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Gothelo I, Duke of Lorraine


Gothelo I, Duke of Lorraine

Gothelo I, Duke of Lorraine
Noble family House of Ardennes-Verdun
Father Godfrey I, Count of Verdun
Mother Matilda Billung
Born c. 967
Died 19 April 1044(1044-04-19)

Gothelo (or Gozelo) (c. 967 – 19 April 1044), called the Great, was the duke of Lower Lorraine from 1023 and of Upper Lorraine from 1033. He was also the margrave of Antwerp from 1005 (or 1008) and count of Verdun. Gothelo was the youngest son of Godfrey I, Count of Verdun, and Matilda Billung, daughter of Herman, Duke of Saxony. On his father's death, he received the march of Antwerp and became a vassal of his brother, Godfrey II, who became duke of Lower Lorraine in 1012. He succeeded his brother in 1023 with the support of the Emperor Henry II, but was opposed until Conrad II forced the rebels to submit in 1025. When the House of Bar, which ruled in Upper Lorraine, became extinct in 1033, with the death of his cousin Frederick III, Conrad made him duke of both duchies, so that he could assist in the defence of the territory against Odo II, count of Blois, Meaux, Chartres, and Troyes (the later Champagne).

In the battle at Bar on 15 November 1037, Gothelo dealt a decisive blow to Odo, who was trying to create an independent state between France and Germany. Odo died in the battle.

Gothelo died on 19 April 1044 and was buried in the Abbey Church of Bilzen. His son Godfrey succeeded in Upper Lorraine, but the Emperor Henry III refused to give him the duchy of Lower Lorraine as well. When Godfrey showed disagreement with the imperial decision, Henry III threatened to pass the duchy to Godfrey's incompetent brother Gothelo. This caused a long rebellion in Lotharingia between the allies of Godfrey (the counts of Flanders and Leuven) and imperial forces (1044–1056).


The name of Gothelo's wife is not known, the name Barbe de Lebarten (and in fact her entire ancestry), being a spurious concoction of later genealogists.[1][2] He had the following children:

Gothelo I, Duke of Lorraine
Born: c. 967 Died: 19 April 1044
Preceded by
Godfrey II
Duke of Lower Lorraine
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Frederick III
Duke of Upper Lorraine
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Godfrey I, Count of Verdun
Margrave of Antwerp
Succeeded by
Gothelo II the Lazy


  1. ^ Ludwig Conrady in 'Die Geschichte des Hauses Nassau: Von den ältesten Zeiten bis zu den ersten Trägern des Namens Nassau', _Annalen des Vereins für nassauische Altertumskunde und Geschichtsforschung_ 26 (1894) 1-130 & table 132-133. (as cited by Leo van de Pas, 8 May 2009 in soc.genealogy.medieval
  2. ^ Also see: Theodor Schliephake in _Geschichte von Nassau, von den ältesten Zeiten bis auf die Gegenwart, auf der Grundlage urkundlicher Quellenforschung_, vol 1 (Wiesbaden, 1866)
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