Page 1262


of the Hartz, to the end that he might have

a residence on the Saxon border.

While these events were taking place north

of the Alps, Italy was again rent with a civil

commotion. In 1054 Pope Leo IX undertook the conduct of a campaign against the

Normans. The result was the defeat of his

forces and the capture of himself by the

enemy. His Holiness, however, was treated

with the greatest respect by his warlike

captors. Themselves under the dominion

of the Feudal spirit, they hesitated not

to acknowledge themselves the vassals

of their prisoner: this, too, with no regard

to the fact that they were already the vassals of the Emperor. The latter must now

regain or lose his dominion in the South.

He accordingly set out for Italy to reassert his claims. Arriving in Lombardy,

he summoned a diet and held a review of

the Italian army at Piacenza. Just afterwards the problem was simplified by the

death of Leo IX. and by the Imperial appointment of Victor II. as his successor.

Now it was that the powerful hand, first

shadowy and then real, of the celebrated

Hildebrand of Savona, an austere monk

of Cluny, began to be visible' behind the

throne and miter of St. Peter. It was soon

discovered that both Leo

and Victor had been but

clay in the hands of the

great monkish potter, who

molded them to his will.

As to Henry III, the

end was now at hand. In

the fall of 1056, while residing at the castle of Goslar, he was visited by the

Pope; but the latter was unable to raise the broken

spirits of the aged and

troubled monarch. Already

in his last illness, his exit

was hastened by the news

of a disaster which his

army had received at the

hands of the Slavonians.

The curtain fell, and the

scepter was left to the Emperor's son, already crowned

as king of Germany, and afterwards to receive the Imperial title of Henry IV.

Being yet in his minority the young prince was

placed under the regency

of his mother, the Empress

Agnes, of Poitiers. The latter devoted herself assiduously to the care of the

state, and for a while affairs went better than during the reign of her

husband. The hostile provinces of Flanders

and Lorraine were again brought to a peaceful

acknowledgment of the Imperial sway. It was

not long, however, until the old favorites of the

deceased king regained their ascendancy, and

the reform was brought to an end. The feudal

lords scarcely any longer heeded the Imperial

mandate, but each pursued his own way towards local independence. In Italy especially

they asserted themselves in affairs of Church