Eupraxia-Adelheid: The biographical approach

H. Rüß


The paper deals with the evidences of sources concerning the life of Princess Evpraxia Kiev, who was the daughter of Prince Vsevolod and the wife of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. She was known in the West under the name Adelheid. No one German queen or empress of the Middle Ages had not received such a negative assessment in the work of historians. Her image is one of passive instrument, which the enemies of the Emperor used in their political struggle against Henry. The reasons are her decision to speak out against her husband in his conflict with Pope and speak with the scandalous revelations at the church councils of Constance and Piacenza. Old Russian sources completely ignored the fact that she was the Empress of the German Empire. This is due to the negative attitude to the Catholic Church, approving in Russia since the middle of the XI century. The author tries to review a number of established stereotypes in literature and to understand personal dimension of the empress. Because of the limited source base few his conclusions have hypothetic character.


Eupraxia; Adelheid; Holy Roman Empire; Kiev; church council


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