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Henry V

Henry V, 1081–1125, Holy Roman emperor (1111–25) and German king (1105–25), son of Henry IV. Crowned joint king with his father in 1099, he put himself at the head of the party desiring reconciliation with the pope and, with the approval of Pope Paschal II, rebelled (1104) against his father and compelled him to abdicate (1105). Formally reconciled with the church, Henry V practiced lay investiture from the beginning of his reign. The pope protested against the practice. In 1110, Henry entered Italy with his army to settle the conflict and receive the imperial crown. At this time the pope proposed a compact that provided that if the king abandoned lay investiture and confirmed the pope's right to the Patrimony of St. Peter (see Papal States), the bishops of the empire would give up the temporal powers and estates they had received from former emperors. Henry accepted the compromise, but when it was announced at St. Peter's as a preliminary to his imperial coronation (1111), a violent tumult arose from the clergy, who saw their wealth and power being given away. Henry thereupon left the city with the pope and cardinals as his prisoners; in order to procure his release, Paschal conceded to Henry the right to appoint and invest at will and crowned him emperor. Henry returned to Germany, but in 1112 Paschal repudiated his concessions. Henry was faced (1114–21) by rebellions in Saxony that he was unable to put down; he nevertheless went to Italy in 1116 to take possession, as suzerain, of the fiefs of Matilda of Tuscany and, as heir, of her alodial lands. In 1118, Paschal died. Henry set up an antipope to the new pope, Gelasius II, whereupon Gelasius excommunicated the emperor. In 1119, Henry entered upon negotiations with Pope Calixtus II, Gelasius's successor, and a compromise on the investiture question was reached at last in the Concordat of Worms (1122; see Worms, Concordat of). Henry made peace with his domestic enemies at the Diet of Würzburg (1121). His empress, Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England, bore him no heir; the nobles elected the duke of Saxony to succeed him as Holy Roman Emperor Lothair II. Henry was the last emperor of the Salian line.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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