Wiprecht of Groitzsch

Wiprecht of Groitzsch, whose life is the subject of the text we call “The Deeds of Wiprecht” (the “Annals of Pegau” up to the year 1124), is a historical figure of the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries whose activities are attested by a number of chronicles and charters from the period. The Deeds offers a biographical narrative reflecting the perspective of the monastery of Pegau, where its many components were composed and compiled. As one might expect given the proximity of Pegau to Groitzsch and Wiprecht himself, the authors seem well-informed and provide much information not available elsewhere. However, the monks also omit some of what is attested in other sources.

Below is a list of all mentions of Wiprecht in other sources, to the best of our knowledge. We make no attempt at this time to reconcile discrepancies between them, or between them and the narrative offered in the Deeds.

Note that in medieval sources Wiprecht is never designated “of Groitzsch” (a modern convention) nor is he given any other consistent identification beyond his name. Note too that his name is spelled variously (Wibert, Wigbert, Wicpreht, etc.). This name is not wholly uncommon in this period, but nor does it appear frequently among other German nobles. Our list therefore depends upon educated guesses, made by us and/or other scholars, that Wiprecht of Groitzsch is the man to whom these texts refer.

We omit references to Wiprecht’s wives and children, except where they accompany him.

The Life of Wiprecht of Groitzsch: A Timeline

(based on sources external to the Deeds)


1079 [spring?]: Wiprecht abandons the Saxon rebels to side with Henry IV in the ongoing civil war.

Bruno of Merseburg, Brunonis Saxonicum Bellum, 380–1, ch. 117.


1088: An exiled Czech noble approaches Wiprecht to act as mediator with this father-in-law Vratislav, a request Wiprecht deflects. (Beneda is subsequently killed by the Czech king.)

Cosmas of Prague, The Chronicle of the Czechs, trans. Lisa Wolverton (UPenn, 2009), 166-67 - Translation


February 1090, Speyer: Wiprecht stands among the interveners in Henry IV's grant to the church of Meissen.

MGH DD H. IV, n.r. 410


June 1097, Regensburg: Henry IV grants land to a knight named Vitek, as a reward for faithful service to Wiprecht

MGH DD H. IV, n.r. 455


1099 [before 28 February]: Wiprecht advises Duke Břetislav II of Bohemia on the selection of a new bishop of Prague.

Cosmas of Prague, The Chronicle of the Czechs, trans. Lisa Wolverton (UPenn, 2009), 189-90 - Translation


1103; Naumburg: Wiprecht witnesses, with his son Wiprecht and others, the Bishop of Naumburg granting to St. George’s monastery the right to build a canal for a mill.

CDSR I A 2, 5, n.r. 3 (full text) - Commentary


January 14, 1104; Regensburg: Wiprecht listed, together with his son (“Wicpreht et filius eius de Saxonia”), among witnesses to Henry IV’s confirmation of two properties granted by Bishop Hermann of Augsburg to the cathedral chapter of Augsburg for their stipends.

MGH DD H.IV, n.r. 483

[1104; Regensburg: Restatement, in the midst of continued dispute among various parties, of the confirmation issued January 14, 1104, including a copy verbatim of that charter—which Wiprecht and his son witnessed.]

MGH DD H.IV, n.r. 484


[autumn?] 1105: Wiprecht conveys Henry IV from Bavaria to the Rhineland after the king’s retreat from battle against his son at Regensburg:

“In the meantime, the king [Henry V] heard that his father had been discovered with Wiprecht, a certain most illustrious and prudent man who ruled over those parts in which the Sorbs live, and permitted him [Henry IV]—for he had begged this himself through messengers—to be conducted to the Rhine.”

“The 1106 Continuation of Frutolf’s Chronicle”, in Chronicles of the Investiture Contest: Frutolf of Michelsberg and his Continuators, trans. T. J. H. McCarthy (Manchester UP, 2014), 182.

Cf. Cosmas, who dates these events to 1106:  Cosmas of Prague, The Chronicle of the Czechs, trans. Lisa Wolverton (UPenn, 2009), 203 - Translation


Sept. 23, 1105; location unspecified: Wiprecht instigates, with abbot Windolf and others, Bishop Albuin of Merseburg’s grant to the monastery of Pegau of the right to tithes from a number of villages.

[No original of this charter survives; a copy appears in “Deeds of Wiprecht,” 70]


January 30, 1106; Lateran palace, Rome: Wiprecht recognized by Pope Pascal II as founder and advocate of the monastery of Pegau.

CDSR I A 2, 8-9, n.r. 8; [also in “Deeds of Wiprecht,” 71-2]


1106: Wiprecht captured at Trent on the way to Rome by a young noble loyal to Henry IV.

After this, when the aforementioned nobles came from their own parts to spend the night in the valley of the Trent at the city of the same name, that is Trent, a certain youth named Adalbert, who was distinguished by the possession of a certain county in those parts, rushed upon those unarmed pilgrims early in the morning with armed citizens. He plundered them, captured them and held them in custody, claiming that this had been demanded of him by his lord, namely Henry the ex-emperor. For with his customary skill, Henry had, as far as he could, secretly flooded every city and province of the kingdom with all kinds of entreating letters and messengers: he lamented the violence done to him by the princes, or rather that he had been expelled from the empire by his only son; he warned of the confusion in the empire that would follow his misfortune and that every single father should fear the same fate. For this reason none of the passes to Italy was open to the emissaries. Only Bishop Gebhard of Constance, who journeyed with his followers through the secret Alpine passes of Countess Matilda—undoubtedly another Deborah—was present at the threshhold of the apostles [Rome]. The other magnates who, as we have said, had been taken prisoner by this exceedingly stupid captor, were treated dishonourably except for Bishop Otto of Bamberg, whom that same Adalbert, because he was Otto’s knight, thought to spare. Through Otto’s mediation Bishop Bruno of Trier and Count Wibert were released on condition that they meet with the ex-emperor to conclude a peace with him and then return to report what he commanded regarding the others.”

Ekkehard of Aura, “Chronicle,” in Chronicles of the Investiture Contest: Frutolf of Michelsberg and his Continuators, trans. T. J. H. McCarthy (Manchester UP, 2014), 224-25. [N.B. The underlined passages are copied from the Anonymous Imperial Chronicle; only Ekkehard’s text identifies Wiprecht as among those arrrested]


[March 1106]: In a letter from Henry IV to King Philip I of France, Wiprecht is named as the envoy sent to Henry by his son to demand the regalia from him:

“ In those days of my penitence and tribulation, one of the princes, Wibert, an envoy of my son, came to me, saying that according to the will and command of the princes, there was no prospect for me to continue living unless I gave up all the insignia of kingship without an argument. Although [even if?] my realm comprised the whole inhabited earth, I was unwilling to lose my life for it. And since I understood that, whether I wished it or not, I had to do what they specified, I sent the crown, the scepter, the cross, the lance, and the sword to Mainz.”

Imperial Lives and Letters of the Eleventh Century, trans. T. Mommsen and Karl F. Morrison (Columbia UP, 2000), 193. [In The Life of Emperor Henry IV this envoy is not named (ibid, 126).]


May 1, 1107; Mainz: Wiprecht intervenes, with others, to advocate and confirm Henry V’s restitution to the monastery of Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Maximin in Trier of various properties “unjustly taken away”. [Scholars consider this document a forgery.]

MGH DD H .V, n.r. 17 - orig.


Sept. 30, 1107; Corvey: Wiprecht intervenes, with others, to advocate and confirm Henry V’s restitution of a benefice wrongly sold by one Ezelinus to the monastery of Corvey.

MGH DD H. V, n.r. 21


(End of May 1108); Merseburg: Wiprecht consults and agrees, with others, concerning Henry V’s restitution to the monastery of Hersfeld of tithes from three chapels unjustly appropriated by the bishop of Halberstadt.

MGH DD H. V, n.r. 36 - orig.


May 30, 1108; Merseburg: Wiprecht requests and, with others, urges for Henry V’s grant of nine specified estates to the church of Meißen.

MGH DD H. V, n.r. 37 - orig.


Sept. 6, 1108; Tulln: Wiprecht witnesses, with others, Henry V’s confirmation of a large number of benefices and properties to the monastery in Göttweig, founded by Bishop Altmann of Passau.

MGH DD H. V, n.r. 38


(End of June)/July 4, 1109; Goslar: Wiprecht requests and, with others, urges for Henry V’s confirmation of an exchange between the church of Goslar and Werner, the son of Paulina, requested by the advocates of both parties, Count Ludwig and Liutdolf.

MGH DD H. V, n.r. 43


1109 (after 29 September): Wiprecht shelters and supports Bořivoj, former duke of Bohemia, in the succession crisis that followed the assassination of Duke Svatopluk.

Cosmas of Prague, The Chronicle of the Czechs, trans. Lisa Wolverton (UPenn, 2009), 216 - Translation


1109: Wiprecht further implicated in machinations concerning the Czech throne and Henry V, at odds with Wiprecht at the time.

Cosmas of Prague, The Chronicle of the Czechs, trans. Lisa Wolverton (UPenn, 2009), p. 221 - Translation


June 16, 1112; Salzwedel: Wiprecht witnesses, with others, Henry V’s confirmation of an exchange of properties between Albert, archbishop of Mainz, and Adelgot, archbishop of Magdeburg.

MGH DD H. V, n.r. 103


(December 1112); location unspecified: Wiprecht implicated in a plot against Henry V led by royal chancellor Adalbert. Specifically, Duke Frederick (Henry’s nephew) provides Wiprecht and Ludwig with gold in order to “sow seeds of discord” through Saxony

MGH DD H. V, n.r. 110


1112-1113: Wiprecht joined others in rebelling against Henry V, and was captured.

The year of the Lord 1113. Emperor Henry celebrated Christmas as Erfurt. Duke Lothar, the aforementioned Siegfried, Margrave Rudolf, Wipert the Elder, Count Palatine Frederick and Count Ludwig started a rebellion against the emperor. He led an arm against them without delay and did not cease to attack them with fire and the destruction of their fortifications until Siegfried was killed by his faithful followers, Lothar and Rudolf were reconciled, and Frederick and Wipert the Elder were justly captured and held in custody.”

“The Anonymous Imperial Chronicle,” in Chronicles of the Investiture Contest: Frutolf of Michelsberg and his Continuators, trans. T. J. H. McCarthy (Manchester UP, 2014), 216-17.


Ekkehard of Aura, copying only the notation of the 1113 Christmas court, provides a fuller, alternative account:

“At this time one of the Saxon princes named Udalric, once the son-in-law of Count Ludwig, died—although [Ludwig] hated him because he had repudiated his daughter. The aforementioned Siegfried claimed his possessions by hereditary right, but the lord emperor attempted to place them under the legal protection of his kingdom. This matter provided the kindling for recurring disorder. For this same count exaggerated his earlier miseries even further and filled almost the whole of Saxony, his homeland, with such complaints that Duke Lothar, Margrave Rudolf, Count Palatine Frederick, Wipert and Ludwig, as well as several others, withdrew their obedience from the emperor. Not to mention that the bishop of Halbertstadt as well as Gertrude, one of the most powerful widows in Saxony, likewise cried out that they had suffered violence from the emperor’s unjust invasion of their own private estates. These and similar tares of scandal stirred up a continuous murmuring in the recently pacified realm.

The year of the Lord 1113. Emperor Henry celebrated Christmas as Erfurt. As the aforementioned Saxon princes did not appear at court there, the emperor was moved with excessive indignation and commanded that their goods be pillaged and their property devastated with fire, even on the feast day; and not much later he utterly destroyed the extremely well-fortified castle of the Hornburg after a long siege. Then, leaving his followers as a garrison, he weakened those who despised him by ambushes and skirmishes. In the course of this the oft-mentioned Count Palatine Siegfried—a most noble man who in his times was second to none in probity—died, while Wipert was captured and Ludwig was compelled to surrender. And so things became quiet, if only for a short while.”

Ekkehard of Aura, “Chronicle,” in Chronicles of the Investiture Contest: Frutolf of Michelsberg and his Continuators, trans. T. J. H. McCarthy (Manchester UP, 2014), 243-34.


1117; Nordheim: Wiprecht witnesses, with others, Kunigunde of Beichlingen’s statement of intent to grant part of her inheritance to the monastery of Nordheim, confirmed with the agreement of her daughters, Adela, Margravine Kunigunde, and Mathilda.

CDSR I A 2, 43-44, n.r. 51


January 2, 1118; Speyer: Wiprecht intervenes, with others, to confirm Henry V’s restoration to the monastery of Saint Maximin of property “unjustly” appropriated by chancellor Adalbert.

MGH DD H. V, n.r. 150 - orig.


1119; location unspecified: Wiprecht witnesses, with others, Archbishop Adalbert of Mainz’s confirmation of a donation consisting of ten churches and two forests.

CDSR I A 2, 49-50, n.r. 57 (full text)


January 21, (1099)[1120]; Goslar: Wiprecht witnesses, with others, Henry V’s establishment for a forest to be cleared and settled by the citizens of Goslar, with a regular payment promised as a result to the collegiate church of St. George nearby.

MGH DD H. V, n.r. 224 - orig.


April 15 (16), 1120; Halbertstadt: Bishop Reinhard of Halberstadt issues a charter confirming the foundation and endowment of the house of canons at Kaltenborn. Wiprecht and Count Ludwig [of Thuringia], along with their sons, are mentioned as being present at an earlier court session in Botenstede and a gathering in Erfurt, where the foundation of Kaltenborn was initially discussed. Wiprecht is also described as the first advocate of Kaltenborn at the close of the document.

CDSR I A 2, 51-53, n.r. 60orig. — Translation


June 5, 1121; Magdeburg: With others, Wiprecht witnesses (in his capacity as advocate of the archbishopric of Magdeburg) Archbishop Ruotger of Magdeburg’s renewal of the foundation of the Neuwerk vor Halle monastery.

CDSR I A 2, 53-54, n.r. 62


(Between March and May 28, 1123); location unspecified: Wiprecht, Archbishop Ruotger of Magdeburg, Duke Lothar, and the clergy of Halberstadt co-petition for the Bishop of Bamberg’s intervention with the king and the Archbisop of Mainz in the election of Otto to the bishopric of Halbertstadt.

CDSR I A 2, 56-57, n.r. 68


November 1123: Appointed Margrave [of Lusatia] by Henry V, Wiprecht and his Czech allies face armed opposition from Lothar and other Saxons, but battle is avoided.

Cosmas of Prague, The Chronicle of the Czechs, trans. Lisa Wolverton (UPenn, 2009), 239-41 - Translation


February 11, 1124; location unspecified: Entitled “margrave,” Wiprecht witnesses as advocate of Pegau alongside Abbot Windolf of Pegau, Archbishop Adalbert of Mainz’s confirmation of a grant to the monastery of Oldisleben.

CDSR I A 2, 57-58, n.r. 70 (full text)


1124 [ca. May]: Wiprecht dies.

Cosmas of Prague, The Chronicle of the Czechs, trans. Lisa Wolverton (UPenn, 2009), 243 - Translation