Agnes of Poitou


Agnes of Poitou

Agnes of Poitou, Agnes of Aquitaine or Empress Agnes (c. 1025 – December 14, 1077) was regent of the Holy Roman Empire from 1056 to 1062.

Family

She was born to William V, Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou and his wife Agnes of Burgundy. She was the sister of Duke William VI, Duke Eudes, Duke William VII, and Duke William VIII.

Her maternal grandparents were Otto-William, Duke of Burgundy and Ermentrude of Rheims.

Marriage and children

Agnes married Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, on November 21, 1043, at Besançon. Their children were:
# Matilda of Swabia, born 1045, died 1060, married Rudolf von Rheinfelden (1058).
# Judith Sophia of Swabia, born 1047, married first King Solomon of Hungary, secondly to King Wladislaus I Herman of Poland.
# Adelaide (or Adelheid) of Germany, born 1048, died 1095, Abbess of Quedlinburg from c.1062.
# Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, born November 11, 1050.
# Conrad, born 1052, Duke of Bavaria as "Conrad II" 1054-1056, died 1056.

Regent

After her husband's death, Agnes served as regent during the minority of their young son, Henry IV. Her chief counselor was Henry II, Bishop of Augsburg, who was widely hated for his arrogance and his suspected relationship with the empress.

Although Agnes pursued a policy of reconciliation with her late husband's enemies, a conspiracy was formed against her by a cadre of power-hungry princes. Shortly after Easter 1062, her son Henry was abducted by some of these conspirators, who included the bishop of Cologne and the duke of Bavaria. Without her son, Agnes lost political power and was forced into a temporary retirement.

In 1065 she went to Rome, where she lived under the guidance of the theologian Peter Damian. In her later years Agnes acted as a peacemaker between her son Henry IV and his enemies.

ources

*Robinson, I.S. "Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106", 2000
* [http://www.stm.unipi.it/Clioh/tabs/libri/2/02-Averkorn_11-30.pdf Women and Power in the Middle Ages: Political Aspects of Medieval Queenship] PDF of an article from an unknown book, lacks footnote information.

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-succession box
before=Adelaide of Susa
title=Duchess consort of Swabia
years=1043–1045
after=Mathilde of Poland


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