German King and Emperor. He succeeded to the throne in 1056. His reign was troubled by rebellious Saxon princes and by the reforms of Gregory VII (q.v.). Having conquered the Saxons in 1075, Henry refused obedience to the Pope and answered his threat of excommunication by declaring Gregory deposed. Gregory then released Henry's subjects from their oath of allegiance; the Saxons rose again and the princes refused obedience unless Henry was reconciled to the Pope. He submitted to the Pope at Canossa in 1077. In 1080 he was again excommunicated; he set up an antipope who crowned him Emperor in 1084.
Subjects: History — Christianity.