1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Henry V. (Roman emperor)
HENRY V. (1081–1125), Roman emperor, son of the emperor Henry IV., was born on the 8th of January 1081, and after the revolt and deposition of his elder brother, the German king Conrad (d. 1101), was chosen as his successor in 1098. He promised to take no part in the business of the Empire during his father’s lifetime, and was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle on the 6th of January 1099. In spite of his oath Henry was induced by his father’s enemies to revolt in 1104, and some of the princes did homage to him at Mainz in January 1106. In August of the same year the elder Henry died, when his son became sole ruler of the Empire. Order was soon restored in Germany, the citizens of Cologne were punished by a fine, and an expedition against Robert II., count of Flanders, brought this rebel to his knees. In 1107 a campaign, which was only partially successful, was undertaken to restore Bořiwoj II. to the dukedom of Bohemia, and in the year following the king led his forces into Hungary, where he failed to take Pressburg. In 1109 he was unable to compel the Poles to renew their accustomed tribute, but in 1110 he succeeded in securing the dukedom of Bohemia for Ladislaus I.
The main interest of Henry’s reign centres in the controversy over lay investiture, which had caused a serious dispute during the previous reign. The papal party who had supported Henry in his resistance to his father hoped he would assent to the decrees of the pope, which had been renewed by Paschal II. at the synod of Guastalla in 1106. The king, however, continued to invest the bishops, but wished the pope to hold a council in Germany to settle the question. Paschal after some hesitation preferred France to Germany, and, after holding a council at Troyes, renewed his prohibition of lay investiture. The matter slumbered until 1110, when, negotiations between king and pope having failed, Paschal renewed his decrees and Henry went to Italy with a large army. The strength of his forces helped him to secure general recognition in Lombardy, and at Sutri he concluded an arrangement with Paschal by which he renounced the right of investiture in return for a promise of coronation, and the restoration to the Empire of all lands given by kings, or emperors, to the German church since the time of Charlemagne. It was a treaty impossible to execute, and Henry, whose consent to it is said to have been conditional on its acceptance by the princes and bishops of Germany, probably foresaw that it would occasion a breach between the German clergy and the pope. Having entered Rome and sworn the usual oaths, the king presented himself at St Peter’s on the 12th of February 1111 for his coronation and the ratification of the treaty. The words commanding the clergy to restore the fiefs of the crown to Henry were read amid a tumult of indignation, whereupon the pope refused to crown the king, who in return declined to hand over his renunciation of the right of investiture. Paschal was seized by Henry’s soldiers and, in the general disorder into which the city was thrown, an attempt to liberate the pontiff was thwarted in a struggle during which the king himself was wounded. Henry then left the city carrying the pope with him; and Paschal’s failure to obtain assistance drew from him a confirmation of the king’s right of investiture and a promise to crown him emperor. The coronation ceremony accordingly took place on the 13th of April 1111, after which the emperor returned to Germany, where he sought to strengthen his power by granting privileges to the inhabitants of the region of the upper Rhine.
In 1112 Lothair, duke of Saxony, rose in arms against Henry, but was easily quelled. In 1113, however, a quarrel over the succession to the counties of Weimar and Orlamünde gave occasion for a fresh outbreak on the part of Lothair, whose troops were defeated at Warnstädt, after which the duke was pardoned. Having been married at Mainz on the 7th of January 1114 to Matilda, or Maud, daughter of Henry I., king of England, the emperor was confronted with a further rising, initiated by the citizens of Cologne, who were soon joined by the Saxons and others. Henry failed to take Cologne, his forces were defeated at Welfesholz on the 11th of February 1115, and complications in Italy compelled him to leave Germany to the care of Frederick II. of Hohenstaufen, duke of Swabia, and his brother Conrad, afterwards the German king Conrad III. After the departure of Henry from Rome in 1111 a council had declared the privilege of lay investiture, which had been extorted from Paschal, to be invalid, and Guido, archbishop of Vienne, excommunicated the emperor and called upon the pope to ratify this sentence. Paschal, however, refused to take so extreme a step; and the quarrel entered upon a new stage in 1115 when Matilda, daughter and heiress of Boniface, margrave of Tuscany, died leaving her vast estates to the papacy. Crossing the Alps in 1116 Henry won the support of town and noble by privileges to the one and presents to the other, took possession of Matilda’s lands, and was gladly received in Rome. By this time Paschal had withdrawn his consent to lay investiture and the excommunication had been published in Rome; but the pope was compelled to fly from the city. Some of the cardinals withstood the emperor, but by means of bribes he broke down the opposition, and was crowned a second time by Burdinas, archbishop of Braga. Meanwhile the defeat at Welfesholz had given heart to Henry’s enemies; many of his supporters, especially among the bishops, fell away; the excommunication was published at Cologne, and the pope, with the assistance of the Normans, began to make war. In January 1118 Paschal died and was succeeded by Gelasius II. The emperor immediately returned from northern Italy to Rome. But as the new pope escaped from the city, Henry, despairing of making a treaty, secured the election of an antipope who took the name of Gregory VIII., and who was left in possession of Rome when the emperor returned across the Alps in 1118. The opposition in Germany was gradually crushed and a general peace declared at Tribur, while the desire for a settlement of the investiture dispute was growing. Negotiations, begun at Würzburg, were continued at Worms, where the new pope, Calixtus II., was represented by Cardinal Lambert, bishop of Ostia. In the concordat of Worms, signed in September 1122, Henry renounced the right of investiture with ring and crozier, recognized the freedom of election of the clergy and promised to restore all church property. The pope agreed to allow elections to take place in presence of the imperial envoys, and the investiture with the sceptre to be granted by the emperor as a symbol that the estates of the church were held under the crown. Henry, who had been solemnly excommunicated at Reims by Calixtus in October 1119, was received again into the communion of the church, after he had abandoned his nominee, Gregory, to defeat and banishment. The emperor’s concluding years were occupied with a campaign in Holland, and with a quarrel over the succession to the margraviate of Meissen, two disputes in which his enemies were aided by Lothair of Saxony. In 1124 he led an expedition against King Louis VI. of France, turned his arms against the citizens of Worms, and on the 23rd of May 1125 died at Utrecht and was buried at Spires. Having no children, he left his possessions to his nephew, Frederick II. of Hohenstaufen, duke of Swabia, and on his death the line of Franconian, or Salian, emperors became extinct.
The character of Henry is unattractive. His love of power was inordinate; he was wanting in generosity, and he did not shrink from treachery in pursuing his ends.
The chief authority for the life and reign of Henry V. is Ekkehard of Aura, Chronicon, edited by G. Waitz in the Monumenta Germaniae historica. Scriptores, Band vi. (Hanover and Berlin, 1826-1892), See also W. von Giesebrecht, Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit, Band iii. (Leipzig, 1881-1890); L. von Ranke, Weltgeschichte, pt. vii. (Leipzig, 1886); M. Manitius, Deutsche Geschichte (Stuttgart, 1889); G. Meyer von Knonau, Jahrbücher des deutschen Reiches unter Heinrich IV. und Heinrich V. (Leipzig, 1890); E. Gervais, Politische Geschichte Deutschlands unter der Regierung der Kaiser Heinrich V. und Lothar III. (Leipzig, 1841-1842); G. Peiser, Der deutsche Investiturstreit unter Kaiser Heinrich V. (Berlin, 1883); C. Stutzer, “Zur Kritik der Investiturverhandlungen im Jahre 1119,” in the Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, Band xviii. (Göttingen, 1862-1886); T. von Sickel and H. Bresslau, “Die
kaiserliche Ausfertigungkaiserliche Ausfertigung des Wormser Konkordats,” in the Mittheilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsforschung (Innsbruck, 1880); B. Gebhardt, Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte, Band i. (Berlin, 1901), and E. Bernheim, Zur Geschichte des Wormser Konkordats (Göttingen, 1878).