Matilda of Tuscany, the iron countess of Canossa

The life and times of the most powerful woman in Italy between the 11th and 12th century who could have been Queen.

2 responses to “Matilda of Tuscany, the iron countess of Canossa”

  1. The Mantua people stood by Matilda until the so-called “Holy Thursday betrayal”, when the townspeople, won over by additional concessions from Henry, who had meanwhile besieged the city, sided with him. In 1092 Matilda escaped to the Reggiano Apennines and her most inexpugnable strongholds. Since the times of Adalbert Atto the power of the Canossa family had been based on a network of castles, fortresses and fortified villages in the Val d’Enza, forming a complex polygonal defense that had always resisted all attack from the Apennines. After several bloody battles with mutual defeats, the powerful imperial army was surrounded.

    • Very well put and well informed. Thank you!

      We have to be a little careful about what we intend with “the Mantua people” because the relationship between feudal lords and cities was already a bit complicated starting in the early 11th century.

      Are you interested in Mathilda? Where are you based? You might be interested in join the “Mathilda of Tuscany international association”:

      This year our round table study day will be on the relationship between Mathilda and her cities.

      Thanks again

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