We see the early life of Frederick I of Sicily, son of Constance of Sicily and Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI up to the point when he becomes Emperor Frederick II himself with great regret from the popes who had hoped to keep the crown of the empire and that of the kingdom of Sicily separate. Are we in for another great class between Empire and Papacy?
We sadly saw goodbye to the Norman kings in Sicily and usher in a new era in which the Hohenstaufen, under emperor Henry VI, son of Barbarossa, extend their dominion from the north sea to the centre of the Meditteranean.
This is the last in our miniseries on Venice, taking us from the mid twelfth century back up to the notorious 4th Crusade, but not before we look at a 1997 attempt at Venetian independence using a WWII machine gun and a home-made tank called “Tanko”
This episode takes us through Venice in the 12th century, overcoming issues with Normans, Hungarians and seeing trouble starts with the Eastern Roman Empire as well as more interest towards the rest of Italy. Also there is a doge with an odd name and some confusion with the bodies of dead Saints.
After being guided into the new millenium by Pietro II Orsoleo, we follow the (all too high) rise and downfall of the family as Venice itself rises and falls along its way through the 11th century with its new Norman threat as the first crusade draws closer.