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Lothair III, sometimes numbered Lothair II and also known as Lothair of Supplinburg (1075 – 4 December 1137), was
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as ...
from 1133 until his death. He was appointed
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 ...
in 1106 and 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 i ...
in 1125 before being crowned emperor in Rome. The son of the Saxon count
Gebhard of Supplinburg Gebhard of Supplinburg (or ''Süpplingenburg''; died 9 June 1075) was a Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic * * * * peoples whose name was given ...
, his reign was troubled by the constant intriguing 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 ...

Hohenstaufen
s, Duke
Frederick II of SwabiaFrederick may refer to: People * Frederick (given name) Frederick is a masculine given name meaning "peaceful ruler". It is the English form of the German name Friedrich. Its meaning is derived from the Germanic word elements ''frid'', or peace ...

Frederick II of Swabia
and Duke
Conrad of Franconia Conrad I (; c. 881 – 23 December 918), called the Younger, was the king of East Francia from 911 to 918. He was the first king not of the Carolingian dynasty, the first to be elected by the nobility and the first to be Anointing, anointed. He was ...
. He died while returning from a successful campaign against the
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 Normandy, descended from ...
Kingdom of Sicily Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, ente ...

Kingdom of Sicily
.


Rise to power

In 1013, a certain Saxon nobleman named ''Liutger'' was mentioned as a count in or of the
Harzgau The Harzgau was a medieval shire (''Gau (territory), Gau'') in the northeastern foorhils of the Harz mountains, part of the Eastphalia region of Duchy of Saxony, Saxony. It included the towns of Halberstadt, Quedlinburg, and Osterwieck, and was bo ...
subdivision of
Eastphalia Eastphalia (german: Ostfalen; Eastphalian language, Eastphalian: ''Oostfalen'') is a historical region in northern Germany, encompassing the eastern ''Gau (country subdivision), Gaue'' (shires) of the historic stem duchy of Duchy of Saxony, Saxon ...
. His grandson Count Gebhard, father of Emperor Lothair, possibly acquired the castle of Süpplingenburg about 1060 via his marriage with
HedwigHedwig may refer to: * Hedwig (name), a list of people and fictional characters with the given name * Johann Hedwig, (1730–1799), German botanist * Hedwig Fountain, a fountain in Zürich, Switzerland * Hedwig glass, type of glass of uncertain orig ...
, a daughter of the Bavarian count Frederick of Formbach and his wife Gertrud, herself a descendant of the Saxon margrave
Dietrich of Haldensleben , house = Billung The House of Billung was a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the univers ...
who secondly married the
Billung The House of Billung was a dynasty of Duchy of Saxony, Saxon noblemen in the 9th through 12th centuries. The first known member of the house was Wichmann the Elder, Count Wichmann, mentioned as a Billung in 811. Oda, the wife of Count Liudolf, ...
duke Ordulf of Saxony upon Count Frederick's death. Little is known of Lothair's youth. His name first appears in the contemporary records in 1088. His father
Gebhard of Supplinburg Gebhard of Supplinburg (or ''Süpplingenburg''; died 9 June 1075) was a Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic * * * * peoples whose name was given ...
joined the
Saxon Rebellion The Saxon Rebellion or Rebellion of the Saxons (german: Sachsenkrieg), also commonly called the Saxon Uprising (not to be confused with the Saxon Wars #REDIRECT Saxon Wars#REDIRECT Saxon Wars The Saxon Wars were the campaigns and insurrections ...
against the ruling
Salian dynasty The Salian dynasty or Salic dynasty (german: Salier) was a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) i ...
and died on 9 June 1075 in the Battle of Langensalza, fighting troops loyal to emperor
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
. Shortly after Gebhard's death Lothair was born at Unterlüß. In 1107 he married Richenza, daughter of Count Henry of Northeim and
Gertrude of Brunswick Gertrud of Brunswick (german: Gertrud von Braunschweig; – 9 December 1117) was Countess of Katlenburg by marriage to Dietrich II, Count of Katlenburg, Margravine of Frisia by marriage to Henry, Margrave of Frisia, and Margravine of Meissen by ...
, heiress of the
BrunonidsThe Brunonids (or Brunonians, german: Brunonen, la, Brunones, i.e. "Brunos") were a Saxon noble family in the 10th and 11th centuries, who owned property in Eastphalia (around Brunswick) and Frisia Frisia (, ; ; ) is a cultural region in German ...
. Lothair's land purchases, inheritance and marriage alliances among the Saxon nobles, resulted in the acquisition of the domains of the
House of Billung The House of Billung was a dynasty of Duchy of Saxony, Saxon noblemen in the 9th through 12th centuries. The first known member of the house was Wichmann the Elder, Count Wichmann, mentioned as a Billung in 811. Oda, the wife of Count Liudolf, D ...
and the Counts of
Northeim Northeim (; nds, Nuurten) is a town in Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) is a German state The Federal Republic of Germany, as a federal state, consists of sixteen partly sover ...

Northeim
. The marriage with Richenza of the Brunonids in particular, made him the wealthiest nobleman among his fellow
Saxons The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...

Saxons
. He supported future emperor
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
during his 1104 rebellion against his father Henry IV, and the ensuing disempowerment campaign, that culminated in the abdication of the emperor on December 31, 1105 and his son's coronation a few days later. For his loyalty Lothair was rewarded with the
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 title and estate of the
Duchy of Saxony The Duchy of Saxony ( nds, Hartogdom Sassen, german: Herzogtum Sachsen) was originally the area settled A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize Colonization, or colo ...
upon the death of duke Magnus of Billung, who had died without an heir in 1106. Emboldened by the promotion and incensed over the king's increasingly autocratic rule, such as the wanton imposition of a new tax on ducal lords, Duke Lothair joined the growing opposition party to Henry. He acted autonomously by vesting Count Adolf of Schauenburg with the newly established
County of Holstein Holstein (; nds, label= Northern Low Saxon, Holsteen; da, Holsten; 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 area around ...
in 1111. Lothair was temporarily deposed in 1112, when Henry transferred the ducal title to Otto of Ballenstedt. He was soon reinstated when count Otto fell into disgrace and he tactically submitted himself to Henry V. In 1115 however, he took command of the rebellious Saxon forces and defeated the emperor in the
Battle of Welfesholz The Battle of Welfesholz was fought on 11 February 1115 between the Holy Roman Empire, Imperial army of the Emperor Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V and a rebellious Duchy of Saxony, Saxon force. Background Henry V, scion of the Frankish Salia ...
. Henry completely lost control over the administration and the revenue of Saxony. When in 1123 Henry V vested Count
Wiprecht of Groitzsch Wiprecht (or Wigbert) of Groitzsch (died 22 May 1124) was the Margrave of Meissen and the Saxon Ostmark from 1123 until his death. He was born to a noble family of the Altmark:''See German tanker Altmark for the ship named after Altmark and Stary ...
with the
Margraviate of Meissen The Margravate of Meissen (german: Markgrafschaft Meißen) was a medieval principality in the area of the modern German state of Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Saggsn''; hsb, Sakska), officially the Fr ...
, Lothair enforced the appointment of Conrad of Wettin and ceded the
March of Lusatia March is the third month of the year and named after Mars in both the Julian and Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a minor mod ...
to Count
Albert the Bear Albert the Bear (german: Albrecht der Bär; 1100 – 18 November 1170) was the first margrave of Brandenburg Margrave was originally the Middle ages, medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the bor ...
.


Reign

Upon Emperor Henry V's death in 1125, Archchancellor
Adalbert Adalbert is a German language, German given name which means "noble bright" or "noble shining", derived from the words ''adal'' (meaning noble) and ''berht'' (shining or bright). Alternative spellings include Adelbart, Adelbert and Adalberto. Deriva ...
summoned the royal electoral assembly in Mainz. On August 24 the electors declined the candidacy of the primary contender Duke
FrederickFrederick 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 * Frederick ...

Frederick
of Hohenstaufen, who destroyed his chances due to his appalling overconfidence (''ambicone cecatus'') and his refusal to accept free princely elections (''libera electio'').
Adalbert of Mainz Adalbert I von Saarbrücken (died ), Elector of Mainz, Archbishop-Elector of Mainz from 1111 until his death, played a key role in opposing Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor, thus securing the election of Lothair III, Holy Roman Emperor, Lothair III rat ...
considered Lothair to be a suitable candidate. Although the most powerful territorial prince in Saxony, he was of advanced age (slightly over fifty years of age) and had no male heir, not the ideal prerequisites for a long dynastic line of kings. 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 i ...
and asserted himself against and
Charles the Good Charles the Good (10842 March 1127) was Count of Flanders Image:Coat of Arms of the Count of Flanders (according to the Gelre Armorial).svg, 150px, Coat of arms of the counts of Flanders. The count of Flanders was the ruler or sub-ruler of the ...

Charles the Good
.Bryce, pg. xxxix His election was notable in that it marked a departure from the concept of hereditary succession as the electors preferred a souvereign with moderate powers after the Salian era of ''oppressio''. Somewhat naive concerning the complex power struggle between the papacy and the empire, Lothair also consented to several symbolic acts that were subsequently interpreted by the Roman curia as signaling acceptance of papal confirmation of his position. Duke Vladislaus I of
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, ...
died in 1125. The succession was disputed among his surviving brother Soběslav I and his
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a cult ...

Moravia
n cousin Otto the Black, who was supported by Vladislaus' widow
Richeza of Berg Richeza of Berg ( cs, Richenza z Bergu; – 27 September 1125) was Duchess of Bohemia from 1111 to 1117 and again from 1120 until 1125, by her marriage with the Přemyslid duke Vladislav I. She was the daughter of Swabian, Henry I, Count of B ...
. In late 1125 Lothair joined Otto's side, who had advanced large sums of money. A military campaign against Soběslav was launched and in February 1126 Lothair's force entered Bohemian territory and was promptly defeated at the
Battle of Chlumec :''See Battle at Chlumec (1040) for a possible earlier battle, and Battle of Kulm for the Napoleonic battle.'' The Battle of Chlumec was the culmination of a 12th-century war of succession in the Duchy of Bohemia. It occurred on 18 February ...
. Soběslav captured high-ranking nobles, like
Albert the Bear Albert the Bear (german: Albrecht der Bär; 1100 – 18 November 1170) was the first margrave of Brandenburg Margrave was originally the Middle ages, medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the bor ...
and
Louis I of Thuringia Ludwig I or Louis I (died January 12, 1140) was ruler of Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a states of Germany, state of Germany. Located in central Germany, it covers , being the sixth ...
. However, Soběslav immediately went to meet Lothair at his camp and formally requested and received the
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 Bohemia. Peace was restored, prisoners set free and although the winner of the battle had submitted himself to the losing side, he secured full legitimacy and lasting prestige.


Dispute with the Staufers

Having both Saxon and Bavarian ancestry, the Supplinburg dynasty was a political opponent of the
Salian dynasty The Salian dynasty or Salic dynasty (german: Salier) was a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) i ...
and the
House of Hohenstaufen The Hohenstaufen (, , ), also called Staufer, was a noble dynasty of unclear origin that rose to rule the Duchy of Swabia from 1079 and to List of German Kings and Emperors, royal rule in the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages from 1138 unt ...
. Disputes arose with Duke Frederick II when he refused to hand over property to Lothair, which the king considered to be royal property, the Staufer on the other hand argued, that it belonged to the Salian heritage. The contentious assets had long been administered together with other Salian domestic estates, their origin was hard to determine and difficult to separate. Lothair advocated the principle that all of the assets in question had now become imperial properties due to the extinction of the Salian dynasty. The first armed engagements between Lothair and the Staufer took place as early as 1125 and increased in the years that followed. Lothair, with the approval obtained at a meeting of the princes in Regensburg, attempted to seize the crown lands, which provoked a Staufer reaction. Lothair then isolated Frederick II as he placed him under
Imperial ban The imperial ban (german: Reichsacht) was a form of outlaw An outlaw is a person declared as outside the protection of the law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act accord ...
and withdrew the Franconian ducal fief from Conrad.Comyn, pg. 191 After Lothair's 1127 campaign against the Staufers had collapsed at the gates of Nuremberg, the Swabians and the Franconians declared Frederick's younger brother Conrad
anti-king An anti-king, anti king or antiking (german: Gegenkönig; french: antiroi; cs, protikrál) is a would-be king who, due to succession disputes or simple political opposition, declares himself king in opposition to a reigning monarch.OED "Anti-, 2" ...
Conrad III. Looking for support of his kingship, in 1128 Conrad went to Italy, where 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 Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Ro ...

King of Italy
by Anselm V, Archbishop of Milan. Lothair took advantage of Conrad's absence and weak position and resumed his attacks on the Staufers and in 1129 conquered the Staufer cities
Nuremberg Nuremberg ( ; german: link=no, Nürnberg ; in the local East Franconian dialect: ''Nämberch'' ) is the second-largest city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants ...

Nuremberg
and
Speyer Speyer (, older spelling ''Speier'', known as ''Spire'' in French and formerly as ''Spires'' in English) is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland-Palatinate (german: Rheinland-Pfalz, ) is a western state State may refer to: Arts, ent ...

Speyer
. Conrad, on the other hand failed to acquire the desired assistance in Italy, and, having made no political progress, returned in 1130, which assured at least a partial victory for Lothair. Lastly Lothair, in order to prevent the loss of Burgundy to a power hostile to the empire, appointed his loyal ally Conrad I, Duke of Zähringen as Rector of the ''''.


Domestic policies in the Northeast

Emperor Lothar's policies and actions in the northern and eastern estates of the kingdom would have the longest-lasting impacts. As a Saxon by birth, he was certainly more focused on that region than previous and future monarchs. He already pursued active territorial policies before his royal tenure as early as 1111, when he installed count
Adolf Adolf (also spelt Adolph or Adolphe, Adolfo and when Latinised Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in t ...
of
Schauenburg Schauenburg is a Municipalities in Germany, municipality in the Kassel (district), district of Kassel, in Hesse, Germany. It is situated west of Kassel. References

Kassel (district) {{Hesse-geo-stub ...
in
Holstein Holstein (; nds, label=Northern Low Saxon, Holsteen; da, Holsten; Latin and historical en, Holsatia, italic=yes) is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider (river), Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost S ...
and Stormarn. In an act of royal consolidation policy Lothair established the Landgraviate of Thuringia, that encompassed the remaining and predominantly non-contiguous estates of the ill-fated former
Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the ...

Merovingian
Duchy of Thuringia The Duchy of Thuringia was an eastern frontier march In medieval Europe In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
. The brutal conquest of the old Thuringii kingdom under king
Chlothar I Chlothar I (c. 497 – 29 November 561) was a king of the Franks of the Merovingian dynasty and one of the four sons of Clovis I. Chlothar's father, Clovis I, divided the kingdom between his four sons. In 511, Clothar I inherited two large t ...
had left the area devastated. Subsequently the Franks desired to rule the acquisition, which proved to be only partly successful, as a long process of depopulation and recurring population replacement by Franconians, Bavarians and Christianized Slavs followed. The 1129 appointment of Herman of Winzenburg to the
comital Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy. Nobility ...

comital
office was a failure, as he allegedly was deposed a year later on charges of
breach of the peace Breach of the peace, or disturbing the peace, is a legal term used in constitutional law in English-speaking countries and in a public order sense in the several jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. It is a form of disorderly conduct. Public order ...
. The sources, however provide conflicting dates. The 1131 investiture of
LouisLouis may refer to: * Louis (given name) Louis is the French language, French form of the Old Frankish language, Old Frankish given name Clovis (given name), Chlodowig and one of two English language, English forms, the other being Lewis (given nam ...

Louis
marked the beginning of smooth Ludowingian rule for more than a century. In 1134 Lothar appointed the Ascanian
Albert the Bear Albert the Bear (german: Albrecht der Bär; 1100 – 18 November 1170) was the first margrave of Brandenburg Margrave was originally the Middle ages, medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the bor ...
as
Margrave of Brandenburg Margrave was originally the Middle ages, medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the border provinces of the Holy Roman Empire or of a monarchy, kingdom. That position became hereditary in certain Feuda ...
and in 1136 Conrad the Great of Wettin, already margrave of Meissen, for the office of the Margraviate of Lusatia, thereby uniting the two
marches In medieval Europe In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe s ...
. In addition, he petitioned the pope to grant more executive rights for the Archbishoprics of
Bremen Bremen (, also ; Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by t ...
and
Magdeburg Magdeburg (; nds, label=Low German, Low Saxon, Meideborg ) is the capital and second-largest city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony-Anhalt, after Halle (Saale). It is situated on the Elbe River. Otto I, Holy Roman Emp ...
. King
Eric II of Denmark Eric II the Memorable ( da, Erik II Emune; – 18 September 1137) was king of Denmark The monarchy of Denmark is a constitutional political system, institution and a historic office of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Kingdom includes Denmark ...
was made an imperial prince of the emperor in 1135, and member of the Reichstag. Lothair's diplomatic missions to the warring parties of
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
and
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, ...

Bohemia
/
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 ...

Hungary
were successful and resulted in overdue tribute payment by the Polish Duke
Bolesław III Wrymouth Bolesław III Wrymouth (also known as Boleslaus III the Wry-mouthed, pl, Bolesław III Krzywousty) (20 August 1086 – 28 October 1138), was the duke of Lesser Poland Lesser Poland, often known by its Polish language, Polish name Małop ...
for the 1121 established
Duchy of Pomerania The Duchy of Pomerania (german: Herzogtum Pommern, pl, Księstwo Pomorskie) was a duchy in Pomerania Pomerania ( pl, Pomorze; german: Pommern; Kashubian: ''Pòmòrskô'') is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea ...
, which in addition to the island of
Rügen Rügen (; also lat. ; ) is Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by bo ...

Rügen
was eventually secured as 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 Empire.


Relations with the Papacy

The 1130 papal election had resulted in another schism. A minority of the cardinals elected
Innocent II Pope Innocent II ( la, Innocentius II; died 23 September 1143), born Gregorio Papareschi, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by numb ...
before a majority of the cardinals appointed
Anacletus II Anacletus II (died January 25, 1138), born Pietro Pierleoni, was an antipope An antipope ( la, antipapa) is a person who, in opposition to the lawful , makes a significant attempt to occupy the position of and leader of the . At times betwee ...
in a tumultuous process. Both popes claimed to have been legally elected and in a first collision Anacletus prevailed. Innocent had to leave Rome and fled to France. Nonetheless, Anacletus could only secure the support of Roger II of Sicily, Innocent was, with the help of
Bernard of Clairvaux Bernard of Clairvaux ( la, Bernardus Claraevallensis; 109020 August 1153), venerated as Saint Bernard, was a Burgundian abbot Abbot (from Aramaic Aramaic (: ''Arāmāyā''; : ; : ; ) is a language that originated among the in the ...

Bernard of Clairvaux
, able to secure the support of King Louis VI of France and King Henry I of England. Both popes offered Lothair the imperial crown. The king was occupied with the Staufer resistance and once again it was Bernard of Clairvaux who convinced the souvereign to favor pope Innocent II.Comyn, pg. 192 In March 1131 these three met in
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège ...

Liège
, where Lothair performed the ceremonial
strator Α ''strator'' ( el, στράτωρ) was a position in the Roman and Byzantine 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 An ...
service (stirrup holder) for the pope and promised help in the conflict against Anacletus and
Roger II of Sicily Roger II ( it, Ruggero II; 22 December 1095 – 26 February 1154) was King of Sicily Sicily ( it, Sicilia ; scn, Sicilia ) is the in the and one of the 20 of . It is one of the five and is officially referred to as ''Regione Siciliana ...

Roger II of Sicily
. His request for investiture restoration was rejected, but all rights and privileges as laid out in the
Concordat of Worms 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 and the pope himself. A series of po ...
were confirmed. Innocent II crowned Lothair
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 ...
again on 29 March 1131. Lothair was accompanied by a modest troop contingent as most men were garrisoned in Germany to counter Staufer aggression. He carefully avoided hostilities but attempted to besiege Milan, which, however, failed. Eventually he arrived in Rome. As Anacletus controlled
St. Peter Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτρος, Petros; cop, Ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ, Petros; lat, Petrus; ar, شمعون الصفـا, Sham' ...

St. Peter
, Lothair's imperial coronation took place in the
Lateran Basilica The Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran ( it, Santissimo Salvatore e Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano), also known as the Papal Archbasilica of Saint John nLateran, S ...

Lateran Basilica
on 4 June 1133. Emperor Lothair continued to avoid explicit resistance against papal impediments on his royal office. He ignored Innocent's bull, in which he advocated imperial authority derived from him and Lothair recognized papal claims to the vast Matildine estates in Northern Italy (formerly owned by Margravine
Matilda of Tuscany Matilda of Tuscany ( it, Matilde di Canossa , la, Matilda, ; – 24 July 1115), was a member of the House of Canossa{{Infobox noble house , surname = House of Canossa , native_name = {{Lang-it, Casa Canossa , coat of arms = Co ...

Matilda of Tuscany
), although he was able to secure the territorial fiefs.


Campaign against Sicily

In the northern empire Lothair finally succeeded and defeated the Staufers in 1135 thanks to the help of Henry the Proud, who had been the Duke of Bavaria since the death of his father, Henry the Black.Comyn, pg. 193 At the Reichstag in
Bamberg Bamberg (, , ) is a town in Upper Franconia Upper Franconia (german: Oberfranken) is a ''Regierungsbezirk A ' () means "governmental district" and is a type of administrative division in Germany. Four of sixteen ' (states of Germany) are s ...

Bamberg
in 1135 the brothers were pardoned and restored to their office and estates. Anti-king Conrad renounced his royal title, The Staufers promised to take part in the Emperor's second Italian campaign, before a ten-year constitutio pacis was declared. Lothair, now uncontested ruler, set out in 1136 with a sizeable army. The campaign proved to be successful and indeed, Roger II of Sicily soon sought peace. In 1136 the campaign against Roger began at the insistence of Innocent II and Byzantine Emperor
John II Comnenus John II Komnenos or Comnenus ( grc-gre, Ίωάννης Βʹ Κομνηνός, ''Iōannēs II Komnēnos''; 13 September 1087 – 8 April 1143) was Byzantine emperor from 1118 to 1143. Also known as "John the Beautiful" or "John ...
. Two columns, one led by Lothair, the other by his son-in-law
Henry the Proud Henry the Proud (german: Heinrich der Stolze) (20 October 1139), a member of the House of Welf The House of Welf (also Guelf or Guelph) is a European dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English ...
arrived in Italy. On the river
Tronto The Tronto ( la, Truentus) is a long 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 langua ...
, Count
William of LoritelloWilliam was an Italo-Norman The Italo-Normans ( it, Italo-Normanni), or Siculo-Normans (''Siculo-Normanni'') when referring to Sicily (masculine) it, Siciliana (feminine) , population_note = , population_blank1_title ...
did homage to Lothair and opened the gates of
Termoli Termoli (Molisano: ''Térmëlë'') is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides es ...

Termoli
to him. Advancing deep into the southern part of the peninsula, the two armies met at
Bari Bari ( , ; nap, label= Barese, Bare ; lat, Barium; grc, Βάριον, translit=Bárion) is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Bari The Metropolitan City of Bari ( it, Città Metropolitana di Bari) is a Metropolitan cities of Italy, ...

Bari
, and continued further south in 1137. Roger offered to give
Apulia it, Pugliese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_titl ...

Apulia
as a fief of the Empire to one of his sons and give another son as a hostage, terms which Lothair refused after being pressured by Innocent II. The imperial troops, however, were adamant against campaigning during the hot summer and revolted. The emperor, who had hoped for the complete conquest of Sicily, instead captured
Capua Capua (, ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public services ...

Capua
and Apulia from Roger and bestowed them on Roger's enemies.Comyn, pg. 194 Innocent, however, protested, claiming that Apulia fell under papal reign. Emperor and Pope eventually jointly bequeathed the duchy to Rainulf of Alife. Lothair resided in
Salerno Salerno (, , ; nap, label=Salernitano, Saliernë, ) is an ancient city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance ...

Salerno
from August to October 1137 and had copper coins ('' follari'') minted in his name. When Lothair and Innocent II argued over feudal sovereignty of the Duchy of Puglia and tensions among his troops arose, he abandoned the campaign and returned home.


Death

On the return trip, he gave his son-in-law Henry of Bavaria the Margraviate of Tuscany and the Duchy of Saxony. He also gave him the imperial insignia, which depending on the point of view was interpreted as designation for the new king or not. On December 3, 1137, Lothair died on the return journey at
Breitenwang Breitenwang is a municipality and village in the district of Reutte (district), Reutte in the Austrian state of state of Tyrol, Tyrol. Geography Geographical location Breitenwang is located in the Reutte basin adjacent to the city on the Plan ...
. His body was boiled to prevent putrefaction, and his bones were transferred to the Collegiate Church of Saints Peter and Paul at Königslutter, which he had chosen as his burial site and for which he had laid the cornerstone in 1135.Bryce, pg. xl A month later, pope Anaclet II's death also ended the papal schism. When his grave was opened in 1620, a sword and an imperial orb were found among other things. With the imperial cathedral Lothar has created an outstanding architectural monument. His reign was more than just an episode between Salians and Staufer and considered an era of self-confident rule over the empire, even if his political vision of the establishment of a Welf kingdom on March 7, 1138 in
Koblenz Koblenz (), spelled Coblenz before 1926, is a Germany, German city on the banks of the Rhine and of the Moselle, a multi-nation tributary. Koblenz was established as a Roman Empire, Roman military post by Nero Claudius Drusus, Drusus around 8 ...

Koblenz
was destroyed by the “coup d'état” of the Staufers.


Issue

The Süpplingenburg dynasty was only short-lived. By his wife,
Richenza of Northeim Richenza of Northeim (c. 1087/1089 – 10 June 1141) was Duchess of Saxony from 1106, Queen of Germany from 1125 and Holy Roman Empress from 1133 as the wife of Lothair of Supplinburg. Family She was the daughter of Count Henry, Margrave of Fri ...
, Lothair had only one surviving child, a daughter Gertrude, born 18 April 1115. To secure Welf support for his election as king, Lothair married Gertrude to
Henry X, Duke of Bavaria Henry the Proud (german: Heinrich der Stolze) (20 October 1139), a member of the House of Welf, was List of rulers of Bavaria, Duke of Bavaria (as Henry X) from 1126 to 1138 and List of rulers of Saxony, Duke of Saxony (as Henry II) as ...
, on 29 May 1127.Comyn, pg. 190 Their only son was
Henry the Lion Henry the Lion (german: Heinrich der Löwe; 1129/1131 – 6 August 1195) was a member of the Welf dynasty who ruled as the duke of Saxony This article lists dukes, electors, and kings ruling over different territories named Saxony from the begi ...

Henry the Lion
. After Lothair's death in 1137, the Hohenstaufen Conrad was elected King as Conrad III. Henry the Proud, Lothair’s son-in-law and heir, refused to acknowledge the new king. In response, Conrad III deprived him of all his territories.


Notes


References


Sources

* * * * *


External links

*
King Lothar's seal in high quality resolution
taken from the collections of the Lichtbildarchiv älterer Originalurkunden {{DEFAULTSORT:Lothair 03, Holy Roman Emperor 1075 births 1137 deaths 12th-century Holy Roman Emperors People from Celle (district) Dukes of Saxony House of Süpplinburger,