Tales of Trickery and Deceit: the election of Frederick Barbarossa (1152), historical memory, and the culture of kingship in later Staufen Germany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)

Abstract

This article takes as its point of departure a series of anecdotes, written roughly between c.1200 and c.1270, about the election of Frederick Barbarossa as king of the Romans and emperor-elect in 1152. They represent Frederick as using an artful ruse to obtain the throne, or as a usurper. They are of limited value for reconstructing the events of 1152. Yet the frequency and spread of the accounts – with examples to be found in France and North Africa, as well as Germany – as well as striking similarities between them, raise important questions about historical memory in thirteenth-century Europe. In addition, a strict emphasis in the German materials on hereditary norms of succession marks a striking contrast with contemporary realities, and thus points to a profound dissonance between political norms and political realities in later Staufen Germany.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-317
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

Keywords

  • Frederick Barbarossa
  • Staufen Germany (1138–1268)
  • historical writing
  • political culture
  • kingship

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Tales of Trickery and Deceit: the election of Frederick Barbarossa (1152), historical memory, and the culture of kingship in later Staufen Germany'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this