Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor

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Frederick I Barbarossa[1] (1122 – 10 June 1190) was a German Holy Roman Emperor. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 and crowned in Aachen on 9 March, crowned King of Italy in Pavia in 1155, and finally crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV, on 18 June 1155, and two years later in 1157 the term "sacrum" (i.e. "holy") first appeared in a document in connection with his Empire.[2] He was then also formally crowned King of Burgundy at Arles on 30 June 1178. The name Barbarossa came from the northern Italian cities he attempted to rule, and means "red beard" in Italian – a mark of both their fear and respect.[3]

Before his royal election, he was by inheritance Duke of Swabia (1147–1152, as Frederick III). He was the son of Duke Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. His mother was Judith, daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, from the rival House of Welf, and Frederick therefore descended from Germany's two leading families, making him an acceptable choice for the Empire's prince-electors.


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