Ebenfurth is a municipality in the district of Wiener Neustadt-Land in the Austrian state of Lower Austria. In 2010, Serbian folk singer Dragana Mirković and her husband Toni Bijelić bought Ebenfurth castle Neufeld an der Leitha, Hornstein Eggendorf, Lichtenwörth Haschendorf, Pottendorf
Archduchy of Austria
The Archduchy of Austria was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. With its capital at Vienna, the archduchy was centered at the Empire's southeastern periphery; the Archduchy developed out of the Bavarian Margraviate of Austria, elevated to the Duchy of Austria according to the 1156 Privilegium Minus by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The House of Habsburg came to the Austrian throne in Vienna in 1282 and in 1453 Emperor Frederick III Austrian ruler adopted the archducal title. From the 15th century onwards, all Holy Roman Emperors but one were Austrian archdukes and with the acquisition of the Bohemian and Hungarian crown lands in 1526, the Habsburg "hereditary lands" became the centre of a major European power; the Archduchy's history as an Imperial State ended with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in 1806. It was replaced with the Upper Austria crown lands of the Austrian Empire. Located in the Danube basin, Austria bordered on the Kingdom of Hungary beyond the March and Leitha rivers in the east.
In the south it was confined by the Duchy of Styria, with the border at the historic Semmering Pass, while in the north the Bohemian Forest and the Thaya river marked the border with Bohemia and Moravia. In the west, the Upper Austrian part bordered on the Bavarian stem duchy; the adjacent Innviertel region belonged to the Bavarian dukes, until it was occupied by Austrian forces during the War of the Bavarian Succession in 1778 and incorporated into the archducal lands according to the Peace of Teschen. In the course of the German mediatisation in 1803, the Austrian archdukes acquired the rule over the Electorate of Salzburg and the Berchtesgaden Provostry. After Austria was detached from Bavaria and established as an Imperial estate in 1156, the Babenberg dukes acquired the neighbouring Duchy of Styria in 1192. After the extinction of the line in 1246 and the occupation by King Ottokar II of Bohemia, it was seized by the Habsburg king Rudolf I of Germany, who defeated Ottokar in the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld and enfeoffed his son Albert I.
In 1358/59 the Habsburg duke Rudolf IV, in response of the Golden Bull of 1356 claimed the archducal title by forging the Privilegium Maius. Rudolf aimed to achieve a status comparable to the Empire's seven prince-electors, holders of the traditional Imperial'arch'-offices. By the 1379 Treaty of Neuberg, his heirs divided the Habsburg lands, whereafter the Austrian duchy remained under the rule of the Albertinian line. On Epiphany 1453 Emperor Frederick III, regent of Austria for his minor Albertinian cousin Ladislaus the Posthumous acknowledged the archducal title, it was conferred to all Habsburg emperors and rulers, as well as to the non-ruling princes of the dynasty, however, it still did not carry the right to vote in the Imperial election. Frederick further promoted the rise of the Habsburg dynasty into European dimensions with the arrangement of the marriage between his son Maximilian I and Mary the Rich, heiress of Burgundy in 1477. After Maximilian's son Philip the Handsome in 1496 had married Joanna the Mad, Queen of Castile and the Kingdom of Aragon, his son Charles V could come into an inheritance "on which the sun never sets".
Charles' younger brother Ferdinand I claimed his rights and became Archduke of Austria according to an estate distribution at the 1521 Diet of Worms, whereby he became regent over the Austrian archduchy and the adjacent Inner Austrian lands of Styria, Carinthia and Gorizia. By marrying Princess Anna of Bohemia and Hungary, Ferdinand inherited both kingdoms in 1526. King of the Romans from 1531, he became the progenitor of the Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg, which as Archdukes of Austria and Kings of Bohemia ruled as Holy Roman Emperors until the Empire's dissolution in 1806. In 1804, Emperor Francis II of Habsburg, ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy promoted his territories within the Holy Roman Empire together with his Kingdom of Hungary to the Austrian Empire in reaction to Napoleon I's proclamation of the French Empire; the Archduchy of Austria continued to exist as a constituent crown land within the empire, although it was divided into Upper and Lower Austria for some purposes.
Hungary preserved. The title of archduke continued to be used by members of the imperial family and the archduchy was only formally dissolved in 1918 with collapse of Austria-Hungary and the creation of the separate federal states of Lower and Upper Austria in the new Republic of German Austria. History of Austria List of rulers of Austria
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the 20th century. The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the coronation of the first king Stephen I at Esztergom around the year 1000. By the 12th century, the kingdom became a European middle power within the Western world. Due to the Ottoman occupation of the central and southern territories of Hungary in the 16th century, the country was partitioned into three parts: the Habsburg Royal Hungary, Ottoman Hungary, the semi-independent Principality of Transylvania; the House of Habsburg held the Hungarian throne after the Battle of Mohács until 1918 and played a key role in the liberation wars against the Ottoman Empire. From 1867, territories connected to the Hungarian crown were incorporated into Austria-Hungary under the name of Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen; the monarchy ended with the deposition of the last king Charles IV in 1918, after which Hungary became a republic.
The kingdom was nominally restored during the "Regency" of 1920–46, ending under the Soviet occupation in 1946. The Kingdom of Hungary was a multiethnic state from its inception until the Treaty of Trianon and it covered what is today Hungary, Slovakia and other parts of what is now Romania, Carpathian Ruthenia, Vojvodina and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders. From 1102 it included Croatia, being in personal union with it, united under the King of Hungary. Today, the feast day of the first king Stephen I is a national holiday in Hungary, commemorating the foundation of the state; the Latin forms Ungarie. The German name Königreich Ungarn was used from 1784 to 1790 and again between 1849 and the 1860s; the Hungarian name was used in the 1840s, again from the 1860s to 1946. The unofficial Hungarian name of the kingdom was Magyarország, still the colloquial, the official name of Hungary; the names in the other native languages of the kingdom were: Polish: Królestwo Węgier, Romanian: Regatul Ungariei, Serbian: Kraljevina Ugarska, Croatian: Kraljevina Ugarska, Slovene: Kraljevina Ogrska, Slovak: Uhorské kráľovstvo, Italian, Regno d'Ungheria.
In Austria-Hungary, the unofficial name Transleithania was sometimes used to denote the regions of the Kingdom of Hungary. The term Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen was included for the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, although this term was in use prior to that time; the Hungarians led by Árpád settled the Carpathian Basin in 895, established Principality of Hungary. The Hungarians led several successful incursions to Western Europe, until they were stopped by Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor in Battle of Lechfeld; the principality was succeeded by the Christian Kingdom of Hungary with the coronation of St Stephen I at Esztergom on Christmas Day 1000. The first kings of the kingdom were from the Árpád dynasty, he fought with Bavarian help, defeated him near Veszprém. The Catholic Church received powerful support from Stephen I, who with Christian Hungarians and German knights wanted a Christian kingdom established in Central Europe. Stephen I of Hungary was canonized as a Catholic saint in 1083 and an Orthodox saint in 2000.
After his death, a period of revolts and conflict for supremacy ensued between the royalty and the nobles. In 1051 armies of the Holy Roman Empire tried to conquer Hungary, but they were defeated at Vértes Mountain; the armies of the Holy Roman Empire continued to suffer defeats. Before 1052 Peter Orseolo, a supporter of the Holy Roman Empire, was overthrown by king Samuel Aba of Hungary; this period of revolts ended during the reign of Béla I. Hungarian chroniclers praised Béla I for introducing new currency, such as the silver denarius, for his benevolence to the former followers of his nephew, Solomon; the second greatest Hungarian king from the Árpád dynasty, was Ladislaus I of Hungary, who stabilized and strengthened the kingdom. He was canonized as a saint. Under his rule Hungarians fought against the Cumans and acquired parts of Croatia in 1091. Due to a dynastic crisis in Croatia, with the help of the local nobility who supported his claim, he managed to swiftly seize power in northern parts of the Croatian kingdom, as he was a claimant to the throne due to the fact that his sister was married to the late Croatian king Zvonimir who died childless.
However, kingship over all of Croatia would not be achieved until the reign of his successor Coloman. With the coronation of King Coloman as "King of Croatia and Dalmatia" in Biograd in 1102, the two kingdoms of Croatia and Hungary were united under one crown. Although the precise terms of this relationship became a matter of dispute in the 19th century, it is believed that Coloman created a kind of personal union between the two kingdoms; the nature of the relationship varied through time, Croatia retained a large degree of internal autonomy overall, while the real power rested in the hands of the local nobility. Modern Croatian and Hungarian historiographies view the relations between Kingdom of Croatia and Kingdom of Hungary from 1102 as a form of a personal union, i.e. that
Ulrich von Liechtenstein
Ulrich von Liechtenstein was a German minnesinger and poet of the Middle Ages. He wrote poetry in Middle High German and was author of noted works about how knights and nobles may lead more virtuous lives. Ulrich was member of a influential ministerialis family from Liechtenstein in Styria, he was born about 1200 at Murau in the Duchy of Styria, located in the present-day country of Austria. Details of Ulrich's life are difficult to ascertain, for much of what scholars know relies upon information gleaned from his often-fictional, self-styled autobiographical work the Frauendienst. Separating fact from stylized hyperbole has proven difficult for historians. From age 12 on, Ulrich received noble training as a page to a lady of much higher station than he another four years as a squire to Margrave Henry of Istria, son of Duke Berthold IV of Merania, he was knighted by the Babenberg duke Leopold VI of Austria in 1222. Ulrich is documented as a Styrian Truchsess in 1244/45, from 1267 to 1272 Marshal and in year 1272 a provincial judge.
When Philip of Sponheim, the Archbishop-Elect of Salzburg, was deposed by Pope Alexander IV for refusing to take holy orders, Philip raised an army to defend his title. In 1250, Ulrich agreed to fight for Philip's cause in return for Philip's arranging a beneficial marriage of Ulrich's son, Ulrich II, to Kunigunde of Goldegg and Philip added a dowry of 400 Salzburg pounds to the agreement. In return Ulrich I agreed to provide Philip with 100 fighting men for his cause. In August 1252 Philip's forces decisively defeated his enemies at the Battle of Sachsenburg on the Drava, Ulrich was one of seven who mediated the ensuing peace. Leader of the Styrian nobility, Ulrich had a hand in absorbing the duchy into the possessions of Rudolph of Habsburg after the ducal House of Babenberg had become extinct in 1246, it is possible that Ulrich was one of the noblemen taken prisoner by King Ottokar II of Bohemia in 1269. He owned three castles, besides Liechtenstein another at Strechau near Lassing in the Enns Valley and the third at his birthplace Murau.
When his son Ulrich II married, Ulrich bestowed upon the couple the castle of Murau along with twenty vassals and revenue. Many aspects of his life are unrecorded, he had a brother named Hartnid who served as Bishop of Gurk from 1283 to 1298 and a brother named Dietmar IV of Liechtenstein-Offenburg, who had a son named Gundaker. Besides Ulrich's son, Ulrich II, he had a daughter named Diemut, a son named Otto II and a son-in-law named Herrand II of Wildon by an unnamed daughter. Ulrich died on 26 January 1275, he was buried in Seckau in modern-day Austria. Ulrich wrote his stories at a time when knightly ideals were just being promulgated from Western Europe, he outlines rules for knights and free nobles to follow to lead honorable and courtly lives. There are several instances where he places the ministerials and the free nobles in one category separate from the knights to point out the nobility of his own estate. Ulrich is famous for his autobiographical poetry collection Frauendienst, he writes of himself as a protagonist who does great deeds of honor to married noblewomen, following the conventions of chaste courtly love.
The protagonist embarks on two remarkable quests. In the first quest, he travels from Venice to Vienna in the guise of the goddess of love, he competes in jousts and tourneys and challenges all the knights he meets to a duel in the honour of his lady. He defeats all comers; the noblewoman, however spurns his affections and demands more deeds and mutilation for the honour to hold her hand. In the second quest, he takes on the role of King Arthur, with his followers becoming Arthurian Round Table characters. Regrettably, the first two pages of the beginning have been lost to time; the protagonist, wanders through Styria and Austria in the guise of King Arthur inviting all knights to "break lance" three times with him for honor's sake. In this disguise he attended many tournaments; the story illustrates how a worthy knight-errant was supposed to wander about defeating opponents in honorable combat. The story intersperses some songs and courtly advice to knights and some admonitions to greedy nobles and faithless squires.
The collection was finished in 1255. Frauenbuch was a dialogue set in 1240, published in 1257, lamenting the decay of chivalric courtship; the protagonist of the 2001 film A Knight's Tale, played by Heath Ledger, assumes the title Ulrich von Liechtenstein when he poses as a knight. Being undefeated in jousts, this was a worthy man's name to take; the name proved to work well in the plot and provided the necessary contrast to the hero's true name, William Thatcher. However, the character claims to come from Gelderland, not in Styria but rather in the Low Countries. Arnold, Benjamin. German Knighthood 1050-2300 Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985) Freed, John B. Noble Bondsmen: Ministerial Marriages in the Archdiocese of Salzburg, 1100–1343 von Liechtenstein, Ulrich; the Service of Ladies, translated by J. W. Thomas, UK: Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2004, ISBN 1-84383-095-7
Sopron is a city in Hungary on the Austrian border, near the Lake Neusiedl/Lake Fertő. When the area, today Western Hungary was a province of the Roman Empire, a city called Scarbantia stood here, its forum was located. During the Migration Period, Scarbantia was believed to be deserted. By the time Hungarians arrived in the area, it was in ruins. In the 9th -- 11th centuries, Hungarians built a castle; the town was named in Hungarian after a castle steward named Suprun. In 1153, it was mentioned as an important town. In 1273, King Otakar II of Bohemia occupied the castle. Though he took the children of Sopron's nobility with him as hostages, the city opened its gates when the armies of King Ladislaus IV of Hungary arrived; the king rewarded Sopron by elevating it to the rank of free royal town. During the Ottoman occupation of Hungary, the Ottoman Turks ravaged the city in 1529, but did not occupy it. Many Hungarians fled from the occupied areas to Sopron, the city's importance grew. While the Ottomans occupied most of central Europe, the region north of lake Balaton remained in the Kingdom of Hungary.
In 1676, Sopron was destroyed by a fire. The modern-day city was born in the next few decades, when Baroque buildings were built to replace the destroyed medieval ones. Sopron became the seat of the comitatus Sopron; the town was the seat of the Ödenburg comitat near 1850. After the compromise of 1867 and until 1918, the city was part of the Habsburg-ruled Kingdom of Hungary. Following the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, ethnic Germans inhabited parts of four western Hungarian counties: Pozsony, Vas and Moson; the German-inhabited parts of these counties were awarded to Austria in the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. After local unrest and Italian diplomatic mediation in the Venice Protocol, Sopron's status as part of Hungary was decided by a controversial, local plebiscite held on December 14, 1921, with 65% voting for Hungary. Since Sopron has been called Civitas Fidelissima, the anniversary of the plebiscite is a city holiday. However, the western parts of Vas and Moson counties did join Austria and today form the Austrian federal state of Burgenland, while Pressburg/Pozsony was awarded to Czechoslovakia.
Sopron suffered during World War II, it was bombed several times. The Soviet Red Army captured the city on April 1, 1945. On August 19, 1989, it was the site of the Pan-European Picnic, a protest on the border between Austria and Hungary, used by over 600 citizens of East Germany to escape from the GDR to the West; as the first successful crossing of the border it helped pave the way for the mass flight of East German citizens that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. During the Socialist era, the government tried to turn Sopron into an industrial city, but much of the medieval town center remains, allowing the city to remain an attractive site for tourists. Today, Sopron's economy immensely benefits from the European Union. Having been a city close to nowhere, that is, to the Iron Curtain, Sopron now has re-established full trade relations to nearby Austria. Furthermore, after being suppressed during the Cold War, Sopron's German-speaking culture and heritage are now recognized again.
As a consequence, many of the city's street-and traffic-signs are written in both Hungarian and German making it an bilingual city due to its proximity to the Austrian frontier. Visitors admire the large number of buildings in this city that reflect medieval architecture - rare in war-torn Hungary. Situated close to the Austrian border, Sopron receives many visitors from Vienna, from Bratislava, Slovakia, as well as from the United States, Great Britain, The Netherlands and Scandinavia, who visit to take advantage of the excellent low-cost dental services offered: Sopron boasts so many dental clinics—more than 300—that the city is known as the "dental capital of the world." Sopron is a significant wine producing region, one of the few in Hungary to make both red and white wines. Grapes include Traminer for white wine. In climate it is similar to the neighbouring Burgenland wine region in Austria, several winemakers make wine in both countries. Blue Frankish and Green Veltliner are well-known Sopron wines.
Sopron's Blue Frankish and Pinot Noir wines are prized. In 1910, Sopron had 33,931 inhabitants. Religions: 64.1% Roman Catholic, 27.8% Lutheran, 6.6% Jewish, 1.2% Calvinist, 0.3% other. In 2001, the city had 56,125 inhabitants. Religions: 69% Roman Catholic, 7% Lutheran, 3% Calvinist, 8.1% Atheist, 11.9% no answer, 1% other. The architecture of the old section of town reflects its long history. There is an old synagogue and other remains from the town's former Jewish community, expelled in the 16th century. On Daloshegy, there is a 165-metre tall FM-/TV-broadcasting tower, nicknamed "Rakéta". City centre Fi
The Árpáds or Arpads was the ruling dynasty of the Principality of Hungary in the 9th and 10th centuries and of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 to 1301. The dynasty was named after Grand Prince Árpád, the head of the Hungarian tribal federation during the conquest of the Carpathian Basin, c. 895. It is referred to as the Turul dynasty, but rarely. Both the first Grand Prince of the Hungarians and the first King of Hungary were members of the dynasty. Seven members of the dynasty were beatified by the Roman Catholic Church. Two Árpáds were recognized as Saints by the Eastern Orthodox Church; the dynasty came to end in 1301 with the death of King Andrew III of Hungary, while the last member of the House of Árpád, Andrew's daughter, Blessed Elizabeth of Töss, died in 1336 or 1338. All of the subsequent kings of Hungary were cognatic descendants of the Árpád dynasty; the House of Croÿ and the Drummond family of Scotland claim to descend from Princes Géza and George, sons of medieval Hungarian kings: Géza II and Andrew I, respectively.
Medieval chroniclers stated that the Árpáds' forefather was Ügyek, whose name derived from the ancient Hungarian word for "holy". The Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum mentioned that the Árpáds descended from the gens Turul, the Gesta Hungarorum recorded that the Árpáds' totemic ancestor was a turul. Medieval chroniclers referred to a tradition that the Árpáds descended from Attila the Hun – the anonymous author of the Gesta Hungarorum, for example, has Árpád say: The land stretching between the Danube and the Tisza used to belong to my forefather, the mighty Attila; the first member of the dynasty mentioned by a nearly contemporary written source was Álmos. The Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII recorded in his De Administrando Imperio that Álmos was the first Grand Prince of the federation of the seven Magyar tribes. Álmos accepted the supremacy of the Khagan of the Khazars in the beginning of his rule, but, by 862, the Magyar tribal federation broke free from the Khazar Khaganate. Álmos was either the spiritual leader of its military commander.
Around 895, the women and cattle of the Magyar warriors battling in the west were attacked by the Pechenegs, forcing them to leave their territories east of the Carpathian Mountains. Álmos's death was ritual sacrifice, practiced by steppe peoples when the spiritual ruler lost his charisma, he was followed by his son, Árpád. The Magyar tribes occupied the whole territory of the Carpathian Basin between 895 and 907. Between 899 and 970, the Magyars conducted raids into the territories of present-day Italy, Germany and Spain and into the lands of the Byzantine Empire; such activities continued westwards until the Battle of Lechfeld, when Otto, King of the Germans destroyed their troops. From 917, the Magyars made raids into several territories at the same time, which may have led to the disintegration their tribal federation; the sources prove the existence of at least three and five groups of tribes within the tribal federation, only one of them was led directly by the Árpáds. The list of the Grand Princes of the Magyars in the first half of the 10th century is incomplete, which may prove a lack of central government within their tribal federation.
The medieval chronicles mention that Grand Prince Árpád was followed by his son, Zoltán, but contemporary sources only refer to Grand Prince Fajsz. After the defeat at the Battle of Lechfeld, Grand Prince Taksony adopted the policy of isolation from the Western countries – in contrast to his son, Grand Prince Géza who may have sent envoys to Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor in 973. Géza was baptised in 972, although he never became a convinced Christian, the new faith started to spread among the Hungarians during his reign, he managed to expand his rule over the territories west of the Danube and the Garam, but significant parts of the Carpathian Basin still remained under the rule of local tribal leaders. Géza was followed by his son Stephen, a convinced follower of Christianity. Stephen had to face the rebellion of his relative, Koppány, who claimed Géza's inheritance based on the Magyar tradition of agnatic seniority, he was able to defeat Koppány with the assistance of the German retinue of his wife, Giselle of Bavaria.
The Grand Prince Stephen was crowned on December 25, 1000, or January 1, 1001), becoming the first King of Hungary and founder of the state. He unified the Carpathian Basin under his rule by 1030, subjugating the territories of the Black Magyars and the domains, ruled by independent local chieftains, he introduced the administrative system of the kingdom, based on counties, founded an ecclesiastic organization with two archbishoprics and several bishoprics. Following the death of his son, King Stephen I assigned his sister's son, the Venetian Peter Orseolo as his heir which resulted in a conspiracy led by his cousin, living imprisoned in Nyitra. Vazul was blinded on King Stephen's order and his three sons (Leve
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476; the title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.
Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role; the exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii, the notion that he—the sovereign ruler—held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although controlled by dynasties; the German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans", he would be crowned emperor by the Pope. The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, duchies, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, other domains.
The power of the emperor was limited, while the various princes, lords and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806 following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by emperor Napoleon I the month before. In various languages the Holy Roman Empire was known as: Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Polish: Święte imperium rzymskie, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo, Dutch: Heilige Roomse Rijk, French: Saint-Empire romain. Before 1157, the realm was referred to as the Roman Empire; the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was used beginning in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa: the term was added to reflect Frederick's ambition to dominate Italy and the Papacy. The form "Holy Roman Empire" is attested from 1254 onward.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a form first used in a document in 1474. The new title was adopted because the Empire had lost most of its Italian and Burgundian territories to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Empire due to the Imperial Reform. By the end of the 18th century, the term "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" had fallen out of official use. Besides, contradicting the traditional view concerning that designation, Hermann Weisert has stated in a study on imperial titulature that, despite the claim of many textbooks, the name "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" never had an official status and points out that documents were thirty times as to omit the national suffix as include it. This, or the shortened "Roman Empire of the German Nation", is used in Germany to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. In a famous assessment of the name, the political philosopher Voltaire remarked sardonically: "This body, called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control. In the late 5th and early 6th centuries, the Merovingians, under Clovis I and his successors, consolidated Frankish tribes and extended hegemony over others to gain control of northern Gaul and the middle Rhine river valley region. By the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel's son Pepin became King of the Franks, gained the sanction of the Pope; the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm, he incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands. In 797, the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VI was removed from the throne by his mother Irene who declared herself Empress; as the Church regarded a male Roman Emperor as the head of Christendom, Pope