St. Adelaide

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From Epistolae: Adelaide, queen of Italy, empress of the Ottonian empire, was literally and figuratively at the center of the political scene in the tenth century. She was, as Pauline Stafford points out, daughter, sister, and aunt of three consecutive kings of Burgundy, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and grandmother of three consecutive kings of France, wife, mother, and grandmother of three Ottonian emperors.(1) She was also queen of Italy in her first marriage to Lothar II (947-50); she ruled his land when he died without a son in 950 and brought it to her marriage to Otto (951).(2) She was the first Ottonian empress — Otto I became emperor in 962 after their marriage — and participated in the government with him. When Otto died in 973 she was regent for her son, Otto II, and after his death in 983 for her grandson, Otto III, sharing the latter position with her daughter-in-law Theophanu, and eventually ceding it to her, but returning after Theophanu's death in 991.\r\nThe dramatic story of Adelaide's passage from Lombardy to Germany is told by the nun Hrotsvit in Gesta Ottonis, written for the emperor's family during the lifetime of the empress, so while it may be somewhat romaticized it is presumably not entirely fiction. . . .

Read more from St. Adelaide at Tea at Trianon

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