Conrad II

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Conrad II,

c.990–1039, Holy Roman emperor (1027–39) and German king (1024–39), first of the Salian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire. With the end of the Saxon line on the death of Henry IIHenry II,
973–1024, Holy Roman emperor (1014–24) and German king (1002–24), last of the Saxon line. He succeeded his father as duke of Bavaria. When Otto III died without an heir, Henry, who was Otto's second cousin and the great-grandson of Henry I, was
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, the succession passed to the matrilineal descendants of Otto IOtto I
or Otto the Great,
912–73, Holy Roman emperor (962–73) and German king (936–73), son and successor of Henry I of Germany. He is often regarded as the founder of the Holy Roman Empire.
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, and Conrad, a Franconian noble, was elected (1024) as German king. Although the hereditary principle in Germany was strong enough to secure his election, it did not ensure Conrad support throughout the empire. His accession was contested by his stepson, Ernest of Swabia, and by the Lotharingians (see LotharingiaLotharingia
, name given to the northern portion of the lands assigned (843) to Emperor of the West Lothair I in the first division of the Carolingian empire (see Verdun, Treaty of).
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) and the Italians. After the collapse of the revolts of Ernest and the Lotharingians, Conrad brought N Italy into submission (1026–27) and was crowned emperor at Rome. He suppressed two more revolts (1027, 1030) by Ernest and won (1031) Lusatia from Poland. In 1034 he annexed the kingdom of Burgundy (see Arles, kingdom ofArles, kingdom of,
was formed in 933, when Rudolf II, king of Transjurane Burgundy, united the kingdom of Provence or Cisjurane Burgundy to his lands and established his capital at Arles.
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) under the terms of a treaty (1006) between Rudolf III, last independent king of Arles, and Holy Roman Emperor Henry II. In 1036, Conrad returned to Italy, where war was raging between the greater and the lesser nobles. He deposed Archbishop Aribert of Milan, a powerful ally of the great nobles, and made the fiefs of the lesser nobles hereditary by issuing (1037) the Constitution of Pavia. In Germany also Conrad favored the small nobility, thus reversing the policy of Otto I and Henry II, who had depended for support on the Church. He promoted the servile classes to administrative office, thus building a new hereditary class of ministeriales to replace the ecclesiastics in the civil service. Conrad's administration was economical, and he encouraged commerce by granting market and mint privileges. At his death, his son Henry IIIHenry III,
1017–56, Holy Roman emperor (1046–56) and German king (1039–56), son and successor of Conrad II. He was crowned joint king with his father in 1028, and acceded on Conrad's death in 1039.
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 ascended the throne at the height of its wealth and power.

Conrad II

 

Born circa 990; died June 4, 1039, in Utrecht. German king from 1024 and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (crowned in Rome in 1027).

Conrad II was the founder of the Franconian dynasty. Struggling against the German and Italian feudal aristocracy, he relied on the support of the lesser vassals and the ministerials. He helped the lesser vassals to emancipate themselves from domination by the magnates and to consolidate hereditary possession of their fiefs, a policy that enabled Conrad to strengthen royal power. He seized Upper Lusatia from the Polish king Mieszko II in 1031, and annexed the Kingdom of Burgundy to the empire in 1032–34.