ENZIO (c.1220-1272), king of Sardinia, was a natural son of the emperor Frederick II. His mother was probably a German, and his name, Enzio, is a diminutive form of the German Heinrich. His father had a great affection for him, and he was probably present at the battle of Cortenuova in 1237. In 1238 he was married, in defiance of the wishes of Pope Gregory IX., to Adelasia, widow of Ubaldo Visconti and heiress of Torres and Gallura in Sardinia. Enzio took at once the title of king of Torres and Gallura, and in 1243 that of king of Sardinia, but he only spent a few months in the island, and his sovereignty existed in name alone. In July 1239 he was appointed imperial vicegerent in Italy, and sharing in his father's excommunication in the same year, took a prominent part in the war which broke out between the emperor and the pope. He commenced his campaign by subduing the march of Ancona, and in May 1241 was in command of the forces which defeated the Genoese fleet at Meloria, where he seized a large amount of booty and captured a number of ecclesiastics who were proceeding to a council summoned by Gregory to Rome. Later he fought in Lombardy. In 1248 he assisted Frederick in his vain attempt to take Parma, but was wounded and taken prisoner by the Bolognese at Fossalta on the 26th of May 1249. His captivity was a severe blow to the Hohenstaufen cause in Italy, and was soon followed by the death of the emperor. He seems to have been well treated by the people of Bologna, where he remained a captive until his death on the 14th of March 1272. He was apparently granted a magnificent funeral, and was buried in the church of St Dominic at Bologna. During his imprisonment Enzio is said to have been loved by Lucia da Viadagola, a well-born lady of Bologna, who shared his captivity and attempted to procure his release. Some doubt has, however, been cast upon this story, and the same remark applies to another which tells how two friends had almost succeeded in freeing him from prison concealed in a wine-cask, when he was recognized by a lock of his golden hair. His marriage with Adelasia had been declared void by the pope in 1243, and he left one legitimate, and probably two illegitimate daughters. Enzio forms the subject of a drama by E.B.S. Raupach and of an opera by A.F.B. Dulk.
See F.W. Grossman, König Enzio (Göttingen, 1883); and H. Blasius, König Enzio (Breslau, 1884).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)