Henry the Great

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Henry the Great (* probably 946 ; † October 15, 1002 in Château Pouilly-sur-Saône ) was Count of Nevers and Auxerre and from 965 until his death Duke of Burgundy .

Heinrich is also referred to as Henry I of Burgundy to distinguish it from Henry II of Burgundy, the son of King Roberts II , who was appointed Duke of Burgundy by his father around 1016 and succeeded him as King of France in 1031 (as of France Henry I ). Henry the Great is also known under the name Odo-Heinrich (French Eudes-Henri ), since he originally had the name Odo before his elevation to Duke and was intended to be a cleric; only when he was ducal did he take the name Heinrich. His nickname "the great" does not refer to special achievements, but is the result of a translation error; in Latin it was Magnus , which in this case meant "the elder" to distinguish it from Henry II.

Heinrich was the youngest of the three legitimate sons of Hugo the Great , Duke of Francis from the Robertin family . His eldest brother was Hugo Capet , who succeeded his father as Duke of France and later, when he was elected King of France, founded the Capetian dynasty. As Duke of Burgundy, Heinrich succeeded his older brother Otto after he died in 965 without leaving an heir. Heinrich was elected by the Burgundian greats at Hugo Capet's request and was then evidently the feudal man of his brother Hugo; thus Burgundy was no longer regarded as a fiefdom of the crown, because the Carolingian king Lothar was not consulted in settling the question of succession. When Hugo Capet himself became king in 987, Burgundy became a fiefdom of the crown again. When Heinrich died in 1002 without leaving an heir, the duchy was confiscated as a crown fief by King Robert II , the son and successor of Hugo Capet. However, this met with fierce opposition from the Burgundian nobility.

Heinrich was married three times. His first wife was Gerberga von Mâcon († December 11, 986/991), daughter of Otto (Othon) and widow of Margrave Adalbert II of Ivrea , King of Italy since around 972 . His second wife was Gersende von Gascogne , daughter of Duke Wilhelm , in June 992 ; the marriage was divorced in 996 . Since 998 his third wife was Mathilde von Chalon († 1005/1019), daughter of Count Lambert, who married Gottfried I von Semur ( House of Semur ) in her second marriage . With her he had a daughter, Aramburga of Burgundy , who was probably born in 999 and who was married to Dalmas of Semur around 1015 . In addition, he had an illegitimate son named Odo (Eudes) from an unknown woman, who became Vice-Count of Beaune in 1004 .


  • Maurice Chaume: Les origines du duché de Bourgogne . Première partie: Histoire politique . Jobard, Dijon 1925 (reprint: Scientia-Verlag, Aalen 1977, ISBN 3-511-04440-5 ).
  • Jean Richard: Heinrich I. (original name: Odo), Hzg. V. Burgundy . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 4, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-7608-8904-2 , Sp. 2067.


  1. Walther Kienast : The duke title in France and Germany (9th to 12th centuries) , Munich 1968, p. 95f.
predecessor Office successor
Otto Duke of Burgundy