Of Germanic origin (Friedrich), this first name which means "peace" and "powerful" was worn by many monarchs of northern Europe (Denmark, Sweden, Prussia ...) and by several emperors of the Holy Roman Empire including Frédéric Barberousse, in the 12th century. Available in many languages (Frederico, Frederick ...), its French variant comes from the Latin Fredericus. The first name Frédéric was one of the great classics in Europe between the 1940s and 1980s.
Celebrated on July 18, Saint Frederick was Bishop of Utrecht in the 9th century. Despite his reluctance, his appointment by the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pious took place 820. He then devoted his magisterium to the evangelization of Friesland, fighting against Arianism and other local heresies, while working for peace and defense most humble. He was allegedly assassinated in 838 on the orders of Empress Judith, whom he blamed for his immorality.
King and emperors
Frederick I Barbarossa (1122 - 1190), Germanic emperor (1155-1190). Head of the Hohen-staufen family, he set out to re-establish imperial authority in Germany and Italy, and tried to limit papal power to the spiritual realm. Defeated in Legnano (1176) by the Lombard League supported by Pope Alexander III, he had to sign the Peace of Venice (1177). During the 3rd Crusade, he drowned in the Selef in Cilicia (Turkey).
Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (1194 - 1250, Fiorentino, near Foggia), King of Sicily (Frederick I Roger; 1197-1250) and Germanic Emperor (1220-1250). Son of Henri VI of Hohenstaufen and Constance of Sicily, protected by Pope Innocent III, he was proclaimed king of the Romans from 1215. He devoted himself especially to the Mediterranean part of his empire, fought against the Lombard League and obtained from the sultan from Egypt free access for Christian pilgrims to the Holy Places. He made Palermo, his capital, an intellectual and artistic center.
Frederick II the Great (1712 -1786), King of Prussia (1740-1786). He strengthened the administrative organization of his states and modernized the army. He conquered Silesia at the end of two wars (1740-1745) and knew how to keep it during the Seven Years' War. With the first partition of Poland, he acquired West Prussia (1772). Literate (Anti-Machiavelli, 1739), musician, patron and patron of letters, he invited Voltaire and French scholars to his court at the castle of Sans-Souci. Nicknamed the philosopher-king, he was the archetype of the enlightened despot.
Other famous Frédéric
Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849). A Polish composer, he revolutionized pianistic writing in his Nocturnes, his Studies, his Preludes, his Polonaises, which draw on the Slavic melodic fundamentals. Celebrated by Schumann and Liszt, he became one of the main figures of romantic Paris and had a long affair with George Sand.
Abandoned at the end of the Middle Ages, the first name Frédéric experienced a resurgence of popularity in the 19th century (Frédéric Mistral, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, Friedrich Nietzsche) and especially in the middle of the 20th century: Frédéric Rossif, Frederico Fellini, Frederico Garcia Lorca ...) .