Robert IV, Count of Nassau

Coat of Arms of the Counts of Laurenburg and Nassau (12th century)

Robert IV of Nassau (German: Ruprecht) (died ca. 1240) was an early member of the House of Nassau. The House of Nassau would become an important aristocratic family in Germany, from which are descended the present-day rulers of the Netherlands and Luxembourg.


Robert IV was the second son of Count Walram I of Nassau and Kunigunde of Ziegenhain (a town now part of Schwalmstadt, Hesse), daughter of Count Poppo II of Nidda.[1] On his father's death in 1198, he became co-Count of Nassau, with his brother, Henry II.

Walram I had received the Königshof Wiesbaden from Emperor Frederick I in reward for his support of the emperor in the conflicts of 1170-1180.[2] Nassau’s possessions in this area were expanded around 1214 when Henry II received the Imperial Vogtship (Reichsvogtei) over Wiesbaden and the surrounding Königssondergau, which he held as fiefdoms.[3] In about 1200, Robert, together with his brother, began building Sonnenberg Castle on a spur of Spitzkippel peak in the Taunus above Wiesbaden. This was intended for protection against the Archbishopric of Mainz and its vassals, the Lords of Eppstein, who held the lands bordering Wiesbaden. However, the cathedral chapter of St. Martin in Mainz claimed Sonnenberg as their own. To settle the dispute, Nassau paid 30 Marks to the cathedral chapter in 1221 to acquire the land of Sonnenberg Castle. Henry was also forced to recognize the sovereignty of the Archbishops of Mainz over Sonnenberg, taking the castle as a fief of Mainz.[4]

Coat of Arms of the Teutonic Order

Before 1229, Robert IV married a woman named Gertrude (her family is not known, but she may have been the daughter of a Count of Kleeberg[5]). They apparently had one daughter.[6]

In 1230, Robert joined the Teutonic Order. On his death, he bequeathed his legacy to the Order. This would eventually lead to conflict between the House of Nassau and the Teutonic Order.[7]


  1. or a Count of Spanheim. Dek (1970), p. 13.
  2. Die territoriale Entwicklung Nassaus by Ulrich Reuling. (German). Retrieved on 2009-01-26.
  3. Thiele (1994), Table 307. Quoted at Genealogies of the Middle Ages. (German). Retrieved on 2009-01-29.
  4. History of Sonnenberg, City of Wiesbaden website. (German). Retrieved on 2009-01-23.
  5. Dek (1970), p. 13. Dek also dates the marriage to 1221 and Gertrude's death to 1222.
  6. Translated from Dutch Wikipedia article on Walram I. Source unknown.
  7. Thiele (1994), Table 307, quoted at Robert IV, Genealogies of the Middle Ages. Retrieved on 2009-01-31.


External links

Preceded by
Walram I
co-Count of Nassau
Succeeded by
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