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Benjamin Arnold 2. Instruments of Power: The Profile and Profession ofMinisteriales Within German Aristocratic Society, 1050-1225 In the last of the illuminations that decorate the Bern manuscript of Peter of Eboli's Liberad honoremAugusti, Emperor Henry VI is depicted in triumph over his enemies, seated on a throne flanked by his principal counsellors : Conrad of Querfurt, bishop of Hildesheim and chancellor of the Empire; Markward of Annweiler, duke of Ravenna and imperial seneschal; and Henry of Kalden, marshal of the imperial court.1 Conrad of Querfurt was born into a powerful family of free Saxon lords who were hereditary burgraves of Magdeburg. Henry of Kalden and Markward of Annweiler, on the other hand, were ascribed by birth as ministeriales of the imperial household. They were knights in military and administrative function but unfree in legal status, their families being attached over the generations as hereditary dependents of the crown. However, Provost Burchard of Ursberg reported that as a reward for his remarkable successes in subjecting Italy and Sicily to Henry VTs authority, the seneschal was granted free status in 1195 when he was created duke of Ravenna with rule over the Romagna, the march of Ancona, and the counties of the Abruzzi.2 In the struggles for power which followed the emperor's death in 1197, the duke was eventually able to seize control of the island of Sicilyand of the person of Frederick II. Pope Innocent III, who claimed the regency for himself, went so far as to proclaim a crusade against Markward, who died undefeated in I2O2.3 1. Liber ad honorem Augusti di Pietro da Eboli, ed. Giovanni Battista Siragusa, Fonti per la storia d'ltalia (Rome, 1906), pp. 150 ff; Sigfrid H. Steinberg and Christine Steinberg-von Pape, Die Bildnisse geistlicher und weltlicher Fursten und Herren, part i, Die Entwicklung des menschlichen Bildnisses (Leipzig and Berlin, 1931), V- plate 150. 2. Die Chronik desPropstes Burchard von Ursberg, ed. Oswald Holder-Egger and Bernhard von Simson,MGH SRG 16 (id ed., Hanover, 1916): 72ff. 3. Thomas C. van Cleve, Markward ofAnweiler and the Sicilian Regency (Princeton, NJ: 1937), and his The Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen: Immutator Mundi (Oxford, 1972), pp. Instruments of Power 37 Marshal Henry of Kalden's achievementsare equallywell attested. He was one of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa's most accomplished generals and was responsible for the successful assault upon Skribention during the Third Crusade.4 Apart from his services to Henry VI in the subjection of Sicily, he was extremely influential in Germanyduring the conflict over the throne in the years after 1198. He was interested in reconciliation, and arranged an unsuccessful conference between Otto IV and Philip of Swabia near Cologne in I2O6.5 Once Philip had been assassinatedin 1208, the marshal decided to hand over the castlesin his custody to Otto IV, and then tracked down and executed the murderer, Count Palatine Otto VIII of Wittelsbach, in 1209.6 It is not perhaps surprising that Peter of Eboli compared such military commanders to the martial gods of antiquity:7 HieMarcualdus, cui seNeptunus ad omne Velle dedit, cuiMars sededit esseparem. Here is Markward, to whom Neptune concedes his powers and with whom Mars admits equality. One of the most controversial problems in current medieval studies is the relationship between knighthood and nobility, both in concept and in social reality. Karl Ferdinand Werner reviewed the literature in 1985, followed by two other historians with divergent views, Jean Flori and Alessandro Barbero; the continuing debate, assisted by Georges Duby and Fredric Cheyette, took up much of the first session of the conferencepresented in this volume.8 My view is that in Germany the ministericdes of the twelfth century came to occupy the central position in the world of knighthood, and that the application of the label nobilis or noble to them represents more than ecclesiastical rhetoric, if not yet a legal status. The reasons were practical: the operation of knighthood as an instrument of power within the governing structure of Germany. In this sense the rise 38-49; Elizabeth Kennan, "Innocent III and the First Political Crusade," Traditio 27 (1971), 229-49. 4. Quellen zur Geschickte des Kreuzzuges Kaiser Friedrichs I., ed. Anton Chroust, MGH SS n.s. 5 (Berlin, 1928): 45,141. 5. Chronicaregia Coloniensis.Annales maximi Colonienses, ed. Georg Waitz,MGH SRG18 (Hanover, 1880): 224. 6. Ottonis de Sancto Elasio Chronica, ed. Adolf Hofmeister, MGH SRG 4 (Hanover, 1912): 84. 7. Liber ad honoremAugusti, lines 1560-61. 8. Karl F. Werner, "Du...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780812200768
Related ISBN
9780812215557
MARC Record
OCLC
794702344
Pages
400
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-16
Language
English
Open Access
No
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