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Frederick BarbarossaThe Prince and the Myth$
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John B. Freed

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300122763

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300122763.001.0001

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“Two Renowned Families”

“Two Renowned Families”

(p.1) Chapter One “Two Renowned Families”
Frederick Barbarossa

John B. Freed

Yale University Press

This chapter first discusses Frederick's paternal “Staufer” ancestry. It argues that while Frederick is remembered as the greatest of the Staufer monarchs, he seemingly knew little about his paternal ancestry and/or was ashamed of his grandfather's relatively modest origins—and he was never identified in his lifetime as a Staufer. The designation of the lineage as the Staufer is, in fact, a convenient scholarly convention, but it is anachronistic since key members of the lineage, including Barbarossa, were never called as such. The remainder of the chapter focuses on Duke Frederick II and the Welfs, Germany's most aristocratic family.

Keywords:   Staufer, lineage, ancestry, Frederick Barbarossa, biography, Welfs, Duke Frederick II, Otto of Freising

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