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Humbert I of Savoy

The name of Humbert I of Savoy designates two famous members of the Savoy dynasty. The first, Humbert I Biancamano, forms the subject of this article; for the second see Humbert I, King of Italy.

Humbert I (Hubert de Maurienne in French, Umberto I Biancamano di Moriana in Italian and in official documents, born in 980 - died at Hermillon in 1047 or 1048) became the first count of the House of Savoy, which ruled Savoy throughout its independent existence and furnished the monarchs of Italy after the unification.

Surnamed Biancamano (literally meaning white-handed - in the original sense this should have meant a very generous man), Humbert came of noble stock from either Saxony, Italy, Burgundy or Provence.

Humbert married Ancilla, or Auxilia or Ancilia (Austrian), daughter of the Master of Ceremonies of the House of Burgundy) and had at least four sons:

  1. Amedeo, later Amedeus I of Savoy
  2. Aimone (died 1054 or 1055), bishop of Sion
  3. Burcado, or Burcardo (died 1068 or 1069), bishop of Lyons
  4. Oddone
Some authors believe that he had further sons.

During the campaigns of Rudolph of Burgundy to make Rome the imperial seat, Humbert supported the Emperor (of which family he was an adherent by marriage) with provisions and soldiers. Thus Rudolph installed him in 1003 as the count of the mountainous region of Aosta and of the northern Viennois as a reward.

Humbert in turn protected the right flank during the advance of the Holy Roman Empire into Italy. However the county was pretty much autonomous after the fall of the Ottonian Dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire which cared less of a minor power.

In 1032 he received the Maurienne, his native county, from Conrad II the Salian whom he had helped in his Italian campaigns against archbishop Aribert of Milan.

House of Savoy Succeeded by:
Amedeo I