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Conrad III,c.1093–1152, German king (1138–52), son of Frederick, duke of Swabia, and Agnes, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV; first of the HohenstaufenHohenstaufen
, German princely family, whose name is derived from the castle of Staufen built in 1077 by a Swabian count, Frederick. In 1079, Frederick married Agnes, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, and was created duke of Swabia.
..... Click the link for more information. dynasty. He joined his brother Frederick, who had been defeated in the imperial election of 1125 by Lothair of Saxony (Holy Roman Emperor Lothair IILothair II,
also called Lothair III,
1075–1137, Holy Roman emperor (1133–37) and German king (1125–37); successor of Holy Roman Emperor Henry V.
..... Click the link for more information. ), in rebelling against Lothair. Set up as antiking to Lothair in 1127, he went to Italy (1128) and, despite excommunication by Pope Honorius II, was crowned king at Milan. He subsequently failed to make any progress as king and submitted to Lothair in 1135. After Lothair's death he was elected king by the nobles and ecclesiastics who were afraid to increase the power of Lothair's son-in-law, Henry the ProudHenry the Proud,
c.1108–1139, duke of Bavaria (1126–38) and of Saxony (1137–38). A member of the Guelph family, he inherited the duchy of Bavaria and enormous private wealth.
..... Click the link for more information. of Bavaria. Conrad deprived Henry of his duchies, giving Saxony to Albert the BearAlbert the Bear,
c.1100–1170, first margrave of Brandenburg (1150–70). He was a loyal vassal of Holy Roman Emperor Lothair II, who, as duke of Saxony, helped him take (1123) Lower Lusatia and the eastern march of Saxony. Albert lost these lands in 1131.
..... Click the link for more information. and Bavaria to Leopold of Austria. A civil war broke out and was continued after Henry's death by his brother Guelph (or Welf) and the Saxons, who supported Henry's young son Henry the LionHenry the Lion,
1129–95, duke of Saxony (1142–80) and of Bavaria (1156–80); son of Henry the Proud. His father died (1139) while engaged in a war to regain his duchies, and it was not until 1142 that Henry the Lion became duke of Saxony.
..... Click the link for more information. . From this strife emerged the opposing parties of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, representing the Hohenstaufen. A short-lived truce was made in 1142. At Christmas, 1146, Conrad was induced by St. Bernard of Clairvaux to join in the Second Crusade (see CrusadesCrusades
, series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. First Crusade
In the 7th cent., Jerusalem was taken by the caliph Umar.
..... Click the link for more information. ) with Louis VII of France. He left in 1147, took part in the unsuccessful siege of Damascus, and returned in 1149. Conrad was never crowned by the pope, and therefore was not confirmed as Holy Roman emperor. His ambitions for the imperial crown and against Roger II of Sicily were thwarted by Guelph, who was subsidized by Roger, and by Henry the Lion, who claimed the duchy of Bavaria. Conrad was succeeded by his nephew, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I.