|Not the right Henry II|
But this Henry II is a Bavarian, the son of Henry II, Duke of Bavaria. Yes, Henry II is the son of Henry II, because he (the son) was the second Henry to be the Holy Roman Emperor while his dad was the second Henry to be the Duke of Bavaria. When he eventually got to be the Duke of Bavaria, the younger Henry was IV.
The story of who got to be Duke Henry III must have something to do with the War of Three Henrys. Actually, there are two wars called The War of Three Henrys, one in 977-978, and the other in 1587-1589. I think they ought to have recognized that names are given to distinguish individual persons from each other -- if everyone is named Henry, the whole purpose of naming is negated. The Three Henrys rebelled against their Emperor, whose mom wisely named him Otto. Otto's army utterly defeated them. Henry II, nicknamed the Quarrelsome, lost Bavaria for a while, though he eventually got it back by kidnapping the infant Otto III, who was his kinsman (or rather, kinsboy).
With his dad in exile so often, little Henry was pretty much raised by bishops and priests. When dad died and young Henry took the duchy, he did show much saintly promise. The Holy Roman Empire was obviously a jungle of internecine warfare, assassination, and baby-stealing. Henry had no sooner become the Duke than he marched his army toward Rome where his cousin Otto III was under pressure. The Italians were tired of German kings lording it over them. Even if he had gotten there sooner, Henry IV could not have saved his cousin, whose death might have been caused by malaria or maybe poison. He did, however, get there in time to proclaim himself Henry II, King of Germany, and lead the Germans out of Italy. After a lightning war on Poland (does that ever get old?), he waged war in Italy, and then back to Poland, and then in Italy again. In addition to King of Germany, he picked up the titles King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor, which entitled him to wear the Iron Crown.
|It's a crown and a reliquary!|
|Tombstone shows the burden of being the HRE|