Conradin, the son of Conrad IV., duke of Swabia, and the last of the Hohenstaufen, born in 1252, beheaded Oct. 29, 1268. His father dying while he was an infant, he resided sometimes in the court of Louis of Bavaria, and at other periods under his protection at the castle of Ravensburg. He formed an intimate friendship with Frederick, son of the margrave of Baden, and, on the death of Manfred, who had acted as his regent and subsequently usurped the crown in the Apulian possessions, accepted the invitation of the Italian Ghibellines to place himself at their head. The greater part of the possessions of the Hohenstaufen had been swept away, and his stepfather, Meinhard II. count of Gorz, watched every opportunity to seize the remaining inheritance of the family; for Conradin was yet duke of Swabia, and held the ancient Franco-nian possessions of the Salic emperors. He was aided in his determination by Meinhard and Louis of Bavaria, who accompanied him into Italy to further their own selfish designs. The sale of a large portion of his possessions to these men enabled him to raise troops. In the autumn of 1267 he crossed the Alps with 10,000 men, and at Verona was warmly received by the Scala family, the chief of the Ghibelline party.

His relatives here, persuading him to part with his remaining possessions at a low price, deserted him with their followers, leaving but 3,000 men. The Ghibellines, however, remained true to him. Verona raised a large army, Pisa a fleet, and Rome, whose pontiff was forced to flee to Viterbo, opened its gates to him. Conradin entered lower Italy, and at Tagliacozzo met the French army under Charles of Anjou, on whom the crown of Naples had been bestowed by the see of Rome. He beat Charles back, and his men, supposing the victory won, dispersed in search of plunder, when they were attacked by the French and utterly routed, Aug. 23, 1268. Conradin escaped, but was betrayed into the hands of Charles, who caused him to be beheaded in the market place of Naples, he being only 16 years of age.