Arduin from Ivrea

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Memorial plaque in Ivrea Cathedral from 2002

Arduin of Ivrea (* around 955 ; † December 14, 1015 in Fruttuaria ) was Margrave of Ivrea from around 990 until his death and King of Italy from 1002 .


Origin, Margrave of Ivrea

Arduin was, along with his brother Amadeus, one of the sons of a Count Dado, who was possibly Count of Pombia . But the relationship with Count Adalbert von Pombia cannot be proven. His mother's name is not known.

Due to long unexplained rights - either through relatives or as one of the newcomers, the homines novi - he succeeded Konrad Kunos (Corrado Cono) from the Anskarians, later called House Burgundy-Ivrea , as Margrave of Ivrea in around 990 . Konrad, the third son of Berengar, died in 990, Dado was his second son. Anskar I was Margrave from 879 to 887. The Anskarians named after him had already provided two kings of Italy, namely Berengar II (950–961) and his son and co-regent Adalbert II. The two pretenders had died in 966 and 971, respectively. However, as Giuseppe Sergi was able to show on the occasion of the thousandth anniversary of the royal coronation, Arduin was neither related to the Anskariers nor to the “marchesi arduinici” of Turin. This possibly combined class arrogance against homo novus with power struggles that were decided against Arduin due to a paradigm shift in the empire.

Arduin was married to Berta, "regina nostra dilecta coniunx nostrique regni consors", as it is called in a document in which Arduin calls himself on March 25, 1002 with the common formula "Ardoinus divina favente clemencia rex". Little is known about Berta. The couple had sons, but only Ardicin stands out a little. He married a daughter of Duke Hugos of Tuscia .

Internal conflicts, interventions by Otto III, first conviction (around 990 to 1001)

Through his policy of relying on the sometimes illegal or at least controversial beneficiaries of church property, he came into conflict with the local bishops, especially in the city of Vercelli . Their bishop Petrus von Vercelli was murdered by Arduin's supporters on February 13, 997 after weeks of unrest. Arduin did not prevent the body of the murdered man from being burned in the church that was set on fire. Arduin's second opponent, Bishop Varmundus of Ivrea , excommunicated him twice.

With his policy, with which he tried to curb the recent territorial and rights gains of the bishops, he came into conflict with the changed political conditions in the empire, because there the secular base of the church was meanwhile supported by the ruler. The opportunity to resolve the conflict arose from 997, because in December of that year, Emperor Otto III. with his army to Italy. In Rome he put the antipope Johannes Philagathos prisoner and on April 28, 998 had Crescentius , the patrician and rebel leader, executed. In September 998 the greats conferred with Otto in Pavia's monastery of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro about the "lawless conditions", especially in Ivrea. A law of September 20th gave the churches the right to reclaim lost property after the death of the contracting party. Two further laws of the same day were directed against the rural exodus of unfree peasants and against the administration of the judges. Arduin and Ardicin did not appear on site, so the decision on the two was postponed to Rome.

Arduin, who finally appeared in person in Rome, was convicted and excommunicated in April 999 by a synod that had been meeting since Christmas of the previous year in the presence of Emperor Otto and Pope Silvester II at the instigation of Bishop Leo von Vercelli for the murder of bishops. His crime was described as worse than that of Judas , because he still had fellowship with the perpetrators after the crime. He and his followers lost much of their possessions to the Church of Vercelli. Arduin was sentenced to church penance . He was ordered to lay down his guns and was not allowed to spend two nights in the same place, provided his health permitted it. As an alternative to this penance, he was given free entry to a monastery.

The margraviate passed to Arduin's son of the same name, but was now weakened by the transfer of rights to the churches of Ivrea, Novara and Vercelli. The bishops had the districtio- designated court rights in the counties within their district . This was now the case for Vercelli and Santhià in the Vercellese and for Pombia and Ossola in the Novarese. In this way the emperor had ensured stability in his favor, and at the same time he had won permanent allies in the bishops. The margraviates, institutions from royal roots, were thus deprived of power, the extra-urban areas of imperial Italy were now subject to permanent patrimonial and territorial rule of smaller dimensions and from more local roots, while the bishops dominated.

As early as June 1000, however, the bishops of Vercelli, Novara and Ivrea complained about the behavior of Arduin and Ardicin and their followers. But father and son apparently behaved until Otto III's death. relatively quiet in 1002. They never led a military dispute against Emperor Otto.

Elevation to King of Italy (February 15, 1002)

The so-called "Rocca di Arduino", the Arduinsburg, in Sparone ( Turin )

After the death of the Roman-German Emperor Otto III. At the end of January 1002, however, on February 15, 1002, a little more than three weeks after Otto's death, Arduin was elected King of Italy ( rex Italiae ) based on the Anskarian Berengar II . Thietmar von Merseburg writes that he was "a Langobardis falso rex appellatus", that is, wrongly called King by the Lombards. Adalbold von Utrecht even called him an "episcopicida", a murderer of the bishops. This is on the negative line of Otto's successor Heinrich II. , Who even referred to Arduin as "regni nostri invasor", although he himself needed the time from February / March to October 1002 to assert himself as king beyond the Alps.

Initially, Arduin pursued a kind of compromise policy by placing one of his supporters alongside Arch Chancellor Otto as Chancellor. Like Otto III, he also made concessions to the episcopal churches - such as five days after his election to the Salvator Monastery in Pavia or on March 25, when he assumed the rights of the episcopal church of Como , including the county of Chiavenna , to do so his castle in Bellinzona , but also gave minor immunities to laypeople. In Lucca , too , he confirmed 1002 monastic rights on August 22nd.

Victory against Otto von Worms, defeat against Heinrich II. (1003-1004)

His opponents, especially Leo von Vercelli, but also the margraves of northeast and central Italy turned to the Roman-German King Heinrich II. He sent Otto von Worms , Duke of Carinthia and grandson of Otto the Great . But Otto von Worms suffered a heavy defeat from Arduin in January 1003 at the Veronese Klausen . He died in 1004.

San Michele in Pavia, the coronation place of Charles I for rex Langobardorum in 774, but also of Arduin in 1002 and Henry II in 1004

In the same year Heinrich personally marched at the head of an army against Arduin. After overcoming the Brenta-Klause , where Otto had suffered the aforementioned heavy defeat, Arduin's troops dispersed. In the Episcopal Church of Trento , Heinrich entered into a prayer fraternity together with his clerical and secular greats as well as the northern Italian bishops . Archbishop Arnulf II crowned Henry King of the Longobards (rex Langobardorum) on May 14, 1004 in Pavia , certainly an appeal to the Carolingian titulature. Heinrich was also crowned in the same church as Arduin two years earlier, namely in San Michele. In its predecessor church, Charlemagne was crowned rex Langobardorum in 774 .

However, citizens of Pavias attacked Heinrich and his companions the night after the coronation, whereupon these houses set fire to, as Thietmar von Merseburg claims, to alert the distant troops. The uprising could only be suppressed with difficulty, and Heinrich had to leave the destroyed city. He accepted homage from other Lombards on a court day in Pontelungo and withdrew from Italy at the beginning of June 1004; on June 12th he was back in Locarno .

Left Italy to its Own (1004–1009)

Italy was left to its own devices for years. Nevertheless, evidence of Arduin's ruling activities at this time is rare. For his part, Henry II did not set up an Italian office again until the turn of the year 1008/09. Bishop Eberhard von Bamberg was made chancellor, an office he held until the end of 1012. After the death of the Archbishop of Mainz Willigis († 1011), he was appointed Arch Chancellor for Italy (until 1024) in early 1013.

Submission offer, last insurrection attempt (1013-1014)

Arduin did not agree to negotiate with Heinrich until 1013, when Heinrich made his second move to Italy. Heinrich refused the conditional surrender of Arduin at the end of the year, who avoided a military conflict. Arduin was willing to forego the Lombard crown, but not the margravate. Perhaps he was also weakened by the betrayal of some greats. Heinrich continued, apparently without paying any further attention to Arduin, on his march to Rome for the imperial coronation , which took place on February 14, 1014. But in Rome it came on 21./22. February led to a riot, similar to what happened ten years earlier in Pavia. Heinrich stayed there for a month in April / May.

In May 1014, Arduin tried a final uprising together with a large opposition from the nobility, but this failed due to the resistance of the Marquis of Canossa and the Bishop of Vercelli. Arduin was able to conquer Vercelli and Como, but failed before Novara . The margraves Hugo, Adalbert, Azzo and Obizo fell into the hands of the imperial by cunning or violence. Arduin was besieged at the not further known fortress Sparrone in the valley of the Orco . Heinrich was able to decide on the punishment of his opponents and the reward of his followers in Solingen on September 1, 1014 , without having to pay any further attention to Arduin.

Retreat to the monastery and death

Arduin, perhaps already seriously ill, withdrew to the Fruttuaria monastery , which he had co-founded around 1005. He died there on December 14, 1015.

After his death, the Margraviate of Ivrea dissolved. His sons remained in the possession of Ivrea and now allied themselves with the Marquis of Turin .


"Locals", often also called "national" kings, did not exist in Italy again until 1861. Therefore, Arduin - and also other kings from mansions that were located in Italy - became purposes in the wake of the emerging nationalism ( Risorgimento ) captured by political propaganda. Arduin was seen as a champion of Italian freedom against transalpine occupation. The fact of his Franconian descent did not stand in the way of this. Since in the 19th century the idea was widespread that the people had always existed after the Roman Empire, that they only had to fight for their freedom, which had to manifest itself in their own state, the "national" kings were also seen as champions of freedom , the nation and the state. The latter in turn, according to the idea that was projected back into the early Middle Ages, has always been represented by kings in the rule. At the same time, the Ottonians allowed themselves to be politically instrumentalized with their imperial Italy policy as a historical parallel to the contemporary Habsburg policy of Austria-Hungary in Northern Italy. But other patterns, such as the classification in a row with the Hohenstaufen Friedrich II and Manfred , Macchiavelli and Dante as pioneers of Italian unity, were common.

The House of Savoy , which regarded itself as the champion of Italian unity, and in 1861 introduced the Italian king, Pietro Corelli looked accordingly in his five-volume work La stella d'Italia o nove secoli di casa Savoia (Ensign Italy or nine centuries House Savoy ') as a direct descendant of Berengar II and Arduin. Like the two kings, in his opinion the Savoy guarded the Alps, and this continuity, the author urged all Italians, should never be forgotten.

Arduin gained popularity through artistic works, such as Stanislao Morelli's historical drama Arduino d'Ivrea , which he published in 1859 specifically to participate in the national cause "with the pen and with the word". Aristide Marino Gianella also popularized the king with his historical novel Arduino d'Ivrea, primo re d'Italia , published in 1911 .

Benedetto Baudi di Vesme (1858–1919) was the first to change the view of Arduin with his Il re Arduino e la riscossa italica contro Ottone III ed Arrigo II , published in 1900 . For him, Arduin was the last representative of the Carolingian imperial idea, not the defender of the Italian idea against the advancing Germanity ("germanità invadente"). With this he turned against the Gabottian thesis, which was dominant at the time. Alessandro Annaratone (not to be confused with the author of historical novels of the same name) also tried to approach source-based with his 46-page work Arduino d'Ivrea e la sua personalità storica, published in 1910 , which is expressly called in the Bollettino della Società pavese di storia patria of 1911 technical progress with a view to new sources was highlighted. However, his work was hardly incorporated into German research. For example, Gerhard Graf was explicitly unable to “use” Annatarone's Arduino for his work on The Secular Resistance in Imperial Italy .

Research work in Italy had a certain boom up to the First World War , so that on April 19, 1914, a conference on the topic of Re Arduino took place. During fascism in Italy it was again almost a matter of course to describe Arduin's “national struggles”. The monograph by Cesare Violini, published in 1942: Arduino d'Ivrea, re d'Italia e il dramma del suo secolo , does not need any sources.

Beyond the Alps, Arduin was long regarded as a mere "anti-king", although his coronation was in the kingsless period between Otto III. and Heinrich II., as Gunter Wolf noted. If you refer back to the chronological order, then it was not Arduin but Heinrich who was the “counter-king”, even if he emerged victorious from the arguments. If you follow Friedrich Christoph Schlosser , Arduin was just a “raw young man”, as Schlosser wrote in 1847. This "abused his violence in a barbaric way and insulted the great".

Via a detour via a bar in Ivrea named after the king, the Arduino platform , published in 2005, was named Arduins by Ivrea.



  • Giuseppe Sergi: Arduino marchese conservatore e re rivoluzionario , in: Arduino mille anni dopo. Un re tra mito e storia , Allemandi, Turin 2002, ISBN 88-422-1105-2 , pp. 11-25.
  • Ursula Brunhofer : Arduin from Ivrea and his followers. Investigations into the last Italian royalty of the Middle Ages . Arethousa-Verlag, Augsburg 1999, ISBN 3-934207-00-6 , (also: Munich, Univ., Diss., 1997).
  • Gunther Wolf : The so-called "Gegenkönig" Arduin von Ivrea (approx. 955-1015) , in: Archiv für Diplomatik 39 (1993) 19-34 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  • Livia Fasola : Arduin by Ivrea . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 1, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1980, ISBN 3-7608-8901-8 , column 915 f.
  • Mino Milani: Arduino e il Regno italico , Istituto geografico De Agostini, Novara 1988.
  • Giuseppe Sergi: Il declino del potere marchionale anscarico e il riassetto circoscrizionale del Piemonte settentrionale , in: Bollettino storico bibliografico subalpino 73 (1975) pp 441-492.
  • Girolamo Arnaldi : Arduino, re d'Italia , Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, 4th Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome 1962, online.
  • Cesare Violini: Arduino d'Ivrea, re d'Italia e il dramma del suo secolo , Società subalpina, Turin 1942.
  • Silvio Pivano: Stato e Chiesa da Berengario I ad Arduino (888-1015) , Fratelli Bocca, Turin 1908 (just under 400 pages).
  • Silvio Pivano: Da Berengario I ad Arduino , in: Archivio Storico Italiano ser. V, t. 43 (1909) pp. 111-128.
  • Benedetto Baudi di Vesme: Il re Arduino e la riscossa italica contro Ottone III ed Arrigo II , in Studi Eporediensi, in Biblioteca della società storica subalpina, IV, Pinerolo 1900, pp. 1-4.
  • Domenico Carutti: Il conte Umberto I (Biancamano) e il re Ardoino. Ricerche e documenti , Rome 1884, pp. 12, 17-20, 243-247, 363 f. ( Digitized version )
  • Art. Vita di Ardoino. Marchese d'Ivrea e Re d'Italia , in: Carlo Tenivelli: Biografia Piemontese , Turin 1784, pp. 173-232.

Web links

Commons : Arduino d'Ivrea  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Giuseppe Sergi: Arduino marchese e re rivoluzionario , in: Arduino mille anni dopo. Un re tra mito e storia , Turin 2002, p. 12 ff.
  2. Andrea Calzolari, Patrizia Cancian: Il contesto piemontese , in: Tomaso Vialardi di Sandigliano (ed.): Verrone. l'immagine ricostruita , Savigliano, undated , pp. 21-26, here: pp. 25 f.
  3. ^ Gerd Althoff : Prayer remembrance for participants in Italian trains. A previously unnoticed Trient diptych , in: Frühmittelalterliche Studien 15 (1981) 36–67, here: p. 44ff.
  4. Robert Holtzmann (Ed.): Scriptores rerum Germanicarum, Nova series 9: The Chronicle of Bishop Thietmar von Merseburg and their Korveier revision (Thietmari Merseburgensis episcopi Chronicon) Berlin 1935, pp. 280–283 ( Monumenta Germaniae Historica , digitized version )
  5. ^ RI II, 4 n. 1568, in: Regesta Imperii Online .
  6. Gerd Althoff , Hagen Keller : The time of the late Carolingians and the Ottonians. Crises and consolidations 888-1024 , Stuttgart 2008, p. 340. Ursula Brunhofer : Arduin from Ivrea and his followers. Investigations into the last Italian royalty of the Middle Ages. Augsburg 1999, pp. 203-250.
  7. For example in the appeal of the insurgents of southern Italy to the Ravennates of April 24, 1860 (Filippo Mercuri: Storia di Sicilia e Napoli dell'anno 1860 al 1861 , L. Chiurazzi, Naples 1863, p. 164).
  8. ^ Pietro Corelli: La stella d'Italia o nove secoli di casa Savoia , 5 vols., Ripamoniti, Milan 1860–1863, vol. 1, p. VI: "Agli Italiani" (preface). There, Victor Emanuel II and Berengar II shake hands (after Tommaso di Campegna Falconieri: Medieval Identities in Italy: National, regional, local , in: Patrick J. Geary, Gábor Klaniczay: Manufacturing Middle Ages. Entangled History of Medievalism in Nineteenth-Century Europe , Brill, 2013, pp. 319–345, here: p. 338, note 43).
  9. ^ Stanislao Morelli: Arduino d'Ivrea dramma storico in cinque atti in versi di Stanislao Morelli , Galletti, Romei e C., Florence 1870.
  10. ^ Edoardo Ripari: Morelli, Gustavo Stanislao , in: Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani , Vol. 76 (2012).
  11. ^ Aristide Marino Gianella: Arduino d'Ivrea, primo re d'Italia. Romanzo storico , Nerbini, Florence 1911.
  12. See Nicoletta Irico: Il problema della presenza signorile nei primordi del comune di Biella , in: Bollettino storico-bibliografico subalpino 69 (1971) 449-504.
  13. Alessandro Annaratone: Arduino d'Ivrea e la sua personalità storica , Cortellezzi, Mortara-Vigevano 1910.
  14. ^ Bollettino della Società pavese di storia patria, 11-13 (1911), p. 110.
  15. ^ Gerhard Graf: The secular resistance in imperial Italy against the rule of the Ottonians and the first two Salians (951-1056) , Palm & Enke, Erlangen 1936, p. 124.
  16. Paolo Verdun di Cantogno (ed.): Re Arduino. Conferenza tenuta in Ivrea il 19 April 1914 nel centenario del re Arduino auspice il patronato nazionale delle Giovani Operaie , Viassone, Ivrea 1915.
  17. About these “lotte nazionali” Cesare Violini writes: Arduino d'Ivrea, re d'Italia e il dramma del suo secolo , Turin 1942, p. 72 f.
  18. ^ Friedrich Christoph Schlosser: World history for the German people , vol. 6, Frankfurt 1847, p. 133.
  19. The Making of Arduino. How five friends engineered a small circuit board that's taking the DIY world by storm , IEEE Spectrum, October 26, 2011.
predecessor Office successor
Konrad Margrave of Ivrea
Otto III. King of Italy
Henry II