Maria of Swabia

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Maria of Hohenstaufen
Spouse(s) Henry II, Duke of Brabant and Lothier
Noble family Hohenstaufen
Father Philip of Swabia
Mother Irene Angelina of Byzantium
Born 3 April 1201
Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy
Died 29 March 1235 (aged 33)
Leuven, Brabant

Maria of Hohenstaufen (3 April 1201 – 29 March 1235) was a member of the powerful Hohenstaufen dynasty of German kings which lasted from 1138 to 1254. She is also known to history as Marie of Swabia.

She was the third daughter of Philip of Swabia and Irene Angelina of Byzantium, and her husband was Henry II, Duke of Brabant and Lothier. As she had died six months before her husband succeeded to the dukedom, Maria was never Duchess of Brabant and Lothier.


File:Irene Philipp.jpg
Philip of Swabia and Irene Angelina of Byzantium, the parents of Maria of Hohenstaufen

Maria of Hohenstaufen was born in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy on 3 April 1201. Her paternal grandparents were Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor and Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy, and her mother's parents were Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelos and his first wife Herina.[1]

Emperor Frederick II was her first cousin.

In 1208, at the age of seven, Maria was left an orphan by the unexpected deaths of her parents. On 21 June, her father was murdered by Otto of Wittelsbach, and two months later her mother died after giving birth to a daughter, who did not live beyond early infancy. Maria had three surviving sisters.


  1. Beatrice of Hohenstaufen (1198–1212), married Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor. The marriage was childless.
  2. Cunigunde of Hohenstaufen (1200–1248), married in 1228 King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, by whom she had issue.
  3. Elizabeth of Hohenstaufen (1203 – 5 November 1235), married in 1219 King Ferdinand III of Castile, by whom she had issue, including King Alfonso X of Castile. She was his first wife. Ferdinand married his second wife Jeanne de Dammartin, Countess of Ponthieu before August 1237, by whom he had issue, including Eleanor of Castile, Queen consort of King Edward I of England.

Marriage and issue

Sometime before 22 August 1215, she married as his first wife Henry II, heir to the Duchy of Brabant (present-day Belgium) and Lothier. They had six children, and through them, Maria is the ancestress of every royal house in Europe:


Maria of Hohenstaufen died on 29 March 1235 in Leuven, Brabant, five days before her thirty-fourth birthday. Less than six months later, her husband succeeded his father as Duke of Brabant and Lothier.

In 1241, Henry married his second wife, Sophie of Thuringia, the daughter of Ludwig IV of Thuringia and Elisabeth of Hungary. The marriage produced two children: Henry I, Landgrave of Hesse and Elizabeth of Brabant, who married Albert I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Sophie was the only wife of Henry to be styled Duchess of Brabant and Lothier.



  1. Cawley, Charles, Byzantium (1057–1204), Medieval Lands database, FMG  Check date values in: |access-date= (help); ,[better source needed]


  1. Cawley, Charles, Swabia, Medieval Lands database, FMG  Check date values in: |access-date= (help); ,[better source needed]
  2. Cawley, Charles, Byzantium (1057–1204, Medieval Lands database, FMG  Check date values in: |access-date= (help); ,[better source needed]