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Henry IV
Holy Roman Emperor
Heinrich 4 g.jpg
Holy Roman Emperor
Reign 5 October 1056 – 31 December 1105
Coronation 31 March 1084
Old St. Peter's Basilica, Rome
Predecessor Henry III
Successor Henry V
King of Germany
(Formally King of the Romans)
Reign November 1053 – 31 December 1105
Coronation 17 July 1054
Aachen Cathedral
Predecessor Henry III
Successor Henry V
King of Italy and Burgundy
Reign 5 October 1056 – 31 December 1105
Predecessor Henry III
Successor Henry V
Born (1050-11-11)11 November 1050
Imperial Palace of Goslar, Saxony
Died 7 August 1106(1106-08-07) (aged 55)
Liège, Lower Lorraine
Burial Speyer Cathedral
Spouse Bertha of Savoy
(m. 1066 – wid. 1087)
Eupraxia (Adelheid) of Kiev
(m. 1089 – div. 1095)
Issue Agnes, Duchess of Swabia and Margravine of Austria
Conrad II of Italy
Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
House Salian dynasty
Father Henry III
Mother Agnes of Poitou
Religion Roman Catholicism

Henry IV (10501106) was King of Germany from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1084, till he was forced to step down in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most interesting and important figures of the eleventh century. His reign was marked by the Investiture Controversy with the Papacy and several civil wars with pretenders to his throne in Italy and Germany.


Henry was the eldest son of the Emperor Henry III, by his second wife Agnes de Poitou, and was probably born at the royal palace at Goslar. When Henry III unexpectedly died in 1056, the six-year-old Henry IV became king without problems. The Empress Agnes acted as regent, and the German pope Victor II was named as her counsellor.

Unlike Henry III, Agnes could not influence the election of the new popes, Stephen IX and Nicholas II. These popes worked together with the Normans of southern Italy. But the first great problem started when Nicholas claimed influence in the election of Germany.


Henry's wife Bertha died on December 27, 1087. She was also buried at the Speyer Cathedral. Their children were:

  1. Agnes of Germany (born 1072), married Frederick I von Staufen, Duke of Swabia.
  2. Conrad (February 12, 1074July 27, 1101)
  3. Adelaide, died in infancy
  4. Henry, died in infancy
  5. Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor

Family Tree

  • T. J. H. McCarthy: Chronicles of the Investiture Contest: Frutolf of Michelsberg and his continuators (Manchester, 2014).
  • Gerd Althoff (Ed.): Heinrich IV. (Ostfildern, 2009) (Vorträge und Forschungen; 69).
  • Gerd Althoff: Heinrich IV. (Darmstadt, 2006)

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