Skip to main content

Adalbert of Bremen


Archbishop of Bremen-Hamburg, royal adviser; b. Thuringia, c. 1000; d. Goslar, March 16, 1072. Born of noble parents, he was educated at Halberstadt, where he became canon and, by 1032, provost. Then through royal favor he was made archbishop of Bremen-Hamburg (104572). Under him the see's efforts to convert the northern Slavs and Scandinavians were intensified. Denmark was deeply influenced by Bremen, Sweden only temporarily, and Norway hardly at all; missionaries sailed to Iceland, Greenland, the Orkneys, and Finland; in 1060 Slavic sees were erected at Mecklenburg and Ratzeburg. After the Council of sutri (1046) Adalbert refused Emperor Henry III's offer of the papacy. He hoped instead to establish his see as a patriarchate (probably over a Danish archbishop), but was only appointed papal agent for the evangelization of northern Europe, i.e., he was made legate, and then vicar in 1053. In German politics he played a leading role as adviser to Henry III and guardian to young henry iv, and virtually ruled (106466) until rival nobles exiled him from court (106669). This reversal prevented the realization of his greatest ambition, to make his see into a compact duchy in which the archbishop would be the leading economic, religious, and political power; nonetheless, he enlarged its power and prestige substantially. He is typical of the great German prelates who served the Salians on the eve of the investiture struggle. Adam of Bremen's history is the best source for Adalbert's life.

Bibliography: e. n. johnson, "A. of Hamburg-Bremen: A Politician of the Eleventh Century," Speculum 9 (1934) 14779. o. h. may, Regesten der Erzbischöfe von Bremen, v.1 (Hanover 192837) 5379, with full bibliog.; Neue deutsche Biographie 1:4243. h. fuhrmann, "Studien zur Geschichte mittelalterlicher Patriarchate," Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische Abteilung 41 (1955) 12070.

[r. kay]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Adalbert of Bremen." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 24 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Adalbert of Bremen." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (April 24, 2019).

"Adalbert of Bremen." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 24, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.