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Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor: Wikis

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The seven prince-electors voting for Henry, Balduineum picture chronicle, 1341
The Empire under Henry VII,
     House of Luxembourg
Tomb of Henry, Duomo, Pisa

Henry VII (german: Heinrich; c. 1279 – 24 August 1313) was the King of Germany (or Rex Romanorum) from 1308 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1312. He was the first emperor of the House of Luxembourg. During his brief career he reinvigorated the imperial cause in Italy and inspired the praise of Dino Compagni and Dante Alighieri.

Contents

Life

Born in Valenciennes, he was a son of Count Henry VI of Luxembourg and Béatrice from the House of Avesnes. His son, John the Blind, was elected as King of Bohemia in 1310. On 15 August 1309, Henry VII announced his intention to travel to Rome and expected his troops to be ready to travel by 1 October 1310. He then traveled to Rome to be crowned as emperor, the title having been vacant since the death of Frederick II. His coronation was on June 29, 1312.

As Emperor he planned to restore the glory of the Holy Roman Empire, and indeed he restored imperial power in parts of northern Italy. However, he quarrelled with the Guelphs, especially in the free cities in Tuscany (Florence). King Robert of Naples and Pope Clement V were both worried about his firm imperial policies. Henry wanted to punish Robert of Naples for his disloyal actions (as Count of Provence, Robert was technically Henry's vassal), but he died on August 24, 1313 at Buonconvento near Siena.

Henry is the famous alto Arrigo in Dante's Paradise, in which the poet is shown the seat of honor that awaits Henry in Heaven. Dante also alludes to him numerous times in "Purgatorio" as the savior who will bring imperial rule back to Italy, and end the inappropriate temporal control of the Church. Henry VII's success in Italy was not lasting, however, and after his death the anti-imperial forces regained control.

After the death of Henry VII, two rivals, the Wittelsbach Ludwig of Bavaria and Frederick the Handsome of the House of Habsburg, laid claim to the crown. Their dispute culminated in the Battle of Mühldorf on 28 September 1322, which was lost by Frederick.

The Tomb

Pisa was a Ghibelline city, it means that the city supported the Holy Roman Emperor. When Henry VII died, Pisans built a monumental tomb inside their Cathedral. The tomb was just in the middle, behind the High Altar on the apse. The choice of the place was intended to demonstrate the devotion of the Pisans to the Emperor.

The tomb was built in 1315 by Tino di Camaino and was composed by the grave itself, the statue of Henry VII lying above it and many other statues and angels. But the tomb didn't have a long life: for political reasons it was dismantled and the parts were reused in other places in the square. Until 1985 we had the grave of the Emperor translated on the right transept of the Cathedral, near the tomb of Saint Ranieri; a couple of statues were put on the top of the façade and a number of statues portraying Henry VII himself and his counselors were in the Cemetery. Nowadays the statues have been translated in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Pisa , while the tomb still stay in the Cathedral.

Family and children

He was married in Tervuren 9 July 1292 with Margaret of Brabant, daughter of John I, Duke of Brabant and had the following children:

References

  • William M. Bowsky, Henry VII in Italy, Lincoln, 1960.
  • Maria Elisabeth Franke, Kaiser Heinrich VII. im Spiegel der Historiographie, Köln/Weimar/Wien, 1992.
Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor
Born: c 1275 Died: 1313
German royalty
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Henry VI
Count of Luxembourg
1288–1313
Succeeded by
John I
Preceded by
Henry VI
Count of Arlon
1288–1313
Succeeded by
John I
Preceded by
Gérard I
Count of Durbuy
after 1298–1313
Succeeded by
John I
Preceded by
Albert I
King of Germany
(formally King of the Romans)

1308–1313
Succeeded by
Louis IV the Bavarian &
Frederick III the Handsome
Preceded by
Frederick II
(vacant since 1250)
Holy Roman Emperor
1312–1313
Succeeded by
Louis IV the Bavarian
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