German King Defended Catholic Church, Restored Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was an elective monarchy, with the King elected by the leaders of the five major German tribes.
The Salian Franks, the Ripuarian Franks, the Barvarians, the Swabians, and the Saxons were ruled by dukes. These local rulers elected a King of Germany who traveled to Rome and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope.
Frederick (German: Freidrich) was born in Weingarten, Germany in 1122. (King Charlemagne was his thirteenth great grandfather)
In 1147, he became the Duke of Swabia but left Germany to fight in the Second Crusade.
In 1149, he returned to Germany and was elected King of Germany in Frankfurt three years later. His coronation was held in Aachen, Germany in the Chapel of Charlemagne.
King Frederick viewed himself as the successor of King Charlemagne and followed his example. His goals were the same: unite Germany & promote Catholicism.
In 1153, King Roger II of Sicily invaded the Papal States and attacked Rome. Pope Adrian IV requested King Frederick’s help to defend the Church
Frederick’s army crossed the Alps and descended upon Italy to defend the Church. He defeated the Italians and eventually reached Rome on June 17, 1155.
On June 18, 1155, Pope Adrian IV crowned King Frederick the Emperor of the Romans (Latin: Imperator Romanorum) at St. Peter’s Basillica in Rome.
The German army in attendance cheered but the Romans actually began to riot. Frederick and his soldiers spent the rest of the day restoring order, killing one thousand Romans and injuring several thousand.
After King Frederick left Rome though, Pope Adrian IV was arrogant and began to believe he was more powerful. Three years later, he sent King Frederick a letter that claimed the Pope was the true ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and the German King was below him.
The struggle between the German king and the Roman pope was sparked by the ancient Roman legal theories. Legal scholars studied the Justinian Code and developed the theory of “dominum mundi” (a supreme authority).
Prior to this, the German king and the Roman pope shared power. The pope was recognized as the spiritual leader of the Europe and the German king was recognized as the political defender of the Church.
In other words, Europe was led by the spiritual guidance of Rome and the political guidance of Germany.
Pope Adrian IV wanted more power thoughand used “dominum mundi” to claim he was superior to King Frederick.
In 1158, King Frederick led his armies over the Alps destroyed everything he could find.
King Frederick’s army surrounded and attacks cities throughout northern Italy. Instead of just cutting off resources and starving them out though, he loaded live prisoners of war into a catapult and launched them into the city. He also poisoned their water supplies with sulfur and dead corpses.
Eventually, the Italian people begged for peace but King Frederick demanded their total submission. He forced them take an oath to “sacri et imperil gloriam et honorem” (to the honor and glory of the King and the Holy Roman Empire”. Then, the city carried out a submission ritual in which everyone fell at the feet of King Frederick and begged for mercy.
The humiliating public surrender was the punishment for their disobedience German King and the Holy Roman Empire. Afterwards, King Frederick promised the people their city would not be destroyed.
HOWEVER, any people that refused to beg forgiveness were annihilated…
King Frederick was married to Beatrice, the Countess of Burgundy. (German: Beatrix von Burgund) In 1162, her beauty was described in the poem “Carmen de gestis Frederici I imperatoris in Lombardia”:
“Venus did not have this virgin’s beauty,
Minerva did not have her brilliant mind
And Juno did not have her wealth.
There never was another except God’s mother Mary
And Beatrice is so happy she excels her.”
Anyways, Beatrice was kidnapped when King Frederick and his army attacked Milan in 1158. They mocked her and forced her to ride through the city on a donkey.
Later when King Frederick took the city, he found his wife and learned what had happened.
He was enraged and took revenge on the people responsible. He forced them to remove a fig from the anus of a donkey using only their teeth.
He was still angry though and then forced every man in the city to put donkey excrement in their mouth and say “Ecco la fica” (behold the fig) with the feces still in their mouths.
These stories spread and the Italians were terrified of King Frederick. They gave him the nickname “Barbarossa” meaning “red beard” in Italian. (German: Rotbart)
When Pope Adrian IV learned King Frederick and his army was on their way to Rome, he fled to Anagni, Italy. He was about to excommunicate King Frederick before he choked on a fly in his wine and died September 1, 1159.
After his death, two rival popes were elected by the Church. Pope Alexander III and Pope Victor IV fought over who was the real Pope. Both wanted Frederick’s support but Alexander III refused to bow to him.
Therefore, Frederick recognized Victor IV as the real Pope at Pavia in 1160. Later, he invaded Rome and Alexander III fled. He established Victor IV as Pope and returned to Germany.
The problem was that most of Europe still viewed Pope Alexander III as the REAL pope.
Eventually in 1176, King Frederick agreed to the Peace of Anagni, which recognized Pope Alexander III as the leader of the Catholic Church.
The next year King Frederick and Pope Alexander III signed the Peace of Venice which formally reconciled their differences. The German king acknowledged the Roman pope’s control of the Rome while the pope acknowledged the German king’s control of the Empire.
Ten years later in 1187, the newly elected Pope Gregory VIII asked King Frederick to lead the Third Crusade. Although he was 65 years old, he accepted and organized an army of 100,000 soldiers with 20,000 knights.
King Frederick set out for Jerusalem but unfortunately never made it. On June 10, he was waiting to cross a crowded bridge over the Saleph River in Mut, Turkey.
Eventually, he got impatient and decided to walk his horse through the river instead. King Frederick and his horse were allegedly swept away by the strong current and drowned.
However, some claim King Frederick never actually died and is sleeping in a cave in Bavaria, Germany. They believe that some day, he will awaken and restore Germany to its ancient greatness…
This Article Was Part Nine Of “Nazi German: Return Of The Holy Roman Empire” Series:
Introduction: J&J Presents “Nazi Germany: Return of the Holy Roman Empire”
The Spear of Destiny: Saint Longinus & The Holy Lance
Hitler & The Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire
Aryan Jesus: The Catholic Church & Positive Christianity
Holy Roman Emperors: German Kings Protecting Catholic Europe
Saint Charles Martel – Savior of Europe
Saint Charlemange – Father of Europe
Saint Otto I – Protector of the Church
Saint Henry IV & The Walk to Canossa
Saint Frederick Barbarossa
Saint Adolf Hitler
Nazi Fiscal Policy Influenced By Catholic Economic Theory
Cum Nimis Absurdum: Nuremberg Laws Were Catholic Papal Laws
Catholics Invented Jewish Ghettos, Created Badges For Jews
Reichskulturkammer: Nazis Germany’s Catholic Inquisition
Schutzstaffel: SS Officers Were Inspired By Teutonic Knights
Conclusion: The Third Reich Was Return Of The Holy Roman Empire