1056-1106 Emperor Henry IV
Henry IV was the strongest monarch of his age, but his reign saw the beginning of the full-scale conflict between the popes and the German emperors. Catholic bishops were some of the most powerful men in the German state, and Henry could not afford to have as bishops men who were disloyal to him, but the newly reformed papacy began to demand ecclesiastical independence from state control.
Text: Papal Election Decree, 1059, Papal and Imperial Versions.
Text: Henry IV: Letter to Gregory VII, Jan 24 1076
1073-1085 Pope Gregory VII
Gregory VII ratcheted up the claims of the Reform papacy and is so identified with the movement that it is sometimes called the Gregorian Reform. Although he lacked the military resources of the German emperors, he used "spiritual weapons" such as excommunication in an effort to enforce his will.
Text: Gregory VII: Dictatus Papae, 1075
Image: Gregory VII
1077 Reconciliation at Canossa
"Investiture" was the ceremony whereby a bishop was given the symbols of office. The practice in the German Empire had been for the emperor to invest the bishops with these symbols, but the ceremony was aggressively objected to by Pope Gregory VII on the grounds that it made the secular power seem superior to the spiritual. In 1122 a compromise was reached in which the emperors still "elected" the bishops but no longer invested them with symbols of spiritual power.
Text: Gregory VII: Lay Investitures Forbidden, 1074, 1080.
Weblink: Medieval Sourcebook Empire and Papacy
1088-1099 Pope Urban II
1106-1125 Emperor Henry V
1095 Urban II Proclaims First Crusade
Pope Urban II was responding to a request from the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus for aid against Muslim enemies. In calling for such aid, Urban ignited passions he could not have foreseen and initiated the Crusades. In 1099 the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in a bloody battle and established a Latin Christian presence there that lasted for almost 200 years.
Text: Urban II. Speech at Clermont 1095
Image: 1095 Pope Urban II Preaching at Clermont [BNF: Miniature of 1490]
Image: Crusaders Capturing Jerusalem [From MS illustration]
Weblink: Medieval Sourcebook: Crusades
Weblink: War Machines
1115 Death of Matilda of Tuscany
1119-1124 Pope Calixtus II
1122 Concordat of Worms
1123 First Lateran Council
1152-1190 Frederick I Barbarossa
Frederick I Barbarossa was a German emperor and dominated the politics of central Europe until his death on the way to the Third Crusade. His reign saw a reignition of the papal-imperial conflict.
Text: The Besançon Episode 1157,
Image: Frederick I Barbarossa: Vatican library MS
Image: Germany Under Frederick Barbarossa
115 Death of Arnold of Brescia
1176 Battle of Legnano
1190-1197 Henry VI
1194 Henry VI Crowned King of Sicily
1197-1215 Dynastic Struggle
1198-1216 Pope Innocent III
Innocent III was perhaps the most powerful of all medieval popes. He initiated three crusades, called the most important Church council of the Middle Ages, and played an important role in the political history of almost every European country.
Text: Innocent III (r.1198-1216): Letters on Papal Policies
Text: Catholic Encyclopedia: Innocent III
Image: Innocent III and St. Francis
Weblink: Citta - A Tour of the Vatican City
1214 Battle of Bouvines
Fourth Lateran Council (1215)
Pope Innocent II called the Fourth Lateran Council, so-called because it met in the Church of St. John Lateran in Rome, and it was the most wide ranging Western church council during the Middle Ages. In addition to matters of church doctrine and organization, it addressed newer problems such as popular heresy. For lay Catholics, its greatest impact was its demand that all Catholics go to confession at least once each year.
Text: The Fourth Lateran Council: Selected Canons
Magna Carta (1215)
The "Great Charter" of 1215 represents the efforts of the English aristocracy to make the king deal with them according to agreed rules. Its significance is not so much in establishing "freedom" as in the fact that the barons presented themselves as "men of the realm" and acted as if the result of conflict with the king should be new rules for the entire kingdom, not more independence for individual lords.
Text: Magna Carta, 1215
Image/Weblink: British Library: Magna Carta
1215-1250 Frederick II
Frederick II held the title of "Roman Emperor" and was king of Germany. He was more interested, however, in creating a power base in southern Italy, even if this meant surrendering royal powers in Germany. During his lifetime he remained a powerful monarch but faced immense papal opposition, since the popes did not want such a powerful ruler so close to them. After his death the popes were able to prevent his son from succeeding him. In the long run, his reign marked the beginning of the political fragmentation of Germany.
Text: Frederick II: Statute in Favor of the Princes 1231
Image: Frederick II
Weblink: Catholic Encyclopedia: Frederick II
1227-1241 Gregory IX
1231 Constitutions of Melfi
1243-1254 Pope Innocent IV
1250-1273 Interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire
1273-1291 Emperor Rudolph of Hapsburg
1282-1302 War of the Sicilian Vespers
1284 Accession of Philip IV of France
1294-1303 Pope Boniface VIII
1296 Papal Bull Clericos Laicos
1302 Papal Bull Unam Sanctam