Eupraxia of Kiev
|Holy Roman Empress|
|Died||20 July 1109(aged 38)|
|Place of death||Kiev|
|Predecessor||Bertha of Savoy|
|Consort to||Henry IV|
|Father||Vsevolod I of Kiev|
Eupraxia of Kiev (c.1067/1070 – July 10, 1109 AD) (sometimes westernised as Praxedis; in Ukrainian/Russian, Евпраксия) was the daughter of Vsevolod I, Prince of Kiev. She married Henry IV of Germany and took the name Adelaide (or Adelheid).
Eupraxia was born after 1067. She was the daughter of Vsevolod I, Prince of Kiev and his second wife, a Kypchak princess, who adopted the name Anna after their marriage. Eupraxia's brother was Vladimir Monomakh and her paternal aunt, Anne of Kiev, was married to Henry I of France.
Eupraxia was first married to Henry I the Long, count of Stade and margrave of the Saxon Northern March, who was the son of Lothair Udo II. Eupraxia and Henry had no children before his death in 1087.
After her first husband's death, Eupraxia went to live in the convent of Quedlinburg, where she met Henry IV, who was then the Saxon king. He was greatly impressed by her beauty. After his first wife Bertha of Savoy died in December 1087, Henry became betrothed to Eupraxia in 1088. The couple married the following year on 18th August 1089 at Cologne. Immediately after the wedding, Eupraxia was crowned and assumed the name Adelaide (or Adelheid).
During Henry's campaigns in Italy, he took Eupraxia-Adelaide with him and kept her imprisoned at Verona. She escaped in 1093 and fled to Canossa, where she sought the aid of Matilda of Tuscany, one of Henry's enemies. Eupraxia-Adelaide accused Henry of ill-treating her in a letter that was read at legatine synod held in Constance in April 1094. The following year, at the urging of Pope Urban II, Eupraxia-Adelaide made a public confession before the church Council of Piacenza. She accused Henry of holding her against her will, of forcing her to participate in orgies, and, according to some later accounts, of attempting a black mass on her naked body. According to these later chroniclers, Henry became involved in a Nicolaitan sect, and hosted the sect's orgies and obscene rituals in his palaces. Eupraxia-Adelaide was forced to participate in these orgies, and on one occasion Henry allegedly offered her to his son, Conrad. Conrad refused indignantly, and then revolted against his father. He began to support the papal side in the Italian wars which formed part of the Investiture Controversy. This legend takes its origin from the hostility between Henry and Urban II during the Investiture Controversy.
According to her own testimony, Eupraxia-Adelaide decided to leave her husband after becoming pregnant. The child would seem to be the son of the emperor Henry mentioned in the vita of Matilda of Canossa; this child died young in 1092 
- G. Vernadsky, Kievan Rus (New Haven, 1976).
- C. Raffensperger, ‘Evpraksia Vsevolodovna between East and West,’ Russian History/Histoire Russe 30:1–2 (2003), 23-34.
- H. Rüß, ‘Eupraxia-Adelheid. Eine biographische Annäherung,‘ Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 54 (2006), 481–518
- I.S. Robinson, Henry IV of Germany, 1056-1106 (Cambridge, 2003).
- G. Althoff, Heinrich IV (Darmstadt, 2006).
- Medieval Lands Project
- Adelaide of Kiev, c.1070-1109 (subscription required)
- Praxedis-Adelheid von Kiev, Deutsche Deutsche Königin (in German)
- Women of Ancient Rus (in Russian)
- "Adelaide of Kiev (c. 1070–1109)". Gale Research Inc. Retrieved 8 January 2013.(subscription required)
- Women of Ancient Rus (In Russian)
- Rüß, ‘Eupraxia,’ pp. 487f.
- Althoff, Heinrich IV., pp. 207f.
- Robinson, Henry IV, p. 289.
- Robinson, Henry IV, p. 290
- Althoff, Heinrich IV, p. 213
- Robinson, Henry IV, pp. 289ff.; Women of Ancient Rus (In Russian)
- Raffensperger, Christian. "The Missing Rusian Women: The Case of Evpraksia Vsevolodovna", in Writing Medieval Women's Lives (ed. Goldy, Livingstone), pub. 2012, pg. 83.
- Rüß, ‘Eupraxia,’ pp. 511-514.
Eupraxia of Kiev
RurikovichBorn: 1071 Died: 1109
Bertha of Savoy
|Holy Roman Empress
Matilda of England