Frederick Barbarossa

Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 to 1190

Frederick Barbarossa (December 1122 – 10 June 1190), also known as Frederick I (German: Friedrich I, Italian: Federico I), was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death 35 years later.


  • An Emperor is subject to no one but God and Justice
    • From Julius Wilhelm Zincgref (1591-1645), Apophthegmata (1626), bk. I. Reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 18th ed. (2012).

Quotes about

  • In the post-Roman West personal diplomacy was more normal, for instance when family members were vying to divide up a kingdom, as portrayed dramatically in the opening scene of Shakespeare’s King Lear. A notable example was the series of summits in Carolingian France after the death of Louis the Pious, particularly those at Verdun in 843 and Meersen in 870.The outlines of these territorial settlements were laboriously thrashed out months in advance by commissioners who surveyed the terrain and gathered toward the summit data. But plenty of scope still remained for face-to-face haggling by the principals—their in-person meetings guaranteed the agreements by an exchange of oaths and sometimes of hostages. On other occasions, summits concluded carefully prepared peace agreements, as when Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Alexander III met in Venice in 1177.This conference took place on neutral territory; others, as with late Roman practice, were conducted in the borderlands. In either case, the location was chosen to ensure the status and/or security of each ruler.
    • David Reynolds, Summits: Six Meetings that Changed the Twentieth Century (2007),

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