Cymburgis of Masovia

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Cymburgis of Masovia
Cimburgis.jpg
Cymburgis on a contemporary portrait
Spouse(s) Ernest, Duke of Austria
Noble family House of Piast (by birth)
House of Habsburg (by marriage)
Father Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia
Mother Alexandra of Lithuania
Born 1394 or 1397
Warsaw, Duchy of Masovia
Died 28 September 1429(1429-09-28)
Türnitz
Buried Lilienfeld Abbey

Cymburgis (also Cimburgis, Zimburgis or Cimburga) of Masovia (Polish: Cymbarka mazowiecka; 1394 or 1397 – September 28, 1429) in January 1412 became the second wife of the Habsburg Duke Ernest the Iron of Austria (since 1414 Archduke) and thus a Duchess/Archduchess of the Inner Austrian line in Styria, Carinthia and Carniola.

Cimburgis was born at Warsaw in the Duchy of Masovia to Duke Siemovit IV of the Masovian Piast dynasty and his wife Alexandra of Lithuania, daughter of Grand Duke Algirdas, a scion of the Gediminid dynasty, and sister of Władysław II Jagiełło, King of Poland.

Though his elder brother William's engagement with the Polish princess Jadwiga had mortifyingly failed, Ernest after the death of his first wife Margaret of Pomerania proceeded to Kraków to court Cymburgis. The wedding took place in 1412 in Buda (German: Ofen), at the residence of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor. At the time the Emperor mediated negotiations between her uncle Władysław II Jagiełło and the Teutonic Knights.[1] Though not approved by the Habsburg family, the marriage turned out to be a happy one. As the mother of the later Emperor Frederick III, Cymburgis, after Gertrude of Hohenburg, became the second female ancestor of all later Habsburgs, as only his branch of the family survived in the male line.

Although controversial, it has been claimed (since at least by Robert Burton in 1621[2]) that she brought the distinctive protruding lower lip (prognathism) into the family, a particular physical characteristic of most members of the family for many generations until the 18th century.[3] It can even be recognized in some of her distant descendants today (though not as markedly) as Alphonse XIII. Cymburgis' statue in the Innsbruck Hofkirche church however does not show this feature.[4] However, her husband's great-grandfather Albert I, Duke of Austria is presented in one portrait with it.[5]

Tradition has it that she was also known for her exceptional strength, which, for example, she showed by driving nails into the wall with her bare hands and cracking nuts between her fingers.[6] Strength also distinguished one of her descendants, Augustus II the Strong, who used to break horseshoes with his bare hands. Cymburgis outlived her husband and died at Türnitz in present-day Lower Austria. She is buried at Lilienfeld Abbey.

Issue[edit]

During her marriage, Cymburgis bore her husband nine children, of whom only four survive infancy:[7][8][9][10]

Ancestry[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Urban, William (2003). Tannenberg and After. Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center. p. 191. ISBN 0-929700-25-2. 
  2. ^ Manfred Draudt, Société Française Shakespeare
  3. ^ London Science Museum
  4. ^ Hofkirche website
  5. ^ Genealogy
  6. ^ de.wikisource.org: Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich(German)
  7. ^ Complete Genealogy of the House of Habsburg [retrieved 18 June 2014].
  8. ^ Genealogical Database by Herbert Stoyan [retrieved 18 June 2014].
  9. ^ Roglo.eu [retrieved 18 June 2014].
  10. ^ AUSTRIA in Charles Crawley: Medieval Lands [retrieved 18 June 2014].