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Frederick Barbarossa (1122 – 10 June 1190), also known as Frederick I (german: Friedrich I, it, Federico I), was the
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the Middle Ages, and also known as the German-Roman Emperor since the early modern period ( la, Imperator G ...
from 1155 until his death 35 years later. He was elected
King of Germany King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple in ...
at
Frankfurt Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian dialects, Hessian: , "Franks, Frank ford (crossing), ford on the Main (river), Main"; french: Francfort-sur-le-Main), is the most populous city in the States of Germany, German state of Hesse ...

Frankfurt
on 4 March 1152 and crowned in
Aachen Aachen ( ; Aachen dialect Aachen dialect (natively ''Öcher Platt'') is a dialect of Ripuarian Franconian spoken in the German Rhineland city of Aachen Aachen ( ; Aachen dialect: ''Oche'' ; French and traditional English: Aix-la-Chap ...

Aachen
on 9 March 1152. He was crowned
King of Italy King of Italy ( it, links=no, Re d'Italia; la, links=no, Rex Italiae) was the title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The first to take the title was Odoacer, a Barbarian kingdoms, barbaria ...

King of Italy
on 24 April 1155 in
Pavia Pavia (, , , ; la, Ticinum; Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the a ...

Pavia
and emperor by Pope Adrian IV on 18 June 1155 in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus Romulus was the legendary founder and first king of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , fo ...

Rome
. Two years later, the term ' ("holy") first appeared in a document in connection with his empire. He was later formally crowned
King of Burgundy The following is a list of the kings of the two kingdoms of Burgundy Kingdom of Burgundy was a name given to various states located in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The historical Burgundy correlates with the border area of France, Ita ...
, at
Arles Arles (, also , ; oc, label= Provençal, Arle ; Classical la, Arelate) is a city and commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: ...

Arles
on 30 June 1178. He was named by the northern Italian cities which he attempted to rule: Barbarossa means "red beard" in
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
; in German, he was known as ', which means “Emperor Redbeard” in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
. The prevalence of the Italian nickname, even in later German usage, reflects the centrality of the Italian campaigns to his career. Before his imperial election, Frederick was by inheritance
Duke of SwabiaThe Dukes of Swabia were the rulers of the Duchy of Swabia during the Middle Ages. Swabia was one of the five stem duchies of the medieval German kingdom, and its dukes were thus among the most powerful magnates of Germany. The most notable famil ...
(1147–1152, as Frederick III). He was the son of
Duke Frederick II
Duke Frederick II
of the
Hohenstaufen The Hohenstaufen (, , ), also called Staufer, was a noble dynasty of unclear origin that rose to rule the Duchy of Swabia The Duchy of Swabia ( German: ''Herzogtum Schwaben'') was one of the five stem duchies of the medieval German Kingdom. I ...
dynasty and Judith, daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, from the rival
House of Welf The House of Welf (also Guelf or Guelph) is a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century. Origins The (Younger) House of Welf is the older ...
. Frederick, therefore, descended from the two leading families in Germany, making him an acceptable choice for the Empire's
prince-elector The prince-electors (german: Kurfürst pl. , cz, Kurfiřt, la, Princeps Elector), or electors for short, were the members of the that elected the of the . From the 13th century onwards, the prince-electors had the privilege of who would ...
s. Historians consider him among the Holy Roman Empire's greatest medieval emperors. He combined qualities that made him appear almost superhuman to his contemporaries: his longevity, his ambition, his extraordinary skills at organization, his battlefield acumen and his political perspicacity. His contributions to Central European society and culture include the reestablishment of the ', or the Roman rule of law, which counterbalanced the papal power that dominated the German states since the conclusion of the
Investiture Controversy#REDIRECT Investiture Controversy The Investiture Controversy, also called Investiture Contest, was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops ( investiture) and abbots of monasteries a ...
. Frederick died in 1190 in
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while b ...

Asia Minor
while leading an army in the
Third Crusade The Third Crusade (1189–1192) was an attempt by three European monarchs of Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the largest church building in the world today. Western ...
.


Biography


Early life

Frederick was born in mid-December 1122 in
Haguenau Haguenau (french: Haguenau, ; Alsatian language, Alsatian: ''Hàwenau'' or ''Hàjenöi''; and historically in English: ''Hagenaw'') is a Communes of France, commune in the Bas-Rhin Département in France, department of France, of which it is a ...

Haguenau
, to
Frederick II, Duke of SwabiaFrederick may refer to: People * Frederick (given name), the name Nobility Anhalt-Harzgerode * Frederick, Prince of Anhalt-Harzgerode (1613–1670) Austria * Frederick I, Duke of Austria (Babenberg), Duke of Austria from 1195 to 1198 * Frederi ...

Frederick II, Duke of Swabia
and Judith of Bavaria. He learned to ride, hunt and use weapons, but could neither read nor write, and was also unable to speak the
Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Mo ...
. Later on, he took part in the ''
Hoftag A ''Hoftag'' (pl. ''Hoftage'') was the name given to an informal and irregular assembly convened by the King of the Romans King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his e ...
e'' during the reign of his uncle, King
Conrad III Conrad III (german: Konrad; it, Corrado; 1093 or 1094 – 15 February 1152) of the House of Hohenstaufen, Hohenstaufen dynasty was from 1116 to 1120 Duchy of Franconia, Duke of Franconia, from 1127 to 1135 anti-king of his predecessor Lothair I ...
, in 1141 in
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label= , Strossburi , gsw, label= , Strossburig ) is the and largest city of the of and the of the . Located at the with Germany in the historic region of , it is the prefecture of the . I ...

Strasbourg
, 1142 in
Konstanz Konstanz (, , locally: ; also written as Constance in English) is a with approximately 83,000 inhabitants located at the western end of in the south of . The city houses the and was the residence of the Roman Catholic for more than 1,200 year ...

Konstanz
, 1143 in
Ulm Ulm () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It c ...
, 1144 in
Würzburg Würzburg (; Main-Franconian: ) is a List of cities and towns in Germany, city in the traditional region of Franconia in the north of the Germany, German state of Bavaria. Würzburg is the administrative seat of the ''Regierungsbezirk'' Lower Fran ...

Würzburg
and 1145 in
Worms The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) is a taxonomic database that aims to provide an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms. Content The content of the registry is edited and maintained by scientific specialists ...
.


Second Crusade

In early 1147, Frederick joined the
Second Crusade The Second Crusade (1147–1150) was the second major crusade The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern M ...
. His uncle, King Conrad III, had taken the crusader vow in public on 28 December 1146. Frederick's father strongly objected to his son's crusade. According to
Otto of Freising Otto of Freising ( la, Otto Frisingensis; c. 1114 – 22 September 1158) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citi ...

Otto of Freising
, the duke berated his brother, Conrad III, for permitting his son to go. The elder Frederick, who was dying, expected his son to look after his widow and young half-brother. Perhaps in preparation for his crusade, Frederick married
Adelaide of Vohburg Adelaide of Vohburg (german: Adela or ''Adelheid''; – 25 May after 1187) was Duchess of Swabia from 1147 and List of German queens, German queen from 1152 until 1153, as the first wife of the Hohenstaufen king Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, F ...
sometime before March 1147. His father died on 4 or 6 April and Frederick succeeded to the Duchy of Swabia. The German crusader army departed from
Regensburg Regensburg ,; older en, Ratisbon, italics=yes ; Noah Webster (1884) ''A Practical Dictionary of the English Language''; bar, Rengschburg or ''Rengschburch'' is a city in eastern Bavaria Bavaria (; German language, German and Bavarian langu ...

Regensburg
seven weeks later. In August 1147, while crossing the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...

Byzantine Empire
, an ill crusader stopped in a monastery outside
Adrianople Edirne (, ), formerly known as Adrianople or Hadrianopolis (), is a city in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in ...
to recuperate. There he was robbed and killed. Conrad ordered Frederick to avenge him. The duke of Swabia razed the monastery, captured and executed the robbers and demanded a return of the stolen money. The intervention of the Byzantine general Prosuch prevented a further escalation. A few weeks later, on 8 September, Frederick and
Welf VI Welf VI (111515 December 1191) was the margrave of Tuscany The rulers of Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citi ...
were among the few German crusaders spared when flash flooding destroyed the main camp. They had encamped on a hill away from the main army. The army reached
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (), Tsargrad (), Qustantiniya (), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopolis ("the Great City"), Πό ...

Constantinople
the following day. Conrad III attempted to lead the army overland across Anatolia. Finding this too difficult in the face of constant Turkish attacks near Dorylaeum, he turned back. The rearguard was subsequently annihilated. Conrad sent Frederick ahead to inform King
Louis VII of France Louis VII (1120 – 18 September 1180), called the Younger or the Young (french: link=no, le Jeune), was List of French monarchs, King of the Franks from 1137 to 1180. He was the son and successor of King Louis VI (hence the epithet "the Young" ...

Louis VII of France
of the disaster and ask for help. The two armies, French and German, then advanced together. When Conrad fell ill at Christmas in
Ephesus Ephesus (; gr, Ἔφεσος, Éphesos; tr, Efes; may ultimately derive from hit, 𒀀𒉺𒊭, Apaša) was a city in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece ...

Ephesus
, he returned to Constantinople by ship with his main followers, including Frederick. With Byzantine ships and money, the German army left Constantinople on 7 March 1148 and arrived in
Acre The acre is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action, a discrete piece of action (or beat) in a theatrical presentation M ...

Acre
on 11 April. After Easter, Conrad and Frederick visited
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałē ...

Jerusalem
, where Frederick was impressed by the charitable works of the
Knights Hospitaller The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem ( la, Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani), commonly known as the Knights Hospitaller (), the Knights of Rhodes, the Knights of Malta, or the Order of Saint John, ...

Knights Hospitaller
. He took part in the council that was held at Palmarea on 24 June, where it was decided to attack
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
. The Siege of Damascus (24–28 July) lasted a mere five days and ended in ignominious defeat.
Gilbert of MonsGislebert (or Gilbert) of Mons ( 1150 – 1225) was a clergyman in the administration of the County of Hainaut and a chronicler whose ''Chronicon Hanoniense'' (''Chronicle of Hainaut'') is an essential eyewitness source for events affecting his patro ...
, writing fifty years later, recorded that Frederick "prevailed in arms before all others in front of Damascus". On 8 September, the German army sailed out of Acre. On the route home, Conrad III and Frederick stopped in
Thessaloniki Thessaloniki (; el, Θεσσαλονίκη, ), also known as Thessalonica (), Saloniki or Salonica (), is the List of countries by largest and second largest cities, second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its Thessaloni ...

Thessaloniki
where they swore oaths to uphold the treaty that Conrad had agreed with Emperor
Manuel I Komnenos Manuel I Komnenos ( el, Μανουήλ Α' Κομνηνός; 28 November 1118 – 24 September 1180), Latinized Comnenus, also called Porphyrogennetos (" born in the purple"), was a Byzantine emperor of the 12th century who reigned over a cruc ...
the previous winter. This treaty obligated the Germans to attack King
Roger II of Sicily Roger II ( it, Ruggero II; 22 December 1095 – 26 February 1154) was King of Kingdom of Sicily, Sicily and Kingdom of Africa, Africa, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon, Count of Sicily, Simon. He began his rule as Cou ...

Roger II of Sicily
in cooperation with the Byzantines. After confirming the treaty, Frederick was sent ahead to Germany. He passed through
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
and
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...
and arrived in Germany in April 1149.


Election

When Conrad died in February 1152, only Frederick and the prince-bishop of Bamberg were at his deathbed. Both asserted afterwards that Conrad had, in full possession of his mental powers, handed the royal insignia to Frederick and indicated that Frederick, rather than Conrad's own six-year-old son, the future
Frederick IV, Duke of Swabia Frederick IV of Hohenstaufen (1145–1167) was duke of Swabia, succeeding his cousin, Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1152. He was the son of Conrad III of Germany and his second wife Gertrude von Sulz ...
, succeed him as king. Frederick energetically pursued the crown and at
Frankfurt Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian dialects, Hessian: , "Franks, Frank ford (crossing), ford on the Main (river), Main"; french: Francfort-sur-le-Main), is the most populous city in the States of Germany, German state of Hess ...

Frankfurt
on 4 March 1152 the kingdom's princely electors designated him as the next German king. He was crowned
King of the Romans King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple i ...
at
Aachen Aachen ( ; Aachen dialect Aachen dialect (natively ''Öcher Platt'') is a dialect of Ripuarian Franconian spoken in the German Rhineland city of Aachen Aachen ( ; Aachen dialect: ''Oche'' ; French and traditional English: Aix-la-Chap ...

Aachen
several days later, on 9 March 1152. Frederick's father was from the
Hohenstaufen The Hohenstaufen (, , ), also called Staufer, was a noble dynasty of unclear origin that rose to rule the Duchy of Swabia The Duchy of Swabia ( German: ''Herzogtum Schwaben'') was one of the five stem duchies of the medieval German Kingdom. I ...
family, and his mother was from the Welf family, the two most powerful families in Germany. The Hohenstaufens were often called
Ghibellines The Guelphs and Ghibellines (, also ; it, guelfi e ghibellini ) were factions supporting the Pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is ...
, which derives from the Italianized name for
Waiblingen Waiblingen () is a town in the southwest of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German languag ...
castle, the family seat in Swabia; the Welfs, in a similar Italianization, were called Guelfs. The reigns of
Henry IVHenry IV may refer to: People * Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1050–1106), King of The Romans and Holy Roman Emperor * Henry IV, Duke of Limburg (1195–1247) * Henry IV, Duke of Brabant (1251/1252–1272) * Henryk IV Probus (c. 1258–1290), Duke ...

Henry IV
and
Henry VHenry V may refer to: People * Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (1081–1125) * Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine (1173–1227) * Henry V, Count of Luxembourg (1216–1281) * Henry V, Duke of Legnica (c.  1248 – 1296) * Henry V of Iron (c. 1319 ...

Henry V
left the status of the German empire in disarray, its power waning under the weight of the
Investiture controversy#REDIRECT Investiture Controversy The Investiture Controversy, also called Investiture Contest, was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops ( investiture) and abbots of monasteries a ...
. For a quarter of a century following the death of Henry V in 1125, the German monarchy was largely a nominal title with no real power. The king was chosen by the princes, was given no resources outside those of his own duchy, and he was prevented from exercising any real authority or leadership in the realm. The royal title was furthermore passed from one family to another to preclude the development of any dynastic interest in the German crown. When Frederick I of Hohenstaufen was chosen as king in 1152, royal power had been in effective abeyance for over twenty-five years, and to a considerable degree for more than eighty years. The only real claim to wealth lay in the rich cities of northern Italy, which were still within the nominal control of the German king. The Salian line had died out with the death of Henry V in 1125. The German princes refused to give the crown to his nephew, the duke of Swabia, for fear he would try to regain the imperial power held by Henry V. Instead, they chose
Lothair III Lothair III, sometimes numbered Lothair II and also known as Lothair of Supplinburg (1075 – 4 December 1137), was Holy Roman Emperor from 1133 until his death. He was appointed Duke of Saxony in 1106 and elected List of German monarchs, King o ...
(1125–1137), who found himself embroiled in a long-running dispute with the Hohenstaufens, and who married into the Welfs. One of the Hohenstaufens gained the throne as
Conrad III of Germany Conrad III (german: Konrad; it, Corrado; 1093 or 1094 – 15 February 1152) of the House of Hohenstaufen, Hohenstaufen dynasty was from 1116 to 1120 Duchy of Franconia, Duke of Franconia, from 1127 to 1135 anti-king of his predecessor Lothair ...
(1137–1152). When Frederick Barbarossa succeeded his uncle in 1152, there seemed to be excellent prospects for ending the feud, since he was a Welf on his mother's side. The Welf duke of Saxony,
Henry the Lion Henry the Lion (german: Heinrich der Löwe; 1129/1131 – 6 August 1195) was a member of the Welf dynasty and Duke of Saxony, as Henry III, from 1142, and Duke of Bavaria, as Henry XII, from 1156, the duchies which he held until 1 ...

Henry the Lion
, would not be appeased, however, remaining an implacable enemy of the Hohenstaufen monarchy. Barbarossa had the duchies of Swabia and Franconia, the force of his own personality, and very little else to construct an empire. The Germany that Frederick tried to unite was a patchwork of more than 1600 individual states, each with its own prince. A few of these, such as Bavaria and Saxony, were large. Many were too small to pinpoint on a map. The titles afforded to the German king were "Caesar", "Augustus", and "Emperor of the Romans". By the time Frederick would assume these, they were little more than propaganda slogans with little other meaning. Frederick was a pragmatist who dealt with the princes by finding a mutual self-interest. Unlike
Henry II of England Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle (french: Court-manteau), Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England from 1154 until his death in 1189. He was the first king of the House of Plantagenet. ...

Henry II of England
, Frederick did not attempt to end medieval feudalism, but rather tried to restore it, though this was beyond his ability. The great players in the German civil war had been the Pope, Emperor, Ghibellines, and the Guelfs, but none of these had emerged as the winner.


Rise to power

Eager to restore the Empire to the position it had occupied under
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
and
Otto I the Great Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francia East Francia (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, ...
, the new king saw clearly that the restoration of order in Germany was a necessary preliminary to the enforcement of the imperial rights in Italy. Issuing a general order for peace, he made lavish concessions to the nobles. Abroad, Frederick intervened in the Danish civil war between Svend III and
Valdemar I of Denmark Valdemar I (14 January 1131 – 12 May 1182), also known as Valdemar the Great ( da, Valdemar den Store), was King of Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ), officially the Kingdom of Denmark, da, Kongeriget Danmark, . See also: The unity of th ...
and began negotiations with the Eastern Roman Emperor,
Manuel I Comnenus Manuel I Komnenos ( el, Μανουήλ Α' Κομνηνός; 28 November 1118 – 24 September 1180), Latinisation of names, Latinized Comnenus, also called Porphyrogennetos ("born in the purple"), was a Byzantine emperor of the 12th century who ...

Manuel I Comnenus
. It was probably about this time that the king obtained papal assent for the annulment of his childless marriage with
Adelheid of Vohburg Adelaide of Vohburg (german: Adela or ''Adelheid''; – 25 May after 1187) was Duchess of SwabiaDuchess of Alamannia * Daughter of Theodo of Bavaria, wife of Duke Gotfrid * Hereswind, wife of Duke Hnabi Queen of Alamannia Carolingian dynasty, 8 ...
, on the grounds of
consanguinity Consanguinity ("blood relation", from Latin '':wikt: consanguinitas, consanguinitas'') is the characteristic of having a kinship with another person (being descended from a common ancestor). Many jurisdictions have laws prohibiting people who ar ...

consanguinity
(his great-great-grandfather was a brother of Adela's great-great-great-grandmother, making them fourth cousins, once removed). He then made a vain attempt to obtain a bride from the court of
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (), Tsargrad (), Qustantiniya (), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopolis ("the Great City"), Πό ...

Constantinople
. On his accession, Frederick had communicated the news of his election to
Pope Eugene III Pope Eugene III ( la, Eugenius III; c. 1080 – 8 July 1153), born Bernardo Pignatelli, or possibly Paganelli, called Bernardo da Pisa, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 15 February 1145 to his death in 1153. He w ...

Pope Eugene III
, but had neglected to ask for papal confirmation. In March 1153, Frederick concluded the Treaty of Constance with the Pope, wherein he promised, in return for his coronation, to defend the papacy, to make no peace with king
Roger II of Sicily Roger II ( it, Ruggero II; 22 December 1095 – 26 February 1154) was King of Kingdom of Sicily, Sicily and Kingdom of Africa, Africa, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon, Count of Sicily, Simon. He began his rule as Cou ...

Roger II of Sicily
or other enemies of the Church without the consent of Eugene, and to help Eugene regain control of the city of Rome.


First Italian Campaign: 1154–55

Frederick undertook six expeditions into Italy. In the first, beginning in October 1154, his plan was to launch a campaign against the
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
under King William I of Sicily. He marched down and almost immediately encountered resistance to his authority. Obtaining the submission of
Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million, while its ...

Milan
, he successfully besieged
Tortona Tortona (; pms, Torton-a , ; lat, Dhertona) is a ''comune'' of Piemonte, in the Province of Alessandria, Italy. Tortona is sited on the right bank of the Scrivia between the plain of Spinetta Marengo, Marengo and the foothills of the Ligurian Ape ...

Tortona
on 13 February 1155, razing it to the ground on 18 April. He moved on to
Pavia Pavia (, , , ; la, Ticinum; Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the a ...

Pavia
, where he received the
Iron Crown The Iron Crown ( it, Corona Ferrea; la, Corona Ferrea) is a relic, reliquary and may be one of the oldest royal insignia of Christendom. It was made in the Early Middle Ages, consisting of a circlet of gold and jewels fitted around a central si ...
and the title of
King of Italy King of Italy ( it, links=no, Re d'Italia; la, links=no, Rex Italiae) was the title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The first to take the title was Odoacer, a Barbarian kingdoms, barbaria ...

King of Italy
on 24 April. Moving through
Bologna Bologna (, , ; egl, label=Bolognese Bologna (, , ; egl, label=Bolognese dialect, Bolognese, Bulåggna ; lat, Bonōnia) is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous ...

Bologna
and
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demogra ...
, he was soon approaching the city of Rome. There, Pope Adrian IV was struggling with the forces of the republican city commune led by
Arnold of Brescia Arnold of Brescia ( 1090 – June 1155), also known as Arnaldus ( it, Arnaldo da Brescia), was an Italian canon regular from Lombardy (man) it, Lombarda (woman) lmo, Lombard (man) lmo, Lombarda (woman) , population_note = ...
, a student of
Abelard Peter Abelard (; french: link=no, Pierre Abélard; la, Petrus Abaelardus or ''Abailardus''; 21 April 1142) was a Middle Ages, medieval French Scholasticism, scholastic philosopher, leading logician, theologian, poet, composer and musician. This ...

Abelard
. As a sign of good faith, Frederick dismissed the ambassadors from the revived Roman Senate, and Imperial forces suppressed the republicans. Arnold was captured and hanged for treason and rebellion. Despite his unorthodox teaching concerning theology, Arnold was not charged with heresy. As Frederick approached the gates of Rome, the Pope advanced to meet him. At the royal tent the king received him, and after kissing the pope's feet, Frederick expected to receive the traditional kiss of peace. Frederick had declined to hold the Pope's stirrup while leading him to the tent, however, so Adrian refused to give the kiss until this protocol had been complied with. Frederick hesitated, and Adrian IV withdrew; after a day's negotiation, Frederick agreed to perform the required ritual, reportedly muttering, "''Pro Petro, non Adriano'' -- For Peter, not for Adrian." Rome was still in an uproar over the fate of Arnold of Brescia, so rather than marching through the streets of Rome, Frederick and Adrian retired to the
Vatican Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Ci ...
. The next day, 18 June 1155, Adrian IV crowned Frederick I
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the Middle Ages, and also known as the German-Roman Emperor since the early modern period ( la, Imperator G ...
at
St Peter's Basilica The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican ( it, Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano), or simply Saint Peter's Basilica ( la, Basilica Sancti Petri), is a church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church b ...
, amidst the acclamations of the German army. The Romans began to riot, and Frederick spent his coronation day putting down the revolt, resulting in the deaths of over 1,000 Romans and many more thousands injured. The next day, Frederick, Adrian, and the German army travelled to
Tivoli Tivoli may refer to: Buildings * Tivoli (Baltimore, Maryland), a mansion built about 1855 * Tivoli Building (Cheyenne, Wyoming), a historic downtown building * Tivoli Hotel in Pirie Street, Adelaide#History and notable buildings, Pirie Street, A ...
. From there, a combination of the unhealthy Italian summer and the effects of his year-long absence from Germany meant he was forced to put off his planned campaign against the Normans of
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
. On their way northwards, they attacked
Spoleto Spoleto (, also , , ; la, Spoletum) is an ancient city in the Italy, Italian province of Perugia in east-central Umbria on a foothill of the Apennine Mountains, Apennines. It is S. of Trevi, Umbria, Trevi, N. of Terni, SE of Perugia; SE of Fl ...

Spoleto
and encountered the ambassadors of Manuel I Comnenus, who showered Frederick with costly gifts. At
Verona Verona ( , ; vec, Verona or ''Veròna'') is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia' ...

Verona
, Frederick declared his fury with the rebellious Milanese before finally returning to Germany. Disorder was again rampant in Germany, especially in Bavaria, but general peace was restored by Frederick's vigorous, but conciliatory, measures. The duchy of Bavaria was transferred from Henry II Jasomirgott, margrave of Austria, to Frederick's formidable younger cousin
Henry the Lion Henry the Lion (german: Heinrich der Löwe; 1129/1131 – 6 August 1195) was a member of the Welf dynasty and Duke of Saxony, as Henry III, from 1142, and Duke of Bavaria, as Henry XII, from 1156, the duchies which he held until 1 ...

Henry the Lion
,
Duke of Saxony This article lists dukes, electors, and kings ruling over different territories named Saxony from the beginning of the Saxon Duchy in the 9th century to the end of the German monarchies in 1918. The electors of Saxony from John the Steadfast (o ...
, of the
House of Guelph The House of Welf (also Guelf or Guelph) is a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century. Origins The (Younger) House of Welf is the olde ...
, whose father had previously held both duchies. Henry II Jasomirgott was named
Duke of Austria This is a list of people who have ruled either the Margraviate of Austria, the Duchy of Austria or the Archduchy of Austria. From 976 until 1246, the margraviate and its successor, the duchy, was ruled by the House of Babenberg. At that time, those ...
in compensation for his loss of Bavaria. As part of his general policy of concessions of formal power to the German princes and ending the civil wars within the kingdom, Frederick further appeased Henry by issuing him with the
Privilegium Minus The ' is the denotation of a deed In common law, a deed (anciently "an evidence") is any legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a legal term of art that is used for any formally executed written document that can be formally attributed t ...
, granting him unprecedented entitlements as
Duke of Austria This is a list of people who have ruled either the Margraviate of Austria, the Duchy of Austria or the Archduchy of Austria. From 976 until 1246, the margraviate and its successor, the duchy, was ruled by the House of Babenberg. At that time, those ...
. This was a large concession on the part of Frederick, who realized that Henry the Lion had to be accommodated, even to the point of sharing some power with him. Frederick could not afford to make an outright enemy of Henry. On 9 June 1156 at
Würzburg Würzburg (; Main-Franconian: ) is a List of cities and towns in Germany, city in the traditional region of Franconia in the north of the Germany, German state of Bavaria. Würzburg is the administrative seat of the ''Regierungsbezirk'' Lower Fran ...

Würzburg
, Frederick married Beatrice of Burgundy, daughter and heiress of Renaud III, thus adding to his possessions the sizeable realm of the
County of Burgundy The Free County of Burgundy or Franche-Comté (french: Franche Comté de Bourgogne; german: Freigrafschaft Burgund) was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the ...
. In an attempt to create comity, Emperor Frederick proclaimed the Peace of the Land, written between 1152 and 1157, which enacted punishments for a variety of crimes, as well as systems for adjudicating many disputes. He also declared himself the sole Augustus of the Roman world, ceasing to recognise Manuel I at Constantinople.


Second, Third and Fourth Italian Campaigns: 1158–1174

The retreat of Frederick in 1155 forced Pope Adrian IV to come to terms with King William I of Sicily, granting to William I territories that Frederick viewed as his dominion. This aggrieved Frederick, and he was further displeased when
Papal Legate 300px, A woodcut showing Henry II of England greeting the pope's legate. A papal legate or apostolic legate (from the ancient Roman In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Gr ...
s chose to interpret a letter from Adrian to Frederick in a manner that seemed to imply that the imperial crown was a gift from the
Papacy The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...
and that in fact the Empire itself was a
fief A fief (; la, feudum) was the central element of feudalism Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe In the hist ...
of the Papacy. Disgusted with the pope, and still wishing to crush the Normans in the south of Italy, in June 1158, Frederick set out upon his second Italian expedition, accompanied by Henry the Lion and his Saxon troops. This expedition resulted in the revolt and capture of
Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million, while its ...

Milan
, the Diet of Roncaglia that saw the establishment of imperial officers and ecclesiastical reforms in the cities of northern Italy, and the beginning of the long struggle with Pope Alexander III. Milan soon rebelled again and humiliated Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy, Empress Beatrice (see Legend below). The death of Pope Adrian IV in 1159 led to the election of two rival popes, Alexander III and the antipope Antipope Victor IV (1159–1164), Victor IV, and both sought Frederick's support. Frederick, busy with the siege of Crema, appeared unsupportive of Alexander III, and after the sacking of Crema demanded that Alexander appear before the emperor at Pavia and to accept the imperial decree. Alexander refused, and Frederick recognised Victor IV as the legitimate pope in 1160. In response, Alexander III excommunication, excommunicated both Frederick I and Victor IV. Frederick attempted to convoke a joint council with King Louis VII of France in 1162 to decide the issue of who should be pope. Louis neared the meeting site, but when he became aware that Frederick had stacked the votes for Alexander, Louis decided not to attend the council. As a result, the issue was not resolved at that time. The political result of the struggle with Pope Alexander was an alliance formed between the Norman state of Sicily and Pope Alexander III against Frederick. In the meantime, Frederick had to deal with another rebellion at Milan, in which the city surrendered on 6 March 1162; much of it was destroyed three weeks later on the emperor's orders. The fate of Milan led to the submission of Brescia, Placentia, Italy, Placentia, and many other northern Italian cities. Returning to Germany towards the close of 1162, Frederick prevented the escalation of conflicts between Henry the Lion from Saxony and a number of neighbouring princes who were growing weary of Henry's power, influence, and territorial gains. He also severely punished the citizens of Mainz for their rebellion against Archbishop Arnold. In Frederick's third visit to Italy in 1163, his plans for the conquest of
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
were ruined by the formation of a powerful league against him, brought together mainly by opposition to imperial taxes. In 1164 Frederick took what are believed to be the relics of the "Biblical Magi" (the Wise Men or Three Kings) from the Basilica di Sant'Eustorgio in
Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million, while its ...

Milan
and gave them as a gift (or as loot) to the List of bishops and archbishops of Cologne, Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel. The relics had great religious significance and could be counted upon to draw pilgrims from all over Christendom. Today they are kept in the Shrine of the Three Kings in the Cologne cathedral. After the death of the antipope Victor IV, Frederick supported antipope Antipope Paschal III, Paschal III, but he was soon driven from Rome, leading to the return of Pope Alexander III in 1165. In the meantime Frederick was focused on restoring peace in the Rhineland, where he organized a magnificent celebration of the canonization of Charles the Great (
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
) at Aachen, under the authority of the antipope Paschal III. Concerned over rumours that Alexander III was about to enter into an alliance with the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos, Manuel I, in October 1166 Frederick embarked on his fourth Italian campaign, hoping as well to secure the claim of Paschal III and the coronation of his wife Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy, Beatrice as Holy Roman Empress. This time, Henry the Lion refused to join Frederick on his Italian trip, tending instead to his own disputes with neighbors and his continuing expansion into Slavic territories in northeastern Germany. In 1167 Frederick began besieging Ancona, which had acknowledged the authority of Manuel I; at the same time, his forces achieved a great victory over the Romans at the Battle of Monte Porzio. Heartened by this victory, Frederick lifted the siege of Ancona and hurried to Rome, where he had his wife crowned empress and also received a second coronation from Paschal III. Unfortunately, his campaign was halted by the sudden outbreak of an epidemic (malaria or the Bubonic plague, plague), which threatened to destroy the Imperial army and drove the emperor as a fugitive to Germany, where he remained for the ensuing six years. During this period, Frederick decided conflicting claims to various bishoprics, asserted imperial authority over Bohemia, Poland, and Hungary, initiated friendly relations with Manuel I, and tried to come to a better understanding with Henry II of England and Louis VII of France. Many Swabian counts, including his cousin the young Duke of Swabia, Frederick IV, died in 1167, so he was able to organize a new mighty territory in the Duchy of Swabia under his reign in this time. Consequently, his younger son Frederick V became the new Duke of Swabia in 1167, while his eldest son Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor, Henry was crowned
King of the Romans King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple i ...
in 1169, alongside his father who also retained the title.


Later years

Increasing anti-German sentiment swept through Lombardy, culminating in the restoration of Milan in 1169. In 1174 Frederick made his fifth expedition to Italy. (It was probably during this time that the famous ''Tafelgüterverzeichnis'', a record of the royal estates, was made.) He was opposed by the pro-papal Lombard League (now joined by Venice, Sicily, and
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (), Tsargrad (), Qustantiniya (), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopolis ("the Great City"), Πό ...

Constantinople
), which had previously formed to stand against him.Kampers, Franz
"Frederick I (Barbarossa)"
''The Catholic Encyclopedia''. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 21 May 2009.
The cities of northern Italy had become exceedingly wealthy through trade, representing a marked turning point in the transition from medieval feudalism. While continental feudalism had remained strong socially and economically, it was in deep political decline by the time of Frederick Barbarossa. When the northern Italian cities inflicted a defeat on Frederick at Alessandria in 1175, the European world was shocked. With the refusal of Henry the Lion to bring help to Italy, the campaign was a complete failure. Frederick suffered a heavy defeat at the Battle of Legnano near Milan, on 29 May 1176, where he was wounded and for some time was believed to be dead. This battle marked the turning point in Frederick's claim to empire. He had no choice other than to begin negotiations for peace with Alexander III and the Lombard League. In the Peace of Anagni in 1176, Frederick recognized Alexander III as pope, and in the Peace of Venice in 1177, Frederick and Alexander III were formally reconciled. With decisions of Paschal III nullfied, Beatrice ceased to be referred as empress. The scene was similar to that which had occurred between Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor at Canossa a century earlier. The conflict was the same as that resolved in the Concordat of Worms: Did the Holy Roman Emperor have the power to name the pope and bishops? The
Investiture controversy#REDIRECT Investiture Controversy The Investiture Controversy, also called Investiture Contest, was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops ( investiture) and abbots of monasteries a ...
from previous centuries had been brought to a tendentious peace with the Concordat of Worms and affirmed in the First Council of the Lateran. Now it had recurred, in a slightly different form. Frederick had to humble himself before Alexander III at Venice. The emperor acknowledged the pope's sovereignty over the Papal States, and in return Alexander acknowledged the emperor's overlordship of the Imperial Church. Also in the Peace of Venice, a truce was made with the Lombard cities, which took effect in August 1178. The grounds for a permanent peace were not established until 1183, however, in the Peace of Constance, when Frederick conceded their right to freely elect town magistrates. By this move, Frederick recovered his nominal domination over Italy, which became his chief means of applying pressure on the papacy. In a move to consolidate his reign after the disastrous expedition into Italy, Frederick was formally crowned
King of Burgundy The following is a list of the kings of the two kingdoms of Burgundy Kingdom of Burgundy was a name given to various states located in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The historical Burgundy correlates with the border area of France, Ita ...
at
Arles Arles (, also , ; oc, label= Provençal, Arle ; Classical la, Arelate) is a city and commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: ...

Arles
on 30 June 1178. Although traditionally the German kings had automatically inherited the royal crown of Arles since the time of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor, Conrad II, Frederick felt the need to be crowned by the Archbishop of Arles, regardless of his laying claim to the title from 1152. Frederick did not forgive Henry the Lion for refusing to come to his aid in 1176. By 1180, Henry had successfully established a powerful and contiguous state comprising Saxony, Bavaria, and substantial territories in the north and east of Germany. Taking advantage of the hostility of other German princes to Henry, Frederick had Henry tried in absentia by a court of bishops and princes in 1180, declared that imperial law overruled traditional German law, and had Henry stripped of his lands and declared an outlaw. He then invaded Saxony with an imperial army to force his cousin to surrender. Henry's allies deserted him, and he finally had to submit to Frederick at an Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire), Imperial Diet in Erfurt in November 1181. Henry spent three years in exile at the court of his father-in-law
Henry II of England Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle (french: Court-manteau), Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England from 1154 until his death in 1189. He was the first king of the House of Plantagenet. ...

Henry II of England
in Normandy before being allowed back into Germany. He finished his days in Germany, as the much-diminished Duke of Brunswick. Frederick's desire for revenge was sated. Henry the Lion lived a relatively quiet life, sponsoring arts and architecture. Frederick's victory over Henry did not gain him as much in the German feudalistic system as it would have in the English feudalistic system. While in England the pledge of fealty went in a direct line from overlords to those under them, the Germans pledged oaths only to the direct overlord, so that in Henry's case, those below him in the feudal chain owed nothing to Frederick. Thus, despite the diminished stature of Henry the Lion, Frederick did not gain his allegiances. Frederick was faced with the reality of disorder among the German states, where continuous civil wars were waged between pretenders and the ambitious who wanted the crown for themselves. Italian unity under German rule was more myth than truth. Despite proclamations of German hegemony, the pope was the most powerful force in Italy. When Frederick returned to Germany after his defeat in northern Italy, he was a bitter and exhausted man. The German princes, far from being subordinated to royal control, were intensifying their hold on wealth and power in Germany and entrenching their positions. There began to be a generalized social desire to "create greater Germany" by conquering the Slavs to the east. Although the Italian city states had achieved a measure of independence from Frederick as a result of his failed fifth expedition into Italy, the emperor had not given up on his Italian dominions. In 1184, he held a massive celebration, the Diet of Pentecost, when his two eldest sons were knighted, and thousands of knights were invited from all over Germany. While payments upon the knighting of a son were part of the expectations of an overlord in England and France, only a "gift" was given in Germany for such an occasion. Frederick's monetary gain from this celebration is said to have been modest. Later in 1184, Frederick again moved into Italy, this time joining forces with the local rural nobility to reduce the power of the Tuscan cities. In 1186, he engineered the marriage of his son Henry to Constance of Sicily, heiress to the Kingdom of Sicily, over the objections of Pope Urban III. Pope Urban III died shortly after, and was succeeded by Pope Gregory VIII, who even as Apostolic Chancery, Papal Chancellor had pursued a more conciliatory line with the Emperor than previous popes and was more concerned with troubling reports from the Holy Land than with a power struggle with Barbarossa.


Third Crusade

Around 23 November 1187, Frederick received letters that had been sent to him from the rulers of the Crusader states in the Near East urging him to come to their aid. Around 1 December, Cardinal Henry of Marcy preached a crusade sermon before Frederick and a public assembly in
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label= , Strossburi , gsw, label= , Strossburig ) is the and largest city of the of and the of the . Located at the with Germany in the historic region of , it is the prefecture of the . I ...

Strasbourg
. Frederick expressed support for the crusade but declined to take the cross on the grounds of his ongoing conflict with Archbishop Philip I (archbishop of Cologne), Philip of Cologne. He did, however, urge King Philip II of France to take the cross through messengers and then in a personal meeting on 25 December on the border between Ivois and Mouzon, Ardennes, Mouzon. On 27 March 1188, at the Curia Christi, Diet of Mainz, the archbishop of Cologne submitted to Frederick. Bishop of Würzburg preached a crusade sermon and Frederick asked the assembly whether he should take the cross. At the universal acclaim of the assembly, he took the crusader's vow. His second son, the duke of Swabia, followed suit. The eldest, Henry VI, was to remain behind in Germany as regent. At Mainz Frederick proclaimed a "general expedition against the pagans". He set the period of preparation as 17 April 1188 to 8 April 1189 and scheduled the army to assemble at
Regensburg Regensburg ,; older en, Ratisbon, italics=yes ; Noah Webster (1884) ''A Practical Dictionary of the English Language''; bar, Rengschburg or ''Rengschburch'' is a city in eastern Bavaria Bavaria (; German language, German and Bavarian langu ...

Regensburg
on 23 April 1189. At Strasbourg, Frederick had imposed a small tax on the History of the Jews in Germany, Jews of Germany to fund the crusade. He also put the Jews under his protection and forbade anyone to preach against the Jews. When mobs threatened the Jews of Mainz on the eve of the assembly in March, Frederick sent the imperial marshal Henry of Kalden to disperse them. Rabbi Moses then met with the emperor, which resulted in an imperial edict threatening maiming or death for anyone who maimed or killed a Jew. On 29 March, Frederick and the rabbi rode through the streets together. Frederick successfully prevented a repeat of the Rhineland massacres, massacres that had accompanied the First Crusade and Second Crusade in Germany. Because Frederick had signed a treaty of friendship with Saladin in 1175, he felt it necessary to give Saladin notice of the termination of their alliance. On 26 May 1188, he sent Count Henry II of Dietz to present an ultimatum to Saladin. A few days after Christmas 1188, Frederick received Hungarian, Byzantine, Serbian and Seljuk envoys in Nuremberg. The Hungarians and Seljuks promised provisions and safe-conduct to the crusaders. The envoys of Stefan Nemanja, grand prince of Serbia, announced that their prince would receive Frederick in Niš. Only with difficulty was an agreement reached with the Byzantine envoy, John Kamateros (logothetes tou dromou), John Kamateros. Frederick sent a large embassy ahead to make preparations in Byzantium. On 15 April 1189 in
Haguenau Haguenau (french: Haguenau, ; Alsatian language, Alsatian: ''Hàwenau'' or ''Hàjenöi''; and historically in English: ''Hagenaw'') is a Communes of France, commune in the Bas-Rhin Département in France, department of France, of which it is a ...

Haguenau
, Frederick formally and symbolically accepted the staff and scrip of a pilgrim and set out. His crusade was "the most meticulously planned and organized" up to that time. According to one source written in the 1220s, Frederick organized a grand army of 100,000 men (including 20,000 knights) and set out on the overland route to the Holy Land;J. Phillips, ''The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople'', 66 Some historians believe that this is an exaggeration, however, and use other contemporary sources to estimate an army of 12,000–15,000 men, including 3,000–4,000 knights.Konstam, ''Historical Atlas of the Crusades'', 162 The Crusaders passed through Kingdom of Hungary, Hungary, Grand Principality of Serbia, Serbia, and Second Bulgarian Empire, Bulgaria before entering Byzantine territory. Matters were complicated by a secret alliance between the Emperor of Constantinople, Isaac II Angelos, and Saladin, warning of which was supplied by a note from Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem, Sibylla, ex-Queen of Jerusalem. While in Hungary, Barbarossa personally asked the Hungarian Géza, son of Géza II of Hungary, Prince Géza, brother of King Béla III of Hungary, to join the Crusade. The king agreed, and a Hungarian army of 2,000 men led by Géza escorted the German emperor's forces. Later on, Frederick camped in Philippopolis (Thrace), Philippopolis, then in
Adrianople Edirne (, ), formerly known as Adrianople or Hadrianopolis (), is a city in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in ...
in the autumn of 1189 to avoid winter climate in Anatolia, in the meantime, he received imprisoned German emissaries who were held in Constantinople, and exchanged hostages with Isaac II, as a guarantee that the crusaders do not sack local settlements until they depart the Byzantine territory. In March 1190, Frederick left Adrianople to Gallipoli at the Dardanelles to embark to Asia Minor. The armies coming from western Europe pushed on through Anatolia, where they were victorious at the Battle of Philomelion (1190), Battle of Philomelium and defeated the Turks in the Battle of Iconium (1190), Battle of Iconium, eventually reaching as far as Cilician Armenia. The approach of Barbarossa's victorious German army greatly concerned Saladin, who was forced to weaken his force at the Siege of Acre (1189–1191), Siege of Acre and send troops to the north to block the arrival of the Germans.


Death and burials

Emperor Frederick Barbarossa opted on the local Armenians' advice to follow a shortcut along the Saleph river. Meanwhile, the army started to traverse the mountain path. On 10 June 1190, he drowned near Silifke Castle in the Saleph river. There are several conflicting accounts of the event: * According to "History of the Expedition of the Emperor Frederick, Ansbert", the emperor, against everyone's advice, chose to swim across the river and was swept away by the current. * Another account recorded that Frederick was thrown from his horse while crossing the river, weighed down by his armour, and drowned. * According to the chronicler Ibn al-Athir, "the king went down to the river to wash himself and was drowned at a place where the water was not even up to his waist. Thus God saved us from the evil of such a man". * The writer of the ''Letter on the Sacred Expedition of the Emperor Frederick I'', a churchman who accompanied the crusader forces, reported that "after the many and terrible exertions that he [Frederick I] had undergone in the previous month and more, he decided to bathe in that same river, for he wanted to cool down with a swim. But by the secret judgment of God there was an unexpected and lamentable death and he drowned." Frederick who liked to swim, as he went to bathe with Otto I, Duke of Bavaria, Otto of Wittelsbach in the Adriatic, might have been exhausted from weeks of marching, hence he was fatally affected by the very hot summer in Anatolia. If the writer was Bishop Gottfried von Spitzenberg of Würzburg, who was a close confidante to Frederick, the report would be the most plausible account of what happened, since he might have witnessed the emperor's death. Frederick's death caused several thousand German soldiers to leave the force and return home through the Cilician and Syrian ports. The German-Hungarian army was struck with an onset of disease near Antioch, weakening it further. Only 5,000 soldiers, a third of the original force, arrived in
Acre The acre is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action, a discrete piece of action (or beat) in a theatrical presentation M ...

Acre
. Barbarossa's son, Frederick VI, Duke of Swabia, Frederick VI of Swabia, carried on with the remnants of the German army, along with the Hungarian army under the command of Prince Géza, with the aim of burying the emperor in
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałē ...

Jerusalem
, but efforts to preserve his body in vinegar failed. Hence, his flesh was interred in the Church of St Peter in Antioch, his bones in the cathedral of Tyre (Lebanon), Tyre, and his heart and inner organs in Saint Paul's Church, Tarsus, Saint Paul's Church, Tarsus (city), Tarsus. The unexpected demise of Frederick left the Crusader army under the command of the rivals Philip II and Richard, who had traveled to Palestine (region), Palestine separately by sea, and ultimately led to its dissolution. Richard continued to the East where he fought Saladin, winning territories along the shores of Palestine, but ultimately failed to win the war by conquering Jerusalem itself before he was forced to return to his own territories in north-western Europe, known as the Angevin Empire. He returned home after he signed the Treaty of Ramla agreeing that Jerusalem would remain under Muslim control while allowing unarmed Christian pilgrims and traders to visit the city. The treaty also reduced the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Latin Kingdom to a geopolitical coastal strip extending from Tyre to Jaffa.


Frederick and the Justinian code

The increase in wealth of the trading cities of northern Italy led to a revival in the study of the Justinian Code, a Latin legal system that had become extinct centuries earlier. Legal scholars renewed its application. It is speculated that Pope Gregory VII personally encouraged the Justinian rule of law and had a copy of it. The historian Norman Cantor described Corpus Iuris Civilis (Justinian Body of Civil Law) as "the greatest legal code ever devised". It envisaged the law of the state as a reflection of natural moral law (as seen by the men of the Justinian system), the principle of rationality in the universe. By the time Frederick assumed the throne, this legal system was well established on both sides of the Alps. He was the first to utilize the availability of the new professional class of lawyers. The Civil Law allowed Frederick to use these lawyers to administer his kingdom in a logical and consistent manner. It also provided a framework to legitimize his claim to the right to rule both Germany and northern Italy. In the old days of Henry IV and Henry V, the claim of divine right of kings had been severely undermined by the
Investiture controversy#REDIRECT Investiture Controversy The Investiture Controversy, also called Investiture Contest, was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops ( investiture) and abbots of monasteries a ...
. The Church had won that argument in the common man's mind. There was no divine right for the German king to also control the church by naming both bishops and popes. The institution of the Justinian code was used, perhaps unscrupulously, by Frederick to lay claim to divine powers. In Germany, Frederick was a political realist, taking what he could and leaving the rest. In Italy, he tended to be a romantic reactionary, reveling in the antiquarian spirit of the age, exemplified by a revival of classical studies and Roman law. It was through the use of the restored Justinian code that Frederick came to view himself as a new Roman emperor. Roman law gave a rational purpose for the existence of Frederick and his imperial ambitions. It was a counterweight to the claims of the Church to have authority because of divine revelation. The Church was opposed to Frederick for ideological reasons, not the least of which was the humanist nature found in the revival of the old Roman legal system. When Pepin the Short sought to become king of the Franks in the 8th century, the church needed military protection, so Pepin found it convenient to make an ally of the pope. Frederick, however, desired to put the pope aside and claim the crown of old Rome simply because he was in the likeness of the greatest emperors of the pre-Christian era. Pope Adrian IV was naturally opposed to this view and undertook a vigorous propaganda campaign designed to diminish Frederick and his ambition. To a large extent, this was successful.


Economic policy

Frederick did little to encourage economic development in Germany prior to the autumn of 1165. In that year he visited the lower Rhineland, the most economically advanced region in Germany. He had already travelled to northern Italy, the most economically advanced region in the Empire, three times. From 1165 on, Frederick pursued economic policies to encourage growth and trade. There is no question that his reign was a period of major economic growth in Germany, but it is impossible now to determine how much of that growth was owed to Frederick's policies. The number of mints in Germany increased ninefold in the reign of Frederick and his son Henry, from about two dozen mints at the start of his reign to 215 mints in 1197 and from a mere two royal mints to 28. Frederick himself established at least twelve royal mints, including those of Aachen, Donauwörth, Ulm, Haguenau, Duisberg, Kaiserswerth, Frankfurt, Gelnhausen and Dortmund. He also granted privileges exempting the merchants of Aachen, Gelnhausen, Haguenau, Monza, Rome, Pisa and Venice from all tolls within the Empire.


Charismatic leader

Otto of Freising Otto of Freising ( la, Otto Frisingensis; c. 1114 – 22 September 1158) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citi ...

Otto of Freising
, Frederick's uncle, wrote an account of his reign entitled ''Gesta Friderici I imperatoris'' (Deeds of the Emperor Frederick), which is considered to be an accurate history of the king. Otto's other major work, the ''Chronica sive Historia de duabus civitatibus'' (''Chronicle or History of the Two Cities'') had been an exposition of the ''Civitas Dei'' (''The City of God'') of St. Augustine of Hippo, full of Augustinian negativity concerning the nature of the world and history. His work on Frederick is of opposite tone, being an optimistic portrayal of the glorious potentials of imperial authority. Otto died after finishing the first two books, leaving the last two to Rahewin of Freising, Rahewin, his provost. Rahewin's text is in places heavily dependent on classical precedent. For example, Rahewin's physical description of Frederick reproduces word-for-word (except for details of hair and beard) a description of another monarch, Theodoric II written nearly eight hundred years earlier by Sidonius Apollinaris: Frederick's charisma led to a fantastic juggling act that, over a quarter of a century, restored the imperial authority in the German states. His formidable enemies defeated him on almost every side, yet in the end he emerged triumphant. When Frederick came to the throne, the prospects for the revival of German imperial power were extremely thin. The great German princes had increased their power and land holdings. The king had been left with only the traditional family domains and a vestige of power over the bishops and abbeys. The backwash of the Investiture controversy had left the German states in continuous turmoil. Rival states were in perpetual war. These conditions allowed Frederick to be both warrior and occasional peace-maker, both to his advantage.


Legend

Frederick is the subject of many legends, including that of a King asleep in mountain, sleeping hero, like the much older British Celtic legends of King Arthur, Arthur or Bran the Blessed. Legend says he is not dead, but asleep with his knights in a cave in the Kyffhäuser mountains in Thuringia or Mount Untersberg at the border between Bavaria, Germany, and Salzburg, Austria, and that when the ravens cease to fly around the mountain he will awake and restore Germany to its ancient greatness. According to the story, his red beard has grown through the table at which he sits. His eyes are half closed in sleep, but now and then he raises his hand and sends a boy out to see if the ravens have stopped flying. A similar story, set in Sicily, was earlier attested about his grandson, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II. To garner political support the German Empire built atop the Kyffhäuser the Kyffhäuser Monument, which declared Kaiser Wilhelm I the reincarnation of Frederick; the 1896 dedication occurred on 18 June, the day of Frederick's coronation. In medieval Europe, the Golden Legend became refined by Jacopo da Voragine. This was a popularized interpretation of the Biblical end of the world. It consisted of three things: (1) terrible natural disasters; (2) the arrival of the Antichrist; (3) the establishment of a good king to combat the anti-Christ. These millennial fables were common and freely traded by the populations on Continental Europe. End-time accounts had been around for thousands of years, but entered the Christian tradition with the writings of the Apostle Peter. German propaganda played into the exaggerated fables believed by the common people by characterizing Frederick Barbarossa and Frederick II as personification of the "good king". Another legend states that when Barbarossa was in the process of seizing Milan in 1158, his wife, the Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy, Empress Beatrice, was taken captive by the enraged Milanese and forced to Parading on donkey, ride through the city on a donkey in a humiliating manner. Some sources of this legend indicate that Barbarossa implemented his revenge for this insult by forcing the magistrates of the city to remove a fig from the anus of a donkey using only their teeth. Another source states that Barbarossa took his wrath upon every able-bodied man in the city, and that it was not a fig they were forced to hold in their mouth, but excrement from the donkey. To add to this debasement, they were made to announce, ''"Ecco la fica"'' (meaning "behold the fig"), with the feces still in their mouths. It used to be said that the insulting gesture (called fico), of holding one's fist with the thumb in between the middle and forefinger came by its origin from this event.


Children

Frederick's first marriage, to
Adelheid of Vohburg Adelaide of Vohburg (german: Adela or ''Adelheid''; – 25 May after 1187) was Duchess of SwabiaDuchess of Alamannia * Daughter of Theodo of Bavaria, wife of Duke Gotfrid * Hereswind, wife of Duke Hnabi Queen of Alamannia Carolingian dynasty, 8 ...
, did not produce any children and was annulled.Gislebertus (of Mons), ''Chronicle of Hainaut'', transl. Laura Napran, (Boydell Press, 2005), 55 note245. From his second marriage, to Beatrice of Burgundy, he had the following children: #Beatrice (end 1162/early 1163 – at least early 1174/1179). King William II of Sicily first asked for her hand but the marriage negotiations never came through. She married Guillaume (II) count of Chalon in 1173 and was mother to Beatrix, countess of Chalon. #Frederick V, Duke of Swabia (Pavia, 16 July 1164 – 28 November 1170). #Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (Nijmegen, November 1165 – Messina, 28 September 1197). #Conrad (Modigliana, February 1167 – Acre, 20 January 1191), later renamed Frederick VI, Duke of Swabia after the death of his older brother. # Daughter (Gisela?) (October/November 1168 – end 1184). She was betrothed to Richard I of England, Richard, Count of Poitou (later King of England) but died before they could be married. #Otto I, Count of Burgundy (June/July 1170 – killed, Besançon, 13 January 1200). #Conrad II, Duke of Swabia and Rothenburg (February/March 1172 – killed, Durlach, 15 August 1196). #Renaud (October/November 1173 – before April 1174/soon after October 1178). #William (June/July 1175 – soon after October 1178). #Philip of Swabia, Philip (February/March 1177 – killed, Bamberg, 21 June 1208) ''Holy Roman Emperor, King of Germany in 1198''. #Agnes (early 1179 – 8 October 1184). She was betrothed to King Emeric of Hungary but died before they could be married.


Ancestry


In popular culture

* In Victor Hugo's romantic play ''Les Burgraves'' (1843), Frederick (as character Frédéric de Hohenstaufen) returns many years after he was presumed dead, as expected by some medieval legends. * Cyrus Townsend Brady's ''Hohenzollern; a Story of the Time of Frederick Barbarossa'' (1901) begins with a dedication to "the descendants of the great Germanic race who in Europe, in America, and in the Far East rule the world". * ''Land of Unreason'' (1941), by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, mentions the castle of the Kyffhäuser. * Umberto Eco's novel ''Baudolino'' (2000) is set partly at Frederick's court, and also deals with the mystery of Frederick's death. The imaginary hero, Baudolino, is the Emperor's adopted son and confidant. * In the 2009 movie ''Barbarossa (film), Barbarossa'' (also titled ''Sword of War'' and ''Barbarossa: Siege Lord''), Barbarossa is one of the main characters, played by Rutger Hauer. * The German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) 2018 documentary (The Germans), featured Frederick I in its 3rd of 6 episodes.


See also

*German monarchs family tree *Dukes of Swabia family tree *Operation Barbarossa, the codename of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

; Primary sources *
Otto of Freising Otto of Freising ( la, Otto Frisingensis; c. 1114 – 22 September 1158) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citi ...

Otto of Freising
and his continuator Rahewin, ''The deeds of Frederick Barbarossa'' tr. Charles Christopher Mierow with Richard Emery. New York: Columbia University Press, 1953. Reprinted: Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994. *Ibn al-Athir *Romuald Guarna, Romuald of Salerno. ''Chronicon'' in Rerum Italicarum scriptores. *Otto of Sankt Blasien *The "Bergamo Master". ''Carmen de gestis Frederici I imperatoris in Lombardia''. *''Chronicon Vincentii Canonici Pragensis'' in ''Monumenta historica Boemiae'' by Fr. Gelasius Dobner (176

; Secondary sources * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


MSN Encarta – Frederick I (Holy Roman Empire)
2009-10-31)
Charter given by Emperor Frederick
for the bishopric of Bamberg showing the Emperor's seal, 6 April 1157 . Taken from the collections of th
Lichtbildarchiv älterer Originalurkunden
at Marburg University {{DEFAULTSORT:Frederick 1, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, 1122 births 1190 deaths 12th-century Holy Roman Emperors Christians of the Second Crusade Christians of the Third Crusade Deaths by drowning Dukes of Swabia Hohenstaufen People temporarily excommunicated by the Catholic Church People from Haguenau 12th-century German people