Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Frederick I

Frederick I., called "Barbarossa" (d. 1190), Emperor of the Holy Roman (Old German) Empire, was born between 1121 and 1123, and succeeded his uncle, Conrad III., in 1152, having been Duke of Suabia since the death of his father in 1147. After subduing several towns in Lombardy, he was crowned at Rome in 1154. Four years after he took Brescia and Milan, and at the Diet of Roncaglia was acknowledged as suzerain by the Lombard towns. His vassals and the Popes continued, however, to give him trouble in Italy, and even after the fortifications of Milan had been razed (1162) fresh revolts broke out. His defeat at Legnano (1176) induced him to adopt a policy of conciliation. He acknowledged Alexander III. as Pope in the following year, and in 1183 Italy was finally pacified. In the intervals of his wars with the Popes and his Italian subjects, Barbarossa had to encounter opposition in Germany. This he triumphed over by a mixture of firmness and conciliation. He made Austria a duchy and Bohemia a kingdom to please their rulers, but he reduced to submission Henry the Lion of Bavaria, and asserted his feudal superiority over Poland, Hungary, Denmark, and Burgundy. He had in his youth been on crusade, and in 1188, when an old man, he once more took the cross. He never, however, reached Palestine; for, having defeated the Moslems at Philomelium and Iconium in Asia Minor, he was drowned while crossing a river in Pisidia. Frederick Barbarossa is one of the greatest national heroes in Germany, and there is a legend that he is still sleeping in the mountains of Thuringia, and will awake to deliver the Fatherland in the hour of her need.