Post by Paulo Ricardo Canedo
Eberhard of Sulichgau has been mentioned in this newsgroup. However, I must admit that I haven't found any evidence of his existence. As Peter Stewart has mentioned him in https://groups.google.com/d/msg/soc.genealogy.medieval/RkfNSc6HhEM/t4thjtz90BUJ, I hope he could provide me such evidence. BTW, other than the obvious onomastic argument, what's the evidence connecting him to Eberhard of Friuli? Also, why do most online genealogies make him son of Hunroch, instead of Adalhard?
Going back to the start of this thread, having established that in 888
there was a count named Eberhard in the Sülichgau, I think it is
reasonable to connect him to the Unruoching family but probably not as a
descendant of Louis I's daughter Gisela and her husband Eberhard of Friuli.
Obviously (I hope) this contradicts earlier posts of mine. I don't
expect to be still around 19 years from now, but in case John Schmeeckle
is able to report what I have to say in future please don't waste his
time asking if I have changed my mind - especially if I merely say now
that something is likely and say then that it is unproven, as with the
Gislebert of the Maasgau/Reginar Long-neck question.
Eberhard of Friuli and Gisela's third son, Adalhard, evidently died
without legitimate issue, whether or not he was married. Their fourth
son, Rodolf, also evidently died without children, as had their
firstborn son Eberhard who died in infancy. Their eldest son, Unruoch,
had a daughter who became a nun and - presumably because she was his
only child and therefore potentially his heiress - was abducted to be
forcibly married to the nephew of an ambitious bishop. People did not go
to this trouble generally in order to link themselves with a mighty
family only as targets of their righteous vengeance, and anyway Unruoch
had no recorded sons who could have been his heirs.
The only remaining son of Eberhard and Gisela was Emperor Berengar I,
who had two daughters. The younger became an abbess and was left
unmolested by kidnappers. The elder married Adalbert, marquis of Ivrea,
and carried the throne-right of her father to her offspring.
Consequently, by simple process of elimination there is nowhere left in
this line of decent to place Eberhard of the Sülichgau plausibly as an
agnatic Unruoching. There is also no reason to suppose he was descended
through a daughter of a marquis of Friuli - the only candidates on
record would be Engeltrude and Judith (neither known to have
descendants: the speculative marriage for Judith that I previously
accepted is improbable in my changed opinion, and anyway would not at
all clearly give rise to a pair of counts in the Bertoldsbaar), Gisela
who became a nun and Heilwig who had offspring by Hucbald of Ostrevant
(ancestor of the counts of Valois) and possibly also by Roger of Laon
(whose descendants - not in Germany - were more probably by a prior wife).
Since there is nowhere to place Eberhard of the Sülichgau convincingly
as a descendant of Gisela, there is also no sound basis to speculate
that Arnulf of Bavaria's adventures in Italy had anything to do with
throne-right there through his wife as a daughter of Eberhard, whether
or not her name was Judith (that is also unproven). There are sources,
that misled Franz Tyroller, giving false and/or confused information
about Arnulf - for instance, Bonizo of Sutri writing in the late-11th
century calling him "king" while misstating that Otto I had expelled him
from Bavaria after a victory over the Hungarians (evidently the battle
of Lechfeld, which took place nearly 20 years after Arnulf's death), and
annals compiled at Salzburg claiming that the Italians accepted his son
Eberhard as their ruler after Arnulf had handed over Bavaria to him. We
don't know for certain why Arnulf and his son-in-law Heinrich set their
sights on Italy, but attempting to usurp the direct hereditary right of
Emperor Berengar I's elder daughter on behalf of her alleged first
cousin once removed is not a sustainable hypothesis.
It remains plausible, however, that Eberhard of the Sülichgau and
Berengar his fellow count in the northern Bertoldsbaar belonged to the
Unruoching family, and may have been sons or otherwise closely related
to Adalhard of Burc (Strasbourg).
There is little definite evidence for the early generations of the
Unruoching family - some historians make the father of Eberhard of
Friuli into the son of another Unruoch who was a count in Alemannia in
the first decades of the 9th century, while others make these into a
single long-lived person who was count in the Ternois and died by 853.
Some presume that an earlier Berengar, count of Toulouse, and Eberhard,
marquis of Barcelona, were sons of the first Unruoch and paternal uncles
of Eberhard of Friuli, but anyway neither of them is known to have left
We have only the sketchiest information for the origin of the first
Unruoch. He had a nephew named Alpgar who was missus in Dalmatia in 817
and may have been count of Tortona and/or a count in Carinthia. He was
most probably the man who named his father as Autgar. Eduard Hlawitschka
in 1960 considered that as Autgar was an Alemannian he could not be the
brother of Unruoch and was perhaps his brother-in-law, but Michael
Mitterauer in 1963 pointed out that most families attaining power in
Alemannia during the 8th century were of Frankish origin, like the
Unruochings. The Carolingians were related through Charlemagne's mother
to an Autgar who married a sister of Charibert of Laon.
We don't know when the names Adalhard, Eberhard and Berengar came into
the Unruoching family, or if the same names were also used in the family
descended from Unruoch's Alemannian nephew Alpgar who for all we know
may have been the father, uncle or cousin of Adalhard of Burc and
grandfather or other antecedent of Eberhard of the Sülichgau.
If I change my mind over the next 19 years, I will do my best to signal
this to John Schmeeckle.