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Willigis (c. 940 - 23 February 1011) was the Archbishop of Mainz from 975 until 1011.

Willigis was born in Saxony to non-noble parents. He was mentored in Meissen, and in around 969 was introduced to the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great. In 971 Otto appointed Willigis to be a chancellor, a title he kept under his successor Otto II. In 975 he was appointed the Archbishop of Mainz and was confirmed by Pope Benedict VII. One of his first acts appears to have been the construction of Mainz Cathedral, which was so large that the entire population of Mainz could be in it at the same time. The day it was consecrated, or the day before, the cathedral burnt down, but Willigis undeterred began to rebuild it. He also constructed the church of St Stephan in c. 990 and the basilica of St Martin.

In 983 he participated at the Imperial Diet in Verona, which on 13 June awarded the Archbishopric of Mainz as a secular fief the territory around Ingelhelm until Heimbach and Kaub, the Rheingau and the lower courses of the Nahe River. The donation formed the greater part of the Archbishopric. After Otto II died in December 983, his three year-old son Otto III succeeded him, under the regency of his mother Theophanu. After her death in 991 Willigis became the regent of the empire until Otto came of age in 994. From this Willigis received great payment which made Mainz the richest ecclesiastical province in Europe. In 996 Willigis accompanied Otto III on campaign in Italy where Pope John XV asked for help against the Roman aristocratic family of the Crescentiers.

After Otto III died prematurely in early 1002 Willigis crowned Henry the Saint of Bavaria the new king. Willigis died in Mainz in 1011. Willigis was buried in the Church of St Stephan as the Cathedral was not yet constructed.



Preceded by:

Willigis

Succeeded by:

Rupert Archbishop of Mainz
975 - 1011
Erkanbald

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