Page 1266

1266 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

however, acting in conjunction with the bishops of France, set up an anti-Pope in the

person of Urban II. Between the rival

pontiffs, who buried at each other the most

direful anathemas, a fierce warfare broke

out, and continued with all the insane madness which religious bigotry and ambition

could inspire. From the date of Gregory's

death until the outbreak of the Crusades,

the relentless struggle was unabated and

Western Christendom was convulsed with the

shock.

As for the Emperor, he seized the opportunity afforded by the warfare of the rival

Popes to resume his duties as the secular ruler of the German Empire. Trouble

and disaster, however, attended the latter

years of his reign. The Prince Conrad,

eldest son of the king and heir expectant

to the crown, became rebellious and usurped

the throne of Lombardy. His usurpation

was acknowledged by Urban II, and it appeared for a while that Conrad would be

able to maintain himself against his father.

Gradually, however, his supporters fell away,

and he himself was seized and thrown into

prison.

The king now looked anxiously to his

younger son Henry as his successor in the

Imperial dignity. But the enemies of the

Emperor, instigated and encouraged by the

emissaries of Urban II, succeeded in alienating the younger prince from his father, as

they had already done in the case of Conrad.

Thus in distraction and gloom the reign of

Henry IV dragged on apace, while the first

clarion of the Crusades waked the slumbering

echoes in the valleys of Western Europe.

Peter the Hermit came back from Palestine

telling the story of his wrongs. The people

of the European states, wearied of the broils

of the secular princes, disgusted with papal

intrigues, and despairing of national unity

under the shadow of Feudalism, rose as one