Bernard II, Duke of Saxony

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bernard II
Duke of Saxony
BernhardIISachsen (cropped).jpg
Reign 1011–1059
Predecessor Bernard I
Successor Ordulf
Born c. 995
Died 29 June 1059(1059-06-29)
Spouse Eilika of Schweinfurt
House House of Billung
Father Bernard I, Duke of Saxony
Mother Hildegard

Bernard II (c. 995 – 29 June 1059) was the Duke of Saxony (1011–1059), the third of the Billung dynasty, a son of Bernard I and Hildegard. He had the rights of a count in Frisia.

Bernard expanded the powers of the duke in Saxony and is regarded as the greatest of the Billungers. He was originally a supporter of Emperor Henry II and he accompanied him into Poland and negotiated the treaty of Bautzen of 1018. In 1019–1020, he revolted[1] and gained the recognition of the tribal laws of Saxony, something his father had just failed to do. He returned then to war with the Slavs (Obodrites and Lutici) and drew them into his sphere of power and influence through their leader, Godescalc (Gottschalk).

He supported Conrad II in 1024 and his son Henry III, though he began to fear the latter for his closeness to the Archbishop Adalbert of Bremen, whom he considered a spy and an inveterate enemy of the dukes of Saxony.[1] Though he was a critical ally of the Danes, so fundamental to Henry's wars in the Low Countries, Bernard was on the brink of rebellion until the death of Adalbert. The remainder of his reign, however, was quiet.

In 1045, he erected the Alsterburg in Hamburg. He died in 1059 and was succeeded without incident by his son Ordulf. He is buried in the Church of Saint Michael in Lüneburg.

Marriage and issue[edit]

Bernard II, Duke of Saxony married to Eilika of Schweinfurt, daughter of Henry of Schweinfurt. They had:


  1. ^ a b Timothy Reuter, Germany in the Early Middle Ages C. 800-1056, (Routledge, 1998), 200.

Bernard II, Duke of Saxony
Born: c. 995 Died: 29 June 1059
Preceded by
Bernard I
Duke of Saxony
Succeeded by