Episode 92 – Papal Epilogue

Click here for links to Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other listening platforms
Apple PodcastsSpotifyAmazon MusicCastBoxOvercastPlayer.fmPodcast AddictGoogle PodcastsPocketCasts

The popes have won the 200-year fight with the emperors, first the Salians and then the Hohenstaufen. A total war that ended in total victory. The imperial family of the Henrys of Waiblingen has been annihilated either in battle, through illness or at a last resort by execution. The empire is reduced from dominating power in Europe to coordinating mechanism for the princes. How could anyone deny that, to use the words of pope Boniface VIII, “it is altogether necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff”.

Well, someone will deny that and six years after these words were uttered the church will march north into its Babylonian Captivity in Avignon. How did that happen? That is an even more intriguing question than how the Hohenstaufen could be wiped out.


Hello and welcome to the History of the Germans: Episode 92 – The Papal Epilogue

The popes have won the 200-year fight with the emperors, first the Salians and then the Hohenstaufen. A total war that ended in total victory. The imperial family of the Henrys of Waiblingen has been annihilated either in battle, through illness or at a last resort by execution. The empire is reduced from dominating power in Europe to coordinating mechanism for the princes. How could anyone deny that, to use the words of pope Boniface VIII, “it is altogether necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff”.

Well, someone will deny that and six years after these words were uttered the church will march north into its Babylonian Captivity in Avignon. How did that happen? That is an even more intriguing question than how the Hohenstaufen could be wiped out.

Before we start just a reminder. The History of the Germans Podcast is advertising free thanks to the generous support from patrons. And you can become a patron too and enjoy exclusive bonus episodes and other privileges from the price of a latte per month. All you have to do is sign up at patreon.com/historyofthegermans or on my website historyofthegermans.com. You find all the links in the show notes. And thanks a lot to Mark D., Leo von M. and Anthony B. who have already signed up.

And another thing. I am planning a Q&A session in about two weeks. So if you have any questions relating to the podcast, the history we have gone through these last two years or more general topics, just send them to me at historyofthegermans@gmail.com or on twitter @germanshistory or on my Facebook page History of the Germans Podcast.

Last week we ended the podcast on the death of Konradin, son of Konrad IV, last king of the Romans from the House of Hohenstaufen. With his end, any legitimate concept of a unity between empire and the regno of Sicily had vanished. The papacy rejoiced in the belief that from now on, no temporal power could encircle them. They are not only free of the antichrist and his hellish brood, but they had also won.

The 27-point papal program that Gregory VII had written up way back in the 1070s had become reality. The bishop of Rome was the undisputed leader of the church whose legates ranked above any bishop or abbot. Beyond the walls of the churches, the power of the pope requires the princes to kiss his feet. He has the right to depose kings and emperors. Remember that Gregory VII had written these assertions a mere 25 years after emperor Henry III had summarily dismissed three popes. When that was written, it was pure pie in the sky.

Let us just recap how the papacy had arrived at a point where the popes were seen as the spiritual and temporal leaders of western Europe.

It all starts with the economic boom that kicks in somewhere in the 10th century. As people find their basic needs for food, shelter and safety being covered, they are demanding more. Self-actualisation is what it is called in Mazlov’s pyramid of needs. And that meant they are looking for more than just existence but meaning and hope for the afterlife.

Access to paradise or at least a shortened period in purgatory depended on the sinner’s ability to obtain valid sacraments, specifically baptism, confession and the last rites. Which meant the quality of the clergy that administered these sacraments became a question of death and afterlife.

Initially the emperors had taken the lead in reforming the church. Otto III and Henry II, holy men themselves, saw their purpose in improving the spiritual wellbeing of their subjects, presumably more than their physical condition. Meanwhile the papacy was in utter disarray. Beholden to the aristocratic mob in Rome, the pontiff had little of what we call today soft power.

So up until Henry III the faithful looked to the emperors to deliver on the promise of sober, learned vicars who could administer valid sacraments.

This changed with the council of Sutri, where Henry III dismissed three popes, one a young aristocratic thug, the second a similar man just from a different clan and the third, who had bought the papacy from the first for cold hard cash. Henry III made the fateful mistake to replace these ineffectual frauds with competent churchmen from his imperial clergy.

His cousin Pope Leo IX took the lead in pulling the curia out of the well it had fallen into. He established the college of cardinals stuffed with again competent clerics from across Europe. He created the system of legates that conveyed papal policy far afield. And he defanged the Roman mob with the help of the emperor and powerful Northern Italian magnates.

Though Leo IX was at times disappointed with Henry III, the arrangement was pretty much a co-operation between the two where the pope was the junior partner. In the 11th century the idea that the pope would rank above the emperor would have sounded alien. The dominant cultural influence was the empire of Constantinople where the patriarch was clearly subject to imperial rule. The theological concept that underpinned that went back to pope Gelasius in the 5th century. Gelasius had suggested that God had granted the emperor the material sword, i.e., temporal power, whilst the bishops and above them the pope held the spiritual sword, the authority to bind and loose men from their sins. In Gelasius theory the pope was not superior to the emperor in the hear and now, but superior in the afterlife.

Looking back I believe that it wasn’t in 1077 that this system of dual responsibility broke down, but earlier, under the regency of empress Agnes. During the minority of Henry IV when Agnes was regent, the imperial control over the selection of the popes had been slipping. Agnes tried to re-establish the imperial prerogative and appointed Cadulus as antipope against Alexander II. That was a fatal mistake. Cadulus had been a reactionary who tried to roll back the church reform. Suddenly the imperial power was seen as hindering the one thing people wanted, i.e., a better clergy and hope focused on the popes. Anno of Cologne toppled Agnes by kidnapping young Henry IV at Kaiserswerth, recognised Alexander II and tried to get back in the lead on church reform, but it was too late. Anno opened the synod at Mantua as imperial representative but was quickly relegated to the back benches. The popes, specifically Gregory VII quickly took charge of all aspects of church reform, dispatched legates and tightened the reins over the bishops and monasteries. The boy-emperor and his deeply divided regency council was unable to push back.

By 1077 when it all comes to a head in Canossa, emperor and pope are no longer partners in a joint endeavour but established rivals. Europe now has two centres of power that both believed to be dominant and universal leaders of all of Christendom.

We have followed the ups and downs of the struggle over almost 50 episodes and we have seen how the popes have become stronger and stronger. There was Henry IV kneeling in the snow at Canossa, not the politically decisive moment, but one that lingered in the imagination for centuries to come. Lothar III being made a plaything of Bernard of Clairvaux and his pet pope Innocent II. Konrad III, another king put in place by papal machinations is followed by Barbarossa who has not much interest in theology or the quality of pastoral care but in gaining control of Northern Italy.

By 1150 it is no longer in dispute that the papacy is responsible for the spiritual wellbeing of their flock. That is on the one hand a huge source of authority, but it also means that they can be blamed for anything that fails to meet standards. And standards are constantly rising as more and more people can afford to care about their religion.

The popes end up having to fight on two fronts. On one side they have to deal with the rise of charismatic preachers who live a life of poverty, some they have condemned as heretics and others they co-opt as mendicant brothers like the Franciscans and Dominicans. On the other hand they are worried about the military and political power of the Hohenstaufen that is building up in Italy, threatening to encircle the church.

Innocent III opens up a new frontier when he assumes direct responsibility for the crusades, rather than being just an instigator and supporter .

A man like Innocent III may be able to juggle these three balls in the air without dropping any of them. But his successors cannot. And balls begin to drop. Sometimes as we have seen the popes allow Frederick to expand his power in exchange for a promise of going on crusade. But after the fifth crusade ends up unsatisfactory for both sides despite the recovery of Jerusalem, the priorities shift.

The popes retreat from the crusading movement in the Holy Land. Crusades become private projects of for instance King Louis IX of France and other important nobles with modest support from the popes.  

That makes the crusade against Frederick II such a watershed moment. The papacy is converting the major religious endeavour of the Middle Ages into a tool to further its political objectives. Men are offered absolution for killing Christian soldiers, money is gathered from the king of England, churches are taxed to fund mercenary armies to invade Sicily. The pope is no longer the institution that seeks the recovery of Jerusalem.

On the flipside they achieve their stated political objective in 1268. At least that is what it looks like. They have deposed both the imperial dynasty and the king of Sicily, the encirclement of the church is broken.

But in all that they have made two fatal mistakes, one political and one spiritual. One was to stray away from the reason they had been elevated to be universal ruler of Christendom in the first place, the promise of a reform of the church. The other mistake was their choice of champion for the crown of Sicily. Let’s start with the latter.

All good things come in threes as the Germans say, so let me repeat for the third time who Charles of Anjou is, he is one of the two most ambitious men in 13thcentury Europe. He has already risen from 11th son of Louis VIII to first count of the immensely rich county of Provence and now to King of the even richer regno of Sicily. Only a fool would expect him to stop there.

The popes did get a foretaste of Charles ambition when he came down to Rome in 1266. Though his deal with the pope explicitly prohibited him from taking any positions in Northern Italy or In the papal states, he accepted the title of senator of Rome, making him master of the Holy city. Shortly after taking over as king of Sicily he engaged himself in the Guelf-Ghibelline fighting in Tuscany which ended up him becoming podesta of Florence and Lucca. In subsequent years he brought all of Tuscany, even Siena and Pisa under his control.

This starts to look increasingly like an encirclement of the papacy. But it is worse than that for the popes. Other than Frederick II, Charles had also been able to gain control over at least parts of the college of cardinals. We are by now on our second French pope. The first had been Urban IV, the son of a cobbler from Troyes in Champagne. Urban had died in 1264 and was replaced by Clement IV, born in southern France, who had been the main sponsor of Charles campaign to conquer Sicily. Both Urban IV and Clement IV had added cardinals from back home so that the college was split roughly fifty-fifty between Italians and Frenchmen. The latter tended to support Charles of Anjou.

After Clement IV had died in 1268, a few months after the execution of Konradin, Charles had sufficient allies in the conclave that he could prevent the election of a new pope for a full three years. In these three years he expanded his position in Italy and had his back sufficiently covered that he could go gallivanting on crusade.

The ones who did not get covered were the cardinals. In 1271 the citizens of Viterbo, bored with the endless delays locked the cardinals into the papal palace and removed the roof. This ended the longest conclave in history, 1006 days. The new pope, Gregory X was, as it had to be, a compromise candidate. An Italian but an Italian who had spent most of his career in France, making him palatable to both sides.

Gregory X turned out not to be quite what Charles had ordered. The new pontiff organised a rapprochement between the Greek orthodox and the catholic church which removed any justification to attack Constantinople, something Charles very much wanted to do. He also reformed the process of the papal conclave and established the rules still in place today so as to avoid another 3 year vacancy of the throne of St. Peter. And he was the pope who received Marco Polo and his brother who had brought letters from Kublai Khan. Gregory X opens negotiations with the Mongols, and they send envoys to his council in Lyon in 1274 to negotiate military operations in the Middle East. So maybe Louis IX was not completely insane hoping for Mongol assistance during his crusade. Nothing came of it though, since Gregory X died in 1276.

Afterwards the church went through 4 more popes in as many years before in 1281 Charles got what he wanted, a French Pope. Pope Martin IV became the willing instrument of Charles’ ambitions. By now his plans had become a touch megalomaniac. He wanted to take a crusade into Constantinople to unseat the Greek orthodox emperor Michael Paleilogos. From there he would roll up the Greek islands and the coast of Asia Minor, assume the crown of Jerusalem and finally take Egypt and North Africa. Charles idea was to create a Mediterranean empire, even bigger than the one the Normans under Robert Guiscard and Roger II had dreamt of.

In 1282 he began assembling an army to put his plan into action. Pope Martin IV had ordered the clergy across Europe to preach the crusade against Constantinople. That great effort required as one would expect a great many gold coins. And where could those be collected? In the kingdom of Sicily of course where the bureaucracy and tax collection system of Frederick II was still very much alive and kicking.

The taxes raised to fund the expedition to Constantinople was not the first exceptional tax Charles had raised in his new kingdom and would not have been the last since his expedition was likely to take years. As we have heard many times before the Sicilians are less and less willing to accept the oppressive taxation. On top of that the home-grown aristocratic leadership of the country had been replaced by foreigners Frenchmen, Castilians and Provencals. The streets were patrolled by French-speaking soldiers. This combination of foreign oppression and excessive taxation created a powder keg. 

And that bomb went off on March 30th, 1282. A drunken French sergeant accosted a Sicilian lady outside the church of Santo Spirito in Palermo just as Vespers were about to begin. Her husband did not take it lightly and a fight ensued at the end of which the Frenchman laid dead.

Here is Steven Runciman’s description of what followed: “To the sound of the bells messengers ran through the city calling on the men of Palermo to rise against the oppressor. At once the streets were filled with angry armed men, crying “Death to the French” (“moranu li Francisi” in Sicilian language). Every Frenchman they met was struck down. They poured into the inns frequented by the French and the houses where they dwelt, sparing neither man, woman nor child. Sicilian girls who had married Frenchmen perished with their husbands. The rioters broke into the Dominican and Franciscan convents; and all the foreign friars were dragged out and told to pronounce the word “ciciri”, whose sound the French tongue could never accurately reproduce. Anyone who failed the test was slain… By the next morning some two thousand French men and women lay dead; and the rebels were in complete control of the city.” End quote. I apologise for the mispronounciation of Sicilian in this section – please do not kill me for that.

These were the famous Sicilian vespers, an event that put the fear of God into many European ruler who were all experimenting with taxation models.

Charles immediately mustered his army on the mainland and prepared to get his capital back. The rebels needed the help of a professional land force and most importantly a navy to repel their king who would have all of them hanged, drawn and quartered.

So they called upon king Peter III of Aragon for help. Peter not only had a formidable navy based in Barcelona and the Balearics, he also was the husband of Constance, the daughter of King Manfred of Sicily and granddaughter of Frederick II. Peter III and Constance arrived in Palermo in September and by October the last of the Angevin soldiers were driven from the island. That is the Hohenstaufen revenge I mentioned last week.

Now comes the interesting bit. Pope Martin IV excommunicated Peter of Aragon and put Sicily under interdict. That is something an Innocent III or Gregory IX would have never done. Charles of Anjou had become far, far too powerful. He had encircled the papal lands and he had even penetrated the college of cardinals. He was on the verge of acquiring a Mediterranean empire in which the pope would be nothing but his plaything. So by all accounts, the pope should have rejoiced at the Sicilian rebellion and the arrival of a new power that could keep the Angevins in check. But he did not. Because he could not wiggle out of his iron grip. Charles of Anjou had achieved what Frederick II never could have and may not even have wanted to, total control of the papacy.

Martin IV died in 1285. His successors, Honorius IV and Nicholas IV continued to prioritise the recovery of Sicily for the House of Anjou above all else. Not even the fall of Acre in 1291 that put an end to the crusader states in Outremer could shake their perceived mission to help Charles and now his successor, Charles II.

When Nicholas IV died, the cardinals, despite the new rules about papal conclaves had another serious round of disagreements about who should become pope now. The French majority in the college of cardinals that had prevailed earlier had succumbed to the climate and unfamiliar diseases so we are back to a fifty-fifty split.

For 27 months they debated before finally settling on one of the most unusual choices of pope well pretty much ever. Pietro del Morrone was an 85-year-old peasant who had lived for more than six decades as a hermit in the Abruzzi mountains. He had no experience with the curia or papal bureaucracy. He did neither read nor speak Latin. He had appeared once in the papal court of Gregory X where he allegedly hung up his coat on a sunbeam. If you have seen the hermit in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, that is Pietro del Morrone.

Nobody had asked him whether he was interested in the job and if they had, he would have had very clear that it was not for him. When he hears of his appointment he descends into a state of utter panic. It is only after lengthy discussions and prayers that he accepted the appointment.

Pietro del Morrone took the name Celestin V and begun his utterly shambolic pontificate. None of that could have been a surprise. Which begs the question why did the cardinals chose him.

They chose him because the church was badly in need of reform. It was not just the abuse of the powers of excommunication and crusader absolutions for political purposes that had eroded their standing. Money had become a constant criticism. The popes had been demanding levies from churches in France, England and Germany, ostensibly for crusades, but these crusades never happened or were directed against the enemies of the pope. Cardinals were dressing in ever more elaborate garb and lived in ever larger and more luxurious palaces.

In the last 20 years another strain of papal behaviour became more prevalent. Nepotism, i.e., the elevation of members of the current pope’s family into key positions in the church was an old tradition. But under in particular Nicholas IV it became ridiculous. Almost a third of the college of cardinals were his nephews and other family members.

None of these changes happened in secret. The laymen heard their vicar preach against the emperor and his vast range of sins. They also heard about the fall of Jerusalem in 1244 and the loss of Acre in 1291. They saw the tithe they had hoped would go into the building of their mighty gothic cathedral be sent to Rome to fund mercenary armies in wars against Manfred of Sicily. If you read through Matthew Paris, a big chunk of the narrative is taken up with complaints about the moneys send to Rome by king Henry III. This was one of the main complaints that led to the second baron’s revolt. The French nobles found that their king’s crusader zeal was constantly hampered by papal interference, something that likely trickled down into the population at large.

Something had to change. And the cardinals believed that the election of a pope who was the closest thing to a living saint they could find will get the church back onto the wagon.

Oh boy did that backfire!

Celestin V may be a near saint and have a great following of devout laypeople, but he was utterly incompetent when it came to managing the cutthroat politics of late 13th century Italy. Barely crowned pope, he finds himself living more or less as a prisoner of King Charles II in the Castello Nuovo in Naples. Charles of Anjou had died in the meantime, and his son continued the policy of running Italy by using the papacy.

Celestin V was a perfect pope for Charles II, mainly because he was in the habit of granting any wish anyone brought to him. But for the curia, Celestin V was an unmitigated catastrophe. Instead of improving the standing of the church, the papal hermit wearing rags and praying constantly provided a very uncomfortable foil to the cardinals in their splendid scarlet robes and ruby encrusted crosses.

No wonder he lasted only a mere 5 months. Though, other than previous incompetent popes of advanced age he did not have the decency to die. He abdicated, the first official papal abdication. The next one did not happen until 2013.

The architect of this abdication was cardinal Bendetto Caetani, a man who was the exact opposite of the holy hermit. Sophisticated, a papal diplomate with 40 years experience, an able administrator and from a Roman aristocratic family with papal connections. The story goes that Benedetto Caetani had introduced a secret speaking tube into the Celestine’s cell at the Castello Nuovo and in the small hours of the night simulated the voice of God warning the pontiff of the flames of Hell were he to continue in his office.

On December 13th, 1294 Celestine V gathered his cardinals, took off his papal vestments and read out a formal abdication document drafted by Benedetto Caetani who was – surprise, surprise – immediately elected as pope Boniface VIII. Boniface had always been a staunch supporter of the Angevin cause, which is why Charles II allowed him to be crowned in Naples and let him leave for Rome with his predecessor in tow.

When Boniface VIII and his cardinals reached Rome, they found that old Celestine had absconded, presumably trying to get back to his hermit hut in the mountains. It took the papal minions a while to catch the old man who seemed to have been still quite fleet of foot. When he is brought before Boniface he utters a prophecy: “You have entered like a fox, you will rule like a lion and you will die like a dog”. After that the ex-pope was locked up in a remote castle where he died a few years later.

Boniface VIII was indeed in many ways a lion amongst the popes. He founded the university of Rome, codified canon law, re-established the Vatican library and archives. Note, he actually spent some time of his pontificate in Rome, something few of his predecessors had been able to do. He was also able to push back against the encroachment by the Angevins.

What he had nothing of though was spirituality. For him the church and its powers to bind and loose, to excommunicate and depose served solely political or financial purposes. He declared the year 1300 a Holy Year inviting pilgrims to come to Rome offering full and copious pardons for all sins, confessed or not, to anyone who came to Saint Peter. That brought 200,000 pilgrims to the Holy City and vastly enriched the papal coffers. The crowds were so huge, the main basilicas introduced one-way systems for pilgrims to pass along the great relics whilst the sacristans needed rakes to gather up all the money offerings. Dante sets his divine comedy in the year 1300 and the regimentation of the crowds in hell is modelled on the management of the crowds on the Ponte Saint Angelo.

The other thing he lacked was any kind of diplomatic finesse. Conciliation or compromise were alien concepts to him. That brought him quite quickly into conflict with various monarchs in Europe, most specifically with Philipp IV, the Fair of France. The conflict began when Philipp put a heavy tax on the French clergy to fund the 100 years war that was just kicking off.

Boniface used the opportunity to state once and for all that no church in Christendom could be taxed by a mere monarch without an express permission from Rome. Philipp responded by banning papal tax collectors from entering and leaving France thereby cutting the curia off from one of its main sources of income.

At the same time Boniface got into a spat with the powerful Colonna family. Some Colonna supporters had hijacked a transport of gold bullion destined for the Vatican, possibly encouraged by king Phillip. In response Boniface placed garrisons into the main Colonna strongholds, had two Colonna cardinals who had nothing to do with the affair stripped of their rank and excommunicated the family en masse.

But his most implacable opponents came from within the church itself. The more radical wing of the Franciscans had been shocked by the managed abdication of Celestin V. For the minor brothers who pursued a life of asceticism and poverty, Celestin had been the ideal pope. The “angel pope” sent to defeat antichrist and bring on that old chestnut, the 1000 years of bliss. They loathed the worldly Boniface and all he stood for. They accused Boniface of having killed Celestine V the true legitimate pope.

There we are.  By a wonderous twist of fate it is the pope and not the emperor who is denounced from church pulpits. They are calling him out not just for his nepotism, avarice and simony, but for the full gambit ranging from murder, illegitimacy, idolatry and sodomy. Just replace the name Frederick II with Boniface and you get a rerun of the PR campaigns of the 1240s. The similarity is no surprise because both were run by the Franciscans. John Julius Norwich thought that within just 3 or 4 years Boniface was the most detested pope that ever lived, which is quite an achievement given the breadth of the field.

Boniface is not one to back down though. He suspected that a lot of his problems had been orchestrated in Paris, so that is where he keeps pushing back. When Philipp the Fair imprisoned a bishop, Boniface responds by ordering the king to immediately release him and summons him and his bishops to come to the papal court to defend his actions.

Philipp obviously refused but surprisingly 39 French bishops show up in Rome in November 1302. There Boniface fired his final broadside. Based on liberal quotations from our old friend Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas Aquinas he offered the broadest definition of papal absolutism in his bull Unam Sanctam. Quote “it is altogether necessary for the salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff” end quote.

That was clearly directed at Philipp the Fair who retaliated by having his Franciscans adding more to their song sheet. They now accuse the pope of sorcery, forcing priests to violate the secrets of confession and worst of all having said he would rather be a dog than a Frenchman. Philipp and the Colonna demanded a general council of the church to determine whether Boniface had obtained the chair of St. Peter illegally and whether he was suitable as pope.

Boniface did refuse. So, the French sent an army of 1,600 men led by Sciarra Colonna a mercenary commander and member of the famous Roman family. Their orders were to seize the pope and if necessary by force, transport him to France. Meanwhile pope Boniface was drafting the excommunication and deposition bull for Philipp the Fair to be published on September 8th, 1303. On September 7th 1303 the French and Colonna arrived at Agnani where the pope was staying. After a short scuffle they forced entry into the papal chambers. Boniface rose, dared them to lay hands on the vicar of Christ and threw bans and excommunications at the intruders. Sciarra Colonna took off his gauntlet and slapped the pope in the face mid-sentence.

This event, later called the outrage of Agnani, that slap in the face marks the end of the imperial papacy.

Pope Boniface was imprisoned for three days but was freed by the citizens of Agnani. He could escape to Rome but died there a month later, many say of shock and deep sorrow. His successor apologised to Philipp for Boniface’ behaviour and revoked all his acts against the king.

3 years later the conclave elected pope Clement V., until then archbishop of Bordeaux. Clement V will never go to Rome and settle ultimately in Avignon. By then almost the entire college of cardinals is made up of Frenchmen. The Babylonian Captivity of the papacy has begun. For over 100 years the papacy will be nothing but a shadow of its former glory, the popes in Avignon being at the back and call of the king of France and later riven with schisms until another Colonna, Martin V is elected pope at the council of Constance in 1417 and the papacy returns to Rome.

Dante who writes his divine comedy shortly after these events summarises his view of the popes of his era when he has Saint Peter say the following:

“He who on earth usurps my place

Yes, my place, my very place,

Which lies vacant in the eyes of the son of God

Has made my tomb a common sewer of blood and pollution

Into which the malignant fall”

(End quote)

The struggle between pope and emperor is finally, finally over and the winner is, the king of France.

The story arch may have completed, but that is not the end of this season of the History of the Germans. Next week we will talk about the afterlife of Frederick II and the fascinating story of how in the 1920s a German Jew, Ernst Kantorowicz, turns Frederick II from a medieval Sicilian king into the epitome of the German authoritarian ruler who in his mind foreshadows another. I hope you will join us again.

And do not forget. After that I want to do a Q&A session. Several of you have already sent in questions to historyofthegermans@gmail.com, on Facebook and on Twitter. So please keep them coming. And by the way patrons who have signed up on Patreon.com/historyofthegermans or on my website are guaranteed their question being answered. If Patreon isn’t for you, do not worry, I will try to answer all your questions as well. As always, all the links are in the show notes.    

Click here for links to Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other listening platforms
Apple PodcastsSpotifyAmazon MusicCastBoxOvercastPlayer.fmPodcast AddictGoogle PodcastsPocketCasts

Leave a Reply