Ermentrude of Orléans

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Ermentrude
Ermentruda kralovna.jpg
Ermentrude
Queen consort of West Francia
Tenure843–869
Coronation866
Born27 September 823
Died6 October 869(869-10-06) (aged 46)
Burial
SpouseCharles II (m. 842)
Issue
among others...
DynastyUdalriching
FatherOdo I of Orléans
MotherEngeltrude de Fézensac

Ermentrude of Orléans (27 September 823 – 6 October 869) was the Queen of the Franks by her marriage to Charles II.

Queenship[edit]

The traditional historiography on queenship has created an image of a queen who a king's "helpmate"[1] and provider of heirs.[2] [3] [4] They had power within the royal household and partially within court. P.Stafford has examined queenship in a lot of depth, using Ermentrude's role in the Carolingian dynasty. They were involved in smooth day-to-day running of their household, as they directed the children's education and managed the royal treasury.[5] Stafford also described the queens as hostesses who ensured the royal family was not involved in scandal and gave gifts to high-ranking officials in a society where this was important to maintain bonds. As a result, queens were expected to act as chaste, loyal and wise women.[6]

In particular, Ermentrude was described by a contemporary, John Scotus Eriugena, as a 'strong woman' (femina fortis).[7] 2 letters written in her name survive, and a further 5 letters were addressed to her.[8] She was involved in 12 charters issued by Charles II.

Consecration[edit]

In 866, Ermentrude was consecrated by the Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims during a politically turbulent time regarding his relationship with Charles II.[9] It was the coronation of a wife rather than a bride, as she was crowned over 20 years after her wedding. According to Z. Mistry, the ordination shows two important ideas about Ermentrude and queenship in general: a) dynastic security b) how to be a good wife to a king.

Throughout the ordination, Ermentrude is repeatedly compared to Sarah from the Bible, and Z. Mistry concludes that this is an attempt from Hincmar and Charles II to bless the Carolingian dynasty with more heirs through Ermentrude. This is because Sarah struggled to have children until she reaffirmed her faith, showing that fertility and dynastic survival was entwined with devout faith.[10] [11] Fittingly, Ermentrude had an interest in religious foundations[12] and associations with several convents, including Chelles and Avenay.

Z. Mistry points out that Hincmar also developed an ideology for the behaviour of queens in his ordination and other works. He expected Ermentrude to be ‘loveable like Rachel, wise like Rebecca, loyal like Sarah.’[13] This list for how to be a good queen was common in Carolingian times, as Eriugena praised Ermentrude for her chastity, piety, and constant prayer, all virtues reminiscent of biblical women.[14]

Additional information[edit]

Ermentrude had a gift for embroidery.[15]

Issue[edit]

Ermentrude of Orléans and Charles II, also known as "The Bald", married in 842. Their children were:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stafford, P (1983). Queens, Concubines and Dowagers: The King's Wife in the Early Middle Ages. London. p. 100.
  2. ^ Nelson, J (1986). Politics and Ritual in Early Medieval Europe. London. pp. 7.
  3. ^ Mistry, Zubin (2019). "Ermentrude's consecration (866): queen-making rites and biblical templates for Carolingian fertility". Early Medieval Europe. 27 (4): 567–588. doi:10.1111/emed.12373. ISSN 1468-0254.
  4. ^ Stafford, P (1983). Queens, Concubines and Dowagers: The King's Wife in the Early Middle Ages. London. p. 86.
  5. ^ Stafford, P (1983). Queens, Concubines and Dowagers: The King's Wife in the Early Middle Ages. London. p. 112.
  6. ^ Stafford, P (1983). Queens, Concubines and Dowagers: The King's Wife in the Early Middle Ages. London. p. 99.
  7. ^ Herren, Michael (1993). Iohannis Scotti Eriugenae Carmina. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. p. 72. ISBN 1855001624.
  8. ^ "Ermentrud of Orleans". Medieval Women's Latin Letters. 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  9. ^ R. Stone and C. West (2015). Hincmar of Rheims: Life and Work. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 14.
  10. ^ Mistry, Z (2019). "'Ermentrude's Consecration (866): Queen-making rites and biblical templates for Carolingian fertility'". Early Medieval Europe: 18.
  11. ^ Jane Hyam, 'Ermentrude and Richildis', in Charles the Bald, Court and Kingdom, ed. Margaret Gibson and Janet Nelson (London, 1981), 153.
  12. ^ Herren, Michael (1993). Iohannis Scotti Eriugenae Carmina. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. p. 72. ISBN 1855001624.
  13. ^ Mistry, Zubin (2019). "Ermentrude's consecration (866): queen-making rites and biblical templates for Carolingian fertility". Early Medieval Europe. 27 (4): 567–588. doi:10.1111/emed.12373. ISSN 1468-0254.
  14. ^ Mistry, Zubin (2019). "Ermentrude's consecration (866): queen-making rites and biblical templates for Carolingian fertility". Early Medieval Europe. 27 (4): 567–588. doi:10.1111/emed.12373. ISSN 1468-0254.
  15. ^ Herren, Michael (1993). Iohannis Scotti Eriugenae Carmina. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. p. 72. ISBN 1855001624.
  16. ^ Jackman 2015, p. 3.

Sources[edit]

  • Jackman, Donald C. (2015). Three Bernards Sent South to Govern II: Counties of the Guilhemid Consanguinity. Editions Enlaplage.
  • Mistry, Zubin, ‘Ermentrude’s Consecration (866): Queen-making rites and biblical templates for Carolingian fertility’ Early Medieval Europe 27 (2019), pp. 567-588.
  • Nelson, Janet, Politics and Ritual in Early Medieval Europe (London, 1986).
  • Stafford, Paul, Queens, Concubines and Dowagers: The King’s Wife in the Early Middle Ages (London, 1983).
  • Stone, Rachel and West, Charles (eds.), Hincmar of Rheims: Life and Work (Manchester, 2015).

Further reading[edit]

  • Hincmar of Rheims, De Ordine Palatii (On the Governance of the Palace) (882), trans. by P.Dutton in Carolingian Civilisation (2nd ed.) (Toronto, 2004), pp.516-532.
  • Sedulius Scottus, On Christian Rulers (trans. by R.W Dyson) (Woodbridge, 2010).
Preceded by Queen of Western Francia
843–869
Succeeded by