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| Created 4 Mar 2012
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Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, was the son of Henry III, was born in Goslar, Germany on November 11, 1050. Henry succeeded his father at the age of six, his mother ruling in his name. Henry took fullrule at the age of fifteen in 1065. He then crushe d a rebellion in Saxony. About that time a struggle began with the pope over temporal power over the empire. Despite a papal decree prohibiting appointment of church officials by the emperor, Henry appointed prelates in various parts of Italy in 1075 . On being reprimanded by pope Gregory VII, Henry convened a German council at Worms with theaim to depose Gregory. This act resulted in Henry's excommunication from the church, with the consequence of the release of his subjects from any allegiance t o him. The nobles formed a coalition,threatening not to recognize Henry if he did not secure absolution by February 1077. By dressing as a penitent and standing barefoot in the snow for three days outside the castle of Canossa, Henry was readmitted t o the communion of the church. The German nobles, however, elected Rudolf, duke of Swabia, to replace Henry as emperor. From this sprang a civil war. In 1080, the pope recognized the kingship of Rudolf, and once again excommunicated Henry, who declare d Gregory deposed and had Guibert of Ravenna elected as Clement III. Rudolf was killed in 1080, and Henry regained control. He then led his forces into Italy and captured Rome in 1084. He was then crowned emperor by pope Clement. A Norman army, led b y Robert Guiscard, came to the aid of Gregory and drove Henry from Rome. Henry returned to Germany and was involved in a succession of civil wars, in which his son eventually turned against him. In 1105, he was taken prisoner by his son Henry V, and for ced to abdicate. He went into exile in Belgium where he died the following year.