We stop for our usual recap to look back over episodes 051 to 076 going from the Concordat of Worms in 1122 to the death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1250, with a look at the rise of the Commune city states and the maritime republics, Venice in particular.
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”
After the formation of the Lombard League of the communes of northern Italy a clash with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa had become almost inevitable. Both sides now started to prepare for the confrontation that would decide the future of Italy.
We see how, after sorting out Milan, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa also goes on to try and deal with pope Alexander III. Meanwhile, the communes start to learn that there can be strength in numbers, with the League of Verona in 1164 and the Lombard and Italic Leagues in 1167.
After the diet of Roncaglia, we follow Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa as he tries to deal with a papal schism between Victor IV and Alexander III and then goes on to deal with the communes, particularly the ever obstinate Milan.