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The Duchy of Saxony around the year 1000
Duchy of Saxony around the year 1000
The approximate location of the Agradingau

The Agradingau , also Agradingo or Agredingo , was a district in early medieval Saxony with the center Meppen at the confluence of the Hase in the Ems . Neighboring districts were the Saxon Gaue Lerigau in the east and Hasegau in the south and the Frisian Gau Emsgau in the north.


The former districts of Aschendorf , Hümmling and Meppen as well as parts of the Netherlands (Westerwolde) are mainly included in the Agradingau . In research, however, the existence of a Saxon Emsgau is also assumed, so Joseph Prinz counts the then only narrow strip of settlements on the river from Lathen up the Ems to Rhede and the then important town of Aschendorf to be such. It must also be noted that the important lower reaches of the Hase did not belong to the Hasegau, but to the Agradingau.


In 785, after defeating the Saxons , Charlemagne conquered all of Friesland, including the eastern areas up to the Weser, for the Frankish Empire . From this point in time at the latest, the Utrecht mission established by Willibrord around 695/696 can also be undertaken safely into the Agradingau area. As a result, the Meppen Church was founded as a mission and baptismal church, as indicated by the patronage of St. Margaretha. Another version is the founding of the baptistery as early as 780 by Charlemagne himself, which is likely to be a legend.

Another church from this period with the original patronage of St. Margaretha was in Haselünne at an important Hase crossing. Lünne comes from the name of the round timber (Lunni), which were placed here in the Hasefurt to enable heavy transports. Although the church was first mentioned around 1107/1011, as in the case of the Aschendorf church, it can be assumed that it existed during the missionary period. Haselünne is certainly counted among the accessories of the church district Meppen in Agradingau, which was transferred to the Corvey monastery in 834 . In Haselünne there was already a Saxon main courtyard in the area of ​​today's courtyard around 500.

In the year 792, the uprising of Saxony and the Frisians was probably the reason that Charlemagne gave Saint Liudger the management of the mission in western Saxony . As early as 793, a missionary diocese with an extensive parish system was established around Münster and the canons founded there by Liudger . During this time the church of Aschendorf was founded by Liudger on the Emsweg on the right, which is mentioned as Ascanthorp in the (second) Vita Liudgeri. St. Liudger also used this church as a way station for his missionary trips to Friesland.

Aschendorf is mentioned as Asikinthorpe in the oldest documented source. Asiko (Asko) comes from Frisian and means "judge, court". According to a local legend, there was a "Free Chair" (court) in the area of ​​today's Draiberges in the Saxon-Frisian period. According to this, Liudger would have reused this old place and only converted it into a Christian style. Aschendorf was mentioned as "villa" (village community settlement) and was thus more important than the main courtyards and individual settlements that were more common at the time. This was evidently due to its location at the intersection of the waterway of the Ems (south / north) with the east-west Altstrasse in the Frisian area. The Saxons, who probably came to this area in the 4th century, therefore created the "Free Chair" there.

Although the church of Aschendorf was only mentioned in an income register of the Corvey monastery around 1100, archaeological evidence of its existence could already be provided in the early 9th century in 2001/2002. During a church renovation, traces of five wooden predecessors of the brick church from the 13th century were found, including two of the oldest verifiable church buildings in northern Germany from the immediate missionary period (9th century).

Since the church in Lathen owned one of John the Baptist before the Corveyer Vitus patronage, this is also counted as part of the mission period, whereby it is no longer possible to differentiate whether it was founded in Utrecht or Münster.

On December 7, 834, Emperor Ludwig the Pious in Blanzy ad Aisne gave the Corvey monastery under Abbot Warin I of Saxony Meppen in Agradingau with all accessories that were unfortunately not specified here (RI I n. 935). The various interpretations of the scope of the grading arose from this. In addition to Haselünne, Werlte probably also came under the dominion of the Corvey monastery at that time .

In the course of the 9th century, more tithes fell to Corvey. Ludwig the German is often assumed to be the donor in the year 855, but this is controversial. Another variant speaks of Emperor Arnulf of Carinthia (896–899) as the donor. The donation of what is now the Dutch area of ​​Westerwolde to Corvey seems to go back to Ludwig the German.

In the year 890 the place Wettrup (as Wethonthorpe) is counted to Agradingau in the register of the monastery Werden .

From 945, the Abbot of Corvey Bovo III. , a relative of Otto the Great , in Meppen Münze und Zoll, since 946 also ban, market rights and freedom. This became the basis for the development of the place into a center of the Saxon-Frisian trade.

Around 1100 Vinnen (Finnum) is mentioned as being owned by Corvey in Agradingau. This place in the Send district (judicial district) Sögel was already recorded in a deed of donation around the year 1000. Sögel itself is also included in the Agradingau. It appears in Corvey's records around 1000 as Sugila, named after a wood for the acorn fattening of pigs.


During the 12th century, the Agradingau area fell to the County of Ravensberg . In June 1252, Bishop Otto II von Münster becomes sovereign in the hereditary lands of Otto von Ravensburg , including the counties in Agradingau and Emsgau as well as in the free county in Dersigau. After Otto II was enfeoffed with the County of Vechta in 1253, the Lower Monastery of Münster was established here , which existed until 1803.

Counts in Agradingau

  • Thuring, Graf im Agradingau (945) on the Ems and Hase (MGH DO I 73.77)
  • Gottschalk von Zutphen Graf in Agradingau, Emsgau, Hettergau, von Twente in Westphalia and from 1046 Graf in northern Hamaland with the capital Zutphen († around 1063)
  • Count Otto II of Zutphen called the Rich (* around 1050 † 1113)


  • Prince, Joseph Pagus and Comitatus in the documents of the Carolingians in: Archive for Document Research, Volume 17, 1942, pp. 329–358

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