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Herman of Salza


Grand master of the teutonic knights; b. of a ministerial family in Thuringia, Germany, last third of the 12th century; d. Salerno, Italy, March 20, 1239. In 1209 he was elected grand master in Acre, Syria. In 1216 he became the counselor of frederick ii with whom he maintained a lasting friendship. Herman served as mediator between Frederick II and Pope honorius iii (1220) and influenced the pope in crowning Frederick as emperor. Thereafter he strove to remove the growing tensions between the two heads of Christianity, and worked tirelessly for the welfare of his order. In 1211 he accepted the assignment of King Andrew II of Hungary to patrol the border of Transylvania against pagan nomads; but the order was compelled to leave Hungary in 1225 when it attempted to establish an autonomous territory. Duke Conrad of Masovia (1226) sought the protection of the Knights against the pagan Prussians, and in Rimini, March 1226, Herman received from the emperor the district of Chelmno along the Vistula River and all the territories in Prussia that were still to be subdued and Christianized. The missionary work in these territories began only later, since Herman accompanied the emperor on a crusade to Jerusalem. He again reconciled pope and emperor in 1230. In the same year the conquest of Prussia began, but gregory ix (Aug. 3, 1234) placed the new mission country under the patrimony of St. Peter and reserved to the Curia any further political move in that territory. In 1237 the Livonian knights of the sword were incorporated into the Teutonic order with Herman's permission.

Bibliography: e. l. e. caspar, Hermann von Salza und die Gründung des Deutschordensstaats in Preussen (Tübingen 1924). w. cohn, H. v. S. (Breslau 1930). e. e. stengel, Hochmeister und Reich (Weimar 1938). e. maschke, "Die Herkunft Hermanns v.s.," Zeitschrift des Vereins für thüringische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, NS 34 (1940) 372389. h. heimpel, Der Mensch in seiner Gegenwart (Göttingen 1954). w. hubatsch, "Der Deutsche Orden und die Reichslehnschaftüber Cypern," Nachrichten der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen (1955) 245306.

[m. hellmann]

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