Agnes of Meran
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Agnes Maria of Andechs-Meran (d. 1201), queen of France, was the daughter of Bertold IV (d. 1251), who was independent Count of Andechs, a castle and territory near Ammersee, Bavaria and from 1183 duke of Meran in Tirol, which has derived its name from his castle Tyrol, above the valley of Meran. The count held his fiefs directly from the Emperor, so he was independent of the great territorial dukes of Germany. Bertold IV was made Archbishop of Kalocsa (in Hungary) and in 1218 he was made Patriarch of Aquileia.
She is called Marie by some of the French chroniclers. In June 1196 she married Philip Augustus (Philip II), king of France, who had repudiated his second wife Ingeborg of Denmark in 1193. Pope Innocent III espoused the cause of Ingeborg; but Philip did not submit until 1200, when, nine months after interdict had been added to excommunication, he consented to a separation from Agnes. She died broken-hearted in July of the next year, at the castle of Poissy, and was buried in the church of St. Corentin, near Nantes. Her two children by Philip II, Philip, count of Clermont (d. 1234), and Mary, who married Philip, count of Namur, were legitimized by the pope in 1201 at the request of the king. Little is known of the personality of Agnes, beyond the remarkable influence which she seems to have exercised over Philip II. She has been made the heroine of a tragedy by François Ponsard, Agnès de Méranie.
Her sister Hedwig of Andechs married Henry I, duke of Silesia and was canonized as Saint Hedwig in 1267. Another sister, Gertrude was Queen of Hungary.
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