Herman, Duke of Carinthia

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Herman II of Spanheim
Duke of Carinthia
Duke 1161–1181
Predecessor Henry V, Duke of Carinthia
Successor Ulrich II, Duke of Carinthia
Spouse(s) Agnes of Austria
Noble family House of Sponheim
Father Ulrich I, Duke of Carinthia
Mother Judith of Baden
Died 4 October 1181(1181-10-04)
Buried St. Paul's Abbey

Herman II of Sponheim (died 4 October 1181), a scion of the Rhenish House of Sponheim, ruled the Duchy of Carinthia from 1161 to his death.[1]


He was the second son of Duke Ulrich I of Carinthia (d. 1144) and his wife Judith of Zähringen, daughter of Margrave Herman II of Baden.[2]

Herman's paternal grandparents were Engelbert of Spanheim (died 1141) and Uta, daughter of Burgrave Ulric of Passau. In 1123 Engelbert had succeeded his brother Henry IV as Carinthian duke, since 1106 he also controlled the Imperial March of Istria.[3]

His maternal grandparents were the Bavarian count Berengar II of Sulzbach (died 3 December 1125) and Adelheid of Wolfratshausen. His maternal aunts included Gertrude of Sulzbach and Bertha of Sulzbach, respectively the wives of King Conrad III of Germany and the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos.[4]


When in April 1144, his father Duke Ulrich I died childless[5] Herman's elder brother Henry V succeeded him. Though a loyal supporter of the Imperial Hohenstaufen dynasty, Henry lost the title of Margrave of Verona to his uncle Herman III of Baden in 1151. He married Elizabeth, a daughter of Margrave Leopold of Styria, and died childless on 12 October 1161,[6] whereafter Herman succeeded him as Carinthian duke.

Herman reached the confirmation of his rule by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. In December 1161 he was solemnly enthroned on the Duke's Chair in the Zollfeld plain, in the presence of Archbishop Eberhard of Salzburg and Patriarch Ulrich II of Aquileia. In 1162 he accompanied the emperor on his campaign to Italy in 1162 and the failed attempt to meet with King Louis VII of France.

With varying degrees of success he tried to consolidate his position in Carinthia by achieving the office of a Vogt protector over the Diocese of Gurk as well as over the Carinthian possessions of the Bishopric of Bamberg and the Patriarchate of Aquileia. Like his brother, he was stuck in territorial disputes with the Otakar margraves of Styria and local nobles like the counts of Heunburg and Ortenburg. Upon the death of his uncle Margrave Engelbert III of Istria in 1173, Herman could not assume the margravial title, but inherited his personal possessions around the town of Sankt Veit which emerged as ducal residence.

About 1173, Herman married Agnes of Babenberg, daughter of Duke Henry II of Austria and widow of King Stephen III of Hungary. They had two known sons:[7]

Herman was the first Sponheim duke to be buried in St. Paul's Abbey in the Lavanttal, established by his great-grandfather Count Engelbert of Spanheim in 1091. He was succeeded by his eldest son Ulrich II.

Herman, Duke of Carinthia
Died: 4 October 1181
Preceded by
Henry V
Duke of Carinthia
Succeeded by
Ulrich II



Cawley, Charles, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy  Missing or empty |title= (help); ,[better source needed]