"Conrad Plantagenet" redirects here. For others, see House of Plantagenet
Conrad III
Conrad III and eagle.jpg
Holy Roman Emperor
Reign 19 March 1243 – 20 April 1282
Coronation 27 September 1243, Frankfurt
Predecessor Frederick II
Successor Conrad IV
Born 24 June 1216(1216-06-24)
Winchester Castle, Hampshire, England
Died 20 April 1282 (aged 65)
Nuremberg Castle, Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire
Burial Speyer Cathedral, Speyer, Holy Roman Empire
Spouse Bartilmebis of Arce (m. 1233)
House Plantagenet
Father John, King of England
Mother Isabella of Angoulême
Religion Roman Catholicism

Conrad III (24 June 1216 – 20 April 1282), was known as the Hammer of Christianity (German: Hammer des Christentums), Conrad FitzCountess or Conrad Plantagenet, ruled as Duke of Swabia, Earl of York, King of the Romans (1235–1277), later first elected Holy Roman Emperor from (1243–1282). Born to John, King of England and Isabella of Angoulême. In his military career at fifteen, Henry was most popular prince within the England during the Barons' Crusade.

As an Roman Catholic, Conrad was first elected on Imperial throne[1] on 19 March 1243 and was crowned on 27 September at the young age of twenty-six. Upon to his accession, he picks the new official capital of Nuremberg and war against Denmark (1257–1258).[2][3] He was the first king who explicitly outlawed trials by ordeal as they were considered irrational.[4]

His relationships with Pope, Poland, the Guelphs and Ghibellines factions, and his native England and relationship with his uncle Henry III of England.[5] Henry wounded but survived a assassination attempt on April 1261; leaving the young Conrad crippled with wounds and was never recovered during. As Holy Roman Emperor, Conrad declared himself rightful heir to the Italian throne in 1250.[6] while Conrad was backed by Henry III, his father, and other monarchs such as; Afonso III of Portugal and Baldwin II, Latin Emperor. The Holy Roman Empire suffered during the civil war (1267–1269) by Frederick III, Duke of Lorraine who claimed the Imperial throne. By the time civil war ended in 1269, ten years later Frederick's return to take the crown but his 1283 assassinated in his de facto capital, Köln.[7]

At his final years, Conrad brought peace policy in 1282, the Sicilian Ghibelline was Sicilian Vespers to overthrow Charles I of Naples.[8] King Peter III of Aragon invaded the Kingdom of Sicily, but both Conrad and his son, the future Conrad IV and Peter made alliance after their meeting in Pisa. After removing Charles I, Conrad recognized Peter III as King of Sicily and re-created alliance with Sicily since 1266. At Conrad III's health becoming faded since 1279 because of his 1242 assassination attempt and fall ill January 1281 when he was his study in Nurnberg but recovered five months later.[9][10] In March 1282, Conrad suffered a stroke, left him paralyzed. A month later, Conrad III died on 20 April 1282 at aged 65 in Nuremberg and was succeeded by his elder son, Conrad IV. He was buried in Speyer Cathedral.

Early years

Burg Nürnberg 01

Conrad's birthplace in Nuremberg Castle in Nuremberg.

Prince Conrad Plantagenet was born in morning hours at 7:24am on 24 June 1216, the second youngest son to John, King of England and Isabella of Angoulême.[11] His older brothers, Henry (which become King in 1216) and Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall. As he was part of the Plantagenets, when he was growing up German Plantagenets were the relationships with the English Plantagenets, which Kings Edward I, Edward II and Edward III.[12]

In the meantime, Conrad was the heir to the Imperial throne, which inherited the title of Duke of Swabia[13] in 1228 and Earl of York in 1230. As he was the member of the Plantagenet royal family. Conrad supported Emperor Frederick II's claim on the throne of Italy. Both Conrad's father Richard and uncle Henry III wants Conrad to be the next King of the Romans and the future Emperor. However, Conrad's cousin, the King of France Louis VIII the Lion were made the Pretender to the English throne.[14] As Prince of the English Crown, Henry were teaches how to fight with swords, and how to ride.

Franz Kampers - Portrait of Conrad III as Prince (1249) - Google Art Project

Prince Conrad, 1st Earl of York (later Emperor Conrad III), aged 16, in 1225.

Prince Conrad, 1st Earl of York was also learned how to speak Latin, Sicilian, German, French, Greek and Arabic at the ages of twelve to nineteen. He also learned to start to crusader lessons about King Richard I of England who was an Crusader into his young times. From his Angevins ancestors he inherited an ambiguous relationship with the Kings of England. As well his Capets ancestors and cousins, Kings Louis VIII the Lion and Louis IX, the Saint-King.

Prince Conrad who was healthy, brave and shy Prince who had a fan of tight Mail armor and Conrad who was inherited the disabilities. Conrad who was again returned to Luxembourg. Prince Conrad who was described as "handsome Prince who always wearing very tight mail armor." Henry was describe as an "The Emperor was covered with blonde hair, was bald and myopic. Had he been a slave, he would not have fetched 200 dirhams at market." Henry VII's eyes were described variously as blue, or "green like those of a serpent".[15] Charles's nose are small and perfect, which the beginning his reign as prince and emperor towards ages of 26 to 37, he had no beard (which he had a little stubble). Charles IV's mouth is small. On the winter of 1249, Henry was interesting into military service in the Holy Roman Empire and England, which was accepted by Emperor Frederick II. Henry also had teachings of politics which he wanted to avoid them.

Military service

During Frederick's stay in the Holy Land, his regent, Rainald of Spoleto, had attacked the Marche and the Duchy of Spoleto. Gregory IX recruited an army under John of Brienne and, in 1229, invaded southern Italy. His troops overcame an initial resistance at Montecassino and reached Apulia. Frederick arrived at Brindisi in June 1229. He quickly recovered the lost territories and trialled the rebel barons, but avoided crossing the boundaries with the Papal States.[16] The war came to an end with the Treaty of Ceprano in the summer of 1230; the emperor personally met Gregory IX at Anagni, making some concessions to the church in Sicily.[16] He also issued the Constitutions of Melfi (August 1231), as an attempt to solve the political and administrative problems of the country, which had dramatically been shown by the recent war.[16]

While he may have temporarily made his peace with the pope, Frederick found the German princes another matter. Frederick's son Henry VII (who was born 1211 in Sicily, son of Frederick's first wife Constance of Aragon) had caused their discontent with an aggressive policy against their privileges. This forced Henry to a complete capitulation, and the Statutum in favorem principum ("Statutes in favor of the princes"), issued at Worms, deprived the emperor of much of his sovereignty in Germany.[16] Frederick summoned Henry to a meeting, which was held at Aquileia in 1232. Henry confirmed his submission, but Frederick was nevertheless compelled to confirm the Statutum at Cividale soon afterwards.[16]

Prince Conrad of York as Crusader

Conrad kneeling with his horse before setting off on the crusades.

The situation for Frederick was also problematic in Lombardy, after all the emperor's attempts to restore the imperial authority in Lombardy with the help of Gregory IX (at the time, ousted from Rome by a revolt) turned to nothing in 1233. In the meantime Henry in Germany had returned to an anti-princes policy, against his father's will: Frederick thus obtained his excommunication from Gregory IX (July 1234). Henry tried to muster an opposition in Germany and asked the Lombard cities to block the Alpine passes. In May 1235, Frederick went to Germany, taking no army with him: as soon as July, however, he was able to force his son to renounce to the crown all his lands, at Worms, and then imprisoned him.[16]

In Germany the Hohenstaufen and the Guelphs reconciled in 1235. Otto the Child, the grandson of Henry the Lion, had been deposed as Duke of Bavaria and Saxony in 1180, conveying the allodial Guelphic possessions to Frederick, who in return enfeoffed Otto with the same lands and additional former imperial possessions as the newly established Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, ending the unclear status of the German Guelphs, who had been left without title and rank after 1180.

Early reign

Succession in York and Swabia

After his father death in October 1216 just four months after Conrad's birth, his brother Henry was succeeded and crowned as King of England. The First Barons' War led by Robert Fitzwalter, the war began over the Magna Carta but quickly turned into a dynastic war for the throne of England. The rebel barons, faced with a powerful king, turned to Louis, son and heir apparent of King Philip II of France and grandson-in-law of King Henry II of England.[17] After a year and a half of war, most of the rebellious barons had defected. Louis made peace with Conrad's father and to give up his claim to be the King of England by signing the Treaty of Lambeth on 11 September 1217. Louis accepted 10,000 marks to relinquish his English dominions and returned home.

On his second birthday on 1218, Conrad inherited and gifted the Peerage title Earl of York and it's earldom's of 3,669,510 acres (14,850 km2). But Conrad's wasn't ready to control the earldom until the age of 19 (in 1235). At the time, the Earldom was controlled by Walter de Gray, 1st Archbishop of York from 1215 to 1255. At 17, Conrad met his cousin Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and made Conrad's next heir to the Imperial throne and was earned as first Duke of Swabia, which was under the Hohenstaufen royal family. As Duke, he was the first English Plantagenet who spoke German, Latin and French and was most popular Duke.

Accession to the Imperial throne

Holy Roman Emperor
Armoiries empereur ConradIIIer Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head
Coats of arms

After the deposition of his cousin Frederick II by Pope Innocent IV in 1242, Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia was set up as anti-king to Frederick. By the time, Henry suffered a seriously controversy that caused him very unpopular.[18][19] Conrad was challenged by Henry Raspe to a duel, which ended Conrad's seriously wounded to the stomach and leg, which his wounds never recover. Henry soon make very unpopular than he was forced to resign his kingship to Conrad.

After quickly his abdication, first election of 1243 were held, while King Conrad was in Achen which by the time he's soon recovered. King Conrad was quickly traveled to Frankfurt where the election was held by the prince-electors.[20][21] King Conrad was himself a candidate and other candidate was Prince Alfonso, the future Alfonso X of Castile[22], Both Henry and Alfonso were pro-peace during the election, but it would that a 36-year-old monarch of Portugal were friends and allied with the Holy Roman Empire. At the result of the election, King Henry had elected when he received the five electorial votes from Wenceslaus II of Bohemia, Bohemond of Warnesberg, Archbishop of Trier, Gerhard II von Eppstein, Elector of Mainz, Conrad I, Margrave of Brandenburg and Rudolf I, Duke of Saxony. Denis got the Heinrich II von Isny, the Elector of Mainx.[22]

After being the first elected Holy Roman Emperor at age of twenty-six on 19 March 1243. Conrad was crowned as Conrad III in Frankfurt on 27 September 1243.[23][24][25] Although Conrad was elected in 1235 as King of Germany by four of the seven German Electoral Princes (Cologne, Mainz, the Palatinate and Bohemia), his candidacy was opposed by Alfonso X of Castile who was elected by Saxony, Brandenburg and Trier. The pope and King Louis IX of France favoured Alfonso, but both were ultimately convinced by the powerful relatives of Conrad's cousin-in-law, Eleanor of Provence, to support Henry. Ottokar II of Bohemia, who at first voted for Henry but later elected Alfonso, eventually agreed to support the German King, thus establishing the required simple majority. So Henry had to bribe only four of them, but this came at a huge cost of 28,000 marks.

With no official capital of the Holy Roman Empire, Conrad choice Nuremberg, which becomes a free imperial city as official capital, which no one will claimed the capital until Holy Roman Empire's collapsed in 1806. Which Nuremberg gained piecemeal independence from the Burgraviate of Nuremberg, during the reign of his cousin and predecessor, Frederick II.[23] Conrad III set out in the June 1257 of southern Italy in the Northern Alpine part of the Empire. His conflict with his son and the uprising of the Romans forced Emperor and Pope of 1258 to closer cooperation. At the instigation of Gregory Conrad IV; was been excommunicated by the Archbishop of Salzburg. Also, the Pope called for the support of Frederick and declared the once paid Heinrich Treueide invalid. [26]

Conrad III left him long stretched out in humiliating attitude on the ground. Only after the intercession of princes, Henry was allowed to rise.[27][28] According to the submission ritual (deditio), he received but no mercy, but lost Office. In the next seven years, he was housed in various southern Italian jails, in the February 1242, he died as a prisoner. After a network-theoretical analysis by Robert Gramsch (2013) Charles has not out of consideration for the Prince and the Wainz.[29]

Assassination attempt

The assassin was an French outlaw, Jean the Tall who was born in France, at the time. Jean the Tall was wanted by French King Louis IX the Saint. Louis warns Emperor Conrad III that Jean the Tall might be within the Holy Roman Empire. Jean the Tall managed to escaped to the Holy Roman Empire. Jean the Tall have been wanted to kill Conrad since he become King of the Romans since 1236.

On 14 August 1245, the 29-year-old Kaiser Conrad III was exiting Frankfurt to riding in the streets in his free time. He is also wearing an armored with his sword at the time like he always do. Henry was stabbed five times while Jean the Tall whispered in his ear while plunging a knife into his abdomen and legs but survived and heavily crippled. The wounded Kaiser was in pain and was wounded, Conrad was lying wounded in the outside of Frankfurt, with his men was in the barracks. The wounds of Henry become weak, which the his body become very weak of his wounds. Conrad III's did manage to travel to his capital Nuremberg with bleeding arms, stomach and legs.

A day after the assassination attempt, Conrad III was still bleeding of his wounds, which Pope Gregory IX manage to heal Conrad and give him the blessing. While kaiser was recovering, Jean the Tall was in shocked that he didn't assassinated the Kaiser. While in hiding, the wounded Henry was proclaimed Jean the Tall a outlaw and wanted; just like French King Louis IX.

While the French outlaw Jean the Tall which the guards and his subjects captured Jean the Tall and put him on trail and face a execution. Conrad III's wounds are badly as he in pain for about a month. Henry recovered after two months, but he will have pain in his stomach and his legs for the rest of his reign.

Claims to throne of Italy

Main article: German claims to the Italian throne

The victorious Battle of Cortenuova against the 2nd Lombard League (1237)

File:Federico II platba.jpg

Then former Emperor Frederick II died in the same year, he passed Sicily and Germany, as well as the title of Jerusalem, to Conrad, but the struggle with the pope continued. Conrad's second cousin, Manfred acted as vicar.[31][32]

In January 1252 he invaded Apulia with a Venetian fleet and successfully managed to restrain Manfred and to exercise control of the country.[33] This year Conrad issued constitutions during the hoftag in Foggia, which were based on the well-known examples from Norman and early Staufer times. In addition, as the new sources show, Conrad tried to reconcile with the Pope, but no agreement was reached. After the death of Frederick II, riots prevailed in parts of the kingdom of Sicily, and several cities attempted to escape the royal control. Conrad was therefore forced to take military action against the revolts. In October 1253 his troops conquered Naples.[34]

Conrad III, who at age of thirty-five, declared himself as rightful heir to the Italian throne after one year since the former Emperor and cousin, Frederick II's passing in 1250.[35][36] In the meantime the Ghibelline city of Ferrara had fallen, and Frederick swept his way northwards capturing Ravenna and, after another long siege, Faenza.[37]:149 while his court was in Padua[citation needed] The people of Forlì, which had kept its Ghibelline stance even after the collapse of Hohenstaufen power, offered their loyal support during the capture of the rival city: as a sign of gratitude, they were granted an augmentation of the communal coat-of-arms with the Hohenstaufen eagle, together with other privileges. This episode shows how the independent cities used the rivalry between Empire and Pope as a means to obtain maximum advantage for themselves.[38][16]

While Conrad had territories in north-west of Italy, parts of Saradina and Croatia which is had fighting the control of Guelphs and Ghibellines factions, a Guelph Republic of Genoa and Ghibelline Republic of Pisa.[39] Pisa Podesta Carlo Marcho allied himself to Conrad in 1254, but he was deposed by Ricciardo of Villa, turned to be a dictator the following year after a military coup.[40] Marcho escaped to Frankfurt where he remaining to re-claim his office until Marcho's death in 1260.[41][40] Conrad's Italian campaign was had four major battles, supported by Ghibellines and won. Conrad's rightful heir to the throne of Italy was soon stopped when he want to war with Denmark from 1256 to 1257, but it still active. During the course of trenty-three years and during the Pisa Riots

Government, pope, and war

Empire and nature of government

Conrad controlled more of Italy than any ruler since Carolingians; these lands, combined with his possessions in the Holy Roman Empire, produced a vast domain often referred to by historians as the Angevin Germany.[42] The empire lacked a coherent structure or central control; instead, it consisted of a loose, flexible network of family connections and lands.[43] Different local customs applied within each of Conrad's different territories, although common principles underpinned some of these local variations.[44][nb 1]

The next year, Henry decided to extend his father's hunting residence to a palace which met his new status. This would later be called the Binnenhof (Inner Court) and was the beginning of the city of The Hague. Meanwhile, after a siege of five months, Henry besieged Aachen for six months before capturing it from Frederick's followers.[46][47] Only then could he be crowned as king by Archbishop Konrad of Cologne. He gained a certain amount of theoretical support from some of the German princes after his marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of the Welf duke Otto of Brunswick-Lüneburg, in 1252; but, although "William lacked neither courage nor chivalrous qualities... his power never extended beyond the Rhineland."[48]

Relationship with the Prince-electors

The co-operation between monarch and Prince-electors were famously loyal to Conrad III and its successors following the 1243's assassination attempt was atypical. Instead, it was the previous session of 1258[49] what shaped the attitudes of both sides for the rest of the reign, though the initial difficulties owed more to mutual incomprehension than conscious enmity.[50][51]

Mongol raids

Main article: First Mongol invasion of Hungary

In 1241-1242, the forces of the Golden Horde decisively defeated the armies of Hungary and Poland and devastated their countryside and all their unfortified settlements. King Béla IV of Hungary appealed to Frederick for aid, but Frederick, being in dispute with the Hungarian king for some time (as Bela had sided with the Papacy against him) and not wanting to commit to a major military expedition so readily, refused.[52] He was unwilling to cross into Hungary, and although he went about unifying his magnates and other monarchs to potentially face a Mongol invasion, he specifically took his vow for the defense of the empire on “this side of the Alps.”[53] Frederick was aware of the danger the Mongols posed, and grimly assessed the situation, but also tried to use it as leverage over the Papacy to frame himself as the protector of Christendom.[54] While he called them traitorous pagans, Frederick expressed an admiration for Mongol military prowess after hearing of their deeds, in particular their able commanders and fierce discipline and obedience, judging the latter to be the greatest source of their success.[55] He called a levy throughout Germany while the Mongols were busy raiding Hungary, but in mid 1241 dispersed his army back to their holdfasts as the Mongols preoccupied themselves with the lands east of the Danube, attempting to smash all Hungarian resistance. He subsequently ordered his vassals to strengthen their defenses, adopt a defensive posture, and gather large numbers of crossbowmen.[56]

A chronicler reports that Frederick received a demand of submission from Batu Khan at some time, which he ignored.[57] He apparently kept up to date on the Mongols' activities, as a letter from Frederick II dated June 1241 comments that the Mongols were now using looted Hungarian armor.[58] A letter written by Emperor Frederick II, found in the Regesta Imperii, dated to June 20th 1241 and intended for all his vassals in Swabia, Austria, and Bohemia, included a number of specific military instructions. His forces were to avoid engaging the Mongols in field battles, hoard all food stocks in every fortress and stronghold, and arm all possible levies as well as the general populace.[59] Thomas of Split comments that there was a frenzy of fortifying castles and cities throughout the Holy Roman Empire, including Italy.[60] Either following the Emperor's instructions or on their own initiative, Frederick II, Duke of Austria paid to have his border castles strengthened at his own expense[61] while King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia had every castle strengthened and provisioned, as well as providing soldiers and armaments to monasteries in order to turn them into refuges for the civilian population.[62] Mongol probing attacks did materialize on the HRE's border states: a Mongol attack on Olomouc failed (the leader being captured in a sortie), a force was repulsed in a skirmish near Kłodzko, 300-700 Mongol troops were killed in a battle near Vienna to 100 Austrian losses (according to the Duke of Austria), and a Mongol raiding party was destroyed by Austrian knights in the district of Theben after being backed to the border of the River March. However a full-scale invasion never occurred, as the Mongols spent the next year pillaging Hungary before withdrawing.[63] After the Mongols withdrew from Hungary back to Russia, Frederick turned his attention back towards Italian matters.

Innocent IV and Battle of Parma

Main article: Ad Apostolicae Dignitatis Apicem
File:Castel del monte, esterno 05,0.jpg

A new pope, Innocent IV, was elected on 25 June 1242. He was a member of a noble Imperial family and had some relatives in Frederick's camp, so the Emperor was initially happy with his election. Innocent, however, was to become his fiercest enemy. Negotiations began in the summer of 1242, but the situation changed as Viterbo rebelled, instigated by the intriguing local cardinal Ranieri Capocci. Frederick could not afford to lose his main stronghold near Rome, so he besieged the city. Innocent convinced the rebels to sign a peace but, after Frederick withdrew his garrison, Ranieri nonetheless had them slaughtered on 13 November. Frederick was enraged. The new Pope was a master diplomat, and Frederick signed a peace treaty, which was soon broken. Innocent showed his true Guelph face, and, together with most of the Cardinals, fled via Genoese galleys to Liguria, arriving on 7 July. His aim was to reach Lyon, where a new council was being held since 24 June 1245. Despite initially appearing that the council could end with a compromise, the intervention of Ranieri, who had a series of insulting pamphlets published against Frederick (in which, among other things, he defined the emperor as a heretic and an Antichrist), led the prelates towards a less accommodating solution.[64] One month later, Innocent IV declared Frederick to be deposed as holy roman emperor, characterising him as a "friend of Babylon's sultan," "of Saracen customs," "provided with a harem guarded by eunuchs," like the schismatic emperor of Byzantium, and in sum a "heretic."[65]

The Pope backed Heinrich Raspe, landgrave of Thuringia, as rival for the imperial crown and set in motion a plot to kill Frederick and Enzo, with the support of the pope's brother-in-law Orlando de Rossi, another friend of Frederick. The plotters were unmasked by the count of Caserta, however, and the city of Altavilla, where they had found shelter, was razed. The guilty were blinded, mutilated, and burnt alive or hanged. An attempt to invade the Kingdom of Sicily, under the command of Ranieri, was halted at Spello by Marino of Eboli, Imperial vicar of Spoleto.

Innocent also sent a flow of money to Germany to cut off Frederick's power at its source. The archbishops of Cologne and Mainz also declared Frederick deposed, and in May 1246 Heinrich Raspe was chosen as the new king. On 5 August 1246 Heinrich, thanks to the Pope's money, managed to defeat an army of Conrad, son of Frederick, near Frankfurt. Frederick strengthened his position in Southern Germany, however, acquiring the Duchy of Austria, whose duke had died without heirs. A year later Heinrich died, and the new anti-king was William II, Count of Holland.

Between February and March 1247 Frederick settled the situation in Italy by means of the diet of Terni, naming his relatives or friends as vicars of the various lands. He married his son Manfred to the daughter of Amedeo di Savoia and secured the submission of the marquis of Monferrato. On his part, Innocent asked protection from the King of France, Louis IX, but the king was a friend of the Emperor and believed in his desire for peace. A papal army under the command of Ottaviano degli Ubaldini never reached Lombardy, and the Emperor, accompanied by a massive army, held the next diet in Turin.

The unexpected sally of the Guelph cavalry from Parma against Vittoria, from a medieval manuscript

An unexpected event was to change the situation dramatically. In June 1247 the important Lombard city of Parma expelled the Imperial functionaries and sided with the Guelphs. Enzo was not in the city and could do nothing more than ask for help from his father, who came back to lay siege to the rebels, together with his friend Ezzelino III da Romano, tyrant of Verona. The besieged languished as the Emperor waited for them to surrender from starvation. He had a wooden city, which he called "Vittoria", built around the walls.

On 18 February 1248, during one of these absences, the camp was suddenly assaulted and taken, and in the ensuing Battle of Parma the Imperial side was routed. Frederick lost the Imperial treasure and with it any hope of maintaining the impetus of his struggle against the rebellious communes and against the pope, who began plans for a crusade against Sicily. Frederick soon recovered and rebuilt an army, but this defeat encouraged resistance in many cities that could no longer bear the fiscal burden of his regime: Romagna, Marche and Spoleto were lost.

In February 1249 Conrad fired his advisor and prime minister, the famous jurist and poet Pier delle Vigne, on charges of peculation and embezzlement. Some historians suggest that Pier was planning to betray the Emperor, who, according to Matthew of Paris, cried when he discovered the plot. Pier, blinded and in chains, died in Pisa, possibly by his own hand. Even more shocking for Frederick was the capture of his natural son Enzo of Sardinia by the Bolognese at the Battle of Fossalta, in May, 1249. Enzo was held in a palace in Bologna, where he remained captive until his death in 1272.

War with Denmark

Battle of Lübeck

The Battle of Lübeck in 1256.

The relationship with the Kingdom of Denmark and Charles IV with King Eric IV of Denmark, who had a special relationship with each other. Eric IV's death in 10 August 1250, Eric's brother Abel become King. Both Abel and Conrad III met in Lübeck with peace treaty with Denmark, which the war between Denmark and Holy Roman Empire during Otto IV's reign. When Abel died in 1252, with his brother, Christopher acceded the Danish throne. The relationship between Christopher I and Conrad III is become stall.

Christopher I become suspensions with Charles IV by taken Lübeck, a war broke out in 1259 between the Holy Roman Empire and Kingdom of Denmark over the control of Lübeck. The first siege of Lübeck by the Danes on 4 June 1259; which the Danes was successful for a short while. Charles was anxious to get it back by force. The Danish King was able to hold Lübeck for a couple of months until fall the following year. With the second siege of Lübeck; which ended the Imperial was victory under Charles was command. While Charles IV was at war with two fronts, he made peace with Poland.

Later reign

Peace and Second Barons' War

Main article: Second Barons' War

After Conrad III made peace with King Christopher I of Denmark in city of Luberk on 1258. Peace was restored and city of Lübeck was still part of the Empire, in fact that it was almost taken by Danish in the 1256 siege and were defeated.[66][67] By the following year on 29 May 1259,[68] King Christopher died after drinking poisoned communion wine from the hands of abbot Arnfast of Ryd Abbey in revenge for his mistreatment of Archbishop Erlendsen and the king's oppression of the church.[69][70][71]

File:LewesBattle Big.jpg

The reign of his brother, Henry III is most remembered for the constitutional crisis in this period of civil strife, which was provoked ostensibly by Henry III's demands for extra finances, but which marked a more general dissatisfaction with Henry's methods of government on the part of the English barons, discontent which was exacerbated by widespread famine. Baron Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester became leader of those who wanted to reassert the Magna Carta[72][73] and force the king to surrender more power to the baronial council. In 1258, initiating the move toward reform, seven leading barons forced Henry to agree to the Provisions of Oxford, which effectively abolished the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of twenty-four barons to deal with the business of government and providing for a great council in the form of a parliament every three years, to monitor their performance. Henry was forced to take part in the swearing of a collective oath to uphold the Provisions.[74]

He joined King Henry and Richard of Cornwall in fighting against Simon de Montfort's rebels.[75] After the shattering royalist defeat and with Conrad's son, Conrad of Swabia wounded at the Battle of Lewes[76], Richard and Conrad and his son took refuge in a windmill, Conrad III and his son escaped, while Richard, Henry and Prince Edward were prisoner of war until September 1265.[77]

Civil war

Main article: Duke's War of 1267

Charles and his son, Conrad saw the effects of the a civil war in England when Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester rebelled Charles's brother, Henry III.[22][78]

In Holy Roman Empire, several dukes and barons are issues to rebelled Conrad III as well, Frederick of Upper Lorraine's relationship with Charles are been decreased throughout the four years. Henry invited his brother, Charles to support. In response, he sent 150,000 Germans soldiers into London. Frederick with few barons turned against Charles, with Frederick's claim to the Imperial throne was becoming pro-war as well of Charles's pro-peace. Frederick captured Conrad, for a few weeks before Conrad escaped, Frederick lead his army and took Nuremberg and München. By result, Charles had no choice to take on Frederick.

On 21 June 1264, Conrad's army with loyal subjects re-gained Nuremberg, in few months after Frederick took Nuremberg from Charles. While Frederick failed to take Frankfurt, which Charles told Conrad to re-take München on August 1264. Frederick also took Leipzig, Mariendorf and Koln. Conrad, Charles and Otto III, Margrave of Brandenburg defeated Baron Rudolf of Baden at the Battle of Zürch in 1265.

Civil War in Holy Roman Empire

Henry VII (sitting on the throne) setting Duke Frederick of Lorraine (Emperor Frederick of Lorraine) for treason and forced to exile; in Nuremberg Castle, Nuremberg on 2 March 1268.

Conrad took command of the Imperial army on 1 September 1265, and lead their army to attempted took re-take Baden, leading a successful, but lost a lot of men up to 150,000 men. Charles and Conrad heard the news that Simon de Montfort was killed by his brother's loyal men at the Battle of Evesham. Now, Henry and his son, Edward requested Charles for the assistance, which Charles agreed. Henry and Edward took 500,000 men each and travel to Frankfurt.

Conrad re-claim the territories of Leipzig, Mariendorf and Koln with the help of his royal friend, Margrave Otto III. Bela IV, Henry III despased Frederick's claim to the Imperial throne was that Frederick wanting the Imperial throne, as he was pro-war. The German army now leads by Duke-Margrave Otto of Brandenburg as the Holy Roman Empire re took the remaining lands that Frederick took in 5 June 1266. Frederick turns to Charles's rival, Bolesław V the Chaste in Poland to gain the Imperial throne from Charles IV. Bolesław V at first refused, this is at the time the Holy Roman Empire was at war with two fronts.

Conrad learned that Prince Conrad wounded and escaped at the Battle of Straßburg. Conrad took revenge and captured Baron Ludwig of Leipzing and put to trail of treason. Frederick went round two which failing took Frankfurt and Koln. With the help of King Béla IV of Hungary, Charles defeated Frederick but manage to escaped at the Battle of Limburg in winter of 1268. Frederick and Charles fighting at the Battle of Wurzburg, Charles was managed to defeated Frederick for the second time and Frederick was forced to exile on 2 March 1269.

War with Ottokar II of Bohemia

In November 1274, the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg decided that all Crown estates seized since the death of the Emperor Frederick II must be restored, and that King Ottokar II must answer to the Diet for not recognising the new king. Ottokar refused to appear or to restore the duchies of Austria, Styria and Carinthia together with the March of Carniola, which he had claimed through his first wife, a Babenberg heiress, and which he had seized while disputing them with another Babenberg heir, Margrave Hermann VI of Baden. Rudolf refuted Ottokar's succession to the Babenberg patrimony, declaring that the provinces reverted to the Imperial crown due to the lack of male-line heirs. King Ottokar was placed under the imperial ban; and in June 1276 war was declared against him.

Having persuaded Ottokar's former ally Duke Henry XIII of Lower Bavaria to switch sides, Rudolf compelled the Bohemian king to cede the four provinces to the control of the royal administration in November 1276. Rudolf then re-invested Ottokar with the Kingdom of Bohemia, betrothed one of his daughters to Ottokar's son Wenceslaus II, and made a triumphal entry into Vienna. Ottokar, however, raised questions about the execution of the treaty, made an alliance with some Piast chiefs of Poland, and procured the support of several German princes, again including Henry XIII of Lower Bavaria. To meet this coalition, Rudolf formed an alliance with King Ladislaus IV of Hungary and gave additional privileges to the Viennese citizens. On 26 August 1278, the rival armies met at the Battle on the Marchfeld, where Ottokar was defeated and killed. The March of Moravia was subdued and its government entrusted to Rudolf's representatives, leaving Ottokar's widow Kunigunda of Slavonia in control of only the province surrounding Prague, while the young Wenceslaus II was again betrothed to Rudolf's youngest daughter Judith.

Duke Frederick's Comeback

Main article: War of the Imperial Crown

After Conrad defeated Frederick in 1264 Civil war, which forced Frederick into exile. Frederick made a comeback in the Holy Roman Empire in 1279, five years after Conrad's father death in 1274. Frederick's legitimate claim to the Imperial throne since 1264. Both Conrad and his father are pro-peace monarchs, while Frederick was pro-war and wants to conqueror. Frederick was also made allies with Conrad's rival the Kingdom of Poland.

Leszek II the Black's army re-took Wrocław on 1 June 1279. One of the famous German generals, Rudolf I of Habsburg died on 8 June 1279, which marks the one of the mourns of the rest of the Empire.

Conrad made allies with his cousin, Edward I of England, at the Battle of Aachen with 5-4. After the loss of Nürnberg in 1281 and the Holy Roman Empire re-took Nürnberg a year later in 1282. On 1 February 1283, Frederick assassinated in his rebel capital of Köln by his own guards. With the civil war at the end, it will be loyalty among the German subjects. Until on 1531, 248 years later, the Schmalkaldic League against the Empire under the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Final years

Sicilian Vespers and aftermath

Main article: Sicilian Vespers and German claims to the Italian throne.

The rising had its origin in the struggle of investiture between the Pope and the Hohenstaufen Holy Roman Emperors for control over Italy, especially the Church's private demesne known as the Papal States. These lay between Hohenstaufen lands in northern Italy and the Hohenstaufen Kingdom of Sicily in the south; the Hohenstaufen also at the time ruled Germany.[79]

In 1240 Pope Innocent IV excommunicated Frederick II and declared him deposed, and roused opposition against him in Germany and Italy. When Frederick died in 1242, his dominion was inherited by his cousin, Conrad FitzCountess. Conrad declared himself claiming as its rightful hair to the Italian throne. Manfred had no involvement in German politics, where the interregnum lasted longer and there was no emperor until 1274. He first styled himself as vicar of his nephew Conradin, Conrad's son.[80][81][82] However, following a false rumour that Conradin was dead, Manfred later had himself crowned as king. He wished for a reconciliation with the papacy, which may have explained his support for the landless Baldwin II, Latin Emperor. However, Pope Urban IV and later Pope Clement IV were not prepared to recognize Manfred as lawful ruler of Sicily and first excommunicated then sought to depose him by force of arms. After abortive attempts to enlist England as the champion of the Papacy against Manfred,[83] Urban IV settled on Charles I of Naples as his candidate for the Sicilian throne. Charles invaded Italy and defeated and killed Manfred in 1266 at the Battle of Benevento, becoming King of Sicily. In 1268 Conradin, who had meanwhile come of age, invaded Italy to press his claim to the throne, but he was defeated at the Battle of Tagliacozzo and executed afterwards. Charles was now undisputed master of the Kingdom of Sicily.[84]

The event takes its name from an insurrection which began at the start of Vespers, the sunset prayer marking the beginning of the night vigil on Easter Monday, 30 March 1282, at the Church of the Holy Spirit just outside Palermo.[85][86] Beginning on that night, thousands of Sicily's French inhabitants were massacred within six weeks. The events that started the uprising are not known for certain, but the various retellings have common elements.[87] Conrad makes alliance with Peter III of Aragon and invade Sicily to overthrow Charles I of Anjou. After the overthrow, Conrad recognized Peter III as King of Sicily and re-created alliance with Sicily since 1266; but this is before his death.[88][89][90]

Peace policy

File:King Rudolf Landfrieden.jpg

A universally recognized king had to remedy the lack of peace and justice perceived by his contemporaries.[91] In Franconia, the Reichsverwaltung reorganized. In the district court Rothenburg began in 1274 records in judicial records.[92] They are among the oldest of their kind.[93]

Conrad began a royal policy, which was initially limited to regional and time-limited arrangements.[94][95][96] In 1276 a land peace restricted to Austria was issued. This was followed by 1281 land peace agreements for the regions Bavaria, Franconia, Rhineland and again Austria.[97][98]

Health issues and death

Mort de Conrad III

Conrad III on his deathbed on the final hours in 1282.

Conrad's health become to faded when on fall 1280, after he attempted to secure the election of his son Albert as German king.[99] The electors refused, however, claiming inability to support two kings, but in reality, perhaps, wary of the increasing power of the House of Habsburg.[100]

He first trouble when he suffered a stabbing wound of an assassination attempt at the beginning of his reign. The wounds may cause crippling for the rest of Conrad's life.[101] His second was he suffered from pains in his stomach, causing his health slowly declining draining his twenties and thirties.[102] His first illness fall on winter of 1280 when his health first becoming to decline, but soon recovered March 1281.[103][104]

Conrad was fall ill October 1281 when he was his study in Nuremberg Castle, but suffered a stroke in March 1282.[105][106] But mouth later, Conrad III died in on 20 April 1282, at age of 65 and was buried in Frauenkirche, Nuremberg and was succeeded by his son, Conrad IV.[107][108]



Kaiser Konrad III. - Reutlingen - Kirchbrunnen-7927
Statue of Emperor Henry VII on the church fountain.
Castel del Monte entrance detail2
Detail of the Castel del Monte

Conrad's contemporaries called him stupor mundi, the "astonishment of the world";[16] the majority of his contemporaries were indeed astonished – and sometimes repelled – by the pronounced unorthodoxy of the Hohenstaufen emperor and his temperamental stubbornness.[109]

Conrad inherited English, German, Norman, and Sicilian blood, but by training, lifestyle, and temperament he was "most of all Sicilian."[110] Maehl concludes that "To the end of his life he remained above all a Sicilian grand signore, and his whole imperial policy aimed at expanding the Sicilian kingdom into Italy rather than the German kingdom southward."[110] Cantor concludes that "Frederick had no intention of giving up Naples and Sicily, which were the real strongholds of its power. He was, in fact, uninterested in Germany."[111]

He was a religious sceptic.[16] Despite accusations of blasphemy and paganism, and the presence of pagan and oriental elements in his imperial conceptions, Henry remained substantially linked to traditional Christianity, as shown by his early contacts with both the Franciscans and the Cistercians (in 1215 he was admitted to that order's praying community), as well as with St Elizabeth.[16] In spite of this, Henry 's religious scepticism was unusual for the era in which he lived, and to his contemporaries was highly shocking and scandalous. His papal enemies used it against him at every turn; he was subsequently referred to as preambulus Antichristi (predecessor of the Antichrist) by Pope Gregory IX, and, as Frederick allegedly did not respect the privilegium potestatis of the Church, he was excommunicated.

In Palermo, where the three-year-old boy was brought after his mother's death, he was said to have grown up like a street youth. He was highly precocious. The only benefit from Innocent III's guardianship was that at fourteen years of age he married a twenty-five-year-old widow named Constance, the daughter of the king of Aragon. Both seem to have been happy with the arrangement, and Constance soon bore a son, Henry.

At his coronation, he may have worn the red silk mantle that had been crafted during the reign of Roger II. It bore an Arabic inscription indicating that the robe dated from the year 528 in the Muslim calendar, and incorporated a generic benediction, wishing its wearer "vast prosperity, great generosity and high splendor, fame and magnificent endowments, and the fulfillment of his wishes and hopes. May his days and nights go in pleasure without end or change". This coronation robe can be found today in the Schatzkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Rather than exterminate the Muslim population of Western Sicily, he deported them at Lucera. Not least, he enlisted them in his Christian army and even into his personal bodyguards. As Muslim soldiers, they had the advantage of immunity from papal excommunication. For these reasons, as well as his supposed Epicureanism,[112] Henry VII is listed as a representative member of the sixth region of Dante's Inferno, that of the heretics, who are burned in tombs.

Literature and science

Besides his great tolerance (which, however, did not apply to Christian heretics), Henry had a great thirst for knowledge and learning. Frederick employed Jews from Sicily, who had immigrated there from the holy land, at his court to translate Greek and Arabic works.[113]

He played a major role in promoting literature through the Sicilian School of poetry. His Sicilian royal court in Palermo, saw the first use of a literary form of an Italo-Romance language, Sicilian. The poetry that emanated from the school had a significant influence on literature and on what was to become the modern Italian language.[citation needed] The school and its poetry were saluted by Dante and his peers and predate by at least a century the use of the Tuscan idiom as the elite literary language of Italy.[114]

Conrad III is the author of the first treatise on the subject of falconry, De Arte Venandi cum Avibus ("The Art of Hunting with Birds"). In the words of the historian Charles Homer Haskins:

It is a scientific book, approaching the subject from Aristotle but based closely on observation and experiment throughout, Divisivus et Inquisitivus, in the words of the preface; it is at the same time a scholastic book, minute and almost mechanical in its divisions and subdivisions. It is also a rigidly practical book, written by a falconer for falconers and condensing a long experience into systematic form for the use of others.[115]
Frederick's pride in his mastery of the art is illustrated by the story that, when he was ordered to become a subject of the Great Khan (Batu) and receive an office at the Khan's court, he remarked that he would make a good falconer, for he understood birds very well.[116] He maintained up to fifty falconers at a time in his court, and in his letters he requested Arctic gyrfalcons from Lübeck and even from Greenland. One of the two existing versions was modified by his son Manfred, also a keen falconer.

Frederick loved exotic animals in general: his menagerie, with which he impressed the cold cities of Northern Italy and Europe, included hounds, giraffes, cheetahs, lynxes, leopards, exotic birds and an elephant.[109]

He was also alleged to have carried out a number of experiments on people. These experiments were recorded by the monk Salimbene di Adam in his Chronicles.[117] Amongst the experiments included shutting a prisoner up in a cask to see if the soul could be observed escaping though a hole in the cask when the prisoner died; feeding two prisoners, sending one out to hunt and the other to bed and then having them disemboweled to see which had digested their meal better; imprisoning children without any contact to see if they would develop a natural language.

In the language deprivation experiment young infants were raised without human interaction in an attempt to determine if there was a natural language that they might demonstrate once their voices matured. It is claimed he was seeking to discover what language would have been imparted unto Adam and Eve by God. In his Chronicles Salimbene wrote that Frederick bade "foster-mothers and nurses to suckle and bathe and wash the children, but in no ways to prattle or speak with them; for he would have learnt whether they would speak the Hebrew language (which had been the first), or Greek, or Latin, or Arabic, or perchance the tongue of their parents of whom they had been born. But he laboured in vain, for the children could not live without clappings of the hands, and gestures, and gladness of countenance, and blandishments."

Frederick was also interested in the stars, and his court was host to many astrologers and astronomers, including Michael Scot and Guido Bonatti.[118][119] He often sent letters to the leading scholars of the time (not only in Europe) asking for solutions to questions of science, mathematics and physics.[120]

In 1224 he founded the University of Naples, the world's oldest state university: now called Università Federico II, it remained the sole atheneum of Southern Italy for centuries.


File:Mummified corpse of frederick II hohenstaufen in palermo (1781).jpg

A Damascene chronicler, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, left a physical description of Henry based on the testimony of those who had seen the emperor in person in Jerusalem: "The Emperor was covered with blonde hair, was bald and myopic. Had he been a slave, he would not have fetched 200 dirhams at market." Henry's eyes were described variously as blue, or "green like those of a serpent".[121] Charles's nose are small and perfect, which the beginning his reign towards ages of 26 to 37, he had no beard (which he had a little stubble). Henry's mouth is small just like his ally, Alfonzo X of Castile.[122][123]

The young Kaiser Henry VII was charming with no beard before and during his reign (ages 26 to 37). With his first assassination attempted, he left the young Kaiser wounded and cripple which leads his legs shaking with injuries.

ChHenry VII was in fact most handsome Prince and even young Emperor. His appearance through out the Holy Roman Empire. During at war, his mail armor was tight which he was fan of tight armors.

Heraldry and titles

Title Date from Date to Regnal name
Arms of Conrad, 1st Earl of York Earl of York 4 April 1232 13 January 1257 Conrad of York
40px Duke of Swabia 1233 1254 Conrad III
Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head King of the Romans 13 January 1235 19 November 1277 Conrad III
Armoiries empereur ConradIIIer Holy Roman Emperor 19 March 1243 20 April 1282 Conrad III

Law reforms

His 1231 Edict of Salerno (sometimes called "Constitution of Salerno") made the first legally fixed separation of the occupations of physician and apothecary. Physicians were forbidden to double as pharmacists and the prices of various medicinal remedies were fixed. This became a model for regulation of the practice of pharmacy throughout Europe. [124]

He was not able to extend his legal reforms beyond Sicily to the Empire. In 1232, he was forced by the German princes to promulgate the Statutum in favorem principum ("statute in favor of princes"). It was a charter of liberties for the leading German princes at the expense of the lesser nobility and the entirety of the commoners. The princes gained whole power of jurisdiction, and the power to strike their own coins. The emperor lost his right to establish new cities, castles and mints over their territories. The Statutum severely weakened central authority in Germany. From 1232 the vassals of the emperor had a veto over imperial legislative decisions. Every new law established by the emperor had to be approved by the princes.


Historians rate Frederick II as a highly significant European monarch of the Middle Ages. This reputation was present even in Frederick's era. Lansing and English, two British historians, argue that medieval Palermo has been overlooked in favor of Paris and London:

one effect of this approach has been to privilege historical winners, aspects of medieval Europe that became important in later centuries, above all the nation state.... Arguably the liveliest cultural innovation in the 13th century was Mediterranean, centered on Frederick II's polyglot court and administration in Palermo....Sicily and the Italian South in later centuries suffered a long slide into overtaxed poverty and marginality. Textbook narratives therefore focus not on medieval Palermo, with its Muslim and Jewish bureaucracies and Arabic-speaking monarch, but on the historical winners, Paris and London.[125]

Modern medievalists no longer accept the notion, sponsored by the popes, of Frederick as an anti-Christian. They argue that Frederick understood himself as a Christian monarch in the sense of a Byzantine emperor, thus as God's "viceroy" on earth.[16] Whatever his personal feelings toward religion, certainly submission to the pope did not enter into the matter in the slightest. This was in line with the Hohenstaufen Kaiser-Idee, the ideology claiming the Holy Roman Emperor to be the legitimate successor to the Roman Emperors.

20th century treatments of Frederick vary from the sober (Wolfgang Stürner) to the dramatic (Ernst Kantorowicz).[16] However, all agree on Frederick II's significance as Holy Roman Emperor.[16] In the judgment of British historian Geoffrey Barraclough, Frederick's extensive concessions to German princes—which he made in the hopes of securing his base for his Italian projects—undid the political power of his predecessors and postponed German unity for centuries.

Family and children

Conrad III had ten legitimate children and two illegitimate children, and married Bartilmebis of Arce on 21 October 1252, at aged at 17.






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Conrad III, Holy Roman Emperor
Born: 24 June 1216 Died: 20 April 1282
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Frederick II
Holy Roman Emperor
19 March 1243 – 20 April 1282
Succeeded by
Conrad IV
Preceded by
King of the Romans
13 January 1235 – 19 November 1277
Succeeded by
Otto V
Preceded by
Frederick VI
Duke of Swabia
18 May 1233 – 19 November 1277
Succeeded by
Conrad I
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of York
24 June 1218 – 7 November 1257
Succeeded by
Richard, 2th Earl
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Frederick II
King of Italy
Reason for succession failure:
Capetian dynastic turmoil
Succeeded by
Conrad IV

Template:Authority control

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