Supplinburger dynasty

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Country Holy Roman Empire
Kingdom of Germany
Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Burgundy
Duchy of Saxony
Titles Holy Roman Emperor
King of the Romans
King of Italy
King of Burgundy
Duke of Saxony
Founded 1013
Founder Liutger, Count in the Harzgau
Final ruler Lothair II, Holy Roman Emperor
Dissolution 1137

The Supplingburger dynasty was the dynasty of Lothair II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of the Romans from 1125 to 1137. The family is named after their ancestral seat Süpplingenburg northwest of Helmstedt in the Duchy of Saxony.


In 1013, one Saxon noble named Liutger was mentioned as a count in the Harzgau subdivision of Eastphalia. His grandson Count Gebhard, father of Emperor Lothair, possibly acquired the castle of Süpplingenburg about 1060 by his marriage with Hedwig, a daughter of the Bavarian count Frederick of Formbach and his wife Gertrud, herself a descendant of the Saxon margrave Dietrich of Haldensleben who secondly married the Billung duke Ordulf of Saxony upon Count Frederick's death.

Ruling in Germany

With both Saxon and Bavarian origins, the Süpplingenburg dynasty was a political opponent of the Salian dynasty and the Swabian House of Hohenstaufen. Lothair of Supplinburg's father Gebhard had died in the 1075 Battle of Langensalza during the Saxon Rebellion against troops loyal to the Salian emperor Henry IV, whereafter his mother Hedwig secondly married Duke Theodoric II of Lorraine.

Burial place of Lothair II: Kaiserdom in Königslutter, founded by the emperor in 1135

After years of purchasing lands or gaining them via inheritance or marriage alliances throughout Saxony, Lothair gained the domains of the Billung, Nordheim and Brunswick families and became one of the dominant landowners in the northern duchy. He was made Duke of Saxony in 1106 by Emperor Henry V in exchange for his help against Henry's father, Henry IV.[1] Emboldened by the promotion, and incensed over the imposition of a new tax on ducal lords, Lothair subsequently revolted against Henry's rule and denied Henry's ability to rule Saxony during the Investiture Controversy. In 1112, Lothair of Supplinburg rose in arms against Henry V, but was easily quelled. In 1113, however, a quarrel over the succession to the counties of Weimar and Orlamünde gave occasion for a fresh outbreak on the part of Lothair, whose troops were defeated at the Battle of Warnstadt,[2] though the duke was later pardoned. In 1115 his forces defeated those of the Emperor in the Battle of Welfesholz.[3]

When Emperor Henry V, who was the last male member of the Salian dynasty, had died without heirs in 1125, a controversy arose about the succession. Duke Frederick II and Conrad, the two current male Hohenstaufen, by their mother Agnes were grandsons of late Emperor Henry IV and nephews of Henry V. Frederick attempted to succeed to the throne of the Holy Roman Emperor (formally known as the King of the Romans) through a customary election, but lost to the Saxon duke Lothair of Supplinburg. A civil war between Frederick's dynasty and Lothair's ended with Frederick's submission in 1134.

The Süpplingenburg dynasty was only short-living. By his wife, Richenza of Northeim, Emperor Lothair had only one surviving child, a daughter Gertrude, born April 18, 1115. In order to secure Welf support for his election, Lothair married Gertrude to Henry the Proud, the duke of Bavaria, on May 29, 1127.[4] Their son was Henry the Lion.

After Lothair's death in 1137, the Hohenstaufen Conrad was elected King as Conrad III. When Henry the Proud, son-in-law and heir of Lothair and the most powerful prince in Germany, who had been passed over in the election, refused to acknowledge the new king, Conrad III deprived him of all his territories.

German royal dynasties
Süpplingenburg dynasty
Lothair III 1125 – 1137
Family tree of the German monarchs
Preceded by
Salian dynasty
Followed by
House of Hohenstaufen


  1. Liutger (d. after 1031), Count in the Harzgau
    1. Luther (d. after 1062), Count in the Nordthüringgau and Derlingau
    2. Bernhard (d. before 1069), Count in the Harzgau (1052), Count of Süpplingenburg, married Ida, daughter of Count Gebhard I of Querfurt
      1. Gebhard of Supplinburg (killed in the Battle of Langensalza (1075)), Count in the Harzgau, married Hedwig (d. about 1090), daughter of Count Frederick of Formbach and Gertrud of Haldensleben
        1. Lothair of Supplinburg (before 1075 – 1137), Duke of Saxony from 1106, elected King of the Romans in 1125, crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1133, married Richenza of Northeim (c. 1089 – 1141), daughter of Margrave Henry of Frisia and Gertrude of Brunswick
          1. Gertrude of Süpplingenburg (1115–1143), married to the Welf duke Henry X of Bavaria in 1127, secondly married to the Babenberg margrave Henry II of Austria in 1142
        2. Ida of Supplinburg (1073/80–1138), married Sieghart IX of Burghausen (d. 1104), count in the Pongau und Chiemgau, Vogt of Michaelbeuern Abbey
      2. Dietmar of Supplinburg (d. 1093), Bishop of Halberstadt 1089.


  1. Canduci, pg. 261
  2. Comyn, pg. 181
  3. Comyn, pg. 181
  4. Comyn, pg. 190