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Judith of Bavaria, Duchess of Swabia


Judith of Bavaria, Duchess of Swabia

Judith of Bavaria
Duchess of Swabia

Tenure 1119/1121 – 22 February 1131
Spouse Frederick II, Duke of Swabia
Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
Bertha, Duchess of Lorraine
House House of Welf
Father Henry IX of Bavaria
Mother Wulfhilde of Saxony
Born 1103
Died 22 February 1131
Burial Waldburg in Heiligen Forst, Alsace

Judith of Bavaria, Duchess of Swabia (1103 – 22 February 1131[1]) was a member of the powerful German House of Welf, being the eldest daughter of Henry IX of Bavaria and Wulfhilde of Saxony. Sometime between 1119 and 1121, she married Frederick II, Duke of Swabia. She was the mother of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, known to history as Barbarossa.


Judith was born in 1103, the eldest daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria and Wulfhilde of Saxony, daughter of Magnus, Duke of Saxony and Sophia of Hungary. She had three brothers Henry X, Duke of Bavaria, Conrad, and Welf; and three sisters, Sophia, Matilda, and Wulfhild. The Historia Welforum names in order Iuditham, Mahtildem, Sophium, and Wulfildem as the four daughters of Henricus dux ex Wulfilde.[2] This is evidence that Judith was the eldest daughter. She had in addition to her seven legitimate siblings, one half-brother, Adalbert, born of her father's relationship with an unnamed mistress.

Marriage and issue

On an unknown date between 1119 and 1121, she married as his first wife, Frederick II, Duke of Swabia (1090 – 6  April 1147); this dynastic marriage united the House of Welf and the House of Hohenstaufen, the two most powerful and influential families in Germany. The Historia Welforum specified that Judith married Friderico Suevorum duci,[3] but did not mention the date.

Together they had two children:[4]

In 1125, her father initially supported the candidacy of her husband to succeed Emperor Henry V as King of Germany, however he eventually switched his support to Lothar III, Holy Roman Emperor. The defection of Judith's father created an enmity between the Welfs and the Swabians that would have far-reaching consequences in Germany which would last throughout the 12th century.[6] It is not known how this affected relations between Judith and her husband. It is curious to note that no further children were born to the couple after the birth of their daughter Bertha in 1123.


She died on 22 February 1131 and was buried at Waldburg in Heiligen Forst, Alsace.[7] Shortly after Judith's death Frederick married as his second wife, Agnes of Saarbrücken.



  • Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Bavaria, Dukes
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