It’s about time we stop ignoring poor old Genoa up in the top left-hand corner of the country and bring her up-to-date. We take a really quick race from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to Genoa in the 14th century: it’s battles against Saracens, Pisans and Venitians as it fights to assert itself as a powerful maritime republic.
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.
We take a moment to look more into the private life of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and see how his court, as well as seeing a little naughtiness going on, was a cradle of culture and science. We then deal with a rebellion by his first born son Henry before we see a rematch of Empire vs Lombard League.
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.