Salza, Hermann von

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Hermann von Salza (hĕr´män fən zäl´tsä), d. 1239, grand master (1210–39) of the Teutonic Knights. A friend and adviser of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, he often mediated between the emperor and Pope Gregory IX. In 1226, Duke Conrad of Mazovia asked the Teutonic Order for aid against the heathen Prussians, who had taken his territory of Chelmno (Kulm); he offered Chelmno to the order in return. In the same year Hermann obtained from Frederick II vast privileges for his order and recognition of his lordship over Chelmno. Thus, the Knights carried Christianization and Germanization eastward. Hermann formally received the territory from Conrad c.1230 by treaty, with the promise of all further territory conquered. In 1234 Hermann placed these lands under papal suzerainty. Hermann's masterful diplomacy had gained future Prussia for the Teutonic Order. In 1237, Hermann effected the union of his order with the Livonian Brothers of the Sword.