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Henry III, Duke of Bavaria

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Title: Henry III, Duke of Bavaria  
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Subject: Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, Conrad I, Duke of Carinthia, Duchy of Carinthia, March of Verona, List of monarchs who lost their thrones before the 13th century
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Henry III, Duke of Bavaria

Henry the Younger
Duke of Bavaria
Spouse(s) Hildegard (?)
Father Berthold, Duke of Bavaria
Mother Wiltrud of Bergen
Born c. 940
Died 5 October 989
Buried Niederaltaich Abbey
Religion Catholic

Henry III (940 – 5 October 989), called the Younger, a member of the Luitpolding dynasty, was the first Duke of Carinthia from 976 to 978, Duke of Bavaria from 983 to 985 and again Duke of Carinthia from 985 to 989.


Henry the Younger was the only surviving son of Duke Berthold of Bavaria, who at the time of his birth was a loyal supporter of the royal Ottonian dynasty descending from Saxony. In 921 Henry's uncle Arnulf the Bad after two years of struggle had finally acknowledged the rule of Henry the Fowler as King of Germany and in turn achieved a certain autonomy for his Duchy of Bavaria. However, this exceptional status was denied by King Henry's son and successor Otto I, who in 938 had Arnulf's son and successor Duke Eberhard deposed and banned. King Otto appointed Arnulf's younger brother Berthold duke instead, after he had pledged allegiance and renounced the Bavarian privileges.

Duke Berthold remained a loyal liensman of the king, however, his son Henry the Younger was still a minor upon his father's death in 947 and King Otto I took the occasion to cede the Bavarian duchy to his own younger brother Henry I. As Henry I about 937 had married Judith of Bavaria, a daughter of the late duke Arnulf the Bad, he could raise claims to the ducal title.

Early years

After he became of age, Henry the Younger waited patiently, though it seemed that Bavaria was ultimately lost for the Luitpoldings, when upon the death of the Ottonian duke Henry I in 955 he was succeeded by his four-year-old son Henry the Wrangler (as Henry II) under the tutelage of his mother Judith. Coming of age, Duke Henry II of Bavaria increased his power: in 954 his sister Hadwig had married Duke Burchard III of Swabia, in 972 he himself married Gisela of Burgundy, the niece of Emperor Otto's wife Adelaide of Italy. The tables began to turn upon Otto's death on 7 May 973, followed by the death of Henry's brother-in-law Duke Burchard III of Swabia on 12 November: Duke Henry II, not satisfied with Bavaria, raised claims to Burchard's Duchy of Swabia upon, trading on the difficulties of the new emperor, his cousin Otto II, to establish his rule. His demands were denied, when Emperor Otto II enfeoffed his nephew Otto, son of late Duke Liudolf, with Swabia.

The next year Duke Henry II of Bavaria openly revolted against his Ottonian cousin Emperor Otto II, backed by Bavarian and Saxon nobles, and even obtained the support of Duke Boleslaus II of Bohemia and Mieszko I of Poland. Emperor Otto II had to struggle for his rule, finally in 976 he marched against the Bavarian capital Regensburg and declared Duke Henry II deposed.

Duke of Carinthia

Duchy of Carinthia with Veronese march (orange), about 1000

Now the patient Luitpolding heir Henry the Younger finally gained some compensation, when the emperor took the occasion to rearrange the southeastern German territories. He severed the lands of the former March of Carinthia from Bavaria and Henry the Younger was enfeoffed with the newly established Duchy of Carinthia (as Henry I), including the rule over the marches of Styria, Carniola and Istria, as well as the Italian March of Verona (his father Berthold had already received the title of a Carinthian duke by King Henry I of Germany in 927). The scaled-down Bavarian duchy passed to the loyal Ottonian duke Otto I of Swabia, while Count Leopold of Babenberg was vested with the remaining Bavarian Margraviate of Austria.

In 978 however, Henry the Younger himself was banned, probably because he now had joined the rebellion against Emperor Otto II in the War of the Three Henries, instigated by his predecessor the deposed duke Henry the Wrangler and Bishop Henry I of Augsburg during the emperor's campaign against Bohemia. Together with the forces of Duke Boleslaus II they occupied the Bavarian town of Passau, but were defeated by Otto's troops. At

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