1197 (The People's Chronology)
The Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich VI goes to Italy to persuade Pope Celestine III to crown his infant son Friedrich, who has been chosen king of the Romans at Frankfurt. The pope refuses. Heinrich takes cruel measures to put down an insurrection in the south that has been provoked by the oppression of his German officials; he prepares to embark on a crusade against the Byzantine usurper Alexius III Angelus but comes down with malaria while hunting at Messina and dies there September 28 at age 31 (his 43-year-old wife, Constance, has by some accounts conspired to have him poisoned and uses her political skills to win the protection of Pope Innocent III and secure the imperial throne for her son, who will be crowned in April of next year as Friedrich II).
A 15-year German civil war begins upon the sudden death of Heinrich VI, whose Ghibelline (Waiblingen) brother Philip of Swabia is supported by France's Philippe II Augustus against the Guelph (Welf) Otto of Brunswick, son of Henry the Lion, who is supported by England's Richard the Lion-Hearted (see 1208).
Bulgaria's czar Peter Asen is assassinated by rival boyars as his brother was last year. He is succeeded by their younger brother Kaloyan (Joannitsa), who acknowledges the supremacy of the pope at Rome rather than that of Constantinople and will reign until 1207, completing the conquest of northern Bulgaria from the Byzantines.
Bohemia ends 14 years of dynastic struggle during which the country has had some 10 different rulers. Duke Ottokar I, who was deposed in 1193, is restored to power and begins a 37-year reign in which he will strengthen Bohemia by taking advantage of German civil war to make Bohemia a decisive factor in German affairs.
Korea ends 27-year period of domestic turmoil as Gen. Choe Chung-hon establishes a military regime that will rule the country until 1258, but the Choe family will control the country from behind the scenes, allowing members of the Koryo dynasty to occupy the throne, as they have since 935.
Architecture, Real Estate
England's Richard the Lion-Hearted has Château Gaillard built on the Seine as he fights to restore Angevin power in northern France.