters, 69 (#73), Lattin (1961), 118 (#80); Gerbert, Letters, 69-70 (#74-5), Lattin (1961), 119-120 (#81-2); see also Lot (1891), 164, n. 1]. Emma was still alive on 10 January 989, when Gerbert wrote a letter on her behalf asking an unnamed priest to prevent the loss of one of her castles and to bring her money from her treasury (possibly to pay ranson to Charles of Lorraine, who had captured her) [Gerbert, Letters, 130 (#147), Lattin (1961), 183 (#155); Havet dates the letter to December 988 or January 989]. Emma died on 2 November of an unknown year after that ["IIII nonas [Nov.] ... Adque domna Emma regina" Necrology of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Obit. Sens, 1 (pt. 1), 277].

FEMALE Mathilde/Mahaut, baptized 943 (late), d. 25×6 November, 981 or later;
m. Conrad, d. 19 October 993, king of Burgundy.
["Hugo dux filiam regis ex lavacro sancto suscepit, ..." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 943, 89-90] Of the two unnamed daughters baptized in 943 and 948, one of them was certainly Mathilde, who married king Conrad of Burgundy. Chronology makes it likely that Mathilde was the elder of these daughters. Mathilde's parentage and marriage are shown by a letter of Poppo, abbot of Stablo, written in 1043 ["Post obitum vero Gisleberti iuncta est in matrimonium Ludovico Francorum regi, a quo filios duos, Lotharium regem et Karolum ducem, filiamque Mathildam, postea Cuonradi regis Burgundionum uxorem suscepit." Giesebrecht (1881-95), 2: 714-5 (document #10); see the page of Ermentrude of Roucy for a more detailed quote from this letter]. Mathilde's status as a daughter of Gerberga is also given in an eleventh century genealogical table [MGH SS 6: 32; see also MGH SS 3: 215] and by a genealogical notice given in a letter copied onto one of the manuscripts of Flodoard's annals ["Mathilde et Alberada filiae fuerunt Gerbergae; de Mathilde processit Rodulfus rex et Mathildis soror eius, ..." Flodoard, Annales, 159]. Her date of death is given as 25 November by the necrologies of Merseburg and Weißenburg ["VII K. [Dec.] ... Mahtild regina burg. o." Calend. Merseb., 125; "vii [kal. dec.] Mahtild regina Burgundie" Kal. Nec. Weissenburgense, Fontes rerum Germ. 4: 314] and as 26 November in the reliquary of Saint-Maurice de Vienne ["VI Kal. Decemb. obiit Mathildis uxor regis Gonradi ..." Poupardin (1901), 365]. Settipani places her death on 26 or 27 January between 981 and 992, but cites the reliquary of Saint-Maurice de Vienne [Settipani (1993), 330].

MALE Charles, b. at Laon, 945 (early), d. before 953.
["Anno DCCCCXLV adhuc rege Ludowico apud Rodomum degente, Gerberga regina filium Lauduni peperit, qui Karolus ad catezizandum vocitatus est." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 945, 95-6] It is presumed that this son died before 953, when another son was given the name Charles.

FEMALE NN, baptized 948 (middle).
["Chonradus quoque dux filiam Ludowici regis sacro de fonte suscepit." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 948, 116]

MALE Louis, b. 948 (late), d. at Laon, 954 (not long before father).
["Nascitur regi Ludowico filius, quem praesul Artoldus de sacro fonte suscepit, patris ei nomen imponens." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 948, 121; "Ludowicus, filius regis, Lauduni defungitur." ibid., s.a. 954, 138 (his father's death is the next annal entry)]

MALE Charles (twin), b. at Laon, 953, d. after 30 March 991, duke of Lower Lorraine, 977-991;
m. (1?) NN,
daughter of Heribert, count of Troyes?
m. (2) Adélaïde.
["Interea Gerberga regina Lauduni geminos est enixa, quorum unus Karolus, alter vocatus est Heinricus; sed Heinricus mox post baptismum defunctus est." Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 953, 136] Charles was named as duke of Lower Lorraine in 977 by the emperor Otto II [Lot (1891), 91 & n. 4]. When his nephew king Louis V died in 987, Charles was an unsuccessful claimant to the throne. His struggle against the victor, Hugues Capet, continued until 30 March 991, when Charles was captured along with his wife Adélaïde, his son Louis, his two daughters Gerberge and Adélaïde, and his nephew Arnulf ["Karolum ergo cum uxore Adelaide et filio Ludovico, et filiabus duabus, quarum altera Gerberga, altera Adelaidis dicebatur, necnon et Arnulfo nepote carceri dedit." Richer, Historia, iv, 49 (vol. 2, pp. 214-5)]. According to Historia Francorum Senonensis, Charles was married to a daughter of count Heribert of Troyes ["Cui successit Karolus, frater eius, filius Hlotharii regis. Eodem anno rebellavit contra Karolum Hugo dux Francorum, eo quod accepisset Karolus filiam Herberti comitis Trecarum." Historia Francorum Senonensis, MGH SS 9: 367-8]. The supposed name of Agnès sometimes given to this wife appears only in sources from the sixteenth century and later [Lot (1891), 209, n. 2]. According to Richer, when bishop Adalbero of Laon was arguing against giving the throne to Charles, one reason given was that the wife of Charles (evidently Adélaïde) was of the knightly class ["Quomodo ergo magnus dux patietur de suis militibus feminam sumptam reginam fieri, sibique dominari?" Richer, Historia, iv, 11 (vol. 2, pp. 156-7)]. Thus, Heribert's daughter must have been a different wife from Adélaïde. The reliability of Historia Francorum Senonensis, which falsely makes Charles a son of Lothaire, is suspect. Settipani has suggested that the first wife of Charles was a daughter of count Robert of Troyes [Settipani (1993), 337 & n. 1010].

MALE Henri (twin), b. & d. 953.
[see above]


Supposed additional son (doubtful):
MALE Carloman.
Mentioned by the historian Widukind, this supposed son is otherwise unknown ["Soror igitur regis [Heinrich I] Hluthowico regi genuit tres filios, Karolum, Lotharium et Karlomannum." Widukind, ii, 39 (p. 83)].

Falsely attributed daughter by Louis IV:
FEMALE Hildegarde, m. Dirk II, count of Holland.
[Anselme 1: 37, citing Blondel]


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

Anselme = Père Anselme, Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de France, 9 vols. (Paris, 1726-33).

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

ES = Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln (neue Folge), (Marburg, 1980-present).

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

Fontes rerum Germ. = Johann Friedrich Boehmer, Fontes rerum Germanicarum, 4 vols. (Stuttgart & Tübingen, 1843-68).

Gerbert, Letters = Julien Havet, ed., Lettres de Gerbert (983-997) (Paris, 1889). [In Latin. For English translation, see Lattin (1961).]

Lattin (1961) = Harriet Pratt Lattin, trans., The Letters of Gerbert (Records of Civilization - Sources and Studies, 60, New York, 1961). [English translation. For Latin edition, see Gerbert, Letters.]

Lot (1891) = Ferdinand Lot, Les derniers Carolingiens (Paris, 1891).

MGH SRG = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Germanicarum (separate editions).

Obit. Sens = Obituaires de la Province de Sens (2 vols. in 3, Paris, 1902-6).

Poupardin (1901) = René Poupardin, Le royaume de Provence sous les Carolingiens (Paris, 1901).

Rec. Actes Lothair & Louis V = Louis Halphen & Ferdinand Lot, Recueil des Actes de Lothaire et de Louis V rois de France (954-987) (Paris, 1908).

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

Settipani (1993) = Christian Settipani, La préhistoire des Capétiens 481-987 (Première partie - Mérovingiens, Carolingiens et Robertiens) (Villeneuve d'Ascq, 1993).

Werner (1967) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen bis um das Jahr 1000 (1.-8. Generation)", Karl der Große 4 (1967): 403-483.

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

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 3 April 2011.

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