Bernard II, Duke of Saxony
Bernard II was the Duke of Saxony (1011–1059), the third of the Billung
The House of Billung was a dynasty of Saxon noblemen in the 9th through 12th centuries.The first known member of the house was Count Wichmann, mentioned as a Billung in 811...

 dynasty, a son of Bernard I
Bernard I, Duke of Saxony
Bernard I was the duke of Saxony , the second of the Billung dynasty, a son of Duke Herman and Oda. He extended his father's power considerably....

 and Hildegard. He had the rights of a count in Frisia
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...


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
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 and negotiated the treaty of Bautzen
Bautzen is a hill-top town in eastern Saxony, Germany, and administrative centre of the eponymous district. It is located on the Spree River. As of 2008, its population is 41,161...

 of 1018. In 1019–1020, he revolted 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
The Lutici were a federation of West Slavic Polabian tribes, who between the 10th and 12th centuries lived in what is now northeastern Germany. Four tribes made up the core of the federation: the Redarians , Circipanians , Kessinians and Tollensians...

) and drew them into his sphere of power and influence through their leader, Godescalc
Gottschalk (Slavic prince)
Saint Gottschalk was a prince of the Obotrite confederacy from 1043 to 1066. He established a Slavic kingdom on the Elbe in the mid-11th century...


He supported Conrad II
Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor
Conrad II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1027 until his death.The son of a mid-level nobleman in Franconia, Count Henry of Speyer and Adelaide of Alsace, he inherited the titles of count of Speyer and of Worms as an infant when Henry died at age twenty...

 in 1024 and his son Henry III
Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry III , called the Black or the Pious, was a member of the Salian Dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors...

, though he began to fear the latter for his closeness to the Archbishop Adalbert of Bremen, an inveterate enemy of the dukes of Saxony. Though he was a critical ally of the Danes, so fundamental to Henry's wars in the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

, 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
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

. He died in 1059 and was succeeded without incident by his son Ordulf
Ordulf, Duke of Saxony
Ordulf was the duke of Saxony from 1059, when he succeeded his father Bernard II, until his death. He was a member of the Billung family.-Reign:...

. He is buried in the Church of Saint Michael in Lüneburg
Lüneburg is a town in the German state of Lower Saxony. It is located about southeast of fellow Hanseatic city Hamburg. It is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, and one of Hamburg's inner suburbs...


Issue of Bernard II, Duke of Saxony and Eilika of Schweinfurt

Bernard II, Duke of Saxony married to Eilika of Schweinfurt, daughter of Henry of Schweinfurt
Henry of Schweinfurt
Henry of Schweinfurt was the Margrave of the Nordgau from 994 until 1004. He was called the "glory of eastern Franconia" by his own cousin, the chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg....

. They had:
  • Gertrude of Saxony
    Gertrude of Saxony
    Gertrude of Saxony , also known as Gertrude Billung, was the daughter of Bernard II, Duke of Saxony and Eilika of Schweinfurt. She married Floris I, Count of Holland c. 1050, and upon his death, her son Dirk V became Count of Holland...

     (c. 1030 – August 4, 1113), married: Floris I, Count of Holland
    Floris I, Count of Holland
    Floris I of Holland was Count of Holland from 1049 to 1061. He was a son of Dirk III and Othelindis....

    , married (secondly): Robert I, Count of Flanders
    Robert I, Count of Flanders
    thumb|Robert I of FlandersRobert I of Flanders , known as Robert the Frisian, was count of Flanders from 1071 to 1092.-History:...

  • Ordulf, Duke of Saxony
    Ordulf, Duke of Saxony
    Ordulf was the duke of Saxony from 1059, when he succeeded his father Bernard II, until his death. He was a member of the Billung family.-Reign:...

     (c. 1020 – March 28, 1072), married: Ulfhilde or Wulfhilde of Norway (c. 1023 – May 24, 1070), daughter of Saint & King Olaf II
    Olaf II of Norway
    Olaf II Haraldsson was King of Norway from 1015 to 1028. He was posthumously given the title Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae and canonised in Nidaros by Bishop Grimkell, one year after his death in the Battle of Stiklestad on 29 July 1030. Enshrined in Nidaros Cathedral...

    (St.Olaf) of Norway & Astrid of Sweden
  • Hermann
  • Ida of Saxony, married: Albert III, Count of Namur.
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