- Western emperor from 1191-1197; son of Frederick I Barbarossa (q.v.). By marrying the Norman princess Constance, daughter of Roger II of Sicily (qq.v.), in 1185, he inherited a claim to the throne of Sicily, which he took by force in 1194. After seizing Sicily, he seized the Norman dream of conquering Byzantium (q.v.). In 1195 he launched a Crusade that was nothing more than a veiled threat against Byzantium, offering to rescind the threat only if a large sum from Alexios III (q.v.) was forthcoming. Alexios III (q.v.) levied the Alamanikon ("German") tax in 1197 to meet this demand, but the collected funds were never sent, since in that same year news reached Constantinople (q.v.) of Henry VI's providential death.
Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser .
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