Bruno, Duke of Saxony

"Bruno I" redirects here. For the first so-named archbishop of Cologne, see Bruno the Great.
St. Bruno of Saxony

Bruno dux, Chronica sancti Pantaleonis, about 1237
Duke of Saxony
Died 2 February 880
Venerated in Catholic Church
Feast 2 February
Bruno I
Duke of Saxony
Noble family Liudolfing
Father Liudolf, Duke of Saxony
Mother Oda of Billung
Died 2 February 880

Bruno, Brun, or Braun (died 2 February 880) was Duke of Saxony from 866 to his death. He was the eldest son of the Saxon count Liudolf and his wife, Oda of Billung. Bruno is rated as the progenitor of the Brunonen noble family, a branch of the Ottonian dynasty. However some mentions appear to refer to an earlier Saxon margrave Brun the Younger, possibly a grandfather, but this is unclear.

While his father is described as dux orientalis Saxonum, i.e. leader in East Saxony (Eastphalia), it is possible that Bruno, according to the Res gestae saxonicae by chronicler Widukind of Corvey, was dux totius Saxonum, duke of all Saxony. The rise of his family is documented by the fact that Bruno's sister Liutgard in 874 married Louis the Younger, son of King Louis the German, whereafter he is called ducem et fratrem reinæ, "duke and the queen's brother".

He died, along with several other Saxon noblemen, in a battle against Norsemen warriors (probably Danes of the Great Heathen Army defeated by King Alfred the Great) on 2 February 880.[1] The battle at Ebstorf near Lüneburg was a crushing defeat and Duke Bruno, the bishops of Minden and Hildesheim, as well as twelve Saxon counts were killed. According to the chronicler Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg, Bruno died in a flooded river, which probably took place during the battle or a retreat.[2] He was succeeded by his younger brother Otto the Illustrious.

Bruno is venerated as a saint and martyr in the Catholic Church, being honored with a feast day on 2 February under the name St. Bruno of Saxony. According to legend, he is the founder of Brunswick and ancestor of Count Brun I in the Derlingau, though an affiliation is uncertain.



  1. AF, 880 (p. 88 and n4).
  2. Bruno, son of Liudolf, died in one of two battles (one at the river Scheldt and one in Saxony) which are reported separately in the Annales Fuldenses. The Gesta Francorum lists "Bardonum…alterum Bardonum [et] tertium Bardonum" as three of the twelve counts who were killed fighting the Danes in 880[120]. The other two counts named "Bardo" or "Bruno" have not been identified.
Bruno, Duke of Saxony
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Duke of Saxony
Succeeded by
Otto I
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