Frederick II, Duke of Swabia

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Frederick de Hohenstaufen

English (default): Frederick, German: Friedrich, Spanish: Dn. Federico II "El Tuerto" de Hohenstaufen
Also Known As: "'der Einäugige'", "One-Eyed", "of Swabai", "El Tuerto", "Friedrich "One Eye" /Von Hohenstauffen/", "called the One-Eyed", ""of Hohenstauffen""
Birthplace: Hohenstaufen, Swaben, Bavaria
Death: April 06, 1147 (56-57)
Alzey, Rheinland-Pfalz, Deutschland (Germany)
Place of Burial: St. Walpurgia. Alsace ®64
Immediate Family:

Son of Frederick I, duke of Swabia and Agnes of Waiblingen
Husband of Judith of Bavaria and Agnes of Saarbrücken
Father of Adrienne von Schwaben; Friedrich I Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor; Judith Bertha von Schwaben; Pfalzgraf bei Rhein Konrad von Staufen; Liutgard von Schwaben Staufen and 1 other
Brother of Heilika von Staufen; Sophia von Hohenstaufen; Conrad III, King of Germany; Richilde von Schwaben (von Hohenstaufen); Kunigunde Von Hohenstauffen and 1 other
Half brother of Henry II "Jasomirgott", Duke of Austria; Leopold IV Babenberg, "the Generous" margrave of Austria & duke of Bavaria; Bertha von Riedenburg, Burggräfin von Regensburg; Otto, Prince of Austria; Agnes of Babenberg and 6 others

Occupation: Duque de Swabia, DUKE OF SWABIA, Hertig av Schwaben, Herzog von Swabia, Duke of Swabia, duc de Souabe, Hertig av Swabia, Duque de Suabia
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Frederick II, Duke of Swabia



Frederick II "der Einäugige" (1090 – 6 April 1147), called the One-Eyed, was Duke of Swabia from 1105 until his death, the second from the Hohenstaufen dynasty. His younger brother Conrad was elected King of the Romans in 1138.

Frederick II was the eldest son of Duke Frederick I of Swabia and his wife Agnes of Waiblingen, a daughter of the Salian emperor Henry IV. He succeeded his father in 1105 and together with his brother Conrad continued the extension and consolidation of the Hohenstaufen estates. Frederick had numerous castles erected along the Rhine river and in the Alsace region.

The Hohenstaufen brothers supported King Henry V in the conflict with his father Emperor Henry IV; Frederick also accompanied him on his campaign against King Coloman of Hungary in 1108. In 1110 he and Henry V embarked on an expedition to Italy, where in Rome Henry enforced his coronation by Pope Paschal II. In turn, the emperor appointed Conrad Duke of Franconia and both brothers German regents when he left for his second Italian campaign in 1116. On the other hand, the rise of the Hohenstaufens began to upset rivalling princes like Archbishop Adalbert of Mainz, who loathed the supporters of Henry V.[citation needed]

About 1120 Frederick married Judith, a daughter of Duke Henry IX of Bavaria and member of the powerful House of Welf. Their first son Frederick was born in 1122.

Upon the death of Emperor Henry V in 1125, the Salian dynasty became extinct. Frederick II, Henry's nephew, stood for election as King of the Romans with the support of his younger brother Conrad and several princely houses. However, he lost in the tumultuous round of elections,[citation needed] led by Archbishop Adalbert of Mainz, to the Saxon duke Lothair II. Frederick at first rendered homage to the new king, however, he refused the feudal oath and insisted on the inheritance of the Salian family estates along the Middle Rhine.

At the 1125 Hoftag diet in Regensburg, the king officially requested the surrender of the Salian possessions. After he imposed an Imperial ban on the Hohenstaufens, the conflict erupted between Frederick and his supporters, and Lothair: encouraged by Archbishop Adalbert and several princes, the king occupied Hohenstaufen lands in Upper Lorraine and Alsace. However, an attack by Welf forces on the Swabian core territory failed, like the siege of Nuremberg by Lothair in 1127. Frederick relieved the siege and moreover gained the support from his brother Conrad, who had just returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During the fighting, Frederick lost an eye, whereafter he was no longer eligible as German king.[citation needed]

In December 1127 Conrad declared himself King of the Romans, while the next year Duke Frederick II occupied the Salian city of Speyer. The attempt of Duke Henry X of Bavaria to capture his brother-in-law Frederick during the negotiations failed. However, afterwards the supporters of Lothair won a number of victories both in Germany and in Italy. Speyer (1129), Nuremberg (1130) and Ulm (1134) were captured; moreover Frederick's consort Judith of Bavaria died in 1130. His second wife, Agnes of Saarbrücken, was a niece of his old enemy Adalbert of Mainz; Frederick married her about 1132.

After Lothair was crowned emperor in 1133, Frederick saw himself stuck between the Saxon and Bavarian forces. He eventually submitted to him in the spring of 1135 at Bamberg. Both were finally reconciled and Emperor Lothair renounced further attacks against the Hohenstaufens. After Lothair's death in 1137 and the following election of Conrad as King of the Romans, Frederick supported his brother in the struggle with the Welfs. According to Otto of Freising, Frederick was "so faithful a knight to his sovereign and so helpful a friend to his uncle that by valor he supported the tottering honor of the realm, fighting manfully against its foes..."

Duke Frederick II died in 1147 at Alzey. He was buried at the Benedictine abbey of Walburg in Alsace. His son Frederick succeeded him as Swabian duke and was elected German king (as Frederick Barbarossa) in 1152.

Marriage and children

With Judith of Bavaria (1103- 22 February 1131), daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria:[1]

  • Frederick III Barbarossa (1122–1190), duke of Swabia and Holy Roman Emperor as Frederick I[1]
  • Bertha of Lorraine (1123–1195), married Matthias I, Duke of Lorraine

With Agnes of Saarbrücken (d. c. 1147), daughter of Frederick, Count of Saarbrücken:

  • Conrad of Hohenstaufen (also spelled Konrad) (1134/1136-1195), Count Palatine of the Rhine
  • Jutta (1135–1191), married Louis II, Landgrave of Thuringia


3. FRIEDRICH von Staufen (1090-Alzey 4 or 6 Apr 1147, bur Walburg Abbey). The Tabula consanguinitatis Friderici I regis et Adelæ reginæ (which provided the basis for their divorce) names "ducem Fridericum", father of "regem Fridericum", as son of "ducem Fridericum, qui Stophen condidit" and "filia regis Heinrici"[276]. He succeeded his father as FRIEDRICH II "der Einäugige" Duke of Swabia in 1105. Regent of Germany 1116. His maternal uncle Emperor Heinrich V considered him as his successor and bequeathed him the Salian dynasty's family properties to increase his personal prestige[277], but on the Emperor's death in 1125 Friedrich was passed over as candidate for the German throne in favour of Lothar von Süpplingenburg Duke of Saxony whom the German nobility saw as less of a dynastic threat. After refusing to hand over his inherited crown lands to the new king, Duke Friedrich was outlawed[278]. Friedrich eventually submitted to Emperor Lothar in 1135 with his brother. He agreed to transfer the crown lands, but was allowed to remain as Duke of Swabia[279]. "Dux Fridericus…" witnessed a charter dated 25 Jul 1139 under which Adalbert [II] Archbishop of Mainz confirmed his predecessor's grants to Kloster Jechaburg[280]. The Gesta Friderici of Otto of Freising records the death of Duke Friedrich and his burial "in monasterio sanctæ Waltpurge…in terminis Alsatiæ sito"[281]. The Necrology of Zwiefalten records the death "VIII Id Apr" of "Fridericus dux de Stouphin"[282].

m firstly ([1119/21]%29 JUDITH of Bavaria, daughter of HEINRICH "dem Schwarzen" Duke of Bavaria [Welf] & his wife Wulfhild of Saxony [Billung] (after 1100-22 Feb [1130/31], bur Walburg im Heiligen Forst, Alsace). The Historia Welforum names (in order) "Iuditham, Sophiam, Mahtildem, Wulfildem" as the four daughters of "Heinricus dux ex Wulfilde", specifying that Judith married "Friderico Suevorum duci"[283]. The Annalista Saxo names "Heinricum inclitum ducem Saxonie et Bawarie et Welfonem et quatuor filias" as children of Duke Heinrich and his wife Wulfhild, specifying that one of the daughters (mentioned first in the list of daughters, but not named) married "Fridericus dux Suevorum"[284].

m secondly ([1132/33]%29 AGNES von Saarbrücken, daughter of FRIEDRICH I von Saarbrücken Graf im Saargau & his wife Gisela --- (-after 1147). The Urspergensium Chronicon refers to the second wife of "Friedrich I pater ipsius" as "de genere comitum…Zwainbrug et de Sarbrug"[285]. The Gesta Friderici of Otto of Freising records the marriage of "Fridericus dux, mortua uxore sua Iuditha" and "Friderici comitis de Sarbruch, fratris Alberti episcopi, filiam Agnetem"[286].

Duke Friedrich II & his first wife had two children: 

Duke Friedrich II & his second wife had three children:


Friedrich II. heiratete 1120 Judith († 22. Februar wohl 1130/31), Tochter Heinrichs des Schwarzen, die ebenfalls im Kloster Walburg beerdigt wurde, und mit der er zwei Kinder hatte:

-1.1 Friedrich I. Barbarossa (1122–1190) -2. Bertha (Judith) († zwischen 18. Oktober 1194 und 25. März 1195), ∞ vor dem 25. März 1139 Herzog Matthäus I. von Lothringen aus dem Haus Châtenois († 13. Mai 1176); beide wurden im Kloster Clairlieu begraben

Etwa 1132/33 ging er eine neue Ehe ein; seine zweite Ehefrau war Agnes von Saarbrücken, eine Tochter des Grafen Friedrich im Saargau; mit ihr hatte er drei Kinder:

-2.1 Jutta (1133–1191) ∞ Ludwig II., Landgraf von Thüringen -2.2 Konrad († 1195), Pfalzgraf bei Rhein -2.3 Liutgard († wohl nach 1155)

Servant of Two Masters: The Teutonic Knights Between Pope and Emperor

As long as the papacy and the Holy Roman Emperors were in accord with one another, the Teutonic Knights were well positioned to receive patronage from both. The situation changed dramatically, however, when Frederick II fell afoul of Pope Gregory IX. This short essay looks at Teutonic Knights in during the power struggle between the pope and the Hohenstaufen emperors.

Just when ten years of Salza’s tireless efforts to raise support for a new crusade were finally bearing fruit in the form of what was to become known as the Sixth Crusade, Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX clashed. Angered by the Hohenstaufen’s failure to depart on time for the crusade, the pope excommunicated the emperor. Frederick II showed his contempt for the pope, by proceeding with the crusade (albeit a year later than promised) anyway.

Fredrick II’s crusade put not only the Teutonic Knights but the other military orders and the knights and barons of Outremer in an extremely awkward position. Everyone with a serious or vested interest in the recapture of Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land welcomed a crusade led by a powerful and wealthy monarch. They had placed huge hopes Frederick Hohenstaufen, who was now not only a crusading monarch but also the titular king (or at least regent) of Jerusalem by right of his wife. (Although his wife had meanwhile died from the effects of childbirth at the age of 15, she had left behind a living son, Conrad; Frederick as his only surviving parent had a strong claim to act as regent for his infant son.)

Initially, no one wanted to let an excommunication get in the way of their shared interest in regaining the holy sites and strengthening the viability of the weakened kingdom. So the Holy Roman Emperor was welcomed. Indeed, despite his absolutist attempts to illegally seize properties from both local barons and the Templars, the militant orders and the fighting men of Outremer supported Frederick’s crusade. The Teutonic Knights were no different from the others.

Until, that is, the emperor went behind everyone’s backs to cut a deal with the Sultan al-Kamil. While on the surface his treaty was successful, it also contained clauses that were utterly unacceptable to the inhabitants of Outremer, the Templars, and Hospitallers. The most important drawback of the Emperor’s ‘treaty’ with al-Kamil was that, although the Sultan had physical control of Jerusalem at the time of the treaty, he did not have a legal right to dispose of it; it belonged to his nephew, who immediately denounced and declared his intention of re-taking Jerusalem for Islam.

Equally damaging to the utility of the treaty, was the fact that it was, in fact, a truce not a peace treaty: it only lasted for ten years and the Christians were prohibited from refortifying the city or the environs in the meantime. In effect, Jerusalem was not restored to Christian control, merely lent to the Christians (assuming they could fight off al-Kamil’s nephew without having any fortifications) for ten years. The fact that the Temple Mount, which had been the Templar’s HQ, remained in Muslim control just added insult to injury.

With this personal treaty between the Hohenstaufen and al-Kamil negotiated in secrecy without the advice ― much less the consent ― of the lords and bishops of Outremer or the Masters of the Militant Orders, Frederick II lost his credibility, popularity, and support in Outremer. Relations between the Emperor and the Templars turned so sour, that the Emperor laid siege to the Templar citadel in Acre for five days. Nor did the Hospitaller escape the Emperor’s wrath: on his return to Sicily, Fredrick promptly confiscated all the properties of both the Templars and the Hospitallers. Meanwhile, the ordinary people of Outremer sent Frederick II home by pelting him with offal on his way down to the port to embark on his return journey.

Only the Teutonic Knights remained loyal to Frederick Hohenstaufen. With good reason. They did not have vast networks of estates from Scotland to Outremer as did the older militant orders; their properties were concentrated in the Hohenstaufen’s territories. The confiscation of estates in Sicily and the Holy Roman Empire were unwelcome, but not crippling to the Templars and Hospitallers; for the Teutonic Knights, a similar confiscation would have come close to destroying the Order.

In doing what they must in order to retain the Emperor’s goodwill, however, they incurred the wrath of the pope. On August 17, 1229, on learning from the Patriarch of Jerusalem that Herman von Salza had translated and delivered Frederick’s apologist speech on his relations with the papacy during a “crown-wearing ceremony” in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Pope Gregory IX stripped the Teutonic Knights of their independence, subordinating them to the Knights Hospitaller. Furthermore, their support of the unpopular, autocratic Frederick II cost the Teutonic Knights popular support among ordinary people as well. By 1231, Pope Gregory felt compelled to issue a document condemning attacks on the Teutonic Knights by both laity and clergy.

Herman von Salza, however, was a consummate diplomat. He used his skills to regain papal favor by brokering a rapprochement between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire. By 1230 already, the breach between the pope and the Holy Roman Emperor had been (temporarily) repaired, and the pope was again defending the Teutonic Knights against their enemies (see above). There is no further mention of Hospitaller control, and the independence of the Teutonic Knights was quietly restored.

When a new conflict broke out between the Emperor and the pope, Herman von Salza was the one man both antagonists trusted. He was entrusted with the task of trying to find means of reconciliation between them. Thus, in the end, Salza succeeded at the seemingly impossible task of serving two masters, the pope, and the emperor, to the satisfaction of both.

His successor didn’t even try. Conrad von Thuringia was 100% the emperor’s man. He was also Frederick II’s cousin, so perhaps he didn’t have much choice. His devotion to the Hohenstaufen, however, again earned the Teutonic Knights the enmity of the pope. This, in turn, led to the order once more losing many of its privileges and again, by papal order, being subordinated to the Hospital. The latter, however, appears to have lost interest in actually taking control. Instead, the Hospital allied itself with the Imperial forces in the Levant with the result that the Templars were soon attacking both the Hospitallers and the Teutonic Knights in Acre. The Templars were outraged because the Imperial authorities supported by the Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights favored a truce with the Sultan of Egypt while the Templars and the local barons preferred peace with the Sultan of Damascus. (The two Sultans being still at odds with one another.)

Conrad died within two years and was followed in short succession by men who alternately sought reconciliation with the pope or adhered again to the Imperial party. As a result by 1249 “[the Teutonic Knights] had alienated both the papacy and the empire and were divided amongst themselves.” (Morton, p. 105). In the eleven years since Salza’s death, the Order had also suffered severe setbacks in Prussia and Livonia, as well as massive losses at the devastating Frankish defeat at La Forbie in 1244. In 1249 another major defeat awaited them: Mansourah. Again the Teutonic Knights, like the Templars and Hospitallers, suffered severe casualties.

Perhaps this was what shattered the internal cohesion of the Order. Between 1249 and 1253 as many as four different men appear to have called themselves “Master” of the Teutonic Knights, at least two simultaneously. Letters to Western rulers, furthermore, attest to the fact that the Teutonic Knights were not receiving aid from their properties in the West because the wars between the papacy and the empire had prevented supplies from reaching them, and what resources the Order could scrape together were being diverted to Prussia and Livonia because of an impending Mongol invasion.

The Teutonic Knights had reached a nadir point.

Principle source: Morton, Nicholas. The Teutonic Knights in the Holy Land, 1190-1291. Boydell Press, 2009.

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In my new book LA SORPRENDENTE GENEALOGÍA DE MIS TATARABUELOS, you will find this and many other of your ancestors, with a biography summary of each of them. The book is now available at: Check it up, it’s worth it. Ramón Rionda

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Frederick II, Duke of Swabia's Timeline

Hohenstaufen, Swaben, Bavaria
Swaben (Bavaria) Germany
Haguenau, Bas-Rhin, Swaben, Deutschland (HRR)
Hohenstaufen, Schwaben, Bayern, Germany
Of Saarbrucken,Saarbrucken,Rheinland,Germany
Hohenstauffen, Swabia, Bayern, Germany
April 6, 1147
Age 57
Alzey, Rheinland-Pfalz, Deutschland (Germany)
October 8, 1992
Age 57