Rudolph III of Burgundy

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Rudolph III

Rudolph III of Burgundy (called Rudolf der Faule in German, and Rodolphe le Fainéant in French, in both languages meaning "sluggard" or le Pieux "the Pious" in French) (971 – September 6, 1032) was the last king of an independent Kingdom of Arles, also called the Second Kingdom of Burgundy. He was the son of King Conrad of Burgundy and Queen Matilda of France. He was the last male member of the Burgundian group of the Elder Welfs family.


Rudolph's reign was marked with turbulence. Unable to placate the increasingly powerful nobility, he also had to deal with encroachments of power on the part of Otto-William, Count of Burgundy, as well as by the Emperor Henry II, as head of the Kingdom of Germany. Henry succeeded in negotiating Rudolph to name him as his successor in 1016.[1]

When Henry died, his successor, the Emperor Conrad II, also negotiated with Rudolph to make him his heir.[2] This was contested by Rudolph's nobles, Odo II, Count of Blois and Reginald I, Count of Burgundy.[2]

Rudolph married firstly Ageltrude, and secondly, c. 1016, Ermengard, widow of Rotbold III, Count of Provence.[3] Rudolph died in 1032, at the age of 61, with no surviving issue. Conrad then claimed the Kingdom of Arles and incorporated it in the Holy Roman Empire.


  1. ^ C.W. Previte-Orton, The Early History of the House of Savoy, (Cambridge University Press, 1912), 16.
  2. ^ a b C.W. Previte-Orton, The Early History of the House of Savoy, 27-28.
  3. ^ Detlev Schwennicke, Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge, Band I (Marburg, Germany: Verlag von J. A. Stargardt, 1980), Tafel 57
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Conrad I
King of Burgundy
Succeeded by
Conrad II