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Frederick Barbarossa: The Prince and the…

Frederick Barbarossa: The Prince and the Myth

by John B. Freed

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Not very lively, but quite well-footnoted, this long book covers the diversity of the reign and the life. There's massive footnoting, too few maps and requires more guiding of the English oriented reader into the intricacy of German Medieval geography. Fred, doesn't seem to have been literate, and there's no commissioned biography or even much flattery datable to his later life time so, we are left with usually hostile critics and charters for the bulk of his long life. The author has found a good deal of value in the biography by Otto of Freising, but it ends far too soon for the scale of this work. This book gets a half-star for the daring of the attempt at all. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 30, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300122764, Hardcover)

Frederick Barbarossa, born of two of Germany’s most powerful families, swept to the imperial throne in a coup d’état in 1152. A leading monarch of the Middle Ages, he legalized the dualism between the crown and the princes that endured until the end of the Holy Roman Empire.
This new biography, the first in English in four decades, paints a rich picture of a consummate diplomat and effective warrior. John Freed mines Barbarossa’s recently published charters and other sources to illuminate the monarch’s remarkable ability to rule an empire that stretched from the Baltic to Rome, and from France to Poland. Offering a fresh assessment of the role of Barbarossa’s extensive familial network in his success, the author also considers the impact of Frederick’s death in the Third Crusade as the key to his lasting heroic reputation. In an intriguing epilogue, Freed explains how Hitler’s audacious attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 came to be called “Operation Barbarossa.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 09 Jun 2016 09:10:03 -0400)

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