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Leopold V, Duke of Austria

Leopold V, Duke of Austria

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Leopold V the Virtuous, was a Babenberg
Babenberg
Originally from Bamberg in Franconia, now northern Bavaria, an apparent branch of the Babenbergs or Babenberger went on to rule Austria as counts of the march and dukes from 976–1248, before the rise of the house of Habsburg.-One or two families:...

 duke of Austria
Archduchy of Austria
The Archduchy of Austria , one of the most important states within the Holy Roman Empire, was the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy and the predecessor of the Austrian Empire...

 from 1177 and of Styria
Duchy of Styria
The history of Styria concerns the region roughly corresponding to the modern Austrian state of Styria and the Slovene region of Styria from its settlement by Germans and Slavs in the Dark Ages until the present...

 from 1192 until his death. He was the son of the Austrian duke Henry II Jasomirgott
Henry II, Duke of Austria
Henry II , Count Palatine of the Rhine, 1140–1141, Margrave of Austria from 1141 to 1156 and, as Henry XI, also Duke of Bavaria from 1141 to 1156, Duke of Austria, 1156–1177, was a prince of the Babenberg dynasty....

 and his Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 wife, Theodora Comnena
Theodora Komnene (Austria)
Theodora Komnena or Theodora Comnena was a daughter of Andronikos Komnenos and his wife, Eirene . Based on the writings of Niketas Choniates, it is likely Theodora was Andronikos' second daughter. The year of Theodora's birth is unknown....

, a daughter of Andronicus Comnenus
Andronikos Komnenos (son of John II Komnenos)
Andronikos Komnenos was the third child and second son of the Byzantine Emperor John II Komnenos and his Hungarian wife, Piroska .-Life and Death:Andronikos was made sebastokratōr at an unknown date...

, the second eldest son of the Emperor John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos was Byzantine Emperor from 1118 to 1143. Also known as Kaloïōannēs , he was the eldest son of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and Irene Doukaina...

.

Duke of Austria


Leopold succeeded his father as Duke of Austria upon his death on 13 January 1177. Soon after becoming Duke, Leopold lent his support to Frederick of Bohemia
Frederick of Bohemia
Frederick was the duke of Olomouc from 1164 and then duke of Bohemia from 1172 to 1173 and again from 1178 to his death. He was the son of King Vladislaus II, who abdicated in 1172 in his favour...

 in his struggle against Duke Sobeslaus II, who had campaigned in the Austrian duchy, and in 1179, Leopold reached a peace agreement with Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

. On 17 August 1186, he negotiated the Georgenberg Pact
Georgenberg Pact
The Georgenberg Pact was signed on 17 August 1186 on the Georgenberg mountain above Enns and consisted of two parts. The first part was an agreement between Duke Ottokar IV of Styria and Duke Leopold V of Austria...

 with Ottokar IV of Styria
Ottokar IV, Duke of Styria
Ottokar IV was Margrave of Styria and Duke from 1180 onwards, when Styria, previously a margraviate subordinated to the duchy of Bavaria, was raised to the status of an independent duchy. He was the son of Ottokar III of Styria and the last of the dynasty of the Ottakars...

, by which Styria
Duchy of Styria
The history of Styria concerns the region roughly corresponding to the modern Austrian state of Styria and the Slovene region of Styria from its settlement by Germans and Slavs in the Dark Ages until the present...

 and the central part of Upper Austria
Upper Austria
Upper Austria is one of the nine states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg...

 were amalgamated into the Duchy of Austria after 1192. This was the first step towards the creation of modern Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

.

Third Crusade and Aftermath


Leopold is mainly remembered outside Austria for his participation in the Third Crusade
Third Crusade
The Third Crusade , also known as the Kings' Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin...

. He arrived to take part in the siege of Acre in spring 1191, having sailed from Zadar
Zadar
Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is the centre of Zadar county and the wider northern Dalmatian region. Population of the city is 75,082 citizens...

 on the Adriatic
Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan peninsula, and the system of the Apennine Mountains from that of the Dinaric Alps and adjacent ranges...

 coast. He took over command of what remained of the imperial forces after the death of Frederick VI, Duke of Swabia
Frederick VI, Duke of Swabia
Frederick VI of Hohenstaufen was duke of Swabia from 1170 to his death at the siege of Acre. He was the third son of Frederick I Barbarossa and Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy and brother of Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor...

 in January. According to legend, his tunic was blood-soaked after the fights and when he doffed his belt, a white stripe appeared. Emperor Henry VI
Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry VI was King of Germany from 1190 to 1197, Holy Roman Emperor from 1191 to 1197 and King of Sicily from 1194 to 1197.-Early years:Born in Nijmegen,...

 granted him the privilege to adopt these colours as his new banner, that later would become the Flag of Austria
Flag of Austria
The flag of Austria has three equal horizontal bands of red , white, and red.The Austrian triband is the second-oldest flag in use at least since 1230, after the Danish flag .- Origins :...

.

After Acre had surrendered, the banners of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
Kingdom of Jerusalem
The Kingdom of Jerusalem was a Catholic kingdom established in the Levant in 1099 after the First Crusade. The kingdom lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining possession, Acre, was destroyed by the Mamluks, but its history is divided into two distinct periods....

, Richard I of England
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period...

, Philip II of France
Philip II of France
Philip II Augustus was the King of France from 1180 until his death. A member of the House of Capet, Philip Augustus was born at Gonesse in the Val-d'Oise, the son of Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne...

 and Leopold's ducal flag were raised in the city by Leopold's cousin, Conrad of Montferrat
Conrad of Montferrat
Conrad of Montferrat was a northern Italian nobleman, one of the major participants in the Third Crusade. He was the de facto King of Jerusalem, by marriage, from 24 November 1190, but officially elected only in 1192, days before his death...

. However, Richard removed Leopold's colours (see Siege of Acre) and the duke wrathfully left for his Austrian home, where he arrived by the end of 1191. Richard was also suspected of involvement in the murder of Conrad, shortly after his election as King of Jerusalem
Kings of Jerusalem
This is a list of kings of Jerusalem, from 1099 to 1291, as well as claimants to the title up to the present day.-Kings of Jerusalem :...

 in April 1192.

On his journey back that winter, Richard, travelling in disguise, shortly before Christmas 1192 had to stop near Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, where he was recognized (supposedly because of his signet ring) and arrested in Erdberg (modern Landstraße
Landstraße
Landstraße is the 3rd municipal District of Vienna, Austria] . It is near the center of Vienna and was established in the 19th century. Landstraße is a heavily populated urban area with many workers and residential homes. It has inhabitants in an area of 7.42 km². It has existed since...

 district). For some time the king was imprisoned in Dürnstein
Dürnstein
Dürnstein is a small town on the Danube river in the Krems-Land district, in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Wachau region and also a well-known wine growing area...

, and in March 1193 was brought before Emperor Henry VI at Trifels Castle
Trifels Castle
Trifels Castle is a medieval castle at an elevation of near the small town of Annweiler, in the Palatinate region of southwestern Germany. It is located high above the Queich valley within the Palatinate Forest on one peak of a red sandstone mountain split into three...

, accused of Conrad's murder. Leopold's share of the immense ransom, supposedly six thousand buckets—about 23 tons—of silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, became the foundation for the mint in Vienna, and was used to build new city walls for Vienna, as well as to found the towns of Wiener Neustadt
Wiener Neustadt
-Main sights:* The Late-Romanesque Dom, consecrated in 1279 and cathedral from 1469 to 1785. The choir and transept, in Gothic style, are from the 14th century. In the late 15th century 12 statues of the Apostles were added in the apse, while the bust of Cardinal Melchior Klesl is attributed to...

 and Friedberg in Styria. However, the duke was excommunicated
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

 by Pope Celestine III
Pope Celestine III
Pope Celestine III , born Giacinto Bobone, was elected Pope on March 21, 1191, and reigned until his death. He was born into the noble Orsini family in Rome, though he was only a cardinal deacon before becoming Pope...

 for having taken a fellow crusader
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 prisoner.

Marriage and children


In 1172, Leopold married Helena
Helena of Hungary
Helena of Hungary was the daughter of King Géza II of Hungary and his wife, Euphrosyne of Kiev, daughter of Grand Prince Mstislav I of Kiev by his second wife, Liubava Dmitrievna.-Life:...

, a daughter of King Géza II of Hungary
Géza II of Hungary
Géza II , , King of Hungary, King of Croatia, Dalmatia and Rama . He ascended the throne as a child and during his minority the kingdom was governed by his mother and uncle...

. By her, Leopold had at least two children;
  • Frederick I
    Frederick I, Duke of Austria (Babenberg)
    Frederick I of Austria was a Duke of Austria from the Babenberg family. He was a son of Duke Leopold V and, in 1197, participated in the Emperor Henry VI's Crusade of 1197.He died on the return from Palestine....

     (d. 16 April 1198)
  • Leopold VI (d. 28 July 1230)

Death


In 1194, Leopold's foot was crushed when his horse fell on him at a tournament
Tournament (medieval)
A tournament, or tourney is the name popularly given to chivalrous competitions or mock fights of the Middle Ages and Renaissance . It is one of various types of hastiludes....

 in Graz
Graz
The more recent population figures do not give the whole picture as only people with principal residence status are counted and people with secondary residence status are not. Most of the people with secondary residence status in Graz are students...

. He died of gangrene
Gangrene
Gangrene is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that arises when a considerable mass of body tissue dies . This may occur after an injury or infection, or in people suffering from any chronic health problem affecting blood circulation. The primary cause of gangrene is reduced blood...

, still under excommunication, and was buried at Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Heiligenkreuz Abbey is a Cistercian monastery in the village of Heiligenkreuz in the southern part of the Vienna woods, c. 13 km north-west of Baden in Lower Austria...

.