WITTEKIND, vit'te-kint, or WIDUKIND, ( ?-e.807). A 1:Vestplialian chieftain, the most celebrated leader of the Saxons against Charles the threat. When most of the Saxon nobles submitted to the Frankish King. at the imperial Diet at Paderborn, in 777, Wittekind fled to Siegfried. King of whose sister Gera he is said to have married. In 77S he re turned, and while Charles was absent in Spain, began to lay waste the Rhine country. In 782 he fell upon the Frankish army by surprise at the Sfintelberg, and annihilated it—an act for which Charles took frightful vengeance by the execu tion of 4500 Saxons at Verden. On this, all the Saxon tribes rose in :inns, and the war was again led by Wittekind until 785, when Charles entered into negotiations with him; the result of which was that Wittekind repaired to the King's camp at Attigny in Champagne. and received bap tism. Mier that he appears no more in history. Aecording to the legend, however, that is still current among t he people in Westphalia, Charles promoted Wittekind to be Duke of the Saxons, and made over Eager to him. From his castle,
called Babilonie, situated in the neighborhood of Liiheek, he is said to have ruled with gentleness and justice till 807, when he met his death in a campaign against Duke Gerold of Swabia. llis tomb was shown in the parish Church of Eager, in the County of Ravensberg, where Charles IV. in 1377 erected a monument to him. On October 18, 1812, another monument in his honor was erected at Minden by the Westphalian Society. The higher of the two hills which form the West phalian gates on the Weser, near Minden. bears the name of Wittekindsherg,. Consult: Mombert, Charles the Great (New York. 1888) ; and Diekamp. Widukind, der Sachsenfiihrer, :such Geschichtc and Sufic (Miinster. 1877).