Difference between revisions of "Leopold VI - "The Glorious""

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(Created page with "'' October 15th, 1176 - July 28th, 1230'' When I walked this earth, I was called many things: honorable, kind, pious, a knight, righteous, wise even! Later I would be christe...")
 
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Even these who were called Vikings [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vikings&oldid=1032413008 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinger&oldid=213631251 ger]], once a menace to all of Christendom, had become skilled traders and provided goods as far away as the lands of Rus [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia&oldid=1033061478 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russland&oldid=213763262 ger]] in the east; or Russia as it is known in your times.
 
Even these who were called Vikings [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vikings&oldid=1032413008 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinger&oldid=213631251 ger]], once a menace to all of Christendom, had become skilled traders and provided goods as far away as the lands of Rus [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia&oldid=1033061478 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russland&oldid=213763262 ger]] in the east; or Russia as it is known in your times.
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So, one winter evening I could recline in front of a fire. I would drink wine from Spain that was laced with spices from the Far East; this type of wine was called Hippocras [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hippocras&oldid=996095713 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hypocras&oldid=208944931 ger]]. My cup would be made of tin from England or glass from Italy, coming from Venice [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Venice&oldid=1031896924 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Venedig&oldid=213483478 ger]], whilst my dinner where herring would be served as well came from the northern shores of Germany whilst my physician prepared an ointment that contained frankincense. My garments would be made of wool coming from the English as well.
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With trade not only goods did travel but also scholarly wisdom and knowledge. New wisdom would arise, new techniques for craftsmen of all different trades to improve and to devise new ways of working. Imagine a blacksmith who learned to forge much better and harder steel, yet being lighter than the tools made before. Better plows for farming or better blades for swords and much more.
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In cities craftsmen did start to form guilds [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Corporation_(feudal_Europe)&oldid=1010986719 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Zunft&oldid=212420185 ger]] to establish standards for price and quality.
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These developments also ushered in a drastic change for the economy. Although coins were used, for the average person trade in natural goods was much more common. A small barrel of salt could be traded for linen cloth. Taxes could be paid in this fashion as well. So a farmer could pay the tithe to a monastery by bringing a few jugs filled with mead [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mead&oldid=1031950520 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Met&oldid=212491749 ger]] or a few chickens. And monasteries could pay their debts to their lord by delivering wine to his estates rather than coin.
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Since most people could neither read or write also measurements were adopted to this. A good example is the “Hufe”. It was a measurement how much land a pair of oxen would be able to plow in the course of one day. That was something people could understand as any farmer including his children, would know by heart through experience how much land that is.
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It was the same with money. Of course, coin, no bills yet, did exist and was used. But this would for the most part apply to the church or nobles. When my father did take king Richard of England, called The Lionheart prisoner the largest amount of ransom was negotiated for his release that would be the highest amount negotiated until your very days. To be paid in silver coin. Tons of silver were delivered from England.
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Know Thee, there were no exchange rates for different currencies. And it would not matter anyway. The really important factors were the weight of a coin and how pure the metal was.
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But all of this had started to change drastically. With trade and commerce expanding the economy had started to change from natural goods to currency. The times in which economy was just located around a manor, fortress or monastery were over!
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My father [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Leopold_V,_Duke_of_Austria&oldid=1023690791 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Leopold_V._(%C3%96sterreich)&oldid=207227981 ger], [http://Leopold_V._-_%22The_Virtuos%22 int]] already had enlarged Vienna [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vienna&oldid=1032992883 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wien&oldid=213671560 ger]] and founded two cities and I was determined to proceed with this course.
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My brother Frederick [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Frederick_I,_Duke_of_Austria_(Babenberg)&oldid=1030923267 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Friedrich_I._(%C3%96sterreich)&oldid=201897972 ger], int] was different from me in this regard, that he was very pious. So, in the year of our Lord 1197 he left for a crusade to the Holy Land. A most dangerous endeavor. It was so dangerous that one could not even be sure to get there alive. He was joined by Wolfger, the Bishop of Passau and his uncle Henry, whom they called “Duke of Medling” [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Henry_I,_Duke_of_M%C3%B6dling&oldid=997911139 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Heinrich_der_%C3%84ltere_(M%C3%B6dling)&oldid=207014724 ger], int]. I learned one year later that Henry had bravely proven himself in battle but had fallen ill and died on his way back from Palestine. His personal friend and bishop Wolfger personally performed the rite of “Mos Teutonicus” [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mos_Teutonicus&oldid=1024001569 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mos_teutonicus&oldid=212984206 ger]] to prepare his remains to come back home. When he arrived, I ordered for him to be laid to rest at the abbey of Heiligenkreuz with all honors.
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It also meant that I did inherit all lands and titles from my departed brother, re-uniting all the lands under one, my rule!
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''„zê gôtes und Marien êr, diesen slac und keinen mêr!“''
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''„By the honor of God and the Virgin Mary, this whack on the cheek shall be Thy last to suffer!”''
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Such I was told in Vienna in 1200 when I was officially proclaimed to raise, and be recognized by all clerics and nobles present during this ceremony, a knight! This ceremony took place in Vienna and was accompanied with many celebrations and a tournament. It was the first accolade [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Accolade&oldid=1032727522 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ritterschlag&oldid=211440752 ger]] to ever have taken place there. And by doing so, I did grace the city of Vienna [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vienna&oldid=1032992883 eng], g[https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wien&oldid=213671560 er]] and elevated her to be recognized as well, for I had plans I desired to work there in the future.
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But for a rule of my rank the proper choice of bride was essential as well. My father had married Ilona/Helena, the sister of king Béla [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=B%C3%A9la_III_of_Hungary&oldid=1011504949 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=B%C3%A9la_III._(Ungarn)&oldid=206509579 ger]] of Hungary. My family had a very uneasy relationship with the Hungarians for a long time and this marriage would guarantee the expansion of my dynasty’s interests there and diminish the danger of being raided by “marauders” who were regular soldiers in disguise. Only a fool would fall for this.
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My grandfather Henry [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Henry_II,_Duke_of_Austria&oldid=992936268 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Heinrich_II._(%C3%96sterreich)&oldid=205287629 ger], [http://Henry_II._-_%22Jasomirgott%22 int]] was married to Theodora who was the niece of the Byzantine emperor. As my family always had close relations with the Byzantine Empire, I so decided to renew this long tradition.
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After negotiations I courted Theodora Angelina, the niece of the Byzantine emperor Alexios. In 1203 we celebrated our wedding in Vienna with a most grand spectacle. The most powerful nobles and clerics from near an afar attended. Chroniclers of my days described my wedding as “magnifice” and “pomposissime”.
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The wines and foods served were of course as elaborate as possible. Know Thee, the display of status and extravagance for nobles was as important during my days as they are in yours. The difference: in your days you would buy an expensive wrist watch or drive a fancy car, possessing several of them of course. Or if one enjoys the hunt, one would seek out the services of a master-gunsmith and have a handmade rifle crafted according to a precise set of specifications and desires. And one would mind that guests, attending the hunt could see such elaborate gun, to speak of the prestige and wealth of its owner.
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In my times status was displayed differently. For clothes: the dominant types of cloth were either made of wool or linen. So, a noble or cleric would dress in much more expensive garments such as brocade, fur or pure silk. Such garments could be interwoven with threads of silver or even gold. Garments could also be embroidered. Nobles and clerics were allowed to have their garments dyed in any color they pleased. Peasants were obligated to wear much simpler clothes in darker colors.
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If it came to food: things like tomatoes, corn, potatoes and many other foods were unknown in my time. But if a noble would be hosting a feast, he would have served expensive fish, wild boar, deer, swans or even birds like peacock, suckling pig and others. Foods were all served at the same time. So, I could display wealth and power by the foods I served and my guests could ascertain what power and wealth I possessed. Actually, peacock is rather plain in taste and chewy. But it is expensive.
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This was the same with spices used. Cinnamon, clovers and other spices had to be imported from as far as Asia. Pepper from Ethiopia [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ethiopia&oldid=1033366245 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%C3%84thiopien&oldid=213800288 ger]] was the most expensive one to serve. All the meats would be prepared with as exotic spices as possible.
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Candied fruits in sugar came from Arabia. And for dessert – cakes made of marzipan was the pinnacle of any feast as its production required foods such as almonds, sugar and rosewater.
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It so sometimes happened that master-chefs who were in the employ of a lord were actually knighted for their cooking skills. After all, their art was testimony to the power and wealth of their lord.
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During my times it was also very important to observe who attended a gathering in who’s company. Something I would put to use in the future.
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Actually, there were so many guests present that there was not enough suitable estates available for all the attendees. To make my wedding with Theodora even more magnificent a great many artists such as artistes, poets, magicians, musicians and a great many more entertained our congregation. My departed brothers friend, Wolfger of Erla [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wolfger_von_Erla&oldid=1024850838 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wolfger_von_Erla&oldid=213715532 ger]] brought in his entourage the most famous poet Walther von der Vogelweide [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Walther_von_der_Vogelweide&oldid=1029252524 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Walther_von_der_Vogelweide&oldid=213680651 ger]].
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There he would recite his famous poem “Ir sult sprechen willekomen” [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ir_sult_sprechen_willekomen&oldid=993722170 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ir_sult_sprechen_willekomen&oldid=213678485 ger]] for our entertainment. My father was a great supporter of him and his art. He was also granted residence at the fortress in Medling [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Burgruine_M%C3%B6dling&oldid=933150100 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Burg_M%C3%B6dling&oldid=210299807 ger]] by my brothers uncle Henry [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Henry_I,_Duke_of_M%C3%B6dling&oldid=997911139 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Heinrich_der_%C3%84ltere_(M%C3%B6dling)&oldid=207014724 ger], int]. But also, other artists of great renown would perform for us. Famous poets such as Neidhart of Reuental [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Neidhart_von_Reuental&oldid=1033154635 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Neidhart&oldid=213679365 ger]] or Ulrich of Liechtenstein [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ulrich_von_Liechtenstein&oldid=1025457960 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ulrich_von_Liechtenstein&oldid=213680468 ger]].
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Legend tells that a poet, unknown today, was present at my wedding. He composed one of the most famous poems of all of German medieval literature – the “Nibelungenlied” [[https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nibelungenlied&oldid=1023825090 eng], [https://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nibelungenlied&oldid=213761172 ger]].
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''„Do riten si von Tulne ze Wiene zuo der stat.“…''
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… describes the scene when Kriemhild and king Etzel would get married. And my wedding is believed to be the inspiration for this poetic wedding.

Revision as of 10:09, 20 July 2021

October 15th, 1176 - July 28th, 1230

When I walked this earth, I was called many things: honorable, kind, pious, a knight, righteous, wise even! Later I would be christened “The Glorious”, after I had departed.


Of course this is flattering, but I respectfully decline such praise. I stood in the service to my dynasty, which as my own son Frederick [eng, ger, int] will advise you, dates back to biblical times. In later generations they called us: „Babenberg“! But we were never known under this name. Scholars have agreed upon that our name comes from the city of Bamberg [eng, ger]. No!


There are two parts of our name that, if wise, one understands to come from an old and noble language. This language is not European but comes from these lands, which today you call “The Middle East”. “Ben” and “Bar”! The first word means “Son” the latter “Mountain”. The language – Hebrew!


As my Frederick will advise you, these whom you call “Babenberg” have been known under many names in the course of history. From century to century; from generation to generation!


I lived in vibrant times and did have my share of conflict with my sons, especially Henry, who would openly rebel against me.


I saw new miracles in architecture, which allowed to construct much more elegant structures, rising higher than before [eng, ger]. What could be more suitable to praise God and his creation than to build to the heavens?


A new class of people emerged. Wealthy and influential they were. But not because of aristocratic lineage but because of achievement in their own right – the citizen.


Cities started to prosper by trade and craftsmanship. Wealthy individuals emerged from this, starting their own dynasties; not based on lands or titles but from money earned. Families such as Fugger [eng, ger] or Eggenberg [eng, ger] would become very powerful in centuries to come. Later, they will even bear their own code of arms. Will there be distain for these, whom you now call “New Money” or arrivistes as wealth will be called? Yes! But as times changed over centuries it would be understood that regardless of lineages that can be traced back over centuries or entrepreneurs and smart merchants that had built a fortune – one was still a member of the same club! Nobility itself derives from achievement!


I understood and supported this from the beginning on. It was the very dawn of what you in your times call “Capitalism”.


Being born the younger brother of Frederick [eng, ger, int], I did not have any rightful claims to office and power. So, my well-being would have to be established in another fashion as only the first born will inherit all lands and titles from his father.


My father [eng, ger, int] was a brave man and true warrior. He journeyed twice to the Holy Land, once as a pilgrim, the second time he would come as a crusader, leading his sword into battle!


It was there where he was greatly dishonored by the king of the English, Richard [eng, ger, int], when he denied my father his fair share of reward for the taking of Acre [eng, ger]. But my father devised a resourceful plan to seek vengeance against his adversary and when Richard traveled through his lands, he had him taken prisoner and held him hostage; to be released only after a huge ransom was paid by the English.


My father even agreed to participate in yet another crusade but during a tournament in the city of Graz [eng, ger], during the joust he was thrown of his horse and his foot was severely injured. They amputated his foot to cure the gangrene [eng, ger] that had developed but it was too late for him. This took place in the year of our Lord 1194.


As he knew that his last hours in this world had come, he decided to do something quite remarkable.


Know Thee, my father had successfully negotiated a treaty with Ottokar [eng, ger], the duke of the lands called Styria. As Ottokar had become an old man he would soon leave this world without leaving a legitimate heir behind.


My father made it so, that all of Ottokar’s lands would become his, under the stipulation that Austria, which my father ruled, and Styria would henceforth remain united forever. Such agreement was written in 1186 and was henceforth known as the “Georgenberg Pact” [eng, ger] and all proper seals were affixed to this parchment with the express approval of emperor Frederick [eng, ger]. Both our families were related to each other and always had close ties in political matters.


But as my father lay dying, to everyone’s surprise, he had a change of heart. He decided that I was to be enfeoffed with all the lands of Styria, whilst my older brother Frederick was to rule the lands and dutchy of Austria. This happened with the approval of Emperor Henry [eng, ger] as he also came from the same family as emperor Fredrick, the dynasty of Hohenstaufen [eng, ger].


However, there was a little twist. My fiefdom was confirmed to me by the emperor himself, my brother’s by one Wolfger of Erla [eng, ger], the archbishop of Passau on behalf of the emperor. A man of great diplomatic skills and renown – entrusted with most sensitive matters of the roam. A worthy choice to represent the emperor’s will. And a trusted ally to my dynasty as well as to the dynasty of Hohenstaufen he was!


He also was a very devoted patron for the fine arts and scholarly work. Legend will tell that his patronage made it possible to compose the “Nibelungenlied” [eng, ger]. Today it is considered as one of the most important poems of German medieval literature.


After my father was laid to rest at the abbey of Heiligenkreuz [eng 1, eng 2, ger 1, ger 2] in 1194, my brother and I assumed our new positions as rulers of our lands. I soon discovered that much work was to be done.


Know Thee, during my times the economy started to change a great deal. Through the development of new farming techniques like the Three-field-system [eng, ger] and the reclamation of new lands much more food became available and the population started to grow. One of the reasons why my dynasty had founded abbeys was that once established, the monks would start to reclaim the land, cutting down forests and thus opening these lands to farming and the production of livestock. Around these abbeys people would settle down and towns started to grow, as monasteries could be defended in case of an attack and provided protection for the people.


Towns grew into cities and became thriving and vibrant places. A new class emerged – the citizen. Before that there were only three classes of people: the Fighting Knight, the Praying and the Peasant. Now there were four! And cities became more independent and self-confident. They demanded more independence from their overlords, and it would be wise to grant such freedoms and rights as they would forward trade and economic prosperity. And wealth started to accumulate rather quickly.


Many in your days believe that the medieval world was dark, fogy, without any color and void. It is not true! My times were vibrant. People did not wear rags but proper clothes and farmers were not robbed of their entire harvest in the fall. Taxation was based on the annual yield of crops.


Monasteries who owned lands which they leased to farmers would only demand the so-called “Tithe” [eng, ger]. So, 10% of the annual yield of the lands leased. What good could it possibly do to deprive people of all their resources and food? This would only lead to famine and rebellion.


Goods were being traded throughout all the known world. Spices would come from as far as Africa and the Far East to us. Cinnamon or clovers would come from as far as India. Frankincense would come from Arabia [eng, ger], as well as many other goods. It was used by the church and for medicinal application. The English had become the greatest producer of wool and did supply all of Europe with it. As well as metals such as tin.


From the shores in the north of what you call today Germany herring was fished in huge quantities. Having it pickled, smoked, dried or salted, it could be transported over huge distances and was available to anyone for a cheap price throughout the entire year.


In the north entire trade organizations started to develop such as the “Hanseatic League” [eng, ger, map] or centers in the lands called Flemish [eng, ger, map]. Italian merchants did use their ships to carry crusaders to the Holy Land and returned back with the bowels of their vessels filled with valuable goods from there.


Even these who were called Vikings [eng, ger], once a menace to all of Christendom, had become skilled traders and provided goods as far away as the lands of Rus [eng, ger] in the east; or Russia as it is known in your times.


So, one winter evening I could recline in front of a fire. I would drink wine from Spain that was laced with spices from the Far East; this type of wine was called Hippocras [eng, ger]. My cup would be made of tin from England or glass from Italy, coming from Venice [eng, ger], whilst my dinner where herring would be served as well came from the northern shores of Germany whilst my physician prepared an ointment that contained frankincense. My garments would be made of wool coming from the English as well.


With trade not only goods did travel but also scholarly wisdom and knowledge. New wisdom would arise, new techniques for craftsmen of all different trades to improve and to devise new ways of working. Imagine a blacksmith who learned to forge much better and harder steel, yet being lighter than the tools made before. Better plows for farming or better blades for swords and much more.


In cities craftsmen did start to form guilds [eng, ger] to establish standards for price and quality.


These developments also ushered in a drastic change for the economy. Although coins were used, for the average person trade in natural goods was much more common. A small barrel of salt could be traded for linen cloth. Taxes could be paid in this fashion as well. So a farmer could pay the tithe to a monastery by bringing a few jugs filled with mead [eng, ger] or a few chickens. And monasteries could pay their debts to their lord by delivering wine to his estates rather than coin.


Since most people could neither read or write also measurements were adopted to this. A good example is the “Hufe”. It was a measurement how much land a pair of oxen would be able to plow in the course of one day. That was something people could understand as any farmer including his children, would know by heart through experience how much land that is.


It was the same with money. Of course, coin, no bills yet, did exist and was used. But this would for the most part apply to the church or nobles. When my father did take king Richard of England, called The Lionheart prisoner the largest amount of ransom was negotiated for his release that would be the highest amount negotiated until your very days. To be paid in silver coin. Tons of silver were delivered from England.


Know Thee, there were no exchange rates for different currencies. And it would not matter anyway. The really important factors were the weight of a coin and how pure the metal was.


But all of this had started to change drastically. With trade and commerce expanding the economy had started to change from natural goods to currency. The times in which economy was just located around a manor, fortress or monastery were over!


My father [eng, ger, int] already had enlarged Vienna [eng, ger] and founded two cities and I was determined to proceed with this course.


My brother Frederick [eng, ger, int] was different from me in this regard, that he was very pious. So, in the year of our Lord 1197 he left for a crusade to the Holy Land. A most dangerous endeavor. It was so dangerous that one could not even be sure to get there alive. He was joined by Wolfger, the Bishop of Passau and his uncle Henry, whom they called “Duke of Medling” [eng, ger, int]. I learned one year later that Henry had bravely proven himself in battle but had fallen ill and died on his way back from Palestine. His personal friend and bishop Wolfger personally performed the rite of “Mos Teutonicus” [eng, ger] to prepare his remains to come back home. When he arrived, I ordered for him to be laid to rest at the abbey of Heiligenkreuz with all honors.


It also meant that I did inherit all lands and titles from my departed brother, re-uniting all the lands under one, my rule!


„zê gôtes und Marien êr, diesen slac und keinen mêr!“

„By the honor of God and the Virgin Mary, this whack on the cheek shall be Thy last to suffer!”


Such I was told in Vienna in 1200 when I was officially proclaimed to raise, and be recognized by all clerics and nobles present during this ceremony, a knight! This ceremony took place in Vienna and was accompanied with many celebrations and a tournament. It was the first accolade [eng, ger] to ever have taken place there. And by doing so, I did grace the city of Vienna [eng, ger] and elevated her to be recognized as well, for I had plans I desired to work there in the future.


But for a rule of my rank the proper choice of bride was essential as well. My father had married Ilona/Helena, the sister of king Béla [eng, ger] of Hungary. My family had a very uneasy relationship with the Hungarians for a long time and this marriage would guarantee the expansion of my dynasty’s interests there and diminish the danger of being raided by “marauders” who were regular soldiers in disguise. Only a fool would fall for this.


My grandfather Henry [eng, ger, int] was married to Theodora who was the niece of the Byzantine emperor. As my family always had close relations with the Byzantine Empire, I so decided to renew this long tradition.


After negotiations I courted Theodora Angelina, the niece of the Byzantine emperor Alexios. In 1203 we celebrated our wedding in Vienna with a most grand spectacle. The most powerful nobles and clerics from near an afar attended. Chroniclers of my days described my wedding as “magnifice” and “pomposissime”. The wines and foods served were of course as elaborate as possible. Know Thee, the display of status and extravagance for nobles was as important during my days as they are in yours. The difference: in your days you would buy an expensive wrist watch or drive a fancy car, possessing several of them of course. Or if one enjoys the hunt, one would seek out the services of a master-gunsmith and have a handmade rifle crafted according to a precise set of specifications and desires. And one would mind that guests, attending the hunt could see such elaborate gun, to speak of the prestige and wealth of its owner.


In my times status was displayed differently. For clothes: the dominant types of cloth were either made of wool or linen. So, a noble or cleric would dress in much more expensive garments such as brocade, fur or pure silk. Such garments could be interwoven with threads of silver or even gold. Garments could also be embroidered. Nobles and clerics were allowed to have their garments dyed in any color they pleased. Peasants were obligated to wear much simpler clothes in darker colors.


If it came to food: things like tomatoes, corn, potatoes and many other foods were unknown in my time. But if a noble would be hosting a feast, he would have served expensive fish, wild boar, deer, swans or even birds like peacock, suckling pig and others. Foods were all served at the same time. So, I could display wealth and power by the foods I served and my guests could ascertain what power and wealth I possessed. Actually, peacock is rather plain in taste and chewy. But it is expensive.


This was the same with spices used. Cinnamon, clovers and other spices had to be imported from as far as Asia. Pepper from Ethiopia [eng, ger] was the most expensive one to serve. All the meats would be prepared with as exotic spices as possible.


Candied fruits in sugar came from Arabia. And for dessert – cakes made of marzipan was the pinnacle of any feast as its production required foods such as almonds, sugar and rosewater.


It so sometimes happened that master-chefs who were in the employ of a lord were actually knighted for their cooking skills. After all, their art was testimony to the power and wealth of their lord.


During my times it was also very important to observe who attended a gathering in who’s company. Something I would put to use in the future.


Actually, there were so many guests present that there was not enough suitable estates available for all the attendees. To make my wedding with Theodora even more magnificent a great many artists such as artistes, poets, magicians, musicians and a great many more entertained our congregation. My departed brothers friend, Wolfger of Erla [eng, ger] brought in his entourage the most famous poet Walther von der Vogelweide [eng, ger].


There he would recite his famous poem “Ir sult sprechen willekomen” [eng, ger] for our entertainment. My father was a great supporter of him and his art. He was also granted residence at the fortress in Medling [eng, ger] by my brothers uncle Henry [eng, ger, int]. But also, other artists of great renown would perform for us. Famous poets such as Neidhart of Reuental [eng, ger] or Ulrich of Liechtenstein [eng, ger].


Legend tells that a poet, unknown today, was present at my wedding. He composed one of the most famous poems of all of German medieval literature – the “Nibelungenlied” [eng, ger].


„Do riten si von Tulne ze Wiene zuo der stat.“…


… describes the scene when Kriemhild and king Etzel would get married. And my wedding is believed to be the inspiration for this poetic wedding.