Henry IV (HRR)

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From a Gospel book from St. Emmeram , after 1106: In the top row, Emperor Henry IV (Heinricus imperator) between his sons. On his left Conrad (Chuonradus) who had died in 1101 in opposition to his father, and on his right Henry V (Heinricus rex) with the mustache typical of him. In the lower row the three abbots St. Ramwold (974-1000), Eberhard (1060-1068) and Rupert (1068-1095) of the monastery of St. Emmeram in Regensburg. The idea of ​​dynastic continuity is expressed: Despite their rebellions, both sons stand in the same imperious position with the same insigniain hands harmoniously next to her father. Kraków, Cathedral Chapter Library 208, fol. 2v

Heinrich IV (* November 11, 1050 probably in Goslar ; † August 7, 1106 in Liège ) from the Salian family was the eldest son of Emperor Heinrich III. and the Empress Agnes . He was co- king from 1053, Roman-German king from 1056, and emperor from 1084 until his abdication , forced by his son Henry V , on 31 December 1105 .

Henry was the last king of the Roman-German Middle Ages who came to the throne as a minor. Like his father, he saw the legitimacy of his rule as based above all on divine right. This made cooperation with the greats of the empire difficult. Already in the last years of Henry III's reign. Conflicts over the participation of the princes in rule had led to a crisis. The princes, who were rivals for power and influence, used the period of Henry's minority, when his mother ran the affairs of state, to expand their own dominions.

When Henry had come of age, he tried to push back the influence of the princes and strengthen royal sovereign rights. In doing so, he also relied on the Reich ministeriality , which developed into a new functional elite. In Saxony , Henry wanted to restore royal authority by building numerous castles, thereby triggering the Saxon War . At the same time, disputes with the aspiring reform papacy about the relationship between spiritual ( sacerdotium ) and secular ( regnum ) power began. They culminated in the so-called Investiture Controversy and led to Pope Gregory VII deposing and excommunicating the Salian in 1076. The trip to Canossa in 1077, where the king submitted and was released from the ban, is considered the high point of the conflict with the papacy. As a reaction to the growing dissatisfaction of the nobles with Heinrich's rule, the anti-kings Rudolf von Rheinfelden (1077-1080) and Hermann von Salm (1081-1088) were elected at the princely days.

The crisis-ridden processes of change in the time of Henry IV detracted above all from the ideal foundations of royal rule. The idea of ​​a monarchy legitimized by dynastic continuity receded. The principle of princely participation in the rule of the empire, which was justified by the election of a king, and the idea of ​​identity, the question of the suitability of a candidate, gained in importance. Heinrich's attempt to present the Salic royal burial place of Speyer as the epitome of the connection between the claim to power and the royal dynasty ultimately changed nothing. The controversy with the reform papacy showed that the king was not solely responsible to God, but could certainly already be judged on earth, even deposed.

Few rulers of the Middle Ages were judged so differently by their contemporaries. The supporters of the Salic kingdom saw Henry IV as the representative of the monarchy bestowed solely by God, while his opponents saw him as a tyrant and the epitome of evil. Since the 19th century, scholars have often portrayed him as a martyr in the kingship's struggle for a strong central authority against the overwhelming forces of the Gregorian papal church and the German princes. More recent research has made more differentiated judgments, but without having found a consensus. The numerous negative judgments of the contemporaries about the king's life and conduct of his duties are interpreted in different ways, but are generally regarded as indicators of the political climate that prevailed at the time, which was characterized by disputes that went back to fundamental lines of conflict.


origin and childhood

Heinrich's presumed birthplace, the Imperial Palace of Goslar, today.

On November 11, 1050, Agnes of Poitou , second wife of Emperor Henry III, gave birth. , in the Kaiserpfalz Goslar the long-awaited heir to the throne. The parents initially gave their son the name of his grandfather, Konrad. The emperor had to wait a long time for an heir to the throne; his marriage to Agnes initially produced three daughters: Adelheid (1045), Gisela (1047) and Mathilde (1048). As early as Christmas 1050 in Pöhlde , Heinrich had the elders present swear allegiance to his unbaptized son. At the next Easter celebration in Cologne, the Archbishop of Cologne, Hermann , baptized the child with the name Heinrich. The choice of Abbot Hugo von Cluny as godfather was an expression of the close ties between the Salian dynasty and the religious currents of the time.

The reign of Henry III. was marked by numerous serious and long-lasting conflicts with the big names of the empire. Henry insisted on the enforcement of royal power and authority, which lifted him far above the princes. With this attitude, he deviated from the Ottonian way of government, which was characterized by clementia , the sovereign clemency . Already under Henry III. there were harbingers of a crisis in the model of domination. The great Conrad of Bavaria , Gebhard of Regensburg , Welf of Carinthia and Gottfried the Bearded rebelled against the autocratic style of government and the autocratic style of government that was solely committed to responsibility towards God . Hermann von Reichenau expresses the contemporary perspective in connection with the uprising of Konrad in 1053: "At that time, both the great and the lesser of the empire grumbled more and more against the emperor and complained that he had long since fallen from the initial attitude of the Justice, love of peace, piety, fear of God and diverse virtues, in which he should have made progress every day, gradually more and more from greed and a certain carelessness and will soon be much worse than he was." A great conspiracy of the southern German princes Welf III. of Carinthia and the 1053 deposed Bavarian Duke Konrad in 1055 aimed to Heinrich III. To rob office and life and appoint Konrad as his successor. However, the uprising failed when the two leaders suddenly died in late 1055.

In the early years of the king's son, fears were voiced in princely circles that he would "follow in his father's footsteps in terms of character and way of life". In 1053, when the Emperor had his son elected as his successor in the royal palace of Trebur , south of Mainz on the right bank of the Rhine, the nobles of the empire expressed a reservation that was unprecedented in the history of royal elections. They wanted to follow the new king only "if he becomes a just ruler" - si rector iustus futurus esset . On July 17, 1054, the Archbishop of Cologne, Hermann, anointed Henry, who was not yet four years old, as king in Aachen. Also the future marriage headed Henry III. still in the way. On Christmas 1055, the heir to the throne was engaged to Bertha von Turin , who was one year younger . It was possible that the bride's family was to be committed to loyalty and that a counterweight to the Margraves of Tuscia was to be created, since their heiress Beatrix , in Gottfried the Bearded, was a stubborn opponent of Henry III. had married.

Regency of the Empress Agnes

Henry III died in 1056. in the royal palace of Bodfeld am Harz . Even on his deathbed, the emperor ensured that his son's succession to the throne was confirmed by a new election. Pope Viktor II was entrusted with the regulation of the succession. As a former chancellor and bishop of Eichstätt, he had great authority in the empire. The change of ruler seems to have been completed without any apparent resistance. While still in Bodfeld, Viktor tried to get the approval of people who were still in the opposition. After the emperor's burial, he traveled to Aachen and placed the royal child on the throne of Charlemagne . At the beginning of December, the Pope succeeded in reconciling with Gottfried the Bearded at a court day. A few weeks later, at Christmas, at a court day in Regensburg, he reached an agreement with the insurgents in Bavaria. His mother Agnes von Poitou ran the affairs of state on behalf of the minor king. When Victor II died in the summer of 1057, the regent lost her most important helper. At the same time, the connection to the ecclesiastical reform forces in the Roman curia was severed.

Concerns about the fate of the empire initially pushed the conflicting interests of the princes into the background; the rule of the underage king was undisputed. The princes made numerous concessions to Agnes for the performance of government business. The Empress retained the Duchy of Bavaria and was granted the right of designation in the event of Henry IV's premature death. The beginning of the guardianship government was promising. In September 1058 Agnes made peace with the Hungarian king Andrew . In the course of time, however, political constraints and personal interests in power increasingly restricted the Empress's freedom of action. In 1057, Rudolf von Rheinfelden kidnapped the emperor's daughter Mathilde , thereby forcing his elevation to the duke of Swabia. On the other hand, when Count Berthold von Zähringen was outraged that the late Heinrich III. had promised him this duchy, Agnes had to compensate him in 1061 with the vacant duchy of Carinthia . In 1061, probably as a result of the Hungarian entanglements, Agnes transferred the duchy of Bavaria to the Saxon Otto von Northeim . The renunciation of the direct power of disposal over the duchies reduced the material basis of the kingdom and gave new noble families the opportunity to expand their own rule with the Zähringer, Northeim and Rheinfelden.

The influence of the unfree royal servants, the ministeriales , increased in the Empress's environment. Ministeriale Kuno took over the education of the young king. Other ministerials also gained political influence. The princes soon no longer felt they had an appropriate part to play in government. From 1058 onwards, Agnes particularly favored Bishop Henry of Augsburg as a political adviser , thereby throwing the unstable structure of aristocratic participation in the kingship out of balance. Influential men like Archbishop Anno of Cologne or Archbishop Siegfried of Mainz saw themselves ignored. Numerous rumors circulated about Heinrich von Augsburg's position at court and his close relationship with the Empress. According to Lampert von Hersfeld , Agnes "could not escape the suspicion of indecent love, because the rumor went that such a confidential relationship could not have developed without immoral intercourse". The talk almost provoked the princes to overthrow, "they saw that because of personal love for a man their influence, which should have been most important in the empire, was almost completely eliminated".

The archbishops argue about power and influence with the king and in the empire

Ruins of the Imperial Palace in Kaiserswerth
Document of Henry IV from 1062 for Duke Ordulf of Saxony. Karlsruhe, General State Archive
The Vita Annonis Minor by Archbishop Anno of Cologne was written under Abbot Gebhard I (1173-1185?) in the course of preparations for Anno's canonization. The miniature on the flyleaf (fol. 1v) shows the standing saint "Sanctus Anno episcopus Coloniensis" in episcopal regalia with casula and pallium , surrounded by his church foundations: in his hands the collegiate churches of St. Maria ad Gradus (1057) and St. George (1067) in Cologne, at the foot the Benedictine abbeys of Saalfeld in Thuringia (1063) and county in Sauerland (1073), at the top the Benedictine abbey of Siegburg (1064).

In the spring of 1062, a group of worldly and spiritual leaders, led by Archbishop Anno of Cologne, came together to overthrow Bishop Henry of Augsburg and Agnes and seize the king. The conspirators, among whom Duke Otto of Bavaria and Count Ekbert of Brunswick are named alongside Anno of Cologne, lured the eleven-year-old king onto a ship during the Empress’s stay in the Palatinate Kaiserswerth on the Lower Rhine and brought him against his will to Cologne. With this kidnapping, the princes tried to regain their influence on the affairs of the empire. Other motives mentioned in the sources were the will to rule, concern for the education of the king, criticism of the empress' regiment and the restoration of order in the empire. The empress then decided to renounce the world and lead a monastic life, but she postponed this plan until her son came of age. From 1064 onwards, she appears again regularly as an advocate in the documents of Henry IV.

The archbishop of Cologne took over the education of Henry and the power of disposal over the underage king. In fact, he was in charge of the government of the Reich. Under his leadership, the purposeful expansion of the Cologne church began. On July 14, 1063, Anno decreed in a document that a ninth part of all income of the kingdom and the king was to be transferred to the Cologne church. The chronicler Lampert von Hersfeld , who was well-disposed towards him, and others rated the years of the reign of Annos as a golden age for the empire. Anno combined service to church and kingdom in an exemplary way. In contrast, Adam von Bremen created the image of a ruler-obsessed and power-hungry prince. The archbishop of Cologne “was even accused of disloyalty to the king. In all conspiracies of his time he was always the mastermind. In these years, the "idea of ​​a joint action of the princes" came up for the first time. The care of Henry IV was not to be exercised by just one person again, since the nobles saw their claim to participation in the kingship threatened in this case. Therefore, responsibility for king and empire should be transferred to the bishop in whose diocese Henry was staying. The power struggles at court that came to light in the 1060s were probably primarily the result of Henry's immaturity; however, contemporaries pointed to the role played by his mother, who "as a woman, all too easily agreed with those who gave her advice". The rank disputes shook the ruling association permanently, "since now that the king was still a boy, everyone could do what he thought of with impunity."

At the end of March 1065, Heinrich received the sword as a sign of legal maturity and the ability to act politically. Gottfried the Bearded, his father's longtime rival, acted as shield bearer. By this demonstrative act, he promised submission and loyalty. Just how strained Heinrich's relationship with his tutor Anno was became apparent immediately after the sword league. As soon as the ceremony was over, the young king wanted to attack him. His mother was only able to hold him back with difficulty.

Right at the beginning of his independent rule, Heinrich made a number of unusually extensive donations. He transferred twelve imperial monasteries and monasteries ( Polling , Malmedy , Benediktbeuern , Limburg an der Haardt , St. Lambrecht , Corvey , Lorsch , Kornelimünster , Vilich , Niederaltaich , Kempten , Rheinau ) to ecclesiastical and secular princes in order to reflect his sovereign actions in a relationship structure , based on consensus, allegiance, and allegiance, to gain greater authority and prestige. Through these actions, however, he also, unlike his predecessors, massively interfered with the legal security of the monasteries.

The influence of Archbishop Adalbert of Hamburg-Bremen had already increased from mid-1063. Adalbert managed to gain the king's trust and became his favorite advisor. The concept of princely responsibility represented by Anno was now opposed to the principle of loyalty to the king. The other big ones were excluded after only one year from any consultation and influence and expelled from the royal court under threat of violence. Adalbert's rise is clearly visible in the royal charters. In June 1065 he was recognized for the first time in a diploma as the king's patronus and he was found around the ruler for almost the entire year.

The favoritism given to the archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen shook the princes' confidence in the young king and aroused their hatred. Adalbert was accused "of having usurped an openly tyrannical rule under the pretext of intimate friendship with the king." The sources emphasize the supposedly pernicious influence of Adalbert, who vigorously pursued the interests of his episcopal church. Anno von Köln allied with the Archbishops Siegfried of Mainz and Gebhard of Salzburg and with the Dukes Rudolf of Swabia , Otto of Bavaria and Berthold of Carinthia. In January 1066 the special status of the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen ended. The nobles assembled in Trebur forced Heinrich to expel Adalbert from the court. According to Lampert von Hersfeld's report, the king was given the choice of either dismissing the archbishop or abdicating.

The frequent changes in the sphere of influence at the royal court meant that Henry IV's surroundings were perceived as a place of suspicion, harassment and slander. In 1066, in the year of Cologne, Heinrich arranged for him to marry Bertha von Turin, who was one year his junior and to whom he had been engaged for ten years. As early as 1069, however, Henry tried to separate from his wife. The anti-Heinrician historian Bruno von Merseburg reports that the king instigated a journeyman to force Bertha to commit adultery. But the queen saw through the intrigue and had her husband, who wanted to witness the adultery, beaten with chair legs and sticks so much that he had to stay in bed for a month. Heinrich stated at a meeting in Worms that there was neither a close relationship nor that Bertha was accused of adultery. Rather, he emphasized that he could no longer live in marital union with his wife. In doing so, he gave his opponents arguments to use the sexual and moral excesses he was accused of for propaganda purposes. A meeting in Frankfurt scheduled for October 1069 was to clarify the matter. Pope Alexander II sent the highly respected Petrus Damiani , who threatened the king with excommunication and denial of imperial coronation. Heinrich then gave in. The circle of advisors changed again. Adalbert of Hamburg-Bremen regained importance, Anno of Cologne and the other princes were once again excluded.

The dispute with Otto von Northeim 1070

The influence of Archbishop Adalbert of Hamburg-Bremen on the young king is likely to have led to the Salian directing his first imperial undertakings primarily against the Saxons. The contempt for the Saxon nobility, the snubs of high-ranking people and the preferential treatment of those inferior, as well as the building of castles to secure power, met with fierce resistance even at the time when Adalbert shaped royal politics.

In 1070 Otto von Northeim , Bavarian duke and at the same time one of the most respected Saxon princes, was accused by a certain Egino of having planned the assassination of the king. Although Egino was considered an ill-reputed mugger and was said to have been bribed, Henry insisted on a duel between the accused duke and his accuser. Lampert von Hersfeld reports that the princes considered this unfair because of the difference in status between the two protagonists. Henry's behavior earned him the accusation that he himself instigated the accuser to lie in order to get rid of the uncomfortable duke. Although Otto played a key role in the kidnapping of Heinrich in Kaiserswerth and also in the fall of Adalbert in 1066, he had worked closely with the king in recent years. He rejected the allegations and demanded that the king's decision be corrected by a judgment of the princes. However, Henry excluded the princes from deciding the charge and persisted in his demand for a duel. This reinforced Otto von Northeim's suspicion that the king was only interested in his destruction. He therefore refused the duel. On August 2, 1070, at the instigation of the king, Saxon nobles declared him a criminal of the majesty and stripped him of the Bavarian duchy.

After violent clashes, the use of mediators led to the submission ( deditio ) of Otto and his followers at Pentecost 1071 in Goslar. The former duke was imprisoned but regained freedom and property in May the following year. On the other hand, the king left the young Billunger Magnus , who had supported Otto, in prison for much longer. Even when his father Ordulf died and the Saxon duchy became vacant, he was not released. Heinrich apparently wanted to force Magnus to renounce the succession in the Saxon duchy and all the goods to which he was entitled by his parents "by virtue of inheritance law" (hereditario iure) . The efforts of the king to break through the hereditary ties of the offices in Saxony and to enforce the official character of the counties probably stood in the background. After Ordulf's death, Heinrich occupied Lüneburg, the ancestral seat of the Billungers, with Swabian ministerials. Only after the castle was conquered in the course of the ensuing conflicts was Magnus released.

Until then, there had been no unlimited detention, which was only to end when the person concerned renounced his entire position of power and his inheritance. As a rule, the imprisonment – ​​meant more symbolically – was short-lived; Offices, fiefs and personal property were returned to the submitter either in full or in part. Heinrich's unyielding behavior permanently strained the political relationship with the Saxons and was one of the causes of the Saxon War .

The Saxon Wars (1073–1075)

Depiction of Henry IV in the chronicle of Ekkehard von Aura around 1112/14 (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 373, fol. 60r).

Pro-Saxon, anti-royal historiographers, above all Lampert von Hersfeld and Bruno von Merseburg , report on the history and course of the Saxon wars . Today's historians blame structural and institutional problems for the outbreak of the conflicts. Henry IV invoked sovereign rights that had been estranged from royalty and had hilltop castles built in exposed locations as royal centers of power and administration for the imperial estate. They differed fundamentally from the previously usual castle complexes in Saxony. They were mostly manned by members of the royal service team, the ministerial staff, most of whom came from Swabia and ensured the constant presence of the central authority, also from a military point of view. The mightiest building was the Harzburg , east of Goslar . Henry had his son, who had probably died in August 1071, buried in the castle church, and his brother, who had died in 1055, was transferred there. The Harzburg was thus given the character of a central castle palace of the king. The former royal burial place of Speyer played a subordinate role during this time.

The increased sovereign penetration of the East Saxon area, especially the Harz region, met with bitter resistance from the Saxons. The natives had to provide services - for strangers who were even bonded ministerials. The resulting conflicts culminated in accusations that Heinrich was violating the tribal rights of the Saxons and threatening their freedom. For a long time, scholars assumed that the young Salian king tried with this policy to win back the goods and rights of the king that had been alienated by the nobility during the transition from the Ottonians to the Salians (“revindication policy”). Recent investigations show, however, that only little royal property was actually lost during this period.

After several complaints, Henry invited the Saxon nobles to Goslar in 1073 to discuss the issues together. The Saxons, as Bruno reports in his work on the Saxon War, appeared in front of the Palatinate on the appointed day, but had to wait in vain to be admitted. The Salians preferred to spend the day playing dice, regardless of the fact "that he had so many important men waiting outside his door as if they were the lowest servants." The Saxons held out all night until finally one of the royal courtiers were informed that the king had already left the Palatinate. From the Saxon perspective, this unworthy treatment of high-ranking people appeared to be the trigger for the war.

The Saxons met in a church that night and made a coniuratio (swearing agreement) there with the aim of preferring to die rather than accept this disgrace. Another picture is offered by a source close to the king: according to the panegyric Carmen de bello saxonico , written by an unknown person, Henry behaved as a ruler should. He received the messengers, heard their requests and assured them that he would listen to justified requests. However, the Saxons were guilty of negating the appointed day of the hearing. In any case, it is certain that the negotiations in Goslar failed and the situation escalated. In order to put the resistance on a broad footing, the Saxons convened a tribal assembly in Hoetensleben at the end of July 1073, at which the complaints against the king's exercise of office were to be publicly discussed. In a speech by Otto von Northeim, castle building is a central charge. With this policy, the king had planned the destruction of Saxon freedoms. For the year 1074, Lampert von Hersfeld reports for the first time that after consultation with the other princes of the empire, the most threatened empire should be given a ruler with whom everyone would agree.

When the Saxons appeared with an army in front of the Harzburg, the king was forced to flee after half-hearted negotiations. In the period that followed, he did not succeed in mobilizing the southern German and Lorraine princes against the insurgents, "because they recognized that their advice was no longer valid because of other advisers who came and went from the king." Heinrich had to give in. In the Peace of Gerstungen in February 1074, in the presence of 15 bishops, it was decided that he would destroy his castles in Saxony and Thuringia, reverse all confiscations and recognize Saxon law.

However, the Peace of Gerstungen remained an episode. Saxon farmers were upset that the Harzburg was a long time coming and took the initiative themselves. When the castle was destroyed, the graves of the Salians buried there were desecrated. The king could demand revenge, for which he received the support of large circles of imperial princes. Henry was therefore able to muster a large army in his campaign against the Saxon rebels. On June 9, 1075 he won a complete victory in the Battle of Homburg an der Unstrut . A second campaign in October brought the decision. The leaders of the uprising, Archbishop Werner of Magdeburg , Bishop Burchard of Halberstadt , Otto of Northeim and Duke of Saxony Magnus Billung, submitted. The pro-Saxon sources saw it as a breach of contract that Heinrich did not immediately forgive the rebels, but had their leaders imprisoned in distant places. This was an extremely unusual way of resolving conflicts. At the end of the year, Heinrich was able to celebrate Christmas in Goslar. He managed to swear an oath to the nobles assembled there not to choose any other than his son Konrad , who was born on February 12, 1074, as his successor.

The conflict with Pope Gregory VII.

The Reform Papacy

Depiction of Gregory VII. Beginning of the Vita Gregorii VII. Paul von Bernried, Heiligenkreuz, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 12, fol. 181v.

A Lateran Synod was held at Easter 1059 under the leadership of Pope Nicholas II . The most important result was the papal electoral decree . The cardinal bishops now played the decisive role in the election. The measure was probably not directed against the influence of the emperor, but rather against the still virulent attempts by urban Roman noble groups to influence the election of the pope. Since after the death of Henry III. imperial protection failed to materialize, Nicholas II also carried out a political about-face: he concluded an alliance with the Normans in southern Italy, who had previously been fought vigorously. The Norman princes Richard of Capua and Robert Guiskard received the territories they conquered as papal fiefs.

In church reform, clergy and laity were to be forced to observe church norms. Inevitably, this led to efforts to increase the authority of the papacy. Since the early 1960s, the popes have tried to influence the imperial church . When Empress Agnes asked for the pallium to be sent to Archbishop Siegfried of Mainz , who was installed in 1060 , her request was rejected. Siegfried was requested to personally collect the pallium in Rome. This was an affront. Tensions intensified after a disputed papal election that led to schism . At the end of October 1061, at an imperial assembly, the royal court accepted the election of Bishop Cadalus of Parma, who took the name Honorius II . However, on September 30, 1061 in Rome, the reform party had elevated Bishop Anselm of Lucca to the post of Alexander II . The decision of the royal court was reversed after the Kaiserswerth coup d'état , but it put a permanent strain on the originally good relationship between the empire and the reform papacy.

After Henry came of age, two planned expeditions to Rome (1065 and 1067) failed due to disputes over rank and the lack of loyalty on the part of the great; Alexander's invitation to the imperial coronation, issued in 1065, could not be accepted. This increased the distance between kingship and the reform papacy. In 1072 a local investiture problem led to the dispute. In the Archdiocese of Milan , bloody clashes broke out in the conflict over the implementation of church reform. After the archbishop resigned, Henry installed a new candidate. The pope, however, favored another candidate, viewed the royal measure as an affront, and excommunicated five of the king's advisers at the Roman Synod of Lenten in 1073 on charges of simony . The open outbreak of the conflict was prevented by the death of Alexander in April 1073. Under tumultuous circumstances and against the rules of the papal election decree, Hildebrand, who called himself Gregory VII , was made his successor . Hildebrand had already had a decisive influence on papal policy in previous years. As pope, he continued the fight for the goals of church reform with unrelenting severity. In the Dictatus Papae of March 1075 he expressed his guiding principles of the full authority of the papacy.

At first, however, nothing indicated a serious conflict with Henry IV. The pope still saw in the king an ally in the implementation of church reform; the points of contention were not of principle. In a letter (supplex epistola) from Henry to Gregory VII in August 1073, the king regretted the sins of his youth. He pointed out the influence of false advisers and promised to do better. Henry was fighting the Saxons, he could not afford a conflict with the Pope at that time. The letter makes his " dilatory skill" clear. Apparently the king made concessions to gain time; whether they were meant seriously is disputed in research. In any case, the Pope believed in the option of peaceful cooperation and overlooked the fact that pious words were not followed by deeds. On December 7, 1074, Gregory still hoped to find a reliable ally in Heinrich.

Excommunication of the king 1076

"Interea, postquam de banno regis ad aures personuit vulgi, universis noster Romanus orbis contremuit" (Meanwhile, when the news of the king's ban reached the crowds, our whole Roman world trembled). Bonizo from Sutri, Liber ad amicum, 12th century. Munich, BSB, Clm 618, fol. 21v.

Under the impression of his victory over the rebellious Saxons, Henry began an extremely active policy towards Italy, which did not coincide with papal interests and broke with all previous assurances. The king invested the cleric Tedald with the Archbishopric of Milan on 28 September 1075, in defiance of the papal will . Other provocative personnel decisions followed for the dioceses of Fermo and Spoleto . On New Year's Day 1076, envoys brought a letter from Pope Gregory VII, in which he complained about the king's actions and demanded obedience. The letter reached Heinrich at the turn of the year 1075/76 in the Goslar Palatinate , just as he was celebrating his military success over the Saxons and had obtained the election of his almost two-year-old son Konrad as co-king from the princes. Henry published the pope's threats and summoned the bishops of the empire to Worms. By answering the Pope's confidential admonition in public, he violated the custom of conflict management and provoked the escalation. At a court day in Worms on January 24, 1076, the king, together with the two archbishops Siegfried of Mainz and Udo of Trier and another 24 bishops, formulated drastic accusations against Gregory VII Broken oath never to be elected Pope. In order to underline the conclusion that Gregory was therefore never the legitimate pope, he was addressed by his baptismal name Hildebrand. Both in the introductory and in the final formula, Heinrich referred to his divine right. His office comes from God, he alone is accountable to him. The long list of accusations ends with the exhortation: "I Henry, by the grace of God King, say to you together with all my bishops: 'Descend, descend!'"

Gregory VII was not impressed by the Worms events. On February 22, 1076, at the Lenten Synod in Rome, he deposed the king, excommunicated him, and released all Christians from the oaths of allegiance they had sworn to Henry. However, he gave a deadline of August 1, 1076 to turn around. The pope justified excommunication and deposition to Bishop Hermann von Metz by saying that Heinrich was a "despiser of the Christian faith, a devastator of the churches and the empire, and an instigator and comrade of heretics".

These measures moved the contemporaries deeply, their tremendous effect becomes clear in the words of the Gregorian Bonizo von Sutri : "When the news of the banishment of the king reached the ears of the people, our whole world trembled." About his opponents in the ranks of the Episcopacy Gregory imposed differentiated sanctions. He deposed with immediate effect the chairman of the Worms synod, Archbishop Siegfried of Mainz, as well as a cardinal who had defected to the king and Henry's supporters among the Italian bishops and expelled them from the fellowship of the church. Other bishops, on the other hand, were summoned to Rome for justification.

Walk to Canossa 1077

Mathilde of Tuscia and Hugh of Cluny as advocates of Henry IV (Vita Mathildis des Donizio, around 1115. Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Ms. Vat. lat. 4922, fol. 49v)

The news of his excommunication and deposition by the Pope reached Henry during Easter in Utrecht . Bishop Wilhelm von Utrecht , who had been one of Gregory's harshest critics in Worms, and some of the bishops involved in Worms died a short time later. Utrecht Cathedral burned out after being struck by lightning. Henry's opponents took these events as a sign of God's wrath. A royal charter with a foundation for reconstruction notes that the cathedral burned down "because of our sins". Henry's support dwindled rapidly after Easter. After a short time, the archbishops of Mainz and Trier, as well as the bishops of Strasbourg, Verdun, Munster, Utrecht, Speyer, Basel and Constance, who had supported the king in Worms, distanced themselves. Others took a wait-and-see attitude. A court day planned for Pentecost, at which they wanted to depose Gregor, came to nothing due to a lack of participation. The question of why so many bishops vacillated in 1076 also refers to individual careers. The 16 bishops employed by Heinrich until 1076 came from the court chapel . However, unlike his father, the king had not always been lucky. There was resistance to a number of his candidates in the episcopal churches, for example in Worms, Speyer, Constance, Bamberg and Cologne. Without recognition and support in their churches, these bishops could not be an effective support. In the summer of 1076 only a small group remained on the side of the king.

The three powerful southern German dukes Welf of Bavaria , Rudolf of Swabia and Berthold of Carinthia allied against Heinrich early on. The princely opposition they led united with the Saxon opponents and the few expelled Gregorians in the German clergy. On October 16, a princely assembly met in Trebur to discuss the further fate of the kingdom and the king. The most important imperial princes, papal legates and supporters of Henry were to settle the conflicts, the king himself was not involved. The subject of the deliberations of the great was the ruler's entire conduct of office and life. It was particularly criticized that he only insufficiently involved the princes in decision-making processes.

Meanwhile, Heinrich was with his army on the other side of the Rhine in Oppenheim . Eventually he was informed that he had to free himself from the papal excommunication by the anniversary of the excommunication, otherwise he would no longer be accepted as ruler. After long negotiations, Henry promised to render obedience (oboedientia) and satisfaction (satisfactio) to the pope. Instead, the immediate election of another king was waived. A new examination and investigation of the way of life and office by the pope was to take place on February 2, 1077 at a meeting in Augsburg.

In view of this ultimatum, Heinrich's only option in the winter of 1076/77 was to go to Italy to contact the pope and have the excommunication lifted. The enemy dukes Welf of Bavaria, Rudolf of Swabia and Berthold of Carinthia had occupied the Alpine passes. So only the dangerous way over the Mont Cenis in Burgundy remained . Lampert von Hersfeld has given dramatic words to the stories about the wintry journey through the western Alps. The royal family climbed the pass with a small entourage. The men crawled on their hands and knees, the women were dragged across the ice on cattle hides, most of the horses died or were seriously injured. After receiving the news that the exiled king was near, Pope Gregory went to the castle of Canossa to his partisan Matilda of Tuscia , who was supposed to mediate. Heinrich did not come as the leader of a military levy. Rather, he spent three days in the forecourt of the castle in penitential robes, barefoot and without a sign of authority. With tears of remorse, he begged for mercy. His godfather, Abbot Hugo von Cluny, and Margravine Mathilde acted as mediators for reconciliation.

On January 28, Heinrich was admitted. Prostration before Gregory, confession of guilt, absolution and celebration of the Eucharist restored the communion of pope and king. A concluding meal together showed that they wanted to deal with each other peacefully and in a friendly manner in the future. Heinrich promised on oath that he would submit himself to the examination of his office and conduct of life that had been decided upon in Trebur. Bishop Anselm von Lucca , on the other hand, reports that Henry IV was silent, did not touch any food and scratched the tabletop with his fingernail. Bad behavior at the table was not responsible for this, but Heinrich wanted, as Gerd Althoff assumes, to ward off the legal obligations. A common meal represented a legal ritual act. For the future one committed oneself to a certain behavior towards the table companion.

Researchers see the penitential journey to Canossa as a tactical move by the king to avoid being deposed by the princes. Timothy Reuter (1991) and Gerd Althoff (1993) interpreted Henry's ritual actions in Canossa as acts of deditio rather than church penance . In 2008 Johannes Fried presented a new interpretation of the events: after the king had been freed from the excommunication, Heinrich and Gregory concluded a peace treaty in Canossa. From this perspective, what happened in Canossa does not appear as a humiliation, but rather as a great success for the Salian king, even though the opponents of both sides soon destroyed the agreement. These considerations were criticized and rejected by other researchers (Gerd Althoff, Stefan Weinfurter and Steffen Patzold ). Fried then presented his arguments in detail again in 2012. Althoff again rejected Fried's thesis in a 2014 professional article.

The time of the anti-kings (1077–1080)

The tombstone of Rudolf von Rheinfelden in Merseburg Cathedral is the oldest bronze tombstone in Central Europe. It was once gilded and inlaid with precious stones. The tombstone bears the inscription: King Rudolf, killed for the law of the fathers, to be lamented according to his merits, is buried here in the tomb. Had he ruled in times of peace, as king, no one since Charles was comparable to him in abilities of mind and sword. Where his own conquered, he fell, holy victim of war. Death gave him life: for the church he sank away.

The oppositional princes no longer wanted to accept Henry as king, even after his release from the ban. The deposition of the king and the election of a successor had already been agreed before the events in Canossa. In March 1077, the South German dukes, Otto von Northeim, the three archbishops Siegfried of Mainz, Werner of Magdeburg and Gebhard of Salzburg and the bishops of Worms, Würzburg, Passau and Halberstadt gathered in Forchheim . On March 15, Rudolf von Schwaben ("von Rheinfelden") was elevated to the righteous "king, ruler and protector of the whole empire". According to the princes, whoever was best suited to the welfare of the empire should be chosen freely. At the same time, an anointed ruler, once elected by the great, to whom each individual had sworn an oath of allegiance, was deposed by the collective decision of the great. Rudolf had to undertake to fill the bishopric according to free canonical elections without simonistic practices, and to recognize the principle of free election for the succession to the throne. On March 26, 1077 he was crowned and anointed by Archbishop Siegfried in Mainz. The new king stayed mainly in Saxony, where he found the most reliable support. Gregor took a wait-and-see position in the dispute over the throne. The pope insisted on an inquiry into which king had the right to rule. With this attitude he encountered criticism from the Saxon opposition. It was not until the year 1080 that the relationship between kingship and papacy changed, when Gregory again imposed excommunication on Henry and at the same time tightened the investiture ban. Gregor probably only changed his attitude when he realized that Heinrich did not want an investigation into his conduct of life and office and had previously done everything to prevent it.

At a court day of Heinrich in Ulm in May 1077, Rudolf von Rheinfelden, Welf IV of Bavaria and Berthold of Carinthia were condemned as traitors, and their duchies and fiefs were confiscated from them. Heinrich kept Bavaria, the Duchy of Carinthia received Liutold from the Eppensteiner family . In March 1079, Heinrich made the Staufer Friedrich I Duke of Swabia. At the same time Friedrich was engaged to Heinrich's daughter Agnes . With the support of Welf IV, Rudolf then elevated his son Berthold to the rank of Duke of Swabia. After the duplication in the kingship, there was now a duplication in the duchy. The years between 1077 and 1080 were marked by extensive military efforts, which, however, did not bring any decision. Only on October 15, 1080 did the decisive battle between the two kings take place in Thuringia on the Elster. Heinrich's army was defeated, but Rudolf was wounded and died a few days later. It was the first battle death of a king in the fight for the crown of the East Franconian-German Empire. The fact that Rudolf had lost his right hand (the oath hand) when he was mortally wounded appeared to Heinrich's followers as a judgment from God . In their eyes, this was the result of a traitor's blatant breach of faith. Rudolf's followers, on the other hand, presented his death as a holy sacrifice for the church. In the Merseburg Bishop 's Church , the center of the anti-Salian resistance, Rudolf was buried like a martyr in the middle of the choir in front of the high altar. A gilded bronze plate was made for the grave, which can still be seen in Merseburg Cathedral as the oldest surviving figurative sculpture from the Middle Ages . The epitaph indicates that the fallen king was revered as a martyr by his followers. In view of the way Rudolf was buried, Henry is said to have remarked that he wished all his enemies were buried with such honor.

The Saxon resistance to Heinrich by no means collapsed after Rudolf's death. The Salian's plan to celebrate Christmas in Goslar failed because a large Saxon army opposed this plan. Thereupon the king is said to have offered the princes never to set foot in their country again, in order to keep Saxony under the Salian kingship if they elected his son Konrad as king. According to Bruno von Merseburg , Otto von Northeim is said to have turned down this offer: he had often seen that an inferior beef had given birth to a calf of the same quality, and so he had no desire for either the father or the son. After the end of the anti-kingdom, Henry wanted to move to Italy to turn against Gregory VII. However, his advisors pointed out that a longer absence was too dangerous unless a peace had been negotiated with the Saxons for the duration of the absence. In February, five bishops from each of the two camps gathered in the Kaufunger Forest . Under the leadership of Archbishop Gebhard von Salzburg , the Saxons wanted to publicly disseminate their knowledge of the king's deeds and misdeeds in order to convince the opposing side that the king had forfeited his office. However, the bishops loyal to the king refused this investigation. Although the negotiations failed, Heinrich made his way to Italy. Although the anti-Salian party elected another king, Count Hermann von Salm , at a rarely attended princely assembly in Ochsenfurt in August 1081 , he remained largely ineffective outside of Saxony.

Promotion of Speyer in the 1080s

Speyer Cathedral

On the eve of the decisive battle against Rudolf von Rheinfelden, Heinrich had placed himself under the protection of Mary, the mother of God, with a donation of the goods in Winterbach and Waiblingen on Speyer. After the death of the anti-king, the Salian decided to fundamentally rebuild the Speyer Cathedral . With the new building he thanked the heavenly powers for their support against his adversaries. Especially in the 1080s, numerous and extensive donations were made to the church. After the Limburg an der Haardt and St. Lambrecht monasteries (1065), Heinrich now also transferred Eschwege , Kaufungen , Hornbach and the priory of Naumburg in the Wetterau to her . He also gave her possessions in the Remstal , in the Nahegau , in the Uffgau and in Saxony. He bestowed the counties of Lutramsforst and Forchheim on the bishop of Speyer .

In his deeds of donation, Heinrich referred to the memory of his ancestors, to whom the Salian king, relying on the legitimation of their burial place in Speyer, tried to link. Up to 1090 Konrad II. and his wife Gisela as well as Heinrich III. and his wife Agnes always focus on the same people from the inner circle of the ruling dynasty. With the exception of Agnes, all his ancestors, who in his opinion had given him the right to rule by divine will (“succession by divine decree”), were buried in Speyer Cathedral. This divine immediacy of kingship and empire was to be documented in a unique magnificent building. The cathedral with its patroness Maria was to become Heinrich's most important support in the fight against the Gregorian church reformers and against the princely opposition in the empire. In a twenty-year construction period from around 1080/1081 to 1102/1106, the most magnificent building in the then Christian world of the West was created under the supervision of Bishop Bennos II of Osnabrück and later the royal chaplain Otto . The entire eastern part of the church was rebuilt, all other parts were significantly changed. Appearance and splendor of the church building were now decisive and no longer the extent of the Salian graves. According to the author of the Heinrichsvita, a building was created that "deserves praise and admiration more than all the works of the old kings . " Speyer became an important symbol for the founding and continued existence of the Salian kingship and empire in general and for Heinrich's salvation in particular.

Henry's coronation and Gregory's end

Otto von Freising, "World Chronicle": Gregory VII's flight from Rome in 1084 (above), exile and death of Gregory in Salerno (1085) (below), 1177-1185, Jena, Thuringian University State Library: Ms. Bos. q. 6, fol. 79r

As a result of the stricter ban on investiture, the majority of the imperial episcopacy at assemblies in Bamberg and Mainz clearly sided with the king by renouncing their obedience to Gregory. In Mainz alone, 19 bishops wanted to elect a new pope. It also damaged Gregory's reputation that, after the king was banned again in 1080, he predicted his downfall by August 1, 1080 and called for his own expulsion should his prophecy not come true. In June 1080, an anti-pope was elected at the synod in Brixen and it was decided that canonical proceedings should be instituted against Gregory. The choice fell on Wibert , Archbishop of Ravenna since 1072 , who took the name Clemens III. gave.

Around Pentecost 1081, Henry reached the city walls of Rome, but the Romans confronted Pope Gregory VII and the city remained closed to him. Henry's army camped in front of Rome for several weeks and devastated the surrounding area. Due to the onset of summer heat, it had to retire without having achieved anything. In early 1082 Henry appeared before Rome again. The king managed to persuade the Norman Jordanes of Capua to change sides. The Normans of Apulia and Capua were now divided in their attitude towards the pope. After resistance against Gregory had formed in Rome, Henry succeeded in taking the city in 1084. Decisive was the defection of 13 cardinals, who no longer wanted to accept Gregory's uncompromising and autocratic style of rule. Gregory VII retreated to Castel Sant'Angelo . A synod was convened on March 21, 1084, which denied Gregory the papal dignity and excommunicated him. The basis for the dismissal was the main accusation that he was guilty of the crime of majesty by recognizing the anti-king Rudolf. In Gregor's place was Clemens III. raised to the rank of pope, who crowned Heinrich and his wife emperor and empress on Easter Sunday 1084. This moment is considered the high point of Henry's reign. Shortly after the imperial coronation, the immediate divine appointment (A deo coronatus) was highlighted in a diploma dated May 24, 1084 . It was now crucial to emphasize the immediacy to God without the mediation of the clergy, especially the pope.

Gregory VII hoped for the intervention of the Norman duke Robert Guiskard , for whom a strong imperial power in Italy posed a threat to the consolidation of Norman rule. On May 28, 1084, the Normans took Rome and Heinrich's army fled the city. Robert Guiskard's troops freed Gregory, sacked the city, and set Rome on fire. Because of the ensuing unrest against the Pope's allies, Gregory left the city with a small entourage and retired to Salerno . He died there on May 25, 1085. While still on his deathbed, he expressly excluded Heinrich and Wibert and the heads of their party from his forgiveness. In a few weeks Heinrich withdrew via Pisa to Verona and announced to his followers north of the Alps that he would soon appear in Regensburg. He left his underage son Konrad in northern Italy to ensure the presence of the Salic kingdom.

Consolidation of Power and Continuation of the Crisis: The 1080s and 1090s

Around the middle of 1084 Heinrich had returned to the northern part of the empire. In Mainz, at the beginning of October 1084, he asserted his investiture claim by appointing Wezilos as Archbishop of Mainz. He then turned against Bishop Hermann of Metz. Bishop and city submitted to the approaching emperor. Nevertheless, Hermann was removed from office in May 1085 at a synod in Mainz. Fifteen more Gregorian bishops were deposed and excommunicated, and a divine peace was proclaimed. Henry made his long-time helper Duke Wratislav of Bohemia king.

On January 20, 1085, renewed negotiations between the Saxon and royal sides took place in Gerstungen-Berka in Thuringia. The question at stake was whether one could live in a community with excommunicated persons. The royal side was supported by the four archbishops Liemar of Hamburg-Bremen , Wezilo of Mainz, Sigewin of Cologne and Egilbert of Trier ; the Gregorians were represented by the cardinal legate Odo of Ostia , by Gebhard of Salzburg and Hartwig of Magdeburg , and other exclusively Saxon bishops. Henry's followers emerged strengthened from these negotiations. Due to the death of its leading figures, Otto von Northeim (1083) and Bishop Burchard von Halberstadt (1088), the Saxon opposition movement collapsed in the years that followed. After the death of the unsuccessful Hermann von Salm, the emperor's opponents were unable to summon a third anti-king. But Henry, for his part, could not permanently bind Saxony to the kingdom. Finally, in 1088, a peace agreement was reached between Heinrich and the Saxons.

In 1087 Heinrich had his son Konrad crowned king in Aachen and in doing so tried to secure the succession for the Salic house. His wife Bertha died in the same year. On August 14, 1089, the Emperor married Praxedis (Adelheid) in Cologne, the daughter of Grand Duke Vsevolod I of Kiev , born around 1070, and widow of Margrave Heinrich von Stade, possibly to reinforce the peace treaty negotiated in 1088 with the Saxon bishops and princes . Archbishop Hartwig von Magdeburg , a former opponent of Heinrich , crowned the empress . Around 1090, Heinrich issued a first protective privilege for the Jews of Worms , using predecessor Carolingian regulations. This privilege placed the Jews under the special protection of the king and regulated their rights in dealing with their Christian residents. In 1090 Henry also granted a privilege to the Jews of Speyer.

In Italy, meanwhile, the situation for the king had deteriorated. In 1090 his northern and southern Italian opponents united. The Gregorian Pope Urban II could against the imperial anti -pope Clemens III. claim Archbishop Anselm of Milan joined him. Urban, who is regarded as a great pragmatist among the reform popes, helped the reform church to achieve a breakthrough in the period that followed. In 1089 he managed to mediate a marriage between the 43-year-old Margravine Mathilde von Tuszien and the eighteen -year-old Welf V , which effectively brought together the anti-Salian parties north and south of the Alps. The new constellation of forces in Italy prompted Henry in 1090 to undertake his third campaign in Italy. In Imperial Italy , Henry promoted the up-and-coming middle class ( Lucca , Pisa , Mantua ) , especially in the sphere of power of Mathilde of Tuscia . Many of the members of wealthy merchant families supported by Heinrich, such as those in Pisa, were to hold the municipal consulate in the future. After a siege of more than a year, Henry took Mantua and celebrated Easter there in 1091. In 1092 he turned to Canossa , the seat of Margravine Mathilde. There, however, his military successes were undone by a sudden failure of the besieged.

In the spring of 1093 his eldest son Konrad suddenly deserted him and the following year his second wife Praxedis (Adelheid) fled to the camp of the Italian opponents. Konrad had himself crowned King of Italy in Milan in 1093 and contacted Pope Urban II, who promised him the imperial crown. By marrying a daughter of the Norman Count Roger, Urban fully integrated him into the papal network. However, Konrad's counter-kingdom in Italy remained meaningless in the northern part of the empire. However, the Gregorian side was able to take advantage of Praxedis' flight and change of party: Praxedis appeared at the Piacenza synod in early March 1095 and publicly complained "because of the outrageous atrocities of fornication that she had endured with her husband". The Salian was excommunicated again because of the allegations.

Heinrich could not leave Italy because of the blocking of the Alpine crossings by a coalition of the southern German dukes Welf von Bayern and Berthold von Zähringen with Bishop Gebhard von Konstanz. Forced to remain idle, he spent the years 1093 to 1096 in northern Italy. From the year 1094 not a single document issued by him has survived. A Lombard league of cities formed between Milan , Cremona , Lodi and Piacenza during this period, which joined the Guelph-Tuscan coalition. Henry received support only from Aquileia and Venice . The Venetians received far-reaching trade privileges for their support from Heinrich. According to a Gregorian voice, Heinrich is said to have even considered suicide in his distress. Meanwhile, Urban was able to travel to southern France and initiate the First Crusade there.

Meanwhile, the ideas of Gregorian reform continued to spread throughout the empire. The idea of ​​reform spread among the nobility and led to a close connection between aristocratic-princely opposition and the church reform movement, particularly in Swabia and Saxony. In Swabia, the Staufer Friedrich I was married to the king's daughter Agnes in 1079 and made Duke of Swabia. In 1092 the Gregorians had agreed to raise a counter-duke, the Zähringer Berthold II . In Ulm they agreed on a peace in which the followers of Henry IV were not included. However, the majority of the monasteries took a neutral stance in Henry's conflicts with the reform papacy and the opposition of princes. They neither renounced their allegiance to the king nor did they seek contact with the reform papacy and its followers. Henry's staunch opponents, however, included the monasteries of Reichenau , Corvey , St. Blasien , Hirsau , Polirone and Montecassino . Hirsau in particular established itself as the center of monastic and church reform.

Only the abrupt end of the marriage between Welf V and Mathilde in 1095 opened up new opportunities for Heinrich. He reached an agreement with the Welfs and in 1096 recognized Welf IV again as Duke of Bavaria. Perhaps the Welfs were assured of the right to inherit the dukedom of Bavaria. Heinrich also reached an agreement with the Zähringer in 1098. The Hohenstaufen Friedrich retained the duchy, but the Zähringer was allowed to retain the title of duke and his dominion, which was enlarged by the extensive Reichsvogtei Zurich. There was now the Duchy of Swabia and a "Duke of Zähringen". Compromising with the opposition groups formed the basis for Henry's return from Italy.

The Emperor's rule seemed to be consolidated in the years that followed. When Heinrich celebrated Pentecost in Regensburg after his return from Italy, a large number of secular and spiritual imperial princes appeared. The later days at court were also well attended, and the election of bishops almost always went without objection in the interests of the emperor. Henry took action against Archbishop Ruthard of Mainz because he had not given the Jews enough protection in the pogroms connected with the beginning of the First Crusade. Ruthard then had to withdraw to Thuringia and tried to organize the opposition against the king. In 1098, at the synod in Mainz, Heinrich succeeded in getting the princes to agree to the disinheritance of his son Konrad, despite some misgivings. Kingship and inheritance were stripped from Konrad and awarded to Henry's younger son, Henry V. Heinrich cleverly used the increasingly pronounced self-image of the princes to take care of the well-being of the empire by arguing that the princes would at least intervene in the interests of the "state" (rei publicae causae) if someone by violence and crime to the attain dominion. The son Henry V, born in 1086, was crowned in Aachen on January 6, 1099. Heinrich took an oath from him never to seize the kingdom or his father's estates by force during his father's lifetime. Pope Urban II died in Rome on July 29, 1099, and the church reformers elected Paschalis II as his successor. The anti-pope Clemens III. died on September 8, 1100. From then on, the investiture by the king formed the focus of the conflict between the emperor and the pope. In the years that followed, Paschalis II tried to win over the German princes.

Around the turn of the century, Heinrich devoted himself increasingly to keeping the peace. In 1103 a nationwide peace was proclaimed in Mainz. A number of the most powerful princes of the empire, Welf V of Bavaria, Berthold II of Zähringen and Friedrich I of Swabia, joined forces with Henry IV and swore to peace throughout the empire. Violators of the peace were threatened with severe corporal punishment regardless of status. In addition to clerics, merchants and Jews were included in the protection of the peace. The peace did not appear to have any far-reaching practical consequences, but the basic idea was far-reaching.

dismissed by the son

Handover of power from Henry IV to his son Henry V, depiction from the chronicle of Ekkehard von Aura . Henry IV presents his son Henry V, who holds the lily scepter in his right hand, with the imperial insignia of a sphaira (with a cross) and a crown circlet. Young Heinrich has to stand on a hill to be level with his father. From his father he takes over the imperial insignia and thus the rule. The drawing, made around 1106, is intended to give the impression that rule had passed peacefully from Henry IV to his son Henry V. Ekkehard von Aura, Chronicon universale, Berlin, State Library, Ms. lat. fol. 295, fol. 99r

With the early death of the elder son Konrad on July 27, 1101, the danger of a fraternal quarrel over the successor to the kingship was averted. Stefan Weinfurter explains Heinrich's reasons for distancing himself from his father and breaking his oath of allegiance, with reference to the ideas of the reform-oriented nobility, who meanwhile claimed responsibility for the empire for themselves. Henry felt compelled to act if he wanted to secure the kingship for his family. The Bavarian nobility had emphatically pointed out to him the danger of losing power. If he waits until his father's death to ascend the throne, someone else will precede him. Weinfurter assumes that his son's fear for his salvation is another reason for his son's rebellion. Henry V entered into a "salvation community" with other young nobles, which, however, broke up just a few years after Henry's reign began. According to Gerd Althoff , local events in Regensburg were crucial to the uprising. Henry IV did not prevent ministerials and citizens from murdering Sieghard von Burghausen in February 1104.

At Christmas 1104, Henry V took over the leadership of a group of young princes in Regensburg who decided to rebel against the old emperor. From Bavaria Heinrich sent messengers to Pope Paschalis asking for advice about the oath he had swore to his father and which he was about to break. The Pope had Bishop Gebhard of Constance convey the apostolic blessing to him. He promised Henry V absolution at the Last Judgment if he would be a righteous king and ruler of the church. In 1105 there were numerous battles that were initially unsuccessful. At the end of October 1105, however, Henry V succeeded in taking Speyer with the help of the local bailiff. With Gebhard , the abbot of Hirsau, he was able to appoint one of Henry IV's worst opponents as the new bishop. The cathedral chapter of Speyer, hitherto the emperor's most important support, was thus eliminated. In the fall of 1105, father and son gathered their troops. However, the sense of responsibility of both princes prevented the decisive battle. The princes of both sides began peace talks. At Christmas 1105, the decision was made to settle the dispute at a court day in Mainz.

Heinrich V. appeared ready for repentance and reconciliation, his father pressed him to his chest in tears and dismissed his army. His son then suggested that he go to Böckelheim Castle for his own protection . The usual rituals of reconciliation (feet, tears and kisses), which had been binding until then, apparently lost their effectiveness in the father-son conflict. Henry IV had hardly arrived at the castle when he was captured. His guardian was Gebhard, the new bishop of Speyer. He pestered the emperor so much that he renounced his rule a few days later and blackmailed the surrender of the imperial insignia . The controversial problem of whether and how one could depose an emperor was thus settled. The transfer of power was now possible without war and bloodshed. The son's behavior was described by the father as "nefarious betrayal", as "inhuman and cruel against all rights" and as "deceit and fraud".

At a meeting of princes in Ingelheim on December 31, 1105, Henry IV had to relinquish the throne under massive pressure from the princes. On January 5, 1106, Heinrich V was elected king by the princes in Mainz. Archbishop Ruthard of Mainz presented him with the imperial insignia. With their transfer "the full legitimacy of the assumption of power by Henry V was guaranteed during the lifetime of the father".

Heinrich's end

Speyer Cathedral , tombs of Emperor Heinrich III. (back right) and Henry IV (back left)
The burial crown of Heinrich IV from the cathedral treasury of Speyer Cathedral
Archbishop Ruthard of Mainz presents Henry V with the Sphaira. (Anonymous Imperial Chronicle for Henry V, 1112/1114, Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, The Parker Library, Ms. 373, fol. 83r)

At the end of January or beginning of February 1106, the old Emperor Heinrich IV managed to escape from the Palatinate of Ingelheim and organize the resistance. On Maundy Thursday 1106, Henry V's troops were defeated near Visé on the Meuse . However, after these promising beginnings, Henry IV fell ill and died in Liège on August 7, 1106 . There he first received an honorable burial in the cathedral . The princes, however, objected, as the excommunication had not yet been lifted. The dead emperor was taken from his tomb and buried in unconsecrated ground in a still unconsecrated chapel outside the city in Cornelio monte sita (today Cornillon, a district of Liège). A little later, Heinrich V ignored the decision of the princes, had the body dug up again on August 24th and transported first to Liège, then to Speyer, to bury it there in St. Mary's Cathedral. However, Gebhard , the bishop of Speyer , forbade burial and funeral ceremonies. So the emperor found his temporary resting place in an unconsecrated chapel attached to the cathedral, later known as the Afrakapelle . This led to riots among the population of Speyer, and Gebhard had to withdraw from the city in 1106. Farmers placed seeds on the stretcher, which they later scattered on the fields to increase the yield of the crop. Heinrich's body was only transferred to the crypt of the cathedral and buried there on August 7, 1111, after his son had obtained from the pope the lifting of the ban on the church.

While 26 entries in necrologies can still be found for the first Salian, Konrad II , Heinrich is only listed in 14 surviving books of the dead. The imperial monasteries of Lorsch , Fulda , Hersfeld , Prüm and Niederaltaich , as well as bishoprics such as St. Emmeram in Regensburg , Weihenstephan in Freising , Weltenburg and Neuenheerse noted the anniversary of Heinrich's death in their necrology. The respected abbeys of Echternach , Subiaco and Farfa and the Cassinese priory of S. Maria at Albaneta near Montecassino received Henry into their prayer community during his lifetime and preserved her royal confrere a lasting memorial in liturgical practice. In the books of the dead of the reform-oriented monasteries Hirsau and Michelsberg , but also in Weißenburg , Reichenau , St. Gallen , Einsiedeln , Ebersberg and Montecassino , the date of his death is missing.


In the late 11th century, the idea of ​​a new type of princely responsibility for the entire empire became tangible. The idea of ​​a dynastic right (hereditas) to the succession of rulers receded, and the idea of ​​“free choice” (electio spontanea) for the princes gained weight. Henry V, son and successor of Henry IV, counted the years of his reign from the day of the election and appointment by the princes on January 5, 1106. From then on, St. Mary, the patroness of the Speyer cathedral and previous protector of the Salian house, was no longer the guarantor of kingship. The Speyer Cathedral was therefore no longer supported in any special way by Heinrich V, and Maria was no longer honored with donations. On the contrary, on August 7th and 14th, Henry V granted the citizens of Speyer numerous rights and privileges through two privileges, so that they could see to the salvation of their father's soul. In the minds of the people of Speyer, civil liberties, privileges and economic growth were to be associated with the memory of Henry IV. An entire congregation was now committed to the prayer commemoration.

The death of Henry IV did not end the conflicts between the popes and the kings. After him, five other emperors temporarily ruled under the papal ban: Henry V (1106-1125, ban 1111-1122), Friedrich Barbarossa (1152-1190, ban 1160-1177), Otto IV (1198-1218, ban 1210-1218 ). ), Frederick II (1212–1250, ban 1227–1230 and 1239–1250) and Ludwig IV “the Bavarian” (1314–1347, ban 1324–1347). Henry V initially insisted, like his father, on the right of investiture in the traditional form. In 1111 he took Pope Paschalis II and several cardinals into custody during his trip to Rome. The forced imperial coronation in 1111 was followed by another excommunication by the pope. In 1122, Henry V and Pope Calixtus II reached a viable compromise, later known as the Worms Concordat . In the office of imperial bishops and abbots, a distinction was made between spiritual ( spirituals ) and secular functions ( temporals ). Heinrich had to renounce the general right of investiture, but was allowed to investiture in the secular property of a church with a scepter .

Heinrich in the judgment of high medieval historiography

Vita Heinrich IV. imperatoris. Regensburg, St. Emmeram Monastery. Munich Bavarian State Library, Clm 14095, 45 fols. 17v

The personality of the ruler cannot be clearly defined as a whole. The judgments about Henry IV in contemporary historiography are either panegyric - as in Benzo von Alba, in Carmen or in the Vita - or hateful polemics as in Lampert von Hersfeld , Bruno and also in Berthold or Bernold .

Heinrich was accused of almost every conceivable evil by his opponents - from insidious murder to the ordered rape of close relatives by his confidants. Heinrich is described as sneaky, calculating and insidious. Especially in his early years, his opponents accused him of numerous offenses and crimes. He was accused of wanting to exterminate the high nobility and enslave the Saxons. The sources also frequently articulate allegations against his administration: he did not involve the aristocracy and ecclesiastical leaders in political decisions. Other allegations are: the transfer of the residence to Saxony, the suppression of the nobility while at the same time giving preference to the ministerials, the neglect of the duties of the ruler in favor of hunting and games, dealing with concubines, the pairing of high-nobility daughters with men of lower origin and recruitment the royal garrison by the royal servants. If one follows this tradition, a "monster must have sat on the throne", as Gerd Tellenbach put it.

A look at the important chronicles and annals shows the variety of historiography in the age of the Investiture Controversy. The conservative Lampert von Hersfeld was concerned with preserving the old, Christian-monastic and political values ​​that he still had through Henry III. saw embodied. Henry IV, on the other hand, appeared to him as an incompetent king, since he - unlike Rudolf von Rheinfelden - disregarded the advice of the princes and thereby destroyed the community. Lampert closed his annals in 1077 with the election of Rudolf von Rheinfelden as king. In this perspective, Rudolf appeared as the guarantor of the renewal of those ideals that Henry IV did not correspond to at all. After 1076, the Saxon Bruno called the Salians exrex , who had lost his right to rule, and ended his book on the Saxon War at the end of 1081 with the election of Hermann von Salm .

Berthold von der Reichenau 's partisanship was less straightforward . Berthold continued Hermann 's world chronicle in a thoroughly royalist attitude until about the mid-1070s. Probably due to tradition, this version only survived until 1066. In the middle of 1070 Berthold revised his chronicle and continued it until at least 1080. The Reichenau monk adapted his depiction to the changed order structure of his time. The ecclesiastical reform movement became the center of attention, and Berthold now distanced himself from Henry IV. A whole series of detailed letters have survived after 1080, which are considered the first evidence of a new type of source, the polemics. Both parties no longer limited themselves to military disputes, but increasingly tried to underpin their positions with theoretical treatises. The Gregorian pamphlets characterize Henry as a tyrant. He himself forfeited his office by violating royal duties and could no longer be considered a legitimate ruler.

In the bitter political disputes, the pro-king historiography sometimes took on the character of justification or defense writings. By emphasizing certain qualities and actions of the king, a counter-position to the attacks and slanders of the other side often becomes clear. The Carmen de bello saxonico , which ends with the Saxons being subjugated at Spier in October 1075, concludes with an appeal to the king for leniency after his victory. The character of Carmen is a heroic poem praising the person and military achievements of Henry IV. In the case of Benzo of Alba, a fanatical follower of Henry in imperial Italy, who had been expelled from his diocese because of his support for the Salian king, the king is presented as the "redeemer" of the world, indeed as the embodiment of the deity (De celo missis, non homo carnis) himself celebrated. The hope for Henry's early appearance in Italy is expressed with the epithet spes Romanorum , the ruler is celebrated as novus Constantinus . The Vita Heinrici imperatoris , created around 1107, is a panegyric to the deceased emperor in the form of a mourning. The ruler is portrayed as "the king of the poor". His charity towards the poor and sick is praised. Feeding the poor, nursing and commemoration of the dead are particularly emphasized. The king thus appears as the embodiment of the traditional royal virtues and thus as a just ruler. Love and worship of the poor are decisive motives for the medieval rulers' understanding of the afterlife, since the poor were considered important intercessors before God.

The King's excommunication made the strongest impression on the Salian Empire, while the memory of Canossa quickly faded even within the Empire. Seven decades later, Bishop Otto von Freising , grandson of Heinrich IV and uncle of Friedrich Barbarossa, emphasized in his world chronicle what was unheard of and unique about the ban and deposition of the Salian in his world chronicle: “I read the history of the Roman kings and emperors again and again , but before Henry I find none among them excommunicated or deposed by the pope.”


The history painting Heinrich vor Canossa by Eduard Schwoiser from 1862 shows an unbowed, defiant Heinrich in front of Gregory looking down on him.
Henry IV robbed by Anno von Köln (1868) Anton von Werner . The picture shows the moment when the unconscious young king is pulled out of the water by a bearded old man, while a bare-chested rower tries to get Count Ekbert, who is clinging to a rope, back into the boat. Standing upright, Anno von Köln and Otto von Northeim follow the events with a petrified expression.

Various life situations in Henry's reign, such as the boy fearing for his life jumping into the Rhine, the exiled king's penance in wintery Canossa or the humiliating circumstances of his abdication, fired the imagination of later generations. Heinrich's penance to Canossa is still considered the epitome of political humiliation.

In the Enlightenment , the dramas of Johann Jakob Bodmer (1768) and Johann Gottfried Dyck ( Rome's Bannstrahl in the 11th century , 1788) discussed the need for the separation of state and church, with the father-son conflict being stronger than the quarrel between emperor and father Pope was the focus. In the 19th century in particular, numerous dramas and historical paintings were created. Anti-clerical tendencies were mixed with national ones. In Friedrich Rückert 's drama (1844), Gregor is portrayed as an archenemy and the Canossa course as humiliation. The change in the historical facts is significant: According to an anonymous poem ( Emperor Heinrich IV. 1844), Heinrich turned away from Canossa without having the ban released and the soldiers destroyed the castle. The Catholic view was expressed by Conrad von Bolanden . Heinrich's apparent political weakness was justified by his sensitive character.

The tremendous impact of Canossa becomes clear in the Kulturkampf between the German Empire and the Catholic Church in 1871. When there was a conflict with the Curia over the appointment of a German envoy to the Holy See , Chancellor Otto von Bismarck formulated the famous words: "Don't worry: we are not going to Canossa - neither physically nor mentally!" In the same year commemorative coins were minted. On the obverse Bismarck was depicted as the guardian of imperial rule, on the reverse a personified Germania fighting the Pope with his bull of excommunication in front of Canossa Castle with sword and bible . The caption read: "Not after Canossa!" In history painting, the events of Canossa inspired the artists Peter Johann Nepomuk Geiger (around 1840), Peter Carl Geißler (1841 and 1860), Adeodato Malatesta (around 1845), Alfred Rethel ( 1844), Adolf Schmitz-Crolenburgh (1852), Hermann Freihold Plueddemann (1861) and Eduard Schwoiser (1860).

In the 19th century, the kidnapping of the king in Kaiserswerth was considered a symbol of the weakness of monarchy in the face of princely selfishness. The artists Hugo von Reichenbach (1844), Moritz von Schwind (1856), Anton von Werner (1868) and Gustav Adolf Closs (1890) referred to the kidnapping of Heinrich by ship. For Hermann Wislicenus , however, this episode was not a topic of central importance. In the imperial hall of the restored imperial palace in Goslar, a large-format fresco cycle focused on the emperor's entry into Mainz in 1105. In the original conception, the portrayal of the kidnapping of Kaiserswerth with Henry IV going through Canossa as the main image was intended to demonstrate the humiliation of the kingdom. But the public, emotionally aroused by the Kulturkampf, felt that their national feelings were hurt. The Prussian Minister of Education , Adalbert Falk , urged Wislicenus not to paint the "monuments to his disgrace" on the wall.

The extent to which a fixed historical picture and the resulting picture of Henry IV could influence the presentation of completely objective facts is shown by the publication of the anthropological findings on Henry’s skeleton after the Salian graves in Speyer Cathedral were opened in 1900 : “The picture Henry IV... as that of a tall, strong, impeccably built man... the figure of a slender but strong, almost athletic man, adept at and practiced in all chivalric exercises. In the face, masculine strength appears paired with almost feminine grace. The face had "an energetic expression" and a "certain softness and special individual beauty".

Historical images and research trends

The historians of the 19th century looked for the causes of the belated emergence of the German national state in the Middle Ages. The kings and emperors identified them as early representatives of the strong monarchical power that they longed for in the present. In the defining historical picture of the 19th and 20th centuries, the empire was considered to be extremely powerful and dominant in Europe in its early days under the Ottonians , Salians and Staufers . However, the emperors lost this position over time and were only able to regain it with the founding of the nation state in 1871. According to this master story , the rule of kings and emperors began to crumble as early as the 11th century. The German princes, with their particular interests, and the papacy, with its striving for supremacy, were considered the “gravediggers” of imperial power. The events in Canossa in 1077 were identified as the "first turning point" for the decline. The German monarchy received “its death wound” through Canossa, as Hermann Heimpel put it in the 1950s.

The historical judgment about a ruler was essentially determined by the question of whether and how he understood how to maintain and increase power over the two authorities or whether he had contributed to the decline of the central authority. Heinrich played a key role in this historical picture. The fixation of an image of history on a strong central authority and a powerful king led to the defense of the Salians. Henry was considered a downright martyr in the kingship's struggle for a strong central power against the overwhelming forces of the Gregorian papal church and the German princes. His actions were therefore judged from an apologetic point of view. The numerous allegations made by (Saxon and Gregorian) opponents against his government and way of life were often misinterpreted or passed over as exaggerated polemics. Historians such as Wilhelm von Giesebrecht (1852) and Karl Hampe (1909) were well-disposed towards the Salian, oriented themselves towards questions of power politics and judged Heinrich's government according to its usefulness for the royal central authority. National historiography has kept Heinrich as a positive memory overall. He was certified to have preserved the rights of kingship. Two aspects were cited for this: on the one hand, the defense of the foundations of royal power against princely special interests and, on the other hand, the defense against the hierocratic claims emanating from the papacy. Heinrich, who was seen as a "full-bodied Germanic layman", was praised as "one of the most distinguished princes that Germany ever possessed". He outlived all his opponents. Only "through cunning and treason he was defeated in the end". The cunning disempowerment of the father by the son was even considered "the most diabolical act in all of German history".

The seven-volume historical work by the historian Gerold Meyer von Knonau , published between 1890 and 1909, represents the high point of the entire " Yearbooks of German History " in terms of quality and quantity with 3344 printed pages including 5698 footnotes preoccupation with the rule of this Salian". Meyer von Knonau did not see himself as a biographer. He therefore mostly avoided characterizing statements about Henry IV and tried to avoid all questions about the historical significance and the personality of the emperor. However, Meyer von Knonau also remained influenced by the contemporary Prussian image of Heinrich. His source-critical decisions shaped the further picture of research from Henry's reign to the present day.

However, the nation-state perspective from which Henry's rule was viewed sometimes led to criticism and devaluation. The German nationalist historian Johannes Haller (1926) came to a negative conclusion . For him, Heinrich made only a weak figure. Heinrich "was neither a statesman nor a general". The Salians are not only responsible for the surrender of imperial power in Italy, but also for the weakening of the German kingdom. He lacked the necessary strength for the tasks posed by history.

After the Second World War, the national understanding of history receded. However, this did not lead to a reassessment of his rule in the following decades. Rather, other issues were in focus. For the Salian exhibition in Speyer in 1991, the investiture controversy and the arguments about the reign of Henry IV were not dealt with in the three conference volumes “Die Salier und das Reich”. The Heinrich biography by Ian S. Robinson (1999) stands in the tradition of older German-language medieval studies and does not bring any newer research findings.

Resistance and rebellion by the princes against the kingship during the reign of Henry IV have increasingly been seen as a turning point from a "constitutional" point of view in the last two decades. Within the political order, the balance of power had been fundamentally changed. It was no longer the king who increasingly represented the empire, but rather the spiritual and secular leaders, at least with equal rights. Hagen Keller (1983) was able to work out that the big ones decided and acted in royal elections in the awareness of their functionally important role in the overall political structure of the empire. In the course of the century, the princes increasingly considered it their right and their duty to direct the fortunes of the empire, if necessary even against the king. It is no longer the king who protects the interests of the empire, as older scholars believed; ultimately it was the princes who “take the fate of the empire into their own hands”, for whom “the welfare of the empire had priority”, who “ put their responsibility for the kingdom above their own wishes" and "were able to protect the kingdom from the king in times of crisis".

On the 900th anniversary of his death in 2006, exhibitions and conferences in Speyer, Paderborn, Goslar and on the Reichenau were dedicated to Heinrich and his time. In his biography, Gerd Althoff (2006) interpreted the numerous allegations against Heinrich as "arguments in the political disputes and as indicators of the prevailing political climate". Althoff tends to take the allegations made by Heinrich's opponents as evidence of actual wrongdoing and not just mere propaganda. For Althoff, an “impression of tactical intrigues and insincere behavior” results as a “essential characteristic of Heinrich's personality”. In his final, quite negative overall assessment, the "dark side" of Heinrich's personality outweighs it. Henry was "without a doubt responsible for the crisis of the kingship of his time".


  • Johann Friedrich Böhmer : Regesta Imperii. 3: Salic House: 1024–1125. Part 2: 1056-1125. Dept. 3: The Regesta of the Empire under Henry IV, 1056 (1050) – 1106. Volume 1: 1056 (1050) – 1065. Re-edited by Tilman Struve. Böhlau, Cologne and others 1984, ISBN 3-412-07083-1 .
  • DH IV: The Charters of Henry IV/Heinrici IV Diplomata (MGH DD 6/1–3), Part 1: The Charters of Henry IV 1056–1076, edited by Dietrich Gladiss , Hanover 1941 (ND 1978), Part 2: The Charters of Henry IV 1077–1106 edited by Dietrich von Gladiss, Hanover 1952 (ND 2001), Part 3: Introduction, Supplements, Indexes, edited by Alfred Gawlik , Hanover 1978.
  • Sources on the history of Emperor Heinrich IV. (= Selected sources on German medieval history. Freiherr vom Stein commemorative edition. Volume 12). Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2006, ISBN 3-534-19876-X (Contains, among other things: Bruno von Merseburg: Brunonis Saxonicum bellum. Bruno's Saxon War (translated by Franz-Josef Schmale, pp. 191-405) and Carmen de bello saxonico . Das Song of the Saxon War translated by Franz-Josef Schmale , pp. 142–189).
  • Sources for the Investiture Controversy: Writings about the dispute between Regnum and Sacerdotium (= Selected sources for German medieval history. Freiherr vom Stein memorial edition. Volume 12b). Latin and German. Edited and translated by Irene Schmale-Ott . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1984.
  • Lampert von Hersfeld : Annals (= selected sources for German history of the Middle Ages. Freiherr vom Stein-Memory Edition. Volume 13). Retranslated by Adolf Schmidt. Explained by Wolfgang Dietrich Fritz. 4th edition, expanded by an addendum compared to the 3rd edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2000, ISBN 3-534-00176-1 .
  • Bertholds and Bernolds chronicles (= Selected sources for German history of the Middle Ages. Freiherr vom Stein memorial edition. Volume 14). Edited by Ian Stuart Robinson. Translated by Helga Robinson-Hammerstein, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2002, ISBN 3-534-01428-6 ( review ).
  • Frutolf's and Ekkehard's chronicles and the anonymous imperial chronicle (= selected sources for German medieval history. Freiherr vom Stein memorial edition. Volume 15). Edited and translated by Franz-Josef Schmale Schmale and Irene Schmale-Ott . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1972; ISBN 3-534-01429-4 .


General representations


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Commons : Henry IV  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Henry IV  - sources and full texts


  1. ^ Hermann von Reichenau, Chronicon, op. 1050
  2. Egon Boshof: The Salians. 5th updated edition, Stuttgart 2008, p. 160.
  3. Hermann von Reichenau a. 1053
  4. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1057.
  5. ^ Source cited: Hermann von Reichenau, Chronicon, op. 1053; Stefan Weinfurter: The Century of the Salians 1024-1125. Ostfildern 2006, p. 106.
  6. Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. Darmstadt 2006, p. 44.
  7. Stefan Weinfurter: The century of the Salians 1024-1125. Ostfildern 2006, p. 117.
  8. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1062.
  9. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1062.
  10. Stefan Weinfurter: The century of the Salians 1024-1125. Ostfildern 2006, p. 122.
  11. Tilman Struve: Lampert von Hersfeld, the King's robbery of Kaiserswerth in 1062 and the culture of remembrance in the 19th century. In: Archive of Cultural History , Vol. 88 (2006), pp. 251–278, here: p. 257.
  12. DH. IV.104.
  13. Claudia Zey: Guardians and advisors of Henry IV in the judgment of his contemporaries (1056-1075). In: Gerd Althoff (ed.): Heinrich IV. Ostfildern 2009, pp. 87–126, here: p. 104 ( online ).
  14. Adam of Bremen, III, 34.
  15. Jutta Schlick: King, Princes and Empire (1056-1159). Changing understanding of domination. Stuttgart 2001, p. 15.
  16. Steffen Patzold: Consensus and competition. Reflections on a current research concept in medieval studies. In: Early Medieval Studies , Vol. 41 (2007), pp. 75–103, here: p. 90.
  17. Annales Altahenes maiores 1060.
  18. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1063.
  19. Hubertus Seibert: Money, obedience, justice, prayer. Henry IV and the monks. In: Gerd Althoff (ed.): Heinrich IV Ostfildern 2009, pp. 269–331, here: pp. 308–315 ( online ).
  20. Adam of Bremen, III, 47.
  21. Stefan Weinfurter: The century of the Salians 1024-1125. Ostfildern 2006, p. 132.
  22. Steffen Patzold: Consensus and competition. Reflections on a current research concept in medieval studies. In: Early Medieval Studies , Vol. 41 (2007), pp. 75–103, here: p. 89.
  23. Jutta Schlick: King, Princes and Empire (1056-1159). Changing understanding of domination. Stuttgart 2001, p. 16.
  24. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1066.
  25. The sources in: Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. Darmstadt 2006, p. 61.
  26. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1066.
  27. Claudia Zey: Guardians and advisors of Henry IV in the judgment of his contemporaries (1056-1075). In: Gerd Althoff (ed.): Heinrich IV. Ostfildern 2009, pp. 87–126, here: p. 125 ( online ).
  28. Bruno, De bello Saxonico , cap. 7 and 8
  29. Matthias Becher: Luxuria, libido and adulterium. Criticism of the ruler and his wife as reflected in contemporary historiography (6th to 11th centuries). In: Gerd Althoff (ed.): Heinrich IV. Ostfildern 2009, pp. 41–72, here: p. 71 ( online ).
  30. Stefan Weinfurter: The century of the Salians 1024-1125. Ostfildern 2006, p. 140.
  31. Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. Darmstadt 2006, p. 293ff.
  32. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1070.
  33. Bruno, De bello Saxonico cap. 19
  34. Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. Darmstadt 2006, p. 75.
  35. Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. Darmstadt 2006, p. 79.
  36. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1070.
  37. Stefan Weinfurter: The century of the Salians 1024-1125. Ostfildern 2006, p. 139.
  38. Gerd Althoff: The Billungers in the Salian period. In: Stefan Weinfurter (ed.): The Salians and the Empire. Sigmaringen 1990, vol. 3, pp. 309-329, here: p. 324.
  39. Claudia Garnier : The begging ruler - the asked ruler. On the instrumentalization of requests in the late 11th century , in: Gerd Althoff (ed.), Heinrich IV. Ostfildern 2009, pp. 189–218, here: p. 204.
  40. Stefan Weinfurter: Legitimation of rule and royal authority in transition: The Salians and their Speyer Cathedral. In: Die Salier und das Reich Vol. 1. Sigmaringen 1991, pp. 55-96, here: pp. 86f.
  41. Hans Krabusch: Investigations into the history of the royal estate under the Salians. Heidelberg 1949; Sabine Wilke: The Goslar Reich area and its relations to the territorial neighboring powers. Political, constitutional and family history studies on the relationship between royalty and sovereignty in the northern Harz Mountains in the Middle Ages. Goettingen 1970, p. 24f.
  42. The quote: Bruno, De bello Saxonico cap. 23
  43. Bruno, De bello Saxonico cap. 23
  44. Gerd Althoff: Once again on the allegations against Henry IV. Genesis, topics, fields of application. In: Gerd Althoff (ed.): Heinrich IV. Ostfildern 2009, pp. 255–268, here: p. 261 ( online ).
  45. Carmen de bello saxonico I, p. 3.
  46. Claudia Garnier: The begging ruler - the asked ruler. On the instrumentalization of requests in the late 11th century. In: Gerd Althoff (ed.), Heinrich IV. Ostfildern 2009, pp. 189-218, here: p. 206.
  47. Cf. Sarah Thieme: "'So may all people know' - functions of public consultation in the 10th and 11th centuries." In: Early Medieval Studies , vol. 46 (2012), pp. 157-189, here: pp. 181-186.
  48. The oral deliberations in Hoetensleben are handed down primarily by Bruno, De bello Saxonico cap. 24-26.
  49. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1074; Stefan Weinfurter: The Century of the Salians 1024-1125. Ostfildern 2006, p. 142.
  50. Berthold, Chronicon 1073.
  51. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1075.
  52. Gerd Althoff: Royal rule and conflict management in the 10th and 11th centuries. In: Early Medieval Studies , vol. 23 (1989), pp. 265–290, here: p. 286.
  53. Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. Darmstadt 2006, p. 118.
  54. The Letters of Henry IV, ed. Carl Erdmann (MGH German MA 1, 1937) No. 5.
  55. Carl Erdmann: Studies on the letters of Henry IV. In: Archiv für Urkundenforschung, Vol. 16 (1939), pp. 184-253, here: p. 247.
  56. John Laudage. On the eve of Canossa - the escalation of a conflict. In: Christoph Stiegemann, Matthias Wemhoff (ed.): Canossa 1077. Shock of the world. Munich 2006, pp. 71–78, here: p. 72.
  57. Caspar Ehlers: Heinrich IV in Goslar - a model stay? In: Ders. (ed.): Places of rule. Medieval royal palaces. Goettingen 2002, pp. 107–129.
  58. Gerd Althoff: From Conflict to Crisis: Practices of Leadership and Settlement of Conflicts in the Late Salic Period. In: Bernd Schneidmüller, Stefan Weinfurter (eds.): Salic Empire and new Europe. Die Zeit Heinrichs IV. und Heinrichs V. Darmstadt 2007, pp. 27-45, here: p. 39.
  59. The Letters of Henry IV, ed. Carl Erdmann (MGH German MA 1, 1937) No. 12.
  60. (...) regem Heinricium, hominem christianae legis contemptorem, ecclesiarum videlicet et imperii destructorem atque haerticorum auctorem et consentaneum (Das Register Gregory VII. VIII. 21, ed. Erich Caspar [MGH Epp. Sel. 2/2, 1923. Nachdr. 1978] p. 547.)
  61. Bonizo, Liber ad amicum, Book 8, 609; John Laudage. On the eve of Canossa - the escalation of a conflict. In: Christoph Stiegemann, Matthias Wemhoff (ed.): Canossa 1077. Shock of the world. Munich 2006, pp. 71-78, here: p. 74.
  62. Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. Darmstadt 2006, p. 142.
  63. Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. Darmstadt 2006, p. 145.
  64. Stefan Weinfurter: Bishop and Empire. Changes in authorities and structures in the later Salian period. In: Canossa 1077 - shaking of the world. History, art and culture at the dawn of the Romanesque period. Exhibition Catalogue, Volume I: Essays, ed. by Christoph Stiegemann/Matthias Wemhoff, Munich 2006, pp. 150–157, here: p. 151.
  65. Josef Fleckenstein: Heinrich IV. and the German episcopate in the beginning of the Investiture Controversy. A contribution to the problems of Worms, Tribur and Canossa. In: Josef Fleckenstein, Karl Schmid (ed.): Nobility and Church. Gerd Tellenbach offered by friends and students on the occasion of his 65th birthday. Freiburg et al. 1968, pp. 221-236.
  66. ↑ In detail: Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1076.
  67. Monika Suchan: Princely opposition to royalty in the 11th and 12th centuries as a shaper of medieval statehood. In: Early Medieval Studies , vol. 37 (2003), pp. 141–165, here: p. 153.
  68. Regesta Imperii III,2,3, No. 854 ( Regesta Imperii Online ).
  69. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1077.
  70. Regesta Imperii III,2,3, No. 855 ( Regesta Imperii Online ).
  71. Regesta Imperii III,2,3, No. 856 ( Regesta Imperii Online ).
  72. Regesta Imperii III,2,3, No. 857 ( Regesta Imperii Online ).
  73. Cf. Gerd Althoff: The peace, alliance and community-creating character of the meal in the early Middle Ages. In: Irmgard Bitsch, Trude Ehlert, Xenja von Ertzdorff (eds.): Eating and drinking in the Middle Ages and modern times. Sigmaringen 1987, pp. 13–25.
  74. Stefan Weinfurter: The century of the Salians 1024-1125. Ostfildern 2006, p. 156.
  75. Timothy Reuter: Troublemaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance. Violence and Peace in the. politics of the Salian period. In: The Salians and the Empire. Volume 3, Sigmaringen 1991, pp. 297-325, here: p. 323. Gerd Althoff: Demonstration and Staging. Rules of communication in the medieval public sphere. In: Early Medieval Studies , vol. 27 (1993), pp. 27–50, here: pp. 37f. On the other hand, especially: Werner Goez: Canossa as deditio? In: Matthias Thumser (ed.): Studies in the history of the Middle Ages. Festschrift for Jürgen Petersohn. Stuttgart 2000. pp. 92-99.
  76. Johannes Fried: The Pact of Canossa. Steps to reality through memory analysis. In: Wilfried Hartmann, Klaus Herbers (eds.): The fascination of papal history. New Approaches to the Early and High Middle Ages. Cologne et al. 2008, pp. 133–197.
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  101. DH. IV. 334 of June 23, 1081 for the citizens of Lucca, DH. IV. 336 of 1081 for the citizens of Pisa and DH. IV. 421 of 1091 for the citizens of Mantua. See: Tilman Struve: Henry IV and the fideles cives of the urban communes of Northern Italy. In: German Archives for Research into the Middle Ages , Vol. 53 (1997) pp. 497–553.
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  103. ^ Cf. Tilman Struve: Was Henry IV a libertine? Scenes from a marriage at the Salian court. In: Oliver Wünsch, Thomas Zotz (eds.): Scientia veritatis. Festschrift for Hubert Mordek on the occasion of his 65th birthday. Ostfildern 2004, pp. 273–288. The quote Bernold, Chronicon 1095.
  104. Egon Boshof: The Salians. 5th updated edition, Stuttgart 2008, p. 255.
  105. Roman Deutinger: From the blind spot to the stage: Henry IV in Venice. In: Romedio Schmitz-Esser, Knut Görich and Jochen Johrendt (eds.): Venice as a stage. Organization, staging and perception of European sovereign visits. Regensburg 2017, pp. 67–78.
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  108. Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. Darmstadt 2006, p. 226.
  109. Stefan Weinfurter: The century of the Salians 1024-1125. Ostfildern 2006, p. 166. Source: Vita Heinrici cap. 7.
  110. Vita Heinrichi, cap. 9.
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  113. Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. Darmstadt 2006, p. 235.
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  115. The letters of Heinrich IV., ed. Carl Erdmann (MGH German MA 1, 1937) No. 37, 38, 39.
  116. quoted from: Stefan Weinfurter: The end of Henry IV and the new legitimation of monarchy. In: Gerd Althoff (ed.): Heinrich IV. Ostfildern 2009, pp. 331-353, here: p. 343.
  117. Caspar Ehlers: Corpus eius in Spiream deportatur. Henry V and the death of Henry IV in Liège. In: Tilman Struve (ed.): The Salians, the Empire and the Lower Rhine. Cologne 2008, pp. 99-114, here: p. 100; Caspar Ehlers: Metropolis Germaniae. Studies on the importance of Speyer for the kingdom (751-1250). Goettingen 1996, p. 118 ff.; and 343 ff.
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  126. Lampert von Hersfeld, Annalen 1073; Bruno, De bello Saxonico cap. 23
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  133. Benzo of Alba, Ad Heinricum IV. imperatorem VI , c. 6.
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predecessor government office successor
Henry III Roman-German King
from 1084 Emperor
Henry V
Conrad I Duke of Bavaria
1053-1054, 1077-1095
Konrad II