1152 (The People's Chronology)
The German Hohenstaufen king Conrad III dies at Bamberg February 15 at age 58 after a 14-year reign. He is succeeded by his 29-year-old red-bearded nephew Friedrich III, duke of Swabia, who is chosen king at Frankfurt March 4 partly because he is of both Guelph (Welf) and Ghibelline (Waiblingen) blood, and it is hoped that he will end the rivalry that has divided the German states since 1138. He is crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle March 9 and will reign until his death in 1190 as Friedrich I (Barbarossa), but the rival between Guelphs and Hohenstaufens will continue for the rest of this century.
France's Louis VII repudiates his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine March 21 and has it annulled on grounds of misconduct and consanguinity, returning her lands and titles. Eleanor, now 30, has produced two daughters in 15 years but no male heir; within 6 weeks she marries Henry Plantagenet, now 19, count of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine andy consent of his mother, Matildauke of Normandy. Henry is Louis's most dangerous rival in northern France and his wife's dowry makes him master of domains that cover more than half of France. In the next 15 years Eleanor will bear eight children for Henry (see 1154).
England's King Stephen asks Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, to anoint his son Eustace as heir to the throne; forbidden by Pope Eugene III to comply, the primate flees to his native Normandy (see 1153).
Jerusalem's Baldwin III lays siege to the citadel March 31 and exiles his mother, Melissande, to Nablus (see 1143). He has been feuding with her since 1144 and the rivalry has become so intense that they divide their realm, with Baldwin reigning in the North while Melissande rules Judea and Sumeria (see 1153).
Aladuddin of Ghur sacks Ghazni, drives out the last Ghaznavid ruler, and ends the Afghan empire established by Mahmud in 998.