Before the Pope had even finished his sentence, Barbarossa was standing in a castle in Lombardy setting fire to priceless tapestries and bashing peoples' skulls in with an unrelenting series of vicious bearded headbutts. A Brief History. From this point on, Frederick let off on the gas pedal of the non-stop assbeatings, and decided to take a more diplomatic approach to world domination, gaining power over Italy through back-door power plays. The Battle of Legnano was fought on May 29, 1176, between the forces of the Holy Roman Empire, led by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, and the Lombard League. Who's Who in the Middle Ages. We try to present our students with historical topics that are both diverse and a bit out of the ordinary.

With Northern Italy conquered and with the Papal States subdued, Fredrick amassed a huge fortune, just what he needed to subdue to rebelling dukes of Northern Germany.

Even today his name is synonymous with bloodshed, as evidenced by the fact that the WWII Operation Barbarossa - the largest and most violent and bloodiest campaign in the history of war – is named after him. Frederick Barbarossa: The Prince and the Myth. The Lombard League was formed in 1167, largely out of the Veronese League. He had a long red beard and so the people called him Barbarossa, or Red-Beard. In 1189, over a decade after his disastrous campaign in Italy, he joined forces with two of the other most renowned  leaders of his age: King Philip Augustus of France and King Richard the Lionheart of England. Barbarossa didn't even get to Rome before the Pope crapped himself and died, and Frederick just went home and called it a night.

The German historian Heinrich Simonsfeld published a book of nearly 800 pages in 1908, intended as the first part of a definitive trilogy devoted to the emperor’s life. What followed as the remnant of the Third Crusade was largely King Richard’s Crusade, which had mixed success, ultimately failing in the main objective of a Christian reconquest of Jerusalem. Frederick was such a hardcore warrior and natural leader that when King Conrad died in 1152 he snubbed his own son out of his inheritance and appointed Barbarossa king instead, which was a serious burn to the young Prince. The Italian armies were crushed, and those cities unwise enough to resist the German onslaught were surrounded and besieged. Famous Men of the Middle Ages. The city-states of Northern Italy had formed the Lombard League, a coalition against Imperial efforts to annex northern Italy, an aspiration spurred by the desire of Northern Italy's wealth and the emperor's need to crush the revolting dukes of northern Germany. In 1177, Fredrick Barbarossa was campaigning in Northern Italy in an attempt to annex the region. H. Holt, 1884. His health slowly deteriorated for the next few years until he finally expires in 1196. Frederick Barbarossa (German: Friedrich I., Italian: Federico I; 1122 – 10 June 1196), also known as Frederick I, was the Holy Roman Emperor from 2 January 1155 until his death 35 years later. Barbarossa thought this was pretty bitchin', but decided he'd much rather be an Emperor than just a King, so he went down to the Vatican in Rome and told the Pope to get busy with the crowning and the anointing and whatnot. Two years later, the term 'sacrum' ("holy") first appeared in a document in connection with his empire. The Third Crusade (1189-1192 CE) was launched to retake Jerusalem after its fall to the Muslim leader Saladin in 1187 CE. Frederick is the subject of various rather bizarre legends with one legend suggesting that he is not dead, but asleep with his knights in a cave in the Kyffhäuser mountains in Thuringia or Mount Untersberg in Bavaria, Germany, and that when the ravens cease to fly around the mountain he will awake and restore Germany to its ancient greatness.

This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. The replacement Pope still stubbornly kept up the "I RULE YOU" shenanigans, but rather than walk all the way back to Italy and break heads apart Frederick just appointed an Antipope instead. Frederick I Barbarossa (known as “red beard”) is generally considered one of Medieval Europe’s greatest emperors. This is pretty bizarre, but you kind of have to respect how awesome it is that Frederick Barbarossa arbitrarily gave himself the power to appoint the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.