Gregory Brown
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Department of Philosophy
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204-3004

Hohenstaufen Dynasty

also called Staufer Dynasty,

German dynasty that ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 1138 to 1208 and from 1212 to 1254. The founder of the line was the count Friedrich (died 1105), who built Staufen Castle in the Swabian Jura Mountains and was rewarded for his fidelity to Emperor Heinrich IV. (1050-1106) by being appointed duke of Swabia as Friedrich I in 1079. He later married Heinrich's daughter Agnes. His two sons, Friedrich II, duke of Swabia, and Konrad, were the heirs of their uncle, Emperor Heinrich V. (1086-1125), who died childless in 1125. After the interim reign of the Saxon Lothair III. (1075-1137), Konrad became German king Konrad III. (1093-1152) in 1138. Subsequent Hohenstaufen rulers were Friedrich I. Barbarossa (1123-1190) (Holy Roman emperor 1155–90), Heinrich VI. (1165-1197) (Holy Roman emperor 1191–97), Philip of Swabia (king 1198– 1208), Friedrich II. (1194-1250) (king, 1212–50, emperor 1220–50), and Conrad IV (king 1237–54). The Hohenstaufen, especially Friedrich I and Friedrich II, continued the struggle with the papacy that began under their Salian predecessors, and were active in Italian affairs.

The imperial dynasty was interrupted in 1208–12 by the brief reign of Otto IV, duke of Aquitaine of the House of Welf.

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  • Encylopedia Britannica 2002, Expanded Edition DVD