Ernst II (Swabia)

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Ernst II. (* Around 1010 ; † August 17, 1030 near Falkenstein Castle on the Baar in the Black Forest ) from the noble family of the Babenbergs was Duke of Swabia from 1015 to 1030 .


Ernst was the older son of Duke Ernst I and Gisela von Schwaben , who later became Empress. Through his maternal grandmother, he was a great-grandson of the Burgundian King Konrad . Ernst inherited the Duchy of Swabia after his father's fatal hunting accident in 1015 and was under the tutelage of his mother when he was a minor. His mother married Konrad the Elder in late 1016 or early 1017 , from whom she had another son, Heinrich , in October 1017 . When the Sachsenhaus died out in 1024 with the Ottonian ruler Heinrich II, Konrad was elected the new king and was given the name Konrad II. In contrast to his younger brother Hermann , Ernst probably did not grow up in the area or at the court of Konrad II. The guardianship of Ernst II passed to his uncle Poppo von Babenberg , the Archbishop of Trier . On September 4th, 1024 Ernst was still under the tutelage of his uncle Poppo von Trier.

During Konrad II's ride to the king , Ernst belonged to the opposition. The Dukes Konrad the Younger and Friedrich II of Upper Lorraine also resisted the king . However, the Ernst II rebellion failed. In February, when Konrad II gathered his army in Augsburg, Queen Gisela brokered the reconciliation between Ernst and Konrad. Obviously, the participation in Konrad's Italian train was a condition for the reconciliation. After September 15, 1026, Konrad's stepson Ernst, who received the imperial abbey of Kempten as a fief , returned to the Swabian duchy with the task of maintaining the peace . But Ernst allied himself with the rebels and invaded Alsace . After Konrad's return, Ernst had to go to a Reichstag in Ulm. Ernst was deposed as Duke of Swabia and imprisoned at Giebichenstein Castle . In 1028 he was pardoned and reinstated in his duchy. In return, he had to forego parts of his inheritance, including Weissenburg in the Bavarian Nordgau. However, when Ernst refused to take an oath against his vassal and friend Count Werner von Kyburg on March 29, 1030 on the Ingelheimer Osterhoftag , Konrad had him tried as hostis publicus imperatoris and deposed by a prince's verdict. Even his mother Gisela dropped him now. On August 17, 1030, Ernst II and his friend Werner von Kyburg were slain at Falkenstein Castle in the Black Forest in a fight against the people of the Bishop of Constance . His stepfather Konrad compared his downfall to the end of a mad dog ( Raro canes rabidi foeturam multiplicabunt ).

He found his final resting place in the Konstanz Minster . The St. Gallen necrology calls him on the day of his death "Duke and ornament of the Alamanni" ( dux et decus Alamanorum ).

The fall of Duke Ernst led to a weakening of the Swabian ducal power and prepared the dissolution of the duchy. The Burgundian inheritance went to Heinrich as planned . He gave the duchy to Ernst's younger brother Hermann , who, as he was still a minor, was entrusted to the care of Bishop Warmann of Constance . Hermann died eight years later, after which the emperor withdrew the duchy.


Legend and poetry in the epic have interwoven its story with the rebellious king's son Liudolf , who dared to revolt against his father Otto I in 952/954. The resistance Duke Ernst II. Is around 1180 in the spielmannsdichtung of Duke Ernst received. Only the names and the opposition to the emperor are historically correct in this poem. Ludwig Uhland (1817) edited the subject . Peter Hacks also took up the subject in 1957 for his drama Das Volksbuch vom Herzog Ernst or Der Held und his entourage .


  • Wipo : Deeds of Emperor Konrad II. In: Werner Trillmich , Rudolf Buchner (ed.), Sources of the 9th and 11th centuries on the history of the Hamburg Church and the Empire (FSGA 11), Darmstadt 1961 a. ö., pp. 505-613.



  1. Herwig Wolfram: Konrad II. 990-1039. Emperor of three kingdoms. Munich 2000, p. 91.
  2. Wipo c. 11 and 13 f. Herwig Wolfram: Konrad II. 990-1039. Emperor of three kingdoms. Munich 2000, p. 98.
  3. Wipo c. 28.
predecessor Office successor
Ernst I. Duke of Swabia
Hermann IV.