The Salian Century: Main Currents in an Age of Transition

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University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999 - History - 233 pages
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Historical scholarship often has overlooked the sheer energy that the Salian rulers devoted to shaping and solidifying their kingship. Indeed, changes in the German realm during the Salian era, 1024-1125, affected German history for centuries to come. This dynasty began relying on a new class of royal officials to consolidate its power, gained and lost dominance over the papacy, and stubbornly insisted on its imperial prerogatives even as it was clashing with changing social and spiritual values. In his interpretative study, the German historian Stefan Weinfurter takes a fresh look at the lives and ambitions of the Salian emperors and closely examines their interaction with the princes, bishops, and popes held influence over eleventh-century Germany.

Drawing richly upon primary sources and modern political and socioeconomic analysis, Weinfurter addresses such topics as Henry III's intervention in Rome in 1046 and the Saxon uprising of 1073. He discusses the significance of the building of Speyer cathedral, at one time the largest church in Europe, as a representation of regal power. And he persuasively argues against the prevailing view that the confrontation between Henry IV and Pope Gregory, known as the Investiture Conflict, played the defining role in the decline of the Salian dynasty.

Generously illustrated with maps and figures, The Salian Century provides a splendidly accessible overview of the fundamental transformations that occurred in the German kingdom and German society in the course of the eleventh century.


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The Dynamic Beginnings of the
Realm and Society in Transition
The Emperor of Peace and His Critics
The Princes Concern for the Realm
King Tyrant or Antichrist
Princes as Heads of the Polity
Concluding Remarks

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About the author (1999)

Stefan Weinfurter is Professor of History at the University of Munich. His is the author of numerous works, including Salzburger Bistumsreform und Bischofspolitik im 12. Jahrhundert, and the three-volume edition of collected scholarly articles, Die Salier und das Reich.

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