Adalbert

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Adalbert

Adalbert, 1043–72, German churchman, archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, a diocese that included Scandinavia. He was a favorite of Holy Roman Emperor Henry III, who appointed Adalbert to the archbishopric in order to break the power of the dukes of N Europe. He was a guardian of Henry's son and successor, Henry IV, but his relentless ambition to strengthen the church and the monarchy at the expense of the nobles (chiefly by annexing their lands) defeated itself. The nobles allied themselves with the abbots, who hated him for his efforts to subordinate the abbeys, and with the bishops, who feared his increasing ecclesiastical power. They accomplished his dismissal in 1066, but Henry IV recalled him in 1069. One of the ablest statesmen of his time, Adalbert helped consolidate both his ecclesiastical domain and the imperial authority.

See Adam of Bremen, History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen (tr. 1959).

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