MALE Giselbert

Count of Chalon, before 924-956.
Count of Autun, before 925-956.
Count of Troyes, before 950-956.
Duke of Burgundy, 952-6.

In June 924, count Giselbert consented to a donation of his mother Ermengarde, in a charter of Saint-Marcel-lès-Chalon ["... munificentiam Ermengardis comitisse et deo devote, seu filii ejus Gisleberti comitis illustris, ... S. Ermengardis que fieri et firmare rogavit. S. Gisleberti qui consensit." Cart. S.-Marcel-lès-Chalon (#27)]. He appears as count of Autun in July 925 [Poupardin (1907), 206, citing Munier & Thiroux, Recherches sur l'histoire d'Autun, 129], 1 September 936 [ibid., citing Duchesne, Hist. de la maison de Vergy, preuves, 52], 17 April 949 ["... in comitatu Augustidunensi, ... in conspectu comitum Ugonis et Gisleberti, eis presentibus, donationem testatus est et legaliter confirmavit. ... S. Wigonis [sic] marchionis. S. Gisleberti comitis." Cart. Cluny, 1: 694-5 (#738)], and 10 November 949 [Poupardin (1907), 206, citing RHF 9: 606 (not readable in the copy available to me)], and he appears in one of his own acts as count of Autun and other regions ["Ego Gislebertus divina largiente clementia comes Heduensis et aliarum patriarum." ibid., citing Duchesne, Vergy, pr., 33]. As shown by Werner, he was acting as count of Troyes in a document dated to the 15th year of Louis IV (19 June 949 - 18 June 950) ["Placuit atque convenit inter domnum Gislebertum, comitem, et Gratianum, abbatem monasterii sancti Petri Dervensis ... Dedit itaque domnus Gislebertus, comes, comes, partibus Sancti Petri Alericum ex vico vel potestate Pisniacense, consentiente Ingelberto, ex cujus beneficio habebatur ... Et ut inviolabile obtineat firmitatis judicium, ego Gislebertus, gracia Dei comes, subterfirmavi et fidelibus nostris corroborandum tradidi. S. Ingelberti, qui consensit. S. Roberti, comitis. Ego Neguvinus, jussu domni Gisleberti, comitis, anno XV regnante Ludovico, rege, recognovi. Actum Cavilonis civitate feliciter. Amen." Cart. Montiéramey, 18-9 (#13); Werner (1960), 111], and Werner suggests that he had obtained Troyes by 942 [ibid., 112]. Upon the death of Hugues "le Noir", duke of Burgundy, on 17 December 952, Giselbert succeded, appearing as duke of Burgundy in some narrative sources [e.g., "qui ... ducatum Burgundie tenuit" Chron. S.-Bénigne Dijon, 135; "Gislebertus dux Burgundiae" Historia Francorum Senonensis, MGH SS 9: 366; Poupardin (1907), 210]. On his death on 8 April 956, he was succeeded as duke by his son-in-law Otto, brother of Hugues Capet.

Date of birth: Unknown.
Since Giselbert lived until 956, it is very improbable that he was the Giselbert who was granted certain manses in the pagus of Atuyer by king Eudes on 21 October 897 ["... cuidam fideli nostro, nomine Gisleberto, quasdam res fiscales, in pago Attuerensi sitas, ..." Garnier (1849), 134-5 (#116)], as is claimed by some [Favre (1893), 193; Poupardin (1901), 336; Poupardin (1907), 206]. Thus, a birthdate in the general neighborhood of 900 would be more likely than the much earlier date which would be implied by that identification.
Place of birth: Unknown.

Date of death: 8 April 956.
Place of death: Paris.
["Hoc anno obiit Gislebertus comes apud Parisius post pascha, ..." Annales Nivernenses, s.a. 956, MGH SS 13: 89; "Cum quo sequenti anno dies solempnes paschæ letos ducens Gislebertus princeps Burgundionum, prima ebdomada post pascha, feria tertia, subita morte præventus diem clausit extremum, regni sui monarchiam manibus praedicti committens Hugonis." Annales S. Columbae Senonensis, s.a. 955 (thus in 956, because of the words "sequenti anno"), Bib. Hist. Yonne, 1: 205-6 (also MGH SS 1: 105)]

Father: Manassès, d. 918×920, count.
Mother: Ermengarde, living 924.
["Gislebertus, filius Manasse, a rege Rodulfo descivit propter Avalonem castrum quod ab eo Emma regina abstulerat;" Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 931, 48; "Hirmingardis Dei misericordia comitissa firmavit. Signum Walonis filii ejus. Signum Gisleberti filii ejus alterius. Signum Manassæ filii ejus." 31 October 920, Cart. Autun, 42-4 (#26); see also RHF 9: 717-8; "... Ermengardis comitisse et deo devote, seu filii ejus Gisleberti comitis illustris, ...; S. Ermengardis que fieri et firmare rogavit. S. Gisleberti qui consensit." June 924, Cart. S.-Marcel-lès-Chalon, 28-9 (#27)].

Spouse: Ermengarde.
Ermengarde appears in a charter of 11 December 942 with her husband Giselbert and daughter Adélaïde ["S. Giselberti comitis ... S. Ermengardis, que consensit, Adaleidis filie eorum ..." Werner (1960), 112, n. 95]. Although her origin is unknown, she is often supposed to be a daughter of duke Richard of Burgundy. For that and other unproven conjectures regarding her parentage, see the page of Ermengarde.

See the Commentary section for a supposed second wife.

["Et Gislebertus, comes Burgundionum obiit, et honorem ejus cum filia, nomine Leudegarde, ex qua postea a Rodulpho Divionensi pipicus factus, Otho, frater Hugonis ducis recepit. Aliam vero filiam, nomine Werram, duxit in matrimonium Robertus, comes Trecasinorum." Odoran, Chronicon, s.a. 956, Bib. Hist. Yonne, 2: 395 (also RHF 8: 237)].

FEMALE Liégarde, m. (1) Otto, duke of Burgundy, son of Hugues le Grand, duke of France; (2) Raoul, count of Dijon.
["In ipso anno defunctus est Gislebertus dux Burgundiae, relinquens ducatum Ottoni, filio Hugonis Magni. Habebat namque Otto filiam illius Gisleberti in coniugio." Historia Francorum Senonensis, s.a. 965, MGH SS 9: 366; "Hoc anno cepit Rodulfus Divioni comes Belnum castrum seniori sui Optonis, et quod peius est, uxorem suam abstulit, filiam videlicet Gisleberti, et sibi vindicavit in uxorem; et in ipso anno per vim captum est ipsum castrum ab Optone et a suis fidelibus Kal. Maias; ..." Annales Nivernenses, s.a. 958, MGH SS 13: 89; "Post mortem patris accepit Hugo ducatum Francie, et Otto Burgundie. Habuit uxorem filiam Gisleberti, qui post Hugonem, fratrem Rodulfi regis, ducatum Burgundie tenuit." Chron. S.-Benigne de Dijon, 135]

FEMALE Adélaïde alias Werra, m. Robert, count of Troyes.
Since Giselbert had a daughter named Adélaïde (see above under Ermengarde), and since Robert appears with a wife of that name [Signum Rotberti gloriosissimi comitis. S. Adelais comitissae. S. Erberti filii eorum." Lot (1891), 324, n. 2], it is generally accepted that Werra was a nickname of Adélaïde. See the Commentary section for more details.


Falsely attributed daughter: Adélaïde, m. (1) Lambert, d. probably 978, count of Chalon; (2) Geoffroy I "Grisegonelle", d. 987, count of Anjou.
(Sometimes even identified with Adélaïde alias Werra)

Did Giselbert have two daughters or three?

Giselbert is not known to have had any sons, and the documentation involving his daughter Liégarde is straightforward. However, interpretations of the evidence have varied with regard to his younger daughter or daughters. There are three basic strands of evidence, along with one other consideration which has influenced the interpretation of the evidence:

We know that Giselbert had a daughter named Adélaïde, that the only known wife of Robert had the same name, and that Odoran states that Robert married a daughter of Giselbert, giving her a very uncommon name. In the absence of any further considerations, the case for identifying the Werra of the first item with the Adélaïdes of the second and third items would be excellent, suggesting that "Werra" was only a nickname of Adélaïde. Here, the alternative would seem to be that Robert was married twice, once to Giselbert's daughter Werra and once to an otherwise unknown Adélaïde, who just happened to have the same name as a sister of Werra.

The supposed connection of Lambert of Chalon to the family of Giselbert is based on the fact that Lambert is indicated as the first count of Chalon (apparently, of his family), and Giselbert was previously count of Chalon ["... nobilissimus strenuissimusque Lambertus, filius Rotberti vicecomitis, Ingeltrude matre ortus, obtinuit comitatum Cabilonensem primus, assentante rege primoribusque Francie, ..." Cart. Paray-le-Monial, 2 (#2)]. This has led to the suggestion that Lambert's claim to Chalon was through his wife Adélaïde, and that Adélaïde was therefore a daughter or granddaughter of Giselbert. The fact that Giselbert had a daughter of that name is given as further support. In addition to the lack of direct support for this scenario, there is also the fact that it conflicts with the apparent identification of Adélaïde and Werra, daughter(s) of Giselbert. Lot suggested that either Robert was married twice (once to Werra, once to an unrelated Adélaïde) or Giselbert had two daughters named Adélaïde [Lot (1891), 327]. Chizelle also accepted that two daughters of Giselbert had the same name [Chizelle (1986), 66-9].

However, the lack of direct evidence is a major flaw in the hypothesis that Lambert married a daughter of Giselbert. It is heavily based on the assumption that Lambert must have married a daughter or granddaughter of Giselbert to justify his succession as count of Chalon, and the weakness of the alternate hypothesis that Adélaïde was a granddaughter of Giselbert and a daughter of Robert of Troyes. The argument is too weak to accept without further evidence. More recently, Constance Bouchard has suggested that Adélaïde's origin should be regarded as unknown [Bouchard (1987), 309], and Settipani sought elsewhere for the origins of Adélaïde [Settipani (1994), 44-52]. (See the page of Adélaïde for more details on various conjectures about her origin.) In my opinion, the best conclusion for the currently available evidence is that Giselbert had two documented daughters, Liégard and Adélaïde alias Werra, of whom the latter married Robert of Troyes.

Conjectured second wife (doubtful): NN, daughter of Hugues "le Noir", d. 952, duke of Burgundy.
Evidently an attempt to explain Giselbert's status as duke of Burgundy, this is no more convincing than the more frequent attempts to make Ermengarde a sister of Hugues [Chaume (1925), 545 (table IX), 549 (table XI); see the page of


Bib. Hist. Yonne = Louis-Maximilien Duru, ed., Bibliothèque historique de l'Yonne, 2 vols., (Auxerre & Paris, 1850-63).

Bouchard (1987) = Constance Brittain Bouchard, Sword, Miter, and Cloister - Nobility and the Church in Burgundy, 980-1198 (Ithaca & London, 1987).

Cart. Autun = A. de Charmasse, ed., Cartulaire de l'église d'Autun (Paris & Autun, 1865).

Cart. Cluny = A. Bernard & A. Bruel, Recueil des chartes de l'abbaye de Cluny, 6 vols., (Paris, 1876-1903).

Cart. Montiéramey = Charles Lalore, ed., Cartulaire de l'abbaye de Montiéramey (Collection des principaux cartulaires du diocèse de Troyes, 7, Paris & Troyes, 1890).

Cart. Paray-le-Monial = Ulysse Chevalier, ed., Cartulaire de Paray-le-Monial (Montbéliard, 1891).

Cart. S.-Marcel-lès-Chalon = Paul Canat de Chizy, ed., Cartulaire du prieuré de Saint-Marcel lès-Chalon (Chalon-sur-Saône, 1894).

Chaume (1925) = Maurice Chaume, Les origines du duché de Bourgogne, (vol. 1, Dijon, 1925).

Chizelle (1986) = Henri de Chizelle, "Aperçu sur le comté de Chalon-sur-Saône au Xe siècle: à propos de la comtesse Aélis", Annales de Bourgogne 58 (1986): 45-70.

Chron. S.-Bénigne Dijon = E. Bougaud, ed., Chronique de l'abbaye de Saint-Bénigne de Dijon (Dijon, 1875).

Favre (1893) = Édouard Favre, Eudes, comte de Paris et roi de France (882-898), (Bibliothéque de l'École des Hautes Études 99, Paris, 1893).

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

Garnier (1849) = Joseph Garnier, "Chartes Bourguignonnes inédites des IXe, Xe, et XIe siècles", Mémoires présentés par diverse savants à l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres de l'Institut National de France 2 ser. 2 (1849): 1-168.

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

Lot (1903) = Ferdinand Lot, Sur le règne de Hugues Capet et la fin du Xe siècle (Paris, 1903).

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

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

Poupardin (1907) = René Poupardin, Le royaume de Bourgogne (888-1038) - Étude sur les origines du royaume d'Arles (Paris, 1907).

RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.

Settipani (1994) = Christian Settipani, "Les origines maternelles du comte de Bourgogne Otte-Guillaume", Annales de Bourgogne 66 (1994), 5-63.

Werner (1960) = Karl Ferdinand Werner, "Untersuchungen zur Frühzeit des französischen Fürstentums (9.-10. Jahrhundert): V. Zur Geschichte des Hauses Vermandois", Die Welt als Geschichte 20 (1960): 87-119.

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 24 April 2008.

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