Guy III of Spoleto

Guy of Spoleto (actually Wido or Wido II (I ). * 855, † November 894 ) was the most important member of the family of Guidonen that in the second half of the 9th century, which was founded in the year 571 Lombard Duchy of Spoleto in central Italy dominated.


Guido was the son of the Marquis and Duke Wido I. and I. Guido of Spoleto and his wife Itana, probably a daughter of the Duke of Benevento Siko. His older brother Lambert was I. Duke of Spoleto 850-871 and 875-879, fighting against Emperor Louis II, but maintained a good relationship with his successor, Charles II the Bald. The father Wido I. had come with Emperor Lothar I in 842 to Italy and appointed by the latter to the Duke of Spoleto.


Before the own rule

Guido was Margrave of Camerino from 876, the eastern part of the split from his father Wido I. among his sons Duchy of Spoleto; he is mentioned in a deed of June 876 as such. Well in 879 he married Ageltrude, daughter of Prince and Duke of Benevento Adelchis, and renewed in this way the political connection to the second Lombard state in central and southern Italy. He and his brother supported 876/877 Pope John VIII in the fight against the Arabs in Campania in the context of an alliance of several, but not all southern Italian small states against the invaders. However, tangible results were not evident.

When the West Frankish Synod of Bishops Ponthion recognized the supremacy of the pope over Spoleto on 16 July 877 after the death of Charles the Bald, I., Lambert turned against John VIII, captured Rome and took the Pope in March of 878 captured, though he little earlier had been adopted by this. Whether Guido was involved, is rather unlikely. As Lambert died in the summer of 880, his son Guido II succeeded him ( III.). He took part in February 882, with his uncle at a synod at Ravenna, on both the Pope swore loyalty and promised to give him back all lands illegally acquired. In the years before, Guido had intervened in a struggle for the throne in Benevento, which had broken out after the assassination of his father Adelchis 878, and took the enemy of his relatives Radelchis II, Gaideris, caught, then let him but after Constantine Opel escape.

The own rule in Spoleto

In March 883 Guido II died (III ) and his uncle took over the rule in the whole Duchy of Spoleto. As his title the contemporary sources mention alternatively Margrave or Duke. The names count fluctuates between Guido II and III, respectively. , The latter possibility the sequence of the Dukes would be right after, but he is usually referred to as Guido II, indicating the generation of belonging within the family.

Politically, he maneuvered initially between the Arabs who had settled around the mouth of the Garigliano river south of Gaeta, and the Eastern Roman emperors. However, a campaign against the Arabs or Saracens did not return, an embassy to Constantinople Opel financial support from the Emperor Basil I. Thus Guido took the same position as his brother Waimar I, who ruled the Principality of Salerno and the daughter of his brother Lambert, Itta had married.

Because of its relations with the emperor in Constantinople Opel complained the new Carolingian Emperor Charles III. Guido on a Reichstag in Nonantola in June 883, which was also Pope Marinus I took part in treason and had him to jail; he was sentenced to the loss of all his possessions. However, Guido managed to escape and was taking a short-term alliance with the Saracens, which helped him 883/884 back the troops of Charles. On January 6, 885 it then said a national assembly in Pavia on charges of treason free and Charles III. , Who saw many threats his rule, put him back in his dignities. Guido was at this time as one of the most powerful princes of Italy, which is why the Annales Fuldenses designated his reign as regnum Widonis ..

Pope Stephen V turned to his election 885 to him because Emperor Charles III. , With the papal election was not denied, denied him the support in the fight against the Saracens. Guido suggested this then the Garigliano and conquered addition, the county Capua and the Principality of Benevento, whose owner Ajo II had come to him. He won the real power in central Italy. In order to strengthen their new alliance, Stephan V. adopted at the beginning of 886 Guido and at the same time obliged him so as a defender of the papacy. However, due to an uprising of the people he lost control of Benevento back to Ajo II

Kingship and empire

After the deposition of Charles III. in November 887 and his death on 13 January 888 Guido changed his political plans completely. He now saw an opportunity to position themselves in the power struggle of all against all in the different kingdoms that make up the Carolingian Empire was composed. He pulled under an agreement with the Margrave of Friuli, Berengar I, who wanted to be elected king of Italy, crowned the West Frankish kingdom to Burgundy and settled in February 888 in Langres to Charles 's successor as king. He found support for this in the Archbishop of Reims, Fulk the Venerable, and counted on never demolished his family connections in their local home. A short time later, however, he was forced by the Odo of Paris selected in Compiègne on 29 February, withdraw slowly ..

Only in October 888 Guido crossed the Alps to northern Italy, where many princes joined him, which were opposed Berengar I, who had at the turn of 887/888 to be crowned king. In the power struggle between the West and ostoberitalienischen groups, there was a first discussion at Brescia, which was won by the end of October Berengar, but ended with a truce. The latter was in fact from the catchment Arnulf of Carinthia, the new king in the eastern kingdom, taken by surprise and was obliged himself to this subject in December of the same year. A new, decisive battle between the two candidates for the regnum Italiae took place in early 889 the river Trebbia instead, defeated in the Berengar and was wounded: he then retired back to Verona and was limited to the kingdom in the eastern part of Upper Italy.

A synod at Pavia, which was composed mainly of northern Italian bishops agreed with Guido a contract that this conjured. It provided for the protection of the Church and its officials against looting and possession of alienation in eight chapters. Then the bishops elected him in February 889 as King of Italy. The Duchy of Spoleto he left then his great-nephew Guido IV in the looming confrontation with Arnulf to the imperial crown Guido won for the time being and was crowned on 21 February 891 in Rome by Pope Stephen V to the Emperor, while his wife was Empress Ageltrude. Thus Guido was the first nichtkarolingische ruler who won the title of emperor. His seal bore the inscription renovatio regni Francorum.

In May 889 he had raised his son Lambert for co-regent. As early acts of government he established two new margravates to Ivrea in the west and around the lake in the eastern part of Upper Italy. He also confirmed Doge of Venice and the people whose rights I. Rhangabe were 812 agreed in a contract of Charlemagne with the Byzantine Emperor Michael. On April 30, 892 Guido left his son during a synod at Ravenna by the new Pope Formosus crowned co-emperor; In return, both confirmed the rights of the papacy to the central Italian regions from the Pippi niches donation. A well intendiertes of Archbishop Fulk of Rheims alliance with the Guidos on January 28, 893 to the king of the West Franks Charles the Simple winning was not realized apparently.

Pope Formosus now began to fear the power of Guidos and sent in the autumn of 893 ambassadors to the East Frankish Imperial Diet in Regensburg, to persuade Arnulf of Carinthia to an Italian expedition. An intervention of the Son of Arnulf, Zwentibold, in northern Italy yielded no result. At the beginning of 894, however, Arnulf pulled himself over the Alps and was with his army to conquer the cities of Brescia, Bergamo, Milan and Pavia, and proclaimed himself King of Italy here. Due to increasing difficulties he retired but soon back north back to not be hindered by the resistance without Berengar. Guido for his part, however, died in late autumn 894 near the river Taro, where he had barricaded himself. He was buried in the Cathedral of Parma.

The obtained legal documents Guidos deal for a part in the protection of the clergy, on the other hand, larger with maintaining the legal peace in the country with respect to its interferers. Notably, he sought to reserve the actual exercise of power in his kingdom and thus to reduce the role of intermediaries as the Count. However, this effort proved to be unsuccessful in the long run. On the other hand he transferred his wife Ageltrude several possessions in northern Italy. The policy Guidos is classified as a whole has always been ambiguous, this tenor was already determined in his lifetime from natural reason of the Gesta Berengarii his great rival in Italy in the negative sense.

Guido's son Lambert was able to maintain itself for a return to Italy 896 Arnulf, although this was crowned by Pope Formosus emperor in Rome, so in fact applicable to the rival emperors. When Lambert was, however, came on October 15, 898 by a riding accident, Arnulf inherited the sole empire until his death in November / December 899 even a short time later.

Marriage and issue

With his wife Ageltrude, a daughter of the Duke and Prince Adelchis of Benevento, the 894 was still alive, had, inter alia, Guido the Son:

  • Lambert ( † October 15, 898 in Marengo ), Duke of Spoleto, ( co-) king since May 889, ( co-) Kaiser since April 892