Monday, 21 November 2016

Astrogot (Alagolfare) of Ethiopia, Emperor Frederick I, Barbarrossa

Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (German: Friedrich; 1122 – 10 June 1190), also known as Frederick Barbarossa, was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 and crowned in Aachen on 9 March 1152. He became King of Italy in 1155 and was crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV on 18 June 1155.
Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarrossa
Saracini Coat-of-Arms
Two years later, the term sacrum ("holy") first appeared in a document in connection with his Empire. He was later formally crowned King of Burgundy, at Arles on 30 June 1178. He got the name Barbarossa from the northern Italian cities he attempted to rule: Barbarossa means "red beard" in Italian; in German, he was known as Kaiser Rotbart, which has the same meaning.

Before his imperial election, Frederick was by inheritance Duke of Swabia (1147–1152, as Frederick III). He was the son of Duke Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and Judith, daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, from the rival House of Welf. Frederick therefore descended from the two leading families in Germany, making him an acceptable choice for the Empire's prince-electors.

Historians consider him among the Holy Roman Empire's greatest medieval emperors. He combined qualities that made him appear almost superhuman to his contemporaries: his longevity, his ambition, his extraordinary skills at organisation, his battlefield acumen and his political perspicuity.

 Among his contributions to Central European society and culture include the reestablishment of the Corpus Juris Civilis, or the Roman rule of law, which counterbalanced the papal power that dominated the German states since the conclusion of the Investiture Controversy. 
Ysore (a Black Saracen giant)

Representation of Black Saracen giant in medieval literature begin with Vernagu found in the Pseudo Turpin Chronicle of Charlemagne. Dated to the fourteenth century, the Roland and Vernagu describe a duel between the black as pitch, Saracen Vernagu, and the Christian knight Roland.

Another towering figure was Alagolfare the Ethiopian giant of the Sowdone of Babylone,who’s "skin was black and hard." It is said that:

This Astrogot (Alagolfare) of Ethiopia, he was a king of great strength; there was none such in Europe. So strong and so long in length, I trowe (?) he were a devil's son of Bezelbubb's line." There is also the legendary fight between William of Orange (an eleventh century count of Poitiers) and Ysore (a Black Saracen giant). Above, Ysore the Black "Saracen" giant 1250 A.D.
The portrayals of Black Saracen giants in medieval literature thus reflect the realistic associations of "tall Africans in Saracen armies."

Blacks likewise appear as sea-roving Saracens in the early Viking sagas. For example, in the Orkneyinga Saga (a thirteenth century Icelandic account of the Earls of Orkney), references are made to a great battle on the Mediterranean Sea between Vikings and Black Saracens.

It stated that: Once both parties were aboard there was fierce fighting, the people on the dromond being Saracens, whom we call infidels of Mohammed, among them a good many black men, who put up a strong resistance. The fighting qualities of the Black Saracens must have been quite striking to the Earl of Orkney, who wrote:

Erling, honoured aimer of spears, eagerly advanced toward the vessel in victory, with banners of blood; the black warriors,brave lads, we captured or killed, crimsoning our blades. Busy with this dromond business our blades we bloodied on the blacks. After sparing some of the captives, including their leader, these Vikings fell into the hands of more Saracens, "who repaid them with similar generosity.

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