Henry II


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Holy Roman Emperor. Born in Bavaria and educated at Hildesheim, he succeeded his father, Henry the Quarrelsome, as duke of Bavaria in 995 and became emperor in 1002. His main political aim was to unify and consolidate the German Empire. This was largely achieved through wars in the East and in Lombardy. He used the Church for his political ends, but, after being crowned by the pope in 1014, he restored property and wealth in several sees and founded that of Bamberg, where he built both the cathedral and a monastery. He became the friend of Odilo of Cluny and promoted the movement of reform. Later legend claimed that his childless marriage to Cunegund was a virgin marriage and that he pursued other ascetical ideals for which there is little contemporary evidence. He was canonized in 1146. Feast: 13 July.

AA.SS. Iul. III (1723), 711–93; Lives also in G. Waitz, M.G.H., Scriptores, iv (1841), 679–95 and 789–816; Life by C. Pfaff (1963). See also R. Klauser, Der Heinrichs und Kunigundenkult im mittelalterlichen Bistum Bamberg (1957); R. Folz, Les Saints Rois du moyen âge en Occident (1984).

Subjects: Christianity — Military History.

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