King Enzio imprisoned in Bologna, from
a medieval manuscript.
diminutive of Heinrich
) (c. 1218 – 1272) was an
illegitimate son of Emperor Frederick II
King of Sardinia
Enzio was an illegitimate son of Frederick II by a certain
Adelaide. It is speculated that she was Adelaide of Urslingen. He
was the eldest of the illegitimate sons of the emperor, and
allegedly the favourite one .
He had a pleasant personality and a strong physical resemblance to
his father. He fought in the wars between his father, the pope, and
the Northern Italian communes.
When Ubaldo of Gallura
1238, the Doria
family of Genoa
, in order to secure the Giudicato of Logudoro
from Pisan domination
, convinced the emperor to
marry Enzio to Ubaldo's widow, Adelasia of Torres
. By marrying her,
Enzio would accede to half of the island of Sardinia jure uxoris
. He was created a
knight in Cremona and granted
the title "King of Sardinia".
He travelled to the island to
marry Adelasia in October that year.
1239, he was assigned as imperial
vicar general in Lombardy, as well as General-Legate in Romagna, and left
Sardinia never to return. In 1241, he took part in the capture of a
papal fleet at Giglio
Island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. His first successful move as military leader
was the reconquest of Jesi, in the
Marche, which was Frederick's
birthplace. Later he was captured in a skirmish against
the Milanese at Gorgonzola, but soon released.
In 1245 or 1246 his
marriage was annulled. In 1247, he took part in the unsuccessful
siege of Parma.
continued to fight the Guelph Lombards, assaulting the Guelphs of
conducting an assault in the surroundings of Parma.
campaign to support the Ghibelline cities
of Modena and Cremona
against Guelph Bologna, he was
defeated and captured on 26 May 1249 at the Battle of
Fossalta. Enzio was thenceforth kept prisoner in
Bologna, in the palace
that came to bear his name.
Every attempt to escape or to rescue him failed, and he died in
prison in 1272: after the murder of Conradin
in 1268, he was the last of the Hohenstaufen
Enzio shared the father's passion for falconry
, and was thus nicknamed
("little falcon"). He was the dedicatee of a
translation of a hunting
treatise by Yatrib
. Like his brother Manfred
, he presumambly grew fond of
poetry at Frederick's court: during his long imprisonment Enzio
wrote several poems, and his pitiful fate was itself a source of
inspiration for several poets .
powerful Bentivoglio family of Bologna
and Ferrara claimed descent from him.
- According to this site, Frederick II's eldest illegitimate
son was Frederick di Pettorana
- Bedürftig Friedemann: p. 63 "Taschenlexikon Staufer"
- Decker-Hauff Hansmartin: Band III p. 367
- Mühlbacherer Josef: p. 205
- Lexikon des Mittelalters: Band III, p. 2030