HOHENSTAUFEN, the name of a village and ruined castle near Lorsch in Swabia, now in the kingdom of Wiirttemberg, which gave its name to a celebrated Swabian family, members of which were emperors or German kings from 1138 to 1208, and again from 1214 to 1254. The earliest known ancestor was Frederick, count of Biiren (d. 1094), whose son Frederick built a castle at Staufen, or Hohenstaufen, and called himself by this name. He was a firm supporter of the emperor Henry IV., who rewarded his fidelity by granting him the dukedom of Swabia in 1079, and giving him his daughter Agnes in marriage. In 1081 he remained in Germany as Henry's representative, but only secured possession of Swabia after a struggle lasting twenty years. In 1105 Frederick was succeeded by his son Frederick II., called the One-eyed, who, together with his brother Conrad, afterwards the German king Conrad III., held south-west Germany for their uncle the emperor Henry V. Frederick inherited the estates of Henry V. in 1125, but failed to secure the throne, and took up an attitude of hostility towards the new emperor, Lothair the Saxon, who claimed some of the estates of the late emperor as crown property. A war broke out and ended in the complete submission of Frederick at Bamberg. He retained, however, his dukedom and estates. In 1138 Conrad of Hohenstaufen was elected German king, 1 He protested against the passport system as likely to lead to a war with France, for which he preferred not to be responsible (Letter to Wilmowski, Denkw. ii. 433), but on the chancellor taking full responsibility consented to retain office.
and was succeeded in 1152, not by his son but by his nephew Frederick Barbarossa, son of his brother Frederick (d. 1147). Conrad's son Frederick inherited the duchy of Franconia which his father had received in 1115, and this was retained by the Hohenstaufen until the death of Duke Conrad II. in 1 196. In 1152 Frederick received the duchy of Swabia from his cousin the German king Frederick I., and on his death in 1167 it passed successively to Frederick's three sons Frederick, Conrad and Philip. The second Hohenstaufen emperor was Frederick Barbarossa's son, Henry VI., after whose death a struggle for the throne took place between Henry's brother Philip, duke of Swabia, and Otto of Brunswick, afterwards the emperor Otto IV. Regained for the Hohenstaufen by Henry's son, Frederick II., in 1214, the German kingdom passed to his son, Conrad IV., and when Conrad's son Conradin was beheaded in Italy in 1268, the male line of the Hohenstaufen became extinct. Daughters of Philip of Swabia married Ferdinand III., king of Castile and Leon, and Henry II., duke of Brabant, and a daughter of Conrad, brother of the emperor Frederick I., married into the family of Guelph. The castle of Hohenstaufen was destroyed in the 16th century during the Peasants' War, and only a few fragments now remain.
See F. von Raumer, Geschichte der Hohenstaufen und ihrer Zeil (Leipzig, 1878); B. F. W. Zimmermann, Geschichte der Hohenstaufen (Stuttgart, 1st ed., 1838; 2nd ed., 1865); F. W. Schirrmacher, Die letzten Hohenstaufen (Gottingen, 1871).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)