Meet the medieval German warlord with a message for modern politicians

In an age of uncertainty and upheaval, it pays to have strong leaders. Perhaps Germany could draw from history for inspiration, says Michael Stuchbery.

Of course, Henry the Lion (Heinrich der Löwe) who died 824 years ago this week, was a medieval warlord with a penchant for a good scrap, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have his good points.

Truth be told, he did have a leg up in life – born around 1129, he inherited both the Duchies of Saxony and Bavaria, a vast expanse of territory encompassing some of the richest land and resources in Europe. 

As a young nobleman in 12th century Europe, Henry was born to a life of fairly constant warfare. Much of his young manhood – indeed, a considerable portion of his adult life – was spent supporting Frederick Barbarossa in his attempts to consolidate and stabilize the Holy Roman Empire. 

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