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The Obertenghi (also called Otbertiner ) were one of the most powerful families of the north Italian nobility towards the end of the early Middle Ages around the turn of the millennium. Their eponymous progenitor is Oberto I. Count of Milan and Luni , the first Margrave of Eastern Liguria , the "marca Januensis" or Mark of Genoa .


The Kingdom of Italy (781-1014) with the Otbertine Mark between the Prealps ( Trento ) and the Gulf of Genoa

The Otbertiner are named after their progenitor, the Palatine and Margrave Otbert I (Italian: Oberto ), who died in 975. Only the name Adalbert has come down from his father, he is mentioned as a vice count in 940 .

Oberto I was one of the allies of Margrave Berengar II of Ivrea as early as 945 when he was about to take power in northern Italy (March 13, 945 in Pavia ) . The rise of Obertenghi was linked to the success of Berengar: when he completed the reorganization of the Italian feudal structures south of the Po at the beginning of 951 , which his expelled predecessor, King Hugo I , had begun, and three margraves for the newly formed territories appointed, Oberto received Eastern Liguria ("Marca Obertenga"). The other two margraves were Aleram, Count of Vercelli , for the western Liguria ("Marca Aleramica") (see Aleramiden ) and Arduin Glaber for the inland part ("Marca Arduinica"), the later margraviates Turin and Susa (see Arduine ).

Eastern Liguria included

Other leading northern Italian families of this era were the Margraves of Ivrea , various counts in the Duchy of Trento and in the Duchy of Friuli , the Marquis of Verona , the Counts of Canossa in Emilia-Romagna , the Bonifacier and Bosonids in the Margraviate of Tuscany and the Dukes of Spoleto .

Oberto's change to the side of Emperor Otto I secured the position of Obertenghi after the fall of Berengar II. Oberto was, 961 or 962, confirmed in office or received it back.

The support of the Obertenghi, especially Hugos (Ugo) and Alberto Azzos I, after the death of Emperor Otto III. for Arduin von Ivrea led to a setback after his defeat by Emperor Heinrich II in 1004 : the Obertenghi were expropriated and exiled , but pardoned again four years later . Although they did not regain their dominant position in northern Italy, they managed to secure their status through alliances and marriages with other large families in the country.

The main line died out in the 11th century. The once extensive territory was reduced in size and fragmented as a result of inheritance divisions and disputes with other families, but also due to the pressure of the up-and-coming cities (Milan, Genoa, Piacenza , Tortona , Pavia and Bobbio ).


The descendants of the Obertenghi in the male line split up into various branches of the family under different names, all of which were historically significant and some of which came into modern times :

Tribe list

  1. Adalbert I., Vice Count, mentions 940; ∞ NN [2]
    1. Otbert I., † before October 15, 975, Count Palatine of Italy, Margrave; ∞ NN [3] , possibly Guilla, daughter of Boniface, Margrave of Spoleto .
      1. Otbert II., † after 1014/21, Count Palatine of Italy, Margrave of Milan , Tortona and Genoa; ∞ I NN; ∞ II Railenda, daughter of Count Riprand, [4]
        1. Hugo (Ugo), † January 26 after 1037, Margrave of Milan, Count of Genoa; ∞ Gisela von Bergamo , daughter of Count Giselbert II, [5]
        2. Alberto Azzo I., * around 970, † before 1018 at Giebichenstein Castle , Margrave of Milan; ∞ Adele, [6]
          1. Adele; ∞ Aledram II, Margrave of Saluzzo , † before 1055
          2. Alberto Azzo II , * 997, † 1096/97, Margrave of Milan; ∞ I Kunigunde von Altdorf , daughter of Count Welf II. ( Welfen ); ∞ Garsende von Maine , daughter of Earl Heribert I ( Second House Maine ); ∞ III Mathilde, sister of Wilhelm, Bishop of Pavia ( Aleramiden ), [7] ; → For descendants see the list of the Estonians
        3. Bertha, † December 29, 1037; ∞ I Arduin of Ivrea , King of Italy , † 1015; ∞ II Manfred II Odelrich Margrave of Turin , † 1034/35 ( Arduine ), [8]
        4. Adalbert IV., † 1034; ∞ Adelaida, daughter of Count Boso, [9]
          1. Adalbert V.
        5. Guido, † 1037
      2. Adalbert II., † before March 1000, count; ∞ NN [10] - ancestor of the Malaspina houses (these in turn in the Duchy of Massa and Carrara in female lineage followed by the Cybo-Malaspina ), Parodi and Pallavicini (see web link)
        1. Otbert III.
        2. Adalbert VI.
        3. Bertha; ∞ Lanfrank, Count of Piacenza
        4. Gisela (possibly daughter of Adalbert III); ∞ Margrave Anselm I ( Aleramides )
      3. Adalbert III., † 1002/11, count; ∞ NN [11]
        1. Gisela (possibly daughter of Adalbert II); ∞ Margrave Anselm I ( Aleramides )

Origin Obertos I.

In the scientific discussion was carried forward (after Muratori , the house archivist of Obertenghi descendants d'Este), I. Father Otberts, I. Viscount Adalbert, a son of might Guido , Marquis of Tuscia from the house Boniface been be. It is assumed that Guido had other, unknown children in addition to his daughter Theodora, who is known by name. The Bonifacius family comes from a Bavarian nobleman who came to Italy with Charlemagne .

This is countered by Hlawitschka , who points out that Oberto called himself someone who, according to his origins, lives according to Longobard law: “About the descendants of Otbert I, who when he donated goods in Volpedo to the Cluny monastery himself Otbertus marchio et comes palatio , “qui professo sum ex natione mea legem vivere langobardum”, is to be compared above all with Gabotto's study mentioned, in which it is also proven against Muratori and others that there was a Bavarian relationship between the house of Otbert I and the margraves of Tuscia There were no direct relatives of origin . "


  • Eduard Hlawitschka : Franconia, Alemanni, Bavaria and Burgundy in Northern Italy. (774-962). To understand the Franconian royal rule in Italy (= research on the history of the Upper Rhine region. Vol. 8, ISSN  0532-2197 ). E. Albert, Freiburg (Breisgau) 1960 (Zugl .: Freiburg (Breisgau), university, phil. Dissertation, 1956).

Web links


  1. ^ Pompeo Litta, Famiglie celebri d'Italia : D'Este, Torino, 1835.
  2. z. B. Pompeo Litta, Famiglie celebri d'Italia : D'Este, Torino, 1835
  3. see also [1]
  4. Eduard Hlawitschka: Franconia, Alemanni, Bavaria and Burgundy in Northern Italy. 1960, pp. 244–245, with reference to Ferdinando Gabotto (1866–1918)