Selke Valley Railway
The Selke Valley Railway, Gernrode-Harzgerode Railway and the Anhalt Harz Railway were different names for the metre gauge railway in the Lower Harz, Germany owned by the Gernrode-Harzgerode Railway Company. It is now only known as the Selke Valley Railway; this has included the Quedlinburg–Gernrode line since 2006. It continues through Alexisbad to Hasselfelde and includes the Alexisbad–Harzgerode branch and the Stiege–Eisfelder Talmühle connecting line. All of them are now owned by the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways; the line follows the Selke river between Albrechtshaus. The Gernrode–Mägdesprung railway was opened by the Gernrode-Harzgerode Railway Company after a construction period of 316 days on 7 August 1887; the Selke Valley Railway is the oldest narrow gauge railway in the Harz Mountains. Because of the terrain conditions and for cost reasons, Localbahn-Bau und Betriebs-Gesellschaft Wilhelm Hostmann & Co. from Hanover was awarded the contract to build the 1000 mm gauge railway. Services were hauled by three powerful steam locomotives called Gernerode and Selke.
The line was extended in stages to Hasselfelde by 1892. After the opening of the Stiege–Eisfelder Talmühle railway by the Nordhausen-Wernigerode Railway Company on 15 July 1905, a connection existed to the Harz Railway; because of the increased demand for both passenger and freight traffic, three more steam locomotives had been put into service by the turn of the century, the Güntersberge, the Alexisbad and the Hasselfelde. In the spring of 1946, the Eisfelder Talmühle–Hasselfelde and Herzogschacht–Lindenberg sections of the Selke Valley Railway were dismantled and all the rolling stock and track material was sent as reparations to the former Soviet Union; the operational management between Efelder Talmühle and Hasselfelde was transferred to the NWE from 15 April 1946. Because of its importance for the transport of fluorite, reconstruction began in the autumn of 1946 between Gernrode and Lindenberg, which dragged on because of lack of material until 1950; the Lindenberg–Stiege section was not rebuilt.
The GHE was nationalised in 1946 and it was absorbed by Deutsche Reichsbahn on 1 April 1949. In 1983, the reconstruction of the Straßberg–Stiege section was approved to ensure the supply of lignite from Nordhausen to the new cogeneration plant of Silberhütte. Scheduled passenger services between Hasselfelde and Gernrode were resumed on 3 June 1984. Since the three Harz narrow gauge lines have again been connected as one network, now 140 kilometres-long. On 1 February 1993, the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways took over the Harz Railway, the Brocken Railway and the Selke Valley Railway from DR. Rail traffic on the standard gauge Quedlinburg–Gernrode–Ballenstedt–Frose railway ended in Gernrode after a signal box fire in Ballenstedt. Deutsche Bahn saw itself as no longer able to operate the line economically and the Gernrode–Frose section was closed; the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways took over the Quedlinburg–Gernrode section and began the conversion of the around 8.5 kilometres-long section of the Selke Valley Railway to Quedlinburg to metre gauge on 18 April 2005.
The railway supervisory authority of Saxony-Anhalt approved operations over the line on 17 February 2006 and it was opened on 4 March with festivities and special trains. Since various remaining works had to be carried out, only a few special trains operated until the start of scheduled passenger traffic on 26 June 2006; the 2017 timetable shows six pairs of trains a day between Gernrode and Quedlinburg, two of which are hauled by locomotives. From Quedlinburg, the Selke Valley Railway runs for a few kilometres parallel with the standard gauge line to Thale until the newly-laid narrow gauge track turns to the south; this is followed by the stations of Quedlinburg-Quarmbeck and Bad Suderode, before Gernrode station is reached. Now the old route of the Magdeburg–Halberstadt Railway Company branched off towards Frose and the line continues along the original Selke Valley Railway; the line runs past the halt of Osterteich, next to the artificial pond of the same name, through the Ostergrund. Past the Heiliger Teich the line climbs through Sternhaus-Haferfeld station and continues to Sternhaus-Ramberg station.
Like the previous one, this is located in the middle of a forest. After Sternhaus-Ramberg station, the line descends into the valley of the Selke; this section is the steepest in the entire network of Harz narrow gauge railways. The narrow valley of the Selke is reached by Mägdesprung station; the line now follows the course of the river to Alexisbad. The numerous rock cuttings that the railway must pass through demonstrate the difficulty of engineering the line. After passing the small halt of Drahtzug, the line reaches the village of Alexisbad. Alexisbad station, the starting point of the branch to Harzgerode, lies at the end of the small town. Subsequently, the branch line climbs out of the narrow valley of the Selke onto the plateau of Harzgerode; the first section of the Selke Valley Railway ended at Harzgerode station. From Alexisbad station, known for its simultaneous departures of two steam locomotives, the second line of the Selke Valley Railway continues through the Selke Valley towards Stiege
Mean sea level is an average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's oceans from which heights such as elevation may be measured. MSL is a type of vertical datum – a standardised geodetic datum –, used, for example, as a chart datum in cartography and marine navigation, or, in aviation, as the standard sea level at which atmospheric pressure is measured to calibrate altitude and aircraft flight levels. A common and straightforward mean sea-level standard is the midpoint between a mean low and mean high tide at a particular location. Sea levels can be affected by many factors and are known to have varied over geological time scales; however 20th century and current millennium sea level rise is caused by global warming, careful measurement of variations in MSL can offer insights into ongoing climate change. The term above sea level refers to above mean sea level. Precise determination of a "mean sea level" is difficult to achieve because of the many factors that affect sea level. Instantaneous sea level varies quite a lot on several scales of space.
This is because the sea is in constant motion, affected by the tides, atmospheric pressure, local gravitational differences, salinity and so forth. The easiest way this may be calculated is by selecting a location and calculating the mean sea level at that point and use it as a datum. For example, a period of 19 years of hourly level observations may be averaged and used to determine the mean sea level at some measurement point. Still-water level or still-water sea level is the level of the sea with motions such as wind waves averaged out. MSL implies the SWL further averaged over a period of time such that changes due to, e.g. the tides have zero mean. Global MSL refers to a spatial average over the entire ocean. One measures the values of MSL in respect to the land. In the UK, the Ordnance Datum is the mean sea level measured at Newlyn in Cornwall between 1915 and 1921. Prior to 1921, the vertical datum was MSL at the Victoria Liverpool. Since the times of the Russian Empire, in Russia and other former its parts, now independent states, the sea level is measured from the zero level of Kronstadt Sea-Gauge.
In Hong Kong, "mPD" is a surveying term meaning "metres above Principal Datum" and refers to height of 1.230m below the average sea level. In France, the Marégraphe in Marseilles measures continuously the sea level since 1883 and offers the longest collapsed data about the sea level, it is used for main part of Africa as official sea level. As for Spain, the reference to measure heights below or above sea level is placed in Alicante. Elsewhere in Europe vertical elevation references are made to the Amsterdam Peil elevation, which dates back to the 1690s. Satellite altimeters have been making precise measurements of sea level since the launch of TOPEX/Poseidon in 1992. A joint mission of NASA and CNES, TOPEX/Poseidon was followed by Jason-1 in 2001 and the Ocean Surface Topography Mission on the Jason-2 satellite in 2008. Height above mean sea level is the elevation or altitude of an object, relative to the average sea level datum, it is used in aviation, where some heights are recorded and reported with respect to mean sea level, in the atmospheric sciences, land surveying.
An alternative is to base height measurements on an ellipsoid of the entire Earth, what systems such as GPS do. In aviation, the ellipsoid known as World Geodetic System 84 is used to define heights; the alternative is to use a geoid-based vertical datum such as NAVD88. When referring to geographic features such as mountains on a topographic map, variations in elevation are shown by contour lines; the elevation of a mountain denotes the highest point or summit and is illustrated as a small circle on a topographic map with the AMSL height shown in metres, feet or both. In the rare case that a location is below sea level, the elevation AMSL is negative. For one such case, see Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. To extend this definition far from the sea means comparing the local height of the mean sea surface with a "level" reference surface, or geodetic datum, called the geoid. In a state of rest or absence of external forces, the mean sea level would coincide with this geoid surface, being an equipotential surface of the Earth's gravitational field.
In reality, due to currents, air pressure variations and salinity variations, etc. this does not occur, not as a long-term average. The location-dependent, but persistent in time, separation between mean sea level and the geoid is referred to as ocean surface topography, it varies globally in a range of ± 2 m. Adjustments were made to sea-level measurements to take into account the effects of the 235 lunar month Metonic cycle and the 223-month eclipse cycle on the tides. Several terms are used to describe the changing relationships between sea level and dry land; when the term "relative" is used, it means change relative to a fixed point in the sediment pile. The term "eustatic" refers to global changes in sea level relative to a fixed point, such as the centre of the earth, for example as a result of melting ice-caps; the term "steric" refers to global changes in sea level due to thermal expansion and salinity variations. The term "isostatic" refers to changes in
German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War, Great Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in some German-speaking areas in Central Europe from 1524 to 1525. It failed because of the intense opposition by the aristocracy, who slaughtered up to 100,000 of the 300,000 poorly armed peasants and farmers; the survivors were achieved few, if any, of their goals. The war consisted, like the preceding Bundschuh movement and the Hussite Wars, of a series of both economic and religious revolts in which peasants and farmers supported by Anabaptist clergy, took the lead; the German Peasants' War was Europe's largest and most widespread popular uprising prior to the French Revolution of 1789. The fighting was at its height in the middle of 1525; the war began with separate insurrections, beginning in the southwestern part of what is now Germany and Alsace, spread in subsequent insurrections to the central and eastern areas of Germany and present-day Austria. After the uprising in Germany was suppressed, it flared in several Swiss Cantons.
In mounting their insurrection, peasants faced insurmountable obstacles. The democratic nature of their movement left them without a command structure and they lacked artillery and cavalry. Most of them had little, military experience. In combat they turned and fled, were massacred by their pursuers; the opposition had experienced military leaders, well-equipped and disciplined armies, ample funding. The revolt incorporated some principles and rhetoric from the emerging Protestant Reformation, through which the peasants sought influence and freedom. Radical Reformers and Anabaptists, most famously Thomas Müntzer and supported the revolt. In contrast, Martin Luther and other Magisterial Reformers condemned it and sided with the nobles. In Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants, Luther condemned the violence as the devil's work and called for the nobles to put down the rebels like mad dogs. Historians have interpreted the economic aspects of the German Peasants' War differently, social and cultural historians continue to disagree on its causes and nature.
In the sixteenth century, many parts of Europe had common political links within the Holy Roman Empire, a decentralized entity in which the Holy Roman Emperor himself had little authority outside of his own dynastic lands, which covered only a small fraction of the whole. At the time of the Peasants' War, Charles V, King of Spain, held the position of Holy Roman Emperor. Aristocratic dynasties ruled hundreds of independent territories within the framework of the empire, several dozen others operated as semi-independent city-states; the princes of these dynasties were taxed by the Roman Catholic church. The princes stood to gain economically if they broke away from the Roman church and established a German church under their own control, which would not be able to tax them as the Roman church did. Most German princes broke with Rome using the nationalistic slogan of "German money for a German church". Princes attempted to force their freer peasants into serfdom by increasing taxes and introducing Roman civil law.
Roman civil law advantaged princes who sought to consolidate their power because it brought all land into their personal ownership and eliminated the feudal concept of the land as a trust between lord and peasant that conferred rights as well as obligations on the latter. By maintaining the remnants of the ancient law which legitimized their own rule, they not only elevated their wealth and position in the empire through the confiscation of all property and revenues, but increased their power over their peasant subjects. During the Knights' Revolt the "knights", the lesser landholders of the Rhineland in western Germany, rose up in rebellion in 1522–1523, their rhetoric was religious, several leaders expressed Luther's ideas on the split with Rome and the new German church. However, the Knights' Revolt was not fundamentally religious, it sought to preserve the feudal order. The knights revolted against the new money order, squeezing them out of existence. Martin Luther, the dominant leader of the Reformation in Germany, took a middle course in the Peasants' War.
He criticized both the injustices imposed on the peasants, the rashness of the peasants in fighting back. He tended to support the centralization and urbanization of the economy; this position shored up his position with the burghers. Luther argued, he could not support the Peasant War because it broke the peace, an evil he thought greater than the evils the peasants were rebelling against. Therefore, he encouraged the nobility to violently eliminate the rebelling peasants. Luther criticized the ruling classes for their merciless suppression of the insurrection. Luther has been criticized for his position. Thomas Müntzer was the most prominent radical reforming preacher who supported the demands of the peasantry, including political and legal rights. Müntzer’s theology had been developed against a background of social upheaval and widespread religious doubt, his call for a new world order fused with the political and social demands of the peasantry. In the final weeks of 1524 and the beginning of 1525, Müntzer travelled into south-west Germany, where the peasant armies were gathering.
He spent several weeks in the Klettgau area, there is some e
The Benedictines the Order of Saint Benedict, are a monastic Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are sometimes called the Black Monks, in reference to the colour of the members' religious habits. Despite being called an order, the Benedictines do not operate under a single hierarchy but are instead organised as a collection of independent monastic communities, with each community within the order maintaining its own autonomy. Unlike other religious orders, the Benedictines do not have a superior general or motherhouse with universal jurisdiction. Instead, the order is represented internationally by the Benedictine Confederation, an organisation, set up in 1893 to represent the order's shared interests; the monastery at Subiaco in Italy, established by Saint Benedict of Nursia c. 529, was the first of the dozen monasteries he founded. He founded the Abbey of Monte Cassino. There is no evidence, that he intended to found an order and the Rule of Saint Benedict presupposes the autonomy of each community.
When Monte Cassino was sacked by the Lombards about the year 580, the monks fled to Rome, it seems probable that this constituted an important factor in the diffusion of a knowledge of Benedictine monasticism. It was from the monastery of St. Andrew in Rome that Augustine, the prior, his forty companions set forth in 595 on their mission for the evangelization of England. At various stopping places during the journey, the monks left behind them traditions concerning their rule and form of life, also some copies of the Rule. Lérins Abbey, for instance, founded by Honoratus in 375 received its first knowledge of the Benedictine Rule from the visit of St. Augustine and his companions in 596. Gregory of Tours says that at Ainay Abbey, in the sixth century, the monks "followed the rules of Basil, Cassian and other fathers and using whatever seemed proper to the conditions of time and place", doubtless the same liberty was taken with the Benedictine Rule when it reached them. In Gaul and Switzerland, it supplemented the much stricter Irish or Celtic Rule introduced by Columbanus and others.
In many monasteries it entirely displaced the earlier codes. By the ninth century, the Benedictine had become the standard form of monastic life throughout the whole of Western Europe, excepting Scotland and Ireland, where the Celtic observance still prevailed for another century or two. Through the work of Benedict of Aniane, it became the rule of choice for monasteries throughout the Carolingian empire. Monastic scriptoria flourished from the ninth through the twelfth centuries. Sacred Scripture was always at the heart of every monastic scriptorium; as a general rule those of the monks who possessed skill as writers made this their chief, if not their sole active work. An anonymous writer of the ninth or tenth century speaks of six hours a day as the usual task of a scribe, which would absorb all the time available for active work in the day of a medieval monk. In the Middle Ages monasteries were founded by the nobility. Cluny Abbey was founded by William I, Duke of Aquitaine in 910; the abbey was noted for its strict adherence to the Rule of St. Benedict.
The abbot of Cluny was the superior of all the daughter houses, through appointed priors. One of the earliest reforms of Benedictine practice was that initiated in 980 by Romuald, who founded the Camaldolese community; the dominance of the Benedictine monastic way of life began to decline towards the end of the twelfth century, which saw the rise of the Franciscans and Dominicans. Benedictines took a fourth vow of "stability". Not being bound by location, the mendicants were better able to respond to an "urban" environment; this decline was further exacerbated by the practice of appointing a commendatory abbot, a lay person, appointed by a noble to oversee and to protect the goods of the monastery. Oftentimes, this resulted in the appropriation of the assets of monasteries at the expense of the community which they were intended to support; the English Benedictine Congregation is the oldest of the nineteen Benedictine congregations. Augustine of Canterbury and his monks established the first English Benedictine monastery at Canterbury soon after their arrival in 597.
Other foundations followed. Through the influence of Wilfrid, Benedict Biscop, Dunstan, the Benedictine Rule spread with extraordinary rapidity, in the North it was adopted in most of the monasteries, founded by the Celtic missionaries from Iona. Many of the episcopal sees of England were founded and governed by the Benedictines, no fewer than nine of the old cathedrals were served by the black monks of the priories attached to them. Monasteries served as places of refuge for the weak and homeless; the monks studied the healing properties of plants and minerals to alleviate the sufferings of the sick. Germany was evangelized by English Benedictines. Willibrord and Boniface preached there in the seventh and eighth centuries and founded several abbeys. In the English Reformation, all monasteries were dissolved and their lands confiscated by the Crown, forcing their Catholic members to flee into exile on the Continent. During the 19th century they were able to return to England, including to Selby Abbey in Yorkshire, one of the few great monastic churches to survive the Dissolution.
St. Mildred's Priory, on the Isle of Thanet, was built in 1027 on the site of an abbey founded in 670 by the daughter of the first Christian King of Kent; the priory is home to a community of Benedictine nuns. Five of
Pope Alexander III
Pope Alexander III, born Roland of Siena, was Pope from 7 September 1159 to his death in 1181. Pope Alexander III was born in Siena. From 14th century he is referred to as a member of the aristocratic family of Bandinelli, although this has not been proven, he was long thought to be the 12th-century canon lawyer and theologian Master Roland of Bologna, who composed the "Stroma" or "Summa Rolandi"—one of the earliest commentaries on the Decretum of Gratian—and the "Sententiae Rolandi", a sentence collection displaying the influence of Pierre Abélard, but John T. Noonan and Rudolf Weigand have shown this to be another Rolandus, he studied at Bologna, where Robert of Torigni notes that he taught theology. In October 1150, Pope Eugene III created him Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Cosma e Damiano, he became Cardinal-Priest of St Mark. In 1153, he became papal chancellor and was the leader of the cardinals opposed to German Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, he negotiated the Treaty of Benevento, which restored peaceful relations between Rome and the Kingdom of Sicily.
On 7 September 1159, he was chosen the successor to Pope Adrian IV, the only Briton to hold the office. A minority of the cardinals, elected the cardinal priest Octavian, who assumed the name of Victor IV and became the German Emperor's antipope; the situation was critical for Alexander III, because according to many chronicles of the time, Barbarossa's antipope received the approval of most of the kingdoms of Europe, with the exception of the kingdoms of Portugal and Spain. However, in 1161, King Géza II of Hungary signed an agreement and recognised Alexander III as the rightful pope and declared that the supreme spiritual leader was the only one who could exercise the rite of investiture; this meant that Alexander's legitimacy was gaining strength, as soon proved by the fact that other monarchs, such as the king of France and King Henry II of England, recognized his authority. Because of imperial strength in Italy, Alexander was forced to reside outside of Rome for a large part of his pontificate.
When news reached him of the death of Victor in 1164, he wept, scolded the cardinals in his company for rejoicing at the end of the rival antipope. However, the dispute between Alexander III, Antipope Victor IV and his successors Antipope Paschal III and Antipope Calixtus III continued until Frederick Barbarossa's defeat at the Legnano in 1176, after which Barbarossa recognized Alexander III as pope. On 12 March 1178, Alexander III returned to Rome, which he had been compelled to leave twice: the first time between 1162 and 23 November 1165; when Alexander was arrested by supporters of the imperialist Antipope Victor IV, Oddone Frangipane freed him and sent to safety in Campania. Alexander again left Rome in 1167. At first he went to Benevento moving to various strongholds such as of Anagni, Ferentino and Veroli. Alexander III was the first pope known to have paid direct attention to missionary activities east of the Baltic Sea, he had created the Archbishopric of Uppsala in Sweden in 1164 at the suggestion of his close friend Eskil, Archbishop of Lund – exiled in Clairvaux, due to a conflict with the Danish king.
The latter appointed a Benedictine monk Fulco as a bishop in Estonia. In 1171, Alexander became the first pope to address the situation of the Church in Finland, with Finns harassing priests and only relying on God in time of war. In the bull Non parum animus noster, in 1171 or 1172, he gave papal sanction to ongoing crusades against pagans in northern Europe, promising remission of sin for those who fought there. In doing so, he legitimized the widespread use of forced conversion as a tactic by those fighting in the Baltic. Besides checkmating Barbarossa, Alexander humbled King Henry II of England for the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170, to whom he was unusually close canonizing Becket in 1173; this was the second English saint canonized by Alexander, the first being Edward the Confessor in 1161. Nonetheless, he confirmed the position of Henry as Lord of Ireland in 1172. In March 1177, on his way to Venice to meet the Emperor, Alexander spent four days in the city of Zadar on the Dalmatian coast.
Zadar was at that time a vassal of the Republic of Venice. Through the Papal bull Manifestis Probatum, issued on 23 May 1179, he recognized the right of Afonso I to proclaim himself King of Portugal – an important step in the process of Portugal becoming a recognized independent Kingdom; as a fugitive, Alexander enjoyed the favour and protection of Louis VII of France. In 1163 Alexander summoned clergy and prelates from England, France and Spain to the Council of Tours to address, among other things, the unlawful division of ecclesiastical benefices, clerical usury, lay possession of tithes. In March 1179, Alexander III held the Third Council of the Lateran, one of the most important mediaeval church councils, reckoned by the Catholic Church as the eleventh ecumenical council, its acts embodied several of the Pope's proposals for the betterment of the condition of the Church, among them the law requiring that no one could be elected pope without the votes of two-thirds of the cardinals. The rule was altered in 1996, but was restored in 2007.
This synod marked the summit of Alexander III's power. Soon after the close of the synod, the Roman Republic forced Alexander III to leave the city, which he never re-entered, on 29 September 1179, some nobles set up the Antipope Innocent III. By the judicious use of money, Alexander III got him into his power, so that he was deposed in January 1180. In 11
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto III was Holy Roman Emperor from 996 until his early death in 1002. A member of the Ottonian dynasty, Otto III was the only son of the Emperor Otto II and his wife Theophanu. Otto III was crowned as King of Germany in 983 at the age of three, shortly after his father's death in Southern Italy while campaigning against the Byzantine Empire and the Emirate of Sicily. Though the nominal ruler of Germany, Otto III's minor status ensured his various regents held power over the Empire, his cousin Henry II, Duke of Bavaria claimed regency over the young king and attempted to seize the throne for himself in 984. When his rebellion failed to gain the support of Germany's aristocracy, Henry II was forced to abandon his claims to the throne and to allow Otto III's mother Theophanu to serve as regent until her death in 991. Otto III was still a child, so his grandmother, the Dowager Empress Adelaide of Italy, served as regent until 994. In 996, Otto III marched to Italy to claim the titles King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor, left unclaimed since the death of Otto II in 983.
Otto III sought to reestablish Imperial control over the city of Rome, which had revolted under the leadership of Crescentius II, through it the papacy. Crowned as Emperor, Otto III put down the Roman rebellion and installed his cousin as Pope Gregory V, the first Pope of German descent. After the Emperor had pardoned him and left the city, Crescentius II again rebelled, deposing Gregory V and installing John XVI as Pope. Otto III returned to the city in 998, reinstalled Gregory V, executed both Crescentius II and John XVI; when Gregory V died in 999, Otto III installed Sylvester II as the new Pope. Otto III's actions throughout his life further strengthened imperial control over the Catholic Church. From the beginning of his reign, Otto III faced opposition from the Slavs along the eastern frontier. Following the death of his father in 983, the Slavs rebelled against imperial control, forcing the Empire to abandon its territories east of the Elbe river. Otto III fought to regain the Empire's lost territories throughout his reign with only limited success.
While in the east, Otto III strengthened the Empire's relations with Poland and Hungary. Through his affairs in Eastern Europe in 1000, he was able to extend the influence of Christianity by supporting mission work in Poland and through the crowning of Stephen I as the first Christian king of Hungary. Returning to Rome in 1001, Otto faced a rebellion by the Roman aristocracy, which forced him to flee the city. While marching to reclaim the city in 1002, Otto suffered a sudden fever and died in a castle near Civita Castellana at the age of 21. With no clear heir to succeed him, his early death threw the Empire into political crisis. Otto III was born in July 980 somewhere between Aachen and Nijmegen; the only son of Emperor Otto II and his wife Theophanu, Otto III was the youngest of the couple's four children. Prior to Otto III's birth, his father had completed military campaigns in France against King Lothar. On 14 July 982, Otto II's army suffered a crushing defeat against the Muslim Emirate of Sicily at the Battle of Stilo.
Otto II had been campaigning in southern Italy with hopes of annexing the whole of Italy into the Holy Roman Empire. Otto II himself escaped the battle unharmed but many important imperial officials were among the battle's casualties. Following the defeat and at the insistence of the Empire's nobles, Otto II called an assembly of the Imperial Diet in Verona at Pentecost, 983, where he proposed to the assembly to have the three-year-old Otto III elected as King of Germany, becoming Otto II's undoubted heir apparent; this was the first time. After the assembly was concluded, Otto III and his mother Theophanu traveled across the Alps in order for Otto to be crowned at Aix, the traditional location of the coronation of the German kings. Otto II stayed behind to address military action against the Muslims. While still in central Italy, Otto II died on 7 November 983, was buried in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Otto III was crowned as king on Christmas Day 983, three weeks after his father's death, by Willigis, the Archbishop of Mainz, by John, the Archbishop of Ravenna.
News of Otto II's death first reached Germany shortly after his son's coronation. The unresolved problems in southern Italy and the Slavic uprising on the Empire's eastern border made the Empire's political situation unstable. With a minor on the throne, the Empire was thrown into confusion and Otto III's mother Theophanu assumed the role of regent for her young son. Otto III's cousin Henry II had been deposed as Duke of Bavaria by Otto II in 976 following his failed rebellion and imprisoned under the Bishopric of Utrecht. Following Otto II's death, Henry was released from prison; as Otto III's nearest male Ottonian relative, Henry II claimed the regency over his infant cousin. Archbishop of Cologne Warin granted Henry II the regency without substantial opposition. Only Otto III's mother Theophanu objected, along with his grandmother, the Dowager Empress Adelaide of Italy, his aunt, Abbess Matilda of Quedlinburg. Adelaide and Matilda, were both in Italy and unable to press their objections; as regent, Henry II took actions aimed less at guardianship of his infant cousin and more at claiming the throne for himself.
According to Gerbert of Aurillac, Henry II adopted a Byzantine-style joint-kingship. Towards the end of 984, Henry II sought to form alliances between himself and other important figure in the Ottonian world, chief among them his cousin King Lothar of France. In exchange for agreeing to make Henry II king of Germany, Henry II agreed to rel
The Selke is a river of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is a right-hand tributary of the Bode that starts in the Harz Mountains before breaking out onto the northeastern Harz Foreland, it has a length of 64 kilometres, of which 30 kilometres lie in the forested mountains of the Harz and the rest on the agricultural lowlands of the Harz Foreland. The Selke rises near the village of Friedrichshöhe in the borough of Güntersberge at a height of about 520 metres above NN. From Friedrichshöhe to Mägdesprung in the borough of Harzgerode it is accompanied by the Selke Valley Railway for a distance of 17 kilometres; the Selke has cut into the Harz Mountains in some places whilst in others it runs in a broad valley, depending on the bedrock. In Meisdorf on the northeastern edge of the Lower Harz the Selke leaves the forested mountain region and winds across a cultivated plain, continuing to flow in an easterly or northeasterly direction as far as Ermsleben. Beyond Ermsleben the river swing through 90° to the northwest, runs from here in an straight line to its mouth on the Bode near Rodersdorf, a village in the borough of Wegeleben.
The Selke empties into the Bode at an elevation of 118 metres. In the past, the Selke burst its banks on several occasions causing significant damage; this led to plans by the state government for the expansion of existing floodwater retention basins and the creation of a new one. Controversial is a medium-term 3.7-to-5.5-metre high embankment for the Selke Valley at Meisdorf. The citizens' initiative "Save the Selke Valley in the East Harz" is fighting this plan because they argue that it will destroy a scenically beautiful section of the Selke Valley, important for nature conservation. High above the Selke Valley is a striking and preserved medieval castle, open to the public. On the other side of the valley, on a prominent spur, is a lofty viewing point, the Selkesicht, 330 metres above sea level, at the site of another castle, the Ackeburg, with good views of Falkenstein Castle and the Selke valley. Both locations are checkpoints in the Harzer Wandernadel hiking network. Katzsohlbach Limbach Steinfurtbach Westerbach Rödelbach Hüttenstollen Glasebach Uhlenbach Teufelsgrundbach Pulverbach Schwefelbach Friedenstalbach Krebsbach Schiebecksbach Nagelbach Titanbach Sauerbach Getel Hauptseegraben Grenzgraben Selke Valley Railway Selke Valley Trail List of rivers of Saxony-Anhalt Rettet das Selketal!
– The citizen action group's web page with map of the Selke Dissertation: Der Einfluß der Bergbaugschichte im Ostharz auf die Schwermetalltiefengradienten in historischen Sedimenten und die fluviale Schwermetalldispersion in den Einzugsgebieten von Bode und Selke im Harz