By I. S. Robinson

This can be the 1st booklet in English dedicated to the German king and emperor Henry IV (1056-1106), whose reign was once some of the most momentous in German historical past and a turning-point within the heritage of the medieval empire (the kingdoms of Germany, Italy and Burgundy). The reign used to be marked through non-stop rebellions and fluctuating fortune. past monarchs had additionally witnessed clash among crown and aristocracy, yet Henry IV's reign differed in that his conflicts may perhaps by no means be definitively resolved both by way of negotiation or by means of struggle. throughout the 1070s the younger king won a long-lasting popularity for tyranny, whereas his statement of the crown's conventional rights over the imperial church aroused papal competition. The alliance among the German princes and the papacy haunted Henry IV for the remainder of his lifestyles. He in the meantime, via turns opportunist and compromiser, devoted himself always to maintaining the normal rights of the monarchy.

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Lampert, Annales , p. . Meyer von Knonau () :–; Lange () –. ) In appointing Berthold of Zähringen, Rudolf of Rheinfelden and Otto of Northeim to the three south German duchies, Agnes chose powerful and ambitious princes whose military and administrative talents would be useful to her regime and whose family connections with the imperial dynasty might be expected to guarantee their loyalty. In the event, however, one at least of these princes joined the conspiracy against the empress which ended her regency in .

1 The minority, – Henry IV was born on  November , perhaps in Goslar, the favourite palace of his father, Emperor Henry III. 1 Anxiety about the succession to the throne is already apparent in a report from . Archbishop Herman II of Cologne, the emperor’s trusted adviser, celebrating mass on  September, perhaps in the emperor’s presence, called on the faithful to ‘pray that divine mercy may give the emperor a son so that the peace of the kingdom may continue’. 2 Henry III’s first wife, Gunhild (daughter of Cnut the Great, king of Denmark and England), had borne him one daughter, Beatrice.

The wedding took place at Christmastide , when the bride had only just reached marriageable age. 48 Historians have differed widely in their theories of Rudolf ’s origins, seeing him variously as a ‘new man’ of obscure origin, as a kinsman of Empress Agnes, as of royal descent. , p. . See Meyer von Knonau () :–; Mohr () :,  n. ; E. Goez () . , p. ; Sigebert of Gembloux, Chronica , p. ; Frutolf of Michelsberg, Chronica , p. ; Annales Leodienses, Continuatio , p.

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