Vol. 4: A 1209 usque ad 1300
13th of January, 1209

On the behest of Wolfger, the patriarch of Aquileia, and other princes gathered at the Diet of Augsburg, King Otto IV accepts the resignation of the Margraviate of Istria from Duke Ludwig of Bavaria and donates the same Margraviate to Patriarch Wolfger and the Church of Aquileia.

The original is lost as it was pawned to a certain Paçanus of the Florentine Capponi company by Patriarch Ottobono on the 25th of April, 1303; the document survives as a notarial copy made on the same day:
B = Venice, Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Miscellanea atti diplomatici e privati, busta 10, doc. 333: a vidimus made and authenticated by notary Meglioranza of Thiene on the 25th of April, 1303, and inserted as one of the eleven charters copied on a long scroll with the following heading: Item privilegium dominis Ottonis imperatoris bulla eius aurea bullatum cuius tenor talis est.
Previous Editions
Josip Banić, “King Otto IV’s Donation of the Margraviate of Istria to the Patriarchate of Aquileia: Augsburg, 13th of January, 1209,” Historijski zbronik 75/1 (2022): pp. 16-17.
FIM Edition
Diplomatic edition based on B.

In nomine sancte et individue Trinitatis.

Otto quartus divina favente clemencia Romanorum rex et semper augustus.

Regalis excellencie titulos digne extollimus decenterque exornamus cum nos ea que in dampnum ecclesiarum redundare videntur inhibemus et ab omni, in evum ambiguita[ti]sa, nota regie equitatis norma elidimus.

Ad noticiam itaque omnium presentis etatis et in omni siccessioneb posteritatis hominum transmitti volumus quod, cum ob enormes excessus Henrici quondam marchionis Ystrie, quos ipse nomine criminis lese maiestatis in decessore nostro domino Phylippo commisit, Marchia Carniole et Ystrie cum Comitatu et universis pertinenciis suis, et tam feudum quam alodium et omnis honor suus, in generali curia nostra Frankenfuort per sententiam principum sibi fuerunt abiudicata et ad dominium Imperii Marchia Ystrie libere et absolute sit addita, nos eandem Marchiam nobis et Imperio vacantem tunc dilecto fideli nostro Ludowico duci Bawarie iure feudali concessimus.

Procedente vero tempore, dilectus princeps noster Wolfkerus patriarcha Aquilegensis ad curiam nostram apud Augustam accedens in presencia principum questionem de predicta Marchia nobis movit, et quod ex antiqua donatione Henrici regis augusti tercii ecclesie Aquilegensi pertineret privilegiis auctenticis ecclesie sue collatis evidentissime in publico curie nostre presentibus principibus nobis demonstravit.

Nos itaque manifestam sue assertionis advertentes veritatem, ne occasione nostra tanti honoris pariterque utilitatis beneficio privari videretur Aquilegensis ecclesia, ad instanciam precum nostrarum universorumque principum prefatus dux sepe dictam Marchiam sine omni contradictione in manus nostras resignavit, et nos eam, ab omni b impetitionis nota ab ipso absoluta, Aquilegensi ecclesie cum omni honore et universis pertinenciis et omni iure imperiali libere et absolute possidendam in perpetuum donavimus, tradidimus atque concessimus, et sicut rite et racionabiliter in presentia principum nostrorum hanc donationem nostram a nobis factam recognoscimus, sic quoque eam presentis scripti nostri auctentico ipse ecclesie confirmamus.

Statuentes et regio edicto firmiter precipientes ut nulli unquam persone alte vel humili, ecclesiastice vel seculari, licitum sit hanc nostre donationis seu confirmationis divinalem paginam infringere vel ei aliquo temeritatis ausu obviare.

Quod qui facere presumpserit, in sue presumptionis pena[m]c mille libras auri examinati componat, quorum medietas fisco nostro, reliqua vero medietas iniuriam passo persolvatur.

Ut autem hec donatio seu confirmatio nostra in omne evum inviolabiliter observatur, presentem exinde paginam conscribi et bullam nostram auream apponendo precipimus consignari.

Testes autem huius rei sunt: Oddo Frisigensis episcopus, Menegoldus Pataviensis episcopus, Artuicus Estedensis episcopus, Conradus Ratisponensis episcopus, Conradus Brixiensis episcopus, Reinhardus Curiensis episcopus, Fridericus Tridentinensis, Synridus Augustensis electus, Iohannes Cameracensis episcopus, Ludevicus dux Bavarie, Meynardus comes Goricie, comes palatinus de Tuingen, comes Albertus de Tyrol, comes Ulricus de Eppan, comes Egeno de Ulmo, comes Albertus de Eberstain, comes Burcardus de Manesveld, burggravius Madeburgensis, Stephanus decanus, Henricus archidiaconus, Fridericus de Cauriaco, Azelinus Tarvisiensis, Bernardus de Strasowe, Valterusbertoldus, Wolkerus de Dorenberch, Iohannes de Çucula et alii quamplures.

Signum domini Ottonis quarti Romanorum regis invictissimi.

Ego Conradus Spirensis episcopus et regalis aule cancellarius vice domini Syfridi Maguntinensis sedis archiepiscopi et tocius Germanie archicancellarii recognovi.

Acta sunt autem hec anno Dominice incarnationis millesimo ducentesimo octavo, regnante domino Ottone quarto Romanorum rege gloriosissimo, anno regni eius XI.

Data apud Augustam per manus Walteri prothonotarii, id[ib]usd ianuarii, indictione XIIa.

Critical apparatus

asic ambiguitas B; ambiguitatis em. Banić.   bsic B: pro successione.   csic pena B; penam em. Banić.   dsic idus B; idibus em. Banić.


In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity.

Otto the Fourth, by the grace of divine clemency king of the Romans and always august.

We becomingly honor the titles of royal excellence and adorn it appropriately as we curb that what appears to be overflowing to the detriment of churches, and when we expel it by royal sign from every known standard of equity in this world of uncertainty.

Therefore, we wish it to be conveyed to the notice of all people in the present age and in all the successions of posterity that, due to the immense enormities committed by Henry, the former margrave of Istria, who personally committed the crime of high treason against our predecessor, Lord Philip, and who was sentenced by the judgment of the princes during our general Diet of Frankfurt, and deprived of both the March of Carniola and Istria together with the County and all of its dependencies, as well as of his fiefs and allods and all his honors, and since the March of Istria could therefore be unreservedly and in entirety placed under the jurisdiction of the Empire, we relinquished that very March, free for us and the Empire to dispose of, to our dear devotee Ludwig, duke of Bavaria, by feudal entitlement.

As the time passed by, however, our dear prince Wolfger, patriarch of Aquileia, arrived at our Diet of Augsburg and voiced a complaint in the presence of princes regarding the aforesaid March and, having conveyed the authentic privileges of his Church publicly in front of our Diet to the present princes, he most clearly showed that it [the March of Istria] belonged to the Church of Aquileia by way of an old donation of the august King Henry III.

We, therefore, took into consideration the obvious truth of his assertion, and – lest the Church of Aquileia appear to be deprived of a privilege of such high esteem and of equally great value on our account, [and seeing that] the aforesaid duke, at the appeal of our request and of all the princes, resigned the aforementioned March in our hands without any contradiction – we have donated, surrendered, and granted it to the Church of Aquileia with all the honors and all the dependencies and every imperial right, cleared from every possible claim related to it, to possess in perpetuity freely and unreservedly. And just as we duly and soberly acknowledge in the presence of our princes this donation that we have issued, so too we confirm it to the very Church by the writing of our present authentic charter.

We decree and by regal edict expressly order that no person, whether of high or low status, ecclesiastic or lay, is ever allowed to breach this divine charter of our donation or confirmation, or to oppose it by any sort of reckless audacity.

Whoever shall presume to do this shall pay a thousand pounds of weighed gold in the punishment of their presumption, half of which will be paid to our treasury, the other half, however, to the injured party.

In order that this donation or confirmation of ours be inviolably observed in every age, we thus order the present charter to be composed and authenticated by the appending of our golden seal.

The witnesses to this deed are: Otto the bishop of Freising, Menegold the bishop of Passau, Hartwig the bishop of Eichstädt, Conrad the bishop of Regensburg, Conrad the bishop of Bressanone, Reinhard the bishop of Chur, Frederick [the bishop of] Trento, Siegfried the bishop elect of Augsburg, John the bishop of Cambrai, Ludwig the duke of Bavaria, Maynard the count of Gorizia, the count palatine of Tübingen, Count Albert of Tirol, Count Ulrich of Eppan, Count Egeno of Ulten, Count Albert of Eberstein, Count Burchard of Mansfeld, the burgrave of Magdeburg, Stephan the dean, Henry the archdeacon, Frederick of Caporiacco, Anselm of Treviso, Bernard of Strassoldo, Valterberthold, Folker of Doremberch, John of Zuccola and many others.

The sign of Lord Otto the Fourth, the most invincible king of the Romans.

On behalf of Siegfried the archbishop of Mainz and the archchancellor of entire Germany, I, Conrad, the bishop of Speyer and the chancellor of the royal court, attested to this charter.

This was, moreover, enacted in the year of the Lord’s incarnation one thousand two hundred and eight, during the reign of lord Otto the Fourth, the most glorious king of the Romans, in the eleventh year of his kingship.

Given at Augsburg by the hand of Walther the protonotary, on the Ides of January, twelfth indiction.

[trans. JB with a bit of help from the esteemed prof. Vedran Sulovski]

Medieval Recollections

Emperor Otto IV’s confirmation of this donation from 1210 – edited here.

King Frederick II's confirmation of 1214 - soon to be edited here.

“Transcriptum privilegii Ottonis quarti qualiter Dux Bavarie per diffinitivam sententiam cessit Marchionatum et Comitatum Istrie et qualiter dictus Ottho Wolchero patriarche et ecclesie Aquilegensi in plena curia confimavit, MCCVIII.” … “Item privilegium de Marchionatu Istrie et Carniole concessum per Ottonem imperatorem in MCCVIII cum bulla aurea.” – Thesauri claritas, opus saec. XIV, ed. Giuseppe Bianchi (Udine 1847), p. 235 (doc. 596), p. 340 (doc. 1161).

Selected Bibliography
Josip Banić, “King Otto IV’s Donation of the Margraviate of Istria to the Patriarchate of Aquileia: Augsburg, 13th of January, 1209,” Historijski zbronik 75/1 (2022): pp. 1–20.
Editor's Notes

The present charter completes the circle started back in 1077 when the County of Istria had been first donated to the worldly jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia by King Henry IV (see the charter here) only to be revoked by the same monarch just two years later, in 1079, following Patriarch Henry's pledge of fealty to Pope Gregory VII (see the document here).

Patriarch Wolfger new about Henry IV's 1077 donation charter and he brought the document with himself to the Diet where he officially requested the re-donation of Istria to his Church. King Otto IV conceded as he judged it highly beneficial to his cause to have a person of such high repute and diplomatic skill such as Wolfger as his supporter (see Banić, cited above, for an in-depth treatment of this topic).

This donation charter officially opens a new era in the history of Istria, the age of patriarchs-margraves, that would last until Venetian subjection of the entire ecclesiastical principality of Aquileian patriarchs in the summer of 1421.

How to Cite
First citation: Josip Banic (ed.), Fontes Istrie medievalis, vol. 4: A 1209 usque ad 1300, doc. 1209_W5, (last access: date).
Subsequent citations: FIM, 4: doc. 1209_W5.
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Image Source and Info

The publication of the facsimile of B (Venice, Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Miscellanea atti diplomatici e privati, busta 10, doc. 333) is granted free of charge by Archivio di Stato di Venezia by way of the “simplified procedure” of publishing archival facsimiles (La circolare della Direzione generale archivi n. 39 del 29 settembre 2017: procedura semplificata: pubblicazioni online che perseguano finalità scientifiche o pedagogiche, non beneficino di inserzioni pubblicitarie o commerciali e non siano soggette ad accesso a pagamento).

Photo by Archivio di Stato di Venezia.

The editor has overlaid a red arrow onto the facsimile simply to mark the exact place on the parchment where the edited document begins.

The facsimile remains under the exclusive copyright of Archivio di Stato di Venezia.