A gold augustalis bearing Frederick's effigy
Lombard standard bearer re-entering Milan in 1167 (the year of the League's foundation) after its destruction in 1162 by Emperor Frederick I. Bas-relief Porta Romana, Milan (1171)
A gold augustalis bearing Frederick's effigy
Member cities of the first and second Lombard League.
Arms of the House of Hohenstaufen.
Lombard milites depicted on the Porta Romana relief of 1171
Arms of the House of Hohenstaufen as Holy Roman Emperor.
A Bronze replica of the Peace of Constance in Konstanz. Illustrating the comunes of the Lombard League in 1183.
Frederick's birth in Jesi (illustration in Giovanni Villani's Nuova Cronica, ca. 1348)
Medieval miniature depicting the Battle of Cortenuova (1237)
Seals used by Frederick as Emperor (ed. Otto Posse 1909):
1: first imperial seal (1221–1225),
2: second imperial seal (1226),
3: third imperial seal, addition of the title of King of Jerusalem (1226–1250)
4: seal used in 1221 and 1225,
5: first seal as King of Jerusalem (1233).
Medieval miniature depicting the Battle of Parma (1248)
An augustale coin of Frederick II, from the Messina mint of Sicily, struck some time after 1231
Medieval miniature depicting the Battle of Fossalta (1249)
Frederick II (left) meets Al-Kamil (right). Nuova Cronica, c. 1348.
A statue of Frederick II from the Black Tower of Regensburg, c. 1280–1290.
The victorious Battle of Cortenuova against the 2nd Lombard League (1237), Nuova Cronica (c. 1348).
Frederick II's troops paid with leather coins during the sieges of Brescia and Faenza, Nuova Cronica (c. 1348).
Battle of Giglio, against Gregory IX (1241), miniature in Chronica Maiora (1259).
Contemporary bust of Frederick II in Barletta
Castel del Monte, in Andria, Apulia, Italy.
Frederick II being excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV
The porphyry sarcophagus of Frederick II in the Cathedral of Palermo
A 1781 picture showing the mummified corpse of Frederick II in Palermo
Stained glass windows from the Strasbourg Cathedral, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France, dated circa 1210–1270, depicting emperors of the Holy Roman Empire: Philip of Swabia, Henry IV, Henry V, and Frederick II

With the death of the third and last Hohenstaufen emperor, Frederick II, in 1250, it became obsolete and was disbanded.

- Lombard League

Those assembled responded with the reformation of the Lombard League, which had already defeated his grandfather Frederick Barbarossa in the 12th century, and again Milan was chosen as the league's leader.

- Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
A gold augustalis bearing Frederick's effigy

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A golden bust of Frederick I, given to his godfather Count Otto of Cappenberg in 1171. It was used as a reliquary in Cappenberg Abbey and is said in the deed of the gift to have been made "in the likeness of the emperor".

Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor

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The Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death 35 years later.

The Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death 35 years later.

A golden bust of Frederick I, given to his godfather Count Otto of Cappenberg in 1171. It was used as a reliquary in Cappenberg Abbey and is said in the deed of the gift to have been made "in the likeness of the emperor".
Crusaders besieging Damascus in 1148
13th-century stained glass image of Frederick I, Strasbourg Cathedral
Penny or denier with Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, struck in Nijmegen
Wax seal of Frederick I, used in the imperial residence of Pfalz Wimpfen
Frederick's so-called baptismal cup, silver, partly gilded, Aachen 1160
The Barbarossa Chandelier in Aachen Cathedral was donated by Frederick sometime after 1165 as a tribute to Charlemagne.
Frederick Barbarossa, middle, flanked by two of his children, King Henry VI (left) and Duke Frederick VI (right). From the Historia Welforum
The now secularised St Peter's Church at Petersberg Citadel, Erfurt, where Henry the Lion submitted to Barbarossa in 1181
Path of the Third Crusade, Frederick Barbarossa's path in red
Frederick Barbarossa depicted during the Third Crusade
Barbarossa drowns in the Saleph, from the Gotha Manuscript of the Saxon World Chronicle
A German expedition led by Johann Nepomuk Sepp to excavate the bones from the ruins of the Crusader Cathedral of Tyre, 1879
The Frederick Barbarossa Memorial, near Silifke in Mersin Province, southern Turkey. The text explains in Turkish and German how Frederick drowned nearby.
Frederick Barbarossa as a crusader, miniature from a copy of the Historia Hierosolymitana, 1188
Frederick sends out the boy to see whether the ravens still fly.
Pavia, Basilica of San Michele Maggiore, the five stones above which the throne was placed during coronation of Frederick I.

) He was opposed by the pro-papal Lombard League (now joined by Venice, Sicily and Constantinople), which had previously formed to stand against him.

A similar story, set in Sicily, was earlier attested about his grandson, Frederick II.

The Hohenstaufen Castle ruin

Hohenstaufen

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Noble family of unclear origin that rose to rule the Duchy of Swabia from 1079, and to royal rule in the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages from 1138 until 1254.

Noble family of unclear origin that rose to rule the Duchy of Swabia from 1079, and to royal rule in the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages from 1138 until 1254.

The Hohenstaufen Castle ruin
The Holy Roman Empire at its greatest extent in the middle 12th century under the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick I.
Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his sons King Henry VI and Duke Frederick V of Swabia, Welfenchronik, 1167/79, Weingarten Abbey
Frederick's Castel del Monte, in Andria, Apulia, Italy.
Frederick II with his falcon, from De arte venandi cum avibus, c. 1240, Vatican Library
A Staufer stele in Cheb, Czech Republic (2013)
Family tree of the Hohenstaufen emperors including their relation to succeeding dynasties
Seal of Henry II of Swabia (dated 1216) shows him as a mounted knight with a shield and banner displaying three leopards (three lions passant guardant)as the Hohenstaufen coat of arms; the three lions (later shown just passant) would later become known as the Swabian coat of arms.
Arms of the Hohenstaufen Sicily

The dynasty's most prominent rulers – Frederick I (1155), Henry VI (1191) and Frederick II (1220) – ascended the imperial throne and also reigned over Italy and Burgundy.

The Papacy and the prosperous city-states of the Lombard League in northern Italy were traditional enemies, but the fear of Imperial domination caused them to join ranks to fight Frederick.

Padua

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City and comune in Veneto, northern Italy.

City and comune in Veneto, northern Italy.

Remnants of Padua's Roman amphitheatre wall
The Botanical Garden of Padova today; in the background, the Basilica of Sant'Antonio
Tomb of Antenor
The unfinished façade of Padua Cathedral
Clock tower and Lion of St. Mark, symbol of the Serenissima Repubblic
Last Judgment by Giotto, part of the Scrovegni Chapel.
Palazzo della Ragione
Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico).
Street tram in Padua
This tempera, Two Christians before the Judges, hangs in the city's Cathedral.
The apse area of Santa Sofia.
The "Gran Guardia" loggia
Prato della Valle (detail)
Loggia Amulea, as seen from Prato della Valle
Torre degli Anziani as seen from Piazza della Frutta
The Astronomical clock as seen from Piazza dei Signori

The temporary success of the Lombard League helped to strengthen the towns.

In 1236 Frederick II found little difficulty in establishing his vicar Ezzelino III da Romano in Padua and the neighbouring cities, where he practised frightful cruelties on the inhabitants.

Bologna

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Capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy.

Capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy.

The iconic Due Torri
Porta Maggiore, one of the twelve medieval city gates of Bologna
Depiction of a 14th-century fight between the Guelf and Ghibelline factions in Bologna, from the Croniche of Giovanni Sercambi of Lucca
Bologna in 1640
Engraving of the city of Bologna from Leandro Alberti's History of Bologna, 1590, showing the two surviving towers and several others
Piazza del Nettuno in 1855, looking towards Piazza Maggiore
Sappers of the 136 Indian Railway Maintenance Company repair some of the extensive damage to the railyards in 1945.
Aftermath of the 1980 terrorist bombing
Aerial photograph of Bologna (from East to West).
Matteo Lepore, mayor of Bologna since 2021
Fiera District, seat of the regional government of Emilia-Romagna
Panoramic view of central Bologna
Piazza Maggiore, with San Petronio Basilica, Palazzo dei Banchi and Palazzo del Podestà
The colourful open-air market of Via Pescherie Vecchie
Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca
The icon of the Madonna di San Luca
View from the top of the Basilica di San Petronio: the dome of Santuario di Santa Maria della Vita dominates the foreground; the Asinelli (higher) and Garisenda towers ("Due Torri") are seen on the right.
Unipol Tower, at 127 m, is the city's tallest building.
A Trolleybus of the urban trolleybus network managed by TPER, photographed in Via Saffi
The University of Bologna is the world's oldest institution of higher learning, founded in AD 1088.
Anatomical theatre of the Archiginnasio, dating from 1637
The International museum and library of music displays ancient musical instruments and unique musical scores from the 16th to the 20th centuries.
Façade of Arena del Sole theatre
Tagliatelle al ragù bolognese, as served in Bologna
The 32,000-capacity Stadio Renato Dall'Ara is the home of Bologna FC 1909.
Pope Benedict XIV, born in Bologna in 1675

However, when Frederick Barbarossa subsequently attempted to strike down the deal, Bologna joined the Lombard League, which then defeated the imperial armies at the Battle of Legnano and established an effective autonomy at the Peace of Constance in 1183.

During a campaign to support the imperial cities of Modena and Cremona against Bologna, Frederick II's son, King Enzo of Sardinia, was defeated and captured on 26 May 1249 at the Battle of Fossalta.

Cremona

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City and comune in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po river in the middle of the Pianura Padana (Po Valley).

City and comune in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po river in the middle of the Pianura Padana (Po Valley).

City coat of arms of Cremona on the town hall
Cremona in the 17th century
Po river in Cremona in the 18th century
The Cathedral and the Baptistery of Cremona
Statue of Stradivari in Stradivari Square
Lady Blunt Stradivarius
City hall (Palazzo del Comune)
The Loggia dei Militi
Violin shop
Astronomical clock on the Torrazzo belltower

However, in 1167 the city changed sides and joined the Lombard League.

In 1232, Cremona allied itself with Emperor Frederick II, who was again trying to reassert the Empire's authority over Northern Italy.

16th century woodcut of Ezzelino III da Romano.

Ezzelino III da Romano

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Italian feudal lord, a member of the Ezzelino family, in the March of Treviso (in modern Veneto).

Italian feudal lord, a member of the Ezzelino family, in the March of Treviso (in modern Veneto).

16th century woodcut of Ezzelino III da Romano.
Activities of Ezzelino III da Romano.

He was a close ally of the emperor Frederick II (r. 1220–1250), and ruled Verona, Vicenza and Padua for almost two decades.

At this time control over Verona was important because Frederick II was in conflict with the Second Lombard League, an alliance of cities in Northern Italy.

Battle of Parma

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The Battle of Parma was fought on 18 February 1248 between the forces of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and the Lombard League.

Gregory IX in a manuscript miniature c. 1270

Pope Gregory IX

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Bishop of Rome and hence head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 March 1227 till his death.

Bishop of Rome and hence head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 March 1227 till his death.

Gregory IX in a manuscript miniature c. 1270

The doctrine then found its way into the doctrine of servitus camerae imperialis, or servitude immediately subject to the Emperor's authority, promulgated by Frederick II.

Gregory IX and Frederick came to a truce, but when Frederick defeated the Lombard League in 1239, the possibility that he might dominate all of Italy, surrounding the Papal States, became a very real threat.