Biography of emperador del Sacro Imperio Enrique IV (1050-1106)

Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, born in Goslar in 1050 and died 7 August 1106 at Liege. The first part of the Guerra of investiture took place during his reign.

Biographical synthesis

Belonging to the House of Franconia, was son of Henry III and Agnes of Aquitaine. In 1054 he/she was recognized as heir to the Empire, which was the death of his father in 1056, but while still a minor, the Regency was taken by his mother. This Regency lasted five and a half years. In 1063 he/she was under the tutelage of Bishop Anno of Cologne and the Archbishop Adalbert of Bremen, which became the true rulers of the Empire. It reached the age of majority in 1065 and from the following year dispensed with their old guardians Council and assumed power in person. He/She married Bertha of Turin and in 1069 tried to divorce her, but was urged to keep her as wife and ended up being one of his main collaborators. He/She launched expeditions against Saxony and Thuringia and defeated the Saxons in 1071; He/She was defeated by them two years later, but it definitely beat them in 1075.

That year, he/she faced the Pope Gregory VII, resulting in the beginning of which Guerra of the endowment would be called. He/She refused to submit to Gregorio, who excommunicated him (1076); the anathema released his vassals of the pledge of allegiance and they rebelled against Henry, who should humble himself before the Pope to recover the imperial dignity (1077). The rebels chose King Rudolph of Swabia and at the same time Henry appointed an antipope, Clement III (1080); After the death of Rodolfo (1080), he/she became anti-King Herman of Salm, which effectively also opposed the emperor. In 1081 Henry was crowned Emperor in Rome, and upon his return to Germany in 1084 had sufficient power to deal with the Affairs of the Empire. In 1088 his dominion over Saxony was firm and two years later traveled to Italy to try to curb the Papal opposition, although it did not obtain the desired results and was unable to leave the country until 1097. In 1105 rebelled against him his heir, Henry, against which it fought the Emperor, until he/she was finally defeated the following year. In summer, Enrique IV became ill and died shortly after. At his death it took Henry Vpower. Henry IV was buried five years after his death in the Cathedral of Speyer, as it had been their desire.

Time of the regencies

When he/she assumed the Regency, the Empress could hold on to power at the beginning thanks to the Alliance with the Papacy, but after the death of the Pope Víctor II Lords of Germany tried to regain the privileges from which they had been deprived during the reign of Enrique III. In 1058 lnes agreed the political marriage of his daughter Judith with Salomon, heir to the throne of Hungary; an imperial army was sent to help Andrés of Hungary against his brother Belaaspirations. The German army was severely defeated, Solomon took refuge in Germany, assuming the Crown of Hungary Bela and the Duke of Poland took the opportunity to deviate from obedience to the Empire.

The weakness of the Government of Aquitaine Inés made it possible for the triumph of the coup of Bishop Anno of Cologne, which made the Empress to give him his powers: with the connivance of Duke Otto of Bavaria and the count Ecberto of Brunswick, and probably supported by Duke Godfrey of Lorraine, in April of 1062 Anno took hold of the King and the Imperial insignia and moved him to Colognetaking the power in place. A part of Henry's education was entrusted to the Archbishop Adalberto de Bremen, which was gaining ever greater levels of power, taken trips to Italy of Anno and prestige that provided him with a military victory in Hungary.

The Government of the Empire

The coming of age of Enrique IV was declared March 20, 1065, hugging the Emperor sword in Worms. But still exercising effective power Adalberto, which used the imperial policy for their own benefit. In 1066 Tribum diet Moguls urged Henry to that it relieved of their power to the Archbishop. Adalberto fall marked the beginning of the personal reign of the Emperor, but an illness of Henry raised the alarm over the succession and their wedding was quick with Berta of Turin, who had been promised ten years earlier. At that time it was the topic of the imperial coronation in Rome, but Lorena Godofredo intervention against the Normans did lose to Henry the advantage that he/she had obtained as a protector of the Holy See. 1069 Henry tried to divorce his wife, but Pedro Damiano Apostolic legacy made to the King accepted to Berta, which never again attempted to divorce and that after the birth of her first child in 1071 became trusted person and regular collaborator of the monarch.

Henry IV began to reign itself and the first problem he/she had to face was mitigating the effects that the regencies had caused in Saxony, where power had been usurped by ambitious bishops. First occupied eastern Saxony and Thuringia, where he/she made raising castles in strategic situations, both to defend the territory, as to avoid that he/she is form coalitions of the nobles in the event of revolt; He/She completed this measure through the institution of ministerial for the South of Germany and the establishment of garrisons in the fortresses. This brought the discontent of the Saxon nobles, that sensed that any opportunity to increase the central power would be exploited by the emperor. It is not known if Enrique found the occasion or created it, to accuse the Duke of Bavaria, Otto of Nordheim, of treason and forced to prove their innocence through a court battle with his accuser, of low social extraction; the Duke of Bavaria refused to undergo the ordeal and was deprived of his possessions in a diet of Saxon nobles in Goslar (1070). Otto found refuge at the Court of the Duke Magno of Saxony, who from then clashed directly with the emperor. The rebels could not bear the Imperial thrust and surrendered unconditionally in 1071. Otto was jailed for one year, after which he/she was allowed to retain their inheritances in Saxony.

After the easy victory, Henry wanted to ensure its domination over other areas and ordered the Dukes of Poland and Bohemia which is filed before him in Misnia. The disobedience of the Duke of Poland led Henry to prepare a punitive expedition, but while preparations were made, a conspiracy hatched in the East of Saxony: inspired in part by the Bishops of Magdeburg and Halberstadt, there took part the margraves Misnia and brands from the North and East; Otto of Nordheim also participated. The plans were to confront Henry until the armies concentrate for the campaign against Poland. The emperor took by surprise and had to take refuge in the castle of Harzburg, but the emergence of a huge Saxon army forced to flee the night of August 10, 1073. Enrique surrendered and had access to all the demands of its enemies, while waiting to meet the army convened for the campaign in Poland, that the Emperor intended to launch against the Saxons. But when the army gathered in October, the situation of the King was so weak that the Princes who composed it began to negotiate on its own with the Saxons. Help came you to Henry by the cities, whose inhabitants preferred the presence of a strong central power instead of the arbitrariness of a multiplicity of powers: he/she received an excellent reception in Worms and soon it could count on the support of the Rhenish cities and colony. This brought an army which marched northward, although this was not strong enough to confront the Saxons and had to reach agreements, which were ratified at an Assembly in Gerstungen on February 1074: raised castles would be destroyed and the Saxons jurarían fidelity to change themselves to resolve issues that only concerniesen to your County.

Peace actually showed an increase in the power of Enrique, since negotiations not the magnates in the South of Germany took part. And soon could the Emperor avenge the humiliation to find an excuse to launch against Saxony: Although the castle had been destroyed according to the agreements of Gerstungen, religious buildings remained intact and were destroyed by a group of farmers outraged by the past political actions of Henry. This was it enough to proclaim that the Saxons had broken the peace and raised an army to punish Saxony. The Saxons claimed to be judged in an Assembly of nobles, but the magnates of the South had not forgiven that they let them aside in the negotiations of peace two years earlier and Enrique was ready to take revenge. While preparing the army, the Emperor launched an expedition against Hungary, where Solomon had been dethroned by his cousin, Géza. The Imperials were defeated and the Pope took the opportunity to declare the deposition of Solomon, although it was the Byzantine Emperor, Miguel VII, who crowned Geza in 1075. The spring of that year Henry could count for your cause with the Dukes of Swabia, Bavaria, Carinthia, the upper and the lower Lorraine and Bohemia. On 9 June the Imperial Knights (because it was a battle of Knights, where the infantry took light weight) defeated the Saxons along the Unstrut River; in October, before a new imperial burden, the Saxon nobles surrendered unconditionally. The Emperor imposed severe penalties, imprisoning nobles and bishops in different prisons in the custody of its allies; confiscated much of their land and gave some of them to his supporters, and began to rise again the castles.

The excommunication of Enrique IV

After defeating the Saxons, the Emperor felt strong enough in Germany, and at Christmas of 1075 did nobles swear to his son Conrad, born a year earlier, as his heir. Also intervened in the Affairs of Italy, appointed the Bishop of Milan, and so openly defying the Pope Gregorio VII. In January 1076 he/she was in glossing, when he/she received a papal Embassy threatening excommunication if he/she was not subjected to the dictates of Gregorio VII. Enrique convened a Synod at Worms and other in Piacenza, which issued the deposition of Gregory; He/She replied in the Synod of lent with the excommunication of the Emperor, which automatically freed of all faithfulness to his vassals. Not only the noble, but also bishops, deserted the cause of Henry; Saxon Moguls abandoned their prisons and returned to rise in arms, completely overriding the victory of Unstrut. An Assembly of nobles, among which included the Saxons, met in Tribum (October 16, 1076), with the assistance of the Papal legates, which ratified the decision that Henry should undergo penance measures dictated by the Pope if he/she wanted to be recognized as emperor. And this understood that humiliation before the Pope was the only way to regain his power and deprive his enemies in their main arguments against Germany. In January 1077 he/she traveled to Italy and be humiliated publicly to Gregorio VII against the Palace of Canossa, getting absolution.

But the German princes did not accept the papal decision and arguing that the acquittal had granted to certain terms that Henry had not respected, they stated that the excommunication was still current and continued in absentia. On 13 March, gathered on a diet in Forchheim, anti-King they chose the Rodolfo Duke de Suabia. This election meant a novelty for two reasons: the right of choice, which was prerogative of all the German princes, was on this occasion exercised by a minority; In addition, turned to the elective procedure a relevance that was lost in the predominantly hereditary principle benefit from the restoration of the monarchy by the Saxons: Rodolfo had to renounce the rights of inheritance of his son and the appointment of bishops and make a pledge of allegiance to the Pope.

The choice of Rodolfo was minority and the inhabitants of the Kingdom they preferred an absolute monarch who dominated by the Assembly of noble King, so after Canossa, Henry still could count on enough supporters. And although the papacy had recognized the electoral rights of the Princes, not accepted however their right to depose the Emperor, which legally made that two Kings had. Enrique could count on the southeast of the country, while the effective power of Rodolfo was confined to Saxony. Henri IV formed an army of Bavarians and bohemos to attack Swabia, where the influence of both kings was fair; After deposing the rebellious Dukes, Henry gave the Duchy of Swabia to Leopold of Eppestein and later, in 1079 to his father-in-law, the Earl of Staufen, which thereafter was an important support for their cause. Henry had the advantage of the neutrality of the Pope, so in 1080 it was able to carry the war to the enemy territory and invaded Saxony. The battle of Flarchheim (27 January) did not give positive results, but thanks to the diplomacy, Enrique won the support of Magno of Saxony and his son Herman and the margrave of Misnia.

Meanwhile the rebel Princes held a Synod, which under the direction of a Pontifical legacy, had to decide on the legitimacy of the Government of Henry. This sent the Synod delegates that did fail the Assembly and Gregorio VII reacted excommunicating again to Henry at the Synod of lent (1080). The addicted bishops Enrique met in Bamberg and renounced obedience to Gregory; an Assembly of nobles in Mainz had the same result; and on July 25, an episcopal Synod at Brixen (Italy), Gregorio VII was deposed, and instead appointed Pope to Ravenna (Clement III) of Wiberto. In autumn Henry gathered an army and marched to Thuringia to confront Rodolfo; Although Henry was defeated at the battle of Hohen-Molsen, Rodolfo of Swabia died from injuries received. This gave time to the emperor to deal with the problems in Italy.

Henry IV remained in Italy between 1081 and 1084. He/She was crowned Emperor in Rome by antipope Clement III, although imperial authority in Italy continued to be precarious. In Germany, meanwhile, enemies of Henry had been elected King Herman of Salm, who, like Rodolfo, was confined in Saxony; his power was lower to that of his predecessor and the subsequent death of the margrave of the North mark, Udo (1082) and Otto of Nordheim deprived of military support that would you deal with Enrique. Herman of Salm abandoned attempts to enforce his election in 1088, retreating to his native Lorraine.

Height of the power of Enrique IV

Crowned Emperor, Henry returned to Germany in 1084. There had been a papal party led by Otto legacy, which would be the most serious enemy of Henry during all his reign onwards. In 1085 Otto used the argument of the excommunication of Henry to make peace with the Saxons, in an Assembly that had met to negotiate in Gerstingen; It extended the ecclesiastical reform in Saxony, which became a political against emperor weapon when Saxon Moguls adhered to it, since it meant the restoration of ecclesiastical properties in their possessions.

But meantime Enrique consolidated its position in the rest of Germany. At a Synod at Mainz in 1085 was confirmed the deposition of Gregorio VII and confirmation in the choice of Clement III. At this Synod the emperor was extended to the entire Kingdom of Dios peace, which had already been proclaimed in Liège and Cologne in 1081 and 1083. For the first time in 1085 was Enrique penetrate in Saxony in peace and get more than Magdeburg, received by the margrave of Misnia, Ecberto. But there Enrique began to appoint bishops for Saxon dioceses, by reacting to the nobles, who in September forced the emperor to leave the Duchy. In 1087, Henry reached agreements with Misnia Ecberto, who broke his word shortly after. But the bellicose margrave was isolated by Saxons, desirous of achieving peace and maintaining their possessions through the recognition of Henry as Emperor themselves. In 1088 Ecberto was declared a traitor by a Saxon diet and its disappearance, coupled with the resignation of anti-King Herman of Salm, made the war is extinguiese and Enrique brought recognition of the Saxon barons.

Between 1088 and 1090 Enrique IV power reached its peak. In May of 1087 had assured his succession with the appointment as his son King Conrad. He/She managed to restore its ecclesiastical influence in Bavaria and Lorraine, and strengthened its position in the North mark married with Adelaide, daughter of the Prince of Kiev. But since the arrival to the Pontifical throne of Urban II appeared to the Emperor a new adversary that allied, not only with the German opposition, but also with the Lombard cities. It was work that Guelfo, son of the Duke of Bavaria, marry with Matilde di Toscana. Also was the work of the Pope that in Lombardy the nobility and the people unite and Milan signed an alliance with the neighbouring cities to get rid of the German domain. Enrique arrived in Italy in April 1090 to counteract the effects of this dangerous Alliance and initially its management was successful, but papal policy was strangling Enrique props and carrying his own family betrayal: in 1093 Conrad joined the Papal party, married the daughter of Roger of Sicily, and took the lead of the Lombard rebellioncutting off the retreat of the emperor. And that same year his wife, suspected of his marital infidelity, took refuge along with Matilde di Toscana, adding his support to the Guelphs and pulling it to the emperor. So, after a few initial successes, Enrique was unable to leave Italy, staying precariously in Verona between 1094 and 1097, until the breakdown of the Alliance of Matilda of Tuscany with the Guelphs (1096) and the signing of the peace with the Duke of Bavaria (1097) came to open the path of retreat to Germany.

Last years of reign

During the stay in Italy of the Emperor the weakness of the Germanic Lords had prevented them from rebelling effectively and when Henry returned to Germany only found small disturbances in Swabia, whose Duke, Federico, had been entrusted the Government of the Empire during Henry's absence. The flare-up of revolt were dissolved after the confirmation of Federico in his Duchy. In 1098, on a diet at Mainz, Henry, second son of the Emperor, was elected King of the Romans instead of Conrad. From this moment until 1104 developed an unusual period of peace in Germany, symptom of this one, which recognized the noble rights claiming they both the weakness of the nobility, finally recognizing the Emperor, with broad consensus. With the Papacy, however, the situation was not very encouraging, because, although after the death of the antipope Clement III (1100) Enrique said on a diet at Mainz (1103) their intention to be reconciled with the Papacy, the Pope Pascal II, successor of urban II, kept existing excommunication launched by his predecessor, which made that you seem not have solution in life of the emperor. This state of affairs was that determined its fall.

Henry V, the heir, knew that his authority over the Empire that would inherit would be very precarious if the excommunication of his father is not solved and in 1105 embraced the cause of Pascal II, betraying Enrique and putting it in front of a revolt of discontented nobles. The Emperor called the return to the loyalty of his son, who refused to accept the authority of an excommunicated Emperor. Henri IV had the loyalty of the cities of the Rhine, while his son already dominated entire Saxony and good part of Bavaria. But it was not enough and the Emperor had to force an escape from Mainz at the end of October. He/She was finally captured and brought before the diet held at Ingelheim, where for fear of losing life renounced the throne and handed over the Imperial insignia. However, the following year he/she managed to escape from his prison and returned to be backed by the Lords of the Lorena and the cities of the Rhine, in spring inflicted a severe defeat on Enrique V troops in the vicinity of the city of Liège. Henry IV became ill soon after; before his death he/she sent a last message his son where he/she asked forgiveness for his supporters.


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