Guntram "the Rich", count of Sundgau

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Guntram "the Rich", count of Sundgau

French: Gontran « le Riche», comte de Sundgau, German: Guntram "der Reiche", count of Sundgau
Also Known As: "Guntram Dives", "Guntram the Rich", "der Reiche", "comte de Sundgau"
Birthplace: Alsace, France
Death: circa March 26, 973 (44-61)
Immediate Family:

Son of Hugo V, count in Nordgau and Hildegarde de Ferrette
Husband of Itha von Calw
Father of Lanzelin, count of Altenberg; Bero, Graf im Aargau; Gebizo Burggraf von Basel and X von Thierstein
Brother of Eberhard IV, count in Nordgau; Hughes IV, comte de Nordgau and Adelaide von Dagsbourg

Occupation: Comte de Sundgau (Upper Alsace), Graf im Breisgau, Herr von Muri
Managed by: Pam Wilson (on hiatus)
Last Updated:

About Guntram "the Rich", count of Sundgau

He was Count in the Aargau, Herr von Muri, and probably also Count in Breisgau (962) and Count of Sundgau (Upper Alsace), . His nickname, "the Rich", testifies to his wealth among his peers. Guntram has long been known to be the ancestor of the Habsburgs. The Acta Murensia, a manuscript history written about 1060, was lost in the monastery library at Muri until its discovery in the 16th century. The annals give an account of the lives of the early Habsburgs, and prove they descend from this Guntram.

Contemporary scholarship identifies him with the Count Guntram who rebelled against the Emperor Otto the Great in 952 (Eduard Hlawlitscha, Die Anfänge des Hauses Habsburg-Lothringen (1969)). His lands within the Holy Roman Empire were confiscated, but he retained what were apparently his allodial holdings (those for which he owed no feudal service) in the Kingdom of Burgundy. Jackman says "extraordinary confiscations were imposed on the rebel Guntram" (Donald C. Jackman, Criticism and Critique: Sidelights on the Konradiner (1997), p. 77). Emperor Otto I granted property "habere Cuntramnus comes in pago Prisecgeuue in comitatu Pirihtihonis in locis…Puckinga, Uringa, Muron" to Konrad, bishop of Konstanz by charter dated 21 February 962. Contemporary scholarship identifies the rebel Count Guntram with the Guntram who was ancestor of the Habsburg.

There has been much disagreement about Guntram's ancestry. He is said in the Acta Merensia (about 1060) to be son of Theodebert, king of Alemannia and Helvetia, but no such person is known from any other source. He is now thought to be a descendant of Eticho I of Alsace, but it is not clear to which branch of that family he belonged. Jackman says he was a junior member of the Nordgau line. According to some sources, he was son of Hugo von Hohenburg; according to others he was son of Luitfried V of Alsace, while still others identify him as a son of one Hunfried von Sundgau. The line shown here follows Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,, visited June 28, 2009.

His given name, Guntram, was common to the Merovingians and was specifically identified with their kingdom of Burgundy. In that era of no surnames, given names were almost proprietary to the families that used them. Therefore, it is virtually certain that Guntram was connected, if only on the distaff side, with the Merovingian kings of Burgundy.

The now accepted genealogy was first proposed in the 17th century, that the Habsburgs are descended from the Etichoni Dukes of Alsace. First advanced in 1649, this theory was popularized in 1736, when the Maria Theresa, the heir of the Habsburg dynasty, married Francis I Stephen, duke of Lorraine, who represented a male-line branch of the Etichoni. Hence, their marriage could be seen as a union of two collateral branches of the same family.


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Guntram "the Rich", count of Sundgau's Timeline