Philip of Swabia

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Philip of Swabia (1177 – June 21, 1208) was king of Germany and duke of Swabia, the rival of the emperor Otto IV.

Contents

Biography

Philip was the fifth and youngest son of Emperor Frederick I and Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy, daughter of Renaud III, count of Burgundy, and brother of the emperor Henry VI. He entered the clergy, was made provost of Aix-la-Chapelle, and in 1190 or 1191 was chosen bishop of Würzburg. Having accompanied his brother Henry to Italy in 1191, Philip forsook his ecclesiastical calling, and, travelling again to Italy, was made duke of Tuscany in 1195 and received an extensive grant of lands. In his retinue in Italy was the Minnesinger Bernger von Horheim.

In 1196 Philip became duke of Swabia, on the death of his brother Conrad; and in May 1197 he married the Dowager Queen of Sicily, Irene Angelina, daughter of the Byzantine emperor Isaac II and widow of King Roger III of Sicily, a lady who is described by Walther von der Vogelweide as " the rose without a thorn, the dove without guile."

Philip enjoyed his brother's confidence to a very great extent, and appears to have been designated as guardian of the Henry's young son Frederick, afterwards the emperor Frederick II, in case of his father's early death. In 1197 he had set out to fetch Frederick from Sicily for his coronation as King of the Germans when he heard of the emperor's death and returned at once to Germany. He appears to have desired to protect the interests of his nephew and to quell the disorder which arose on Henry's death, but was overtaken by events. The hostility to the kingship of a child was growing, and after Philip had been chosen as defender of the empire during Frederick's minority he consented to his own election. He was elected German king at Mühlhausen on March 8, 1198, and was crowned at Mainz on the September 8 following.

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