Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor

Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor

Overview
Henry IV (11 November 1050 – 7 August 1106) was King of the Romans (also referred to as King of the Germans) from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 from 1084 until his forced abdication
Abdication
Abdication occurs when a monarch, such as a king or emperor, renounces his office.-Terminology:The word abdication comes derives from the Latin abdicatio. meaning to disown or renounce...

 in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty
Salian dynasty
The Salian dynasty was a dynasty in the High Middle Ages of four German Kings , also known as the Frankish dynasty after the family's origin and role as dukes of Franconia...

 and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century. His reign was marked by the Investiture Controversy
Investiture Controversy
The Investiture Controversy or Investiture Contest was the most significant conflict between Church and state in medieval Europe. In the 11th and 12th centuries, a series of Popes challenged the authority of European monarchies over control of appointments, or investitures, of church officials such...

 with the Papacy and several civil wars with pretenders to his throne in Italy and Germany.

Henry was only six years old when he succeeded to the throne, and his mother, Agnes de Poitou
Agnes de Poitou
Agnes of Poitou, Agnes of Aquitaine or Empress Agnes was Holy Roman Empress and regent of the Holy Roman Empire from 1056 to 1062.-Family:...

, became regent, but in 1062 the young king was kidnapped as a result of a conspiracy of German nobles led by archbishop Anno II of Cologne.
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Encyclopedia
Henry IV (11 November 1050 – 7 August 1106) was King of the Romans (also referred to as King of the Germans) from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 from 1084 until his forced abdication
Abdication
Abdication occurs when a monarch, such as a king or emperor, renounces his office.-Terminology:The word abdication comes derives from the Latin abdicatio. meaning to disown or renounce...

 in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty
Salian dynasty
The Salian dynasty was a dynasty in the High Middle Ages of four German Kings , also known as the Frankish dynasty after the family's origin and role as dukes of Franconia...

 and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century. His reign was marked by the Investiture Controversy
Investiture Controversy
The Investiture Controversy or Investiture Contest was the most significant conflict between Church and state in medieval Europe. In the 11th and 12th centuries, a series of Popes challenged the authority of European monarchies over control of appointments, or investitures, of church officials such...

 with the Papacy and several civil wars with pretenders to his throne in Italy and Germany.

Biography


Henry was only six years old when he succeeded to the throne, and his mother, Agnes de Poitou
Agnes de Poitou
Agnes of Poitou, Agnes of Aquitaine or Empress Agnes was Holy Roman Empress and regent of the Holy Roman Empire from 1056 to 1062.-Family:...

, became regent, but in 1062 the young king was kidnapped as a result of a conspiracy of German nobles led by archbishop Anno II of Cologne. Henry, who was at Kaiserwerth, was persuaded to board a boat lying in the Rhine; it was immediately unmoored and the king jumped into the stream, but was rescued by one of the conspirators and carried to Cologne. Agnes retired to a convent, and the government was placed in the hands of Anno. His first move was to back Pope Alexander II
Pope Alexander II
Pope Alexander II , born Anselmo da Baggio, was Pope from 1061 to 1073.He was born in Milan. As bishop of Lucca he had been an energetic coadjutor with Hildebrand of Sovana in endeavouring to suppress simony, and to enforce the celibacy of the clergy...

 against the antipope Honorius II
Antipope Honorius II
Honorius II , born Pietro Cadalus, was an antipope from 1061 to 1072. He was born at Verona and became bishop of Parma in 1046. He died at Parma in 1072....

, whom Agnes had initially recognized but subsequently left without support.

Anno's rule proved unpopular. The education and training of Henry were supervised by Anno, who was called his magister, while Adalbert of Hamburg
Adalbert of Hamburg
This article is about Adalbert of Hamburg-Bremen. For other uses, see Adalbert .Adalbert of Hamburg-Bremen was a German prelate, who was Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen from 1043 until his death...

, archbishop of Bremen, was styled Henry's patronus. Henry's education seems to have been neglected, and his willful and headstrong nature developed under the conditions of these early years. The malleable Adalbert of Hamburg soon became the confidante of the ruthless Henry. Eventually, during an absence of Anno from Germany, Henry managed to obtain control of his civil duties, leaving Anno with only the ecclesiastical ones.

First years of rule and the Saxon Wars


In March 1065, Henry was declared of age. The whole of his future reign was marked by apparent efforts to consolidate Imperial power. In reality, however, it was a careful balancing act to maintain the loyalty of the nobility and the support of the pope.

In 1066, one year after his enthroning at the age of fifteen, he expelled Adalbert of Hamburg-Bremen
Adalbert of Hamburg
This article is about Adalbert of Hamburg-Bremen. For other uses, see Adalbert .Adalbert of Hamburg-Bremen was a German prelate, who was Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen from 1043 until his death...

, who had profited from his position for personal enrichment, from the Crown Council. Henry also adopted urgent military measures against the Slav pagans, who had recently invaded Germany and besieged Hamburg.

In June 1066 Henry married Bertha of Savoy/Turin, daughter of Otto, Count of Savoy, to whom he had been betrothed in 1055. In the same year he assembled an army to fight, at the request of the Pope, the Italo-Normans of southern Italy. Henry's troops had reached Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

 when he received news that Godfrey of Tuscany
Godfrey IV, Duke of Lower Lorraine
Godfrey IV , known as the Hunchback, was a son of Godfrey the Bearded, whom he succeeded as duke of Lower Lorraine in 1069. His mother was Doda and his sister was Ida....

, husband of the powerful Matilda of Canossa, marchioness of Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

, had already attacked the Normans. Therefore the expedition was halted.

In 1068, driven by his impetuous character and his infidelities, Henry attempted to divorce Bertha. His peroration at a council in Mainz
Mainz
Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...

 was however rejected by the Papal legate Pier Damiani, who hinted that any further insistence towards divorce would lead the new pope, Alexander II
Pope Alexander II
Pope Alexander II , born Anselmo da Baggio, was Pope from 1061 to 1073.He was born in Milan. As bishop of Lucca he had been an energetic coadjutor with Hildebrand of Sovana in endeavouring to suppress simony, and to enforce the celibacy of the clergy...

, to deny his coronation. Henry obeyed and his wife returned to Court, but he was convinced that the Papal opposition aimed only at overthrowing lay power within the Empire, in favour of an ecclesiastical hierarchy.

In the late 1060s, Henry demonstrated his determination to reduce any opposition and to enlarge the national boundaries. He led expeditions against the Lutici
Lutici
The Lutici were a federation of West Slavic Polabian tribes, who between the 10th and 12th centuries lived in what is now northeastern Germany. Four tribes made up the core of the federation: the Redarians , Circipanians , Kessinians and Tollensians...

 and the margrave of a district east of Saxony; and soon afterwards he had to quell the rebellions with Rudolf of Swabia and Berthold of Carinthia. Much more serious was Henry's struggle with Otto of Nordheim
Otto of Nordheim
Otto of Northeim was Duke of Bavaria from 1061 until 1070. He was one of the leaders of the Saxon revolt against Emperor Henry IV....

, duke of Bavaria. This prince, who occupied an influential position in Germany and was one of the protagonists of Henry's early kidnapping, was accused in 1070 by a certain Egino of being privy to a plot to murder the king. It was decided that a trial by battle should take place at Goslar
Goslar
Goslar is a historic town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the administrative centre of the district of Goslar and located on the northwestern slopes of the Harz mountain range. The Old Town of Goslar and the Mines of Rammelsberg are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.-Geography:Goslar is situated at the...

, but when Otto's demand for safe conduct to and from the place of meeting was refused, he declined to appear. He was thereupon declared deposed in Bavaria, and his Saxon estates were plundered. However, he obtained sufficient support to carry on a struggle with the king in Saxony and Thuringia until 1071, when he submitted at Halberstadt
Halberstadt
Halberstadt is a town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt and the capital of the district of Harz. It is located on the German Half-Timbered House Road and the Magdeburg–Thale railway....

. Henry aroused the hostility of the Thuringians by supporting Siegfried, archbishop of Mainz
Siegfried I, Archbishop of Mainz
Siegfried I was the Abbot of Fulda from 25 December 1058 until he became Archbishop of Mainz in 6 January 1060.Siegfried was a member of the Frankish Reginbodonen family of the Rhineland. His family furnished counts in the Königssondergau and burgraves and vogts of Mainz. Siegfried was educated in...

, in his efforts to exact tithes from them; still more formidable was the enmity of the Saxons, who had several causes of complaint against the king. He was the son of one enemy, Henry III, and the friend of another, Adalbert of Hamburg-Bremen.

Investiture Controversy



In order to secure the Church's support for his expeditions in Saxony and Thuringia, Henry adhered to Papal decrees in religious matters. His apparent weakness, however, had the side effect of spurring the ambitions of Gregory VII
Pope Gregory VII
Pope St. Gregory VII , born Hildebrand of Sovana , was Pope from April 22, 1073, until his death. One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor affirming the primacy of the papal...

, a reformist monk elected as pontiff in 1073, toward Papal hegemony.

The tension between Empire and Church culminated in the councils of 1074–1075, which constituted a substantial attempt to undo Henry III's policies. Among other measures, they denied secular rulers the right to place members of the clergy in office; this had dramatic effects in Germany, where bishops were often powerful feudatories who, in this way, were able to free themselves from imperial authority. In addition to restoring all privileges lost by the ecclesiasticals, the council's decision deprived the imperial crown of almost half its lands, with grievous consequences for national unity, especially in peripheral areas like the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (medieval)
The Kingdom of Italy was a political entity under control of Carolingian dynasty of Francia first, after the defeat of the Lombards in 774. It was finally incorporated as a part of the Holy Roman Empire in 962....

.

Suddenly hostile to Gregory, Henry did not relent from his positions: after his defeat of Otto of Nordheim, he continued to interfere in Italian and German episcopal life, naming bishops at his will and declaring papal provisions illegitimate. In 1075, Gregory excommunicated some members of the Imperial Court and threatened to do the same to Henry himself. Furthermore, in a synod held in February of that year, Gregory clearly established the supreme power of the Catholic Church, with the Empire subjected to it. Henry replied with a counter-synod of his own.

The beginning of the conflict known as the Investiture Controversy
Investiture Controversy
The Investiture Controversy or Investiture Contest was the most significant conflict between Church and state in medieval Europe. In the 11th and 12th centuries, a series of Popes challenged the authority of European monarchies over control of appointments, or investitures, of church officials such...

 can be assigned to Christmas night of 1075: Gregory was kidnapped and imprisoned by Cencio I Frangipane
Cencio I Frangipane
Cencio I Frangipane was a Roman nobleman of the Frangipani family of the latter half of the eleventh century. He was a Roman consul...

, a Roman noble, while officiating at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Later freed by Roman people, Gregory accused Henry of having been behind the attempt. In the same year, the king had defeated a rebellion of Saxons in the First Battle of Langensalza
First Battle of Langensalza
The First Battle of Langensalza was fought on 9 June 1075 between forces of German King Henry IV and several rebellious Saxon noblemen on the River Unstrut near Langensalza. The battle was a complete success for Henry, resulting in the subjugation of Saxony shortly before the Investiture...

, and was therefore free to accept the challenge.

At Worms, on 24 January 1076, a synod
Synod of Worms
The Synod of Worms was an ecclesiastical synod convened by the Emperor Henry IV in January 1076, at Worms, Germany. It was intended to agree a condemnation of Pope Gregory VII, and Henry's success in achieving this outcome marked the beginning of the Investiture Controversy.Of the 38 German...

 of bishops and princes summoned by Henry declared Gregory VII deposed. Hildebrand replied by excommunicating the king and all the bishops named by him on 22 February 1076. In October of that year a diet of the German princes in Tribur attempted to find a settlement for the conflict, conceding Henry a year to repent from his actions, before the ratification of the excommunication that the pope was to sign in Swabia some months later. Henry did not repent, and, counting on the hostility showed by the Lombard clergy against Gregory, decided to move to Italy. He left Speyer
Speyer
Speyer is a city of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany with approximately 50,000 inhabitants. Located beside the river Rhine, Speyer is 25 km south of Ludwigshafen and Mannheim. Founded by the Romans, it is one of Germany's oldest cities...

 in December 1076, spent Christmas of that year in Besançon
Besançon
Besançon , is the capital and principal city of the Franche-Comté region in eastern France. It had a population of about 237,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area in 2008...

 and, together with his wife and his son, he crossed the Alps with help of the Bishop of Turin and reached Pavia
Pavia
Pavia , the ancient Ticinum, is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 km south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It is the capital of the province of Pavia. It has a population of c. 71,000...

.

Gregory, on his way to the diet of Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

, and hearing that Henry was approaching, took refuge in the castle of Canossa (near Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia is an affluent city in northern Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region. It has about 170,000 inhabitants and is the main comune of the Province of Reggio Emilia....

), belonging to Matilda. Henry's troops were nearby.

Henry's intent, however, was apparently to perform the penance required to lift his excommunication and ensure his continued rule. The choice of an Italian location for the act of repentance, instead of Augsburg, was not accidental: it aimed to consolidate the Imperial power in an area partly hostile to the Pope; to lead in person the prosecution of events; and to oppose the pact signed by German feudataries and the Pope in Tribur with the strong German party that had deposed Henry at Worms, through the concrete presence of his army.

He stood in the snow outside the gates of the castle of Canossa for three days, from 25 January to 27 January 1077, begging the pope to rescind the sentence (popularly portrayed as without shoes, taking no food or shelter, and wearing a hairshirt
Hairshirt
A hairshirt is a cilice, an uncomfortable shirt worn by some Catholics and, earlier, by Jews as a sign of penance. This may also refer to:*Hairshirt , a 1998 motion picture starring Dean Paras, Chris Hogan, Evan Glenn and Neve Campbell...

 - see Walk of Canossa). The Pope lifted the excommunication, imposing a vow to comply with certain conditions, which Henry soon violated.

Civil war and recovery


Rudolf of Rheinfelden, a two-time brother-in-law of Henry along with allied German Aristocrats
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

, took advantage of the momentary weakness of the king in what became known as the Great Saxon Revolt
Great Saxon Revolt
The Great Saxon Revolt was a civil war between 1077 and 1088 early in the history of the Holy Roman Empire led by a group of opportunistic German princes who elected as their figurehead the duke of Swabia and anti-king Rudolf of Rheinfeld, a two-way brother-in-law of the young Henry IV, Holy Roman...

 by having himself declared antiking
Antiking
An Antiking is a would-be king who, due to succession disputes or simple political opposition, declares himself king in opposition to a reigning monarch. Antikings are more often found in elected monarchies than in hereditary monarchies like those of England and France; such figures in hereditary...

 by a council of Saxon, Bavarian, and Carinthian princes in March of 1077 in Forchheim
Forchheim (Oberfranken)
Forchheim is a large town in Upper Franconia in northern Bavaria, and also the seat of the administrative district of Forchheim. Forchheim is a former royal city, and is sometimes called the “Gateway to the Franconian Switzerland”, as the region is known. Its population, as of October 2008, was...

. Rudolf promised to respect the electoral concept of the monarchy and declared his willingness to submit to the pope.

Despite these difficulties, Henry's situation in Germany improved in the following years. When Rudolf was crowned king at Mainz in May 1077 by one of the plotters, Siegfried I, Archbishop of Mainz
Siegfried I, Archbishop of Mainz
Siegfried I was the Abbot of Fulda from 25 December 1058 until he became Archbishop of Mainz in 6 January 1060.Siegfried was a member of the Frankish Reginbodonen family of the Rhineland. His family furnished counts in the Königssondergau and burgraves and vogts of Mainz. Siegfried was educated in...

, the population revolted and forced him, the archbishop, and other nobles to flee to Saxony. Positioned there, Rudolf was geographically and then militarily deprived of his territories by Henry; he was later stripped of Swabia as well. After the inconclusive battle of Mellrichstadt
Battle of Mellrichstadt
Battle of Mellrichstadt was fought between Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and the German anti-king Rudolf of Swabia on August 7, 1078 near Mellrichstadt.-Battle:...

 (7 August 1077) and the defeat of Henry's forces in the Flarchheim
Battle of Flarchheim
Battle of Flarcheim was fought between Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and the German anti-king Rudolf of Swabia on January 27, 1080 near Flarchheim.-Prelude:...

 (27 January 1080) Gregory flip-flopped to support the revolt and launched a second anathema (excommunication) against Henry in March 1080, thereby supporting the anti-king Rudolph. However, the ample evidence that Gregory's actions were rooted in hate for the Emperor-elect instead of theology had an unfavourable personal impact on the Pope's reputation and authority, leading much of Germany to return to Henry's cause.

On 14 October 1080 the armies of the two rival kings met at the Weisse Elster River in the battle of Elster, in the plain of Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 and Henry's forces again suffered a military defeat, but won the battle with a strategic outcome— the anti-king Rudolf of Rheinfelden was mortally wounded and died the next day at nearby Merseburg
Merseburg
Merseburg is a town in the south of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt on the river Saale, approx. 14 km south of Halle . It is the capital of the Saalekreis district. It had a diocese founded by Archbishop Adalbert of Magdeburg....

, and the rebellion against Henry lost much of its momentum.

Soon after, another anti-king, Hermann of Salm
Hermann of Salm
Herman of Salm , also known as Herman of Luxembourg, was a count of Salm and German anti-king of the Holy Roman Empire who ruled from 1081 until his death...

, arose as figurehead in the Great Saxon Revolt
Great Saxon Revolt
The Great Saxon Revolt was a civil war between 1077 and 1088 early in the history of the Holy Roman Empire led by a group of opportunistic German princes who elected as their figurehead the duke of Swabia and anti-king Rudolf of Rheinfeld, a two-way brother-in-law of the young Henry IV, Holy Roman...

 cause, but was fought successfully by Frederick I, Duke of Swabia
Frederick I, Duke of Swabia
Frederick I von Staufen was Duke of Swabia from 1079 to his death. He was the first ruler of Swabia from the House of Hohenstaufen, and was the builder of dynasty's ancestral Hohenstaufen Castle near Göppingen.-Parents:...

 (Frederick of Swabia) — Rudolf's Henry-appointed successor in Swabia who had married Henry's daughter Agnes of Germany
Agnes of Germany
Agnes of Germany was the daughter of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor and Bertha of Savoy. Her maternal grandparents were Otto, Count of Savoy, Aosta and Moriana and Adelaide, Marchioness of Turin and Susa....

. Henry convoked a synod of the highest German clergy in Bamberg
Bamberg
Bamberg is a city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz, close to its confluence with the river Main. Bamberg is one of the few cities in Germany that was not destroyed by World War II bombings because of a nearby Artillery Factory that prevented planes from...

 and Brixen
Brixen
Brixen is the name of two cities in the Alps:*Brixen, South Tyrol, Italy*Brixen im Thale, Tyrol, AustriaBrixen may also refer to:*Bishopric of Brixen, the former north-Italian state....

 (June 1080). Here Henry had pope Gregory (he'd dubbed "The False Monk") again deposed and replaced by the primate of Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

, Guibert (now known as the antipope Clement III
Antipope Clement III
Guibert or Wibert of Ravenna was a cleric made antipope in 1080 due to perceived abuses of Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy, a title that lasted to his death....

, though who was in the right was unclear in the day).

Second voyage to Italy


Henry entered Pavia
Pavia
Pavia , the ancient Ticinum, is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 km south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It is the capital of the province of Pavia. It has a population of c. 71,000...

 and was crowned here as King of Italy, receiving the Iron Crown
Iron Crown of Lombardy
The Iron Crown of Lombardy is both a reliquary and one of the most ancient royal insignia of Europe. The crown became one of the symbols of the Kingdom of Lombards and later of the medieval Kingdom of Italy...

. He also assigned a series of privileges to the Italian cities who had supported him, and marched against the hated Matilda of Tuscany
Matilda of Tuscany
Matilda of Tuscany was an Italian noblewoman, the principal Italian supporter of Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy. She is one of the few medieval women to be remembered for her military accomplishments...

, declaring her deposed for lese majesty and confiscating her possessions. Then he moved to Rome, which he besieged first in 1081: he was however compelled to retire to Tuscany, where he granted privileges to various cities, and obtained monetary assistance (360,000 gold pieces) from a new ally, the eastern emperor, Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I Komnenos, Latinized as Alexius I Comnenus , was Byzantine emperor from 1081 to 1118, and although he was not the founder of the Komnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Komnenos family came to full power. The title 'Nobilissimus' was given to senior army commanders,...

, who aimed to thwart the Norman's aims against his empire.

A second and equally unsuccessful attack on Rome was followed by a war of devastation in northern Italy with the adherents of Matilda; and towards the end of 1082 the king made a third attack on Rome. After a siege of seven months the Leonine City
Leonine City
The Leonine City is that part of the city of Rome around which the ninth-century Pope Leo IV commissioned the construction of the Leonine Wall. It is on the opposite side of the Tiber from the seven hills of Rome and was not enclosed within the ancient city's Aurelian Walls, built between 271 and...

 fell into his hands. A treaty was concluded with the Romans, who agreed that the quarrel between king and pope should be decided by a synod, and secretly bound themselves to induce Gregory to crown Henry as emperor, or to choose another pope. Gregory, however, shut up in Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family...

, would hear of no compromise; the synod was a failure, as Henry prevented the attendance of many of the pope's supporters; and the king, in pursuance of his treaty with Alexios, marched against the Normans.

The Romans soon fell away from their allegiance to the pope; and, recalled to the city, Henry entered Rome in March 1084, after which Gregory was declared deposed and Clement
Antipope Clement III
Guibert or Wibert of Ravenna was a cleric made antipope in 1080 due to perceived abuses of Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy, a title that lasted to his death....

 was recognized by the Romans. On 31 March 1084 Henry was crowned emperor by Clement, and received the patrician authority. His next step was to attack the fortresses still in the hands of Gregory. The pope was saved by the advance of Robert Guiscard
Robert Guiscard
Robert d'Hauteville, known as Guiscard, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, from Latin Viscardus and Old French Viscart, often rendered the Resourceful, the Cunning, the Wily, the Fox, or the Weasel was a Norman adventurer conspicuous in the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily...

, duke of Apulia, who left the siege of Durazzo and marched towards Rome: Henry left the city and Gregory could be freed. The latter however died soon later at Salerno
Salerno
Salerno is a city and comune in Campania and is the capital of the province of the same name. It is located on the Gulf of Salerno on the Tyrrhenian Sea....

 (1085), not before a last letter in which he exhorted the whole of Christianity to a crusade against the emperor.

Feeling secure of his success in Italy, Henry returned to Germany.

The Emperor spent 1084 in a show of power in Germany, where the reforming instances had still ground due to the predication of Otto of Ostia, advancing up to Magdeburg
Magdeburg
Magdeburg , is the largest city and the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe....

 in Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

. He also declared the Peace of God in all the Imperial territories to quench any sedition. On 8 March 1088 Otto of Ostia was elected pope as Urban II: with Norman support, he excommunicated Henry and Clement III, who was defined "a beast sprung out from the earth to wage war against the Saints of God". He also formed a large coalition against the Holy Roman Empire, including, aside from the Normans, the Rus of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

, the Lombard communes of Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Cremona
Cremona
Cremona is a city and comune in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po River in the middle of the Pianura Padana . It is the capital of the province of Cremona and the seat of the local City and Province governments...

, Lodi and Piacenza
Piacenza
Piacenza is a city and comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Piacenza...

 and Matilda of Canossa, who had remarried to Welf II of Bavaria, therefore creating a concentration of power too formidable to be neglected by the emperor.

Internecine wars and death


In 1088 Hermann of Salm died and Egbert II, Margrave of Meissen
Egbert II, Margrave of Meissen
Egbert II was Count of Brunswick and Margrave of Meissen. He was the eldest son of the Margrave Egbert I of the Brunonen family.Still a minor, he succeeded his father on the latter's death 11 January 1068 in Brunswick and Meissen...

, a long-time enemy of the Emperor's, proclaimed himself the antiking's successor. Henry had him condemned by a Saxon diet and then a national one at Quedlinburg
Quedlinburg
Quedlinburg is a town located north of the Harz mountains, in the district of Harz in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. In 1994 the medieval court and the old town was set on the UNESCO world heritage list....

 and Regensburg
Regensburg
Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...

 respectively, but was defeated by Egbert when a relief army came to the margrave's rescue during the siege of Gleichen
Gleichen
Gleichen is the name of two groups of castles in Germany, thus named from their resemblance to each other .- Castles in Thuringia between Gotha and Erfurt :...

. Egbert was murdered two years later (1090) and his ineffectual insurrection and royal pretensions fell apart.

Henry then launched his third punitive expedition
Punitive expedition
A punitive expedition is a military journey undertaken to punish a state or any group of persons outside the borders of the punishing state. It is usually undertaken in response to perceived disobedient or morally wrong behavior, but may be also be a covered revenge...

 in Italy. After some initial success against the lands of Canossa, his defeat in 1092 caused the rebellion of the Lombard communes. The insurrection extended when Matilda managed to turn against him his elder son, Conrad, who was crowned King of Italy at Monza
Monza
Monza is a city and comune on the river Lambro, a tributary of the Po, in the Lombardy region of Italy some 15 km north-northeast of Milan. It is the capital of the Province of Monza and Brianza. It is best known for its Grand Prix motor racing circuit, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.On June...

 in 1093. The Emperor therefore found himself cut off from Germany. He could return there only in 1097: in Germany his power was still at its height. Matilda of Canossa had secretly transferred her property to the Church in 1089, before her marriage to Welf II of Bavaria (1072–1120). In 1095, a furious Welf left her and, together with his father, switched his allegiance to Henry IV, possibly in exchange for a promise of succeeding his father as duke of Bavaria. Henry reacted by deposing Conrad at the diet of Mainz in April 1098, and designating his younger son Henry
Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry V was King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor , the fourth and last ruler of the Salian dynasty. Henry's reign coincided with the final phase of the great Investiture Controversy, which had pitted pope against emperor...

 (future Henry V) as successor, under the oath sworn that he would never follow his brother's example.

The situation in the Empire remained chaotic, worsened by the further excommunication against Henry launched by the new pope Paschal II, a follower of Gregory VII's reformation ideals elected in the August of 1099. But this time the Emperor, meeting with some success in his efforts to restore order, could afford to ignore the papal ban. A successful campaign in Flanders was followed in 1103 by a diet at Mainz, where serious efforts were made to restore peace, and Henry IV himself promised to go on crusade. But this plan was shattered by the revolt of his son Henry in 1104, who, encouraged by the adherents of the pope, declared he owed no allegiance to an excommunicated father. Saxony and Thuringia were soon in arms, the bishops held mainly to the younger Henry, while the Emperor was supported by the towns. A desultory warfare was unfavourable, however, to the Emperor, who was taken as prisoner at an alleged reconciliation meeting at Koblenz
Koblenz
Koblenz is a German city situated on both banks of the Rhine at its confluence with the Moselle, where the Deutsches Eck and its monument are situated.As Koblenz was one of the military posts established by Drusus about 8 BC, the...

. At a diet held in Mainz in December, Henry IV was forced to resign his crown, being subsequently imprisoned in the castle of Böckelheim. Here he was also obliged to say that he had unjustly persecuted Gregory VII and to have illegally named Clement III as anti-pope.

When these conditions became known in Germany, a strong dissent movement spread. In 1106 the loyal party set up a large army to fight Henry V and Paschal. Henry IV managed to escape to Cologne from his jail, finding considerable support in the lower Rhineland
Rhineland
Historically, the Rhinelands refers to a loosely-defined region embracing the land on either bank of the River Rhine in central Europe....

. He also entered into negotiations with England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

.

Henry was also able to defeat his son's army near Visé, in Lorraine, on 2 March 1106. However, he died soon afterwards after nine days of illness, while he was the guest of his friend Othbert, Bishop of Liège. He was 56.
His body was buried by the bishop of Liège with suitable ceremony, but by command of the papal legate it was unearthed, taken to Speyer
Speyer
Speyer is a city of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany with approximately 50,000 inhabitants. Located beside the river Rhine, Speyer is 25 km south of Ludwigshafen and Mannheim. Founded by the Romans, it is one of Germany's oldest cities...

 and placed in the unconsecrated chapel of Saint Afra that was built on the side of the Imperial Cathedral
Imperial Cathedrals
Imperial Cathedral in its original context means a cathedral linked to the german emperors.The Romanesque cathedrals on the Rhine in Mainz, Worms and Speyer are called Imperial Cathedrals....

. After being released from the sentence of excommunication, the remains were buried in Speyer cathedral
Speyer Cathedral
The Speyer Cathedral, officially the Imperial Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and St Stephen, in Latin: Domus sanctae Mariae Spirae in Speyer, Germany, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Speyer and is suffragan to the Archdiocese of Bamberg. The cathedral, which is dedicated to St...

 in August 1111.

Evaluation


Henry IV in later life displayed much diplomatic ability. His abasement at Canossa can be regarded as a move of policy to weaken the pope's position at the cost of a personal humiliation to himself. He was always regarded as a friend of the lower orders, was capable of generosity and gratitude, and showed considerable military skill and great chivalry.

Marriages


Henry's wife Bertha
Bertha of Savoy
Bertha of Savoy , also called Bertha of Turin, was the first wife of Emperor Henry IV, and was German Queen and Holy Roman Empress. She is buried in the cathedral of Speyer.-Life:...

 died on 27 December 1087. She was also buried at the Speyer Cathedral
Speyer Cathedral
The Speyer Cathedral, officially the Imperial Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and St Stephen, in Latin: Domus sanctae Mariae Spirae in Speyer, Germany, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Speyer and is suffragan to the Archdiocese of Bamberg. The cathedral, which is dedicated to St...

. Their children were:
  • Adelheid (1070 – 4 June 1079)
  • Henry (1071 – 2 August 1071)
  • Agnes of Germany
    Agnes of Germany
    Agnes of Germany was the daughter of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor and Bertha of Savoy. Her maternal grandparents were Otto, Count of Savoy, Aosta and Moriana and Adelaide, Marchioness of Turin and Susa....

     (1072/73 – 24 September 1143)
  • Conrad (12 February 1074 – 27 July 1101), later Roman-German King and King of Italy
  • Henry V
    Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
    Henry V was King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor , the fourth and last ruler of the Salian dynasty. Henry's reign coincided with the final phase of the great Investiture Controversy, which had pitted pope against emperor...

     (8 January 1086 – 23 May 1125), later Roman-German King and Holy Roman Emperor
  • Mathilde, Morkinskinna records that Magnus III of Norway
    Magnus III of Norway
    Magnus Barefoot or Magnus III Olafsson was King of Norway from 1093 until 1103 and King of Mann and the Isles from 1099 until 1103.-Background:...

     “was much smitten” with “the emperor's daughter…with whom he had exchanged messages…Matilda”[444]. No other reference to this alleged daughter has been found.


In 1089 Henry married Eupraxia of Kiev
Eupraxia of Kiev
Eupraxia of Kiev was the daughter of Vsevolod I, Prince of Kiev and second wife of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor. She was the sister of Vladimir Monomakh....

 (crowned Empress in 1088), a daughter of Vsevolod I, Prince of Kiev
Vsevolod I of Kiev
Vsevolod I Yaroslavich , ruled as Grand Prince of Kiev from 1078 until his death.-Early life:...

, and sister to his son Vladimir II Monomakh
Vladimir II Monomakh
Vladimir II Monomakh |Basileios]]) was a Velikiy Kniaz of Kievan Rus'.- Family :He was the son of Vsevolod I and Anastasia of Byzantium Vladimir II Monomakh |Basileios]]) (1053 – May 19, 1125) was a Velikiy Kniaz (Grand Prince) of Kievan Rus'.- Family :He was the son of Vsevolod I (married in...

, prince of Kievan Rus. She assumed the name "Adelaide" upon her coronation. In 1094, she joined the rebellion against Henry, accusing him of holding her prisoner, forcing her to participate in orgies, and attempting a black mass
Black Mass
A Black Mass is a ceremony supposedly celebrated during the Witches' Sabbath, which was a sacrilegious parody of the Catholic Mass. Its main objective was the profanation of the host, although there is no agreement among authors on how hosts were obtained or profaned; the most common idea is that...

 on her naked body.

In fiction


The title character in the tragedy Henry IV
Enrico IV
Henry IV is a play by Luigi Pirandello. A study on madness with comic and tragic sides, it has been translated into English by Tom Stoppard and others...

 
by Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello
Luigi Pirandello was an Italian dramatist, novelist, and short story writer awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934, for his "bold and brilliant renovation of the drama and the stage." Pirandello's works include novels, hundreds of short stories, and about 40 plays, some of which are written...

 is a madman who believes himself to be Henry IV.

Ancestry





See also

  • Kings of Germany family tree. He was related to every other king of Germany.
  • Concordat of Worms
    Concordat of Worms
    The Concordat of Worms, sometimes called the Pactum Calixtinum by papal historians, was an agreement between Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V on September 23, 1122 near the city of Worms...

  • First Council of the Lateran
    First Council of the Lateran
    The Council of 1123 is reckoned in the series of Ecumenical councils by the Catholic Church. It was convoked by Pope Calixtus II in December, 1122, immediately after the Concordat of Worms...


Sources