Berthold, Duke of Merania
|Berthold IV of Andechs|
|Duke of Merania|
Berthold and Agnes with their daughter Matilda, Hedwig Codex, 1353
|Spouse(s)||Agnes of Rochlitz|
|Noble family||House of Andechs|
|Father||Berthold I of Istria|
|Mother||Hedwig of Wittelsbach|
|Died||12 August 1204|
Berthold IV (died 12 August 1204), a member of the House of Andechs, was Margrave of Istria and Carniola (as Berthold II). Already from about 1180/82 he bore the title of a Duke of Merania, that is, the Adriatic seacoast of Dalmatia and Istria.
Berthold was the son of Count Berthold III of Andechs and his wife Hedwig of Wittelsbach. His father had been a loyal liensman of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and in turn was enfeoffed with the Istrian march upon the death of the Sponheim margrave Engelbert III.
Young Berthold IV first appeared in 1170 and was mentioned as Count of Andechs in a 1172 deed. In 1175 he served as co-ruler in the March of Istria. After Emperor Frederick deposed Duke Henry the Lion in 1180, his mother's relative Otto of Wittelsbach received the Duchy of Bavaria, while Berthold was appointed Duke of Merania. The rule over "Merania", named after the Adriatic Sea (mare is Latin for "sea") of Istria, Rijeka, Croatia, and Dalmatia, actually encompassed the same area as the old Istrian margraviate, but its ruler now gained much prestige from his new title and the comital House of Andechs was elevated to Princes of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1186, he accompanied Emperor Frederick's son Henry VI to Italy and his marriage with Constance of Sicily. In 1189, he led the third division of the imperial army and was its standard-bearer on the Third Crusade. In 1195, he appeared as Vogt (reeve) of Tegernsee Abbey in Bavaria. Berthold committed himself to join the Crusade of 1197, however, he did not participate until Henry's death in the same year. Though he had opposed the emperor's Erbreichsplan, he backed the claims of Henry's younger brother Philip of Swabia against the politics of Pope Innocent III who supported Philip's Welf rival Otto IV. At this juncture, the House of Andechs was at the height of its power and influence, with extended possessions stretching from Franconia down to the Adriatic.
Berthold died in 1204 and was buried at the Andechs private monastery in Dießen, Bavaria.
Marriage and issue
- Otto I (d. 1234), succeeded his father as Duke of Merania, married Beatrice II of Hohenstaufen, daughter of Count Otto I of Burgundy, became Count palatine of Burgundy in 1211
- Ekbert (d. 1237), Bishop of Bamberg from 1203, guardian of his nephew Otto II from 1234
- Henry (d. 1228), Margrave of Istria and Carniola from 1204, married Sophia of Weichselburg, heiress of the Windic March
- Hedwig (1174–1243), married Henry I the Bearded, Duke of Silesia, became High Duchess of Poland in 1232
- Gertrude (d. 1213), married Andrew II, brother of King Emeric of Hungary, became Queen of Hungary in 1205, murdered
- Agnes (d. 1201), married King Philip II of France and became Fench conosrt in 1196, repudiated in 1200
- Berthold (d. 1251), Archbishop of Kalocsa from 1206, Patriarch of Aquileia from 1218
- Matilda (Mechtild, d. 1254), Abbess of Kitzingen
Berthold, Duke of MeraniaDied: 12 August 1204
|Duke of Merania
|Margrave of Istria and Carniola