Born 931; died 16 December, 999, one of the conspicuous characters in the struggle of Otho the great to obtain the imperial crown from the Roman Pontiffs. She was the daughter of Rudolph II, King of Burgundy, who was at war with Hugh of Provence for the crown of Italy. The rivals concluded a peace in 933, by which it was stipulated that Adelaide should marry Hugh's son Lothaire. The marriage took place, however, only fourteen years later; Adelaide's mother meantime married Hugh. By this time Berengarius, the Marquis of Ivrea, came upon the scene, claiming the Kingdom of Italy for himself. He forced Hugh to abdicate in favour of Lothaire, and is supposed to have afterwards put Lothaire to death by poison. He then proposed to unite Adelaide in marriage with his son, Adalbert. Refusing the offer, Adelaide was kept in almost solitary captivity, in the Castle of Garda, on the lake of that name. From it she was rescued by a priest named Martin, who dug a subterraneous passage, by which she escaped, and remained concealed in the woods, her rescuer supporting her, meantime, by the fish he caught in the lake. Soon, however, the Duke of Canossa, Alberto Uzzo, who had been advised of the rescue, arrived and carried her off to his castle. While this was going on the Italian nobles, weary of Berengarius, had invited Otho to invade Italy. He met with little resistance, and betook himself to Canossa where he met Adelaide, and married her on Christmas day, 951, at Pavia. This marriage gave Otho no new rights over Italy, but the enthusiasm of the people for Adelaide, whose career had been so romantic, appealed to them and made Otho's work of subjugating the peninsula easy. In Germany she was the idol of her subjects, while her husband lived. During the reign of her son Otho II, her troubles began, chiefly owing to the jealousy of her daughter-in-law, Theophano, and possibly also because of her excessive liberality in her works of charity. It resulted in her withdrawing from court and fixing her residence at Pavia, but a reconciliation was effected by the Abbot of Cluny, St. Mayeul. The same troubles broke out when her grandson came to the throne, the jealous daughter-in-law being yet unreconciled, and Adelaide was again forced into seclusion. But Theophano dying suddenly, Adelaide was recalled to assume the burden of a Regency. Her administration was characterized by the greatest wisdom. She took no revenge upon her enemies; her court was like a religious house; she multiplied monasteries and churches in the various provinces, and was incessant in her efforts to convert the pagans of the North. In the last year of her reign she undertook a journey to Burgundy to reconcile her nephew Rudolph with his subjects, but died on the way at Seltz, in Alsace. She is not mentioned in the Roman martyrology, but her name appears in several calendars of Germany, and her relics are enshrined in Hanover. St. Odilo of Cluny wrote her life.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online