Odo II, Count of Blois

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Odo II, Count of Blois
Elias I of Maine - Odo II Count of Blois.jpg
Odo II of Blois and Elias I of Maine from an engraving by Augustin François Lemaître, after a drawing by Charles Vernier (1845)
Spouse(s) Matilda
Ermengarde
Noble family House of Blois
Father Odo I of Blois
Mother Bertha of Burgundy
Born 983
Died 15 November 1037(1037-11-15)
Bar-le-Duc

Odo II (French: Eudes le Champenois) (983 – 15 November 1037) was the Count of Blois, Chartres, Châteaudun, Beauvais and Tours from 1004 and Count of Troyes (as Odo IV) and Meaux (as Odo I) from 1022. He twice tried to make himself a king: first in Italy after 1024 and then in Burgundy after 1032.

Odo II was the son of Odo I of Blois and Bertha of Burgundy.[1] He was the first to unite Blois and Champagne under one authority although his career was spent in endless feudal warfare with his neighbors and suzerains, many of whose territories he tried to annex.[2]

About 1003/4 he married Maud of Normandy, a daughter of Richard I of Normandy.[3] After her death in 1005,[1] and as she had no children, Richard II of Normandy demanded a return of her dowry: half the county of Dreux.[4] Odo refused and the two warred over the matter.[4] Finally, King Robert II, who had married Odo's mother, imposed his arbitration on the contestants in 1007, leaving Odo in possession of the castle Dreux while Richard II kept the remainder of the lands.[4] Odo quickly married a second wife, Ermengarde, daughter of Robert I of Auvergne.[4]

Defeated by Fulk 'Nerra,' Count of Anjou and Herbert I of Maine at the Battle of Pontlevoy in July 1016, he quickly tried to overrun the Touraine.[2] After the death of his cousin Stephen I in 1019/20, without heirs he seized Troyes, Meaux and all of Champagne for himself without royal approval.[5] From there he attacked Ebles, the archbishop of Reims, and Theodoric I, the duke of Lorraine. Due to an alliance between the king and the Emperor Henry II he was forced to relinquish the county of Rheims to the archbishop.

He was offered the crown of Italy by the Lombard barons, but the offer was quickly retracted in order not to upset relations with the king of France. In 1032, he invaded the Kingdom of Burgundy on the death of Rudolph III.[6] He retreated in the face of a coalition of the Emperor Conrad II and the new king of France, Henry I.[7] He died in combat near Bar-le-Duc during another attack on Lorraine.[2]

Issue[edit]

By his second wife, Ermengarde of Auvergne, Odo had three children:

  1. Theobald III, who inherited the county of Blois and most of his other possessions.[1]
  2. Stephen II, who inherited the counties of Meaux and Troyes in Champagne.[1]
  3. Bertha, who married first Alan III, Duke of Brittany, and second Hugh IV, Count of Maine[1][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II: Die Ausserdeutschen Staaten Die Regierenden Häuser der Übrigen Staaten Europas (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 46
  2. ^ a b c J.W. Bury, Cambridge Medieval History, Vol III (The Macmillan Company, New York, 1922), p. 123
  3. ^ Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II: Die Ausserdeutschen Staaten Die Regierenden Häuser der Übrigen Staaten Europas (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 79
  4. ^ a b c d Kate Norgate, Odo of Champagne, Count of Blois and 'Tyrant of Burgundy', The English Historical Review, Vol. 5, No. 19, (Jul., 1890), p. 487
  5. ^ Kate Norgate, Odo of Champagne, Count of Blois and 'Tyrant of Burgundy', The English Historical Review, Vol. 5, No. 19, (Jul., 1890), pp. 488-89
  6. ^ C.W. Previte-Orton, The Early History of the House of Savoy, (Cambridge University Press, 1912), 30.
  7. ^ C.W. Previte-Orton, The Early History of the House of Savoy, 33-36.
  8. ^ Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band II: Die Ausserdeutschen Staaten Die Regierenden Häuser der Übrigen Staaten Europas (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1984), Tafel 75

External references[edit]

Odo II, Count of Blois
Born: 983 Died: 15 November 1037
Preceded by
Theobald II
Count of Blois
1004–1037
Succeeded by
Theobald III