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The Deeds of Wiprecht

Early Local History

At that time there were many nobles in this province, each one established in his own castle: namely, Betheric from the castle Teuchern, Frederick from Cutze, Vicelin from Profen and his brother from [Elster]Trebnitz, and Hageno from Döbitzschen. These men came together of one mind, and because all power was always impatient with a partner, they quickly attempted to remove Wiprecht, who had invaded both the region and their lives. Unable to oppose them and piecing together how he might not lose his things altogether, Wiprecht judged it the best advice, if, withdrawing from the region for a time, he yielded to their envy. He talked with his men. One of them, his ministerial Hartwig, and another called Peter said that they ought to give themselves to the aforesaid Betheric, together with the town of Groitzsch—as if Wiprecht did not know. Then, having gathered 100 milites, Wiprecht took himself to the duke of Bohemia, by the name of Vratislav. Honourably received by him and accepted by everyone on account of the splendour of all of his integrity and hard work, he earned the easy access of familiarity both in the presence of the duke himself and among all his best men.
[Here follows the entirety of the Italy 1081-4 section]
Although prosperous things were thus following Wiprecht, he nevertheless could not endure prosperity and peace. Remembering the injuries once inflicted on him by the more noble men of this province, he frequently carried off not a little plunder from them, falling upon them unexpectedly. Therefore it happened that once, crossing the boundaries of the town called Belgern, he laid waste to the nearby villages by plundering and was on his way back, with everyone having suffered. When this became known to Margrave Henry of Meissen, he took his milites with him and pursued Wiprecht as he came away from Belgern. But Wiprecht steadfastly intercepted him. They came together in battle, and Margrave Henry’s standard-bearer died, transfixed by a lance from Wiprecht’s miles Hartwig. With others falling on both sides and Wiprecht’s adversaries ultimately forced to flee into the town, Wiprecht’s milites carried off their plunder.
At another time, Wiprecht was thinking of taking revenge against certain men, whom he was preparing to attack secretly. Therefore, in the middle of the night, he came to a village called Lippendorf, where a certain miles, one of his own familiars, lived. He hid himself there all day. On the following night he came secretly to Zeitz with this same man. Having discovered that Ekelin and Hageno, men most hostile to him, were present there, he returned to his castle of Schwerzau as quickly as possible. He joined with his most select men, and falling upon Zeitz unexpectedly, seized it. He slew Ekelin with seventeen men. Hageno and the rest were forced to flee into the church of St. James. Since he could not in any way bring about by threats that they come out—oh, the pain!— fire was cruelly thrown in, and the church was burned down. Having thus been forced to exit, they were greatly deprived of the light of their eyes because they had fled for the refuge of the church. At last, Wiprecht returned home, not without great destruction to the region.
Meanwhile, Betheric of Teuchern came upon Wiprecht’s milites by chance. Pursued by them as he fled, he died, struck down in the village called Queisau. After his violent death, Wiprecht reminded his milites Hartwig and Peter—who (as we mentioned before) had gone over to Betheric with the town of Groitzsch—that they should be mindful of their loyalty and open the town to him. They handed it over immediately, and he erected two well fortified towers in it.