Why is Ulm so notorious in EU4
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- January 07, 2017, 2:41 pm # 121Registered user
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Thank you - that it comes across as alive is my goal for the story, apart from dates and one-dimensional evaluations.
At the end of the previous chapter, I forgot to state the books I used. There weren't many, because there isn't so much that speaks German about Wilhelm the Conqueror.
David C. Douglas "William the Conqueror" was the only one that I liked (even if you can tell from the text that it has been translated from English). It is a bit older (1960s), but more balanced in its judgment than other British authors who go hard on the Conqueror. Apparently it is a shame to this day that the British island actually suffered a successful invasion. The second book I read for this chapter was the novel "The Second Kingdom" by Rebecca Gable. I usually don't like novels or fictional material, but I can recommend it. It covers the period from 1064 to 1087 and tells from the perspective of a courtier of the conqueror. Sure, the inevitable love story is also included, but the author doesn't forget to follow the historical events.
- January 07, 2017, 2:52 pm # 122Registered user
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1. Woe to the land whose king is a child!
It is Christmas 1066, and it is a special day for Henry IV. The great princes of the empire have come to Worms to witness the young Salier's sword trade. Because the king had reached the age of 16, and with the celebration of the sword line, the period of reign ended for him, Henry IV was able to rule. Archbishop Eberhard von Trier blessed him, and Duke Gottfried the Bearded, the most powerful of the imperial princes, wore the royal shield. There was almost a momentous scandal: No sooner had Heinrich IV been presented with the imperial sword than he angrily raised it and went to the Cologne Archbishop Anno, who was present, to settle accounts with him. The Empress Agnes was only able to keep her son from the bloody act with difficulty. The princes frowned at each other. Didn't his behavior cast a bad light on his character, on his ability to rule?
Duke Rudolf von Rheinfelden remembered the circumstances under which the then Emperor Heinrich III thirteen years earlier. arranged his succession. At that time the Salian wanted to oblige the princes in Trebur to confirm his three-year-old son as heir to the throne. It was he, the Swabian Duke, who at the time attached an outrageous condition to the election agreement, because it had not existed before. Rudolf said to Heinrich III at the time: "My Emperor, we will choose your son Heinrich as your successor on the German throne and serve him faithfully if he proves to be a just ruler". At that time, Heinrich III. angry at this restriction, but it had stopped in the room.
Heinrich IV was elected co-king in April 1053 and consecrated and crowned in July by the then Archbishop of Cologne, Hermann. The emperor's haste was neither unusual nor inappropriate, as Henry III died in October 1056. at the age of almost 39 years.
The transition to the child king Heinrich IV went smoothly at first, not least because of the commitment of Pope Viktor II, who was visiting the emperor. The dying man had recommended his son to take care of him. Viktor - formerly Bishop Gebhard von Eichstätt - therefore escorted the little ruler to Aachen and put him on the throne of Charlemagne. Possibly he repeated consecration and coronation. Christmas 1056 was celebrated together in Regensburg before the Pope returned to Italy. There he died in July 1057. In the government of the empire, the Empress Agnes could no longer rely on papal authority. In the Middle Ages, a regency was a great challenge anyway, as the underage ruler externally carried out all governmental acts himself and there were no fixed acts for this case. Those who actually acted remained in the background. The Archbishops Anno of Cologne, Siegfried of Mainz, Adalbert of Bremen and, above all, Bishop Heinrich of Augsburg stood by Agnes' side as advisors. “A first important reason for the young king's anger at the clergy,” thought Rudolf.
Agnes of Poitou
The Duke had looked upon the reign of the Frenchwoman Agnes von Poitou, Henry's mother, with a mixture of disdain and satisfaction. She was neither energetic nor smart. Unstable in character and exposed to all suggestions, she cut a bad figure. Pious to the point of bigotry, she was a slave to those clergymen who, of all things, questioned the empire. Actually, Agnes wanted to retire to a monastery. Rudolf found her personnel policy of the past few years to be a fiasco, because she had no knowledge of human nature. The most important post in the German ecclesiastical hierarchy, the chair of the Archbishop of Mainz, went to a weakling, the monk Siegfried, who then promptly failed when the Crown needed his help.
But Agnes had also helped him, Rudolf von Rheinfelden, once a Burgundian courtier, with the Duchy of Swabia to rise within the German nobility. Otto von Northeim also benefited from the empress with the important fief of Bavaria.
Instead of strengthening or at least not diminishing the royal power, it generously distributed the duchies. In 1057, after the death of Otto III, the Babenberger, the Empress Rudolf von Rheinfelden enfeoffed the Duchy of Swabia, although this man was suspected of kidnapping the imperial daughter Mathilde in the bishopric of Constance, where she was brought up, with cunning or violence to have. As if that weren't enough, she handed over the administration of Burgundy to this questionable son-in-law. The enfeoffment of Rudolf von Rheinfelden with Swabians met with the fiery protest of Count Berthold von Zähringen, who claimed that Emperor Heinrich III. I gave him a contingent loan for Swabia.
The Empress, following the path of least resistance, enfeoffed Count Berthold with the Duchy of Carinthia in 1061. When the Emperor's daughter and wife of Rudolf von Rheinfelden died in 1060, Rudolf's career aspirations became apparent. He married Adelheid von Turin, the sister of Berta, the fiancé and later wife of Henry IV, in his second marriage: a double connection to the Salian ruling house in order to get into the circle of those who were qualified for kingship.
In 1061, Empress Agnes gave up her ducal position in Bavaria, which had been in Salian hands since 1024, and appointed the Saxon Count Otto von Northeim as Duke of Bavaria. In addition to this new position of power in Bavaria, Otto von Northeim had counties and extensive possessions in Saxony. He was now one of the most powerful men in the empire, also capable of dreaming of the crown.
The real reason for the elevation of Northeimer to Bavarian Duke were the conditions on the Hungarian front. In 1058 the imperial daughter Judith was married to the Hungarian heir to the throne Solomon in order to stabilize the peace. But here, too, luck was against the Empress. In 1060 the ruling Hungarian king Andreas was overthrown by his brother Bela. The Crown Prince Salomon and his German princess fled to the German court. A hapless Hungarian campaign completed the disaster, and now the Empress had been suggested that the political situation in Hungary urgently needed a strong duke in Bavaria. Otto von Northeim was to take over the security of the imperial border with Hungary.
The fact remained that the three southern German duchies were given to three princes who did not regard themselves as the official dukes of their king, but as dynasts who sought to convert their fiefs into hereditary duchies and not to strengthen the Salian kingship.
- January 11, 2017, 8:44 PM # 123Registered user
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On the day of the sword leadership, these power-conscious princes were also present. Rudolf von Rheinfelden looked over at the Archbishop of Bremen, Adalbert.
"This perverse drunkard had some influence on the young king and is sure to see it with pleasure that he is now attacking Anno", Rudolf whispered to his chancellor. The old wisdom, according to which weak rulers can testify to worse than tough tyrants, was shown daily at court. The Chancellor nodded to his Duke: “The king is a boy, the mother willingly gives in to him, now to whoever offered her advice. And the others, who are mighty at court, are only looking for the money. ”Truly, the princes had plundered the little king like robbers. The dukes and bishops, the princes and the margraves, took advantage of the income from the monasteries, overwriting customs, coinage and market rights - including himself, Duke Rudolf.
As he got older, Heinrich IV realized that he was growing up in an atmosphere of rascality and envy, cunning and violence. Pampered by the mother, but not loved, flattered by the courtiers, but betrayed. The product was a precocious boy, with knowing eyes but no sense of proportion, the greatest virtue of the Middle Ages. As a child he stood between many adults who apparently meant well with him, but who were intrigued by every trick in the book. If ever a person was negatively influenced in his childhood, it was this Salier. Heinrich IV was hardly aware that in the formative years he had lacked warmth and role models.
What kind of adults were they who, a few years earlier, had their heads bloodied at the Whitsun festival in Goslar Cathedral, because they were in immoderate vanity and could not agree on the seating arrangement according to their rank. Subordinates of the bishop of Hildesheim and those of the abbot of Fulda fought in the church for the places of their masters. In the slaughter that broke out in front of the altar, they even ignored the distressed, fearful king.
Henry IV experienced the height of powerlessness in 1062 when he was twelve years old. And this incident was also the reason for Heinrich's unbroken anger at the Archbishop of Cologne on Christmas Day in 1066. At that time it was on the Rhine island of Kaiserswerth, between Duisburg and Düsseldorf, where Heinrich IV spent Easter with his mother Agnes. A ship came down the stream and moored at the little pier. Its owner, the Archbishop of Cologne, went ashore and invited the young king to take a look at the magnificent ship. Hardly on board, Heinrich was surrounded and pushed aside, the ship cast off.
“Murder”, he shouted, “Murderer!”, Because, brought up in the school of mistrust, he could only believe that people wanted to kill him. He tore himself loose, jumped into the still icy cold water, the current grabbed him, and he would have drowned if Count Eckbert von Braunschweig, one of the conspirators, hadn't pulled him out of the water. The young king was not allowed to perish, they had big plans for him. Because whoever owned the heir to the throne owned the rule.
The coup put Anno in an influential position vis-à-vis his political adversaries. Heinrich was brought to Cologne and the archbishop also took the imperial insignia. His plot had supporters: In addition to Count Eckbert von Braunschweig, Duke Otto von Baiern, Archbishop Siegfried von Mainz and Duke Gottfried the Bearded. Anno took over the leadership of the imperial government with this move.
The mother's reaction to the kidnapping was a shame, she simply accepted it. Even in this time of minor scruples, Anno's deed was a scandal and forced him to justify himself. He had brought the king out of the state of limp, bad habit generating supervision. For the best of the king himself and the empire. The Empress herself asked him to take care of the neglected son and to guide him on the right path. He did not see his mother after the kidnapping until she appeared at the court in Trebur in 1064, two and a half years later. From this point on, however, she increasingly moved into the camp of her son's opponents, which could have increased Heinrich IV's feeling of abandonment.
The archbishop let the young king know that a future emperor would need an imperial education. What Anno didn't say was that he had this service paid for with a ninth of the Reich's income, made his brother Archbishop of Magdeburg, assigned the Halberstadt diocese to a nephew, and two good friends, Minden and Utrecht. Henry IV, however, knew what to think of his new guardian. That was the reason for his hatred, that he had raised his hand against Anno when he was guiding his sword.
Who was Anno who had usurped power through the coup? Compared to his position as Archbishop of Cologne and Imperial Regent, he was a man of small proportions. He came from the Swabian family of the noble lords of Steusslingen. He resisted his father's wish to become a warrior, becoming a cleric was his goal. He entered the famous school of the Bamberg Church and soon found himself in the court chapel of Heinrich III. again. After a few years at court, on April 4, 1056, the Emperor gave him the Archbishopric of Cologne. Anno, drawn from greed, used everything he could get at home and at court to decorate his church. He also promoted relatives, friends and chaplains "so that they could help others, the weaker ones."
In addition to Anno, Henry IV had a guardian, Adalbert von Bremen. He was a splendid person who ruled unreservedly over the north of the empire. His arm reached as far as Scandinavia and he was so convinced of himself that he toyed with the idea of building his own church with him as Pope. Adalbert not only thought and acted royally, he also lived lavishly like a prince. Young Heinrich's wallet was a welcome source for him too. For Adalbert, the imperial abbeys Corvey and Lorsch jumped out.
If Anno treated the future ruler with schoolmasterly pedantry, Adalbert raised him anti-authoritarian and emphasized that every young person is foolish who does not give free rein to his desires. Heinrich liked to adhere to this pedagogical principle, went apron hunts with a crowd of young people who would be called playboys today, drank tons of wine, fought, rioted, had two or three concubines at the same time and - so it was rumored - paid prostitutes with them Gemstones broken out of the altar crosses.
- January 15, 2017, 11:46 am # 124Registered user
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In order to lead him on the path of virtue, it was decided in 1065 to bring the fifteen-year-old under the hood. There was no need to look for a bride, the young lady had been living at court for years. Henry IV was betrothed to the even younger Bertha de Savoie at the tender age of five and grew up with her. Bertha was a daughter from the friendly house of the Count of Savoy and the Margravine Adelheid of Turin and thus guarantor of German influence in northern Italy. Heinrich and Bertha, that was the usual marriage for reasons of state, in which mutual respect had to replace love. That usually went well - not here.
Bertha de Savoie
Whatever the case - even after his sword leadership, Henry IV did not take on practical politics. Adalbert von Bremen managed the imperial business and also made sure that he was richly rewarded. This prompted the marginalized Anno of Cologne, who could not and did not want to come to terms with it, together with the Archbishops Siegfried of Mainz and Gebhard of Salzburg, as well as the Dukes Rudolf of Swabia, Otto of Bavaria and Berthold of Carinthia against Adalbert conspire. This was overthrown in early 1067 and Anno took over government business again.
Perhaps out of disappointment at this turn, the young king began to carry on his all-too-casual life and to surround himself with people of lower class, obedient salivators who shared his inclinations. Heinrich IV was guided by his aversion to the princes, who had pushed him around and now turned against Adalbert, whom he valued. The king let his followers in Bavaria and Carinthia play his eyes and ears in order to be able to confront Otto von Northeim (in the picture on the right) and Berthold von Zähringen with compromising findings.
A short time later, Duke Otto von Northeim was accused by a certain Egino of having hired him to murder the king. Otto agreed to a trial, but did not face a duel in Goslar. The king then made sure that he was sentenced by a Saxon court.
Otto was deprived of the Duchy of Bavaria, which Heinrich IV immediately gave to Welf IV, who dissolved his marriage to Otto's daughter and parted with his father-in-law. Otto von Northeim went over to the counter-resistance, was supported by parts of the Saxon nobility and even made contact with the enemy Liutizen. But in the face of his inferiority, he submitted to the king. He was imprisoned for a year and then was pardoned.
With the newly appointed Duke Welf IV, the dynasty of the Welfs entered the stage of German politics. Welf IV. Was a son of the Italian margrave Alberto Azzo II. D’Este and Kunigundes of Carinthia, the sister of Duke Welf III. of Carinthia. Welf IV was thus the only heir to the Guelph possessions in Swabia, Raetia and Bavaria, albeit in a female line. His grandmother Imiza, the widow of Welf II, had him brought to Germany to take over the inheritance that her childless son Welf III. had already bequeathed to the Altdorf monastery.
As mentioned, Welf IV had married Ethelinde, the daughter of Duke Otto von Northeim, to secure his position in Bavaria. Now that his father-in-law had been ostracized by the king, Welf cast his wife away - especially since the marriage had remained childless. At Christmas of the same year, King Heinrich IV entrusted Welf with the successor to Otto in Bavaria. Welf IV then concluded his second marriage with the widowed Judith von Flanders.
Right at the beginning of his rule, Henry IV had the favorable opportunity to obtain the imperial coronation in Rome. Because in 1066 the Normans invaded the Papal States under Richard von Capua. Just as Pope Stephen once called the Frankish King Pippin for help against the Lombards, so now the Pope's call was made to the young king. The way for Henry IV was free - not as a conqueror, no, he was supposed to appear as the Pope's savior in order to defend “the holy rights of Saint Peter”. Rome could also trust that the German princes were interested in the independence of the Pope. Because only an independent papacy could fulfill the task that the German princes had intended for it: to be a counterweight to its own king.
In the early summer of 1067 the German army was to march from Augsburg. The armaments were wrought with power, and the imperial crown was within one's grasp. Then an incident, which could not be a coincidence, destroyed the young king's hopes. Gottfried the Bearded, in whose hands the power of Lorraine and central Italy was bundled through his marriage to Beatrix, the widow of Margrave Bonifacius of Tuscia, did not want to see the young Salier as arbiter and savior of the papacy. While the king was waiting for his arrival in Augsburg, Duke Gottfried marched via Burgundy to Italy. His argument for this action: It is the right of the Margrave of Tuszien to march ahead of the German king on the Rome march. His appearance was enough to put the Normans in their place. Gottfried and Richard made a mutually measured peace. Royal circles in Italy saw in Gottfried an oath breaker who, out of hatred of the young king, had closed the way to the young king in order to gain the imperial crown himself. It was probably Gottfried's aim to make his influence visible in Italy and to enforce it. He was obviously successful with this, because the following summer the Normans renewed their oath to the Pope. Conditions in southern Italy had been stabilized by the intervention of Gottfried the Bearded. The Pope no longer had any reason to ask Henry IV and his army to go to Rome for his protection. It should show that the king had to wait a long time for the imperial crown.
- January 17, 2017, 8:00 p.m. # 125Registered user
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Not only that in 1067 a favorable opportunity for a strong appearance to the Pope had been thwarted. The king subsequently maneuvered himself into a weak position. In 1068 Henry IV and his wife Bertha had drifted apart. Initially Bertha had still filled the role of a ruler's wife, but Heinrich had since grown tired of her. He shocked those who matched him with the adventurous demand that they be divorced. It was next to impossible. Unless a man could prove his wife had an affair. But the young king could not do that. First he took Archbishop Siegfried von Mainz into his confidence and asked him for support.
At a meeting in Worms, he naively declared that he did not match his wife and that he could not marry her. Henry IV even affirmed under oath that this was really the case. With an already pitiful openness, the Salier addressed the assembled princes in the hall: “I have played a wrong game long enough in front of the people,” he said, “but now and here the deception must end. It is impossible for me, only God knows by what fate, to have conjugal relations with the queen. And that's why I swear you to free both of us from the cursed bondage so that you and me will find the way to a different, happier marriage. And so that no one will believe that the queen is unsuitable for a second marriage, I affirm under oath that I have always kept her as a pure, unharmed virgin ”.
It was only under this condition that a marriage could have been separated at all, because at that time the ecclesiastical idea of the indissolubility of marriage had already largely prevailed. Ecclesiastical and secular princes were deeply dismayed by so much honesty. They found it abhorrent and incompatible with royal dignity, but in the face of a resolution put forward with such firmness they did not dare to reject the petition for divorce. In the evening, Duke Rudolf of Swabia dined with Archbishop Siegfried of Mainz, to whom he whispered: "The young man's naughty mood must now be submitted to the Holy Father so that we can get rid of responsibility for the time being."
A scheduled synod should now decide the case. In the meantime, Archbishop Siegfried contacted Pope Alexander II. His legate, Petrus Damiani, highly respected for his piety, was sent to Germany. In his Liber Gomorrhianus, Peter had mercilessly denounced the vices of the clergy and was therefore unsuspicious in matters of worldly morality. He stood before the king's throne to admonish him: “You, the avenged avenger of all immorality, must not make yourself the standard-bearer of crime.” Henry IV raised his eyebrows when he heard the legate speak in this way. “If you do it anyway and if you do not refrain from your desire, then I, as papal legate, will prevent the outrage through the law of the Church. The Pope's hands will never consecrate him as emperor who betrays Christian faith through such pestilential behavior and stains the majesty of the king's name with the filth of such a shameful act. "
Strong words that did not fail to affect the assembled bishops. The legacy made it clear to the king that he had to present the excommunication and that after a separation he could not be ordained emperor. The princes now also unanimously opposed the king's plan, who then gave in: “If it is your will, gentlemen,” said Henry IV in a low voice, “I will do violence to myself and continue to yoke bow that I cannot throw off. May God help me ”.
Some contemporaries blamed Heinrich's way of life for his intentions, and this is probably not just slander. But at least he did not ascribe to his wife as other kings in a comparable situation a crime or even a love affair in order to achieve his goal - divorce. But he had done unnecessarily serious damage to his reputation as king and inadvertently increased that of the papacy.
Heinrich's divorce petition comes at the time when he was trying to get the government of the empire under control. At Easter 1068 he had proclaimed a country peace in Goslar in the tradition of his father. In addition, the men who had determined the politics of the empire up to then resigned. Ordulf (Otto) von Sachsen died in October 1068 and was followed by his son Magnus, who, however, turned out to be an opponent of Heinrich. Above all, however, Adalbert, Gottfried the Bearded and Otto von Northeim left the political stage.
The shamefully deposed Bavarian Duke Otto still had supporters in Saxony after his overthrow, but Otto von Northeim could no longer take action against Welf IV, who was appointed as his successor by Heinrich IV. Otto died on January 2, 1070. In Lower Lorraine, this one powerful part of the empire, the government passed from father Gottfried III at the same time. (the bearded) on Gottfried IV. (the hunchback) over.
Gottfried III. was once a powerful opponent of Henry III, the king's father. Because in 1054 he married Beatrix of Lorraine, which brought him control of the rich lands of Tuscany and Romagna. Henry III. this power was a thorn in the side, which is why he wanted to depose Gottfried in Lower Lorraine. With the mediation of the then Pope Viktor II, the two finally reconciled. The Duke further consolidated his position in Italy by wedding his son Gottfried IV to his stepdaughter Mathilde - the daughter of his wife Beatrix from their first marriage. This move made it clear that Lower Lorraine and Tuszien (Tuscany) would remain connected. However, the spouses did not remain a happy couple, they lived separately from 1071 (as can also be seen in the picture). Because in the emerging investiture dispute - more on that later - Mathilde was on the side of the Pope and the reformer, Gottfried IV, on the other hand, on that of King Heinrich IV and the imperial church.
On February 27, 1076, Gottfried IV was murdered in Vlaardingen. The deed happened on behalf of the Count of Flanders, Robert the Frisian, against whom he was about to wage a campaign. According to Lambert von Hersfeld's report, Gottfried was killed in the toilet dungeon while he was relieving himself. Another tradition added that the perpetrator stuck a dagger into the anus of the duke, whereupon the duke died of the injury. He was buried in the Cathedral of Verdun.
- January 21, 2017, 9:35 am # 126Registered user
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2. De bello saxonico
In Saxony the king was confronted with quite different resistances. His father had already tried in eastern Saxony around Goslar to better assert royal rights and to exercise his rule more intensively. The death of Henry III. and Henry IV's minority was a good opportunity for ecclesiastical and secular princes to acquire imperial property and imperial rights. Heinrich demanded back what had been lost and even more: he resumed his father's politics and rebuilt the crown estate wherever possible in eastern Saxony and also in Thuringia. The princes concerned were not very enthusiastic about this. Not only this goal, but also the associated methods provoked resistance, especially from the free peasants. According to popular opinion, Saxony was "not unlike a paradise in terms of peace and fertility" - the silver mines were located in Saxony. The Saxons, who, as members of a people who were still peasant, valued land ownership above all else and were generally regarded as being rather greedy for money, were not prepared to forego something that they had long considered to be their property under customary law. Especially not when someone came along who had replaced the proud family of the Saxon rulers and still had the forehead to come up with a bunch of Swabian followers. Heinrich literally stamped forts everywhere in order to enforce his demands on the county of Göttingen with the silver deposits around Goslar. Here he was badly advised by his partisan, Duke Lothar-Udo II of Brandenburg, because it was known that the Saxons could not be forced into anything.
At the court of the Saxon Duke in Braunschweig. Magnus, the heir and new lord of Saxony, has had his sovereign princes summoned, because there is an outrage on the part of the king to be discussed. Magnus rose from his chair at the head of the long table and said to those present: “My loyal followers, my Saxon brothers! The Lord King, as you know and as you disapprove of, as I do, build castles in our ancestral lands. I reminded him of the duty of peace that he himself decreed for the Reich in Goslar, and appealed to him to put a stop to this breach of the peace that he himself had committed himself to. Because that is what the construction of these forts means in our country. I complained to him about the behavior of his ministers from Swabia, who oppress our people, our men, women and children. Injustice and arbitrariness emanate from his castle men over our people. Your wives and daughters abused them at will for their pleasure. Your servants and your draft cattle demand them into their service at will. They even force you to carry every burden - no matter how shameful - on your shoulders. The other greats of the empire also share our opinion and want the king to abandon the injustice that he is bringing upon us. Hasn't he already shown in the accusations he made against the honorable Duke Otto von Baiern, our brother from the Saxon house of Northeim, that he does not pay the honor of the empire and its members the due respect? "
“Hear, hear!” Exclaimed the Saxon princes, who were aware that they were to become the next target of royal politics. Magnus continued: “My followers! Because I honor the peace and honor of the king, I sent some of you to our king so that he might listen to our fair request and find an amicable settlement with us. But when they arrived in front of the gate of his palace in Goslar, he did not receive them and let you noble gentlemen wait in front of his door for hours while he continued inside with dubious companions of drinking and dicing. This is truly an insult to our class! "
Loud approval of the Duke and indignation at the foreign king mixed in the room in which Magnus spoke to his people. “Do you want to endure all this, brave men? We must defend ourselves against the unjust treatment by the king who disregards our rights and occupies our land with strangers. The indignation of your vassals in town and in the country is justified, and we should forcefully drive the foreign castle men and those who support them from our homeland and burn these castles, from which murder, robbery and fornication emanate, so that peace really is may stop in our homeland and in the kingdom. For is it not better to fall in a valiant battle than to shamefully lose a miserable and shameful life in which you mock the arrogance of such people? Even servants bought for money cannot endure the unjust commandments of their masters. But you who were born free, you want to patiently endure bondage? "The princes jumped up from their seats and shouted:" Never! Never! ”And swore to their Duke to follow him in order to preserve their freedom and honor.
In 1073 the pent-up displeasure of the Saxons erupted in a violent uprising. Actually there was only one campaign against Poland, but the Saxons feared that this was only a pretext for the military presence and that the king wanted to deprive them of their freedom and submit to his tyranny. Led by Bishop Burchard von Halberstadt and Herrmann Billung, the brother of the new Duke of Saxony Magnus, they turned against Heinrich. Its few supporters, including Archbishop Liemar von Bremen, had to flee. The angry Saxons made outrageous demands: They refused to take part in the war against Poland, since they would have to fight constantly with the Liutizen on their eastern border anyway. The king should also return the goods of the Saxon greats, destroy his castles, part with his worthless advisers and instead listen to the advice of the princes again. When Heinrich flatly refused and, as already mentioned, treated the Saxons' emissaries badly, they themselves appeared in Goslar.Heinrich had to retreat headlong to the Harzburg, which turned out to be too strong for the attackers.
But the king could not possibly allow himself to be besieged for weeks and dared to flee. Exhausted, demoralized, ill too, after a long wandering around he reached the Rhine and learned there that the archbishops of Mainz and Cologne were already talking about his successor. This time Henry IV was lucky to have the citizens of Worms on his side, men who had become wealthy through trade and handicrafts. The Worms had dared an act of breathtaking boldness that was soon to set a precedent: They chased their bishop, who was hostile to the king, out of the city and solemnly brought Heinrich into their strong walls, offering him every protection and every help. A new power entered the stage of world theater - the city and its citizens. The representatives of the new social class immediately showed why they had become so rich. The not harmless service of having stood "in the greatest need of the empire with the greatest, most glorious loyalty" to the crown, was not a free gift. To make it clear to the king, they used the flower to indicate how much cheaper everything could be if only the imperial customs were not there. Until Majesty understood and solemnly guaranteed freedom from all taxes to the city of Worms in a document.
Henry IV, on the other hand, did not have the princes on his side. In the past few years the young king had turned many of them against him, such as the Swabian Duke Rudolf von Rheinfelden. The Thuringians even went over to the Saxons, who were on the advance almost unhindered. All of the king's castles were enclosed and some of them had already fallen. Heinrich, on the other hand, could only set out to the northeast with weak troops.
The two armies camped not far from each other and Henry IV had to see that the Saxon troops were superior to his. He then sent four bishops to the Saxon camp as peace negotiators. They stuck to their repeated demand: demolish the royal castles in Saxony and Thuringia in order to reduce the power of the king. They also demanded that all government measures in Saxony should only be carried out on the advice of members of their tribe. Comprehensive autonomy was also claimed. That was like a dictation for the king! But the Saxon camp was also split over this - between the Free and their Ethelingen. The majority of the nobles were willing to compromise, while the peasants wanted ultimate victory. After two days of deliberations, the aristocrats largely managed to seek favorable peace instead of battle. When this was agreed, they went in great numbers with the royal negotiators to see the king face to face. He received them with all honors, gave them the kiss and, through the power of the living word, affirmed the terms of peace that he had made known through the negotiators. That was the Peace of Gerstungen of February 1074.
It was a one-sided agreement: the militarily superior Saxons enforced the destruction of the castles in Saxony and Thuringia, the return of all confiscations and the recognition of Saxon law. In addition, the king should no longer reside permanently in Goslar in the future. Never before had a king been so humiliated by his subordinates.
But then there was a silver lining to Henry IV. On the one hand, his opponent, Anno II of Cologne, lost its influence. He was accused of arrogance (insolentia) and excessive harshness (austeritas).
Anno had a ship confiscated for a visitor in 1074 that belonged to a Cologne dealer. This led to an uprising among the citizens of Cologne, who felt that they were treated unfairly and highly valued. The archbishop was only able to save himself with a lot of luck, because shortly before one of the canons had had a door broken through the city wall near his house. So Anno was able to get to safety from the angry crowd and escape on the horses provided. After he and his men had regained the upper hand in the city after a few days, a harsh criminal judgment ensued. This was intended to suppress disregard for rule. The houses and belongings of the merchants were expropriated, the leaders blinded or scourged. Lampert von Hersfeld described the mood in Cologne: “So the city, which until recently was the most populous and, next to Mainz, the capital and suburb of all cities in the Rhineland, was suddenly almost deserted. Where previously the streets could barely contain the crowds of pedestrians, now there is seldom a person. There is an eerie silence in all the places of pleasure and enjoyment. ”The hierarchical order was restored, but at a high price for the Archbishop too.
- January 24, 2017, 8:29 PM # 127Registered user
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For Heinrich IV, however, the development in Saxony itself was decisive. Although he had to hand over his castle to the rebels for destruction, the farmers commissioned to do so did him a terrible favor. When the Harzburg was laid down, they were not satisfied with grinding the walls. In an atavistic outbreak, in which dull paganism broke through the thin crust of Christian sentiments, they set fire to the castle chapel, plundered the church treasures, desecrated the relics, broke open the graves of the royal family and trampled the bones with their boots. They hated the fact that Heinrich IV had laid the graves of his deceased younger brother and his dead firstborn son there - after all, it was a sign of the king to announce his long-term claim to the Harzburg.
The desecration of the harassed masses was a sacrilege not only against the king, but against the authorities as such, and the princes understood what seeds were being sown here. The same popular anger that plowed the royal tombs could tomorrow be directed against their own princes and lords. They have never been more united in aristocratic solidarity than at the moment when the people revolted. They practically forced the soldiers, who had been refused until then, on the king. At Heinrich's side now stood the dukes Rudolf of Rheinfelden, Berthold of Carinthia and Gottfried of Lower Lorraine. The Frankish princes, the Bavarians and the Bohemians also supported the position of the king.
The leaders of the Saxons recognized, more far-sighted than their people, that they were not up to the concentrated power of the empire. Some rode on popular anger, others sought their salvation in diplomacy, others let themselves be drawn to Heinrich's side by bribery. The whole of Saxony, even across families, was torn in this matter. Then there were reports of signs that heralded the coming calamity. Of raven battles, of bishops' wands that secrete water, of crucifixes that exuded sweat, and other symbols.
The Saxon princes sent Heinrich IV a messenger who arrived in Worms on Easter 1075 with a letter. He presented this to Archbishop Udo von Trier while he was standing in the pulpit and preaching to the people. The messenger asked to read and explain the letter to the assembled people. When the king forbade this, the messenger himself took the contents of the letter to heart in brief words before the people and asked them not to attack the Saxons with armed force until they were convicted of guilt. An unbelievable process that angered the princes present. Then a messenger broke into a church during a mass and asked the archbishop to interrupt his sermon. And then resisted the king's request. Through this incident, the Saxons only achieved the renewed solidarity of the princes with the king: the government of the nobility over the people required a permanent aristocratic alliance so that the rule of the few over the many remained possible. Now Henry IV was able to prepare the campaign full of anticipation and have the troops summoned.
The bloodiest battle ever fought in the interior of the empire ensued. This “Battle of the Unstrut” saw the king and a number of distinguished princes and bishops on the one hand and the Saxons on the other. At the beginning of June 1075 the king's army had gathered near Hersfeld. According to the chronicler Lampert von Hersfeld, it was so enormous “that in the German Reich never had such a large, so brave, so warlike army been raised in living memory. What bishops there were in the empire, what dukes, what counts, what ecclesiastical and secular dignitaries were all gathered here, all their strength and all their might directed towards this war. Not a single one was missing, unless he was excused by a very urgent need. ”Only the Archbishop Anno II of Cologne stayed away. But this was already more pleasant for the king, because he had always hated the Archbishop of Cologne. The Bishop of Liège was also allowed to stay at home, where he had to take care of the Queen.
The king's scouts reported that the Saxon army was no weaker in number and armament than the royal army, in fact, in terms of other military equipment it even appeared superior and was well equipped with aids and supplies. However, the king and his people only brought up scorn and ridicule for the Saxon contingent: after all, they were only peasants who were intimidated, beaten and destroyed by the din and shouting of the advancing army. At Homburg an der Unstrut, south of the Harz Mountains, a fight broke out on June 9, 1075. According to Lampert von Hersfeld, it was a surprise fight for the Saxons because the king's army attacked directly from the march without further delay, while the Saxons would have been largely disordered. The king's army was led by Duke Rudolf of Swabia, one of the most prominent war leaders of those years. The Swabian contingents also fought in the front row because, according to Lampert, this was a special privilege of the Swabians. The royals raged terribly among the Saxons. They were forced to surrender in the bloody battle of the Unstrut, where the simple soldiers were slaughtered “like common cattle”, as Lampert described it. Their leaders, including a number of bishops, were taken prisoner. In the end the king had returned to the camp cheerful, almost in exuberant joy, since he had defeated his worst enemies. What had reached a bloody culmination point here was a civil war of the greatest and worst proportions. In the sources, the term bellum civile is used for the first time at this point, and in fact it was the first civil war in the medieval German Empire. It was a great victory for the king, which he enjoyed to the full by severely punishing and humiliating his inferior enemies.
Heinrich's behavior, however, obviously contradicted the rules and traditions associated with the king, and meant a break with the overcoming order. He even disavowed the mediators by failing to keep the agreements they had negotiated. Such an affront was one of the gravest misconduct that a king could be accused of. In addition, Henry IV lacked a ruler's virtue that had been first ranked up to that point: mercy. As representative of God the heavenly King, he should have shown grace.
Grace and mercy were not only qualities but also political instruments of the just king. A king had to be able to take tough action in an emergency and gain respect. But it was even more important that he was able to handle the show of grace fairly in a finely balanced variety of interests. Being merciful was not only a sign of wise behavior, but also an element of royal legitimation. It was entrusted to the king to direct the kingdom and the house of God by divine mandate. For Henry III. if that was once the guideline of his actions, this virtue was now missing with his son Heinrich IV.
When Heinrich celebrated Christmas in Goslar in 1075, he celebrated his first triumph after years of hardship. His opponents lay in the dust, their goods had been confiscated, Saxony again obeyed the crown, the princes paid homage to him. "I see the dawn," said Henry IV, satisfied. How could he have known that she did not announce the morning ...
- January 29, 2017, 1:49 pm # 128
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