There is always an attempted explanation for the
striking close relationship of the Werners and the Gisonen. Were both
families descended from one of the Salische houses or were they related
in other ways?
It has been assumed that a daughter of Werner IV
married Giso IV, but the only known daughter of Werner IV married
Adalbert of Kisslau in 1116 and died in 1121 without issue.
Another unproven yet possible allegation is that a
daughter of Werner III married Count Ruckers II, father of Kunigunde
In the dispute between Archbishop Adalbert of Mainz
(1111-1127) and Emperor Heinrich IV (1106-1127) may lie the key to
explaining the later devolution of the House of Thüringen (Thuringia).
In the year 1114, Giso IV, as a follower of Emperor Heinrich IV,
struck against Archbishop Friedrich of Cologne, an ally of Adalbert,
inflicting considerable damage to the monastery and the surrounding
county. After that there is no further mention of any subsequent
imperial involvement so there must have been a change of front,
although no reasons are known.
As suggested by Diefenbach and Henseling, a change
of circumstances had already happened in 1070 under Giso II, but
this seems improbable and it was more likely to have occurred when
the loyal Gisonen had their fiefs, which had been provided by the
archbishopric of Mainz, withdrawn during the conflict between
Heinrich V and Adalbert.
What is certain is that between 1115 and 1118 the
imperial fiefs held by Giso and Werner as provided by the
archbishopric of Mainz and enfeoffed to Upper and Lower Hessen were
recovered by Adalbert. This arbitrary change of sovereignty was an
affront to the imperial house, but at the time a military showdown
was out of the question, which left Archbishop Adalbert a step
closer to fulfilling his dream of setting up an enclosed episcopal
'Kirchenland' (land that belonged only to the Church).
It is clear that by 1121 Giso IV had become an opponent
of the emperor and an ally of the archbishop when, in that same year,
he was awarded the privileges of the city of Mainz by the archbishop.
In 1110 Hedwig, daughter of Giso and Kunigunde,
married Count Ludwig of Thuringia. Werner IV of Grüningen died on
22 February 1121 (although according to Landau 322 it was on 25
January 1122), without issue and consequently without male heirs.
In the same year Giso IV is referred to as 'Comes de Udenesberc',
count of Gudensberg, so obviously he was Werner's successor. Whether
Kunigunde, wife of Giso IV, succeeded in bringing the office of
imperial standard-bearer and the county of Maden-Gudensberg to her
husband through the Bilstein claims on the county is unclear, as
the note on the property claims for Mainz states one donation from
the last Werner.
Finally, Count Giso IV of Gudensberg died on 12 March
The archbishopric of Mainz from its seat in the spectacular
six-towered Catholic Cathedral of St Martin and St Stephen (seen
here in 1840) claimed supremacy over Hesse thanks to its
dominance of the region prior to the landgraviate's creation