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Gisela of Chelles (781–814)

Gisela of Chelles (781–814)

Frankish princess and abbess. Name variations: Gisele, Giselle. Born in 781 at Aachen, France; died around 814; daughter of Charles I also known as Charlemagne (742–814), king of the Franks (r. 768–814), Holy Roman emperor (r. 800–814), and Hildegarde of Swabia (c. 757–783); never married; no children.

Gisela of Chelles was the daughter of the Frankish emperor Charlemagne and his empress and third wife Hildegarde of Swabia . Charlemagne, who believed in the importance of education for women, had his daughters given the same education as his sons. Gisela's instructor was the famous Alcuin of York, one of her father's closest advisors and an extremely learned man. Alcuin wrote that Gisela was an excellent student, with a quick intelligence and a great love of knowledge. She was particularly enthusiastic about astronomy and the other natural sciences. Gisela remained at her father's court for more than 30 years and never married. She entered the convent of Chelles and later became its abbess.

Laura York , Riverside, California

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