1262 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
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