Arduin of Ivrea

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Arduin of Ivrea

Arduin (Italian Arduino; 955 – 14 December 1015) was an Italian nobleman, who was Margrave of Ivrea (c. 990-1015) and King of Italy (1002-1014).


Arduin was born around 955 and named after his maternal grandfather, Arduin Glaber. His father, Dado, Count of Pombia, was a nephew of King Berengar II.[1] Arduin married Bertha, who is often said to be the daughter of Otbert II, Margrave of Milan. They had three sons: Arduin (sometimes called Ardicino), Otto and Guibert. From them descended the later counts of Ivrea and in turn those of Agliè, Brosso, Castellamonte, Front and Rivarolo.[1]

In 990, Arduin succeeded his kinsman Conrad in the March of Ivrea. Conrad was a son of Berengar II and married to a daughter of Arduin Glaber. It is unclear if Arduin was appointed to Ivrea by the king–emperor Otto III or if he succeeded as Conrad's heir.[1] The March of Ivrea, since its restructuring under Berengar II in 950, consisted of the counties of Burgaria, Ivrea, Lomello, Ossola, Pombia, Stazzona and Vercelli and the dioceses of Ivrea, Novara, Vercelli and Vigevano, plus part of those of Pavia and Milan.[1]

Arduin was excommunicated for the murder of the Bishop of Vercelli in 997.

The fortified church of Santa Croce at Sparone, also known as the Rocca di Sparone or Rocca di Arduino, is the site where, according to tradition, Arduin held out against the besieging Emperor Henry

He was made King of Italy after the death of Otto III in 1002, while in Germany Henry II was acclaimed king. At first Arduin was "elected by the Lombards in Pavia and was called ‘caesar’ [emperor] by all", according to the chronicler Arnulf of Milan.[2] He then made the rounds of the kingdom with the Archbishop of Milan publicly at his side. The territorial magnates of Italy professed to favour him but secretly were in favour of Henry, according to Arnulf. His enemies in the church, led by Frederick, Archbishop of Ravenna, sided with the new king of Germany. Henry sent Duke Otto I of Carinthia, whom he set over the March of Verona, to face Arduin, who was successful in a pitched battle at Fabrica.

Henry then invaded Italy with a large force that left Germany in March 1004 and arrived at Trento on 9 April 1004. He met Arduin outside Verona, where Arduin was disappointed by a poor showing from his erstwhile supporters. Henry entered Pavia, ancient capital of Italy, and had himself crowned king on 14 May in San Michele and then burned the city that had given shelter to Arduin. This had its effect: "all of Italy was horrified by this and likewise extremely fearful. As confidence in Arduin waned from this time on, Henry's power prevailed everywhere."[3] Arduin took revenge on those who had been unfaithful to him. According to Arnulf, he

captured the city of Vercelli, besieged Novara, invaded Como, and destroyed many other places opposed to him. In the end [1014–15], worn down by labor and sickness and deprived of his kingdom, he was content with the monastery named Fruttuaria alone. There, after the regalia had been placed upon the altar and he had donned the habit of a pauper, he fell asleep in his own time [died on 14 December 1015].

After his death the Margraviate of Ivrea, which had given the Ottonian emperors so much trouble, was dissolved.

Popular culture[edit]

Arduin of Ivrea's name provides the root for the name of the open-source hardware platform Arduino.


  1. ^ a b c d Arnaldi 1962.
  2. ^ Liber gestorum recentium I.14
  3. ^ Arnulf, I.16


  • Arnaldi, Girolamo (1962). "Arduino, re d'Italia". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 4. Rome: Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana. 
Regnal titles
Title last held by
Otto III
King of Italy
Succeeded by
Henry II
Preceded by
Margrave of Ivrea
Preceded by
Otto III
Holy Roman Emperor (unorthodoxy)
Henry II