Berthold II, Duke of Carinthia

Berthold II
Duke of Carinthia

Berthold of Zähringen statue, Constance
Reign 1061–1077
Spouse(s) Judith of Bohemia
Noble family House of Zähringen
Father Berthold I of Breisgau
Born c.1000
Died 6 November 1078(1078-11-06)
Limburg Castle, Weilheim, Swabia
Buried Hirsau Abbey

Berthold II (c. 1000 – 6 November 1078), a member of the Swabian House of Zähringen, was Duke of Carinthia[1] and Margrave of Verona from 1061 until 1077.


He was possibly the descendant of one Berthold (Bezzelin) of Zähringen, a Swabian count in the Breisgau region and relative of the Ahalolfing dynasty who was killed in the 982 Battle of Stilo fighting against the Kalbid emir of Sicily. The early Zähringer were close allies of the Imperial Ottonian dynasty; Berthold's son Count Berthold II (Birchtilo) was among the nobles capturing and mutilating Antipope John XVI at the behest of Emperor Otto III. On his mother's side of the family, Berthold probably descended from the House of Hohenstaufen, who then were counts in Ortenau, Thurgau, Breisgau, and Baar.

Berthold quickly rose to one of the most powerful counts in the Swabian duchy and the Salian emperor Henry III even promised his party-follower the ducal title, then held by Otto of Schweinfurt. However, upon Otto's death in 1057, Henry's widow Agnes of Poitou gave Swabia in fief to Count Rudolf of Rheinfelden. Berthold received, as compensation for the abandonment of his claim, the ducal titles to Carinthia with the Veronese march after the death of the Ezzonid duke Conrad III in 1061, whereby the Zähringer finally ascended to the status of a princely house.

In Carinthia and Verona, though, Berthold like his predecessor was considered a foreign ruler and never really accepted by the local nobles. According to the contemporary chronicler Lambert of Hersfeld, he was even temporarily declared deposed in 1072/73. Moreover, Duke Berthold fell out with King Henry IV during the fierce Investiture Controversy, when together with Duke Welf I of Bavaria he supported the election of his former rival Duke Rudolf of Swabia as antiking after Henry's Walk to Canossa in 1077. In turn, the king on the Imperial Diet at Ulm seized his duchy and gave Carinthia to Liutold of Eppenstein.

Berthold retired to his Swabian home territory, where he had to ward off constant attacks by King Henry's forces. He died the next year at Limburg Castle and was buried in Hirsau Abbey, where he had backed the erection of the monastery church under Abbot William.

Marriage and children

Berthold married one Richwara,[2] possibly a descendant of Duke Conrad II of Carinthia. The couple had at least three sons:

Richwara also gave birth to two daughters:

In his second marriage, Berthold was married to Beatrice, sister of Count Theodoric I of Montbéliard.

In the end, the Zähringer were able to maintain their position, when about 1098 Berthold II reached an agreement with the Hohenstaufen duke Frederick I of Swabia, retaining the title of a "Duke of Zähringen". From 1112, Herman II, son of Herman I, ruled as Margrave of Baden.



Robinson, I.S. (1999). Henry IV of Germany 1056-1106. Cambridge University Press. 

Berthold II, Duke of Carinthia
Born: c.1000 Died: 6 November 1078
Preceded by
Conrad III
Duke of Carinthia
Margrave of Verona

Succeeded by
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