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"Conrad the Great" and "Conrad III" redirect here. For a list, see List of people known as "the Great". For other uses, see Conrad III (disambiguation).
Conrad III
Portrait of Conrad III from the Karlsschrein (1284)
Holy Roman Emperor
Reign 24 December 1256 – 22 January 1285
Coronation 24 December 1256
Old St. Peter's Basilica, Rome
Predecessor Frederick II (de jure)[note 1]
Successor Rudolf I[note 2]
King of Italy
Reign 21 May 1254 – 22 January 1285
Coronation 3 April 1272
Pavia, Kingdom of Italy
Predecessor Henry (VII)
Successor Rudolf I
King of Germany
Reign 13 January 1246 – 5 April 1282
Coronation 27 February 1246
Aachen Cathedral
Predecessor Henry Raspe
Successor Rudolf I
Duke of Swabia
Reign 9 October 1239 – 22 January 1285
Predecessor Frederick VII
Successor Rudolf II
Born 8 May 1217(1217-05-08)
Château de Lusignan, Vienne, France
Died 22 January 1285 (aged 67)
Nuremberg Castle, Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire
Goslar Cathedral, Goslar, Holy Roman Empire
Rudolf I, Holy Roman Emperor
John, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg
Albert I of Germany
Richard, 1st Earl of York
Karl Otto, Duke of Luxembourg
Conrad I, Duke of Pisa
Hedwig of Holstein
Ulrich Ludwig, Burgrave of Nuremberg
Matilda of Brandenburg, Duchess of Poland
House Lusignan (see here)[note 3][1]
Father Hugh IX of Lusignan
Mother Mathilde of Angoulême
Religion Roman Catholicism

Conrad III (German: Konrad III; Italian: Corrado III) (8 May 1217 – 22 January 1285), also known as Saint Conrad the Great, PS. S. J.,[note 4] was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1256 until his death in 1285 following the disposition of his father-in-law Emperor Frederick II in 1250 and first member of the House of Lusignan of emperors. He become the Duke of Swabia from 1243, the King of Germany, following the dispute with Henry Raspe in 1246, and crowned King of Italy in 1272, following an conflict of gaining his right to the Italian throne since 1258.

The son of Hugh IX of Lusignan and Mathilde of Angoulême and he became actively involved by the age of 14 in claim the throne of Holy Roman Empire. Conrad soon involved during the Barons' Crusade by joining his cousin Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall in 1240, then on his father's death, he inherited Angoulême and La Marche in 1246, and shortly married Matilda, daughter of Emperor Frederick II as while as Conrad was elected Emperor at the time but he returns to Germany to heal his wounds. Upon returning, he become King of Germany, and was an feud with rival-king Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia, which begin the King Henry dispute. Conrad challenge Henry to a duel which he accept and the result of Conrad was badly wounded and Henry was overpowered by Conrad and Henry was killed, which Conrad was later the first elected on Imperial throne,[2] in 1256.

After his accession, he picks the new official capital of Nuremberg rather than Frankfurt after the Imperial Diet of 1254 and war against Denmark (1257–1258) over the control the city of Lübeck, which result in Imperial victory.[3] He was the first king who explicitly outlawed trials by ordeal as they were considered irrational.[4] He had a good relationship with Louis IX of France, making an brotherly relationship.[5] His relationships with Pope, England, the Guelphs and Ghibellines factions, and his native France and relationship with his half-brother Henry III of England.[6] Conrad badly wounded during an assassination attempt on April 1259; leaving the young Conrad crippled and was never recovered during. Conrad declared himself rightful heir to the Italian throne in 1258, which led to an conflict which last in 1272.[7]

Conrad and Matilda had eight children. As they grew up, tensions over the future inheritance of the empire. Conrad suffered an civil war by Frederick of Lorraine and ended with Conrad's victory at the Battle of Wurzburg. Frederick's unsuccessful return to take the crown but was assassinated shortly after.[8] Conrad made alliance with Ladislaus IV of Hungary against King Ottokar II of Bohemia, both armies met at the Battle on the Marchfeld with Ottokar's death. During the Sicilian Vespers, Conrad allied with Peter III of Aragon to successfully overthrow Charles I of Naples and put Peter on the Sicilian throne.[9] This War continued until early 1300s. For his personal holiness, efforts to support the Church and won many accomplishments, Pope Boniface VIII canonized him in 1297, making Conrad III, along with Emperor Henry II the only German monarchs and Conrad, the only French-born German monarch to be a saint during the medieval times.

Early years


Conrad was born in morning hours at 7:24am on 8 May 1228, the second youngest son to Hugh IX of Lusignan and Mathilde of Angoulême.[10] His half-brothers, Henry (which become King in 1216) and Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall. As he was part of the Plantagenets and born-Lusignans[11], when he was growing up German Plantagenets were the relationships with the English Plantagenets, which Kings Edward I, Edward II and Edward III.[12]

In the meantime, Conrad was the heir to the Imperial throne, which inherited the title of Duke of Swabia[13] in 1228 and Earl of York in 1230.[14][15] As he was the member of the Plantagenet royal family. Conrad supported Emperor Frederick II's claim on the throne of Italy. Both Conrad's father Richard and uncle Henry III wants Conrad to be the next King of the Romans and the future Emperor.[16][17][18] However, Conrad's cousin, the King of France Louis VIII the Lion were made the Pretender to the English throne.[19] As Prince of the English Crown, Henry were teaches how to fight with swords, and how to ride.[20][21][22][23][24]

Conrad was also learned how to speak Latin, Sicilian, German, French, Greek and Arabic at the ages of twelve to nineteen.[25][26] He also learned to start to crusader lessons about King Richard I of England who was an Crusader into his young times.[27][28] From his Angevins ancestors he inherited an ambiguous relationship with the Kings of England. As well his Capets ancestors and cousins, Kings Louis VIII the Lion and Louis IX, the Saint-King.[29]

At throughout his teenage to early young adult years, Conrad developed effeminacy who wear mostly dress and very tight mail armor as well had feminine walk, which Prince Conrad who was healthy, brave and shy Prince who had a fan of tight Mail armor and Conrad who was inherited the disabilities.[30] Historians said that Conrad was called the Feminine Boy or Girly Prince. He had also have a very-close devoted relationship with Theobald II, Count of Bar, which historians described as Conrad sexually aroused by Theobald, which had time they also had sex. Conrad who was again returned to Luxembourg. Prince Conrad who was described as "handsome Prince who always wearing very tight mail armor." Henry was describe as an "The Emperor was covered with blonde hair, was bald and myopic.[31][32][33] Had he been a slave, he would not have fetched 200 dirhams at market." Henry VII's eyes were described variously as blue, or "green like those of a serpent".[34] Conrad's nose are small and perfect, which the beginning his reign as prince and emperor towards ages of 26 to 37, he had no beard (which he had a little stubble).[35] Conrad's mouth is small.[36][37][38][39] On the winter of 1241, Conrad was interesting into military service in the Holy Roman Empire and England, which was accepted by Emperor Frederick II.[40][41][42] Conrad also had teachings of politics which he wanted to avoid them.[10][43]

Succession in Swabia and Angoulême

In 1216, Emperor Frederick II's abdicated the Duchy of Swabia to Henry (VII). However Henry didn't accept the title, that it went vacant for twenty-seven years and Frederick II assumed the title. After his uncle, King John's death in October 1216, his brother Henry was succeeded and crowned as King of England. The First Barons' War led by Robert Fitzwalter, the war began over the Magna Carta but quickly turned into a dynastic war for the throne of England. The rebel barons, faced with a powerful king, turned to Louis, son and heir apparent of King Philip II of France and grandson-in-law of King Henry II of England.[44] After a year and a half of war, most of the rebellious barons had defected. Louis made peace with Conrad's father and to give up his claim to be the King of England by signing the Treaty of Lambeth on 11 September 1217. Louis accepted 10,000 marks to relinquish his English dominions and returned home.

At Conrad's 19th birthday, he met his cousin Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and made Conrad's next heir to the Imperial throne and was earned as first Duke of Swabia, which was under the Hohenstaufen royal family. As Duke, he was the first English Plantagenet-Lusignan who spoke German, Latin and French and was most popular Duke. The Duchy of Swabia was one of the principalities of the Holy Roman Empire. While ruling Swabia, Conrad become one of the most famous dukes in Swabia, even gaining popularity in his native France, England and the Holy Roman Empire.

Conrad was inherited the County of Angouleme by his father in 1246, after the death of Conrad's mother Isabel of Angoulême. When his father, Hugh X died on 5 June 1249, Conrad's older brother Hugh XI of Lusignan was usually given the title of County of La Marche. Hugh XI's then give to Conrad, which he accept the titles.

Military service

Prince Conrad Artusmeile as Crusader

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

Conrad, who was seventeen a the time was partiality during Seventh Crusade, which led by his friend Louis IX of France against Sultan Turanshah supported by the Bahariyya Mamluks led by Faris ad-Din Aktai, Baibars al-Bunduqdari, Qutuz, Aybak and Qalawun.[45] His career doesn't appeared during the 1249 Siege of Damietta.[46][47] Conrad and King Louis IX landed at Damietta in 1249. Egypt would, Louis thought, provide a base from which to attack Jerusalem, and its wealth and supply of grain would keep the crusaders fed and equipped. On June 6 Damietta was taken with little resistance from the Egyptians, who withdrew further up the Nile. Conrad was popularity nicknamed "Lion Christian" (Latin: Leo Christianus) which means "Lion Christian" in English by the cursaders because the reason that Conrad was in tight chain-mail that was given by his father in his 14th birthday.[48] The nickname adopted into his name, during the crusades and before his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor in 1249.[49][50][51][52]

After the battle, Conrad met his relative Henry I of Cyprus, who was King of Cyprus since 1218. On 6 June Damietta was taken with little resistance from the Egyptians, who withdrew further up the Nile. The flooding of the Nile had not been taken into account, however, and it soon grounded Louis and his army at Damietta for six months, where the knights sat back and enjoyed the spoils of war.[53] The Crusaders approached the battle by the canal of Ashmum (known today by the name Albahr Alsaghir), which separated them from the Muslim camp.[54][55] An Egyptian showed the Crusaders the way to the canal shoals.[56] The Crusaders, led by Robert of Artois, crossed the canal with the Knights Templar and an English contingent led by William of Salisbury, launching a surprise assault on the Egyptian camp in Gideila, two miles (3 km) from Al Mansurah,[57] and advancing toward the royal palace in Al Mansurah. The leadership of the Egyptian forces passed to the Mamluks Faris Ad-Din Aktai and Baibars al-Buduqdari who contained the attack and reorganized the Muslim forces. This was the first appearance of the Mamluks as supreme commanders inside Egypt.[58][note 5][59] On 8–11 February 1250, Conrad Artusmeile was seriously badly wounded and escaped at the Battle of Al Mansurah, he was carried out by Alphonse, Count of Poitiers and Louis IX. On 6 April at the Battle of Fariskur, Conrad Artusmeile was against wounded by archer, which the arrowed pierced his legs. The wounds of that two battles was never recovered.[60] Which both last battles was lost, with the Egyptian Ayyubids victory.

The defeat of the crusaders and the capture of King Louis IX in Fariskur created shock in France.[61][62] Conrad wounded back to home, when he suffered a lot of pain.[63] When Frederick II died in the same year, he passed Sicily and Germany, as well as the title of Jerusalem, to Conrad Artusmeile, but the struggle with the pope continued.[64][65] In January 1252 he invaded Apulia with a Venetian fleet and successfully managed to restrain Manfred and to exercise control of the country.[66] This year Conrad issued constitutions during the hoftag in Foggia, which were based on the well-known examples from Norman and early Staufer times.[67] In addition, as the new sources show, Conrad tried to reconcile with the Pope, but no agreement was reached.[68][69] After the death of Frederick II, riots prevailed in parts of the kingdom of Sicily, and several cities attempted to escape the royal control.[70][71][72] Conrad was therefore forced to take military action against the revolts. In October 1253 his troops conquered Naples.[73]

Conrad was however not able to subdue the pope's supporters, and the pope in turn offered Sicily to Edmund Crouchback, son of Henry III of England (1253). Conrad was excommunicated in 1254 and died of malaria in the same year at Lavello in Basilicata.[74] Manfred first, and later Conrad's son Conradin, continued the struggle with the Papacy, although unsuccessfully.[75] Conrad was soon released while he was recovering very slowly in 1253 but he soon to become one of the popular Holy Roman Emperor.[76][77]

Reign as King

Dispute with Landgrave Henry Raspe

After the deposition of his cousin Frederick II by Pope Innocent IV in 17 July 1245, Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia was set up as anti-king to Frederick. By the time, Henry suffered a seriously controversy that caused him very unpopular.[78][79] Conrad was challenged by Henry Raspe to a duel, which ended Conrad's seriously wounded to the stomach and leg, which his wounds never recover. Henry soon make very unpopular than he was forced to resign his kingship to Conrad.

The first Imperial election

The extent of the Lusignan Empire around 1250

The blank map of the Holy Roman Empire around 1250.

At the end of January 1246, William II of Holland, the papal candidate for the Roman-German imperial crown, died. At the beginning of February 1247, at The request of Conrad, the royal Exchequer granted a pension for John of Avesnes, Count of Hainaut, and before the end of February 1256 Henry III had sent envoys to Rome, who asked Alexander IV to make a suitable and not against England. candidates for the royal election. Undoubtedly, they were already campaigning for Conrad's candidacy as AROMAN-German king at that time. With this, the ambitious Conrad set off on an adventure as ambitious as his brother's attempt to make his son king of Sicily. Conrad, too, had to overcome some obstacles in order to be crowned king and ultimately emperor. At first, he waited to see what other candidates there were for the election. Since the Reichsgut belonging to the Roman-German throne was largely pledged or in the hands of other princes, the new king had to rely on his own means or on his allies to finance an army and the administration of the empire. Conrad probably aspired from the very beginning also the imperial dignity, which would have considerably increased the prestige of his family, also towards the French king. In order to be crowned emperor, he needed the support of the Pope, and for that he had to ensure that there was no serious resistance to his election in Either Germany or France. And even if he were to be crowned emperor, he would have to spend money and resources to gain control of the areas of the Roman-German Empire south of the Alps, which had been in the middle of the Roman-German Empire since the death of Emperor Frederick II.

After Henry was defeated, Conrad managed to hold an election for the new King of the Romans. The former Emperor Frederick II favored his son-in-law Conrad to become as a candidate for election. While the Prince-electors are gathered near Heidelberg, near the city of Frankfurt on 19 February 1247. Conrad managed to bring the princes together by ending the Interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire.

Although Conrad was elected in 13 January 1247 as King of Germany by four of the seven German Electoral Princes (Cologne, Mainz, the Palatinate and Bohemia), his candidacy was opposed by Alfonso X of Castile who was elected by Saxony, Brandenburg and Trier. Conrad's father, Hugh X of Lusignan and his brothers and sisters supported Conrad, while the pope and King Louis IX of France favored Alfonso, but both were ultimately convinced by the powerful relatives of Richard's sister-in-law, Eleanor of Provence, to support Conrad. Ottokar II of Bohemia, who at first voted for Conrad but later elected Alfonso, eventually agreed to support the Duke of Swabia, thus establishing the required simple majority. So Conrad had to bribe only four of them, but this came at a huge cost of 28,000 marks.

On 27 May 1247 Konrad von Hochstaden, archbishop of Cologne himself crowned Conrad "King of the Romans" in Aachen;[80] however, when his father Hugh X died, he was becoming the Count of Angoulême and La Marche, and thus he made only four brief visits to Holy Roman Empire/Germany between 1257 to 1269; and full-return from 1270 to his death.

Early reign

Conrad's opponent, King Alfonso X of Castile, was involved in serious conflicts in Spain and did not have the financial means to enforce his rule in Germany. Conrad, on the other hand, prepared a trip to Germany from France to take up his rule there. In April, the Archbishop of Cologne and Florens of Holland, the brother of the late William of Holland, paid homage to Conrad as the new king. On 29 April 1247 he left Yarmouth with a large entourage and landed in Dordrecht on 1 May. From there he moved to Aachen, where he and his wife Sancha were crowned king and queen by the Archbishop of Cologne on 17 May, on the feast of the Assumption of Christ. He celebrated the coronation with a magnificent celebration, and he supported the construction of the Grashaus, the new town hall of Aachen, with a generous donation.

He then moved up the Rhine to Rome via the Alps, where he was crowned emperor. Through the Rhine line, which he controlled, and over the Alpine passes controlled by his relatives, an English army could have moved up the Rhine, only to move on through Italy to Sicily. In September 1257, Conrad arrived at Worms, where he held a Reichstag. From there he retreated to the Lower Rhine for hibernation, before moving up the Rhine again to Worms in the spring of 1258. He confirmed privileges for several cities in the Rhineland and issued certificates. Without his own land ownership, without functioning administration, without the recognition of the Pope and against the resistance of the three other Electors, he could ultimately do little. Encouraged by France, Supported By Count Guido of Flanders, Duke Henry of Brabant and other princes in the western part of the Roman-German Empire Alfonso of Castile. Only in the Rhineland, but also in northern Germany as far as Lübeck, Conrad was recognized as king. In order to end France's support for Alfonso of Castile, Conrad sent his protonotar Arnold from Holland to France in June 1258 to seal a provisional copy of the Treaty of Paris between England and France. In doing so, Conrad renounced his claims to the parts of the Anvin empire conquered by France, other than his claim to the Angoumois, his mother's inheritance.

His rule in Germany marked by popularity within the Empire, his polcies including the law and factions that Since the Prince-electors and German subjects who opposed him for his election, makes turned sides with Conrad for his Emperorship two years later.

Reign as Emperor

First royal Imperial election

After quickly his abdication the pervious, first election of 1256 were held, while King Conrad was in Achen which by the time he's soon recovered. King Conrad was quickly traveled to Frankfurt where the election was held by the prince-electors.[81][82] King Conrad was himself a candidate and other candidate was King Alfonso X of Castile[83], Both Conrad and Alfonso were pro-peace during the election, but it would that a 36-year-old monarch of Portugal were friends and allied with the Holy Roman Empire. At the result of the election, King Henry had elected when he received the five electorial votes from Wenceslaus II of Bohemia, Bohemond of Warnesberg, Archbishop of Trier, Gerhard II von Eppstein, Elector of Mainz, Conrad I, Margrave of Brandenburg and Rudolf I, Duke of Saxony. Denis got the Heinrich II von Isny, the Elector of Mainx.[83]

Accession to the Imperial throne

Holy Roman Emperor
Arms of Swabia Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1200-c.1300)
Coats of arms

After being the first elected Holy Roman Emperor at age of thirty-nine, Conrad was crowned as Conrad III on Christmas Eve on 24 December 1256 in Rome.[84][85][86] Although Conrad was elected in 1248 as King of Germany by four of the seven German Electoral Princes (Cologne, Mainz, the Palatinate and Bohemia), his candidacy was opposed by Alfonso X of Castile who was elected by Saxony, Brandenburg and Trier. The pope and King Louis IX of France favoured Alfonso, but both were ultimately convinced by the powerful relatives of Conrad's cousin-in-law, Eleanor of Provence, to support Henry. Ottokar II of Bohemia, who at first voted for Henry but later elected Alfonso, eventually agreed to support the German King, thus establishing the required simple majority. So Henry had to bribe only four of them, but this came at a huge cost of 28,000 marks.

With no official capital of the Holy Roman Empire, Conrad choice Nuremberg after the Imperial Diet of 1257, which becomes a free imperial city as official capital, which no one will claimed the capital until Holy Roman Empire's collapsed in 1806. Which Nuremberg gained piecemeal independence from the Burgraviate of Frankfurt, during the reign of his cousin and predecessor, Frederick II.[84] Conrad III set out in the June 1257 of southern Italy in the Northern Alpine part of the Empire. His conflict with his son and the uprising of the Romans forced Emperor and Pope of 1258 to closer cooperation. At the instigation of Gregory Conrad IV; was been excommunicated by the Archbishop of Salzburg. Also, the Pope called for the support of Frederick and declared the once paid Heinrich Treueide invalid. [87]

Conrad III left him long stretched out in humiliating attitude on the ground. Only after the intercession of princes, Henry was allowed to rise.[88][89] According to the submission ritual (deditio), he received but no mercy, but lost Office. In the next seven years, he was housed in various southern Italian jails, in the February 1242, he died as a prisoner. After a network-theoretical analysis by Robert Gramsch (2013) Charles has not out of consideration for the Prince and the Wainz.[90]

War with the Pope


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

Federico II platba

Frederick II's troops paid with leather coins during the sieges of Brescia and Faenza,[91] Chigi Codex - Vatican Library

Then former Emperor Frederick II died in the same year, he passed Sicily and Germany, as well as the title of Jerusalem, to Conrad, but the struggle with the pope continued.[92] Conrad's second cousin, Manfred acted as vicar.[93][94]

Conrad III, who at age of twenty-five, declared himself as rightful heir to the Italian throne after eight years since the former Emperor and cousin, Frederick II's passing in 1250.[95][96] In the meantime the Ghibelline city of Ferrara had fallen, and Frederick swept his way northwards capturing Ravenna and, after another long siege, Faenza.[97]:149 while his court was in Padua[citation needed] The people of Forlì, which had kept its Ghibelline stance even after the collapse of Hohenstaufen power, offered their loyal support during the capture of the rival city: as a sign of gratitude, they were granted an augmentation of the communal coat-of-arms with the Hohenstaufen eagle, together with other privileges..[98] This episode shows how the independent cities used the rivalry between Empire and Pope as a means to obtain maximum advantage for themselves.[99][100]

While Conrad had territories in north-west of Italy, parts of Saradina and Croatia which is had fighting the control of Guelphs and Ghibellines factions, a Guelph Republic of Genoa and Ghibelline Republic of Pisa.[101] Pisa Podesta Carlo Marcho allied himself to Conrad in 1254, but he was deposed by Ricciardo of Villa, turned to be a dictator the following year after a military coup.[102] Marcho escaped to Frankfurt where he remaining to re-claim his office until Marcho's death in 1260.[103][102] Conrad's Italian campaign was had four major battles, supported by Ghibellines and won.[104] Conrad's rightful heir to the throne of Italy was soon stopped when he want to war with Denmark from 1256 to 1257, but it still active. During the course of trenty-three years and during the Pisa Riots, but on March 1278, the Holy Roman Empire army lead by Conrad III invaded Pisa with the support of the 1256 Pisa Riots.

Assassination attempt, allied with France

The assassin was an French outlaw, Jean the Tall who was born in France, at the time.[105] Jean the Tall was wanted by French King Louis IX the Saint.[106] Louis warns Emperor Conrad III that Jean the Tall might be within the Holy Roman Empire.[107][108] Jean the Tall managed to escaped to the Holy Roman Empire.[109] Jean the Tall have been wanted to kill Conrad since he become King of the Romans since 1250. On 14 August 1259, the 26-year-old Kaiser Conrad III was exiting his Imperial capital of Frankfurt to riding in the streets in his free time.[110] He is also wearing an armored with his sword at the time like he always do.[111][112][113] Conrad was stabbed five times while Jean the Tall whispered in his ear while plunging a knife into his abdomen and legs but survived and heavily crippled.[114] The wounded Kaiser was in pain and was wounded, Conrad was lying wounded in the outside of Frankfurt, with his men was in the barracks. The wounds of Henry become weak, which the his body become very weak of his wounds.[115] Conrad III's did manage to travel to Nuremberg with bleeding arms, stomach and legs.[116][117]

A day after the assassination attempt, Conrad III was still bleeding of his wounds, which Pope Gregory IX manage to heal Conrad and give him the blessing.[118] While kaiser was recovering, Jean the Tall was in shocked that he didn't assassinated the Kaiser.[119] While in hiding, the wounded Conrad was proclaimed Jean the Tall a outlaw and wanted; just like French King Louis IX.[120] While the French outlaw Jean the Tall which the guards and his subjects captured Jean the Tall and put him on trial and face a execution.[121] Conrad III's wounds are badly as he in pain for about a month.[122] Conrad recovered after two months, but he will have pain in his stomach and his legs for the rest of his reign.[123][124]

In Conrad's native home country France, Conrad III made alliance and cooperation with King Louis IX of France and becoming a personal brotherhood friendships, even though Louis IX accepted if both England (which ruled by Conrad's half brother, Henry III) went to war with France, the Holy Roman Empire had been natural.[125][126] Conrad return to France in Lusignan to re-united with his eldest brother Hugh XI of Lusignan, Count of La Marche for few weeks.[127]

Government, pope, and war

Empire and nature of government

Conrad controlled more of Italy than any ruler since Carolingians; these lands, combined with his possessions in the Holy Roman Empire, produced a vast domain often referred to by historians as the Angevin Germany.[128] The empire lacked a coherent structure or central control; instead, it consisted of a loose, flexible network of family connections and lands.[129] Different local customs applied within each of Conrad's different territories, although common principles underpinned some of these local variations.[130]

The next year, Henry decided to extend his father's hunting residence to a palace which met his new status. This would later be called the Binnenhof (Inner Court) and was the beginning of the city of The Hague. Meanwhile, after a siege of five months, Henry besieged Aachen for six months before capturing it from Frederick's followers.[131][132] Only then could he be crowned as king by Archbishop Konrad of Cologne. He gained a certain amount of theoretical support from some of the German princes after his marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of the Welf duke Otto of Brunswick-Lüneburg, in 1252; but, although "William lacked neither courage nor chivalrous qualities... his power never extended beyond the Rhineland."[133]

Relationship with the Prince-electors

The co-operation between monarch and Prince-electors were famously loyal to Conrad III and its successors following the 1243's assassination attempt was atypical. Instead, it was the previous session of 1258[134] what shaped the attitudes of both sides for the rest of the reign, though the initial difficulties owed more to mutual incomprehension than conscious enmity.[135][136]

Court and family

Conrad's wealth allowed him to maintain what was probably the largest curia regis, or royal court, in Europe.[137] His court attracted huge attention from contemporary chroniclers, and typically comprised a number of major nobles and bishops, along with knights, domestic servants, prostitutes, clerks, horses and hunting dogs.[138][note 6][139] Within the court were his officials, ministeriales, his friends, amici, and the familiares regis, the king's informal inner circle of confidants and trusted servants.[140] Conrad's familiares were particularly important to the operation of his household and government, driving government initiatives and filling the gaps between the official structures and the king.[141]

Conrad tried to maintain a sophisticated household that combined hunting and drinking with cosmopolitan literary discussion and courtly values.[142][note 7][143] Nonetheless, Conrad's passion was for hunting, for which the court became famous.[144] Henry had a number of preferred royal hunting lodges and apartments across his lands, and invested heavily in his royal castles, both for their practical utility as fortresses, and as symbols of royal power and prestige.[145] The court was relatively formal in its style and language, possibly because Henry was attempting to compensate for his own sudden rise to power and relatively humble origins as the son of a count.[146] He opposed the holding of tournaments, probably because of the security risk that such gatherings of armed knights posed in peacetime.[147]

File:Château de Lusignan.jpg

Even though that Conrad's birth of the House of Lusignan, but he was adapted by his half-brother King Henry III of England to the House of Plantagenet. The Lusignan empire and court was, as historian John Gillingham describes it, "a family firm".[148] His mother, Matilda, played an important role in his early life and exercised influence for many years later.[149] Henry's relationship with his wife Matilda was complex: Conrad trusted Eleanor to manage England for several years after 1154, and was later content for her to govern Aquitaine; indeed, Eleanor was believed to have influence over Henry during much of their marriage.[150] Ultimately, however, their relationship disintegrated and chroniclers and historians have speculated on what ultimately caused Eleanor to abandon Henry to support her older sons in the Great Revolt of 1173–74.[151] Probable explanations include Henry's persistent interference in Aquitaine, his recognition of Raymond of Toulouse in 1173, or his harsh temper.[152] Henry had several long-term mistresses, including Annabel de Balliol and Rosamund Clifford.[153]Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag.</ref>

Conrad had eight legitimate children by Matilda, five sons—Conrad, John, Albert, Richard and Karl Otto, and two daughters, Hedwig and Matilda (later Queen of Poland).[154] Conrad also had several illegitimate children; amongst the most prominent of these were Otto and Burkhard (later become Archbishop of Magdeburg).[155] Conrad was expected to provide for the future of his legitimate children, either through granting lands to his sons or marrying his daughters well.[156] Conrad's family was divided by brotherhood and friendly hostilities, more so than many other royal families of the day, in particular the relatively cohesive French Lusignans.[157] Various suggestions have been put forward to explain Conrad's family's bitter disputes, from their inherited family genetics to the failure of Henry and Eleanor's parenting.[158] Other theories focus on the personalities of Conrad and his Matilda.[159] Historians such as Matthew Strickland have argued that Conrad made sensible attempts to manage the tensions within his family, and that had the King died younger, the succession might have proven much smoother.[160]


Castel del monte, esterno 05,0

Castel del Monte, in Andria, Apulia, Italy.

A new pope, Innocent IV, was elected on 25 June 1242. He was a member of a noble Imperial family and had some relatives in Frederick's camp, so the Emperor was initially happy with his election. Innocent, however, was to become his fiercest enemy. Negotiations began in the summer of 1242, but the situation changed as Viterbo rebelled, instigated by the intriguing local cardinal Ranieri Capocci.[161] Frederick could not afford to lose his main stronghold near Rome, so he besieged the city.[162] Innocent convinced the rebels to sign a peace but, after Frederick withdrew his garrison, Ranieri nonetheless had them slaughtered on 13 November. Frederick was enraged.[163] The new Pope was a master diplomat, and Frederick signed a peace treaty, which was soon broken.[164] Innocent showed his true Guelph face, and, together with most of the Cardinals, fled via Genoese galleys to Liguria, arriving on 7 July. His aim was to reach Lyon, where a new council was being held since 24 June 1245.[165][166] Despite initially appearing that the council could end with a compromise, the intervention of Ranieri, who had a series of insulting pamphlets published against Frederick (in which, among other things, he defined the emperor as a heretic and an Antichrist), led the prelates towards a less accommodating solution.[167] One month later, Innocent IV declared Frederick to be deposed as holy roman emperor, characterising him as a "friend of Babylon's sultan," "of Saracen customs," "provided with a harem guarded by eunuchs," like the schismatic emperor of Byzantium, and in sum a "heretic."[168]

The Pope backed Heinrich Raspe, landgrave of Thuringia, as rival for the imperial crown and set in motion a plot to kill Frederick and Enzo, with the support of the pope's brother-in-law Orlando de Rossi, another friend of Frederick.[note 8][169] The plotters were unmasked by the count of Caserta, however, and the city of Altavilla, where they had found shelter, was razed. The guilty were blinded, mutilated, and burnt alive or hanged. An attempt to invade the Kingdom of Sicily, under the command of Ranieri, was halted at Spello by Marino of Eboli, Imperial vicar of Spoleto.[170][171]

Innocent also sent a flow of money to Germany to cut off Frederick's power at its source. The archbishops of Cologne and Mainz also declared Frederick deposed, and in May 1246 Heinrich Raspe was chosen as the new king. On 5 August 1246 Heinrich, thanks to the Pope's money, managed to defeat an army of Conrad, son of Frederick, near Frankfurt. Frederick strengthened his position in Southern Germany, however, acquiring the Duchy of Austria, whose duke had died without heirs.[172] A year later Heinrich died, and the new anti-king was William II, Count of Holland.[173]

Between February and March 1247 Frederick settled the situation in Italy by means of the diet of Terni, naming his relatives or friends as vicars of the various lands.[174] He married his son Manfred to the daughter of Amedeo di Savoia and secured the submission of the marquis of Monferrato.[175][176] On his part, Innocent asked protection from the King of France, Louis IX, but the king was a friend of the Emperor and believed in his desire for peace.[177] A papal army under the command of Ottaviano degli Ubaldini never reached Lombardy, and the Emperor, accompanied by a massive army, held the next diet in Turin.[178][179]

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

An unexpected event was to change the situation dramatically. In June 1247 the important Lombard city of Parma expelled the Imperial functionaries and sided with the Guelphs.[180] Enzo was not in the city and could do nothing more than ask for help from his father, who came back to lay siege to the rebels, together with his friend Ezzelino III da Romano, tyrant of Verona. The besieged languished as the Emperor waited for them to surrender from starvation. He had a wooden city, which he called "Vittoria", built around the walls.[181][182]

On 18 February 1248, during one of these absences, the camp was suddenly assaulted and taken, and in the ensuing Battle of Parma the Imperial side was routed.[183] Frederick lost the Imperial treasure and with it any hope of maintaining the impetus of his struggle against the rebellious communes and against the pope, who began plans for a crusade against Sicily.[184] Frederick soon recovered and rebuilt an army, but this defeat encouraged resistance in many cities that could no longer bear the fiscal burden of his regime: Romagna, Marche and Spoleto were lost.[185][186]

In February 1249 Conrad fired his advisor and prime minister, the famous jurist and poet Pier delle Vigne, on charges of peculation and embezzlement.[187] Some historians suggest that Pier was planning to betray the Emperor, who, according to Matthew of Paris, cried when he discovered the plot.[188] Pier, blinded and in chains, died in Pisa, possibly by his own hand. Even more shocking for Frederick was the capture of his natural son Enzo of Sardinia by the Bolognese at the Battle of Fossalta, in May, 1249. Enzo was held in a palace in Bologna, where he remained captive until his death in 1272.[189][190]

War with Denmark

Battle of Lübeck

The Battle of Lübeck in 1256.

The relationship with the Kingdom of Denmark and Conrad III with King Eric IV of Denmark, who had a special relationship with each other.[191] Eric IV's death in 10 August 1250, Eric's brother Abel become King.[192] Both Abel and Conrad III met in Lübeck with peace treaty with Denmark, which the war between Denmark and Holy Roman Empire during Otto IV's reign.[193] When Abel died in 1252, with his brother, Christopher acceded the Danish throne. The relationship between Christopher I and Conrad III is become stall.[194][195]

Christopher I become suspensions with Conrad by taken Lübeck, a war broke out in 1259 between the Holy Roman Empire and Kingdom of Denmark over the control of Lübeck.[196] The first siege of Lübeck by the Danes on 4 June 1257; which the Danes was successful for a short while.[197] Conrad was anxious to get it back by force.[198] The Danish King was able to hold Lübeck for a couple of months until fall the following year.[199][200] With the second siege of Lübeck; which ended the Imperial was victory under Conirad was command. While Conrad III was at war with two fronts, he made peace with Poland.[201][202][203]

Peace and Second Barons' War

After Conrad III made peace with King Christopher I of Denmark in city of Luberk on 1258. Peace was restored and city of Lübeck was still part of the Empire, in fact that it was almost taken by Danish in the 1256 siege and were defeated.[204][205] By the following year on 29 May 1259,[206] King Christopher died after drinking poisoned communion wine from the hands of abbot Arnfast of Ryd Abbey in revenge for his mistreatment of Archbishop Erlendsen and the king's oppression of the church.[207][208][209]

LewesBattle Big

Monument to the Battle of Lewes; where the Plantagenets were defeated.

The reign of his half-brother, Henry III is most remembered for the constitutional crisis in this period of civil strife, which was provoked ostensibly by Henry III's demands for extra finances, but which marked a more general dissatisfaction with Henry's methods of government on the part of the English barons, discontent which was exacerbated by widespread famine. Baron Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester became leader of those who wanted to reassert the Magna Carta[210] and force the king to surrender more power to the baronial council.[211] In 1258, initiating the move toward reform, seven leading barons forced Henry to agree to the Provisions of Oxford, which effectively abolished the absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy, giving power to a council of twenty-four barons to deal with the business of government and providing for a great council in the form of a parliament every three years, to monitor their performance. Henry was forced to take part in the swearing of a collective oath to uphold the Provisions.[212]

He joined King Henry and Richard of Cornwall in fighting against Simon de Montfort's rebels.[213] After the shattering royalist defeat and with Conrad's son, Conrad of Swabia wounded at the Battle of Lewes[214], Richard and Conrad and his son took refuge in a windmill, Conrad III and his son escaped, while Richard, Henry and Prince Edward were prisoner of war until September 1265.[215]

Civil war

Conrad III and his son, Conrad FitzEmpress, later Conrad IV saw the effects of the a civil war in England when Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester rebelled Conrad's half-brother, Henry III.[83][216]

In Holy Roman Empire, several dukes and barons are issues to rebelled Conrad III as well, Frederick of Upper Lorraine's relationship with Conrad are been decreased throughout the four years. Henry invited his brother, Conrad to support.[217] In response, he sent 150,000 Germans soldiers into London. Frederick with few barons turned against Conrad, with Frederick's claim to the Imperial throne was becoming pro-war as well of Conrads' pro-peace.[218] Frederick captured Conrad, for a few weeks before Conrad escaped, Frederick lead his army and took Nuremberg and München. By result, Conrad had no choice to take on Frederick.[219]

On 21 June 1272, Conrad's army with loyal subjects re-gained Nuremberg, in few months after Frederick took Nuremberg from Conrad.[220][221] While Frederick failed to take Frankfurt, which Albert I, Duke of Saxony told Conrad to re-take München on August 1272.[222] Frederick also took Leipzig, Mariendorf and Koln. Conrad, Conrad and Otto III, Margrave of Brandenburg defeated Baron Rudolf of Baden at the Battle of Zürch in 1265.[223][224]

Civil War in Holy Roman Empire

Conrad III (sitting on the throne) setting Duke Frederick of Lorraine (Emperor Frederick of Lorraine) for treason and forced to exile; in Nuremberg Castle, Nuremberg on 2 March 1272.

Conrad took command of the Imperial army on 1 September 1272, and lead their army to attempted took re-take Baden, leading a successful, but lost a lot of men up to 150,000 men.[225] Conrad heard the news that Simon de Montfort was killed by his brother's loyal men at the Battle of Evesham.[226][227] Now, Henry and his son, Edward requested Conrad for the assistance, which Conrad agreed. Henry and Edward took 500,000 men each and travel to Frankfurt.[228][229][230]

Conrad re-claim the territories of Leipzig, Mariendorf and Koln with the help of his royal friend, Margrave Otto III. Bela IV, Henry III despased Frederick's claim to the Imperial throne was that Frederick wanting the Imperial throne, as he was pro-war. The German army now leads by Duke-Margrave Otto of Brandenburg as the Holy Roman Empire re took the remaining lands that Frederick took in 5 June 1273. Frederick turns to Conrad's rival, Bolesław V the Chaste in Poland to gain the Imperial throne from Conrad III. Bolesław V at first refused, this is at the time the Holy Roman Empire was at war with two fronts.[231]

Conrad learned that Prince Conrad wounded and escaped at the Battle of Straßburg.[232] Conrad took revenge and captured Baron Ludwig of Leipzing and put to trail of treason. Frederick went round two which failing took Frankfurt and Koln.[233] With the help of King Béla IV of Hungary, Conrad defeated Frederick but manage to escaped at the Battle of Limburg in winter of 1273. Frederick and Conrad fighting at the Battle of Wurzburg, Conrad was managed to defeated Frederick for the second time and Frederick was forced to exile on 2 March 1274.[234]

War with Ottokar II of Bohemia

IV László és Konrad III

The Meeting of Ladislaus IV and Conrad III at the Battle on the Marchfeld.

In November 1274, the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg decided that all Crown estates seized since the death of the Emperor Frederick II must be restored, and that King Ottokar II must answer to the Diet for not recognising the new emperor, which Ottokar II's supported Conrad in the 1254 election. Ottokar refused to appear or to restore the duchies of Austria, Styria and Carinthia together with the March of Carniola, which he had claimed through his first wife, a Babenberg heiress, and which he had seized while disputing them with another Babenberg heir, Margrave Hermann VI of Baden.[235] Conrad refuted Ottokar's succession to the Babenberg patrimony, declaring that the provinces reverted to the Imperial crown due to the lack of male-line heirs.[236][237] King Ottokar was placed under the imperial ban; and in June 1276 war was declared against him.[238]

Having persuaded Ottokar's former ally Duke Henry XIII of Lower Bavaria to switch sides, Conrad compelled the Bohemian king to cede the four provinces to the control of the royal administration in November 1276.[239] Conrad then re-invested Ottokar with the Kingdom of Bohemia, betrothed one of his daughters to Ottokar's son Wenceslaus II, and made a triumphal entry into Vienna.[240] Ottokar, however, raised questions about the execution of the treaty, made an alliance with some Piast chiefs of Poland, and procured the support of several German princes, again including Henry XIII of Lower Bavaria.[241] To meet this coalition, Conrad formed an alliance with King Ladislaus IV of Hungary and gave additional privileges to the Viennese citizens.[242] On 26 August 1278, the rival armies met at the Battle on the Marchfeld, where Ottokar was defeated and killed.[243] The March of Moravia was subdued and its government entrusted to Conrad's representatives, leaving Ottokar's widow Kunigunda of Slavonia in control of only the province surrounding Prague, while the young Wenceslaus II was again betrothed to Conrad's youngest daughter Judith.[244]

Duke Frederick's Comeback

After Conrad defeated Frederick in 1272 Civil war, which forced Frederick into exile. Frederick made a comeback in the Holy Roman Empire in 1279, five years after Conrad's later reign. Frederick's legitimate claim to the Imperial throne since 1264.[245] Both Conrad and his father are pro-peace monarchs, while Frederick was pro-war and wants to conqueror. Frederick was also made allies with Conrad's rival the Kingdom of Poland.[246]

Leszek II the Black's army re-took Wrocław on 1 June 1279.[247] One of the famous German generals, Rudolf I of Habsburg died on 8 June 1279, which marks the one of the mourns of the rest of the Empire.[248]

Conrad made allies with his cousin, Edward I of England, at the Battle of Aachen with 5-4. After the loss of Nürnberg in 1281 and the Holy Roman Empire re-took Nürnberg a year later in 1282.[249][note 9][250] On 1 February 1283, Frederick assassinated in his rebel capital of Köln by his own guards.[251] With the civil war at the end, it will be loyalty among the German subjects. Until on 1531, 248 years later, the Schmalkaldic League against the Empire under the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.[252][253]

Sicilian Vespers and aftermath

The rising had its origin in the struggle of investiture between the Pope and the Hohenstaufen Holy Roman Emperors for control over Italy, especially the Church's private demesne known as the Papal States.[254] These lay between Hohenstaufen lands in northern Italy and the Hohenstaufen Kingdom of Sicily in the south; the Hohenstaufen also at the time ruled Germany.[255][256]

In 1240 Pope Innocent IV excommunicated Frederick II and declared him deposed, and roused opposition against him in Germany and Italy. When Frederick died in 1242, his dominion was inherited by his cousin, Conrad FitzCountess.[257] Conrad declared himself claiming as its rightful hair to the Italian throne. Manfred had no involvement in German politics, where the interregnum lasted longer and there was no emperor until 1274. He first styled himself as vicar of his nephew Conradin, Conrad's son.[258][259][260] However, following a false rumour that Conradin was dead, Manfred later had himself crowned as king. He wished for a reconciliation with the papacy, which may have explained his support for the landless Baldwin II, Latin Emperor.[261] However, Pope Urban IV and later Pope Clement IV were not prepared to recognize Manfred as lawful ruler of Sicily and first excommunicated then sought to depose him by force of arms. After abortive attempts to enlist England as the champion of the Papacy against Manfred, Urban IV settled on Charles I of Naples as his candidate for the Sicilian throne. Charles invaded Italy and defeated and killed Manfred in 1266 at the Battle of Benevento, becoming King of Sicily. In 1268 Conradin, who had meanwhile come of age, invaded Italy to press his claim to the throne, but he was defeated at the Battle of Tagliacozzo and executed afterwards. Charles was now undisputed master of the Kingdom of Sicily.[262]

The event takes its name from an insurrection which began at the start of Vespers, the sunset prayer marking the beginning of the night vigil on Easter Monday, 30 March 1282, at the Church of the Holy Spirit just outside Palermo.[263][264] Beginning on that night, thousands of Sicily's French inhabitants were massacred within six weeks. The events that started the uprising are not known for certain, but the various retellings have common elements.[265] Conrad makes alliance with Peter III of Aragon and invade Sicily to overthrow Charles I of Anjou. After the overthrow, Conrad recognized Peter III as King of Sicily and re-created alliance with Sicily since 1266; but this is before his death.[266][267][268]

Peace policy

Emperor Konrad III Landfrieden

Conrad III announces land peace on a court day. Illustration from the chronicle of the bishops of Würzburg of Lorenz Fries, mid-16th century

A generally acknowledged king had to remedy the lack of peace and justice perceived by contemporaries.[269] The Reich administration was reorganized in Franconia. At the district Court Rothenburg, the records were recorded in the court books in 1274. They are among the oldest of their kind.[270] Conrad began a royal Land Peace implementation, which was initially limited to regional and temporary agreements. In 1276, a country confined to Austria was issued peace.[271][272] There followed in 1281 land peace for the regions of Bavaria, Franconia, Rhineland and again Austria.[273][274] The king's far North could not be included in the same way; Peacekeeping took over the individual territorial masters there.[275] In Würzburg at the end of March 1287 the peace was built on the model of the of the Mainz Reich's Peace from 1235 to the whole empire.[276]

Conrad began a royal policy, which was initially limited to regional and time-limited arrangements.[277][278][279] In 1276 a land peace restricted to Austria was issued. This was followed by 1281 land peace agreements for the regions Bavaria, Franconia, Rhineland and again Austria.[280][281] He than reunited with France with Philip III of France and his son, Philip IV in years 1285 to 1288.[282]

Death and succession

Mort de Frederick II

Conrad III on his deathbed on the final hours in 1287.

Conrad's health become to faded when on fall 1280, after he attempted to secure the election of his son Rudolf as German king.[283] The electors refused, however, claiming inability to support two kings, but in reality, perhaps, wary of the increasing power of the House of Habsburg.[284] However Conrad III then abdicated the Germanic throne in 5 April 1282, and then on 22 June, Conrad then abdicated the Duke of Swabia title to Rudolf I as well as his election as King of Germany.

He first trouble when he suffered a stabbing wound of an assassination attempt at the beginning of his reign. The wounds may cause crippling for the rest of Conrad's life.[285] His second was he suffered from pains in his stomach, causing his health slowly declining draining his twenties and thirties.[286] His first illness fall on winter of 1280 when his health first becoming to decline, but soon recovered March 1281.[287][288]

By May 1287, Conrad suffered a stroke, left him paralyzed.[289][290] Before Conrad III's death, his elder son, Rudolf I was chosen to be his successor, and went on to be elected in October of five years after Conrad's death.[291] Conrad III retired to his imperial palace in Nuremberg where he died there on 22 January 1285 at the age of 67. He was buried in Goslar Cathedral in Goslar.[292][293] He is the only canonized Lusignan Holy Roman Emperor, and couple of his successors were named Conrad.


In the immediate aftermath of Conrad's death, Conrad successfully claimed his father's lands; he later left on the contuning War of the Sicilian Vespers. Conrad's contemporaries called him stupor mundi, the "astonishment of the world";[100] the majority of his contemporaries were indeed astonished – and sometimes repelled – by the pronounced unorthodoxy of the Plantagenet-Lusignan emperor and his temperamental stubbornness.[294] Conrad earned the nickname, "Artusmeile" (French: Serré-blindé) which means "tight mail" in English by the cursaders because the reason that Conrad was in tight chain-mail that was given by his father in his 14th birthday; because of his most successful Seventh Crusade.[295]

Conrad was a popular emperor and a lot of monarchs expressed much grief on news of his death.[296] Writing in the 1290s, Louis IX's grandson, Philip IV commented that "he lost an favorite ally". He was a religious sceptic.[100] Despite accusations of blasphemy and paganism, and the presence of pagan and oriental elements in his imperial conceptions, Henry remained substantially linked to traditional Christianity, as shown by his early contacts with both the Franciscans and the Cistercians (in 1215 he was admitted to that order's praying community), as well as with St Elizabeth.[100] In spite of this, Henry 's religious scepticism was unusual for the era in which he lived, and to his contemporaries was highly shocking and scandalous.[297] His papal enemies used it against him at every turn; he was subsequently referred to as preambulus Antichristi (predecessor of the Antichrist) by Pope Gregory IX, and, as Frederick allegedly did not respect the privilegium potestatis of the Church, he was excommunicated.[298][299]

Personality and appearance

Frederick II and eagle
Portrait from the "Manfred manuscript" (Biblioteca Vaticana, Pal. lat 1071) of De arte venandi cum avibus.
Castel del Monte entrance detail2
Detail of the Castel del Monte

Conrad inherited French,[300] English, German, Norman, and Sicilian blood, but by training, lifestyle, and temperament he was "most of all Sicilian."[301] Maehl concludes that "To the end of his life he remained above all a Sicilian grand signore, and his whole imperial policy aimed at expanding the Sicilian kingdom into Italy rather than the German kingdom southward."[301] Cantor concludes that "Frederick had no intention of giving up Naples and Sicily, which were the real strongholds of its power. He was, in fact, uninterested in Germany."[302] At the young age, Conrad was appearance of an femboy, who is act very feminine.

A Damascene chronicler, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, left a physical description of Henry based on the testimony of those who had seen the emperor in person in Jerusalem: "The Emperor was covered with blonde hair, was bald and myopic. Had he been a slave, he would not have fetched 200 dirhams at market." Henry's eyes were described variously as blue, or "green like those of a serpent".[303] Charles's nose are small and perfect, which the beginning his reign towards ages of 26 to 37, he had no beard (which he had a little stubble). Conrad's mouth is small just like his ally, Alfonzo X of Castile.[304][305] The young Conrad III was charming with no beard before and during his reign (ages 26 to 37).[306] With his first assassination attempted, he left the young Kaiser wounded and cripple which leads his legs shaking with injuries.[307][308] Conrad III was in fact most handsome Prince and even young Emperor.[309][310] His appearance through out the Holy Roman Empire. During at war, his mail armor was tight which he was fan of tight armors.[311][312]


Saint Conrad the Great
Frederich II der Große in Stupor Mundi
Portrait of Conrad III from the Stupor Mundi (1284)
Holy Roman Emperor, Confessor
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion
Canonized 11 July 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII
Feast 22 January
Attributes Depicted as Holy Roman Emperor, generally with a crown, holding a sceptre with a fleur-de-lys on the end, possibly with green-yellow clothing with a trim of gold and with the coat of arms of the Lusignan Dynasty.
Patronage Holy Roman Empire, German monarchy, Order of Saint James of Altopascio, Order of Saint Benedict, Goslar Cathedral, hairdressers; passementiers (lacemakers)

Conrad become the patron saint of the Order of Saint James of Altopascio, together with French King Louis IX, Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed the canonisations of Louis and Conrad on 11 July 1297;[313] he is the only French king and the second Holy Roman Emperor to be declared a saints respectfully.[314] The impact of his canonization was so great that an couple of his successors were named Conrad.

His feast day is on Conrad's death date, 22 June. While being venerated in within the Roman Catholic Church as well as the Anglican Communion, which possibility of Conrad's actually in the communion, or not.

He is named the Oblate of the Order of Saint Benedict, becoming the second Emperor besides Henry II. He is the patron saint of the city of Nuremberg, and of the Goslar Cathedral, in Goslar, Germany.

Literature and science

Besides his great tolerance (which, however, did not apply to Christian heretics), Henry had a great thirst for knowledge and learning. Frederick employed Jews from Sicily, who had immigrated there from the holy land, at his court to translate Greek and Arabic works.[315]

He played a major role in promoting literature through the Sicilian School of poetry. His Sicilian royal court in Palermo, saw the first use of a literary form of an Italo-Romance language, Sicilian. The poetry that emanated from the school had a significant influence on literature and on what was to become the modern Italian language.[citation needed] The school and its poetry were saluted by Dante and his peers and predate by at least a century the use of the Tuscan idiom as the elite literary language of Italy.[316]

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

It is a scientific book, approaching the subject from Aristotle but based closely on observation and experiment throughout, Divisivus et Inquisitivus, in the words of the preface; it is at the same time a scholastic book, minute and almost mechanical in its divisions and subdivisions. It is also a rigidly practical book, written by a falconer for falconers and condensing a long experience into systematic form for the use of others.[317]
Frederick's pride in his mastery of the art is illustrated by the story that, when he was ordered to become a subject of the Great Khan (Batu) and receive an office at the Khan's court, he remarked that he would make a good falconer, for he understood birds very well.[318] He maintained up to fifty falconers at a time in his court, and in his letters he requested Arctic gyrfalcons from Lübeck and even from Greenland. One of the two existing versions was modified by his son Manfred, also a keen falconer.

Frederick loved exotic animals in general: his menagerie, with which he impressed the cold cities of Northern Italy and Europe, included hounds, giraffes, cheetahs, lynxes, leopards, exotic birds and an elephant.[294]

He was also alleged to have carried out a number of experiments on people. These experiments were recorded by the monk Salimbene di Adam in his Chronicles.[319] Amongst the experiments included shutting a prisoner up in a cask to see if the soul could be observed escaping though a hole in the cask when the prisoner died; feeding two prisoners, sending one out to hunt and the other to bed and then having them disemboweled to see which had digested their meal better; imprisoning children without any contact to see if they would develop a natural language.[320]

In the language deprivation experiment young infants were raised without human interaction in an attempt to determine if there was a natural language that they might demonstrate once their voices matured.[321][322][323] It is claimed he was seeking to discover what language would have been imparted unto Adam and Eve by God. In his Chronicles Salimbene wrote that Frederick bade "foster-mothers and nurses to suckle and bathe and wash the children, but in no ways to prattle or speak with them; for he would have learnt whether they would speak the Hebrew language (which had been the first), or Greek, or Latin, or Arabic, or perchance the tongue of their parents of whom they had been born. But he laboured in vain, for the children could not live without clappings of the hands, and gestures, and gladness of countenance, and blandishments."[324][325][326][327]

Frederick was also interested in the stars, and his court was host to many astrologers and astronomers, including Michael Scot and Guido Bonatti.[328][329] He often sent letters to the leading scholars of the time (not only in Europe) asking for solutions to questions of science, mathematics and physics.[330][331] In 1224 he founded the University of Naples, the world's oldest state university: now called Università Federico II, it remained the sole atheneum of Southern Italy for centuries.[332][333]


See also


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

one effect of this approach has been to privilege historical winners, aspects of medieval Europe that became important in later centuries, above all the nation state.... Arguably the liveliest cultural innovation in the 13th century was Mediterranean, centered on Frederick II's polyglot court and administration in Palermo....Sicily and the Italian South in later centuries suffered a long slide into overtaxed poverty and marginality. Textbook narratives therefore focus not on medieval Palermo, with its Muslim and Jewish bureaucracies and Arabic-speaking monarch, but on the historical winners, Paris and London.[334]

Modern medievalists no longer accept the notion, sponsored by the popes, of Frederick as an anti-Christian. They argue that Frederick understood himself as a Christian monarch in the sense of a Byzantine emperor, thus as God's "viceroy" on earth.[100][335] Whatever his personal feelings toward religion, certainly submission to the pope did not enter into the matter in the slightest. This was in line with the Hohenstaufen Kaiser-Idee, the ideology claiming the Holy Roman Emperor to be the legitimate successor to the Roman Emperors.[336]

20th century treatments of Frederick vary from the sober (Wolfgang Stürner) to the dramatic (Ernst Kantorowicz).[100] However, all agree on Frederick II's significance as Holy Roman Emperor.[100] In the judgment of British historian Geoffrey Barraclough, Frederick's extensive concessions to German princes—which he made in the hopes of securing his base for his Italian projects—undid the political power of his predecessors and postponed German unity for centuries.[337][338]

Family and children

Conrad III had ten legitimate children and two illegitimate children, and married Matilda of Hohenstaufen on 21 October 1250, at aged at 21.





  1. On 17 July 1245, Conrad's father-in-law Emperor Frederick II was disposed and excommunicated four times by Pope Innocent IV, which making Frederick's lost his Imperial crown as Emperor. Which led to both Conrad, the Duke of Swabia and Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia dueled and Conrad's succeeded to gain right to the Imperial crown which he was elected in 1256.
  2. Even though that Conrad III named his son Rudolf his successor in 1284, but will have to gained the Prince-electors in the upcoming election in 1287, but eventually win the elector as Emperor on October 1287.
  3. Historians are divided in their use of the terms "Plantagenet" and "Lusignan" in regards to Conrad III and his sons. Some class Conrad III to be the first Plantagenet Holy Roman Emperor; others refer to Conrad, Conrad IV and Albert I as the Lusignan dynasty, and consider Albert I to be the first Lusignan ruler.
  4. "Patron saint of Saint James the Great"
  5. The Mamluk Sultanate was one of the most "powerful" Islamic sultans in the land, with wars against Crusader states and Illkhanate. By 1250, during the end of the Seventh Crusade which ended with Mamluk victory with took the holy land of Jerusalem.
  6. Among the chroniclers who documented the court were Walter Map, Gerald of Wales, John of Salisbury, Richard FitzNeal, Roger of Hoveden, Peter of Blois and Stephen de Fougères.
  7. During the war between Holy Roman Empire and Denmark, Imperial marshal Albert I, Duke of Saxony was able to push the Denes from some point which the Lübeck was now controlled by Kingdom of Denmark after June 1257's siege. But the Holy Roman Empire took back after the fourteen-months later.
  8. Under the Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia's reign as Anti-king, historians said that Henry Raspe will already almost become Holy Roman Emperor, with alliance with Pope Alexander IV. Conrad when Duke of Swabia and Henry Raspe was into a duel, ended Henry Raspe abdicated German throne and Conrad was elected as King of the Romans as Conrad IV in 1250.
  9. Pope Alexander IV literally shopped around for a buyer for the crown of Sicily. In 1256 King Henry III of England agreed to buy the crown for his son Edmund for 135,541 German marks. He raised secular and church taxes in England and paid the Pope 60,000 marks, but could raise no more. The people and clergy of England refused to be taxed any further to enable an English prince to sit on the Sicilian throne. On December 18, 1258 Pope Alexander issued a bull releasing Henry from his obligation to buy the throne, but he kept the 60,000 marks already paid (cf. Runciman, Chapter 4).


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External links

Conrad III, Holy Roman Emperor
Born: 8 May 1217 Died: 22 June 1285
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Hugh X
Count of Angoulême and La Marche
Succeeded by
Hugh XI and II
Preceded by
Henry Raspe
King of the Romans
Title next held by
Rudolf I and II
Title last held by
Frederick II and VI
Duke of Swabia
King of Italy
Disputed by Pope Alexander IV
Reason for dispute:
Wars of the Lombardy Crown (1258 – 1272)
Holy Roman Emperor
Preceded by
Ottokar II of Bohemia
Duke of Austria and Styria
Succeeded by
Albert I
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