Rabodo (or Rapoto) was the imperial vicar and marquis of Tuscany from 1116 until his death in battle in 1119. A German count, he was appointed by the Emperor Henry V after the death of the Marchioness Matilda of Tuscany (1115) in order to break the practice of hereditary succession in the Tuscan marquisate. He was a much weaker ruler than his predecessor, unable to dominate the many disparate forces opposed to direct imperial (or German) rule. This weakness is often associated with the rise of autonomous city government in Florence. In a document of 11 September 1116, Rabodo is called "marquis of Tuscany owing to imperial largesse",[a] but in one dated to 1119 he is said to rule "by God's grace", using the same formula used by Matilda.[b]
He moved the Tuscan capital from Florence, where it had been since 1057, to the fortified town of San Miniato al Tedesco,[c] thereafter the seat of the imperial vicars into the 13th century. He brought with him a German entourage, referenced with contempt in many contemporary documents merely as the Teutonici (Germans). In 1116 Rabodo pledged the castle of Bientina to Archbishop Pietro Moriconi of Pisa and the Pisan judge (iudex) and operator (operarius) Ildebrando. This pledge was witnessed by four consuls of the commune of the city of Pisa. Rabodo disputed the jurisdictional claims of the commune of Florence and established an alliance with the city's rivals, the Alberti counts. He took the castle of Monte Cascioli, which was coveted by the Alberti, from the Florentines in 1119. The Florentines assaulted the castle twice, and Rabodo was killed defending it. The castle was burnt to the ground.[d] His successor, Conrad of Scheyern, another German, was in office by 1120.
- Ex largitione imperatoris marchio Tusciae.
- Rabodo Dei gratia si quid est.
- This is the origin of the epithet "al Tedesco" (i.e., the German), which was only dropped in the 20th century.
- The later Florentine chronicler Giovanni Villani confused the attack of 1119 with an earlier attack of 1113 and incorrectly called Rabodo "Robert the German". The Annales florentini state of the 1119 attacks: marchio Rempoctus defendebat (marquis Rempoctus defended [it]) and Monte Cascioli ignem consumpserunt (Monte Cascioli they consumed with fire).
- Heywood, William (2010) . A History of Pisa: Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries. Cambridge University Press. pp. 96–97.
- Wickham, Chris (2015). Sleepwalking into a New World: The Emergence of Italian City Communes in the Twelfth Century. Princeton University Press. p. 88.
- Rubinstein, Nicolai (1942). "The Beginnings of Political Thought in Florence: A Study in Mediaeval Historiography". Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. 5: 198–227. doi:10.2307/750453.
- Villari, Pasquale (1894). The Two First Centuries of Florentine History: The Republic and Parties at the Time of Dante. T. Fisher Unwin. pp. 102–07, 113.
- Schevill, Ferdinand (1963). Medieval and Renaissance Florence, Volume 1: Medieval Florence. Harper and Row.
- Dameron, George Williamson (1991). Episcopal Power and Florentine Society, 1000–1320. Harvard University Press. pp. 70–72.