Imperial Ladies of the Ottonian Dynasty

Women and Rule in Tenth-Century Germany

  • Phyllis G. Jestice

Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 1-16
  3. Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 17-41
  4. Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 43-70
  5. Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 71-101
  6. Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 103-129
  7. Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 131-150
  8. Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 151-177
  9. Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 179-206
  10. 984
    Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 207-233
  11. Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 235-264
  12. Phyllis G. Jestice
    Pages 265-270
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 271-300

About this book


In tenth-century Europe and particularly in Germany, imperial women were able to wield power in ways that were scarcely imaginable in earlier centuries. Theophanu and Adelheid were two of the most influential figures in the Ottonian reich along with their husbands, who relied heavily on their support. Phyllis G. Jestice examines an array of factors that produced their power and prestige, including societal attitudes toward women, their wealth, their unction as queens, and their carefully constructed image of piety. Due to their influential positions, Theophanu and Adelheid reclaimed control of the young Otto III despite fierce opposition from Henry the Quarrelsome during the throne struggle of 984. In examining how they successfully secured the regency, this book confronts the outmoded notion of exceptionalism and illuminates the lives of powerful Ottonian women.


medieval German history medieval women's history medieval gender history Ottonian queens Ottonian Germany Ottonian dynasty crisis of 984 Empress Theophanu Empress Adelheid Otto III exceptionalism Duke Henry Emperor Otto II Henry the Quarrelsome the German reich Weibersystem elite Ottonian women tenth-century Europe

Authors and affiliations

  • Phyllis G. Jestice
    • 1
  1. 1.College of CharlestonCharleston, SCUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-77305-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-77306-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site