Subreption of the Truth — a Kind of “Pious Fraud”?
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Subreption of the Truth — a Kind of “Pious Fraud”?
Publication type
Anna Gershtein 
Occupation: Senior Research Fellow
Affiliation: Institute of World History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
The latest analysis of the scientists in paleopathology discovered that Henry (VII), the eldest son of the Emperor Frederick II, had been ill with leprosy. This fact has been unknown to historians, who who study mainly written sources, until the last discovery. Based on this breakthrough the author tries to review traditional judgements about Frederick's behaviour towards his son and to reconstruct motives of his action as a ruler. He deposed his son in 1235 from his throne of the German king and the Emperor haven't forgiven Henry and has been keeping him isolated until his death in 1242. That was a period of total isolation for Henry from society. Author admits, that the short writing, an order to provide his son with “the proper clothes” can be the unique evidence of the fact that Frederick II was well aware of the illness of his son and tried to provide Henry with all things that he really needed in his poor conditions. At the same time, Frederick kept on his image as a “strong ruler” and kept it a secret, because such kind of illness of his own son could be judged by medieval people as bright sight that the Emperor himself reigned against God's will, not according to it.
image of power, leprosy, isolation, political history, subreption, lies
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