Conrad II, 990-1039: Emperor of Three Kingdoms by Herwig Wolfram

By Herwig Wolfram

During this biography of the German emperor Conrad II (990-1039), across the world well known medievalist Herwig Wolfram paints a desirable portrait of a consummate baby-kisser set opposed to the heritage of a Europe coming into a brand new millennium. Conrad was once the founding father of the Salian Dynasty, less than whose nearly century-long dominion Germany grew to become the main strong kingdom in Western Europe. He used to be additionally the 1st emperor of the excessive center a while to rule the 3 kingdoms of Germany, Italy, and Burgundy. Conrad's reign marked the triumph of the idea that of 'kingdom' and the zenith of what has been termed 'imperial grandeur.' He broadened the interior bases of imperial strength and taken the total weight of his place of work to endure upon popes, clerics, and abbots within the pursuit of his ecclesiastical regulations. His outstanding skill to accomplish his political objectives used to be essentially extraordinary one of the emperors of the excessive heart a while. Wolfram sees Conrad as a political candidate in virtually the fashionable experience of the observe, in a position to exploiting the political, social, and fiscal constructions of his day on the way to exert his authority and marginalize his competitors. the result's an intimate portrait choked with clean insights approximately Conrad and his consort, Gisela, who-as Wolfram demonstrates-played an influential advisory function along with her husband. First released in 2000, this paintings demonstrates Wolfram's masterly command of the resources and the storyteller's craft, making Conrad II a compelling historical past of an emperor and his terrific epoch.

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His grandfather had not handed him over to the bishop so that Conrad might receive literary and religious instruction; on the contrary, Otto had always marked Conrad for a career in the secular sphere. 60 And that is how things remained until 1002, when the prospects were seemingly good that Conrad’s grandfather Otto would succeed Otto III, who had died young. ” Even though Otto of Worms was more closely related to the late emperor than the Bavarian LiudolWng Henry was—and Henry seemed to grant him precedence—the “man of Worms” did not succeed in establishing his claim.

When the French king Robert II (996–1031) withdrew his favor from his vassal Odo II of Champagne, declaring him “unworthy from now on of holding any Wefs,” even those held “by hereditary right due to his ancestry,” the count felt compelled to Wght for his honor, because he preferred to die an honoratus, or man of honor, than to live a dishonoratus. However, a man could also forfeit his honor, his feudal holdings, indeed his entire well-being, if he were not careful. Outside the walls of a Swabian castle, a prominent lord was tricked out of a standard he had just received from the king upon enfeoVment with an important holding.

In 1020 Henry II concluded with the pope the traditional pactum, or treaty, conWrming the Roman church’s long-standing possessions and bestowing upon it new gifts. The diploma is structured diVerently from the usual privilege and thus authenticated by a long list of witnesses. Nine counts aYxed their marks to the diploma; the second belongs to a count named Cuno, and the third to a count named Kunrat. 83 If the future king was acknowledged to be a count in one of the most important oYcial charters issued by Henry II—obviously subsequent to their reconciliation—then another reference to Cunradus comes, or Count Conrad, may also be to him.

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