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A History of Germany by Bayard Taylor

While the other Pope Anaclete II


Lothar

was called to Italy in 1132 by Innocent II., one of two Popes, who, in consequence of a division in the college of Cardinals, had been chosen at the same time. He was crowned Emperor in the Lateran, in June, 1133, while the other Pope Anaclete II. was reigning in the Vatican. He acquired the territory of the Countess Matilda of Tuscany, but only on condition of paying 400 pounds of silver annually to the Church. The former state of affairs was thus suddenly reversed: the Emperor acknowledged himself a dependent of the _temporal_ Papal power. When he returned to Germany, the same year, Lothar succeeded in subduing the resistance of the Hohenstaufens, and then bound the reigning princes of Germany, by oath, to keep peace for the term of twelve years.

[Sidenote: 1137.]

This truce enabled him to return to Italy for the purpose of assisting Pope Innocent, who had been expelled from Rome. The rival of the latter, Anaclete II., was supported by the Norman king, Roger II. of Sicily, who, in the summer of 1137, was driven out of Southern Italy by Lothar's army. But quarrels broke out with the Pisans, who were his allies, and with Pope Innocent, for whose cause he was fighting, and he finally set out for Germany, without even visiting Rome. At Trient, in the Tyrol, he was seized with a mortal sickness, and died on the Brenner pass of the Alps, in a shepherd's hut. His body was taken to Saxony and buried in the chapel

of a monastery which he had founded there.

A National Diet was called to meet in May, 1138, and elect a successor. Lothar's son-in-law, Henry the Proud, Duke of Bavaria, Saxony and Tuscany (which latter the Emperor had transferred also to him), seemed to have the greatest right to the throne; but he was already so important that the jealousy of the other reigning princes was excited against him. Their policy was, to choose a weak rather than a strong ruler,--one who would not interfere with their authority in their own lands. Konrad of Hohenstaufen took advantage of this jealousy; he courted the favor of the princes and the bishops, and was chosen and crowned by the latter, three months before the time fixed for the meeting of the Diet. The movement, though in violation of all law, succeeded perfectly: a new Diet was called, for form's sake, and all the German princes, except Henry the Proud, acquiesced in Konrad's election.

In order to maintain his place, the new king was compelled to break the power of his rival. He therefore declared that Henry the Proud should not be allowed to govern two lands at the same time, and gave all Saxony to Albert the Bear. When Henry rose in resistance, Konrad proclaimed that he had forfeited Bavaria, which he gave to Leopold of Austria. In this emergency, Henry the Proud called upon the Saxons to help him, and had raised a considerable force when he suddenly died, towards the end of the year 1139. His brother, Welf, continued the struggle in Bavaria, in the interest of his young son, Henry, afterwards called "the Lion." He attempted to raise the siege of the town of Weinsberg, which was beleaguered by Konrad's army, but failed. The tradition relates that when the town was forced to surrender, the women sent a deputation to Konrad, begging to be allowed to leave with such goods as they could carry on their backs. When this was granted and the gates were opened, they came out, carrying their husbands, sons or brothers as their dearest possessions. The fame of this deed of the women of Weinsberg has gone all over the world.

[Sidenote: 1140. GUELPH AND GHIBELLINE.]


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