Wife of duke Liudolf of Sachsen (Saxony).

Oda was said to be from a distinguished Frankish family, but her parents are little more than names ["Cui coniux ergo fuerat praenobilis Oda, / Edita Francorum clara de stirpe potentum, / Filia Billungi, cuiusdam principis almi, / Atque bonae famae generosae scilicet Aedae / ..." Hrotsvitha, Carmen de primordiis coenobii Gandersheimensis, 21-4, MGH SS 4: 306; "... mater ex nobilissima aeque Francorum prosapia descendens, in prole nobilior effulsit." Agius, Vita Hathumodae, c. 2, MGH SS 4: 167].

Date of birth: About 806.
Place of birth:
The date is based on calculating 107 years back from 913, and its reliability depends on how accurate the age at death is [see under date of death].

Date of death: [17 May?] 913, aged 107 (it is said).
Place of death: Unknown.
Place of burial: Gandersheim.
Oda is said to have lived to the remarkable age of 107 years, dying six months after the death of her son Otto and the birth of her great-grandson the later emperor Otto I, and she was buried at Gandersheim with her daughters ["Mensibus hinc senis cursu volitante peractis, / Dum decus hoc tanti clarum generis fuit ortum, / ... / Oda nimis felix, nostri spes et dominatrix, / Quum decies denos septem quoque vixerat annos, / Vitam fine bono consummans transit ad astra, / ... / Iuxta natarum requiescit busta suarum." Hrotsvitha, Primordia, 568-9, 574-6, 580, MGH SS 4: 316; "Domna quoque Oda centesimo septimo aetatis anno, omnibus filiis praemissis, decessit, Cristina tantum superstite, positaque est iuxta filias suas." Vita Bernwardi ep., c. 12, MGH SS 4: 763; "Domina Oda, mater scilicet ipsius, obiit anno 107. vitae suae." Ann. Quedlinb., s.a. 913, MGH SS 3: 52]. The necrology of Gandersheim mentions Oda, but does not give her date of death ["Memoria venerabilis Domini [sic] Ode fundatoris et peragetur sicut memoria Ludolphi fundatoris" Althoff (1976), 402 (#31)]. Althoff gives 17 May 913 as her date of death, but without giving a clear source [Althoff (1976), 375, 402 (#31); Althoff (1984), 159]. Sometime around May 913 seems probable from the fact that she is said to have died six months after her son Otto, but the absence of a good citation for the exact date invites concern that her death date has been confused with that of Ida, wife of another duke Liudolf (of Swabia, great-great-grandson of Oda, see the page of Otto I), who herself died on a 17 May (985×6) [Althoff (1984), 378 (H13)]. As for the claimed age of 107 years, the reliability of that information is difficult to judge. Unusual as it is, it is certainly not impossible. The only child with a known birthdate is Hathumod (ca. 840), and the suggestion that Oda's age was exaggerated by a decade or so would not conflict with any other known information.

Father: Billung.

Mother: Aeda.

["Filia Billungi, cuiusdam principis almi, / Atque bonae famae generosae scilicet Aedae / ..." Hrotsvitha, Carmen de primordiis coenobii Gandersheimensis, 23-4, MGH SS 4: 306]

Spouse: Liudolf, d. 12 March 865×6, duke of eastern Saxony.
[Hrotsvitha, Carmen de primordiis coenobii Gandersheimensis, 21-4, MGH SS 4: 306 (see above); "... Liudolfus dux cum religiosa contectali sua Oda, ..." Vita Bernwardi ep., c. 12, MGH SS 4: 762; "anno dominicae incarnationis 852 ..., quidam dux Saxonicus nomine Liudulfus et sua contectalis Ouda, ..." Wolfhere, Vita Godehardi episcopi, c. 19, MGH SS 11: 180]

See the page of Liudolf for details.

MALE Bruno, d. 2 February 880, duke of Sachsen (Saxony).

MALE Otto (Oddo) "der Erlauchten", d. 30 November 912, duke of Sachsen (Saxony);
Hedwig, d. 24 December, probably 903.

FEMALE Hathumod, b. ca. 840, d. 29 November 874, aged 34, abbess of Gandersheim.

FEMALE Liutgard, d. 885;
m. Ludwig III, d. 20 January 882, king of Sachsen.

m. NN.

FEMALE Gerberga, d. 5 September 896×7, abbess of Gandersheim, 874-896-7.

FEMALE Christina, d. 1 April 919, abbess of Gandersheim, 896×7-919.

MALE NN, a monk.

MALE Thankmar, apparently d. young.

MALE NN, d. young.

MALE NN, d. young.

FEMALE NN, d. young.

FEMALE NN?, in religion?

FEMALE NN?, in religion?


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).

MGH SS = Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores series.

Compiled by Stewart Baldwin

First uploaded 3 April 2011.

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