Salian dynasty

Salian dynasty

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The Salian dynasty was a dynasty
Dynasty
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. Historians traditionally consider many sovereign states' history within a framework of successive dynasties, e.g., China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire...

 in the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

 of four German Kings (1024-1125), also known as the Frankish dynasty after the family's origin and role as dukes of Franconia
Franconia
Franconia is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken...

. All of these kings were also crowned 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...

 (1027-1125): the term 'Salic dynasty' also applies to the Holy Roman Empire as a separate term.

After the death of the last Saxon
Duchy of Saxony
The medieval Duchy of Saxony was a late Early Middle Ages "Carolingian stem duchy" covering the greater part of Northern Germany. It covered the area of the modern German states of Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Saxony-Anhalt and most of Schleswig-Holstein...

 of the Ottonian Dynasty in 1024, first the elected German King and then three years later the elected position
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 of Holy Roman Emperor both passed to the first monarch of the Salian dynasty in the person of Conrad II
Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor
Conrad II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1027 until his death.The son of a mid-level nobleman in Franconia, Count Henry of Speyer and Adelaide of Alsace, he inherited the titles of count of Speyer and of Worms as an infant when Henry died at age twenty...

, the only son of Count Henry of Speyer and Adelheid of Alsace
Henry of Speyer
Henry of Speyer or Heinrich von Speyer, also called Graf im Wormsgau was the father of the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II....

 (both territories in the Franconia of the day
Era
An era is a commonly used word for long period of time. When used in science, for example geology, eras denote clearly defined periods of time of arbitrary but well defined length, such as for example the Mesozoic era from 252 Ma–66 Ma, delimited by a start event and an end event. When used in...

). He was elected German King in 1024 and crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on 26 March 1027.

The four Salian kings of the dynasty — Conrad II
Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor
Conrad II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1027 until his death.The son of a mid-level nobleman in Franconia, Count Henry of Speyer and Adelaide of Alsace, he inherited the titles of count of Speyer and of Worms as an infant when Henry died at age twenty...

, Henry III
Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry III , called the Black or the Pious, was a member of the Salian Dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors...

, Henry IV
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IV was King of the Romans from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 until his forced abdication in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century...

, and 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...

 — ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 1027 to 1125, and firmly established their monarchy as a major European power. They achieved the development of a permanent administrative system based on a class of public officials answerable to the crown.

Origins


Werner of Worms
Worms, Germany
Worms is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, on the Rhine River. At the end of 2004, it had 85,829 inhabitants.Established by the Celts, who called it Borbetomagus, Worms today remains embattled with the cities Trier and Cologne over the title of "Oldest City in Germany." Worms is the only...

 and his son Duke Conrad the Red of Lorraine, who died in 955, founded the ancestral dynasty. Conrad the Red married Liutgarde
Liutgarde
Liutgarde was the daughter of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor and his first wife Eadgyth. In 947 she married Conrad, Duke of Lorraine, also known as Conrad the Red. Otto's Empire did not pass to Liutgarde's brother, Liudolf, Duke of Swabia, but instead passed through his second wife Adelaide of Italy...

, a daughter of Emperor Otto I
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto I the Great , son of Henry I the Fowler and Matilda of Ringelheim, was Duke of Saxony, King of Germany, King of Italy, and "the first of the Germans to be called the emperor of Italy" according to Arnulf of Milan...

, their son Otto I, Duke of Carinthia
Otto I, Duke of Carinthia
Otto , called Otto of Worms, was Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Verona from 978 to 985 and again from 1002 until his death....

 ruled Carinthia from 978 to 1004.

Duke Otto had three sons: Bruno, who became Pope Gregory V
Pope Gregory V
Pope Gregory V, né Bruno of Carinthia , Pope from May 3, 996 to February 18, 999, son of the Salian Otto I, Duke of Carinthia, who was a grandson of the Emperor Otto I the Great . Gregory V succeeded Pope John XV , when only twenty-four years of age...

; Conrad; and Henry
Henry of Speyer
Henry of Speyer or Heinrich von Speyer, also called Graf im Wormsgau was the father of the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II....

, count of 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...

. Henry was the father of the first Salian Emperor Conrad II.

Pope Leo IX
Pope Leo IX
Pope Saint Leo IX , born Bruno of Eguisheim-Dagsburg, was Pope from February 12, 1049 to his death. He was a German aristocrat and as well as being Pope was a powerful secular ruler of central Italy. He is regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, with the feast day of April 19...

 (in office 1049 to 1054) also had family ties to the dynasty, since his grandfather Hugo III was the brother of Adelheid, the grandmother of Henry III
Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry III , called the Black or the Pious, was a member of the Salian Dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors...

.

Ruling in the Holy Roman Empire


The early Salians owed much of their success to their alliance with the Church, a policy begun by Otto I, which gave them the material support they needed to subdue rebellious dukes. In time, however, the Church came to regret this close relationship. The alliance broke down in 1075 during what came to be 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...

 (or Investiture Dispute), a struggle in which the reformist Pope, 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...

, demanded that Henry IV
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IV was King of the Romans from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 until his forced abdication in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century...

 renounce his rights over the Church in Germany. The pope also attacked the concept of monarchy by divine right and gained the support of significant elements of the German nobility interested in limiting imperial absolutism. More important, the pope forbade ecclesiastical officials under pain of excommunication to support Henry as they had so freely done in the past. In the end, Henry journeyed to Canossa
Canossa
Canossa is a comune and castle town in Emilia-Romagna, famous as the site where Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV did penance in 1077, standing three days bare-headed in the snow, in order to reverse his excommunication by Pope Gregory VII...

 in northern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 in 1077 to do penance and to receive absolution from the pope. However, he resumed the practice of lay investiture (appointment of religious officials by civil authorities) and arranged the election of an antipope
Antipope
An antipope is a person who opposes a legitimately elected or sitting Pope and makes a significantly accepted competing claim to be the Pope, the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church. At times between the 3rd and mid-15th century, antipopes were typically those supported by a...

 (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....

) in 1080.

The monarch's struggle with the papacy resulted in a war that ravaged through the Holy Roman Empire from 1077 until the Concordat of Worms
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...

 in 1122. This agreement stipulated that the pope would appoint high church officials but gave the German king the right to veto the papal choices. Imperial control of Italy was lost for a time, and the imperial crown became dependent on the political support of competing aristocratic factions. Feudalism also became more widespread as freemen sought protection by swearing allegiance to a lord. These powerful local rulers, having thereby acquired extensive territories and large military retinues, took over administration within their territories and organized it around an increasing number of castles. The most powerful of these local rulers came to be called princes rather than dukes.

According to the laws of the feudal system of the Holy Roman Empire, the king had no claims on the vassals of the other princes, only on those living within his family's territory. Lacking the support of the formerly independent vassals and weakened by the increasing hostility of the Church, the monarchy lost its pre-eminence. Thus the Investiture Contest strengthened local power in the Holy Roman Empire - in contrast to the trend in France and England, where centralized royal power grew. The Investiture Contest had an additional effect. The long struggle between emperor and pope hurt the Holy Roman Empire's intellectual life, in this period largely confined to monasteries, and the empire no longer led or even kept pace with developments occurring in 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 Italy. For instance, no universities were founded in the Holy Roman Empire until the fourteenth century.

The first Hohenstaufen king Conrad III
Conrad III of Germany
Conrad III was the first King of Germany of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. He was the son of Frederick I, Duke of Swabia, and Agnes, a daughter of the Salian Emperor Henry IV.-Life and reign:...

 was a grandson of the Salian Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IV was King of the Romans from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 until his forced abdication in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century...

. (The heiress of Salian family territories were issue of Agnes, Henry IV's daughter and Henry V's sister: her first marriage produced the royal and imperial Hohenstaufen
Hohenstaufen
The House of Hohenstaufen was a dynasty of German kings in the High Middle Ages, lasting from 1138 to 1254. Three of these kings were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In 1194 the Hohenstaufens also became Kings of Sicily...

 dynasty and her second marriage the ducal 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:...

 potentates of Duchy of Austria which was elevated much due to such connections Privilegium Minus
Privilegium Minus
The Privilegium Minus is a document issued by Emperor Frederick I on September 17, 1156. It included the elevation of the Margraviate of Austria to a Duchy, which was given as an inheritable fief to the House of Babenberg. Its recipient was Frederick's paternal uncle Margrave Henry II Jasomirgott...

.)

Salian Emperors

  • Conrad II
    Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor
    Conrad II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1027 until his death.The son of a mid-level nobleman in Franconia, Count Henry of Speyer and Adelaide of Alsace, he inherited the titles of count of Speyer and of Worms as an infant when Henry died at age twenty...

     1024-1039, emperor 1027
  • Henry III
    Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
    Henry III , called the Black or the Pious, was a member of the Salian Dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors...

     1039-1056, emperor 1046
  • Henry IV
    Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
    Henry IV was King of the Romans from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 until his forced abdication in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century...

     1056-1106 emperor 1084
  • 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...

     1106-1125, emperor 1111


Their regnal dates as emperor take into account elections and subsequent coronation
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

s.

See also

  • Kings of Germany family tree. The Salians were the 4th dynasty to rule Germany and were related by marriage to all the others.
  • 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...