Post by mike Post by Peter Stewart
We know that Cunegunde's mother must have been born by December 878
since her maternal full-blood uncle Charles the Simple was born
posthumously in September 879. We know that Carolingian princesses were
sometimes married at 12, and the power politics swirling around
Ermentrude in her early years make this not at all unlikely in her case.
Trying to apply a standard rate for reproduction to Cunegunde or for
mortality to her children is not very helpful: she could have been born
ca 891 having children of her own from ca 904. Plenty of time for a
brood of six or more living to adulthood to be born by ca 916.
The Bidgau was the countship around Bitburg, see
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitburg. It was inherited by Sigfrid's
brother Gozlin and then by the latter's son Godfrid the Captive. The
family of Wigeric is called "la maison d'Ardenne" by Michel Parisse and
others because their territorial possessions and comital power were
centered in that region.
So Bitburg is the ancient castrum Bedense. yes it makes more sense now.
They should be called the House of Bitburg. Bitburg Luxemburg and Trier
are all reasonably close to each other.
Bitburg used to be commonly called Bidburg, but this was not the
continuing centre of the family's power. Wigeric first occurs as a count
without territorial designation in a charter of King Zwentibold dated 23
January 899, along with his wife's later husband Richuin ("Richquinus et
Widiacus [sic] venerandi comites"). In a charter of Louis the Child
dated 19 September 902 Wigeric consented to the restoration of temporal
authority in Trier to the archbishop ("per consensum Wigerici comitis").
On 1 January 909 he occurs as count in the Bidgau ("in pago Bedinse in
comitatu Widrici"). The Ardennergau bordered the Bidgau and covered the
area of Wigeric's evident origin, and was perhaps his initial countship.
He was called count palatine at his last occurrence in January 916.
By the way, the form Windric was given istead of Widric in some editions
of the 911/15 charter of Charles the Simple, for instance in Camille
Wampach's *Urkunden- und Quellenbuch zur Geschichte der
altluxemburgischen Territorien bis zur burgundischen Zeit* vol. 1
(1935). Wampach made a useful collection but he was not a strong textual
scholar - this version was taken from earlier editions of a lost copy
interpolating the superfluous "n", and ascribed to 908/15 (though he
thought it was probably issued at the same time as another for
Saint-Lambert de Liège dated 25 Aug 915) but the better source now is
*Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple, roi de France* 2 vols
(1940-1949), no. 65, taken from a 14th-century cartulary ("comes Widricus").
Post by mike Post by Peter Stewart
history will need to be rewritten. Charlemagne'e Hildegarde, mother of
his heir (who was born a twin) was in her 12th or 13th year when married
and she had at least 9 children over the following 12 or so years. As I
said before, if something can happen it no doubt did - and if it did,
how can we make rules for who it could or could not happen to?
Yes it looks more likely now although 3 of Hildegardes children did die in
infancy, but i take your point. Soon after i posted i remembered that Judith
married Athelwulf and then his son at a very young age, although she didnt
have any known children by either.
Six of Hildegarde's children born over a span of 10-12 years from the
time she was 12 or 13 survived to adulthood - so this was hardly
impossible for Cunegunde from a similar age over the same interval.
Post by mike
I do now see that Frederick of Bar was also likely son of Wigeric and Cunegunde,
as Duke frederick is called germanus of Bishop Adelbero in a charter of Otto I
in 960 [no210,p289 in sickels MGH vol]. Unless there is a difference between
germanus and frater. In the same charter Otto calls Adelbero his compater which
i thought meant godfather. Otto was born in 912, and Adelbero would surely have
to be an adult to be his compater, which is impossible in 912 even if
Cunegundes life mirrored Hildegardes, which is a bit of a puzzel too.
On p. 120 of the same MGH edition you will see that Otto also called
Ebergis, bishop of Minden, his "compater" - this could mean godfather,
or any venerable friend, and Otto I used it occasionally as a diplomatic
compliment to bishops.
Post by mike
I was reading the Preporte article you mentioned before, and in one of the
references it mentioned a study by Depoin [Joseph Depoin, ‘Sifroi Kunuz, comte
de Mosellane, tige de la maison de Luxembourg’, Ons Hémecht (1904): 307–346.]
He called him Kunuz, and was not alone in this at that time, apparently finding
this name in 2 seperate memorial books, one belonging to Ranshofen. I havnt
found the article to make sense of this. What is this Kunuz? Is it a reference
to his mother or is it a different Sigfrid? I did wonder if the reason why
Sigfrids father isnt mentioned anywhere is that he was illegitimate.
Gerbert would hardly have called an illegitimate brother of Gozlin the
"patruus" to his son Godfrid the Captive expecting Empress Theophanu to
know what he meant, nor would Sigfrid be called "imperatorius frater" as
the bastard son of Wigeric. Stewart Baldwin has given the source for
Sigfri's byname "Kunuz" here
Post by mike
Also in this article by Preporte, it has i thought a very clever explanation of
how Sigfrids family 'forgot' their ancestry.
"Firstly, we may ask why the knowledge of Sigefroid’s ancestry has been lost.
Michel Margue argues convincingly that if we assume, as most theories do, that
Sigefroid stemmed from the House of Ardenne44, our lack of knowledge originates
with Sigefroid’s conscious intent to break with the political tradition of his
paternal ancestry.45 Sigefroid and his generation of the Ardenne family moved
from a West-Frankish Carolingian allegiance, to an East-Frankish Ottonian one.
In the process, they helped change the destiny of the whole Lotharingian region
by supporting its attachment to the Empire. In Sigefroid’s case in particular,
the relationship with the new overlord seems to have been very close, resulting
in high prestige for the count. As a consequence of this rupture with the past,
the memoria of Sigefroid’s ancestry were neglected, and the knowledge of them
forgotten over time."
Although its rather spoilt by the fact that Witger recorded Sigfrids descent
from those same west frankish kings.
"They provide an excellent illustration of how a minute factual basis can lead to long and complex speculation."
Just so: some people insist on filling in blanks of knowledge with
conjecture, quibbles and imagination. I have no idea why it is hard to
say "We don't know, we are never likely to know, so we should simply
state the evidence we have and leave it at that". But there is a
mentality at large in academia that feels compelled to look for secret
information or patterns and coded messaging in medieval sources (as with
modern ones too, the basis of almost all whacko conspiracy theories that
are not outright lies).
Witger did not mention Sigfrid - he stopped at Louis the Stammerer's
daughter Ermentrude, and was not interested in the family of Wigeric.
The early-11th century table linked upthread continues the line through
Cunegunde to Sigfrid and the latter's daughter, the sainted wife of
Emperor Heinrich II.