Babenberg was a noble dynasty of Austrian margraves and dukes. From Bamberg in the Duchy of Franconia, the Babenbergs ruled the Imperial Margraviate of Austria from its creation in 976 AD until its elevation to a duchy in 1156, from until the extinction of the line in 1246, whereafter they were succeeded by the House of Habsburg; the Babenberg family can be broken down into two distinct groups: 1) The Franconian Babenbergs, the so-called Elder House of Babenberg, whose name refers to Babenburg Castle, the present site of Bamberg Cathedral. Called Popponids after their progenitor Count Poppo of Grapfeld, they were related to the Frankish Robertian dynasty and ancestors of the Franconian Counts of Henneberg and of Schweinfurt. 2) The Austrian Babenbergs, descendants of Margrave Leopold I, who ruled Austria from 976 onwards. This second group claimed to have originated from the first, scholars have not been able to verify that claim. Today, a direct lineal descent from the Bavarian House of Luitpolding is assumed.
Like the French royal Capetian dynasty, the Elder Babenbergs descended from the Robertians. The earliest known Babenberg count Poppo was first mentioned as a ruler in the Gau of Grabfeld, a historic region in northeastern Franconia bordering on Thuringia, in 819 AD, he may be a descendant of the Robertian count Cancor of Hesbaye. One of Poppo's sons, served as princeps militiae under King Louis the Younger and was sometimes called margrave and duke in Franconia under King Charles the Fat of East Francia, he was killed fighting against the Vikings during the Siege of Paris in 886. Another son, Poppo II, was margrave in Thuringia from 880 to 892, when he was deposed by King Charles' successor Arnulf of Carinthia; the Popponids had been favoured by Charles the Fat, but Arnulf reversed this policy in favour of rivalling Conrad the Elder, a member of the Conradine dynasty from the Lahngau in Rhenish Franconia and relative of Arnulf's consort Ota. The leaders of the Babenbergs were the sons of Duke Henry, who called themselves after their castle of Babenburg on the upper Main river, around which their possessions centred.
The city of Bamberg was built around the ancestral castle of the family. The Conradines were led by Conrad the Elder and his brothers Rudolf and Gebhard the sons of Count Udo of Neustria; the rivalry between the Babenberg and Conradine families was intensified by their efforts to extend their authority in the region of the middle Main, this quarrel, known as the "Babenberg feud", came to a first head in 892, when King Arnulf deposed Poppo II as Thuringian ruler, appointing Conrad the Elder instead, installed Conrad's brother Rudolf as Bishop of Würzburg. The struggle intensified at the beginning of the 10th century during the troubled reign of Arnulf's son King Louis the Child. Clashes of arms occurred in 902, when the Conradine laid siege to Babenburg Castle and arrested Adalhard of Babenberg; the next year, Adalhard was executed at the Reichstag of Forchheim. Meanwhile Rudolf's brother Gebhard was appointed Duke of Lotharingia in 903 where he had to cope both with revolting nobles and the continuing attacks by Babenberg forces.
Both sides met in the battle of Fritzlar on 27 February 906, where the Conradines won a decisive victory, although Conrad the Elder fell in the battle. Two of the Babenberg brothers were killed; the third, was summoned before the imperial court by the regent Archbishop Hatto I of Mainz, a partisan of the Conradines. He refused to appear, held his own for a time in his castle at Theres against the king's forces, but surrendered in 906, in spite of a promise of safe-conduct by Hatto was beheaded. Conrad the Younger became Duke of Franconia in 906 and King of East Francia in 911, while the Babenbergs lost their influence in Franconia. In 962 the Bavarian count Leopold I a descendant of the Luitpolding duke Arnulf of Bavaria, was first mentioned as a faithful follower of Emperor Otto I, he remained a loyal supporter of Otto's son and successor Otto II and in 976 appears as count of the Bavarian Eastern March a district not more than 60 miles in breadth on the eastern frontier of the duchy, which grew into the Margraviate of Austria.
Leopold, who received the territory as a reward for his fidelity to Emperor Otto II during the uprising of Duke Henry II of Bavaria, extended its area down the Danube river into what is today Lower Austria at the expense of the retreating Magyars. Leopold was succeeded in 994 by his son Henry I, who continued his father's policy, was followed in 1018 by his brother Adalbert, whose marked loyalty to Emperor Henry II and his Salian successor Henry III was rewarded by many tokens of favour. Adalbert expanded the Austrian territory up to the present borders on the Leitha and Thaya rivers, he was succeeded in 1055 by Ernest. Leopold II, margrave from 1075, quarrelled with Emperor Henry IV during the Investiture Controversy, when he supported the papal side of Bishop Altmann of Passau. Though Leopold had to cope with the invading troops of Duke Vratislaus II of Bohemia and was defeated at the 1082 Battle of Mailberg, the emperor was unable to oust him from his march or to prevent the succession of his son Leopold III in 1096.
Leopold III supported Henry V, the son of Emperor Henry IV, in his rising against his father, but was soon drawn over to the emperor's side. In 1106 he married the daughter of Henry IV, widow of Duke Frederick I of Swabia. In 1125 he declined the royal crown in favour of Lothair of Supplinburg, his zeal in founding monasteries, such as Klosterneuburg Monastery, earned for him his surname "the Pious", canonization by Pope Innoce
Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no
The Přemyslid dynasty or House of Přemyslid was a Czech royal dynasty which reigned in the Duchy of Bohemia and Kingdom of Bohemia and Margraviate of Moravia, as well as in parts of Poland and Austria. The dynasty's origin dates back to the 9th century, when the Přemyslids ruled a tiny territory around Prague, populated by the Czech tribe of the Western Slavs, they expanded, conquering the region of Bohemia, located in the Bohemian basin where it was not threatened by the expansion of the Frankish Empire. The first historically-documented Přemyslid duke was Bořivoj I. In the following century, the Přemyslids ruled over Silesia and founded the city of Wroclaw, derived from the name of a Bohemian duke, Vratislaus I, father of Saint Wenceslaus. Under the reign of Prince Boleslaus I the Cruel and his son Boleslaus II the Pious, the Přemyslids ruled territory stretching to today's Belarus; the dynasty controlled vital trade routes during this time. The Bohemian lands and Prague were an important center of trade where merchants from all of Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the Hispano-Jewish merchant and traveller Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub.
He wrote, "Prague is a city from the stone, the richest of all states north of the Alps." After their rise to prominence, struggles within the family set in motion a decline in power and, in 1002, the Polish duke Boleslaus the Brave occupied Prague. Boleslaus III, son of Boleslaus II, escaped from Bohemia; the decline ended in the reign of Prince Bretislaus I, grandson of Boleslaus II. He in turn looted Poland, including the cities of Krakow and Gniezno, where he obtained the relics of St. Adalbert, he sought the establishment of a royal title. His son and successor Vratislaus II became the first King of Bohemia in 1085. Vratislav's son Sobeslaus I destroyed the Imperial army of King Lothar III in the Battle of Chlumec in 1126; this allowed a further strengthening of Bohemia, culminating during the reign of Vratislav's grandson, King Vladislaus II. Vladislav II founded many monasteries and built the first stone bridge across the Vltava river, one of the earliest in Central and Northern Europe. Once again, internal struggles started the decline of the Přemyslids.
Many leaders from the dynasty alternated on the Bohemian throne, leading to their eventual bankruptcy. On his ascension to the throne, Ottokar I began a series of changes that brought Bohemia out of crisis, began a period of success that lasted for nearly 220 years. Ottokar I became the third King of Bohemia in the year 1198 but was the first King of Bohemia to acquire a hereditary royal title; this began significant growth of the Přemyslids' dynastic power. There was a large urban and crafts development in Bohemia. In the second half of the 13th century, the Přemyslids were one of the most powerful dynasties in Central Europe. King Přemysl Ottokar II, son of Wenceslas I, earned the nickname "Iron and Golden King" because of his military power and wealth. After several victorious wars with the Hungarian Kingdom, he acquired Austria, Styria and Carniola, extending Bohemian territory to the Adriatic Sea. King Ottokar II aspired to the imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire, his ambitions started the conflict with House of Habsburg, who were, until little-known princes, which suited the interests of German noble Houses better than the mighty king Ottokar.
The representative of Habsburgs Rudolf was elected as King of Romans. In the Battle of Marchfeld, Ottokar clashed with Imperial and Hungarian armies yet he was killed in battle himself; the Habsburgs acquired Austria. Ottokar's son King Wenceslaus II was just seven. Over time, thanks to deft diplomacy, he gained the Polish crown for himself and the crown of Hungary for his son. Wenceslas II brought together a vast empire stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Danube river and established numerous cities, among them Plzeň in 1295. Bohemia became a wealthy nation during his reign thanks to a large vein of silver at Kutná Hora, he introduced the silver Prague groschen, an important European currency for centuries, planned to build the first university in Central Europe. The power and wealth of the Kingdom of Bohemia gave rise to great respect, but to the hostility of other European royal families; the dynasty began to collapse following the untimely death of Wenceslaus II, the assassination of his only son, Wenceslaus III in 1306, which ended their rule.
On the distaff side, the dynasty continued, in 1355, Bohemian king Charles IV, the grandson of Wenceslaus II, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Rome. The name of the dynasty, according to Cosmas in his Chronica Boemorum, comes from its legendary founder, Přemysl, husband of duchess Libuše. Přemysl and Libuše Nezamysl Mnata Vojen Vnislav Křesomysl Neklan Hostivít The first historical Přemyslid was Duke Bořivoj I, baptised in 874 by Saint Methodius. In 895, Bohemia gained independence from Great Moravia. Between 1003 and 1004, Bohemia was controlled by Boleslaus the Brave, Duke of Poland from the Piast dynasty, grandson of Boleslaus I the Cruel. In 1085, Duke Vratislaus II, and, in 1158, Duke Vladislaus II, were crowned King of Bohemia as a personal award from the Holy Roman Emperor; the title, was not hereditary. Bořivoj I Spytihněv I Vratislaus I Saint Wenceslaus Boleslaus I the Cruel Boleslaus II the Pious Boleslaus III the Red-haired Vladivoj (1002–1003
The Salian dynasty was a dynasty in the High Middle Ages. The dynasty provided four German Kings. After the death of the last Saxon of the Ottonian Dynasty in 1024, the elective titles of King of the Germans and three years Holy Roman Emperor both passed to the first monarch of the Salian dynasty in the person of Conrad II, the only son of Count Henry of Speyer and Adelheid of Alsace, he was elected German King in 1024 and crowned Holy Roman Emperor on 26 March 1027. The four Salian kings of the dynasty—Conrad II, Henry III, Henry IV, Henry V—ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 1027 to 1125, established their monarchy as a major European power, they achieved the development of a permanent administrative system based on a class of public officials answerable to the crown. Werner of Worms and his son Duke Conrad the Red of Lorraine, who died in 955, founded the ancestral dynasty. Conrad the Red married Liutgarde, a daughter of Emperor Otto I, their son Otto I, Duke of Carinthia ruled Carinthia from 978 to 1004.
Duke Otto had three sons: Bruno, who became Pope Gregory V. Henry was the father of the first Salian Emperor Conrad II. Pope Leo IX had family ties to the dynasty, since his grandfather Hugo III was the brother of Adelheid, the grandmother of Henry III. After the death of the last Saxon Emperor Henry II the first Salian regent Conrad II was elected by the majority of the Prince-electors and was crowned German king in Mainz on 8 September 1024. Early in 1026 Conrad went to Milan, where archbishop of Milan, crowned him king of Italy; when Rudolph III, King of Burgundy died 1032, Conrad II claimed this kingship on the basis of an inheritance Henry II had extorted from the former in 1006. Despite some opposition, the Burgundian and Provençal nobles paid homage to Conrad in Zürich in 1034; this Kingdom of Burgundy would become known as the Kingdom of Arles under Conrad's successors. In 1028 Conrad II had his son Henry III elected and anointed king of Germany. Henry's tenure led to an overstatement of unknown sacral kingship.
So during this reign Speyer Cathedral was expanded to be the largest church in Western Christendom. Henry's conception of a legitimate power of royal disposition in the duchies was successful against the dukes, thus secured royal control. However, in Lorraine, this led from which Henry emerged as the winner, but in southern Germany a powerful opposition group was formed in the years 1052–1055. 1046 Henry ended the papal schism, freed the Papacy from dependence on the Roman nobility, laid the basis for its universal applicability. His early death in 1056 was long regarded as a disaster for the Empire; the early Salians owed much of their success to their alliance with the Church, a policy begun by Otto I, which gave them the material support they needed to subdue rebellious dukes. In time, the Church came to regret this close relationship; the alliance broke down in 1075 during what came to be known as the Investiture Controversy, a struggle in which the reformist Pope, Gregory VII, demanded that Emperor Henry IV renounce his rights over the Church in Germany.
The pope attacked the concept of monarchy by divine right and gained the support of significant elements of the German nobility interested in limiting imperial absolutism. More important, the pope forbade ecclesiastical officials under pain of excommunication to support Henry as they had so done in the past. In the end, Henry IV journeyed to Canossa in northern Italy in 1077 to do penance and to receive absolution from the pope. However, he resumed the practice of lay investiture and arranged the election of an antipope in 1080; the monarch's struggle with the papacy resulted in a war that ravaged through the Holy Roman Empire from 1077 until the Concordat of Worms in 1122. The reign of the last ruler of the Salian dynasty Henry V coincided with the final phase of the great Investiture Controversy, which had pitted pope against emperor. By the settlement of the Concordat of Worms, Henry V surrendered to the demands of the second generation of Gregorian reformers; this agreement stipulated that the pope would appoint high church officials but gave the German king the right to veto the papal choices.
Imperial control of Italy was lost for a time, the imperial crown became dependent on the political support of competing aristocratic factions. Feudalism became more widespread as freemen sought protection by swearing allegiance to a lord; these powerful local rulers, having thereby acquired extensive territories and large military retinues, took over administration within their territories and organized it around an increasing number of castles. The most powerful of these local rulers came to be called princes rather than dukes. According to the laws of the feudal system of the Holy Roman Empire, the king had no claims on the vassals of the other princes, only on those living within his family's territory. Lacking the support of the independent vassals and weakened by the increasing hostility of the Church, the monarchy lost its pre-eminence, thus the Investiture Contest strengthened local power in the Holy Roman Empire – in contrast to the trend in France and England, where centralized royal power grew.
The Investiture Contest had an additional effect. The lon
Duchy of Bohemia
The Duchy of Bohemia referred to as the Czech Duchy, was a monarchy and a principality of the Holy Roman Empire in Central Europe during the Early and High Middle Ages. It was formed around 870 by Czechs as part of the Great Moravian realm; the Bohemian lands separated from disintegrating Moravia after Duke Spytihněv swore fidelity to the East Frankish king Arnulf in 895. While the Bohemian dukes of the Přemyslid dynasty, at first ruling at Prague Castle and Levý Hradec, brought further estates under their control, the Christianization initiated by Saints Cyril and Methodius was continued by the Frankish bishops of Regensburg and Passau. In 973 the Diocese of Prague was founded through the joint efforts of Duke Boleslaus II and Emperor Otto I. Late Duke Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, killed by his younger brother Boleslaus in 935, became the land's patron saint. While the lands were occupied by the Polish king Bolesław I and internal struggles shook the Přemyslid dynasty, Duke Vladivoj received Bohemia as a fief from the hands of the East Frankish king Henry II in 1002 and the duchy became an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Duchy of Bohemia was raised to a hereditary Kingdom of Bohemia, when Duke Ottokar I ensured his elevation by the German king Philip of Swabia in 1198. The Přemyslids remained in power throughout the High Middle Ages, until the extinction of the male line with the death of King Wenceslaus III in 1306; the lands encompassed by the Bohemian Forest, the Ore Mountains, the Sudetes and the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands were settled by Bohemian tribes about 550. In the 7th century the local Czech people were part of the union led by the Frankish merchant Samo. Bohemia as a geographical term derived from the Celtic Boii tribes, first appeared in 9th century Frankish sources. In 805 Emperor Charlemagne prepared to conquer the lands, invading Bohemia in 805 and laying siege to the fortress of Canburg. However, the Czech forces shirked from open battle and retired into the deep forests to launch guerilla attacks. After forty days the emperor had to withdraw his forces for the lack of supplies; when the Frankish forces returned the next year burning and plundering the Bohemian lands, the local tribes had to submit and became dependent on the Carolingian Empire.
While the Frankish realm disintegrated in the mid 9th century, Bohemia fell under the influence of the Great Moravian state, established around 830. In 874 the Mojmir duke Svatopluk I reached an agreement with the East Frankish king Louis the German and confirmed his Bohemian dominion. With the fragmentation of Great Moravia under the pressure of the Magyar incursions around 900, Bohemia began to form as an independent principality. In 880, the Přemyslid prince Bořivoj from Levý Hradec a deputy of Duke Svatopluk I, baptised by the Great Moravian archbishop Methodius of Salonica in 874, moved his residence to Prague Castle and started to subjugate the Vltava Basin. Great Moravia regained control over the emerging Bohemian principality upon Bořivoj's death in 888/890 until, in 895, his son Spytihněv together with the Slavník prince Witizla swore allegiance to the East Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia in Regensburg, he and his younger brother Vratislaus ruled over Central Bohemia around Prague.
They were able to protect their realm from the Magyar forces which crushed an East Frankish army in the 907 Battle of Pressburg during the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin. Cut off from Byzantium by the Hungarian presence, the Bohemian principality existed as independent state though still in the shadow of East Francia. Vratislaus' son Wenceslaus, who ruled from 921, was accepted as head of the Bohemian tribal union. Wenceslaus maintained his ducal authority by submitting to King Henry in 929, whereafter he was murdered by his brother Boleslaus. Assuming the Bohemian throne in 935, Duke Boleslaus conquered the adjacent lands of Moravia and Silesia, expanded farther to Kraków in the east, he offered opposition to Henry's successor King Otto I, stopped paying the tribute, attacked an ally of the Saxons in northwest Bohemia and in 936 moved into Thuringia. After a prolonged armed conflict, King Otto I besieged a castle owned by Boleslaus' son in 950 and Boleslaus signed a peace treaty whereby he recognized Otto's suzerainty and promised to resume the payment of the tribute.
As the king's ally his Bohemian troops together with the Kingdom of Germany forces fought in the 955 Battle of Lechfeld and after the defeat of the Magyars received the lands of Moravia in recognition of his services. Overwhelming marauding Hungarians had the same benefits for Czechs. Less obvious is what Boleslav I the Cruel wanted to gain with his participation in the war against the Obotrite tribes in far north, when he crushed an uprising of two Slavic dukes in the Saxon Billung March. Boleslav wanted to ensure that German neighbors did not interfere with his expansion of Bohemia to the east; the Bishopric of Prague, founded in 973 during the reign of Duke Boleslaus II, was subordinated to the Archbishopric of Mainz. Thus, at the same time that Přemyslid rulers used the German alliance to consolidate their rule against a perpetually rebellious regional nobility, they struggled to retain their autonomy in relation to the empire; the Bohemian principality was definitively consolidated in 995, when the Přemyslids defeated their Slavník rivals, unified the Czech tribes, established a form of centralized rule, however shaken
Géza II of Hungary
Géza II was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1141 to 1162. He was his wife, Helena of Rascia; when his father died, Géza was still a child and he started ruling under the guardianship of his mother and her brother, Beloš. A pretender to the throne, Boris Kalamanos, who had claimed Hungary during Béla the Blind's reign, temporarily captured Pressburg with the assistance of German mercenaries in early 1146. In retaliation, Géza, who came of age in the same year, invaded Austria and routed Henry Jasomirgott, Margrave of Austria, in the Battle of the Fischa. Although the German–Hungarian relations remained tense, no major confrontations occurred when the German crusaders marched through Hungary in June 1147. Two months Louis VII of France and his crusaders arrived, along with Boris Kalamanos who attempted to take advantage of the crusade to return to Hungary. Louis VII refused to extradite Boris to Géza, but prevented the pretender from coming into contacts with his supporters in Hungary and took him to Constantinople.
Géza joined the coalition that Louis VII and Roger II of Sicily formed against Conrad III of Germany and the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos. The ancestors of the Transylvanian Saxons came to Hungary during Géza's reign. Western European knights and Muslim warriors from the Pontic steppes settled in Hungary in this period. Géza allowed his Muslim soldiers to take concubines. Géza intervened at least six times in the fights for Kiev on behalf of Iziaslav II of Kiev either by sending reinforcements or by leading his troops to the Kievan Rus' between 1148 and 1155, he waged wars against the Byzantine Empire on behalf of his allies, including the Serbs of Rascia, but could not prevent the Byzantines from restoring their suzerainty over them. Conflicts emerged between Géza and his brothers and Ladislaus, who fled from Hungary and settled in Emperor Manuel's court in Constantinople. Géza supported Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, against the Lombard League with auxiliary troops between 1158 and 1160.
After the cardinals who supported Emperor Frederick I elected Victor IV pope, Géza acknowledged his legitimacy in 1160, but in a year, he changed sides and concluded a concordat with Victor IV's opponent, Pope Alexander III. Before his death, Géza organized a separate appanage duchy for Béla. Géza was born the eldest son of Béla the Blind, a cousin of King Stephen II of Hungary, Helena of Raška in 1130. Géza's father had been blinded, together with his rebellious father, Álmos, in the 1110s on the order of Stephen II's father, King of Hungary, who wanted to ensure Stephen's succession; when Géza was born, his parents lived on an estate. Géza's father succeeded King Stephen in the spring of 1131. In the same year, Queen Helena took Géza and his younger brother, Ladislaus, to an assembly held at Arad, where she ordered the massacre of sixty-eight noblemen "by whose counsel the King had been blinded", according to the Illuminated Chronicle. King Béla died on 13 February 1141 and Géza succeeded him without opposition.
The eleven-year-old Géza was crowned king on 16 February. During his regency, his mother and her brother, Beloš, ruled the kingdom in the first years of his reign. One of Géza's first charters, issued in 1141, confirmed the privileges of the citizens of Split in Dalmatia. In the charter, Géza is titled as "By the Grace of God, King of Hungary, Dalmatia and Rama". According to historian Paul Stephenson, the towns of central Dalmatia—including Šibenik and Trogir—accepted Géza's suzerainty after a Hungarian invasion around 1142. Hungarian troops assisted Prince Volodimerko of Halych—who had been the ally of Géza's father against the pretender Boris—when Great Prince Vsevolod II of Kiev invaded Halych in 1144. Although the Hungarian auxiliaries "were of no use whatsoever", according to the Hypatian Codex, the grand prince could not occupy Volodimerko's principality. Boris was the son of Eufemia of Kiev, King Coloman of Hungary's second wife, whom the king expelled on the charge of adultery before Boris's birth.
According to the chronicler Bishop Otto of Freising, Boris approached Conrad III of Germany to seek his assistance against Géza at the end of 1145. Upon the recommendation of Vladislav II of Bohemia, the German monarch authorized Boris to muster an army of mercenaries in Bavaria and Austria. Boris took the fortress of Pressburg; the royal forces soon imposed a blockade on the fortress and convinced Boris's mercenaries to surrender without resistance in exchange for compensation. The Hungarians decided to invade the Holy Roman Empire. Before crossing the river Lajta, which marked the western border of Hungary, the sixteen-year-old Géza was girded with a sword in token of his coming of age. In the Battle of the Fischa on 11 September, the Hungarian army under the command of Géza and Beloš routed the German troops led by Henry Jasomirgott, Margrave of Austria. Géza married Euphrosyne, sister of Grand Prince Iziaslav II of Kiev, in the second half of 1146. German–Hungarian relations remained tense as Boris attempted to take advantage of Conrad III's decision to lead a crusade to the Holy Land through Hungary.
However Géza, who knew that "he could conquer more by gold than by force, poured out much money among the Germans and thus escaped an attack from them," according to the chronicler Odo of Deuil. The German crusaders marched across Hungary without major incident in June 1147; the Illuminated Chronicle relates that some Hungarian noblemen promised Boris "if he could make his
The Hohenstaufen known as Staufer, were a dynasty of German kings during the Middle Ages. Before ascending to the kingship, they were Dukes of Swabia from 1079; as kings of Germany, they had a claim to Italy and the Holy Roman Empire. Three members of the dynasty—Frederick I, Henry VI and Frederick II —were crowned emperor. Besides Germany, they ruled the Kingdom of Sicily and the Kingdom of Jerusalem The dynasty is named after a castle, which in turn is named after a mountain; the names used by scholars today, are conventional and somewhat anachronistic. The name Hohenstaufen was first used in the 14th century to distinguish the "high" conical hill named Staufen in the Swabian Jura, in the district of Göppingen, from the village of the same name in the valley below; the new name was only applied to the hill castle of Staufen by historians in the 19th century, to distinguish it from other castles of the same name. The name of the dynasty followed, but in recent decades the trend in German historiography has been to prefer the name Staufer, closer to contemporary usage.
The name "Staufen" itself derives from Stauf, meaning "chalice". This term was applied to conical hills in Swabia in the Middle Ages, it is a contemporary term for both the hill and the castle, although its spelling in the Latin documents of the time varies considerably: Sthouf, Stophen, Estufin etc. The castle was built or at least acquired by Duke Frederick I of Swabia in the latter half of the 11th century. Members of the family used the toponymic surname de Stauf or variants thereof. Only in the 13th century does the name come to be applied to the family as a whole. Around 1215 a chronicler referred to the "emperors of Stauf". In 1247, the Emperor Frederick II himself referred to his family as the domus Stoffensis, but this was an isolated instance. Otto of Freising associated the Staufer with the town of Waiblingen and around 1230 Burchard of Ursberg referred to the Staufer as of the "royal lineage of the Waiblingens"; the exact connection between the family and Waiblingen is not clear, but as a name for the family it became popular.
The pro-imperial Ghibelline faction of the Italian civic rivalries of the 13th and 14th centuries took its name from Waiblingen. In Italian historiography, the Staufer are known as the Svevi; the noble family first appeared in the late 10th century in the Swabian Riesgau region around the former Carolingian court of Nördlingen. A local count Frederick is mentioned as progenitor in a pedigree drawn up by Abbot Wibald of Stavelot at the behest of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1153, he held the office of a Swabian count palatine. Their son Frederick I was appointed Duke of Swabia at Hohenstaufen Castle by the Salian king Henry IV of Germany in 1079. At the same time, Duke Frederick I was engaged to the king's seventeen-year-old daughter, Agnes. Nothing is known about Frederick's life before this event, but he proved to be an imperial ally throughout Henry's struggles against other Swabian lords, namely Rudolf of Rheinfelden, Frederick's predecessor, the Zähringen and Welf lords. Frederick's brother Otto was elevated to the Strasbourg bishopric in 1082.
Upon Frederick's death, he was succeeded by his son, Duke Frederick II, in 1105. Frederick II remained a close ally of the Salians, he and his younger brother Conrad were named the king's representatives in Germany when the king was in Italy. Around 1120, Frederick II married Judith of Bavaria from the rival House of Welf; when the last male member of the Salian dynasty, Emperor Henry V, died without heirs in 1125, a controversy arose about the succession. Duke Frederick II and Conrad, the two current male Staufers, by their mother Agnes, were grandsons of late Emperor Henry IV and nephews of Henry V. Frederick attempted to succeed to the throne of the Holy Roman Emperor through a customary election, but lost to the Saxon duke Lothair of Supplinburg. A civil war between Frederick's dynasty and Lothair's ended with Frederick's submission in 1134. After Lothair's death in 1137, Frederick's brother Conrad was elected King as Conrad III; because the Welf duke Henry the Proud, son-in-law and heir of Lothair and the most powerful prince in Germany, passed over in the election, refused to acknowledge the new king, Conrad III deprived him of all his territories, giving the Duchy of Saxony to Albert the Bear and that of Bavaria to Leopold IV, Margrave of Austria.
In 1147, Conrad heard Bernard of Clairvaux preach the Second Crusade at Speyer, he agreed to join King Louis VII of France in a great expedition to the Holy Land which failed. Conrad's brother Duke Frederick II died in 1147, was succeeded in Swabia by his son, Duke Frederick III; when King Conrad III died without adult heir in 1152, Frederick succeeded him, taking both German royal and Imperial titles. Frederick I, known as Frederick Barbarossa because of his red beard, struggled throughout his reign to restore the power and prestige of the German monarchy against the dukes, whose power had grown both before and after the Investiture Controversy under his Salian predecessors; as royal access to the resources of the church in Germany was much reduced, Frederick was forced to go to Italy to find the finances needed to restore the king's power in Germany. He was soon crowned emperor in Italy; the Papacy and the prosperous city-stat