Frederick I: The Mighty Emperor

Early Life Frederick I was born in 1123 to Duke Frederick II of Swabia and Judith of Bavaria. His parents were members of rival German dynasties. Frederick II was a Hohenstaufen while Judith a Welf. Through their marriage, young Frederick was seen as the embodiment of both houses. As a result, his family and dynastic lineage would help him gain […]

Henry III of England: The Weak King

Early Life Henry III was born on October 1, 1207 to John of England. As king, John proved to be an incompetent ruler. Although his capable mother, Eleanor, advised him, John continuously made bad decisions. When he died in 1216, the king had lost the Angevin Empire that Henry II had built, and left England divided. During John’s reign, King […]

Charles VII of France: The Victorious King

Early Life Charles VII was born on February 22, 1403 in Paris, France. As the eleventh child of King Charles VI, Prince Charles wasn’t expected to inherit the French throne. During his childhood, King Charles suffered from periods of insanity. As a result, the government became unstable and a civil war erupted. In 1413, Prince Charles married Marie of Anjou […]

John II of Portugal: The Fierce King

Early Life John II was born in 1455 to King Afonso V. Descending from King John I, Prince John was a fourth-generation member of the Aviz dynasty. As his father’s only surviving son, the prince became heir apparent upon his birth. During the 1470s, John gained military experience while participating in his father’s African campaign. The king later entrusted the […]

Louis I: The Pious Emperor

Early Life Louis I was born on April 16, 778 in Aquitaine, West Francia (France). As a member of the Carolingian dynasty, he was destined to one day rule. His father, Charlemagne, controlled vast territories. To better govern his lands, Charlemagne decided to create subkingdoms. Each of his three sons would rule a sub-kingdom on their father’s behalf. As a […]