Post by Paulo Ricardo Canedo
A few hours ago, I mentioned this in another thread. Thus, I think this is the best time to create a thread about this. Heinrich I apparently had a Carolingian descent through his mother, Hedwig, read
https://fasg.org/projects/henryproject/data/hedwi002.htm. However, it's also apparent that her father was Heinrich of Neustria, who had no apparent Carolingian descent. Thus, it must have been via her mother. However, it's not at all clear what the descent was.
What do you think of this?
I don't see how you have reached the conclusion that "it's also apparent
that her father was Heinrich of Neustria, who had no apparent
Carolingian descent". Why not tell us your own reasoning instead of
asking for other people's opinions if the subject seems pressing enough
to make a new thread?
For what little it's worth, in my view the problem you have raised can't
be resolved definitively. A brother of Heinrich I's paternal aunt
Hathumod of Gandersheim married a relative of kings according to her
Vita by Agius ("frater eius regum neptem in matrimonio habet"). In this
case 'regum neptis' can't mean that the unnamed wife of an unnamed
brother was a granddaughter of kings, since no offspring of two
Carolingian monarchs married each other; it is unlikely that it means
she was the niece of kings, since there is no plausible candidate who
could have been either her father or mother with two or more crowned
brothers or uterine half-brothers. The meaning is most probably that she
was just a relative of kings. There is no clear warrant in this to
suppose she must necessarily have been a descendant of any king/s, as in
that case it would be strange to vaunt the royal status of her
collateral relatives rather than of her ancestor/s. There is also no
warrant to suppose that she was descended from any member of the unnamed
kings' family rather than that they were descended from a member of
hers: the lost explanation may be simply that a relative of one of her
parents married a Carolingian and became the mother and/or grandmother
of several kings.
Whatever kinship underlies the connection stated by Agius, this royal
'neptis' is often taken to have been Heinrich I's mother Hathui (Hadwig)
partly because Thietmar described him as 'nepos' to Charles the Simple.
However, this is not specific enough to draw a firm conclusion and with
at least equal probability Agius may have been referring to an unknown
wife of Heinrich's paternal uncle Bruno as the 'regum neptis' in question.
Wolfgang Metz in 1964 thought that Heinrich I's mother belonged to an
aristocratic family that was part of a Frankish-Saxon group oriented
around Corvey and Herford abbeys, close to the Babenbergs, Rupertians
and in an early period also to the Salians, very likely with a
relationship to the Carolingians through Adalhard and Wala, founders of
Corvey. Emil Kimpen in 1953 had claimed to have shown in 1935 that
Heinrich I's mother was a daughter of Heinrich of Babenberg (your
Heinrich of Neustria), who was killed fighting against Normans in 886,
by Baba the eldest daughter of Berengar, duke of Spoleto, and emperor
Lothar I's daughter Hiltrude. This is chronologically possible, though
not very plausible much less compellingly proven: the timelines involve
Lothar I's marriage in October 821, the birth of his daughter Hiltrude
ca 823, that of her supposed daughter Baba ca 836 and the marriage of
the latter's daughter in 869/70 with Heinrich I (her third son, who was
aged ca 60 when he died in 936) born in 876.
Kimpen in 1935 dismissed contradictory traditions regarding the
restoration of Charlemagne's blood to the thrones of France and the
Empire: this was reputedly not with Hugo Capet and Ottonians
respectively, all of whom were descended from Heinrich I, but rather
with the accession of Louis VIII in France and the Salian Heinrich III
in Germany. Kimpen attempted to rebut Otto of Friesing's statement about
Heinrich III on the flimsy grounds that this was influenced by Wipo's
remarks about the Carolingian origin of Empress Gisela and that Otto was
ignorant of other lines of descent.
The traditions about Capetian and Salian descendants of the
Carolingians, if correct, would (apart from chronological difficulty)
rule out Judith of Friuli (a great-granddaughter of Charlemagne) as
Heinrich's maternal grandmother, though not necessarily Heinrich of
Babenberg as her father. Alfred Friese in 1979 agreed with Kimpen that
Heinrich I's mother was a daughter of Heinrich of Babenberg, noting that
her name Hathui (Hadwig) was allegedly derived from that of Hadaburg
supposed to have been her father's paternal grandmother. Again, not
"apparently" definite evidence in my view.