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A History of Germany by Bayard Taylor

Arduin of Ivrea succeeded in inciting the Lombards to revolt


In

Italy, Arduin of Ivrea succeeded in inciting the Lombards to revolt, and proclaimed himself king of an independent Italian nation. Henry II. crossed the Alps in 1006, and took Pavia, the inhabitants of which city rose against him. In the struggle which followed, it was burned to the ground. After his return to Germany Arduin recovered his influence and power, became practically king, and pressed the Pope, Benedict VIII., so hard, that the latter went personally to Henry II. (as Leo III. had gone to Charlemagne) and implored his assistance. In the autumn of 1013, Henry went with the Pope to Italy, entered Pavia without resistance, restored the Papal authority in Rome, and was crowned Emperor in February, 1014. He returned immediately afterwards to Germany; and Italy, after Arduin's death, the following year, remained comparatively quiet.

[Sidenote: 1018.]

Even before the wars with Poland came to an end, in 1018, other troubles broke out in the west. There were disturbances along the frontier in Flanders, rebellions in Luxemburg and Lorraine, and finally a quarrel with Burgundy, the king of which, Rudolf III., was Henry II.'s uncle, and had chosen him as his heir. This inheritance gave Germany the eastern part of France, nearly to the Mediterranean, and the greater portion of Switzerland. But the Burgundian nobles refused to be thus transferred, and did not give their consent until after Henry's armies had twice

invaded their country.

Finally, in 1020, when there was temporary peace throughout the Empire, the Cathedral at Bamberg, which the Emperor had taken great pride in building, was consecrated with splendid ceremonies. The pope came across the Alps to be present, and he employed the opportunity to persuade Henry to return to Italy, and free the southern part of the peninsula from the Byzantine Greeks, who had advanced as far as Capua and threatened Rome. The Emperor consented: in 1021 he marched into Southern Italy with a large army, expelled the Greeks from the greater portion of their conquered territory, and then, having lost his best troops by pestilence, returned home. He there continued to travel to and fro, settling difficulties and observing the condition of the people. After long struggles, the power of the Empire seemed to be again secured; but when he began to strengthen it by the arts of peace, his own strength was exhausted. He died near Goettingen, in the summer of 1024, and was buried in the Cathedral of Bamberg. With him expired the dynasty of the Saxon Emperors, less pitifully, however, than either the Merovingian or Carolingian line.

When Otto the Great, towards the close of his reign, neglected Germany and occupied himself with establishing his dominion in Italy, he prepared the way for the rapid decline of the Imperial power at home, in the hands of his successors. The reigning Dukes, Counts, and even the petty feudal lords, no longer watched and held subordinate, soon became practically independent: except in Friesland, Saxony and the Alps, the people had no voice in political matters; and thus the growth of a general national sentiment, such as had been fostered by Charlemagne and Henry I., was again destroyed. In proportion as the smaller States were governed as if they were separate lands, their populations became separated in feeling and interest. Henry II. tried to be an Emperor of _Germany_: he visited Italy rather on account of what he believed to be the duties of his office than from natural inclination to reign there; but he was not able to restore the same authority at home, as Otto the Great had exercised.


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