Interregnum (Holy Roman Empire)
There were many imperial interregna in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, when there was no emperor. Interregna in which there was no emperor-elect have been rarer. Among the longest periods without an emperor were between 924 and 962, between 1245 and 1312, between 1378 and 1433; the crisis of government of the Holy Roman Empire and the German kingdom thus lasted throughout the late medieval period, ended only with the rise of the House of Habsburg on the eve of the German Reformation and the Renaissance. The term Great Interregnum is used for the period between 1250 and 1273. After the deposition of Frederick II by Pope Innocent IV in 1245, Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia was set up as anti-king to Frederick's son Conrad IV. Henry was succeeded as anti-king by William of Holland. After 1257, the crown was contested between Richard of Cornwall, supported by the Guelph party, Alfonso X of Castile, recognized by the Hohenstaufen party but never set foot on German soil. After Richard's death in 1273, Rudolf I of Germany, a minor pro-Staufen count, was elected.
He was the first of the Habsburgs to hold a royal title. After Rudolf's death in 1291, Adolf and Albert were two further weak kings who were never crowned emperor. Albert was assassinated in 1308. King Philip IV of France began aggressively seeking support for his brother, Charles of Valois, to be elected the next King of the Romans. Philip thought he had the backing of the French Pope Clement V, that his prospects of bringing the empire into the orbit of the French royal house were good, he lavishly spread French money in the hope of bribing the German electors. Although Charles of Valois had the backing of Henry, Archbishop of Cologne, a French supporter, many were not keen to see an expansion of French power, least of all Clement V; the principal rival to Charles appeared to be the Count Palatine. Instead, Henry VII, of the House of Luxembourg, was elected with six votes at Frankfurt on 27 November 1308. Given his background, although he was a vassal of king Philip, Henry was bound by few national ties, an aspect of his suitability as a compromise candidate among the electors, the great territorial magnates who had lived without a crowned emperor for decades, who were unhappy with both Charles and Rudolf.
Henry of Cologne's brother, Archbishop of Trier, won over a number of the electors, including Henry, in exchange for some substantial concessions. Henry VII was crowned king at Aachen on 6 January 1309, emperor by Pope Clement V on 29 June 1312 in Rome, ending the interregnum. However, political instability in Germany re-emerged after Henry's untimely death in 1314. Louis IV was opposed by Frederick the Fair, by Charles IV, Charles IV in turn by Günther of Schwarzburg, ruling unopposed only from 1350, his successors Wenceslaus and Jobst again were not crowned emperor. Sigismund was crowned emperor in 1433, but only with Frederick III, the second emperor of the House of Habsburg, did the Holy Roman Emperor return to an unbroken succession of emperors until its dissolution in 1806; the crisis of the interregnum established the college of prince-electors as the only source of legitimacy of the German king. At the same time, the lack of central government strengthened the communal movements, such as the Swabian League of Cities, the Hanseatic League and the Swiss Confederacy.
It encouraged increased feuding among the lesser nobility, leading to conflicts such as the Thuringian Counts' War, leading to a general state of near-anarchy in Germany where robber barons acted unopposed by the nominal system of justice. Germany was fractured into countless minor states fending for themselves, a condition that would persist into the modern period and, termed Kleinstaaterei, present an obstacle to the modern project of national unification. Comyn, Robert. History of the Western Empire, from its Restoration by Charlemagne to the Accession of Charles V, Vol. I. 1851 Hägermann, Dieter. Interregnum. In: Lexikon des Mittelalters. Band 5. Sp. 468 f. Jones, The New Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. VI: c. 1300-c. 1415, Cambridge University Press, 2000 Kaufhold, Martin. Deutsches Interregnum und europäische Politik. Konfliktlösungen und Entscheidungsstrukturen 1230–1280. Hahn, Hannover 2000, ISBN 3-7752-5449-8 (= Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Schriften. Band 49. LaRoche, Emanuel Peter. Das Interregnum und die Entstehung der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft.
Peter Lang, Bern / Frankfurt am Main 1991. Kaufhold, Martin. Interregnum. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-15450-9. Prietzel, Malte. Das Heilige Römische Reich im Spätmittelalter. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2004, ISBN 3-534-15131-3. Kirk, Marianne. «Die kaiserlose, die schreckliche Zeit» – Das Interregnum im Wandel der Geschichtsschreibung, Frankfurt/M. U.a. 2002, ISBN 978-3-631-50542-7 Stadler, Hans: Interregnum in German and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, 2007
Adolf of Germany
Adolf was Count of Nassau from about 1276 and elected King of Germany from 1292 until his deposition by the prince-electors in 1298. He was never crowned by the Pope, he was the first physically and mentally healthy ruler of the Holy Roman Empire to be deposed without a papal excommunication. Adolf died shortly afterwards in the Battle of Göllheim fighting against his successor Albert of Habsburg, he was the second in the succession of so-called count-kings of several rivalling comital houses striving after the Roman-German royal dignity. His last agnatic dynastic descendant was William IV of Luxembourg. Adolf was the reigning count of a small German state, he was the son of Walram II, Count of Nassau and Adelheid of Katzenelnbogen. Adolf’s brother was Dieter of Nassau, appointed Archbishop of Trier in 1300. Adolf was married in 1270 to Imagina of Isenburg-Limburg and they had eight children. Agnes of Isenburg-Limburg, the sister of Imagina, was married to Henry of Westerburg, the brother of Siegfried II of Westerburg, the Archbishop of Cologne.
In 1276 or 1277, Adolf followed his father as Count of Nassau. From his father, he inherited the family’s lands south of the Lahn River in the Taunus Mountains; these included Wiesbaden and Idstein, as fiefdoms, the Vogtship in Weilburg under the Bishopric of Worms. He shared ownership of the family homelands around the castles of Nassau and Laurenburg. Around 1280, Adolf became involved in the Nassau-Eppstein Feud with the Lords of Eppstein, in which the city of Wiesbaden was devastated and Sonnenberg Castle destroyed; the feud was settled in 1283, after which the castle were rebuilt. Sonnenberg, along with Idstein, became Adolf’s residence, he built its fortifications. Through his uncle, Eberhard I of Katzenelnbogen, Adolf came to the court of King Rudolf I of Habsburg. King Rudolf awarded him with the Burghauptmannamt of Kalsmunt Castle in Wetzlar and a year that of Gutenfels Castle near Kaub. Before his election, Adolf’s political activities had been limited to his role as Bundesgenosse of the Archbishop of Cologne.
Adolf had no particular office, but became known through his involvement with the Archbishops of Cologne and Mainz in the politics of the Middle Rhine and Mainz areas. He spoke German and Latin, rare at that time for nobles. After his election, King Adolf of Nassau would only be in his home country, having transferred the government there to his burgmen. On 17 January 1294, he purchased Weilburg for 400 pounds from the Bishopric of Worms, he granted Weilburg town privileges on 29 December 1295. He established the Clarisse abbey of Klarenthal near Wiesbaden in 1296. Rudolf I of Habsburg died on 15 July 1291. For many years before his death, Rudolf had tried to secure the election of his eldest son Albert as his successor, he was thwarted, however, by the opposition of the Archbishop of Cologne, Siegfried II of Westerburg, the King of Bohemia, Wenceslaus II. Only the Count Palatine Louis II of Upper Bavaria "the Rigorous" promised to choose Albert. Wenceslaus, despite Rudolf's recognition of his electoral vote, refused to support Albert because he would not cede Carinthia to him.
He took the side of the nobles in the core Habsburg areas of Swabia and in their newly acquired territories in Austria, with whom Albert was unpopular. Wenceslaus was supported by Duke Otto III of Lower Bavaria, whose family were traditional enemies of the Habsburgs. Wenceslaus succeeded in bringing the Electors of Brandenburg and Saxony over to his side: Albert II of Saxony signed an elector pact on 29 November 1291 that he would vote the same as Wenceslaus. Archbishop Siegfried believed that the Emperor should not receive the crown as an inheritance from his father, but should be selected by the College of Electors, he convinced the Archbishop of Mainz, Gerard II of Eppstein, to select a king who would principally serve their interests. Gerard in turn recruited the new Archbishop of Trier, Bohemund I. Thereupon, the Count Palatine was forced to submit to the majority of the College of Electors. Siegfried therefore proposed to the Elector College to select Adolf of Nassau as king, they were ready to elect him, provided he make extensive concessions to the Electors and follow their political demands.
A few days before the election, on 27 April 1292, the first of the electors, Archbishop Siegfried issued the Treaty of Andernach, stating that for Adolf to be chosen king he must promise a long list of acknowledgments of possession, pledges of imperial cities and castles, a sum of 25,000 marks in silver. Furthermore, Adolf promised assistance against listed opponents, but the general promise that he would not admit any enemy of Siegfried II into his council. After the election, Adolf had to give the archbishop sufficient collateral for the fulfilment of the promise; the last clause is evidence of the fact that the end of the 13th century, the coronation of the king as the constitutive moment of his rule was still critical. Adolf promised the archbishop to ask him first for his coronation when he had raised the agreed-upon collateral; the other electors extracted similar concessions from Adolf, but only after the election. Among the most far-reaching were the concessions to King Wenceslaus of Bohemia on 30 June 1292.
Adolf promised Wenceslaus to remove the two duchie
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles IV, born Wenceslaus, was the first King of Bohemia to become Holy Roman Emperor. He was a member of the House of Luxembourg from his father's side and the Czech House of Přemyslid from his mother's side, he was the eldest son and heir of King John of Bohemia, who died at the Battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346. His mother, Elizabeth of Bohemia, was the sister of King Wenceslas III, the last of the male Přemyslid rulers of Bohemia. Charles inherited the County of Luxembourg from his father and was elected king of the Kingdom of Bohemia. On 2 September 1347, Charles was crowned King of Bohemia. On 11 July 1346, the prince-electors chose him as King of the Romans in opposition to Emperor Louis IV. Charles was crowned on 26 November 1346 in Bonn. After his opponent died, he was crowned King of the Romans. In 1355, he was crowned King of Holy Roman Emperor. With his coronation as King of Burgundy in 1365, he became the personal ruler of all the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles IV was born to King John of the Luxembourg dynasty and Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia of the Czech Premyslid Dynasty in Prague.
He was named Wenceslaus, the name of his maternal grandfather, King Wenceslaus II. He chose the name Charles at his confirmation in honor of his uncle, King Charles IV of France, at whose court he was resident for seven years, he received French education and was literate and fluent in five languages: Latin, German and Italian. In 1331, he gained some experience of warfare in Italy with his father. At the beginning of 1333, Charles went to Lucca to consolidate his rule there. In an effort to defend the city, Charles founded the town of Montecarlo. From 1333, he administered the lands of the Bohemian Crown due to his father's frequent absence and deteriorating eyesight. In 1334, Charles was named Margrave of the traditional title for heirs to the throne. Two years he assumed the government of Tyrol on behalf of his brother, John Henry, was soon involved in a struggle for the possession of this county. On 11 July 1346, in consequence of an alliance between his father and Pope Clement VI, relentless enemy of the emperor Louis IV, Charles was chosen as Roman king in opposition to Louis by some of the prince-electors at Rhens.
As he had promised to be subservient to Clement, he made extensive concessions to the pope in 1347. Confirming the papacy in the possession of vast territories, he promised to annul the acts of Louis against Clement, to take no part in Italian affairs, to defend and protect the church. Charles IV was in a weak position in Germany. Owing to the terms of his election, he was derisively referred to as a "Priests' King". Many bishops and nearly all of the Imperial cities remained loyal to Louis the Bavarian. Worse still, Charles backed the wrong side in the Hundred Years' War, losing his father and many of his best knights at the Battle of Crécy in August 1346, with Charles himself escaping from the field wounded. Civil war in Germany was prevented, when Louis IV died on 11 October 1347, after suffering a stroke during a bear hunt. In January 1349, House of Wittelsbach partisans attempted to secure the election of Günther von Schwarzburg as king, but he attracted few supporters and died unnoticed and unmourned after a few months.
Thereafter, Charles faced no direct threat to his claim to the Imperial throne. Charles worked to secure his power base. Bohemia had remained untouched by the plague. Prague became his capital, he rebuilt the city on the model of Paris, establishing the New Town. In 1348, he founded the Charles University in Prague, named after him and was the first university in Central Europe; this served as a training ground for lawyers. Soon Prague emerged as the cultural center of Central Europe. Having made good use of the difficulties of his opponents, Charles was again elected in Frankfurt on 17 June 1349 and re-crowned at Aachen on 25 July 1349, he was soon the undisputed ruler of the Empire. Gifts or promises had won the support of the Swabian towns. In 1350, the king was visited at Prague by the Roman tribune Cola di Rienzo, who urged him to go to Italy, where the poet Petrarch and the citizens of Florence implored his presence. Turning a deaf ear to these entreaties, Charles kept Cola in prison for a year, handed him as a prisoner to Clement at Avignon.
Outside Prague, Charles attempted to expand the Bohemian crown lands, using his imperial authority to acquire fiefs in Silesia, the Upper Palatinate, Franconia. The latter regions comprised "New Bohemia," a string of possessions intended to link Bohemia with the Luxemburg territories in the Rhineland; the Bohemian estates, were not willing to support Charles in these ventures. When Charles sought to codify Bohemian law in the Maiestas Carolina of 1355, he met with sharp resistance. After that point, Charles found. In 1354, Charles crossed the Alps without an army, received the Lombard crown in St. Ambrose Basilica, Milan, on 5 January 1355, was crowned emperor at Rome by a cardinal in April of the same year, his sole object appears to have
Rupert, King of Germany
Rupert of the Palatinate, a member of the House of Wittelsbach, was Elector Palatine from 1398 and King of Germany from 1400 until his death. Rupert was born at Amberg in the Upper Palatinate, the son of Elector Palatine Rupert II and Beatrice of Aragon, daughter of King Peter II of Sicily. Rupert's great-granduncle was the Wittelsbach emperor Louis IV, he was raised at the Dominican Liebenau monastery near Worms, where his widowed grandmother Irmengard of Oettingen lived as a nun. From his early years Rupert took part in the government of the Electoral Palatinate to which he succeeded on his father's death in 1398, he and the three ecclesiastical prince-electors met at Lahneck Castle in Oberlahnstein on 20 August 1400 and declared the Luxembourg king Wenceslaus deposed. On the next day the same four electors met at Rhens to ballot for Rupert as next German king, thus the majority of the college including the Elector Palatine's own vote; as the Imperial City of Aachen refused to let him enter through its gates, Rupert was crowned by Archbishop Frederick III in Cologne on 6 January 1401.
Lacking a solid power base in the Empire, his rule remained contested by the mighty House of Luxembourg, though Wenceslaus himself did not take any action to regain his royal title. In the Western Schism, Rupert backed Pope Boniface IX who, was reluctant to acknowledge his rule in view of the Luxembourg claims. After the king had won some recognition in Southern Germany, he started a campaign to Italy, where he hoped to crush the rule of Gian Galeazzo Visconti over the thriving Duchy of Milan and to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope. In the autumn of 1401 he crossed the Alps, but was defeated at Brescia and in April 1402 Rupert returned to Germany; the news of this failure increased the disorder in Germany, but the king met with some success in his efforts to restore peace. The Luxembourg resistance waned after Wenceslaus was arrested at Prague Castle by his brother Sigismund in March 1402 and the next year his lordship was recognized by the Pope. Rupert gained the support of England by the marriage of his son Louis with Blanche of Lancaster, daughter of King Henry IV on 6 July 1402.
In his Palatinate hereditary lands, Rupert turned out to be a capable ruler. It was only the indolence of Wenceslaus that prevented his overthrow. After attempts to enlarge the king's allodium caused conflicts with his former ally, the Archbishop of Mainz forging an alliance with Count Eberhard III of Württemberg, the Zähringen margrave Bernard I of Baden and several Swabian cities in 1405, Rupert was compelled to make certain concessions; the quarrel was complicated by the Papal Schism, but the king was just beginning to make some headway when he died at his castle of Landskrone near Oppenheim on 18 May 1410 and was buried at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Heidelberg. On his deathbed Rupert had decreed the division of his heritage among his four surviving sons, he was succeeded as Elector Palatine by the eldest brother Louis III, while the second son John received the County Palatine of Neumarkt, the third-born Stephen the County Palatine of Simmern and Zweibrücken, the youngest son Otto the County Palatine of Mosbach.
In the following Imperial election on September 20, Elector Louis III voted for Sigismund of Luxembourg, who however lost to his cousin Margrave Jobst of Moravia. He was married in Amberg on 27 June 1374 to Elisabeth of Hohenzollern, daughter of Burgrave Frederick V of Nuremberg and Elisabeth of Meissen, they had the following children: Rupert Pipan Margaret of the Palatinate, married on 6 February 1393 to Duke Charles II of Lorraine Frederick Louis III, Elector Palatine Agnes, married in Heidelberg shortly before March 1400 to Duke Adolph I of Cleves Elisabeth, married in Innsbruck 24 December 1407 to Duke Frederick IV of Austria Count Palatine John of Neumarkt Count Palatine Stephen of Simmern-Zweibrücken Count Palatine Otto I of Mosbach Rupert's strenuous efforts earned him the surname Clemens. He commissioned the Ruprecht building in Heidelberg Castle. Kings of Germany family tree, he was related to every other king of Germany. Bogdan, Henry. La Lorraine des Ducs. Perrin. Hlavacek, Ivan. "The Empire:The Luxembourgs and Rupert of the Palatinate, 1347-1410".
The New Cambridge Medieval History:c.1300-1415. Volume 6. Cambridge University Press. Law, John E.. "Brescia, Fight near". In Rogers, Clifford J; the Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology. Oxford University Press. Scott, Tom. "Germany and the Empire". In Allmand, Christopher; the New Cambridge Medieval History:c.1415-c.1500. Volume 7. Cambridge University Press. Thomas, Andrew L.. A House Divided: Wittelsbach Confessional Court Cultures in the Holy Roman Empire, c.1550-1650. Brill. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Rupert". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Jobst of Moravia
Jobst of Moravia, a member of the House of Luxembourg, was Margrave of Moravia from 1375, Duke of Luxembourg and Elector of Brandenburg from 1388 as well as elected King of Germany from 1410 until his death. Jobst was an ambitious and versatile ruler, who in the early 15th century dominated the ongoing struggles within the Luxembourg dynasty and around the German throne. Jobst was born in 1354 in the Moravian residence of Brno, the eldest son of Margrave John Henry, younger brother of Emperor Charles IV, first cousin of King Charles V of France and cousin-in-law of both King Richard II of England and King Louis I of Hungary. Designated heir upon his father's death in 1375, he ruled the Margraviate of Moravia quarreling with his younger brother Prokop and the Bishops of Olomouc. In 1388 Jobst received the Duchy of Luxembourg, given in pawn by his cousin King Wenceslaus, son of late Emperor Charles IV; the same year, Jobst became Prince-elector of Brandenburg, pawned by Wenceslaus' younger brother Sigismund, who focused on his rule over the Kingdom of Hungary.
In 1394 Jobst joined a rebellion of Bohemian nobles around Boček II of Poděbrady against Wenceslaus, whom he had arrested at Prague Castle and taken into custody by the Austrian Starhemberg dynasty at Wildberg. Peace was made at John of Görlitz. Sigismund and Jobst signed a mutual inheritance treaty in 1401, but again fell out with each other. After the death of King Rupert of Germany in 1410, Jobst was elected successor by four of the seven prince-electors on 1 October, opposing his cousin Sigismund, elected by three electors on 10 September; the deciding vote came from his cousin Wenceslaus in his capacity as King of Bohemia, though Jobst had the greater support among the electors he died on 18 January 1411–possibly poisoned–, clearing the way for Sigismund's election as King of the Romans and his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor. Jobst married twice, without issue: Elisabeth of Opole, daughter of Duke Władysław Opolczyk, in 1372. Agnes of Opole, daughter of Duke Bolesław II of Opole and sister of Duke Władysław, in 1374.
King of the Romans, Margrave of Moravia and Brandenburg, Elector of Brandenburg, Duke of Luxembourg,Vicarius of Italy, Vicarius of the Holy Roman Empire. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Jobst". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15. Cambridge University Press. P. 427. Štěpán, Václav. Moravsky markrabě Jošt. Matice moravská p. 823. ISBN 80-86488-05-5 Štěpán, Václav. Margrave Jobst - his personality and relationship with the other members of the Luxembourg family, in:Moravští Lucemburkové 1315-1411. Brno municipal museum pp. 73–145. ISBN 80-901969-7-7 Media related to Jobst von Mähren at Wikimedia Commons
Rudolf I of Germany
Rudolf I known as Rudolf of Habsburg, was Count of Habsburg from about 1240 and King of Germany from 1273 until his death. Rudolf's election marked the end of the Great Interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire after the death of the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II in 1250. A Swabian count, he was the first Habsburg to acquire the duchies of Austria and Styria in opposition to his mighty rival, the Přemyslid king Ottokar II of Bohemia, whom he defeated in the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld; the territories remained under Habsburg rule for more than 600 years, forming the core of the Habsburg Monarchy and the present-day country of Austria. Rudolf was the first king of the Romans of the Habsburg dynasty, he played a vital role in raising the comital house to the rank of Imperial princes, he was the first of a number of late medieval count-kings, so called by the historian Bernd Schneidmüller, from the rival noble houses of Habsburg and Wittelsbach, all striving after the Roman-German royal dignity, taken over by the Habsburgs in 1438.
Rudolf was born on 1 May 1218 at Limburgh Castle near Sasbach am Kaiserstuhl in the Breisgau region of present-day southwestern Germany. He was the son of Count Albert IV of Habsburg and of Hedwig, daughter of Count Ulrich of Kyburg. Around 1232, he was given as a squire to his uncle, Rudolf I, Count of Laufenburg, to train in knightly pursuits. At his father's death in 1239, he inherited large estates from him around the ancestral seat of Habsburg Castle in the Aargau region of present-day Switzerland as well as in Alsace. Thus, in 1240 in order to quell the rising power of Rudolf and in an attempt to place the important "Devil’s Bridge" across the Schöllenenschlucht under his direct control, Emperor Frederick II, granted Schwyz Reichsfreiheit in the Freibrief von Faenza. In 1242, Hugh of Tuffenstein provoked Count Rudolf through contumelious expressions. In turn, the Count of Habsburg failed to take his seat of power; as the day passed on, Count Rudolf bribed the sentinels of the city and gained entry, killing Hugh in the process.
In 1244, to help control Lake Lucerne and restrict the neighboring forest communities of Uri and Unterwalden, Rudolf built near its shores Neuhabsburg Castle. In 1245 Rudolf married Gertrude, daughter of Count Burkhard III of Hohenberg, he received as her dowry the castles of Oettingen, the valley of Weile, other places in Alsace, he became an important vassal in Swabia, the former Alemannic German stem duchy. That same year, Emperor Frederick II was excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV at the Council of Lyon. Rudolf sided against the Emperor; this gave them a pretext to damage Neuhabsburg. Rudolf defended it and drove them off; as a result, Rudolf, by siding with the Pope, gained influence. Rudolf paid frequent visits to the court of his godfather, the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II, his loyalty to Frederick and his son, King Conrad IV of Germany, was richly rewarded by grants of land. In 1254, he engaged with other nobles of the Staufen party against Bishop of Basle; when night fell, he burnt down the local nunnery.
Pope Innocent IV excommunicated him and all parties involved. As penance, he took up the cross and joined Ottokar II, King of Bohemia in the Prussian Crusade of 1254. Whilst there, he oversaw the founding of the city of Königsberg, named in memory of King Ottokar; the disorder in Germany during the interregnum after the fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty afforded an opportunity for Count Rudolf to increase his possessions. His wife was a Hohenberg heiress. Successful feuds with the Bishops of Strasbourg and Basel further augmented his wealth and reputation, including rights over various tracts of land that he purchased from abbots and others; these various sources of wealth and influence rendered Rudolf the most powerful prince and noble in southwestern Germany. In the autumn of 1273, the prince-electors met to choose a king after Richard of Cornwall had died in England in April 1272. Rudolf's election in Frankfurt on 1 October 1273, when he was 55 years old, was due to the efforts of his brother-in-law, the Hohenzollern burgrave Frederick III of Nuremberg.
The support of Duke Albert II of Saxony and Elector Palatine Louis II had been purchased by betrothing them to two of Rudolf's daughters. As a result, within the electoral college, King Ottokar II of Bohemia, himself a candidate for the throne and related to the late Hohenstaufen king Philip of Swabia, was alone in opposing Rudolf. Other candidates were Prince Siegfried I of Anhalt and Margrave Frederick I of Meissen, a young grandson of the excommunicated Emperor Frederick II, who did not yet have a principality of his own as his father was still alive. By the admission of Duke Henry XIII of Lower Bavaria instead of the King of Bohemia as the seventh Elector, Rudolf gained all seven votes. Rudolf was crowned in Aachen Cathedral on 24 October 1273. To win the approbation of the Pope, Rudolf renounced all imperial rights in Rome, the papal territory, Sicily, promised to lead a new crusade. Pope Gregory X, despite the protests of Ottokar II of Bohemia, not only recognised Rudolf himself, but persuaded King Alfonso X of Castile, chosen German
Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV, called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was King of the Romans from 1314, King of Italy from 1327, Holy Roman Emperor from 1328. Louis IV was Duke of Upper Bavaria from 1294/1301 together with his elder brother Rudolf I, served as Margrave of Brandenburg until 1323, as Count Palatine of the Rhine until 1329, he became Duke of Lower Bavaria in 1340, he obtained the titles Count of Hainaut, Holland and Friesland in 1345 when his wife Margaret inherited them. Louis was born in Munich, the son of Louis II, Duke of Upper Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine, Matilda, a daughter of King Rudolph I. Though Louis was educated in Vienna and became co-regent of his brother Rudolf I in Upper Bavaria in 1301 with the support of his Habsburg mother and her brother, King Albert I, he quarrelled with the Habsburgs from 1307 over possessions in Lower Bavaria. A civil war against his brother Rudolf due to new disputes on the partition of their lands was ended in 1313, when peace was made at Munich.
In the same year, on November 9, Louis defeated his Habsburg cousin Frederick the Fair, further aided by duke Leopold I. He was a friend of Frederick, with whom he had been raised. However, armed conflict arose when the guardianship over the young Dukes of Lower Bavaria was entrusted to Frederick though the late Duke Otto III, the former King of Hungary, had chosen Louis. On 9 November 1313, Frederick was defeated by Louis in the Battle of Gammelsdorf and had to renounce the tutelage; this victory caused a stir within the Holy Roman Empire and increased the reputation of the Bavarian Duke. The death of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII in August 1313 necessitated the election of a successor. Henry's son John, King of Bohemia since 1310, was considered by many prince-electors to be too young, by others to be too powerful. One alternative was Frederick the Fair, the son of Henry's predecessor, Albert I, of the House of Habsburg. In reaction, the pro-Luxembourg party among the prince electors settled on Louis as its candidate to prevent Frederick's election.
On 19 October 1314, Archbishop Henry II Cologne chaired an assembly of four electors at Sachsenhausen, south of Frankfurt. Participants were Louis' brother, Rudolph I of the Palatinate, who objected to the election of his younger brother, Duke Rudolph I of Saxe-Wittenberg, Henry of Carinthia, whom the Luxembourgs had deposed as King of Bohemia; these four electors chose Frederick as King. The Luxembourg party did not accept this election and the next day a second election was held. Upon the instigation of Peter of Aspelt, Archbishop of Mainz, five different electors convened at Frankfurt and elected Louis as King; these electors were Archbishop Peter himself, Archbishop Baldwin of Trier and King John of Bohemia - both of the House of Luxembourg - Margrave Waldemar of Brandenburg and Duke John II of Saxe-Lauenburg, who contested Rudolph of Wittenberg's claim to the electoral vote. This double election was followed by two coronations: Louis was crowned at Aachen - the customary site of coronations - by Archbishop Peter of Mainz, while the Archbishop of Cologne, who by custom had the right to crown the new king, crowned Frederick at Bonn.
In the following conflict between the kings, Louis recognized in 1316 the independence of Switzerland from the Habsburg dynasty. After several years of bloody war, victory seemed within the grasp of Frederick, supported by his brother Leopold. However, Frederick's army was decisively defeated in the Battle of Mühldorf on 28 September 1322 on the Ampfing Heath, where Frederick and 1300 nobles from Austria and Salzburg were captured. Louis held Frederick captive in Trausnitz Castle for three years, but the determined resistance by Frederick's brother Leopold, the retreat of John of Bohemia from his alliance, the Pope's ban induced Louis to release Frederick in the Treaty of Trausnitz of 13 March 1325. In this agreement, Frederick recognized Louis as legitimate ruler and undertook to return to captivity if he did not succeed in convincing his brothers to submit to Louis; as he did not manage to overcome Leopold's obstinacy, Frederick returned to Munich as a prisoner though the Pope had released him from his oath.
Louis, impressed by such nobility, renewed the old friendship with Frederick, they agreed to rule the Empire jointly. Since the Pope and the electors objected to this agreement, another treaty was signed at Ulm on 7 January 1326, according to which Frederick would administer Germany as King of the Romans, while Louis would be crowned as Holy Roman Emperor in Italy. However, after Leopold's death in 1326, Frederick withdrew from the regency of the Empire and returned to rule only Austria, he died on 13 January 1330. Despite Louis' victory, Pope John XXII still refused to ratify his election, in 1324 he excommunicated Louis, but the sanction had less effect than in earlier disputes between emperors and the papacy. After the reconciliation with the Habsburgs in 1326, Louis marched to Italy and was crowned King of Italy in Milan in 1327. In 1323, Louis had sent an army to Italy to protect Milan against the Kingdom of Naples, together with France the strongest ally of the papacy, but now the Lord of Milan Galeazzo I Visconti was deposed since he was suspected of conspiring with the pope.
In January 1328, Louis entered Rome and had himself crowned emperor by the aged senator Sciarra Colonna, called captain of the Roman people. Three months Louis published a decree declaring Pope John XXII deposed on grounds of heresy, he installed a Spiritual Franciscan, Pietro Rainalducci as Nicholas V, but both left Rome in August 1328. In the meanti