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Matilda, Abbess of Quedlinburg

Matilda, Abbess of Quedlinburg

German abbess
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German abbess
Occupations Abbot
Gender female
Death (Quedlinburg Abbey, Quedlinburg, Harz, Saxony-Anhalt)
Mother: Adelaide of Italy
Father: Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
Siblings: Otto IIHoly Roman EmperorLiudolfDuke of SwabiaWilliamArchbishop of MainzEmma of ItalyLiutgarde
The details

Matilda (December 955 – 999), also known as Mathilda and Mathilde, was the first Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg. She was the daughter of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, and his second wife, Adelaide of Italy.

Taking the veil

Her grandmother, Saint Matilda, founded the Quedlinburg Abbey in 936. In April 966, in a splendid ceremony requested by her father, the eleven-year-old granddaughter and namesake of Saint Matilda was elected suae metropolitanae sibi haereditariae.


A year after becoming abbess, Matilda was assigned as regent of the kingdom when her father and brother Otto went to Italy. As regent, Matilda held a reforming synod at Dornberg. The synod was reforming in character and it concerned the church in Germany. In 984, she held an imperial diet at her abbey. At the diet, Henry the Wrangler questioned the right of Matilda's nephew to succeed his father. Matilda successfully defeated his claims and secured the election of her nephew as Holy Roman Emperor, therefore "holding the empire together". In 984, Matilda, her mother, Empress Adelaide, and her sister-in-law, Empress Theophanu, became co-regents for Matilda's young nephew, Otto III. A contemporary chronicler described her regency as being "without female levity". Matilda succeeded in restoring peace and authority by leading an army against the barbarians.


She died in February 999 and was succeeded as abbess of Quedlinburg by her niece, Adelaide I.


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