Episode 81 – The King in Brackets

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If you have only listened to the last 5 episodes or so, you may be wondering whether this is really the History of the Germans or whether you have accidentally stumbled into A History of Italy minus the eloquence and humour of Mike Corradi. So today we will leave the shores of the Mediterranean to travel up north, though not with a train of mules carrying gold and silver, camels, dromedaries, leopards and apes as Fredrick II did in 1235. The reason for that journey was nowhere near as joyous as the display of wealth and exotic animals suggests. It is a tale of a father and son relationship that went disastrously wrong…

But let me not spoil this amazing story for you yet.


Hello and welcome to the History of the Germans: Episode 81 – The King in Brackets

If you have only listened to the last 5 episodes or so, you may be wondering whether this is really the History of the Germans or whether you have accidentally stumbled into A History of Italy minus the eloquence and humour of Mike Corradi. So today we will leave the shores of the Mediterranean to travel up north, though not with a train of mules carrying gold and silver, camels, dromedaries, leopards and apes as Fredrick II did in 1235. The reason for that journey was nowhere near as joyous as the display of wealth and exotic animals suggests. It is a tale of a father and son relationship that went disastrously wrong…

But let me not spoil this amazing story for you yet.

Before we start, I will today not remind you that the History of the Germans is advertising free thanks to the generous support of my patrons. You probably know this by now. What you will also know is that very occasionally I highlight other history podcasts I enjoy, and I think you may enjoy too. One of those is Anglo Saxon England by Tom Kearns. Tom is a fully fledged academic with an Oxbridge background and a phd in Anglo-Saxon History. But do not let that stop you from listening. He is an excellent narrator who brings the stories to life and is the only one who made me finally understand how all these little English kingdoms all link up. If you like following the journey of a podcaster from the beginning, Tom is your man. He is on episode 28, so you can easily catch up. His podcast is called Anglo-Saxon England by Tom Kearns.

Anglo-Saxon England | Podcast on Spotify

Last week we took a possibly too detailed look at the Constitutions of Melfi, Frederick II’s great lawbook. I apologise if that was dragging on a bit, but I am a lawyer by training and I cannot help myself.

If law is not your thing and you have skipped after 10 minutes, here is the bit you need to remember. By 1231 Frederick II had made Sicily into a state where according to his enemy Pope Gregory IX “no man can raise a hand or a foot without Imperial consent”. He had brought peace and justice to his kingdom and was collecting taxes to fund his bureaucracy and armies.  In other words, his Kingdom of Sicily was as stable and as well managed as it could ever be. He now had the bandwidth to take charge of Imperial affairs. And the empire meant two things, Northern Italy and its Lombard league was one part, and the realm north of the Alps a second one. It is the latter he was most concerned with in the first half of this decade.

Frederick had left Germany in 1220 and for the last decade had left his eldest son and heir, Henry in charge. Henry had been elected and crowned as King of the Romans, the title an emperor acquired before imperial coronation in Rome.

Henry was born in 1211 in Sicily. His mother was Constance of Aragorn, the first wife of Frederick II. He was just a year old when he was crowed king of Sicily as had been requested by pope Innocent III. 5 years later, he is now just 6 years old, Frederick called him and his mother up to Germany.

We know nothing about the relationship between father and son in these four years from 1216 to 1220 the only significant amount of time they will ever spend together. His parents were probably not on brilliant terms. Frederick never had much regard for his wives. You may remember that previous emperors like Otto the Great, Otto II, Henry II and Konrad II granted their wives significant roles at court and describing them in their charters as “sharing in the imperial authority”. Barbarossa did not go that far but still recognised his wife Beatrix’s importance as an imperial prince and the mother of his children. Frederick II did take an almost oriental approach to his wives. Constance’s successors were often confined to the women’s quarters of the palace, rarely seen and certainly without any political influence. Constance had been a bit better off, probably because she was much older when she married 16-year-old Frederick and came with important political connections.

But that did not stop Frederick from maintaining liaisons with a string of women and fathering a whole brace of illegitimate children.  These children and mistresses lived at court which may have impinged on marital harmony. Whether that affected Henry, we do not know.

When his father finally set off for Italy in 1220, he left Henry behind to be brought up by imperial princes loyal to the Hohenstaufen cause. The first of those was bishop Engelbert of Cologne.  

How much time he spent educating young Henry is again unclear, nor what kind of emotional support he received Engelbert was a busy man. He was a member of the family of the counts of Berg whose main residence was confusingly called Schloss Burg, which translates as castle castle. If you have grown up near Dusseldorf as I have, chances are you have made a school trip to castle castle, which is another 19th century reconstruction of dubious accuracy.

 Engelbert was a typical member  of the 13th century imperial high aristocracy – well versed in weaponry, ambitious and not much interested in pastoral care.

He was pursuing a policy all of his fellow imperial princes were following at the time, something called territorialisation. What that meant is basically an extension of princely power not just horizontally by acquiring more territory but vertically, i.e., consolidating and deepening their influence. Engelbert systematically pulled in rights and privileges that had been held by vassals or Ministeriales and transferred the, into direct archepiscopal control. You remember in the 10th century it was common that multiple institutions would hold rights in the same territory. Say the count as a royal vassal would be in charge of justice, most of the land was held by another aristocrat as his private, allodial possession. The bridge and its tolls were owned by the bishop, whilst the monastery operated the mills. Coins in use may be from the royal mint or from a completely different prince. Equally a fourth one would have the right to claim tariffs for transport on the river whilst the local bishop would refuse to pay any taxes or tolls based again on royal privileges.  What the imperial princes have been doing these last 200 years and will continue to do over the next 500 is to consolidate all these individual rights and privileges until there is only one authority in each area.

That creates conflict. The local aristocrats were not happy being sucked underneath the control of an imperial prince. The same goes for the Ministeriales who by now barely remember their servile status and have become almost indistinguishable from knights and other non-princely aristocrats. And the other group unhappy with this were the cities. Though most of them had been founded by imperial princes, by the 13th century they were increasingly rubbing up against the tightening territorial powers. As the century progresses fee imperial cities emerge who, like imperial princes, are only subject to imperial vassalage and refute any interference by territorial lords. The city leagues are beginning to emerge, the most famous of which will be the Hanseatic League. For the major cities that had been the seat of a bishop, this creates an additional layer of conflict. We already heard about the City of Cologne occasionally pursuing its own political objectives that did not always match those of the archbishop. But for now the archbishop can still reside in Cologne, not yet chucked out to live in Bonn.

Engelbert as I said was in the midst of all this. His policy to consolidate power in the Rhineland as well as in the duchy of Westphalia was no different to what others were doing. But he had the advantage of being the guardian of the young king and regent of the kingdom.

When I said he operated no different to his peers, I mean he was happy to employ military might to get what he wanted. He fought two feuds with the duke of Limburg over his family’s inheritance. As was typical at the time, the bloody conflict did not end with the defeat of either party, but with ritual reconciliation and compromise. The duke of Limburg and the archbishop embraced, and an agreement was signed whereby the duke got an annual subsidy and the right to inherit after Engelbert’s death, but the family lands were Engelbert’s for now. The use of brute force in the pursuit of territorial or financial gain was common and as we see from this, had limited downside for the main protagonists. Once military capacity was spent, the parties almost always reconciled and if anything may lose a little bit of their possessions.

Risks may be manageable for the principals in the conflicts, but they weren‘t zero. Sometimes even a mighty Archbishop and regent of the empire can fall victim to the reckless and brutal politics of the age. In 1225 one of the Engelbert‘s vassals, the count of Isenburg had decided to kidnap the archbishop, presumably to force him to concede on some contested issue. He and his men ambushed the prelate when he was travelling between Soest and Cologne. But things went wrong when the archbishop refused to come along quietly. Engelbert was nearly six foot tall and well versed in the use of weapons. The count lost control of the situation and his Ministeriales cut down the archbishop. Later forensic analysis of his bones showed that he received more than 50 blows with sharp metal objects. That was sufficiently bad behaviour to bring about repercussions for the count who was caught and beheaded. Engelbert – as you would expect – became a saint, at least in Cologne.

Thus ended the first period of guardianship for young Henry.  

Henry was now 14 years old. At that age his father had taken personal responsibility of the kingdom of Sicily. Henry might have expected something similar, at least a transition towards personal rule with a less intrusive guardianship. But that was not forthcoming. Instead his father appointed Ludwig, duke of Bavaria as the new guardian and regent. You may remember him. He is the same Ludwig who did move across to the papal side in 1228 and ended up defeated by young Henry, only to die under mysterious circumstances 2 years later.

Henry was not happy about having another guardian, nor was he delighted when his father arranged for him to marry Margaret, a daughter of the duke of Austria who was seven years his senior.

When Henry’s minority formally ended in 1228, the relationship between father and son wasn’t off to a good start. It improved a bit when Henry defeated Ludwig of Bavaria in 1229 thereby significantly improving Frederick’s position vis-a-vis the pope. But things will get difficult soon.

I gave you all this rundown about Engelbert not just because it reminded me of a rain sodden afternoon in my childhood trotting up to Castle Castle with my schoolmates, at least one of whom I think listens to the podcast – Hi Ulf.

The reason we went through that is to show how Henry’s view of the political realities of his kingdom was shaped. Henry had grown up as a German prince, not just that but as the elected and crowned king of the Romans and future emperor. His tutors will have told him about the lives of all the Henries before him. Henry the Fowler who had brought the fragmented kingdom back together, Henry II who built a kingdom of god, Henry IV who fought and fought and fought against the princely overreach, Henry V who had concluded the concordat of Worms that had given him at least some influence on the bishops, a right lost since his father traded it for his election, and his grandfather Henry VI who had set off for Sicily hoping to gain the resources needed to force the German princes into submission.

And outside his window he sees first-hand what has become of the empire. Imperial princes were filching more and more of royal lands. The revenues of the king had dwindled as tolls, tariffs and mints had moved from the royal purse to the counts, dukes and bishops. No longer could a ruler call upon the knights of the realm to ride against his foes,, no, he had to ask the imperial princes to provide these forces. Most vassals only swore an oath to their territorial lord, not to the king any more.

Meanwhile in neighbouring France the king had first consolidated most of the former Angevin empire and was busy wiping out the counts of Toulouse in the south. In France every subject was swearing fealty to the king – except obviously in the lands the king of England still possessed.

Henry believed that it was in his job description to bring the kingdom back together, to consolidate royal powers and become a new Henry the Fowler or Barbarossa. He even had an idea how to do it.

He had natural allies, the cities, the lower nobility and the Ministeriales. All these people who were losing out in the drive towards territorialisation. The problem with these allies was that they were individually not very powerful. Henry had resources of his own, the duchy of Swabia and the family lands in Alsace and along the Main River all the way into Bohemia. After the fall of Henry the Lion, he was individually the most powerful of the territorial lords.

But that was not enough. He needed some allies, some bishops, some dukes, margraves, landgraves you name it.

Now these guys had zero incentive to sign up to a political program that was trying to roll back all the gains these guys had made since the death of Henry VI. In fact it was near suicidal to sign up for such a policy. Territorialisation was entirely binary. Either you and your clan became the territorial ruler or the subject of a territorial ruler. Any family that did not make it to imperial prince by 1250 disappeared from the frontline of German politics for good.

But the princes had an Achilles heel, money. Most of them were perennially broke. Being a territorial lord is expensive business. First up there is the need for bling. The princes would compete over who had the most splendid courts. In Marburg, Mainz, Cologne or Vienna an endless sequence of tournaments, feasts and festivals displayed the power and importance of the local lord. Knights would relish in the opportunities to display chivalric valour and courtly love. Men and women wore increasingly tight clothes, and the men in particular went on to display their shapely legs by cutting open their trouser legs. A well-formed quad muscle was the sixpack of the 13th century. And the girls were equally willing to display their assets in ever more daring garb.

And before you think medieval love was all platonic longing, playing the harp below a tower and dying in defence of the honour of a aiden, here are some verses from Walter von der Vogelweide:

Under the linden tree

on the heath,

where we shared a bed,

there you may find

beautiful to look at,

broken flowers and grass.

Near the forest in a vale,


beautiful sang the nightingale.

I came to meet him

in that meadow,

there my beloved had come before me.

such I was received –

Oh Queen of Heavan! -,

that I would be blessed forever.

Did he kiss me? – Probably a thousand times and some!


look how red my mouth is!

If someone knew

He lay with me

God forbid! – for shame I’d die

What we did together,

I don’t want anyone to know

Except for him and me

and a little bird,

tandaradei –

but he won’t tell.

That frill was however not the biggest expense. That was the cost of acquisition of new territories, rights and privileges. Sometimes it was done by force which required the hiring of mercenaries or at least the cost of keeping the Ministeriales and vassals supplied. In other cases it was simple outright purchase.

On occasion, say a juice deal comes available or a rival invades your territory, money needed to be mobilised quickly. The only ones who could do that were money men from the Italian cities, from Bologna, Florence, Lucca or Asti. They had learned about money transfer during the crusades when princes and knights needed to have funds sent through from home. This infrastructure and experience with bills of exchange and pledges of lands and assets were now put to good use. The bankers offered ready access to money to any prince happy to pay extortionate interest and pledge their property. Lending to the spiritual lords, the bishops and abbots was particularly attractive. Under church law a priest could only borrow with the consent of the pope since the security was unalienable church land. Lenders would demand the papal authorisation and usually a commitment that the whole church would pay the debt and that in case of failure to pay the pope would automatically excommunicate the borrower. That made loans to bishops and archbishops cheaper, but at the same time the bishops and archbishops became more and more dependent upon the pope.

The counter to that rise in papal influence would have been imperial money. Sicily was enormously rich and with this money a king of the Romans could have bought himself enough bankrupt princes to roll back the tide.

That was the plan. Bring together the lower nobles, the cities and buy some imperial princes with Sicilian money and roll back the last 20 years of declining imperial authority.

That was a sound plan. Any emperor who had grown up North of the Alps, a Barbarossa or a Henry IV would have looked to implement such a plan. Form where they came from, it made sense.

But there is the problem with this plan though. Frederick II was the emperor, and he was not an emperor who had grown up in the German lands. He did not share this world view and had a different set of priorities.

When Frederick had first come to Germany in 1212, his main objective was to prevent any future attacks on his kingdom of Sicily. The crown as king of the Romans was in his eyes more of an insurance policy than a central tenet of his policy.

This perspective shifted after his coronation as emperor and the reorganisation of Sicily. With his position in Southern Italy now secured he could direct his ambition towards imperial matters. When he thought about empire, he did not see Otto the Great, Henry III and Barbarossa, he saw Caesar, Augustus, Trajan, and Constantine. In his view, the emperor is not just the ruler of three kingdoms, Germany, Italy and Burgundy, but the emperor is the monarch who rules over all the world and all the other monarchs, the reguli, the little kings.

There are two swords granted by god, the spiritual sword the one made of words and sacraments that is to be wielded by the pope and then there is the temporal sword, the one made from iron, to be gipped firmly by an emperor. This concept may be ancient and broadly in line with church doctrine. But by 1230 the popes had moved on from there to a notion that the spiritual power of the church stands above the temporal rule and that kings and emperors are to take orders from them.

If Frederick wanted to make his vision real, conflict with the papacy was inevitable. Frederick knew that. And he also knew that the key to this conflict lay in Italy, now that Sicily was his, in Northern Italy. The imperial hold on northern Italy had weakened since the days of Henry VI. Under his father the relationship between the empire and the Lombard League had been almost cordial. After all, Henry VI celebrated his marriage in Milan. But that is now 35 years ago. In the meantime, the Lombard cities had stopped paying the agreed imperial taxes and returned to their previous pastime of endless internecine warfare.

Internally the Italian cities were riven with factions, the Ghibellines and the Guelfs. The Ghibellines were socially members of the city aristocracy. Not the aristocracy of money, it w the land-owning aristocracy who in Italy lived inside the cities in their enormous noble towers. They were broadly supportive of the emperor. The Guelfs were recruited mostly from the emerging class of merchants and bankers. They were loyal to the pope, not for particular religious reasons, but because the church was not only rich but also a heavy user of the emerging banking industry. The papacy would play these factions by awarding their business to merchants in Guelf cities and withdrawing it from cities that had shifted back to the Ghibellines.

If Frederick wanted to control the pope, he needed to support the Ghibellines, politically, financially and, above all, militarily. Militarily he could count on his Sicilian army, but that was not enough. He needed reinforcements from the North. He needed the Imperial Princes. They were the only nes who could muster a few thousand knights to help his campaigns in Lombardy. The last thing he wanted was the princes to be tied up in a protracted struggle with his son. It simply was not the right time to fight for royal rights in Germany. Italy first, Germany second. As far as Frederick was concerned, Henry should put his ambitions on the back burner and work to support his father.

But neither of them seems to have comprehended the other’s position. They had not seen each other since Henry was 9 years old. He did not know him, did not know his friends or what he thought about the world.

And then there is the language issue. Henry spoke German not as his mother tongue in the formal sense of the word since his mother was Spanish, but it was the language he had used since adolescence, the language he operated in daily.  Frederick’s main language, the language he used in his poetry was Sicilian Italian. Formal letters between the two were likely in Latin if produced by their respective chancellors. One can assume that some things were simply lost in translation.

The imperial princes were quickly wizening up to the fact that father and son were at odds about strategy. So when Henry clamped down on their position, they simply wrote to Frederick, and he reversed his son’s decision.

This was humiliating for Henry who was after all a king, and not any odd king, but the king of the Romans and the future emperor. His authority was being eroded by his own father, a father who he believed simply did not understand the situation in Germany and what was needed to bring the empire back to its former glory. Meanwhile the father despaired of the son, who was unable to see the bigger picture, who could not get his head around the fact that Germany was only one part of the all-encompassing empire, and that the battlefield was Lombardy.

The next humiliation for Henry came when he tried to divorce his wife, the daughter of the Austrian duke in order to marry Agnes of Bohemia. His father denied him that because he needed Austria for his plans in Italy, whilst he had no use for Bohemia.

Whilst Henry’s relationship with his father is gradually deteriorating, his position vis-à-vis the princes is collapsing. In 1230 he granted wide ranging autonomy to the cities, in particular to elect their city council without having to seek permission from the bishop or secular territorial lord and to form city leagues. In January 1231 at a royal assembly the princes came together and issued a verdict, rendering Henry’s previous grant null and void. They banned the cities from forming associations and made the members of the city councils dependent upon prior approval of the lord.

That verdict was then written up and issued by the royal chancellery as as if it had come from henry himself. Henry was seemingly unable to prevent this from happening, though I could not find a detailed explanation why and how.

Emboldened by their success, in May 1231 the princes did the same thing again, but now went for the whole gambit. Once again, they made Henry (VII) issue a royal charter, a charter that transfers all remaining regalia, i.e., the right to issue coins, to demand tariffs and tolls, to hold court, to build castles or to found new cities to the princes. The ecclesiastical princes already enjoyed such rights thanks to Frederick’s golden bull from 1220.

And it may be true that most of the temporal princes held similar rights before on the basis of individual privileges, but with this decision, every imperial prince automatically enjoys what is essentially freedom from imperial interference. the emperor recedes from direct ruler to a mediated ruler who acts through the imperial princes. For Henry this was a political catastrophe, and he blamed his father’s reluctance to support him for it.

For December 1131 Frederick calls an imperial assembly in Ravenna, inviting all his vassals in Italy, Burgundy and Germany to come together. Only a few princes show up since Verona had closed the Brenner pass. But what infuriated Frederick II most was that his son did not come, indeed did not even make an effort to come down.

Frederick has to set a new date for the royal assembly, this time in Aquilea, much closer to Germany. He makes it abundantly clear that he expects his son to put in an appearance.

Henry cannot hold out any longer and indeed shows up in Northern Italy. There he is subjected to more humiliation. He is not allowed to enter the city of Aquilea before he has publicly asked his father for forgiveness and after swearing total obedience to him. Frederick renews the ordinance from 1231 that granted the territorial princes the freedom to do as they liked within their territory. Henry has to swear to treat the princes as “lights and protectors of the empire” and “apples of the emperor’s eye”. To round it all up, he makes Henry write to the pope that if he should in any way disrespect his fathers’ wishes, the pope was to automatically excommunicate him.

Henry is 20-years-old. What do you think a 20-yearold does after treatment like that? Exactly.  “apples of my fathers eye – you got it coming”.

Henry goes back to Germany, tears up all the ordinances he did not like, grants the citizens of Worms the right to form a city council and to enter into leagues of cities if they so wished.

Bang, automatic excommunication. In turn Henry goes into outright rebellion. He has some friends amongst the bishops, a smattering of princes some cities and members of the lower nobility join him. Not exactly the greatest of rebellions, but not nothing. He treats it as a feud, as a message to his father that his treatment is unacceptable. At no point was he realistically able to overthrow his father.

When his father does not yield to what he believes are his rightful demands, he has to up the ante. He thrusts a knife into the heart of his father’s policies; he forms an alliance with the Lombard League.

That is it. In 1235 Frederick II comes to Germany to sort this out. Did he take an army to subdue his rebellious son? No. As the chronicler said, “he progressed with the utmost pomp, many chariots followed him laden with gold and silver, with byssus and with purple, with gems and costly vessels. He had with him camels, dromedaries, apes and leopards, with Saracens and dark-skinned Ethiopians skilled in arts of many kinds, who served as guards for his money and his treasure”.

He had barely crossed into Bavaria before the German princes flocked to his banner. Whether they were in awe of the display of his menagerie and the exotic attendants or more likely the lure of gold and silver, they hoped would replenish their empty coffres, we leave to history.

Suffice to say Henry’s rebellion collapsed within days and he had to sue for his father’s forgiveness. Being brought up in the German society of the 13th century, he expected his father to sternly reprimand him and then make him undergo a ritual submission. But once that is done he will be left in peace and position afterwards, right? That is how conflict resolution was done in the German lands ever since time immemorial. You remember Otto the great not just forgiving his brother Henry two rebellions and an assassination attempt but making him duke of Bavaria. Even Konrad II, the most warlike of emperors forgave his son Henry III his disobedience.

Henry attempted to throw himself at his father’s feet at the Pfalz in Wimpfen. But he he was not let into the imperial presence. Instead he was carried along to Worms as a prisoner. There in Worms, after a few days in confinement he was finally led into the audience hall. Now he threw himself on the floor crying and begging for forgiveness for his sins.  His father did not move a muscle. He left his son lying there. Second stretched into minutes. The German nobles watched in bewilderment. The normal process was for the emperor to allow his son to rise again. But no.  Finally some of the princes could not stand it any longer that their king was still prostrate and intervened on his behalf.  After even more delay his father finally gave him the order to stand up. Henry again begged forgiveness, promised to give up all his possessions and renounce the crown for now and for ever.

Another, final misunderstanding. In Southern Italy there was only one resolution for high treason, death. Henry’s alliance with the Lombard League, that was high treason. And Frederick was a Sicilian who will apply Sicilian justice.

The verdict was High Treason. Only Henry’s renunciation of the crown saved his life. Frederick was prepared to commute his sentence from death to life imprisonment. Henry was brought to Sicily, first to a castle near Melfi, 6 years later he was moved to Nicastro. There he fell ill with disease probably leprosy. In 1242 during another transfer Henry rode his horse over a cliff. He was 30 years of age. He was buried in the church of Cosenza in a marble sarcophagus, clad in a shroud of gold and silver into which eagles’ feathers were woven. A Franciscan preached the final sermon and chose as his text: And Abraham stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son”.

Frederick mourned his son’s death. In the letter ordering the details of the funeral he wrote: quote “The pity of a tender father must yield to the judgement of the stern judge; we mourn the doom of our first-born. Nature bids flow the flood of tears, but they are checked by the pain of injury and the inflexibility of justice” end quote.

Did he have a choice to forgive his son? One would have thought so given other examples where forgiveness had worked. But for that Frederick would have had to understand and trust his son, and his son would have had to grasp his father’s strategy. But they did not. And now one of them is dead. So dead, he is almost written out of history. Numerically he would have been Henry VII, but there is another Henry VII in the early 14th century. So this Henry is known as Henry der Klammersiebte, Henry VII (in brackets), a name most appropriate for his position, bracketed in between the imperial princes and his father, his ambition and his inability to communicate it.

Next week we will talk a bit more about the impact this privilege to the princes had on the constitution of the Holy Roman empire. Plus Frederick issues some more laws, makes an interesting verdict and marries an English Rose that he will send into his harem to wither away like her predecessors. I hope you will join us again.

Before I go, let me thank all of you who are supporting the show, in particular the Patrons who have kindly signed up on patreon.com/historyofthegermans. It is thanks to you this show does not have to do advertising for matrasses or as I recently heard energy supplements and pension plans. If Patreon isn’t for you, another way to help the show is sharing the podcast directly or boosting its recognition on social media. If you share, comment or retweet a post from the History of the Germans it is more likely to be seen by others, hence bringing in more listeners. My most active places are Twitter @germanshistory and my Facebook page History of the Germans Podcast. As always, all the links are in the show notes.   

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