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SWABIA, dukes

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Swabia was one of the four original provinces of Germany, covering the territory which later split into the French province of Alsace, the German principalities of Baden and Württemberg, and most of northern Switzerland. It evolved along different lines from the more centralised province of Bavaria and the larger but more fragmented province of Saxony. Originally known as Alemannia, the Alemans were defeated by the Merovingian Franks under King Clovis at the end of the 5th century and by the reign of King Theoderic I were under Frankish overlordship. However, the local rulers were able to preserve semi-autonomy, a situation which was not tolerated by the later Merovingians and early Carolingians, who launched a series of military campaigns against Alemannia in 709, 712, 743 and 746/47. During the last of these, the Alemannic dukes were deposed and a large part of the Alemannic nobility killed at Canstatt, near Stuttgart[1] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn1), following which the territory was ruled by Warin and Ruthard on behalf of Pepin and Charles "Martel"[2] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn2).

During the succeeding years, the territory was never united under a single ruler: the Etichonid family ruled in Alsace, while the Alaholfing dynasty ruled in the valleys of the upper Danube and Neckar rivers. This presumably explains why Alemannia failed to retain its national identity after the Frankish takeover, in contrast to Bavaria[3] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn3). Swabia was revived as a separate political entity in the early 10th century, coinciding with the significant decline in central Carolingian authority and the revival of the duchy of Bavaria. The title used by the early Hunfriding rulers in Swabia is uncertain. A 903 diploma of Ludwig IV "das Kind" King of Germany refers to the first Hunfriding ruler Burkhard as "marchio CuriensisRætiæ", indicating the creation of a short-lived march in what is now northern Switzerland. Other contemporary sources give him the more general titles of "comes et princeps Alamannorum" and "dux". It is unlikely that either of these latter titles was officially sanctioned by the kings/emperors, as contemporary imperial diplomas give the title comes to Burchard. Development of an autonomous Swabian duchy was delayed by the rebellions of Burkhard [i] in 911 and of his son Burkhard [II] in 914, although the latter is given the title dux at a later date in contemporary sources. The new duchy appears to have been firmly established by 926 when Heinrich I King of Germany installed Hermann [Konradiner] as duke. This was the first direct intervention by the central regal authority in ducal appointments in Germany, but became the accepted pattern during the rest of the 10th century with dukedoms such as Swabia being treated by the king like an office, the title being awarded and removed with regularity depending on the loyalty of the office-holder. During the following 150 years, the dukes of Swabia were chosen from ten different dynasties, with the Hunriding and Konradiner families being the only ones which provided Swabian rulers over three consecutive generations.

The decline in the central authority of the dukes of Swabia probably dates from the investiture crisis involving Heinrich IV King of Germany, which resulted in the election of a series of anti-kings. The election of rival kings was mirrored in the appointment of rival dukes in Swabia, with the authority of duke Berthold von Rheinfelden being challenged by Friedrich von Hohenstaufen in 1079, and the latter's authority being challenged in turn in 1092 by duke Berthold [Zähringen]. Although the Staufen duke prevailed on the latter occasion, his Zähringen rival was compensated by recognition of his personal title of duke, which was also transmitted to his descendants. This represented the first time in which two individuals both peaceably held the title dux at any one time in any of the original German provinces. The significance is heightened by the fact that the dux was traditionally the sole military as well as political leader in each province. For Swabia, therefore, the presence of two dukes within the province was a significant change, although the difference would probably have remained symbolic if it had not been for other factors which accelerated the decline in the power of the Swabian dukes. Foremost was a third ducal presence in Swabia. In 1096, the Welf family established themselves definitively as dukes of Bavaria. However, their original powerbase was Swabia where they were still major landowners and where contemporary sources such as necrologies show that they also used the title dux. At the same time, the Staufen dukes were widening their horizon of activity away from Swabia. Although they took their name from the Swabian castle of Staufen, the family acquired extensive property in Franconia, bequeathed to Duke Friedrich II by his maternal uncle Emperor Heinrich V. The election of Konrad von Staufen as Konrad III King of Germany in 1138, and that of his nephew as King Friedrich I "Barbarossa" in 1152, signalled the family's definitive removal from the provincial Swabian field of activity to the national. Members of the Staufen family held the title Duke of Swabia until the last male heir Konradin was beheaded in 1268, but it is clear that these were largely honorific appointments. Contemporary sources reveal little direct involvement by these successor dukes in Swabian government. During the dispute between Konrad IV King of Germany and the papal party, with Willem II Count of Holland as its figurehead and anti-king, Swabia was largely anti-Staufen.

The reaction against Staufen control enabled the local Swabian nobility to assert their autonomy. The duchy of Swabia virtually disappeared as a territorial unit and dissolved into a collection of territorial fragments[4] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn4). A further difficulty for Swabia was the transfer of parts of its territory, particularly in Alsace, to neighbouring jurisdictions such as the kingdom of Burgundy and the duchy of Upper Lotharingia (Lorraine).

Religious administration in Swabia centred on the archbishopric of Mainz, established by the Carolingians in 747, which also covered large areas in Saxony and Franconia. The bishoprics within the Swabian sector of the province were Augsburg (whose jurisdiction also included part of Bavaria), Konstanz, Chur and Strasbourg, all dating from the late 8th or early 9th centuries. The bishopric of Basel fell within the province of Besançon in the neighbouring kingdom of Burgundy. The bishoprics of Basel and Strasbourg were responsible for Alsace, Augsburg covered eastern Swabia, while the bishopric of Konstanz covered the area to the south-east, and Chur covered part of present-day Switzerland[5] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn5).


The territory of Alemannia was invaded by the Merovingian Franks but was able to preserve semi-autonomy. The dukes of Alemannia were finally vanquished by Pippin III who placed Alemannia in the hands of Counts Ruthard and Warin[6] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn6). After the death of Charles "Martel", the territory rebelled against the Franks, but maior domus Carloman laid waste to Alemannia in 742[7] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn7). The family relationship between the early dukes of Alemannia has not been confirmed by the primary sources so far consulted. The Alemannian dukes are frequently referred to as "Etichonen". Any connection between them and the Etichonen noble family in Alsace has not yet been identified.

1.LIUTFRED (-587 or after). Duke of Alemannia. Fredegar records that "LeudefredusAlamnnorum dux" incited the wrath of Guntram King of the Franks and that "Uncelenus dux" was appointed in his place, dated to 587 as the text is placed after a passage dealing with the 28th year of the king's reign[8] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn8).

2.UNCELENUS (-after 587). Duke of Alemannia 587, installed by Guntram King of the Franks. Fredegar records that "LeudefredusAlamnnorum dux" incited the wrath of Guntram King of the Franks and that "Uncelenus dux" was appointed in his place, dated to 587 as the text is placed after a passage dealing with the 28th year of the king's reign[9] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn9).

3.CUNZO (-after 613). Duke of Alemannia. m ---. The name of Cunzo's wife is not known. Cunzo & his wife had one child:
a)FRIDBURGA (-after 613). The Vita Galli names "Cunzonem ducem…filia eius unica Fridiburga" recording that she was "Sigoboto filio Theodorichi disponsata"[10] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn10). Betrothed (613) to SIGEBERT II King of the Franks (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/MEROVINGIANS.htm#SigebertIIdied613), illegitimate son of THEODERIC II King of the Franks & his mistress --- ([602/03]-murdered 613).

4.LIUTHAR (-after [643]). Duke of Alemannia. Fredegar records that "Leuthario duci Alamannorum" killed "Otto quidam filius Urones domestici", who who had rebelled against maiordomus Grimoald, in the 10th year of the reign of King Sigebert[11] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn11).

5.--- . Duke of Alamannia. The identity of this Alamannian duke is not known. m --- of Friulia (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/NORTHERN%20ITALY%20900-1100.htm#AppaMAlamannia), daughter of GISULF II Duke of Friulia & his wife Romilda --- (before 610-). Paulus Diaconus names "una Appa alia Gaila…duarum vero nomina non retinemus" as the daughters of "GisulfusForoiulanus dux", recording that one later married "Alamannorum regi, alia…Baioariorum principi", without specifying which[12] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn12).

6.WILLICHAR (-after 709). Duke of Alamannia. The PassioDesiderii et Reginfredi names "dux…Willicharius" in "Alamannorum ad locum…Mortunaugia"[13] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn13). The AnnalesSanctiMaximiniTrevirensis record that in 709 "Pippinus perrexit in Alemanniam contra Willarium ducem"[14] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn14).

7.GOTTFRIED (-709). Duke of Alamannia. "Godafridus dux" donated "Biberburg um vicum ad Neccarum" to the monastery of St Gallen by charter dated 708[15] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn15). The Annales Alammanici record the death of "Gotefrid" in 709[16] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn16). m ---. The name of Gottfried's wife is not known. Gottfried & his wife had three children:
a)LANTFRID (-730, 741 or 751). The Annales Petaviani record that Charles "Martel" travelled to "Suavis contra Lantfridum" in 730[17] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn17). "Lanfrido filio Godofrido" produced the first recorded Swabian Law code[18] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn18). Duke of Alamannia. The Annales Alammanici record the death of "Lantfridus" in 730[19] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn19). The Annales Moselleni record the death in 751 of "Lantfridus"[20] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn20).
b)HUOCHING . Thegan's Vita Hludowici Imperatoris names "Gotefridus dux" as father of "Huochingus"[21] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn21). m ---. The name of Huoching's wife is not known. Huoching & his wife had one child:
i)NEBE [Hnabi] . "Nebe" son of "Huochingus" is named by Thegan[22] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn22). m HERESWINT, daughter of --- & his wife [Williswint] ---. Hereswint is named as wife of Nebe[23] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn23). Nebe & his wife had two children:
(a)RUODPERT [Robert] (-[785]). The primary source which confirms his parentage has not yet been identified. m ---. The name of Ruodpert's wife is not known. Ruodpert & his wife had one child:
(1)ERBIO (-after 788). Erbio son of Robert made a donation to Wissembourg by charter dated 788[24] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn24). m ---. The name of Erbio's wife is not known. Erbio & his wife had two children:
a.UDO (-after 808). Udo and Eugenia, children of Erbio, made a donation to Wissembourg by charter dated 808[25] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn25).
b.EUGENIA (-after 808). Udo and Eugenia, children of Erbio, made a donation to Wissembourg by charter dated 808[26] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn26).
(b)IMMA . "Imma" daughter of "Nebe" is named by Thegan[27] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn27). Her marriage is suggested by Thegan's Vita Hludowici Imperatoris which names "Hildigardam [wife of Charles I King of the Franks] quæ erat de cognatione Gotefridi ducis Alamannorum" and specifies that she was Imma's daughter[28] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn28). The Annales Alamannici record the death in 798 of "Imma"[29] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn29). m GEROLD Graf im Kraichgau (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIAN%20NOBILITY.htm#GeroldUdalriching erMImma) [Udalrichinger], son of ---.
c)THEOTBALD (-after 745). The Annales Metenses names "Teobaldo, filio Godefridi ducis Alamannorum" when recording his 745 rebellion which was suppressed by Pepin, and his seeking refuge the following year with "Odilonis" [Duke of Bavaria][30] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn30). The AnnalesNazariani record "Theotbaldus in Alsacian" in 745[31] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn31).

8.HAISTULF (-755). The Annales Alammanici record the death of "Haistulfus" in 755[32] (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm#_ftn32).


SWABIA (http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SWABIA.htm)