Predecessor: Heinrich von Tunna
Reign: 1210 – 1239
Summary: Hermann was probably one of the initial founding members of the Order of the Teutonic Knights, a chivalric order formed to serve against the Muslims in the Crusades. He probably first saw action at the Siege of Acre during his late teens. During the Crusade of 1197, Hermann was a witness to the coronation of Amalric II, king of Jerusalem. The Order was re-established in late 1197 under Heinrich Walpot von Bassenheim with the mission to secure Latin properties in the Holy Land. Hermann's role in these early years of the order are unknown, but he became Grand Master at the latest in 1210 when he served in the coronation of John of Brienne as king of Jerusalem.
Hermann was a long-time friend of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and served as Frederick's mediator in the Papal curia from 1222 until his death. Conveniently, Hermann was also respected by Pope Honorius III who granted the Teutonic Knights equal status with the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar. Hermann was a fighter of a grand master and led the Knights on a crusade in Transylvania to defend the native Hungarians and Romanians from the Cumans. But the Hungarian nobility were displeased with the Knights and the Order left in 1225. During this time, Hermann himself went with Frederick II on the Fifth Crusade and encouraged the undertaking of the Sixth Crusade a few years later. It was partially with Hermann's encouragement that Frederick married Yolanda of Brienne so that the emperor could later claim the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Upon his return, Konrad I, king of Masovia, requested the help of the Teutonic Knights to subdue the Old Prussians from Estonia. The Order agreed and moved north and began their campaign from 1230 onwards. In 1237, the Order expanded to include the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. The Knights grew tired of their oft-absentee Grand Master and recalled him in 1238, forcing him to retire. He died in 1239 at his estate at Salerno, Italy. Frederick II and the pope had a falling out within days.
Date of Death: 20 March 1239
Successor: Conrad of Thuringia
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