Adalbero, Duke of Carinthia

Adalbero of Eppenstein
Duke of Carinthia
Duke 1011/12–1035
Predecessor Conrad I
Successor Conrad the Younger
Spouse(s) Beatrix of Swabia
Noble family House of Eppenstein
Father Markward of Eppenstein
Mother Hadmud of Ebersberg
Born c.980
Died 29 November 1039(1039-11-29)
Ebersberg, Bavaria
Buried Geisenfeld Abbey
Religion Roman Catholic

Adalbero of Eppenstein (980 – 29 November 1039) was Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Verona from 1011 or 1012 until 1035.


Adalbero was the son of Count Markward of Eppenstein, who around 970 had married Hadmud from the Bavarian noble house of Ebersberg and ruled as Margrave of Styria. About 1000 Adalbero succeeded his father as margrave. He was married to Beatrix, probably a daughter of Duke Herman II of Swabia from the Conradine dynasty and sister-in-law of the later Salian emperor Conrad II.

In 1011/12 he succeeded Duke Conrad I from the Salian dynasty when the German king Henry II enfeoffed Adalbero with the Carinthian duchy. Adalbero's Carinthian dominions then included Carniola, the Windic March and the rule over the vast March of Verona stretching from the Trentino up to the Isonzo River. Duke Conrad's son and heir, Conrad the Younger was a minor when his father died and therefore was not taken into account, becoming a bitter rival.

The tide began to turn when the Ottonian dynasty became extinct with the death of Emperor Henry II in 1024 and the Salian scion Conrad II was elected his successor. Initially Adalbero sought a good relationship, he even acted as the emperor's swordsman at a 1027 synod in Frankfurt and during the coronation of Conrad's son Henry III as King of the Romans in Aachen at Easter 1028. However, after political altercations and an unsuccessful rebellion against Conrad II, Duke Adalbero in 1035 was forced to renounce all his offices and fiefdoms.

Nevertheless, the Freising bishop Egilbert of Moosburg, a councillor to Conrad's son King Henry III, advised the Princes and Henry himself to not recognise the deposition. Emperor Conrad was required to perform much begging before his son consented to the act and Adalbero was removed and finally succeeded by his Salian rival Conrad the Younger. Furious, he began a bloody revenge campaign against the Salian liensmen in Carinthia, thereby killing Count William of Friesach, the husband of Saint Hemma of Gurk. Finally he had to retire to the Bavarian estates of his mother in Ebersberg, where he died in 1039.

The large Eppenstein estates in Carinthia were held by his eldest son Markward IV, whose sons Liutold and Henry went on to rule over the duchy from 1077 to 1122.

Marriage and children

Adalbero married to Beatrix of Swabia (died February 23 after 1125), probably a daughter of the Conradine duke Herman II. Among their children were:

Adalbero, Duke of Carinthia
House of Eppenstein
Born: c. 980 Died: 1039
Preceded by
Conrad I
Duke of Carinthia
Succeeded by
Conrad II
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