Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor

Henry III (28 October 1016 – 5 October 1056), called the Black or the Pious, was Holy Roman Emperor from 1046 until his death in 1056. A member of the Salian dynasty, he was the eldest son of Emperor Conrad II of Germany and Gisela of Swabia.[1][2][3]

Henry III
Henry with the symbols of rulership attending the consecration of the Stavelot monastery church on 5 June 1040, mid-11th-century miniature
Holy Roman Emperor
Reign25 December 1046 – 5 October 1056
Coronation25 December 1046
St. Peter's Basilica, Rome
PredecessorConrad II
SuccessorHenry IV
King of Germany
(formally King of the Romans)
Reign14 April 1028 – 5 October 1056
Coronation14 April 1028
Aachen Cathedral
PredecessorConrad II
SuccessorHenry IV
King of Italy
Reign4 June 1039 – 5 October 1056
PredecessorConrad II
SuccessorHenry IV
King of Burgundy
Reign4 June 1039 – 5 October 1056
PredecessorConrad II
SuccessorHenry IV
Born(1016-10-28)28 October 1016
Died5 October 1056(1056-10-05) (aged 39)
Bodfeld
Burial
Spouse
    (m. 1036; died 1038)
      (m. 1043)
      Issue
      HouseSalian Dynasty
      FatherConrad II, Holy Roman Emperor
      MotherGisela of Swabia
      ReligionRoman Catholicism
      Signum manus (1049)

      Henry was raised by his father, who made him Duke of Bavaria in 1026, appointed him co-ruler in 1028 and bestowed him with the duchy of Swabia and the Kingdom of Burgundy ten years later in 1038.[4] The emperor's death the following year ended a remarkably smooth and harmonious transition process towards Henry's sovereign rule, that was rather uncharacteristic for the Ottonian and Salian monarchs.[4] Henry succeeded Conrad II as Duke of Carinthia and King of Italy and continued to pursue his father's political course on the basis of virtus et probitas (courage and honesty), which led to an unprecedented sacral exaltation of the kingship. In 1046 Henry ended the papal schism, was crowned Emperor by Pope Clement II, freed the Vatican from dependence on the Roman nobility and laid the foundation for its empire-wide authority. In the duchies Henry enforced sovereign royal right of disposition, thereby ensuring tighter control. In Lorraine, this led to years of conflict from which he emerged victorious. Another sphere of defiance formed in southern Germany from 1052 to 1055. Henry III died aged only 39. Modern historians, however, identify the final years of his reign as the beginning of a crisis in the Salian monarchy.[5][6]