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"The might of Germany will live forever."
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Frederick I (1122 – 10 June 1199), better known as Frederick Barbarossa (meaning "red beard"), a nickname given to him by the Italians he spent most of his rule warring with, was king of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death. His many political and military accomplishments made him a legendary figure both during and after his time, and one of the most celebrated Holy Roman Emperors. He leads the Germans in Civilization VI.

As in history, Germany under Frederick Barbarossa is a powerhouse that can threaten to overwhelm its foes with their productivity and military prowess.


Heroic Frederick, king of the Germans, your task is to forge the independent states that surround you into an empire. You are blessed to be a great military leader - use those skills to bring these cities under your sway so they may develop into commercial and industrial powerhouses. Surely then the bards will sing of mighty Frederick with the red beard, the great Holy Roman Emperor.


Frederick Barbarossa's unique agenda is Iron Crown. He does not like civilizations that are Suzerains with or have conquered city-states, since he would like to conquer them, and likes those who do not associate with city-states.

His leader ability is Holy Roman Emperor. It provides him with an additional Military Policy Military policy slot and +7 Strength Combat Strength for units fighting city-states.

Detailed Approach[]

German cities can become productive quickly, adding a second, third, and subsequent District Districts many turns earlier than their foes. Nearby city-states can easily be absorbed into Frederick's "Holy Roman Empire." Look for him to attack a city-state with fertile lands and resources rather than trying to spend the time to woo it diplomatically. In the Modern era, Germany adds the U-Boat, a premier unit designed to economically disrupt their foes. With their heavy industrial base, Germany can then press forward to victory on any front that they choose.


Frederick Barbarossa is voiced by Bert Coll. He speaks Middle High German, the main language of the Holy Roman Empire (other than Latin).


Codename Quote (English translation) Quote (Middle High German) Notes
Agenda-based Approval I commend you on your prudence. To aid that city-state is to invite death. (lit. "For cautiousness, (one) should be commended. To help this realm would be called to dance with death.") Über vorsihtichkeit sî gelobet, zû hëlfen disem rîch, hieze tanzen mit dem tôde.
Agenda-based Disapproval I will destroy my enemies, and if you continue to help them, I will destroy you as well. (lit. "I destroy my enemies, and, if you help them, you too.") Ich verstôre mîne vînde, und ob ir inen hëlft, ouch iuch.
Attacked I have defeated enemies ten times as powerful as you. You will be just one more for the historians. (lit. "How do you want to defeat me, when I destroyed so many enemies?") Wie wolt ir an mir gesigen, der ich sô vil der vînde verdurbe?
Declares War Let it be known: you are an enemy of Germany and must be destroyed. May God have mercy on you, for I will not. (lit. "You have heard the warning/You were well warned, but still you seek conflict. Now you will learn your lesson, as many other men have before you!") Ir hânt der warnung wôl vernomen, doch suochet ir noch imer strît. Nû wërdet ir ez lërnen, wî sô manec man vor iuch!
Defeated We were the august and glorious… but no, never mind that. You are victorious. May your reign be more peaceful than mine ever was. (lit. "I maintained piety and blessedness... but never mind that. You have achieved victory... May your empire be free of hate, and of fighting.") Ich pflegte vrümekeit und sælde... doch vergezzet daz. Ir hant den sige errungen... Sî üer rîch frî des hasses, und des strîtes.
Greeting Greetings. I am the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick, King of Germany, Italy, Burgundy, and many others. I trust that you will rule your lands as I do: through might. (lit. "God greets you, traveller. I am Emperor Frederick and rule over German and Welsh lands, over Burgundy and many more. I know surely that you, too, can embrace righteous force. / I know well that you rule with law and order.") Got grüeze iuch, geselle. Ich bin keiser Friderich unde hêrse über tiutsche unde welsche lante über Burgond unde manche mêr. Ich weiz wol daz ouch ir kunt gehêrsen mit rehter gewalt. "Welsh lands" here denotes the Italian territories of the Empire, not Wales, though both terms stem from the same Germanic word for "foreigner, speaker of Romance languages."
Quote from Civilopedia The might of Germany will live forever. (lit. "German power lives forever.") Tiutsche gewalt lebt ewiclich.


Invitation to Capital: I will show you our great capital if you tell me how yours can possibly compare to Germany's seat of power.

Invitation to City: As the Holy Roman Emperor, I welcome you to our land. If you wish, you can see some of its glory in the nearest city. Unless, of course, they are rebelling again.

Rejects Player's Declaration of Friendship: No, I cannot accept your friendship, for the good of the Empire.

Accepts Player's Declaration of Friendship: A strong ally is the greatest friend. Let us live in peace.

Requests a Declaration of Friendship: Again we extend our hand, but this time in friendship. Will you accept it?

Player Accepts His Declaration of Friendship: Thank you, friend.

Player Rejects His Declaration of Friendship: Perhaps next time, then.

Denounced by Player: I should answer you with my sword… perhaps I will.

Denounces Player: The world will know of your treachery. And you will be judged.

Accepts Delegation from Player: Your envoy arrived and I welcomed them personally. Our Empire could benefit from diplomacy.

Rejects Delegation from Player: No, of course not.

Sends Delegation to Player: We have sent a diplomatic envoy to you. Treat them as you would treat me, the Duke of Swabia, King of Burgundy, King of Germany, King of the Romans, King of Italy, and Holy Roman Emperor.

Accepts Player's Open Border Agreement: I will allow it, for the good of Germany, I hope.

Rejects Player's Open Border Agreement: I was not born a fool, to allow my enemies passage through my lands.

Requests Open Border Agreement: I must move my army through your land. Will you allow it?

Too Many Troops near His Border: If you think we are blind to your army, you are naive. Move them away from Germany, or suffer the consequences.

Civilopedia entry[]

Frederick (later given the sobriquet “Barbarossa” by the unruly Italians he tried to rule) gathered titles like he gathered enemies. By his death in June 1190 AD, he had quite a few of each. When he was done, he’d beaten all challengers... save a distant swift-flowing river. Historians consider him one of the greatest – if not the greatest – medieval Holy Roman Emperors (well, he was the first). Compared to his peers, Frederick Barbarossa’s longevity, ambition, organizational ability, battlefield prowess, political acumen and focused ruthlessness make him seem nigh superhuman in an age civilization refers to as “dark.”

Born in 1122 into a family that claimed descent from Charlemagne, Frederick was heir to the Duchy of Swabia – one of some 1600 minor duchies and city-states that made up “Germany” – which he took over as ruler in 1147. Being the restless sort, shortly afterwards the new duke accompanied his uncle Conrad III, King of Germany, on the ill-fated Second Crusade. Whereas the French decided on a safer if longer route to the Holy Land, Conrad made to march straight through Anatolia, where his force was decimated at the hands of the Seljuk Turks in the Battle of Dorylaeum and then retreated to the coast, whereupon most of the survivors deserted to make their own way home. But, steadfast Frederick distinguished himself and showed an aptitude for bloodletting. Thus, when Conrad died in 1152, he anointed Frederick his successor rather than his own son (who was, after all, only six years old).

On 4 March, Frederick was crowned “elected” King of Germany at Frankfurt; five days later, he was crowned King of the Romans in Aachen (not that the Romans particularly wanted him, hence the coronation in a German city). Germany was at the time a squabbling patchwork of princes, dukes, and other feckless royalty claiming holdings ranging from large regions such as Bavaria to some too small to pinpoint on a map (if there were any decent maps to be had). Frederick realized that the only way to restore order was to give them a common goal... the enforcement of German imperial rights in Italy. And, rather than curtail feudalism as was occurring in other realms, he sought to restore it fully and thus bribe the German lords with lavish concessions.

If Frederick wanted to restore the Germans to the glory they had enjoyed under Charlemagne and Otto the Great by running roughshod over the Italians, however, he needed to pamper the papacy. Besides, Frederick wanted to annul his loveless, and more importantly childless, marriage with Adelheid of tiny Vohberg. In March 1153 he concluded the Treaty of Constance with the Pope Eugene III, whereby Frederick pledged to defend the papacy, make no peace with Sicilians or other enemies of the true church, and retake Rome from uncivil republicans. And he got rid of Adelheid.

Now with an excuse and the blessings of the Holy Father, Frederick marched south October 1154. First he beat Milan into submission, then sacked and razed stubborn Tortona. Frederick received the Iron Crown, and was thus made King of Italy. Pavia, Bologna, Tuscany, soon enough he approached Rome itself. There he met with the new pope, Adrian IV, in the Vatican. The next day, 18 June 1155, Adrian crowned Frederick I as Holy Roman Emperor in St. Peter’s Basilica amidst the cheering of the German troops and the stony silence of the Romans. The ungrateful locals soon began rioting, and Frederick spent his coronation day bringing peace to the city, at the cost of a thousand dead Romans. Having had a fine first Italian tour, Frederick headed back to Germany with the pope in tow, attacking Spoleto and meeting with an embassy from the Byzantine Emperor along the way.

Upon his return, Kaiser Rotbart (as the Germans called him) found the nobles engaged in their hereditary shenanigans. He settled the unrest with his usual delicacy – by switching the titles and holdings around so that the princes and dukes would lack the support of their new subjects. Thus, for instance, Frederick transferred the Duchy of Bavaria to his cousin, who was Duke of Saxony at the time, and made the former Duke of Bavaria the new Duke of Austria. And so forth. Along the way, he married Beatrice of Burgundy in 1156, thus making him King of Burgundy in 1178.

No rest for the wicked, as they say. Emperor Frederick Barbarossa led four more invasions into Italy (in 1158, in 1163, in 1166, and in 1174), mostly to sort out – repeatedly – who should sit upon the Chair of Peter. He also intended... several times... to deal with the issue of Norman Sicily, but kept being distracted by revolts in northern Italy and unrest in the Rhineland. In the fifth expedition into Italy, where he was opposed by the Lombard League, which included not just various Italian cities but Sicily and Constantinople as well, the now ageing but still formidable Frederick was defeated at the Battle of Alessandria in 1175. Europe was shocked. When the German dukes refused to bring help, Frederick was decisively beaten at Legnano near Milan in May 1176. The Holy Roman Emperor had no choice but to agree to the Peace of Anagni, by which he recognized Alexander III as pope.

Frederick spent the next decade “peacefully”... getting revenge on the German dukes (including his cousin) who had failed to support his venture into Italy, and putting the Italians in their place yet again by joining forces with local rural nobility in reducing several uppity Tuscan cities. But it seems the old warhorse was restless. He certainly wasn’t soft. In 1189 AD, he joined the Third Crusade, along with France’s King Philip II and England’s King Richard I, at the beckoning of the new pope. But he never made it to face Saladin, for he drowned in June 1190 trying to cross the Saleph River on his horse rather than use a crowded bridge. In some way, a fitting end to Barbarossa (too bad about the horse, though).





CIVILIZATION VI - First Look- Germany

First Look: Germany

Related achievements[]

Third Crusade
Third Crusade
Playing as Frederick Barbarossa, conquer the city-state of Jerusalem
The main goal of the Third Crusade was to capture Jerusalem, which it failed to do, and was largely commanded by Frederick Barbarossa, who died during the Crusade.
Crusader King
Crusader King
Win a regular game as Frederick Barbarossa
Barbarossa died en route to the Third Crusade. Could also refer to the game series Crusader Kings.

See also[]

Civilization VI Leaders [edit]
Abraham Lincoln1Alexander1Amanitore1Ambiorix1Bà Triệu1Basil II1Catherine de Medici (Magnificence Catherine1) • Chandragupta R&F-OnlyCleopatra (Ptolemaic Cleopatra1) • Cyrus1Dido GS-OnlyEleanor of Aquitaine GS-OnlyElizabeth I1Frederick BarbarossaGandhiGenghis Khan R&F-OnlyGilgameshGitarja1GorgoHammurabi1Harald Hardrada (Varangian Harald Hardrada1) • Hojo TokimuneJadwiga1Jayavarman VII1João III1John Curtin1Julius Caesar1Kristina GS-OnlyKublai Khan1Kupe GS-OnlyLady Six Sky1Lautaro R&F-OnlyLudwig II1Mansa Musa GS-OnlyMatthias Corvinus GS-OnlyMenelik II1MontezumaMvemba a NzingaNader Shah1Nzinga Mbande1Pachacuti GS-OnlyPedro IIPericlesPeterPhilip IIPoundmaker R&F-OnlyQin Shi Huang (Unifier Qin Shi Huang1) • Ramses II1Robert the Bruce R&F-OnlySaladin (Sultan Saladin1) • Sejong1Seondeok R&F-OnlyShaka R&F-OnlySimón Bolívar1Suleiman GS-Only (Muhteşem Suleiman1) • Sundiata Keita1Tamar R&F-OnlyTeddy Roosevelt (Bull Moose Teddy1Rough Rider Teddy1) • Theodora1Tokugawa1TomyrisTrajanVictoria (Age of Steam Victoria1) • Wilfrid Laurier GS-OnlyWilhelmina R&F-OnlyWu Zetian1Yongle1
1 Requires DLC

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.