Sunday, 5 July 2009

Book: The Pale Horseman:Uhtred's Women


Uhtred's women are fictitous but here are some of the famous women who lived during this turbulent time and Bernard Cornwell has used their names. I have not found a Brida but it could come from Saint Brigid who has pagan connections which the Anglo-Saxons were to begin with.
Also Isuelt is suposed to be fair but Uhtred's was dark and mysterious. Hild also can be a name taken from Hilda of Whitby, a nun and later a saint. Mildrith certainly has royal connections and becomes a Abbess and later a saint. We have not met Gisela yet so I cannot say what she will be like but there are plenty to choose from.
I like Brida at the moment, I wanted to like Isuelt but although she was an interesting person her promise was not fulfilled and Hild is still not opened out to us. I have sympathy for Mildrith losing her son, but she is no companion to Uhtred, who likes a more dominant woman and fits in with his warrior life style. Brida is still saving his life, as when he goes to rescue the king and passes on vital information about the Danes, showing they still trust one another.

Saint Brigid of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland (Brigit, Bridget, Bridgit, Bríd or Bride) (Irish: Naomh Bríd) (c. 451 – 525) is considered one of Ireland's patron saints along with Saints Patrick and Columba. Her feast day is February 1, the traditional first day of spring in Ireland. She is believed to have been an Irish Christian nun, abbess, and founder of several convents.

Early life
As with many ancient saints the biography of Brigid of Kildare has been complicated by the passage of time. Much change has occurred within the corpus of information which now exists. Often the lines between oral tradition, written tradition and new revelation have become hard to distinguish. The earliest extensive life of Brigid is the Vita Brigitae of Cogitosus and is thought to have been written no later than 650.
According to tradition, Brigid was born at Faughart near Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. Because of the legendary quality of the earliest accounts of her life, there is much debate among many scholars and even faithful Christians as to the authenticity of her biographies. According to her biographers her parents were Dubhthach, a pagan chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a Christian Pict who had been baptized by Saint Patrick. Some accounts of her life suggested that Brigid's mother was in fact from Lusitania, kidnapped by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland to work as a slave in much the same way as Patrick. Brigid was given the same name as one of the most powerful goddesses of the pagan religion which her father Dubhthach practiced; Brigid was the goddess of fire, whose manifestations were song, craftsmanship, and poetry, which the Irish considered the flame of knowledge.

Sainthood
Whether she was raised a Christian or converted in 468, as some accounts say, is unknown, but she was inspired by the preaching of Saint Patrick from an early age. Despite her father's opposition she was determined to enter religious life. Numerous stories testify to her piety. She had a generous heart and could never refuse the poor who came to her father's door. Her charity angered her father: he thought she was being overly generous to the poor and needy when she dispensed his milk and flour to all and sundry. When she finally gave away his jewel-encrusted sword to a leper, Dubhthach realized that perhaps her disposition was best suited to the life of a nun. Brigid finally got her wish and she was sent to a convent.
Brigid received the veil from Saint Mel and professed vows dedicating her life to Christ. From this point biographers heap stories and legends on Brigid. She is believed to have founded a convent in Clara, County Offaly - her first: other foundations followed. But it was to be in Kildare that her major foundation would emerge. Around 470 she founded Kildare Abbey, a double monastery, for nuns and monks, on the plains of Cill-Dara, "the church of the oak", her cell being made under a large oak tree. As Abbess of this foundation she wielded considerable power. Legends surround her, even her blessing as Abbess by Saint Mel has a story attached to it. According to the legend, the elderly bishop, as he was blessing her during the ceremony, inadvertently read the rite of consecration of a bishop and this could not be rescinded, under any circumstances. Brigid and her successor Abbesses at Kildare had an administrative authority equal to that of a Bishop until the Synod of Kells in 1152.
Brigid was famous for her common-sense and most of all for her holiness: in her lifetime she was regarded as a saint. Kildare Abbey became one of the most prestigious monasteries in Ireland, famed throughout Christian Europe. In the scriptorium of the monastery, for example, the lost illuminated manuscript the Book of Kildare may have been created — if it was not the existing Book of Kells, as many suppose.

Death and impact
She died at Kildare around 525 and was buried in a tomb before the high altar of her abbey church. After some time her remains were exhumed and transported to Downpatrick to rest with the two other patron saints of Ireland, Patrick and Columba (Colmcille). Her skull was extracted and brought to Igreja de São João Baptista (Lumiar) Lisbon, Portugal by three Irish noblemen, where it remains. There is widespread devotion to her in Ireland where she is known as the "Mary of the Gael" and her cult was brought to Europe by Irish missionaries, such as Foillan, in the centuries after her death. In Belgium there is a chapel (7th-10th century) dedicated to Sainte-Brigide at Fosses-la-Ville and Saint Brigid is the patron saint of the Dutch city of Ommen.

Connection with pagan Brigid
That she shares both her name and her feast day with those of the earlier pagan goddess Brigid may indicate that Saint Brigid is partially or entirely a fictional creation based on the pagan figure in order to convert Celts to Christianity; the euhemerization of pagan figures and tradition was a common practice of Christian missionaries. However she may merely have been named after her. Given the struggle Christian missionaries faced in their efforts to preach the Gospel in Ireland, even though they Christianized some elements, the adoption of a pagan goddess into the Communion of Saints may have been an effort to Christianize one of the most enduring pagan goddesses. Brigid the goddess was an oracle and was celebrated as the predictor of the growing season's success. Brigid is also celebrated as a time when the growing sun must be encouraged throughout the coldest of winter months. Brigid or Imbolc is the pagan holiday for this celebration among pagans and is marked with the making and burning of candles to symbolize this important process. In Christian traditions the day called Candlemas, was added to the calendar to coincide with Brigid and is the day of purification of the Virgin Mary, marked with a candlelight ceremony.
Evidence for a political function of the stories comes from detailed political analysis which demonstrates that they have been created or at least manipulated to document the power of Kildare over surrounding regions

But I cannot help feeling she looked like this:
Aife a Celtic Queen




Saint Mildrith (Old English: Mildþrȳð; floruit 694–716x733), also Mildryth or Mildred, was an Anglo-Saxon abbess.
Mildrith was the daughter of King Merewalh of Magonsaete, a sub-kingdom of Mercia, and Eormenburh (Saint Eormenburga), herself the daughter of King Æthelberht of Kent. Her sisters Milburh (Saint Milburga of Much Wenlock) and Mildgytha (Saint Mildgyth) were considered to be saints. Goscelin, probably relying on a now-lost history of the rulers of the Kingdom of Kent, wrote a hagiography of Mildrith.
Mildrith's maternal family had close ties to the Merovingian rulers of Gaul, and Mildrith is said to have been educated at the prestigious Merovingian royal abbey of Chelles. She entered the abbey of Minster-in-Thanet, which her mother had earlier established, of which she became abbess by 694. Suggesting that ties to Gaul were maintained, number of dedications to Mildrith exist in the Pas-de-Calais, including at Millam. Mildrith died at Minster-in-Thanet and was buried there.
Her remains were translated to St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury in 1035, the translation is commemorated on 18 May.
Mildrith was apparently followed as abbess by Edburga of Minster-in-Thanet, correspondent of Saint Boniface.

References
Love, R.C., "Mildrith, St" in Michael Lapidge et al., The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Blackwell, 1999. ISBN 0-631-22492-0
Rollason, D.W., The Mildrith Legend: A Study in Early Medieval Hagiography in England (series "Studies in the Early History of Britain", Leicester University) 1983. Primary texts in Old English and translation, with further information, are available here: http://www.alarichall.org.uk/teaching/mildrith.php.


Iseult (alternatively Isolde, Iseo, Yseult, Isode, Isoude, Isotta) is the name of several characters in the Arthurian story of Tristan and Iseult. The most prominent is Iseult of Ireland, wife of Mark of Cornwall and adulterous lover of Sir Tristan. Her mother, the Queen of Ireland, is also named Iseult. The third is Iseult of the White Hands, the daughter of Hoel of Brittany, sister of Sir Kahedin, and eventual wife of Tristan.



Iseult of Ireland
The Irish princess, Iseult of Ireland (also Iseult the Fair, La Bella Iseult), is the daughter of King Anguish of Ireland and Queen Iseult the Elder. She is a main character in the Tristan poems of Béroul, Thomas of Britain, and Gottfried von Strassburg and in the opera Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner.
Iseult is first seen as a young princess who heals Tristan from wounds he received fighting her uncle, Morholt. When his identity is revealed, Tristan flees back to his own land. Later, Tristan returns to Ireland to win Iseult's hand in marriage for his uncle King Mark of Cornwall. She is supposed to marry an evil steward who claims that he has killed a dragon, but when Tristan proves that it was actually he who slew the beast, Iseult's parents agree to marry her to Mark. On the journey back to Cornwall, Iseult and Tristan accidentally drink a love potion prepared for her and Mark by Iseult the elder and guarded by Brangaine, Iseult's lady-in-waiting. The two fall hopelessly in love, and begin an affair that ends when Mark banishes Tristan from Cornwall.
In the verse tradition, the lovers do not meet again until Tristan is on his death bed (see below), but in the later Prose Tristan and works based upon it, Tristan returns from Brittany and they resume their affair. Mark is much less sympathetic in these versions, and the adulterers eventually flee from his wrath. Lancelot gives them refuge in his estate Joyous Garde, and they engage in many further adventures. Additional episodes are integrated into the earlier sections of the narrative as well, including several involving the great Saracen knight Palamedes' unrequited love for Iseult, and in some versions, the two even have children. In the prose versions the lovers' end comes when Mark finds them as Tristan plays the harp for Iseult beneath a tree. The cruel king stabs his nephew in the back, and Tristan, at Iseult's request, fatally crushes his beloved in a tight embrace as his final act.
One of her rumored burial sites is Chapelizod in Dublin, Ireland.

Iseult of Brittany
After King Mark learns of the secret love affair between Tristan and Iseult, he banishes Tristan to Brittany, never to return to Cornwall. There, Tristan is placed in the care of Hoel of Brittany after receiving a wound. He meets and marries Hoel's daughter, Iseult, because she shares the name of his former lover. They never consummate the marriage because of Tristan's love for Iseult of Ireland.
During one adventure in Brittany, Tristan suffers a poisoned wound that only Iseult of Ireland, the world's most skilled physician, can cure. He sends a ship for her, asking that its crew fly white sails on the return if Iseult is aboard, and black if she is not. Iseult agrees to go, and the ship races home, white sails high. However, Tristan is too weak to look out his window to see the signal, so he asks his wife to check for him. In a moment of jealousy, Iseult of the White Hands tells him the sails are black, and Tristan expires immediately of despair. When the Irish Iseult arrives to find her lover dead, grief overcomes her, and she passes away at his side. This death sequence does not appear in the Prose Tristan. In fact, while Iseult of the White Hands figures into some of the new episodes, she is never mentioned again after Tristan returns to Cornwall, although her brother Kahedin remains a prominent character.

References
Ronan Coghlan (editor) The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Arthurian Legends, New York, 1993. Norris J. Lacy (editor) The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, New York: Garland, 1996.

Analogues
Possible Irish antecedents to the Tristan legend have received much scholarly attention. An ill-fated triantán an grá or love triangle features into a number of Irish works, most notably in the text called Tóraigheacht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne or The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne. In the story, the aging Fionn mac Cumhaill takes the young princess, Gráinne, to be his wife. At the betrothal ceremony, however, she falls in love with Diarmuid, one of Fionn's most trusted warriors. Gráinne gives a sleeping potion to all present but him, eventually convincing him to elope with her. The fugitive lovers are then pursued all over Ireland by the Fianna. Another Irish analogue is Scéla Cano meic Gartnáin, preserved in the 14th century Yellow Book of Lecan. In this tale, Cano is an exiled Scottish king who accepts the hospitality of King Marcan of Ui Maile. His young wife, Credd, drugs all present, and then convinces Cano to be her lover. They try to keep a tryst while at Marcan's court, but are frustrated by courtiers. Eventually Credd kills herself and Cano dies of grief.
In the Ulster Cycle there is the text Clann Uisnigh or Deirdre of the Sorrows in which Naoise mac Usnech falls for Deirdre, who was imprisoned by King Conchobar mac Nessa due to a prophecy that Ulster would plunge into civil war due to men fighting for her beauty. Conchobar had pledged to marry Deirde himself in time to avert war, and takes his revenge on Clan Usnech. The death of Naoise and his kin leads many Ulstermen to defect to Connacht, including Conchobar's stepfather and trusted ally Fergus mac Róich, eventually precipitating the Táin Bó Cúailnge.
Some scholars have suggested that the 11th century Persian story Vis u Ramin may have influenced the Tristan legend.
Some scholars believe that Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe, as well as the story of Ariadne at Naxos might have also contributed to the development of the Tristan legend. The sequence in which Tristan and Iseult die and become interwoven trees also parallels Ovid's love story of Baucis and Philemon in which two lovers are transformed in death into two different trees sprouting from the same trunk.

Association with King Arthur
In its early stages, the tale was probably unrelated to contemporary Arthurian literature, but the earliest surviving versions already incorporate references to Arthur and his court. The connection between Tristan and Iseult and the Arthurian legend was expanded over time, and sometime shortly after the completion of the Vulgate Cycle (or Lancelot-Grail Cycle) in the first quarter of the 13th century, two authors created the vast Prose Tristan, which fully establishes Tristan as a Knight of the Round Table who even participates in the Quest for the Holy Grail.

Scandinavian associations
The next essential text for knowledge of the courtly branch of the Tristan legend is the abridged translation of Thomas made by Brother Robert at the request of King Haakon Haakonson of Norway in 1227. King Haakon had wanted to promote Angevin-Norman culture at his court, and so commissioned the translation of several French Arthurian works. The Nordic version presents a complete, direct narrative of the events in Thomas' Tristan, with the telling omission of his numerous interpretive diversions. It is the only complete representative of the courtly branch in its formative period

Hild or Hildr may refer to
Hildr, a common noun meaning "battle" in the Old Norse language.
Hildr or Hild is one of the Valkyries in Norse mythology, a personification of battle.
Hild or Hilda of Whitby is a Christian saint who was a British abbess and nun in the Middle Ages Hild is the ultimate Demon in Hell known as the Daimakaichō in the anime/manga Oh My Goddess!.

Hilda of Whitby (c. 614–680) is a Christian saint and the founding abbess of the monastery at Whitby, which was chosen as the venue for the Synod of Whitby. An important figure in the conversion of England to Christianity, she was abbess at several monasteries and recognized for the wisdom that drew kings to her for advice.
The source of information about Hilda is The Ecclesiastical History of the English by the Venerable Bede in 731, who was born approximately eight years before her death. He documented much of the conversion away from the Anglo-Saxon paganism established in England when it was invaded and settled by Germanic tribes that resulted in the recall of the legions of the Roman Empire from the province of Britannia in 410.

Early life
According to Bede, Hilda (or Hild, the Old English form of her name) was born in 614, the second daughter of Hereric, nephew of Edwin of Northumbria, and his wife Breguswith. Her elder sister, Hereswith, married Æthelric, brother of King Anna of East Anglia, who with all of his daughters became renowned for their saintly Christian virtues.
When Hilda was still an infant, her father was murdered by poisoning while in exile at the court of the British King of Elmet in what is now West Yorkshire. It generally is assumed that she was brought up at King Edwin's court in Northumbria. In 627 King Edwin was baptised on Easter Day, April 12, along with his entire court, which included Hilda, in a small wooden church hastily constructed for the occasion near the site of the present York Minster.
The ceremony was performed by the monk-bishop Paulinus, who had come from Rome with Augustine at the request of the pope on what is referred to as the Gregorian mission. He accompanied Æthelburg of Kent, a Christian princess, who was the daughter of King Ethelbert of Kent and the Merovingian princess Saint Bertha, when Æthelburg came North from Kent to marry King Edwin. As queen, Æthelburg continued to practice her Christianity and, no doubt, influenced her husband's thinking, as her mother had influenced her father.
From the date of her baptism until 647 nothing is known about Hilda. It seems likely that when King Edwin was killed in battle in 633 she went to live with her sister at the East Anglian court. Bede resumes her story at a point when she was about to join her widowed sister at Chelles Abbey in Gaul. Hilda decided instead, to answer the call of St. Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne and chose to return to Northumbria to live as a nun.

As a nun
Hilda's original convent is not known, except that it was on the north bank of the River Wear. Here, with a few companions, she learned the traditions of Celtic monasticism, which Aidan brought from Iona. After a year Aidan appointed Hilda as the second Abbess of Hartlepool Abbey. No trace remains of this abbey, but its monastic cemetery has been found near the present St. Hilda's Church.
In 657 Hilda became the founding abbess of a new monastery at Whitby, then known as Streonshalh; she remained there until her death. Archaeological evidence shows that her monastery was in the Celtic style, with its members living in small houses, each for two or three people. The tradition in double monasteries, such as Hartlepool and Whitby, was that men and women lived separately, but worshipped together in church. The exact location and size of the church associated with this monastery, is unknown.
Bede states that the original ideals of monasticism were maintained strictly in Hilda's abbey. All property and goods were held in common; Christian virtues were exercised, especially peace and charity. Everyone had to study the Bible and do good works.
Five men from this monastery became bishops and two also join Hilda in being revered as saints - Saint John of Beverley, Bishop of Hexham, and St. Wilfrid, Bishop of York. They rendered untold service to the Anglo-Saxon Church at this critical period of the struggle with paganism.

Her character
Bede describes Hilda as a woman of great energy, who was a skilled administrator and teacher. She gained such a reputation for wisdom that kings and princes sought her advice. She also had a concern for ordinary folk such as Cædmon, however, he was a herder at the monastery, who was inspired in a dream to sing verses in praise of God. Hilda recognized his gift and encouraged him to develop it.
Although Hilda must have had a strong character she inspired affection. As Bede writes, "All who knew her called her mother because of her outstanding devotion and grace".

Illness and death
Hilda suffered from fever for the last six years of her life, but she continued to work until her death on November 17, 680, at what was then the thought to be the advanced age of sixty-six. In her last year she set up another monastery, fourteen miles from Whitby, at Hackness. She died after receiving viaticum, and her legend holds that at the moment of her passing the bells of the monastery of Hackness tolled. A nun named Begu also claimed to have witnessed Hilda's soul being borne to heaven by angels.

Legacy
Hilda was succeeded as abbess by Eanflæd, widow of King Oswiu, and her daughter, Ælfflæd. From then onward we know nothing about the abbey at Whitby until it was destroyed by the Danish invaders in 867.
After the Norman conquest of England that began in 1066 AD, monks from Evesham re-founded the abbey as a Benedictine house for men. Thus it continued until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII in 1539.
A local legend says that when sea birds fly over the abbey they dip their wings in honour of Saint Hilda. Another legend tells of a plague of snakes which Hilda turned to stone - supposedly explaining the presence of ammonite fossils on the shore. In fact, the ammonite genus Hildoceras takes its scientific name from St. Hilda. It was not unknown for local “artisans” to carve snakes' heads onto ammonites, and sell these “relics” as proof of her miracle. The coat of arms of nearby Whitby includes three such 'snakestones'.

Further reading
Bede; (1996). The Ecclesiastical History of the English Church and People, Oxford University Press, World classics series.
Bradley, Ian; (1999). Celtic Christianity, Edinburgh University Press.
Cavill, Paul; (1999). Anglo-Saxon Christianity: exploring the earliest roots of Christian spirituality in England, Fount paperback.
Hume, Basil (1996). Footprints of the Northern Saints, Darton, Longman & Todd.
Warin, Anne (1989). Hilda, Lamp Press.
Thurston, H. (1910). St. Hilda.
Barbara Watling (2005) (Article). St Hilda of Hartlepool and Whitby. Catholic Life Magazine. http://www.totalcatholic.com/store/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=89.

In Norse mythology, a valkyrie (Old Norse valkyrja "chooser of the slain"[1]) is one of a host of female figures who choose who will die in battle. The valkyries bring their chosen who have died bravely in battle to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin, where the deceased warriors become einherjar. There, when the einherjar are not preparing for the events of Ragnarök, the valkyries bear them mead. Valkyries also appear as lovers of heroes and other mortals, where they are sometimes described as the daughters of royalty, sometimes accompanied by ravens, and sometimes connected to swans.


Valkyries are attested in the Poetic Edda, a book of poems compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and Njáls saga, a Saga of Icelanders also written in the 13th century. They appear throughout the poetry of skalds, in a 14th century charm, and in various runic inscriptions.
The Old English cognate terms wælcyrge and wælcyrie appear in several Old English manuscripts, and scholars have explored whether the terms are derived through Norse influence, or an indigenous tradition from Anglo-Saxon paganism. Scholarly theories have been proposed about the relation between the valkyries, the norns, the dísir, Germanic seeresses, and shieldmaidens. Archaeological excavations throughout Scandinavia have uncovered amulets depicting valkyries. In modern culture, valkyries have been the subject of works of art, musical works, video games, and poetry.

Etymology
The word valkyrie derives from Old Norse valkyrja (plural valkyrjur), which is composed of two words; the noun valr (referring to the slain on the battlefield) and the verb kjósa (meaning "to choose"). Together, the compound means "chooser of the slain." The Old Norse valkyrja is cognate to Old English wælcyrge. Other terms for valkyries include óskmey (Old Norse "wish girl"), appearing in the poem Oddrúnargrátr, and Óðins meyjar (Old Norse "Odin's girls"), appearing in the Nafnaþulur. Óskmey may be related to the Odinic name Óski (Old Norse, roughly meaning "wish fulfiller"), referring to the fact that Odin receives slain warriors in Valhalla.
What sort of dream is that, Odin? I dreamed I rose up before dawn to clear up Val-hall for slain people. I aroused the Einheriar, bade them get up to strew the benches, clean the beer-cups, the valkyries to serve wine for the arrival of a prince

Gisela (757 – 810) was the only daughter of Pepin the Short and his wife Bertrada of Laon. She was the sister of Charlemagne and Carloman. Charlemagne's biographer Einhard states that Gisela had been dedicated to religion since her childhood. She became a nun at Chelles Abbey, where she was eventually made abbess. As the abbess at Chelles Abbey, Gisela oversaw one of the most prolific nuns' scriptoria active in the 8th and 9th centuries.[1] According to Einhard she had good relations with her brother Charlemagne, who "treated her with the same respect which he showed his mother." She died in 810 at the convent she had served for most of her life.
Charlemagne and his wife Hildegard named their daughter after Gisela. Gisela the younger may have lived from 781 to 808, but little else is known of her life.

References
1. McKitterick, Rosamond (1994). Books, Scribes and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, 6th-9th Centuries. Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited. pp. 1–35, 1–43. ISBN 0-86078-406-1

Gisela (c. 781 – 808) was a daughter of Charlemagne from his marriage to Hildegard. Little is known of her life. She should not be confused with her aunt Gisela, after whom she was possibly named.

Gisela, Princess of Burgundy (before 952 – July 21, 1006) was the daughter of Conrad the Peaceful, King of Burgundy and Adelaide of Bellay, Conrad's second wife whom he probably married for love, as he had already produced an heir (Rudolph III) by his first, more dynastic, marriage and was thus free to wed as he pleased. Gisela was a niece of the empress Adelaide.
She married Henry the Quarrelsome, Duke of Bavaria some time before 972. Although he died young, they had many children who acquired suitable positions among the ruling classes of Europe:

Henry II of Germany
Giselle, married Stephen of Hungary
Bruno, Bishop of Augsburg
Brigitta, probably an abbess

Giselle of Bavaria (also Gisela or Gizella) (c. 985–1033 or 1065) was the daughter of Henry II, Duke of Bavaria and Gisela of Burgundy.She married King Stephen I of Hungary in 995 (some sources say 1008) as a part of Hungary's policy of opening up to the West. The couple had at least three children, including Saint Emeric (Szent Imre), but all of their children died young without having left descendants.
She lived a respectable life and helped Christianize the Hungarian people. After the death of her husband Stephen, she was forced to leave Hungary. She lived in the nunnery of Niedernburg in Passau, where she died. Her grave is a well-known holy place.
Her canonisation was attempted in the 18th century but failed. She was declared Blessed in 1975.
Her memorial days are May 7 (the day of her death) and February

References
Butler, Alban (1995). "Bd Giselle of Bavaria". Butler's Lives of the Saints. London: Burns & Oates. pp. 39. ISBN 0860122549.


Gisela of Swabia (989 or 990 – February 14, 1043 in Goslar) was the daughter of Herman II of Swabia and Gerberga of Burgundy.
She first married Bruno I, Count of Brunswick, in 1002. Her second marriage was to Ernest I, Duke of Swabia, and she became regent for their son Ernest II after his death in 1015. She was then removed from the regency on grounds of her being too closely related to her late husband.
Her third marriage, in 1016 or 1017, was to Conrad, who later became Emperor. She played an active part in politics, attending imperial councils and having her relative Rudolph III of Burgundy transfer the succession of his realm to her husband. Also, she participated in several synods of the church.
Gisela died of dysentery in the royal palace in Goslar in 1043. She is interred in the grotto of the Imperial Cathedral of Speyer, Germany along with several emperors and other members of the imperial family. Her tomb was opened in 1900 and Gisela's mummified body was found to be 172 cm tall, with long blond hair.

Children
Gisela and Bruno I, Count of Brunswick had:
Liudolf, Margrave of Frisia (c. 1003 – 1038) and one other son and two daughters

Gisela and Ernest I, Duke of Swabia were parents to two sons:
Ernest II, Duke of Swabia (c. 1010 – August 17, 1030)
Herman IV, Duke of Swabia (c. 1015 – July 28, 1038)

Gisela and Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor were parents to three children:
Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (October 29, 1017 – October 5, 1056)
Mathilde (1027 – January, 1034)
Beatrix (c. 1030 – September 26, 1036)

References
"Women in power 1000-1100" from Guide2womenleaders.com, last accessed January 15, 2007 Braunschweigisches Biographisches Lexikon, Appelhans 2006, ISBN 3-937664-46-7

Gisela is a female given name of Germanic origin. The name derives from the Old German word "gisil" (offspring, or noble heritage) or "gisel" (ray, the radiant). Gisele is also an African name that may have been a variant from the Dutch Gisela. Nowadays the most common meaning of "Gisela" and its variations is "hostage" or "pledge".
Variations on the name in other languages include:
German: Gisela, Giselberta
French: Gisèle, Giselle
Italian: Gisella Polish: Gizela
Portuguese: Gisela
The male form is Gisle, known from place names such as Gislaved, a municipality in Sweden.

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