Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV, called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was King of the Romans from 1314, King of Italy from 1327, and Holy Roman Emperor from 1328. He obtained the titles Count of Hainaut, Zeeland, Louis was born in Munich, the son of Louis II, Duke of Upper Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine, and Matilda, a daughter of King Rudolph I. A civil war against his brother Rudolf due to new disputes on the partition of their lands was ended in 1313, in the same year, on November 9, Louis defeated his Habsburg cousin Frederick the Fair who was further aided by duke Leopold I. Originally, he was a friend of Frederick, with whom he had been raised. However, armed conflict arose when the guardianship over the young Dukes of Lower Bavaria was entrusted to Frederick, even though the late Duke Otto III, on 9 November 1313, Frederick was defeated by Louis in the Battle of Gamelsdorf and had to renounce the tutelage. This victory caused a stir within the Holy Roman Empire and increased the reputation of the Bavarian Duke, the death of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII in August 1313 necessitated the election of a successor.
Henrys son John, King of Bohemia since 1310, seemed too powerful to most prince-electors, the most likely choice was Frederick the Fair, the son of Henrys predecessor, Albert I, of the House of Habsburg. In reaction, the party among the prince electors settled on Louis as its candidate to prevent Fredericks election. On 19 October 1314, Archbishop Henry II Cologne chaired an assembly of four electors assembled at Sachsenhausen and these four elector chose Frederick as King. The Luxemburg party did not accept this election and the day a second election was held. Upon the instigation of Peter of Aspelt, Archbishop of Mainz, five different electors convened at Frankfurt, in the following conflict between the kings, Louis recognized in 1316 the independence of Switzerland from the Habsburg dynasty. After several years of war, victory finally seemed within the grasp of Frederick. However, Fredericks army was defeated in the Battle of Mühldorf on 28 September 1322 on the Ampfing Heath. In this agreement, Frederick recognized Louis as legitimate ruler and undertook to return to captivity if he did not succeed in convincing his brothers to submit to Louis.
As he did not manage to overcome Leopolds obstinacy, Frederick returned to Munich as a prisoner, who was impressed by such nobility, renewed the old friendship with Frederick, and they agreed to rule the Empire jointly. However, after Leopolds death in 1326, Frederick withdrew from the regency of the Empire and he died on 13 January 1330. After the reconciliation with the Habsburgs in 1326, Louis marched to Italy and was crowned King of Italy in Milan in 1327. Already in 1323 Louis had sent an army to Italy to protect Milan against the Kingdom of Naples, but now the Lord of Milan Galeazzo I Visconti was deposed since he was suspected of conspiring with the pope
Ezzelino III da Romano
Ezzelino III da Romano was an Italian feudal lord in the March of Treviso who was a close ally of the emperor Frederick II and ruled Verona and Padua for almost two decades. He became infamous as a cruel tyrant, Ezzelino was son of Ezzelino II da Romano, ruler of Bassano and other fiefs in the Veneto, and Adelaide degli Alberti di Mangona, who came from a family of counts in Tuscany. At the age of four years, he was sent as a hostage to Verona, nothing else is known about his childhood or education. In 1213, he took part in the siege of the castle of Este, which belonged to his fathers archenemy, marquis Azzo VI of Este, who died in 1212, and to his son Aldobrandino. According to the chronicler Rolandino of Padua, the young Ezzelino already showed a keen interest in siegecraft, from this time onwards Ezzelino became an important factor in Veronese politics. In 1226/1227 he was podestà of the city, at this time control over Verona was highly important because Emperor Frederick II was in conflict with the Second Lombard League, an alliance of cities in Northern Italy.
Whoever controlled Verona, could block the Brenner pass and thereby prevent the arrival of reinforcements for Frederick from Germany, Ezzelino initially favoured the Lombard League which could block the Brenner in 1226 and emerge victorious from its first confrontation with the Emperor. Later, however and his brother Alberico changed sides when it became apparent that the League favoured their enemies in the March, in 1232 they struck an alliance with Frederick and received an imperial privilege of protection. However four years passed before Frederick could personally intervene in the March of Treviso, the years 1232-1236 were therefore very hard for Ezzelino and Alberico, who were assaulted by many enemies, primarily the San Bonifacio, the Este and the city of Padua. In 1236 Frederick finally arrived in the March, in a campaign that began in November 1236 Frederich and Ezzelino, who was becoming an increasingly important ally of the emperor, subjugated all the important cities of the March of Treviso.
In 1236 Ezzolino married Selvaggia, Fredericks natural daughter, who was thirteen years old at the time, Ezzelino conquered Verona and, by treason, seizing the position of podestà of that city. He was one of the protagonists in the Ghibelline-Imperial victory of Cortenuova and his long-lasting struggle against Azzo VII, the new duke of Este after 1215, ended with the total defeat of the latter, and the annexion of many territories for Ezzelino. After a pacification attempt by Frederick, when the set off again, Ezzelino attacked the Este, submitting Treviso, Belluno. Ezzelino was now lord of all lands between Trento and the Oglio river and he had acquired a reputation for cruelty and merciless use of torture against enemies and alleged plotters in the cities he ruled. In 1249, five years after Selvaggias death, he married Beatrice di Buontraverso, in 1254, four years after Frederick IIs death, he was excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV, who launched a crusade against him. In 1258 he launched a broad Ghibelline offensive in Lombardy and Veneto along with Oberto Pallavicino of Cremona, in 1259 he assaulted the castle of Priola, near Vicenza, and had all the defenders mutilated.
After a failed attempt to assault Milan itself, he was wounded by an arrow in the course of the Battle of Cassano dAdda and he had to retreat but was captured near Bergamo. He killed himself during his imprisonment in Soncino, much of what we know about Ezzelino comes from a literary tradition that was embroidered over the course of centuries
The Italian city-states were a political phenomenon of small independent states mostly in the central and northern Italian peninsula between the 9th and 15th centuries. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, urban settlements in Italy generally enjoyed a greater continuity than in the rest of western Europe, many of these towns were survivors of earlier Etruscan and Roman towns which had existed within the Roman Empire. The republican institutions of Rome had survived, the very first Italian city-state can be considered the Republic of Venice, which de facto broke apart from Byzantine Empire since 742, becoming de jure independent in the following centuries. The other first Italian city-states appeared in northern Italy as a result of a struggle to gain greater autonomy when not independent from the German Holy Roman Empire, other city-states were associated to these commune cities, like Genoa, Turin and, in the Adriatic, Ragusa. It is important to say that Venice was never subjected to the Holy Roman Empire, around 1100, Genoa and Venice emerged as independent Maritime republics.
For Genoa – nominally – the Holy Roman Emperor was sovereign and Amalfi emerged as maritime republics, trade and banking helped support their powerful navies in the Mediterranean in those medieval centuries. Between the 12th and 13th centuries, Italy was vastly different from feudal Europe north of the Alps, the Peninsula was a melange of political and cultural elements, not a unified state. Marc Bloch and Fernand Braudel have argued that geography determined the history of the region, the very mountainous nature of Italys landscape was a barrier to effective inter-city communication. The Po plain, was an exception, it was the large contiguous area. Those that survived the longest were in the more rugged regions, such as Florence or Venice, while those Roman, republican sensibilities persisted, there were many movements and changes afoot. Italy first felt the changes in Europe from the 11th to the 13th centuries and he argues that these states were mostly republics, unlike the great European monarchies of France and Spain, where absolute power was vested in rulers who could and did stifle commerce.
Even northern cities and states were notable for their merchant republics and because of trade, Italian cities such as Venice became international trading and banking hubs and intellectual crossroads. It is estimated that the per capita income of northern Italy nearly tripled from the 11th century to the 15th century and this was a highly mobile, demographically expanding society, fueled by the rapidly expanding Renaissance commerce. In the 14th century, just as the Italian Renaissance was beginning, Italy was the capital of Western Europe. However, with the Bubonic Plague in 1348, the birth of the English woolen industry and general warfare, however, by the late 15th century Italy was again in control of trade along the Mediterranean Sea. It found a new niche in luxury items like ceramics, lace, Italy would never regain its strong hold on textiles. And though it was the birthplace of banking, by the 16th century German, by the 13th century and central Italy had become the most literate society in the world.
More than one third of the population could read in the vernacular, as could a small
Republic of Florence
The Republic of Florence, known as the Florentine Republic, was a medieval and early modern state that was centered on the Italian city of Florence in Tuscany. The republic originated in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon the death of Matilda, the Florentines formed a commune in her successors place. The republic was ruled by a council, known as the signoria, the signoria was chosen by the gonfaloniere, who was elected every two months by Florentine guild members. The republic had a history of coups and counter-coups against various factions. The Medici faction gained governance of the city in 1434, upon Cosimo de Medicis counter-coup against the faction that had sent him into exile the previous year, the Medici kept control of Florence until 1494. Giovanni de Medici re-conquered the republic in 1512, Florence repudiated Medici authority for a second time in 1527, during the War of the League of Cognac. The Medici re-assumed their rule in 1531, after an 11-month siege of the city, the republican government was disestablished in 1532, when Pope Clement VII appointed Alessandro de Medici Duke of the Florentine Republic, making the republic a hereditary monarchy.
The city of Florence was established in 59 B. C. by Julius Caesar, the city had been part of the Marquisate of Tuscany before the death of Margravine Matilda in 1115. The city did not submit readily to her successor, the first official mention of the republic was in 1138 when several cities around Tuscany formed a league against Henry X of Bavaria. The country was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Florence prospered in the 12th century, trading extensively with foreign countries and this, in turn, provided a platform for demographic growth of the city. The growth of Florences population mirrored the rate of construction, many churches and this prosperity was shattered when Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa invaded the Italian peninsula in 1185. The Margraves of Tuscany re-acquired Florence and its townlands, the Florentines re-asserted their independence when Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI died in 1197. Florences population continued to grow into the 13th century, reaching 30,000 inhabitants, as has been said, the extra inhabitants supported the citys trade and vice versa.
Several new bridges and churches were built, most prominently the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the buildings from the era serve as Florences best example of Gothic Architecture. Politically, Florence was barely able to maintain peace between factions, the precarious peace that existed at the beginning of the century was destroyed in 1216 when two factions known as the Guelphs and the Ghibellines began to war. The Ghibellines were the rulers of Florence. The Ghibellines, who under Frederick of Antioch had ruled the city since 1244, were deposed in 1250 by the Guelphs, the Guelphs led Florence to prosper further
Pope Celestine IV
Pope Celestine IV, born Goffredo da Castiglione, was Pope from 25 October 1241 to his death on 10 November of the same year. Born in Milan, Goffredo or Godfrey is often referred to as son of a sister of Pope Urban III, nothing is known of his early life until he became chancellor of the church of Milan. He was dispatched in an attempt to bring these territories around to the papal side, in 1238 he was made cardinal bishop of Sabina. The papal election of 1241 that elevated Celestine to the chair was held under stringent conditions that hastened his death. The papal curia was disunited over the violent struggle to bring the Emperor, one group of cardinals favored the ambitious schemes of the Gregorian Reform and aimed to humble Frederick as a papal vassal. One of the cardinals fell ill and died, one group of cardinals, which included Sinibaldo de Fieschi backed a candidate from the inner circle of Pope Gregory IX expected to pursue the hard line with Frederick II. Another group advocated a moderated middle course, not allies of the Hohenstaufen, Matteo Orsinis candidate, Romano da Porto, who had persecuted scholars at the University of Paris, was considered unacceptable.
The cardinal bishop of Sabina was finally elected Pope Celestine IV by the required majority, seven cardinals out of ten. He occupied the throne for only seventeen days, his only notable papal act being the timely excommunication of Matteo Rosso Orsini and he died of wear and age on 10 November 1241 before coronation and was buried in St Peters. The Deaths of the Popes, Comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places, North Carolina, McFarland & Co. Lexikon der Mittelalters, vol. iii, part 7, cardinali di curia e familiae cardinalizie dal 1227 al 1254
Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII, born Jacques Duèze, was Pope from 7 August 1316 to his death in 1334. Like his predecessor, Clement V, Pope John centralized power and income in the Papacy, the son of a shoemaker in Cahors, Jacques Duèze studied medicine in Montpellier and law in Paris, yet could not read a regal letter written to him in French. Duèze taught both canon and civil law at Toulouse and Cahors, on the recommendation of Charles II of Naples he was made Bishop of Fréjus in 1300. In 1309 he was appointed chancellor of Charles II, and in 1310 he was transferred to Avignon and he delivered legal opinions favorable to the suppression of the Templars, but he defended Boniface VIII and the Bull Unam Sanctam. On 23 December 1312, Clement V made him Cardinal-Bishop of Porto-Santa Rufina, the death of Pope Clement V in 1314 was followed by an interregnum of two years due to disagreements between the cardinals, who were split into two factions. After two years, Philip, in 1316, finally managed to arrange a papal conclave of cardinals in Lyon.
This conclave elected Duèze, who took the name John XXII and was crowned in Lyon and he set up his residence in Avignon rather than Rome, continuing the Avignon Papacy of his predecessor. John XXII involved himself in the politics and religious movements of many European countries in order to advance the interests of the Church and his close links with the French crown created widespread distrust of the papacy. Pope John XXII was an excellent administrator and efficient at reorganizing the Church and he had sent a letter of thanks to the Muslim ruler Uzbeg Khan, who was very tolerant of Christians and treated Christians kindly. John XXII has traditionally been credited with having composed the prayer Anima Christi, and the basis for the hymn Soul of Christ, Sanctify My Breast. On 27 March 1329 John XXII condemned many writings of Meister Eckhart as heretical in his papal bull In Agro Dominico, prior to John XXIIs election a contest had begun for the Holy Roman Empires crown between Louis IV of Bavaria and Frederick I of Austria.
Louis IV was assisted in his dispute with the papacy by Marsilius of Padua. Louis IV invaded Italy, entered Rome and set up Pietro Rainalducci as Antipope Nicholas V in 1328, guelphic predominance at Rome was restored, and Pope John excommunicated William of Ockham. However, Louis IV had silenced the claims and John XXII stayed the rest of his life in Avignon. In 1317, John XXII formally condemned the group of known as the Fraticelli. The experts disagreed among themselves, but the majority condemned the idea on the grounds that it would condemn the Churchs right to have possessions. On 12 November 1323, he issued the bull Quum inter nonnullos, influential members of the order protested, such as the minister general Michael of Cesena, the English provincial William of Ockham, and Bonagratia of Bergamo. In 1324, Louis the Bavarian sided with the Spirituals and accused the Pope of heresy, in 1328 Michael of Cesena was summoned to Avignon to explain the Orders intransigence in refusing the Popes orders and its complicity with Louis of Bavaria
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick II was a Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily in the Middle Ages, a member of the House of Hohenstaufen. His political and cultural ambitions, based in Sicily and stretching through Italy to Germany, his enemies, especially the popes and his dynasty collapsed soon after his death. As such, he was King of Germany, of Italy, at the age of three, he was crowned King of Sicily as a co-ruler with his mother, Constance of Hauteville, the daughter of Roger II of Sicily. His other royal title was King of Jerusalem by virtue of marriage, Pope Gregory IX went so far as to call him an Antichrist. Speaking six languages, Frederick was a patron of science. He played a role in promoting literature through the Sicilian School of poetry. His Sicilian royal court in Palermo, from around 1220 to his death, saw the first use of a form of an Italo-Romance language. The poetry that emanated from the school had a significant influence on literature and he was the first king who explicitly outlawed trials by ordeal as they were considered irrational.
After his death, his line died out and the House of Hohenstaufen came to an end. Born in Iesi, near Ancona, Frederick was the son of the emperor Henry VI and he was known as the puer Apuliae. Some chronicles say that his mother, the forty-year-old Constance, gave birth to him in a square in order to forestall any doubt about his origin. In 1196 at Frankfurt am Main the infant Frederick was elected King of the Germans and his rights in Germany were disputed by Henrys brother Philip of Swabia and Otto of Brunswick. At the death of his father in 1197, Frederick was in Italy travelling towards Germany when the bad news reached his guardian, Conrad of Spoleto. Frederick was hastily brought back to his mother Constance in Palermo, Constance of Sicily was in her own right queen of Sicily, and she established herself as regent. Upon Constances death in 1198, Pope Innocent III succeeded as Fredericks guardian, Fredericks tutor during this period was Cencio, who would become Pope Honorius III. However, Markward of Annweiler, with the support of Henrys brother, Philip of Swabia, reclaimed the regency for himself, in 1200, with the help of Genoese ships, he landed in Sicily and one year seized the young Frederick.
He thus ruled Sicily until 1202, when he was succeeded by another German captain, William of Capparone, Frederick was subsequently under tutor Walter of Palearia, until, in 1208, he was declared of age. His first task was to reassert his power over Sicily and southern Italy, Otto of Brunswick had been crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Innocent III in 1209
Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto IV was one of two rival kings of Germany from 1198 on, sole king from 1208 on, and Holy Roman Emperor from 1209 until he was forced to abdicate in 1215. The only German king of the Welf dynasty, he incurred the wrath of Pope Innocent III and was excommunicated in 1210, Otto was the third son of Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria and Saxony, and Matilda of England. His exact birthplace is not given by any original source and he grew up in England in the care of his grandfather King Henry II. Otto was fluent in French as well as German and he became the foster son of his maternal uncle, Richard I of England. In 1190, after he left England to join the Third Crusade, the authenticity of this grant was doubted by the vassals of Yorkshire, who prevented Otto taking possession of his earldom. Still, he probably visited Yorkshire in 1191, and he continued to claim the revenues of the earldom after becoming king of Germany, neither did he succeed in getting the 25,000 silver marks willed to him by his uncle in 1199.
In 1195, Richard began negotiations to marry Otto to Margaret, lothian, as Margarets dowry, would be handed over to Richard for safekeeping and the counties of Northumberland and Cumberland would be granted to Otto and turned over to the king of Scotland. The negotiations dragged on until August 1198, when the birth of a son to William rendered them unnecessary. Having failed in his efforts to secure Otto an English earldom or else a Scottish kingdom, in September 1196 Richard, as duke of Aquitaine, there is some disagreement over whether Otto received Poitou in exchange for or in addition to the earldom of York. Otto was in Poitou from September 1196 until mid-1197, when he joined Richard in Normandy to confer over the appointment of bishops to the vacant sees of Poitiers, Limoges and he participated in the war against Philip II of France on the side of Richard. In October he returned to Poitou, the German historian Jens Ahlers, taking into account Ottos life prior to 1198, considers that he might have been the first foreign king of Germany.
Those princes opposed to the Staufen dynasty decided, on the initiative of Richard of England, Ottos elder brother, was on a crusade at the time, and so the choice fell to Otto. Otto, soon recognized throughout the northwest and the lower Rhine region, was elected king by his partisans in Cologne on June 9,1198. Otto took control of Aachen, the place of coronation, and was crowned by Adolf, Archbishop of Cologne and this was of great symbolic importance, since the Archbishop of Cologne alone could crown the King of the Romans. Nevertheless, the coronation was done with fake regalia, because the materials were in the hands of the Staufen. Ottos election pulled the empire into the conflict between England and France, Philip had allied himself with the French king, Philip II, while Otto was supported at first by Richard I, and after his death in 1199 by his brother John. The papacy meanwhile, under Innocent III, determined to prevent the unification of Sicily. Therefore, Innocent III favoured Otto, whose family had always opposed to the house of Hohenstaufen
House of Welf
The House of Welf was a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century. The House of Welf is the branch of the House of Este. The first member was Welf IV, he inherited the property of the Elder House of Welf when his maternal uncle Welf III, Duke of Carinthia and Verona, the last male Welf of the Elder House, died in 1055. Welf IV was the son of Welf IIIs sister Kunigunde of Altdorf and her husband Albert Azzo II of Este, in 1070, Welf IV became duke of Bavaria. Since the Welf dynasty sided with the Pope in this controversy, Henry the Black, duke of Bavaria from 1120–1126, was the first of the three dukes of the Welf dynasty called Henry. His wife Wulfhild was the heiress of the house of Billung, possessing the territory around Lüneburg in Lower Saxony and their son, Henry the Proud was the son-in-law and heir of Emperor Lothair of Supplinburg and became duke of Saxony on Lothairs death. Lothair left his territory around Brunswick, inherited from his mother of the Brunonen family and her husband Henry the Proud became the favoured candidate in the imperial election against Conrad III of the Hohenstaufen.
But Henry lost the election, as the other princes feared his power and temperament, Henry the Lion recovered his fathers two duchies, Saxony in 1142, Bavaria in 1156 and thus ruled vast parts of Germany. In 1168 he married Matilda, the daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and sister of Richard Lionheart, gaining ever more influence. His first cousin, Emperor Frederick I of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, tried to get along with him, Henry made his peace with the Hohenstaufen Emperor in 1185, and returned to his much diminished lands around Brunswick without recovering his two duchies. Bavaria had been given to Otto I Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria, Henry died at Brunswick in 1195. Henrys son Otto of Brunswick was elected King of the Romans and he incurred the wrath of Pope Innocent III and was excommunicated in 1215. Otto was forced to abdicate the throne by the Hohenstaufen Frederick II. He was the only Welf to become emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Henry the Lions grandson Otto the Child became duke of a part of Saxony in 1235, the new Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and died there in 1252.
The subsequent history of the dukedom and its subordinate principalities was characterized by divisions and reunifications. The subordinate states that were created, and which had the legal status of principalities within the duchy were generally named after the residences of their rulers. The estates of the different dynastic lines could be inherited by a line when a family died out. The individual subordinate principalities continued to exist until the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, following the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15, the territories became part of the Kingdom of Hanover and the Duchy of Brunswick
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The title was revived in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne, some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars generally concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, the office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although frequently controlled by dynasties. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806, after the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by Napoleon, before 1157, the realm was merely referred to as the Roman Empire.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, by the end of the 18th century, the term Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation had fallen out of official use. As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control, by the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, and the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel’s son Pepin became King of the Franks, the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768 Pepin’s son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an expansion of the realm. He eventually incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, on Christmas Day of 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor, restoring the title in the west for the first time in over three centuries. After the death of Charles the Fat in 888, the Carolingian Empire broke apart, according to Regino of Prüm, the parts of the realm spewed forth kinglets, and each part elected a kinglet from its own bowels.
After the death of Charles the Fat, those crowned emperor by the pope controlled only territories in Italy, the last such emperor was Berengar I of Italy, who died in 924. Around 900, autonomous stem duchies reemerged in East Francia, on his deathbed, Conrad yielded the crown to his main rival, Henry the Fowler of Saxony, who was elected king at the Diet of Fritzlar in 919. Henry reached a truce with the raiding Magyars, and in 933 he won a first victory against them in the Battle of Riade, Henry died in 936, but his descendants, the Liudolfing dynasty, would continue to rule the Eastern kingdom for roughly a century. Upon Henry the Fowlers death, his son and designated successor, was elected King in Aachen in 936 and he overcame a series of revolts from an elder brother and from several dukes. After that, the managed to control the appointment of dukes. In 951, Otto came to the aid of Adelaide, the queen of Italy, defeating her enemies, marrying her. In 955, Otto won a victory over the Magyars in the Battle of Lechfeld
Within six weeks, three thousand French men and women were slain by the rebels, and the government of King Charles lost control of the island. It was the beginning of the War of the Sicilian Vespers and these lay between Hohenstaufen lands in northern Italy and the Hohenstaufen Kingdom of Sicily in the south, the Hohenstaufen at the time ruled Germany. In 1245 Pope Innocent IV excommunicated Frederick II and declared him deposed, when Frederick died in 1250, his dominion was inherited by his son, Conrad IV of Germany. A period of turmoil followed Conrads death in 1254, and the Kingdom of Sicily was seized by Manfred, King of Sicily, Fredericks illegitimate son, 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, Conrads son, following a false rumour that Conradin was dead, Manfred 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.
However, Pope Urban IV and Pope Clement IV were not prepared to recognize Manfred as lawful ruler of Sicily and first excommunicated sought to depose him by force of arms. After abortive attempts to enlist England as the champion of the Papacy against Manfred, Charles invaded Italy and defeated and killed Manfred in 1266 at the Battle of Benevento, becoming King of Sicily. In 1268 Conradin, who had come of age, invaded Italy to press his claim to the throne. Charles was now undisputed master of the Kingdom of Sicily, beginning on that night, thousands of Sicilys French inhabitants were massacred within six weeks. The events that started the uprising are not known for certain, the only town in Sicily not to join the rebellion was a small village called Sperlinga, which protected French soldiers in a castle excavated in sandstone. According to Steven Runciman, the Sicilians at the church were engaged in holiday festivities, a sergeant named Drouet dragged a young married woman from the crowd, pestering her with his advances.
Her husband attacked Drouet with a knife, killing him, when the other Frenchmen tried to avenge their comrade, the Sicilian crowd fell upon them, killing them all. At that moment all the bells in Palermo began to ring for Vespers. The French were attacked, first with rocks, the news spread to other cities leading to revolt throughout Sicily. By the time the furious anger at their insolence had drunk its fill of blood, there is a third version of the events that is quite close to Runcimans, varying only in the minor details. This story is part of the tradition on the island up to the present time. This oral tradition cannot be verified, but is of interest to sociologists, according to the legend, John of Procida was the mastermind behind the conspiracy
Duchy of Urbino
The Duchy of Urbino was a sovereign state in central-northern Italy. The first lords of Urbino were the House of Montefeltro, who obtained the title of counts from Emperor Frederick II in 1213, the first Duke was Oddantonio, who received the title from Pope Eugene IV in 1443. In 1523 the capital was moved to Pesaro, History of Urbino Pesaro List of historic states of Italy Holy Roman Empire James Dennistoun. Memoirs of the Dukes of Urbino, Illustrating the Arms, Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three History of the popes, their church and state by Leopold von Ranke Franceschini, G. Storia dei conti e duchi dUrbino, Filippo, Storia dei conti e duchi dUrbino - volume 2