German dynasty that ruled the Holy Roman Empire (1138–1208, 1212–54). It was founded by Count Frederick (died 1105), who built Staufen Castle and was appointed duke of Swabia as Frederick I (1079). Hohenstaufen emperors included Frederick I Barbarossa (r. 1155–90), Henry VI (r.1191–97), and Frederick II (r.1220–50). The dynasty continued the struggle with the papacy begun under their predecessors. See also Guelphs and Ghibellines.
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