'This new edition returns a mercurial, bravura work to the bookshelves, from which it has been absent too long' Dan Jones, author of The Templars. Dubbed the 'stupor mundi' ? the wonder of the world ? Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, led a life of extraordinary drama and ambition. Born in 1194, Frederick was the son of Emperor Henry II and Constance, Queen of Sicily. He inherited the Sicilian throne when he was only four years old and, in adulthood, the charismatic Frederick fought for control over the lands he considered his birthright to become King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor. At the zenith of his power, he crowned himself King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, thereby securing an empire which embraced vast areas of Western Europe and the Holy Land. Frederick was a towering figure of his age, but he was a man full of contradictions. For some he was a Messiah, an enlightened monarch and bringer of justice and peace; for others, a tyrant and a devil, bent on absolute power. He led crusades but was excommunicated four times. He was a warrior but also an influential patron of the arts. He welcomed Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars to his court whilst persecuting Arabs and Jews in his Sicilian homeland. First published in 1927, Ernst Kantorowicz's stylish and absorbing biography of Frederick was one of the first examples of popular narrative history writing, and a classic of its time. This edition, with a new introduction by the bestselling author Dan Jones, rightly brings that life to a new audience.