Matilda of Quedlinburg (c. 953–999)

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Matilda of Quedlinburg (c. 953–999)

Abbess of Quedlinburg and regent of Germany Name variations: Mathilda. Born c. 953; died in 999 at Quedlinburg monastery, Germany; dau. of Emperor Otto I (912–973), king of Germany, and refounder of the Holy Roman empire (r. 936–973), and Adelaide of Burgundy (931–999); sister of Otto II (955–983), Holy Roman emperor (r. 973–983); never married; no children.

As a girl, was allowed to enter a convent rather than marry; highly educated by the nuns of Quedlinburg, especially in the areas of medicine and history, also showed a talent for artistic work, and became well known for her exquisite embroidery; was eventually elected abbess and, under her rule, Quedlinburg became famous for its production of richly embroidered clothing for clerics and altar cloths, some of which still exist; was pulled out of the convent to act as regent for nephew Otto III (c. 980), along with mother Adelaide and sister-in-law Theophano (c. 955–991); became an excellent leader, even sending an army to defeat an enemy invasion (983); when Otto came of age, returned to Quedlinburg.