Ezzo (c. 955 – 21 March 1034), sometimes called Erenfried, Count Palatine of Lotharingia of the Ezzonen dynasty, was the son of Herman I.
Having married Matilda of Saxony (died 1025), a daughter of Emperor Otto II and Theophanu, Ezzo became prominent during the reign of his brother-in-law, Emperor Otto III. His power was increased due to the liberal grant of lands in Thuringia and Franconia which his wife received out of Ottonian possessions. Candidate to the imperial throne at the death of Otto III, he received huge territories (Kaiserswerth, Duisburg, and Saalfeld) for renouncing to the throne, making him the most powerful man in the empire after the emperor. Otto's successor, Emperor Henry II, was less friendly towards the powerful count, although there was no serious trouble between them until 1011. Some disturbances in Lotharingia quickly forced the emperor to come to terms, and Ezzo's assistance was purchased with additional imperial fiefs.
After this, the relations between Henry and his vassal appear to have been satisfactory. Very little is known about Ezzo's later life, but we are told that he died at a great age at Saalfeld on 21 March 1034.
Ezzo founded Brauweiler Abbey near Cologne, the place where his marriage had been celebrated. It was dedicated in 1028 by Piligrim, archbishop of Cologne. Ezzo and his wife were buried at Brauweiler.
He and Mathilda left three sons and seven daughters:
- Liudolf (c. 1000–10 April 1031), Count of Zütphen.
- Otto I (died 1047), Count Palatine of Lotharingia and later Duke of Swabia as Otto II.
- Hermann II (995–1056), Archbishop of Cologne.
- Theophanu (died 1056), Abbess of Essen and Gerresheim.
- Richeza of Lotharingia (died 21 March 1063), Queen of Poland, married with King Mieszko II of Poland.
- Adelheid (died c. 1030), Abbess of Nijvel (Nivelles).
- Heylwig, Abbess of Neuss.
- Mathilde, Abbess of Dietkirchen and Villich.
- Sophie, Abbess of St. Maria, Mainz.
- Ida (died 1060), Abbess of Cologne and Gandersheim Abbey (founded in 852 by her ancestor Liudolf, Duke of Saxony).
- Kimpen, E., ‘Ezzonen und Hezeliniden in der rheinischen Pfalzgrafschaft’, Mitteilungen des Österreichischen Instituts für Geschichtsforschung. XII. Erg.-Band. (Innsbruck 1933) S.1-91.
- Lewald, Ursula, 'Die Ezzonen. Das Schicksal eines rheinischen Fürstengeschlechts', Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter 43 (1979) S.120-168
- Steinbach, F., ‘Die Ezzonen. Ein Versuch territorialpolitischen Zusammenschlusses der fränkischen Rheinlande’, Collectanea Franz Steinbach. Aufsätze und Abhandlungen zur Verfassungs-, Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte, geschichtlichen Landeskunde und Kulturraumforschung, ed. F. Petri en G. Droege (Bonn 1967) S.64-81.
- Van Droogenbroeck, F.J., ‘Paltsgraaf Herman II (†1085) en de stichting van de abdij van Affligem (28 juni 1062)’, Jaarboek voor Middeleeuwse Geschiedenis 2 (Hilversum 1999) S.38-95.
- Van Droogenbroeck, F.J., ‘De betekenis van paltsgraaf Herman II (1064-1085) voor het graafschap Brabant’, Eigen Schoon en De Brabander 87 (Brussels 2004) S.1-166.
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