Theodoric I, Margrave of Meissen

Dietrich I/II
Margrave of Meissen and Lusatia
Margrave of Meissen
Reign 11981221
Predecessor Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Successor Henry III
Margrave of Lusatia
Reign 1210–1221
Predecessor Conrad II
Successor Henry IV
Born (1162-03-11)11 March 1162
Died 18 January 1221(1221-01-18) (aged 58)
Spouse Jutta of Thuringia
Issue Hedwig
Konrad (illegitimate)
Henry the Illustrious
Dietrich II of Meißen (illegitimate son)
Heinrich (illegitimate son)
House House of Wettin
Father Otto II, Margrave of Meissen
Mother Hedwig of Brandenburg

Dietrich I (11 March 1162 18 January 1221), called the Oppressed, was the Margrave of Meissen from 1198 until his death. He was the second son of Otto II, Margrave of Meissen and Hedwig of Brandenburg.


Dietrich fell out with his brother, Albrecht the Proud as his mother persuaded his father to change the succession so that Dietrich was given the Margraviate of Meißen and Albrecht (although the older son) the Margraviate of Weißenfels. Albrecht took his father prisoner to try to make him return the succession to the way it had been. After Otto obtained his release by order of the emperor Frederick I, he had only just renewed the war when he died in 1190. Albrecht took back the Meißen margraviate from his brother. Dietrich attempted to regain the margraviate, supported by Landgraf Hermann I of Thuringia, whose daughter he was married to. In 1195, however, he left on a pilgrimage to Palestine.[1]

Dietrich I, Margrave of Meissen (1195–1221) and Henry III, Margrave of Meissen (1221–1288); Fürstenzug, Dresden, Germany

Albrecht's Death

After Albrecht's death in 1195, leaving no children, Meissen, with its rich mines, was seized by the emperor Henry VI as a vacant fief of the empire. Dietrich finally came into possession of his inheritance two years later on Henry's death.

At the time of the struggle between the two rival kings Philip of Swabia and Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor, Phillip gave Dietrich the tenure of the march of Meißen again. After that time, Dietrich was on Phillip's side and remained true to the Staufer even after Phillip was murdered in 1208.

Dietrich became caught up in dangerous disagreements with the city of Leipzig and the Meißen nobility. After a fruitless siege of Leipzig, in 1217 he agreed to a settlement but then took over the city by trickery, had the city walls taken down and built three castles of his own within the city, full of his own men.[1]


Margrave Dietrich died on 18 February 1221, possibly poisoned by his doctor, instigated into doing so by the people of Leipzig and the dissatisfied nobility. He left behind a widow, Jutta of Thuringia, daughter of Hermann I, Landgrave of Thuringia. Some of his children had already died.[1]


Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 Heinrich Theodor Flathe: Dietrich der Bedrängte. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 5, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1877, p. 186-187 (German)
Theodoric I, Margrave of Meissen
Born: 11 March 1162 Died: 18 January 1221
Preceded by
Emperor Henry VI
Margrave of Meissen
Succeeded by
Henry III
Preceded by
Conrad II
Margrave of Lusatia
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