Barbarossa was one of the greatest of the Holy Roman Emperors, and one of the most famous of the Crusaders. The Holy Roman Empire was in disarray, but Barbarossa did much to consolidate power and form alliances. He campaigned in Italy as well as Germany, and did much to rebuild the Empire to its former prestige. After much conflict with the Pope and his Italian allies, Barbarossa agreed to lead a Crusade but died enroute to the holy land.
THE RETURN OF THE CRUSADERS.
From whatever point of view we consider Frederick I,—more familiarly known as "Barbarossa," because of his red beard,—whether as the greatest of the sovereigns of the Holy Roman Empire, or as one of the most gallant of the famous crusade leaders, the story of his life is one of absorbing interest. This little volume includes a sketch of the events which led up to his accession to the throne of Germany, of his various campaigns in Italy after he had received the imperial crown, and of the disastrous third Crusade, in which he took part with Richard the Lion-hearted of England and Philip Augustus of France. The young reader will probably feel most interested in Barbarossa as a Crusader, particularly because in this connection appear the two young knights, Raymond and Conrad, who became the protégés of Barbarossa after the death of their gallant father, Conrad of Feuchtwangen, on the battlefield. Their brave exploits in battle, the adventurous ride of Raymond when he carried to the Emperor the news of the danger of his father and his little band in the valley, the capture of the brothers by the fleeing Turks at Iconium, and the exciting description of the test to which the Sultan exposed them, will appeal to the young from the romantic side, while their noble qualities as Christian knights and their high manly character should make an equally forcible appeal, in these days when knighthood can hardly be said to be in flower.
In making this translation I have endeavored to retain the vigorous descriptions as well as the healthy sentiment and charming simplicity of the author's moralizing by keeping as closely to the original as possible. The only liberty I have taken with the text is the omission of passages here and there,—without marring the context, however,—so as to make the volume nearly uniform in size with the others in the series. I have invariably characterized Frederick as Emperor, referring to him thus as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire rather than as King of Germany.
CHICAGO, July 1, 1906.
The following is a chronological statement of the most important events in the life of Barbarossa:
|1147||Married Adelaide; succeeded his father as Duke of Swabia;|
|1147||Accompanied the second Crusade.|
|1152||Received the Crown of Germany. .|
|1154||First Italian Campaign.|
|1155||Crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.|
|1156||Restored the Duchy of Bavaria to Henry the Lion;|
|1156||Married Beatrice, daughter of the Count of Burgundy.|
|1157||Secured allegiance of Poland and Hungary.|
|1158||Second Italian Campaign.|
|1160||Excommunicated by Pope Alexander III.|
|1176||Defeated at Legnano.|
|1177||Made truce for six years with the Italian cities.|
|1183||Treaty of Constance.|
|1183||Led the third Crusade with Richard the Lion-Hearted and Philip Augustus.|
|1190||Death in Asia Minor by drowning.|