Hohenstaufen, a dynasty of Holy Roman emperors and German kings, 1138–1208 and 1214–54. They were also kings of Sicily, 1194–1266. The Hohenstaufen name was taken from the ancestral castle, built on the hill of Staufen in southwestern Germany. (Hohenis German for “high.”) Frederick (I) Barbarossa and Frederick II were the greatest Hohenstaufen rulers. The male line ended in 1268.