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Hohenstaufen(hō'ənshtou`fən), 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. The line of German kings and Holy Roman emperors began (1138) with Frederick's son Conrad IIIConrad 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 Hohenstaufen dynasty.
..... Click the link for more information. , who was succeeded by Frederick IFrederick I
or Frederick Barbarossa
[Ital.,=red beard], c.1125–90, Holy Roman emperor (1155–90) and German king (1152–90), son of Frederick of Hohenstaufen, duke of Swabia, nephew and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III.
..... Click the link for more information. , Henry VIHenry VI,
1165–97, Holy Roman emperor (1191–97) and German king (1190–97), son and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa). He was crowned German king at Aachen in 1169 and king of Italy at Milan in 1186 after his marriage to
..... Click the link for more information. , and Philip of SwabiaPhilip of Swabia
, 1176?–1208, German king (1198–1208), son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I. After the death (1197) of his brother, German King and Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI, he unsuccessfully attempted to secure the succession in Germany of his infant nephew,
..... Click the link for more information. . Their chief rivals were the GuelphsGuelphs
, European dynasty tracing its descent from the Swabian count Guelph or Welf (9th cent.), whose daughter Judith married the Frankish emperor Louis I. Guelph III (d. 1055) was made (1047) duke of Carinthia and margrave of Verona.
..... Click the link for more information. (see also Guelphs and GhibellinesGuelphs and Ghibellines
, opposing political factions in Germany and in Italy during the later Middle Ages. The names were used to designate the papal (Guelph) party and the imperial (Ghibelline) party during the long struggle between popes and emperors, and they were also used
..... Click the link for more information. ), whose scion, Otto IV, was Holy Roman emperor from 1209 to 1215; but the Hohenstaufen heir, Frederick IIFrederick II,
1194–1250, Holy Roman emperor (1220–50) and German king (1212–20), king of Sicily (1197–1250), and king of Jerusalem (1229–50), son of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI and of Constance, heiress of Sicily.
..... Click the link for more information. , was elected king by a rival party in 1212. The most spectacular representative of the house, Frederick shifted the center of the family interests to Sicily and S Italy. His involvement in Italy brought him into conflict with the popes, who worked at bringing about the downfall of the house. Shortly after Frederick's death (1250) his son Conrad IVConrad IV,
1228–54, German king (1237–54), king of Sicily and of Jerusalem (1250–54), son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. He was elected (1237) king of the Romans at his father's instigation after Frederick had deposed Conrad's older brother Henry in
..... Click the link for more information. died and ConradinConradin
, 1252–68, duke of Swabia, titular king of Jerusalem and Sicily, the last legitimate Hohenstaufen, son of Holy Roman Emperor Conrad IV. While Conradin was still a child in Germany, his uncle Manfred made himself (1258) king of Sicily.
..... Click the link for more information. , the last legitimate Hohenstaufen, became titular king of Sicily; his uncle ManfredManfred
, c.1232–1266, king of Sicily (1258–66), the last Hohenstaufen on that throne. An illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, Manfred was regent in Sicily for his brother Conrad IV.
..... Click the link for more information. , an illegitimate son of Frederick II, seized the regency for him. Manfred's death (1258) and Conradin's execution (1268) ended the family power, and with the death of Frederick's illegitimate son EnzioEnzio
, c.1220–72, king of Sardinia, illegitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. He married a Sardinian heiress and was made king of Sardinia by his father. In the wars between Frederick and the pope he fought gallantly in Italy.
..... Click the link for more information. (1272) the family became extinct. Memories of the German empire's greatness under the Hohenstaufen played a part in later German history and inspired legends such as that of the KyffhäuserKyffhäuser
, forested mountain, c.1,550 ft (470 m), Saxony-Anhalt, central Germany. It is crowned by the two ruined castles of Rothenburg (7th cent.) and Kyffhausen (12th cent.) and by a huge monument to Emperor William I (erected 1896).
..... Click the link for more information. .
See T. F. Tout, The Empire and the Papacy, 918–1273 (8th ed. 1941); J. W. Thompson, Feudal Germany (1928, repr. 1962); G. Barraclough, The Origins of Modern Germany (2d rev. ed. 1966).
(also Staufen), a dynasty of German kings and Holy Roman emperors (1138–1254); a Swabian princely family that ruled the duchy of Swabia (1079–1268).
The Hohenstaufens took their name from their ancestral castle of Staufen in Swabia. The Hohenstaufen kings and emperors were Conrad III (1138–52), Frederick I Barbarossa (1152–90), Henry VI (1190–97), Philip of Swabia (1198–1208), Frederick II (1212–50), and Conrad IV (1250–54). The dynasty’s prolonged struggle against the Welfs (Guelphs) began during the reign of Conrad III. Under Henry the dynasty took control of the Kingdom of Sicily.
The last Hohenstaufens were Manfred, who reigned as king of Sicily (1258–66), and Conrad IV’s son Conradin (died 1268); both perished in battles against Charles I of Anjou, who had come to southern Italy at the request of the Hohenstaufens’ enemy the pope.