Matilda, Abbess of Quedlinburg
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Matilda, Abbess of Quedlinburg

Matilda (December 955 - 999), also known as Mathilda and Mathilde, was a German regent, and the first Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg. She served as regent of Germany for her brother during his absence in 967, and as regent during the minority of her nephew from 984.

She was the daughter of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, and his second wife, Adelaide of Italy.


Her grandmother, Saint Matilda, founded the Quedlinburg Abbey in 936.[1] 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.[2]


A year after becoming abbess, Matilda was assigned as regent of the kingdom when her father and brother Otto went to Italy.[3] As regent, Matilda held a reforming synod at Dornberg.[2] concerning the church in Germany.

In 984, she held an imperial diet at her abbey.[2] 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".[3]

In 984, Matilda, her mother, Empress Adelaide, and her sister-in-law, Empress Theophanu, became co-regents for Matilda's young nephew, Otto III.[4] 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".[3]


She died in February 999[5] and was succeeded as abbess of Quedlinburg by her niece, Adelaide I.[6]



  1. ^ Wemple 1987, p. 139.
  2. ^ a b c Mcnamara 1996, p. 197.
  3. ^ a b c Jansen, p. 153.
  4. ^ Yorke 2003, p. .
  5. ^ Schutz 2010, p. 82.
  6. ^ Thietmar 2001, p. 151.


  • Jansen, Sharon L. (2002). The Monstrous Regiment of Women: Female Rulers in Early Modern Europe. Palgrave Macmillan.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • McNamara, Jo Ann (1996). Sisters in arms: Catholic nuns through two millennia. Harvard University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Thietmar (2001). Ottonian Germany: The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg. Translated by Warner, David A. Manchester University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Wemple, Suzanne F. (1987). "Sanctity and Power: The Dual Pursuit of Early Medieval Women". In Bridenthal, Renate; Koonz, Claudia; Stuard, Susan (eds.). Becoming Visible: Women in European History. Houghton Mifflin Company.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Yorke, Barbara (2003). Nunneries and the Anglo-Saxon royal houses. Continuum International Publishing Group.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Schutz, Herbert (2010). The Medieval Empire in Central Europe: Dynastic Continuity in the Post. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Regnal titles
Office created Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg
Succeeded by
Adelheid I

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