Agnes of Poitou
|Agnes of Poitou|
Henry III and Agnes at Mary's throne, Speyer Evangeliary, 1046
|Spouse||Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor|
|House||House of Poitiers|
|Father||William V, Duke of Aquitaine|
|Mother||Agnes of Burgundy|
|Died||14 December 1077
She was the daughter of William V, Duke of Aquitaine and 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 in November 1043 at the Imperial Palace Ingelheim.[Note 1] She was his second wife after Gunhilda of Denmark, who had died in 1038. This marriage, helped to solidify the Holy Roman Empire's relationships with the west.
Their children were:
- Adelaide II (1045, Goslar – 11 January 1096), abbess of Gandersheim from 1061 and Quedlinburg from 1063
- Gisela (1047, Ravenna – 6 May 1053)
- Matilda (October 1048 – 12 May 1060, Pöhlde), married 1059 Rudolf of Rheinfelden, duke of Swabia and antiking (1077)
- Henry, his successor
- Conrad (1052, Regensburg – 10 April 1055), duke of Bavaria (from 1054)
- Judith (1054, Goslar – 14 March 1092 or 1096), married firstly 1063 Solomon of Hungary and secondly 1089 Ladislaus I Herman, duke of Poland
Role as regent
After her husband's death in 1056, Agnes served as regent during on behalf of young son, Henry IV. Despite being related to kings of Italy and Burgundy, Agnes was not known as a quality leader. During her rule, she would give away three duchies, Bavaria, Swabia, and Carinthia, to relatives.
Agnes opposed church reform, and took the side of Italian dissidents who did as well. Pope Stephen IX, who was unable to take actual possession of Rome due to the Roman aristocracy's election of an antipope, Benedict X, sent Hildebrand of Sovana and Anselm of Lucca (respectively, the future Popes Gregory VII and Alexander II) to Germany to obtain recognition from Agnes. Though Stephen died before being able to return to Rome, Agnes' help was instrumental in letting Hildebrand depose the Antipope  and with Agnes' support replace him by the Bishop of Florence, Nicholas II.
In 1062, Henry was abducted by a group of men, including the Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne and the Otto of Nordheim, in a conspiracy to remove Agnes from the throne, referred to as the Coup of Kaiserswerth. Henry was brought to Cologne, and despite jumping overboard from a board to escape, he was recaptured again. Agnes resigned, as ransom, from the throne, and Anno took her place. After the dethroning, she moved to Rome and acted as a mediator and peacemaker between Henry IV and his enemies. She died in Rome on 14 December 1077 and is buried at St. Peter's Basilica.
- Munster cites November 21, Jackson-Laufer cites November 1
- Guida Myrl Jackson-Laufer (1999). Women rulers throughout the ages: an illustrated guide. ABC-CLIO. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-1-57607-091-8. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- Sebastian Münster, Cosmographia, 1550, Book III, 333.
- Jackson, Guida M. (1999). Women rulers throughout the ages : an illustrated guide ([2nd rev., expanded and updated ed.]. ed.). Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1576070913.
- According to the sources, feeling his was nearing his end, Stephen had his cardinal swear that they would wait for Hildebrand's return to Rome before electing his successor.Paravicini Bagliani, Agostino (December 2008). "Una carriera dieotr le quinte". Medioevo (143): 70.
- "Agnes of Poitou". Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Agnes of Poitou. Brooklyn Museum. 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Chicago, 121.
- Chicago, Judy. The Dinner Party: From Creation to Preservation. London: Merrell (2007). ISBN 1-85894-370-1
- Robinson, I. S. Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106, 2000
- Women and Power in the Middle Ages: Political Aspects of Medieval Queenship PDF of an article from an unknown book, lacks footnote information.
Agnes of PoitouBorn: c. 1025 Died: 14 December 1077
Gunhilda of Denmark
|Queen consort of Germany
Bertha of Savoy
Gisela of Swabia
|Queen of Burgundy
|Empress consort of
the Holy Roman Empire
|Queen consort of Italy
Adelaide of Susa
|Duchess consort of Swabia
Matilda of Poland