Conrad IV of Germany

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Conrad of Swabia
File:Seal of Conrad IV of Germany.jpeg
King of Germany
(formally King of the Romans)
Reign May 1237 – 21 May 1254
Predecessor Henry (VII)
Successor William
King of Sicily
Reign 13 December 1250 – 21 May 1254
Predecessor Frederick I
Successor Conrad II
King of Jerusalem
Reign 25 April 1228 – 21 May 1254
Predecessor Isabella II and Frederick I
Successor Conrad III
Duke of Swabia
Reign 12 February 1235 – 21 May 1254
Predecessor Henry
Successor Conrad IV
Born (1228-04-25)25 April 1228
Andria, Kingdom of Sicily
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Lavello, Basilicata
Burial Messina Cathedral
Spouse Elisabeth of Bavaria
Issue Conradin
Father Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
Mother Isabella II of Jerusalem
Religion Roman Catholicism

Conrad (25 April 1228 – 21 May 1254) of Hohenstaufen was Duke of Swabia (1235–1246), King of Jerusalem (as Conrad II; 1228–1254), King of Germany (as Conrad IV; 1237–1254), King of Italy and of King of Sicily (as Conrad I; 1250–1254).


He was the second but only surviving son of Emperor Frederick II and Isabella II (Yolanda), the queen regnant of Jerusalem. Born in Andria, in the South Italian Kingdom of Sicily, his mother died while giving birth to him and he succeeded her as monarch of the Crusader state of Jerusalem. By his father, Conrad was the grandson of the Hohenstaufen emperor Henry VI and great-grandson of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. He lived in Southern Italy until 1235, when he first visited the Kingdom of Germany. During this period his kingdom of Jerusalem, ruled by his father as regent through proxies, was racked by the civil War of the Lombards until Conrad declared his majority and his father's regency lost its validity.

When Emperor Frederick II deposed his eldest son, Conrad's rebellious half-brother King Henry (VII), Conrad succeeded him as Duke of Swabia in 1235. However, the emperor was not able to have him elected King of the Romans until the 1237 Imperial Diet in Vienna. This title, though not acknowledged by Pope Gregory IX, presumed his future as a Holy Roman Emperor. Prince-Archbishop Siegfried III of Mainz, in his capacitiy as German archchancellor, acted as regent for the minor until 1242, when Frederick chose Landgrave Henry Raspe of Thuringia, and King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia to assume this function. Conrad intervened directly in German politics from around 1240.

However, when Pope Innocent IV imposed a papal ban on Frederick in 1245 and declared Conrad deposed, Henry Raspe supported the pope and was in turn elected as anti-king of Germany on 22 May 1246. Henry Raspe defeated Conrad in the battle of Nidda in August 1246, but died several months later. He was succeeded as anti-king by William of Holland.

Also in 1246, Conrad married Elisabeth of Bavaria, a daughter of Otto II Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria. They had a son, Conradin, in 1252. In 1250 Conrad settled momentarily the situation in Germany by defeating William of Holland and his Rhenish allies.

When Frederick II died in the same year, he passed Sicily and Germany, as well as the title of Jerusalem, to Conrad, but the struggle with the pope continued. Having been defeated by William in 1251, Conrad decided to invade Italy, hoping to regain the rich dominions of his father, and where his brother Manfred acted as vicar. In January 1252 he invaded Apulia with a Venetian fleet and successfully managed to restrain Manfred and to exercise control of the country. In October 1253 his troops conquered Naples.

Conrad was however not able to subdue the pope's supporters, and the pope in turn offered Sicily to Edmund Crouchback, son of Henry III of England (1253). Conrad was excommunicated in 1254 and died of malaria in the same year at Lavello in Basilicata.[1] Manfred first, and later Conrad's son Conradin, continued the struggle with the Papacy, although unsuccessfully.

Conrad's widow Elisabeth remarried to Meinhard II, Count of Tirol, who in 1286 became Duke of Carinthia.

Conrad's death in 1254 began the "Interregnum", during which no ruler managed to gain undisputed control of Germany and no one was crowned Emperor. The Interregnum ended in 1273, with the election of Rudolph of Habsburg as King of the Romans.[2]


Family of Conrad IV of Germany
16. Frederick II, Duke of Swabia
8. Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
17. Judith of Bavaria
4. Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor
18. Renaud III, Count of Burgundy
9. Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy
19. Agatha of Lorraine
2. Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor,
King of Sicily and Jerusalem
20. Roger I, King of Sicily
10. Roger II, King of Sicily
21. Adelaide del Vasto
5. Constance, Queen of Sicily
22. Ithier, Count of Rethel
11. Beatrice of Rethel
23. Beatrice of Namur
1. Conrad of Swabia,
King of Germany, Sicily and Jerusalem
24. Gautier II, Count of Brienne
12. Erard II, Count of Brienne
25. Adele of Soissons
6. John I, King of Jerusalem
26. Amadeus II, Count of Montbéliard
13. Agnes of Montfaucon
27. Beatrice of Grandson-Joinville
3. Isabella II, Queen of Jerusalem
28. William V, Marquess of Montferrat
14. Conrad I, King of Jerusalem
29. Judith of Austria
7. Mary, Queen of Jerusalem
30. Amalric I, King of Jerusalem
15. Isabella I, Queen of Jerusalem
31. Maria Komnene

See also


  1. Conrad IV, Daniel R. Sodders, Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia, Vol. I, ed. Christopher Kleinhenz, (Routledge, 2004), 510.
  2. Judith Bennet and Clive Hollister, Medieval Europe, a Short History. p. 260.

Conrad IV of Germany
Born: 1228 Died: 1254
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Jerusalem
1228 – 1254
Succeeded by
Preceded by King of Sicily
Duke of Swabia

1250 – 1254
King of Germany and Italy
1237 – 1254
with Frederick II (1237-1250)
Succeeded by
as anti-king since 1247