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Philip, German King

PHILIP, GERMAN KING (c. 1177-1208), German king and duke of Swabia, the rival of the emperor Otto IV., was the fifth and youngest son of the emperor Frederick I. and Beatrix, daughter of Renaud III., count of Upper Burgundy, and consequently brother of the emperor Henry VI.. He entered the church, was made provost of Aix-la-Chapelle, and in 1190 or 1191 was chosen bishop of Wurzburg. Having accompanied his brother Henry to Italy in 1191, Philip forsook his ecclesiastical calling, and, travelling again to Italy, was made duke of Tuscany in 1195 and received an extensive grant of lands. In 1196 he became duke of Swabia, on the death of his brother Conrad; and in May 1197 he married Irene, daughter of the eastern emperor, Isaac Angelus, and widow of Roger II., king of Sicily, a lady who is described by Walther von der Vogelweide as " the rose without a thorn, the dove without guile." Philip enjoyed his brother's confidence to a very great extent, and appears to have been designated as guardian of the young Frederick, afterwards the emperor Frederick II., in case of his father's early death. In 1197 he had set out to fetch Frederick from Sicily for his coronation when he heard of the emperor's death and returned at once to Germany. He appears to have desired to protect the interests of his nephew and" to quell the disorder which arose on Henry's death, but events were too strong for him. The hostility to the kingship of a child was growing, and after Philip had been chosen as defender of the empire during Frederick's minority he consented to his own election. He was elected German king at Muhlhausen on the 8th of March 1198, and crowned at Mainz on the 8th of September following. Meanwhile a number of princes hostile to Philip, under the leadership of Adolph, archbishop of Cologne, had elected an anti-king in the person of Otto, second son of Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony. In the war that followed, Philip, who drew his principal support from south Germany, met with considerable success. In 1199 he received further accessions to his party and carried the war into his opponent's territory, although unable to obtain the support of Pope Innocent III., and only feebly assisted by his ally Philip Augustus, king of France. The following year was less favourable to his arms; and in March 1201 Innocent took the decisive step of placing Philip and his associates under the ban, and began to work energetically in favour of Otto. The two succeeding years were still more unfavourable to Philip. Otto, aided by Ottakar I., king of Bohemia, and Hermann I., landgrave of Thuringia, drove him from north Germany, thus compelling him to seek by abject concessions, but without success, reconciliation with Innocent. The submission to Philip of Hermann of Thuringia in 1204 marks the turning-point of his fortunes, and he was soon joined by Adolph of Cologne and Henry I., duke of Brabant. -On the 6th of January 1205 he was crowned again with great -ceremony by Adolph at Aix-la-Chapelle, though it was not till 1 207 that his entry into Cologne practically brought the war to a close. A month or two later Philip was loosed from the papal ban, and in March 1208 it seems probable that a treaty was concluded by which a nephew of the pope was to marry one of Philip's daughters and to receive the disputed dukedom of Tuscany. Philip was preparing to crush the last flicker of the rebellion in Brunswick when he was murdered at Bamberg, on the 21st of June 1208, by Otto of Wittelsbach, count palatine in Bavaria, to whom he had refused the hand of one of his daughters. He left no sons, but four daughters; one of whom, Beatrix, afterwards married his rival, the emperor Otto IV. Philip was a brave and handsome man, and contemporary writers, among whom was Walther von der Vogelweide, praise his mildness and generosity.

See W. von Giesebrecht, Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit, Bd. V. (Leipzig, 1888); E. Winkelmann, Philipp von Schwaben and Otto IV. von Braunschweig (Leipzig, 1873-1878); O. Abel, Konig Philipp der Hohenstaufen (Berlin, 1852) ; Regesta imperil. V., edited by J. Ficker (Innsbruck, 1881); R- Schwemer, Innocenz III. und die deutsche Kirche wdhrend des Thronstreites von 11981208 (Strassburg, 1882); and R. Riant, Innocent III., Philippe de Souabe, et Boniface de Montferrat (Paris, 1875).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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