Frederick II, Holy Roman emperor and German king: Character and Legacy
Character and Legacy
Frederick II was one of the most arresting figures of the Middle Ages. He called himself “lord of the world”; his contemporaries either praised him as
Himself an expert trader engaging in far-flung business affairs, Frederick encouraged commerce and soon expanded it to Spain, Morocco, and Egypt. Agriculture and industry were likewise fostered. Towns, though at first somewhat curbed, enjoyed a more generous treatment in the later years of his reign, and many developed into important trade centers.
Frederick was also a gifted artist and scientist. A poet himself, he was surrounded by Provençal troubadours and German minnesingers. He patronized science and philosophy and interested himself in medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and astrology. His
The intense struggle between Frederick and the papacy led to the ruin of the house of Hohenstaufen and severely damaged papal prestige. With his rule the great days of the German empire ended and the rise of states in Italy began. The interregnum (see Holy Roman Empire) ended only with the election (1273) of Rudolf I of Hapsburg.
Sections in this article:
- Character and Legacy
- Conflict in Germany and Italy
- King of Jerusalem
- Beginning of Reign in Sicily
- Rivalry for the German Crown
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