Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor

public profile


German: Heinrich
Also Known As: "Enrique IV", "Henrik IV", "Henrique IV", "Henry IV", "de Alemania", "Henri IV de Franconia", "King of Germany", "Heinrich Salier", "del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico"
Birthplace: Brunswick, Deutschland (Germany)
Death: August 07, 1106 (55)
Luttich, Germany (Illness)
Place of Burial: First at Liege, Belgium, and then unearthed and reburied at Speyer Cathedral, Speyer, Germany
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor and Agnes of Poitou
Husband of Bertha of Savoy
Ex-husband of Eupraxia of Kiev
Father of Adeleid; Heinrich; Agnes of Waiblingen; Conrad II, king of Germany and Italy and Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
Brother of Adelheid, Princess of Burgundy; Matilda von Sachsen; Itha Of Germany; Konrad II "the Child", duke of Bavaria; Judith of Swabia and 1 other
Half brother of Atzela and Beatrice Salian, abbess of Quedlinburg and Gandersheim

Occupation: Duque de Baviera, Rey de Romanos, Rey de Alemania, Rey de Italia, Emperador del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico, Imperador do Sacro Império Romano, Keiser, Holy Roman Emperor, KING OF GERMANY, EMPEROR, King of German, Tysk keiser, Kaiser
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor

Henry IV (German: Heinrich IV; 11 November 1050 – 7 August 1106) was Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 to 1105, King of Germany from 1054 to 1105, King of Italy and Burgundy from 1056 to 1105, and Duke of Bavaria from 1052 to 1054. He was the son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor—the second monarch of the Salian dynasty—and Agnes of Poitou. After his father's death on 5 October 1056, Henry was placed under his mother's guardianship. She made grants to German aristocrats to secure their support. Unlike her late husband, she could not control the election of the popes, thus the idea of the "liberty of the Church" strengthened during her rule. Taking advantage of her weakness, Archbishop Anno II of Cologne kidnapped Henry in April 1062. He administered Germany until Henry came of age in 1065.

Henry endeavoured to recover the royal estates that had been lost during his minority. He employed low-ranking officials to carry out his new policies, causing discontent in Saxony and Thuringia. Henry crushed a riot in Saxony in 1069 and overcame the rebellion of the Saxon aristocrat Otto of Nordheim in 1071. The appointment of commoners to high office offended German aristocrats, and many of them withdrew from Henry's court. He insisted on his royal prerogative to appoint bishops and abbots, although the reformist clerics condemned this practice as simony (a forbidden sale of church offices). Pope Alexander II blamed Henry's advisors for his acts and excommunicated them in early 1073. Henry's conflicts with the Holy See and the German dukes weakened his position and the Saxons rose up in open rebellion in the summer of 1074. Taking advantage of a quarrel between the Saxon aristocrats and peasantry, he forced the rebels into submission in October 1075.

Henry adopted an active policy in Italy, alarming Pope Alexander II's successor, Gregory VII, who threatened him with excommunication for simony. Henry persuaded most of the German bishops to declare the Pope's election invalid on 24 January 1076. In response, the Pope excommunicated Henry and released his subjects from their allegiance. German aristocrats who were hostile to Henry called for the Pope to hold an assembly in Germany to hear Henry's case. To prevent the Pope from sitting in judgement on him, Henry went to Italy as far as Canossa to meet with the Pope. His penitential "Walk to Canossa" was a success and Gregory VII had no choice but to absolve him in January 1077. Henry's German opponents ignored his absolution and elected an antiking, Rudolf of Rheinfelden, on 14 March 1077. The Pope was initially neutral in the two kings' conflict, enabling Henry to consolidate his position. Henry continued to appoint high-ranking clerics, for which the Pope again excommunicated him on 7 March 1080. Most German and northern Italian bishops remained loyal to Henry and they elected the antipope Clement III. Rudolf of Rheinfelden was killed in battle and his successor, Hermann of Salm, could only exert royal authority in Saxony. From 1081, Henry launched a series of military campaigns to Italy, and Clement III crowned him emperor in Rome on 1 April 1084.

Hermann of Salm died and Henry pacified Saxony with the local aristocrats' assistance in 1088. He launched an invasion against the pope's principal Italian ally, Matilda of Tuscany, in 1089. She convinced Henry's elder son, Conrad II, to take up arms against his father in 1093. Her alliance with Welf I, Duke of Bavaria, prevented Henry's return to Germany until 1096 when he was reconciled with Welf. After Clement III's death, Henry did not support new antipopes, but did not make peace with Pope Paschal II. Henry proclaimed the first Reichsfriede (imperial peace) which covered the whole territory of Germany in 1103. His younger son, Henry V, forced him to abdicate on 31 December 1105. He tried to regain his throne with the assistance of Lotharingian aristocrats, but became ill and died without receiving absolution from his excommunication. Henry's preeminent role in the Investiture Controversy, his "Walk to Canossa" and his conflicts with his sons and wives established his controversial reputation, with some regarding him as the stereotype of a tyrant, and others describing him as an exemplary monarch who protected the poor. upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a3/Herrschafts%C3%BCbergabe_von_Heirich_IV._an_Heinrich_V.jpg/220px-Herrschafts%C3%BCbergabe_von_Heirich_IV._an_Heinrich_V.jpg

  1. Background
  2. Early life
  3. Reign as king
  4. Reign as emperor
  5. Last year
  6. Legacy
  7. Family

HEINRICH, son of HEINRICH III King of Germany [Emperor HEINRICH II] & his second wife Agnes de Poitou ([Goslar] 11 Nov 1050-Liège 7 Aug 1106, bur Speyer Cathedral). The Annalista Saxo records the birth of "Heinrico inperatori filius quartus Heinricus"[415]. He was installed as HEINRICH VIII Duke of Bavaria 1053-1054. His father crowned him associate king of Germany at Aachen 17 Jul 1054. He succeeded his father in 1056 as HEINRICH IV King of Germany, under the regency of his mother until 1062 when she resigned after Heinrich was kidnapped by Anno [II] Archbishop of Köln, who continued as regent until the king was declared of age 29 Mar 1065[416]. King Heinrich faced many difficulties with his nobility. He deprived Otto von Northeim of the duchy of Bavaria in 1070 after accusing him of an assassination plot. He imprisoned Magnus Billung Duke in Saxony, who had supported Otto von Northeim. He also lost the support of Rudolf von Rheinfelden Duke of Swabia, Berthold Duke of Carinthia and Welf IV Duke of Bavaria, who were said to have considered deposing him. King Heinrich was eventually forced to leave his fortress of Harzburg and seek protection in Worms, for which he rewarded the town with special privileges in 1074[417]. Under the peace of Gerstungen in early Feb 1074, he was obliged to demolish his castles, except Harzburg although the latter was stormed by Saxon peasantry and destroyed[418]. Difficulties with the papacy centred around the dispute about lay investiture in Germany. After King Heinrich's accession, the right of patricius to cast the first vote in papal elections was largely ignored, resulting in declining German influence in the selection of new Popes. Matters came to a head when the king sent Pope Gregory VII an accusatory letter, issued by the assembly at Worms held 21 Jan 1076. The Pope, in response, deposed and excommunicated the king, who was forced into obedience. King Heinrich crossed the Alps into Italy with his family and appeared in Jan 1077 as a penitent before the castle of Canossa, in which the Pope had taken refuge, and forced a reconciliation. The German princes, affronted by the withdrawal of the excommunication, elected Rudolf von Rheinfelden as rival king of Germany at Forcheim in Feb 1077[419]. The Pope repeated his excommunication order in 1080, and declared support for the anti-king[420]. King Heinrich responded by having Archbishop Wibert of Ravenna elected as Pope Clement III in Brixen in Jun 1080, and eventually bringing the rival pope to Rome for his enthronement at Easter 1084, after which Heinrich was crowned Emperor HEINRICH III 31 Mar 1084[421]. In the deepening dispute between Church and empire, Emperor Heinrich enjoyed temporary success against Matilda Ctss of Tuscany, one of the Pope's most ardent supporters, and defeated her troops at Tresenta in 1091[422]. However, the emperor was left without political support and was obliged to remain confined in a castle near Verona to avoid capture[423]. He returned to Germany in 1097 after six years campaigning in Italy, and recovered some of his political power after reconciling himself with the Welf and Zähringen families. He held an assembly at Mainz in 1098 to regulate the succession, declaring his older son deposed and nominating his younger son as his successor[424]. In 1102, Pope Paschal II renewed the excommunication against the emperor who largely ignored the move. At a general assembly in Mainz in 1103, the emperor proclaimed a four year peace for the empire, but in 1105 his son Heinrich rebelled against him, captured his father, forced him to hand over the royal insignia, and held him semi-prisoner at Ingelheim. The younger Heinrich declared himself sole king of Germany at an assembly in Mainz in early 1106. His father, however, escaped and rallied his forces around Liège, where he defeated his son's army[425]. The victory was short-lived as Emperor Heinrich III died soon after. The Gesta Friderici of Otto of Freising records his death at Liège and burial at Speyer[426]. The necrology of Prüm records the death "1106 7 Id Aug" of "Heinricus imperator filius Heinrici imperator"[427]. The Annales Spirenses record his burial at Speyer[428].

m firstly (betrothal Zürich 25 Dec 1055, Tribur[429] 13 Jul 1066) BERTHE de Savoie, daughter of ODDON Comte de Chablais, Marchese di Susa & his wife Adelaida Marchese di Susa (21 Sep 1051-Mainz 27 Dec 1087, bur Speyer Cathedral[430]). The Annalista Saxo names "Bertam filiam Ottonis marchionis de Italia et Adelheidis que soror erat comitis qui agnominatus est de Monte Bardonis in Italia et Immule seu Irmingardis" as wife of King Heinrich[431]. Her husband proposed to repudiate her in 1069, but withdrew his demand[432]. The dispute was not finally settled until 1077 when Empress Bertha's mother intervened to prevent any repudiation in return for mediating between the emperor and Pope Gregory VII in Canossa[433]. The Annales Sancti Diibodi record the death in 1087 of "Bertha imperatrix" and her burial "apud Moguntiam"[434]. The necrology of Regensburg St Emmeran records the death "VI Kal Jan" of "Berhta imperatrix"[435]. The necrology of Speyer records the death "VI Kal Jan" of "Bertha imperatrix"[436].

m secondly (14 Aug 1089, divorced 1095) as her second husband, IEVPRAXIA Vsevolodovna of Kiev, widow of HEINRICH III Graf von Stade Markgraf der Nordmark, daughter of VSEVOLOD Iaroslavich Grand Prince of Kiev & his second wife Anna of the Kumans ([1071]-1 Aug or 11 Nov 1109). The Annalista Saxo names "Eupracciam filiam regis Ruscie qui in nostra lingua vocobatur Adelheid, quam postea duxit Heinricus imperator" as wife of "Heinricus marchio"[437]. She was known as ADELHEID in Germany. Contemporary chroniclers were scandalised by the alleged sexual abuses inflicted on his second wife by Emperor Heinrich III. According to Helmold of Bossau Chronica Slavorum, King Heinrich "had made a public prostitute of his wife, subjecting her by force to the lust of other men". The emperor imprisoned his wife at Verona, from where she was released in 1094 by Matilda Ctss of Tuscany. The Chronicon of Bernold records that "Praxedis reginæ" made complaints about her treatment "inauditas fornicationum spurcicias" to the synod of Konstanz in 1094 and that her separation was agreed in 1095 at the same synod[438]. The Annales Sancti Diibodi gives lengthy details concerning her divorce[439]. The divorce is recorded in Annalista Saxo under 1094[440]. The empress publicly denounced her husband at the council of Piacenza, presided over by Pope Urban II from 1 Mar 1095[441]. She became a nun at Kiev in 1095. The Primary Chronicle records that Ievpraxia daughter of Vsevolod took the veil 6 Dec 1106[442], and the death 10 Jul 1109 of Ievpraxia daughter of Vsevolod and her burial place[443].

  Emperor Heinrich III & his first wife had [six] children:

view all 20

Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor's Timeline

November 11, 1050
Brunswick, Deutschland (Germany)
August 1, 1071
Bad Harzburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
May 1072
Goslar, Saxony, Deutschland(HRR)
February 12, 1074
Bad Hersfeld, Kassel, Hesse, Germany
August 11, 1081
Mainz, Schwaben, Deutschland(HRR)