Agnes de Poitou
Agnes of Poitou, Agnes of Aquitaine or Empress Agnes (c. 1025 – 14 December 1077) was Holy Roman Empress and regent of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 from 1056 to 1062.


She was born to William V, Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou
Count of Poitiers
Among the people who have borne the title of Count of Poitiers are:*Guerin **Hatton **Renaud...

 and his wife Agnes of Burgundy
Agnes of Burgundy, Duchess of Aquitaine
Agnes of Burgundy , Duchess of Aquitaine was a daughter of Otto-William, Count of Burgundy and Ermentrude of Roucy. She was a member of the House of Ivrea.-Life:...

. She was the sister of Duke William VI
William VI of Aquitaine
William VI , called the Fat, was Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou between 1030 and his death...

, Duke Eudes
Eudes of Aquitaine
Odo was Duke of Gascony from 1032 and then Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou from 1038.He was a member of the House of Poitiers, the second son of William V of Aquitaine, the eldest by second wife Prisca, daughter of William II of Gascony and sister of Sancho VI.The Chronicle of Saint-Maixent...

, Duke William VII
William VII of Aquitaine
William VII , called the Eagle or the Bold , was the duke of Aquitaine and count of Poitou between 1039 and his death, following his half-brother Odo.William was the third son of William V of Aquitaine, the eldest by his third wife, Agnes of Burgundy...

, and Duke William VIII
William VIII of Aquitaine
William VIII , born Guy-Geoffrey , was duke of Gascony , and then duke of Aquitaine and count of Poitiers between 1058 and 1086, succeeding his brother William VII ....


Her maternal grandparents were Otto-William, Duke of Burgundy
Otto-William, Duke of Burgundy
Otto-William was a son of Adalbert, King of Italy, and Gerberga of Mâcon.His mother gave him what would be the Free County of Burgundy around Dôle in 982. Otto also inherited the duchy of Burgundy on the other side of the Saône in 1002 from his stepfather Eudes Henry the Great...

 and Ermentrude of Rheims.

Marriage and children

Agnes married Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry III , called the Black or the Pious, was a member of the Salian Dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors...

 on 21 November 1043 at Ingelheim. She was his second wife after Gunhilda of Denmark
Gunhilda of Denmark
Gunhilda of Denmark was the first spouse of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor.-Biography:Gunhilda was a daughter of Canute the Great and Emma of Normandy. Her maternal grandparents were Richard I of Normandy and his second wife Gunnora, Duchess of Normandy.She was a sister of Harthacanute. She was a...

, who had died in 1038.

Their children were:
  • Adelaide II
    Adelheid II, Abbess of Quedlinburg
    Adelaide II was Abbess of Gandersheim and Quedlinburg.Adelaide was born in the autumn of 1045 as the first child of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, and Agnes of Poitou, his second wife. In 1061, she was elected successor to her older half-sister, Beatrice, as Imperial Abbess of Gandersheim...

     (1045, Goslar
    Goslar is a historic town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the administrative centre of the district of Goslar and located on the northwestern slopes of the Harz mountain range. The Old Town of Goslar and the Mines of Rammelsberg are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.-Geography:Goslar is situated at the...

     – 11 January 1096), abbess of Gandersheim
    Gandersheim Abbey
    Gandersheim Abbey is a former house of secular canonesses in the present town of Bad Gandersheim in Lower Saxony, Germany. It was founded in 852 by Duke Liudolf of Saxony, progenitor of the Liudolfing or Ottonian dynasty, whose rich endowments ensured its stability and prosperity.The "Imperial...

     from 1061 and Quedlinburg
    Quedlinburg Abbey
    Quedlinburg Abbey was a house of secular canonesses in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was founded in 936 on the initiative of Saint Mathilda, the widow of Henry the Fowler, as his memorial...

     from 1063
  • Gisela (1047, Ravenna
    Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

     – 6 May 1053)
  • Matilda (October 1048 – 12 May 1060, Pöhlde
    Pöhlde is a village in southern Lower Saxony in Germany. It is part of the town Herzberg am Harz. It has a population of 2207 . Archaeological excavation has revealed traces of settlement dating to the 2nd through 4th centuries AD. The town is noted for its Benedictine abbey...

    ), married 1059 Rudolf of Rheinfelden, duke of Swabia and antiking
    An Antiking is a would-be king who, due to succession disputes or simple political opposition, declares himself king in opposition to a reigning monarch. Antikings are more often found in elected monarchies than in hereditary monarchies like those of England and France; such figures in hereditary...

  • Henry
    Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
    Henry IV was King of the Romans from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 until his forced abdication in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century...

    , his successor
  • Conrad
    Conrad II, Duke of Bavaria
    Conrad II , called the Child, was the duke of Bavaria from 1054 to 1055. He was the second son of the Emperor Henry III and his second wife, Agnes of Poitou. He was briefly appointed duke of Bavaria, which had been held by his elder brother Henry...

     (1052, Regensburg
    Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...

     – 10 April 1055), duke of Bavaria (from 1054)
  • Judith
    Judith of Swabia
    Judith-Maria of Swabia was a German princess, a member of the Ottonian dynasty and by her two marriages Queen of Hungary and Duchess of Poland renamed Sophia in 1089....

     (1054, Goslar
    Goslar is a historic town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the administrative centre of the district of Goslar and located on the northwestern slopes of the Harz mountain range. The Old Town of Goslar and the Mines of Rammelsberg are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.-Geography:Goslar is situated at the...

     – 14 March 1092 or 1096), married firstly 1063 Solomon of Hungary
    Solomon of Hungary
    Solomon , King of Hungary . He was crowned as a child during his father's lifetime in order to ensure his succession, but his uncle Béla managed to dethrone his father and ascend to the throne...

     and secondly 1089 Ladislaus I Herman, duke of Poland


After her husband's death, Agnes served as regent during the minority of their young son, Henry IV. Her chief counselor was Henry II, Bishop of Augsburg, who was widely hated for his arrogance and - as the chronicler Lambert of Hersfeld
Lambert of Hersfeld
Lambert of Hersfeld was a medieval chronicler, probably a Thuringian by birth. His work represents a major source for the history of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire in the eleventh century....

 alluded to - his suspected relationship with the empress.

Although Agnes pursued a policy of reconciliation with her late husband's enemies, a conspiracy was formed against her by a cadre of power-hungry princes. Shortly after Easter 1062, her son Henry was abducted by some of these conspirators, who included the bishop of Cologne and the duke of Bavaria. Without her son, Agnes lost political power and was forced into a temporary retirement.

In 1065 she went to Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, where she lived under the guidance of the theologian Peter Damian. In her later years Agnes acted as a peacemaker between her son Henry IV and his enemies. She died at Rome on 14 December 1077 and is buried at St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...




The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.