Agnes of Babenberg

Agnes Of Babenberg

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Agnes of Babenberg

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Description:
Agnes of Babenberg (, ; b. ca. 1108/13 – d. 24/25 January ca. 1160/63), was a German noblewoman, a scion of the Franconian House of Babenberg and by marriage High Duchess of Poland and Duchess of Silesia.

She was a daughter of Margrave Leopold III of Austria, by his second wife Agnes, eldest daughter of Emperor Henry IV.

Life

Family and personality

Through her mother, Agnes was a descendant of the Salian Dynasty, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire since 1024 until her maternal uncle Emperor Henry V died without issue in 1125. She was the half-sister of Duke Frederick II of Swabia and Conrad, since 1138 King of Germany (both born from her mother's first marriage with Duke Frederick I of Swabia). From her full-siblings, one sister Judith married Marquess William V of Montferrat and one brother was Bishop Otto of Freising, a renown medieval chronicler.

According to Wincenty Kadłubek, Polish chronicler and Bishop of Kraków (and this opinion is shared by other sources), Agnes was a very ambitious, energetic woman, and proud of her origins. No wonder the Bishop called her in the pages of his Polish Chronicle, "Tigress" ().

Marriage

The ruler of Poland, Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth, in order to hold his ground against the Empire wanted to obtain a powerful ally against Lothair III of Supplinburg, who in 1125 had been elected King of the Romans against Duke Frederick II of Swabia. He therefore forged an alliance...
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