John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg
John Sigismund was a Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg from the House of Hohenzollern. He became the Duke of Prussia through his marriage to Duchess Anna, the eldest daughter of Duke Albert Frederick of Prussia who died without sons, their marriage resulted in the creation of Brandenburg-Prussia. John Sigismund was born in Halle an der Saale to Joachim III Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg, his first wife Catherine of Brandenburg-Küstrin, he succeeded his father as Margrave of Brandenburg in 1608. In 1611, John Sigismund traveled from Königsberg to Warsaw, where on 16 November 1611 he gave feudal homage to Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland, he became Duke of Prussia in 1618, although he had served as regent on behalf of the mentally-disturbed Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia, for several years prior. John Sigismund died in the following year. John Sigismund gave the Reichshof Castrop to his teacher and educator Carl Friedrich von Bordelius, whereas he received the territories of Cleves and Ravensberg in the Treaty of Xanten in 1614.
John Sigismund's most significant action was his conversion from Lutheranism to Calvinism, after he had earlier equalized the rights of Catholics and Protestants in the Duchy of Prussia under pressure from the King of Poland. He was won over to Calvinism during a visit to Heidelberg in 1606, but it was not until 1613 that he publicly took communion according to the Calvinist rite; the vast majority of his subjects in Brandenburg, including his wife Anna of Prussia, remained Lutheran, however. After the Elector and his Calvinist court officials drew up plans for mass conversion of the population to the new faith in February 1614, as provided for by the rule of Cuius regio, eius religio within the Holy Roman Empire, there were serious protests, with his wife backing the Lutherans. Resistance was so strong that in 1615, John Sigismund backed down and relinquished all attempts at forcible conversion. Instead, he allowed his subjects to be either Lutheran or Calvinist according to the dictates of their own consciences.
Henceforward, Brandenburg-Prussia would be a bi-confessional state. On 30 October 1594, John Sigismund married Anna of Prussia, daughter of Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia, they were parents to eight children: George William. His successor. Anne Sophia of Brandenburg. Married Frederick Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg. Married Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, they were parents of Christina of Sweden. Catherine of Brandenburg. Married first Gabriel Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania and secondly Franz Karl of Saxe-Lauenburg. Joachim Sigismund of Brandenburg. Agnes of Brandenburg. John Frederick of Brandenburg. Albrecht Christian of Brandenburg. Theodor Hirsch, "Johann Sigismund", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, 14, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 169–175 Settlement of Dortmund between Brandenburg and Palatinate-Neuburg and the conflict of succession in Jülich, in full text "Brandenburg, Confession of". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920
Roman Catholic Diocese of Münster
The Diocese of Münster is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany. It is a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Cologne. Bishop Felix Genn is the current Bishop of the Diocese of Münster, he was ordained to the priesthood on July 11, 1976 and was appointed to the See of Münster on December 19, 2008. As of 31 Dec. 2006, with 4.336 million adherents or 47.1% of local population, nearly half the inhabitants of the Münster diocese were Roman Catholic. Sunday mass attendance reflects this decline over the course of three decades. Per the diocesan website: in 2005, 13.6% Roman Catholics attended Sunday mass. A decade earlier, in 1995, Sunday mass attendance was about 20%. Over a 30-year period, Sunday mass attendance declined over 50%; as of 18 July 2013, there were 1,129 priests, 296 permanent deacons, 2,540 religious in the diocese. The diocese was canonically erected in 800 by Pope Leo III, it lost territory on February 1957 to the newly established Diocese of Essen.
Saint Ludger Gerfried Altfried Liutbert Bertold of Münster Wolfhelm of Münster Nidhard Rumhold Hildebold of Münster Dodo of Münster Swidger of Münster Dietrich I of Münster Siegfried of Walbeck Hermann I of Münster Rudbert of Münster Frederick I of Münster Erpho Burchard of Holte Dietrich II of Münster Egbert of Münster Werner of Steußlingen Frederick II of Are Louis I of Wippra Hermann II of Katzenelnbogen Hermann II of Katzenelnbogen Otto I of Oldenburg Dietrich III of Isenberg Ludolphus of Holte Otto of Lippe William I of Holte Gerard of the Marck Everhard of Diest Otto III of Rietberg Conrad I of Berg Louis II of Hesse Adolphus of the Marck John I of Virneburg Florence of Wevelinkhoven John II Potho of Pothenstein Heidenreich Wolf of Lüdinghausen Otto IV of Hoya Henry II of Moers † Walram of Moers † Eric I of Hoya John of Palatinate-Simmern † Henry III of Schwarzburg † Conrad IV of Rietberg † Eric II of Saxe-Lauenburg † Frederick III of Wied † Eric III of Brunswick-Grubenhagen † Francis I of Waldeck † William II Ketteler † Bernhard von Raesfeld † John III of Hoya † John William of Juliers-Cleves-Berg † Ernest of Bavaria † Ferdinand I of Bavaria † Bernard von Galen † Ferdinand II of Fürstenberg † Maximilian Henry of Bavaria Friedrich Christian von Plettenberg zu Lenhausen † Franz Arnold von Wolff-Metternich zur Gracht † Clemens August I of Bavaria † Maximilian Friedrich von Königsegg-Rothenfels † Maximilian Francis of Austria † Anton Victor of Austria elect Sede vacante Ferdinand Hermann Maria Freiherr von Lüninck † Kaspar Maximilian Droste zu Vischering † Bernard Georg Kellermann † Johann Georg Müller † Johannes Bernhard Brinkmann † Hermann Jakob Dingelstad † Felix von Hartmann † Johannes Poggenburg † Bl.
Clemens Augustus II von Galen † Michael Keller † Joseph Höffner † Heinrich Tenhumberg † Reinhard Lettmann † Felix Genn Dietrich Schenk, O. F. M. Johann Christiani von Schleppegrell, O. S. A. Johannes Wennecker, O. S. A. Weribold von Heys, O. F. M. Johannes Ymminck, O. S. A.. Heinrich Schodehoet, O. S. A. Johannes Meppen, O. S. A. Johannes Pictor Meler, O. S. A. Bernhard von Sachsen-Lauenburg, O. Cist. Johannes Bischopinck Balthasar Fannemann Johannes Kridt Cunerus Petri (Jan 1580
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin; the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a great power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia, which became a military power under Frederick William, known as "The Great Elector". Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great, the third son of Frederick William I. Frederick the Great was instrumental in starting the Seven Years' War, holding his own against Austria, Russia and Sweden and establishing Prussia's role in the German states, as well as establishing the country as a European great power.
After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a major power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles, many wars; because of its power, Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule, although whether Austria would be included in such a unified German domain was an ongoing question. After the Napoleonic Wars led to the creation of the German Confederation, the issue of more unifying the many German states caused revolution throughout the German states, with each wanting their own constitution. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful member states and Austria; the North German Confederation, which lasted from 1867 to 1871, created a closer union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent. The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War but many of its laws were used in the German Empire.
The German Empire lasted from 1871 to 1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony, this was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. The war united all the German states against a common enemy, with the victory came an overwhelming wave of nationalism which changed the opinions of some of those, against unification. In 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the legal predecessor of the unified German Reich and as such a direct ancestor of today's Federal Republic of Germany; the formal abolition of Prussia, carried out on 25 February 1947 by the fiat of the Allied Control Council referred to an alleged tradition of the kingdom as a bearer of militarism and reaction, made way for the current setup of the German states. However, the Free State of Prussia, which followed the abolition of the Kingdom of Prussia in the aftermath of World War I, was a major democratic force in Weimar Germany until the nationalist coup of 1932 known as the Preußenschlag.
The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which has become one of the largest cultural organisations in the world. In 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire. After the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states, including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia; the towns were poverty stricken, with the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade. Poverty in these towns was caused by Prussia's neighbours, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns could not compete; these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these towns gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west, allowed the urban middle class of Brandenburg to prosper.
It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, as it faced two dangers that the other German territories did not, partition from within and the threat of invasion by its neighbours. It prevented partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea, which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories; the second issue was resolved through expansion. Brandenburg was surrounded on every side by neighbours whose boundaries were political. Any neighbour could consume Brandenburg at any moment; the only way to defend herself was to absorb her neighbours. Through negotiations and marriages Brandenburg but expanded her borders, absorbing neighbours and eliminating the threat of attack; the Hohenzollerns were made rulers of the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1518. In 1529 the Hohenzollerns secured the reversion of the Duchy of Pomerania after a series of conflicts, acquired its eastern part following the Peace of Westphalia. In 1618 the Hohenzollerns inherited the Duchy of Prussia, since 1511 ruled by Hohenzollern Albrecht of Brandenburg Prussia, who in 1525 converted the Teutonic Order ruled state to a Protestant Duchy by accepting fiefdom of the crown of Poland.
It was ruled in a personal union with Brandenburg
Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle
The Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire. It comprised territories of the former Duchy of Lower Lorraine and the Westphalian part of the former Duchy of Saxony; the circle was made up of numerous small states, however the Counts De la Marck were able to collect a significant amount of territories, the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg from 1521 on. The Empire's largest ecclesiastical territory was held by the Prince-Bishops of Münster; the circle was made up of the following states: Imperial Circles in the 16th Century Historical Maps of Germany The list of states making up the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle is based in part on that in the German Wikipedia article Niederrheinisch-Westfälischer Reichskreis. List of the imperial circles of 1532 Media related to Lower Rhenish-Westphalian Circle at Wikimedia Commons
The Salic law, or the Salian law, was the ancient Salian Frankish civil law code compiled around AD 500 by the first Frankish King, Clovis. The written text is in "semi-French Latin" according to some linguists, it remained the basis of Frankish law throughout the early Medieval period, influenced future European legal systems. The best-known tenet of the old law is the principle of exclusion of women from inheritance of thrones and other property; the Salic laws were arbitrated by a committee empowered by the King of the Franks. Dozens of manuscripts dating from the 6th to 8th centuries and three emendations as late as the 9th century have survived. Salic law provided written codification of both civil law, such as the statutes governing inheritance, criminal law, such as the punishment for murder. Although it was intended as the law of the Salians or Western Franks, it has had a formative influence on the tradition of statute law that extended to modern history in Western and Central Europe in the German states, the Netherlands, parts of Italy and Spain, Austria-Hungary and the Balkans.
The original edition of the code was commissioned by the first king of all the Franks, Clovis I, published sometime between 507 and 511. He appointed four commissioners to research uses of laws that, until the publication of the Salic Law, had been recorded only in the minds of designated elders, who would meet in council when their knowledge was required. Transmission was oral. Salic Law therefore reflects ancient practices. In order to govern more it was desirable for monarchs and their administrations to have a written code; the name of the code comes from the circumstance that Clovis was a Merovingian king ruling only the Salian Franks before his unification of Francia. The law must have applied to the Ripuarian Franks as well. For the next 300 years the code was copied by hand, was amended as required to add newly enacted laws, revise laws, amended, delete laws, repealed. In contrast with printing, hand copying is an individual act by an individual copyist with ideas and a style of his own.
Each of the several dozen surviving manuscripts features a unique set of errors, corrections and organization. The laws are called "titles" as each one has its own name preceded by de, "of", "concerning". Different sections of titles acquired individual names which revealed something about their provenances; some of these dozens of names have been adopted for specific reference given the same designation as the overall work, lex. The recension of Hendrik Kern organizes all of the manuscripts into five families according to similarity and relative chronological sequence, judged by content and dateable material in the text. Family I is the oldest, containing four manuscripts dated to the 8th and 9th centuries but containing 65 titles believed to be copies of originals published in the 6th century. In addition they feature the Malbergse Glossen, "Malberg Glosses", marginal glosses stating the native court word for some Latin words; these are named from native malbergo, "language of the court". Kern's Family II, represented by two manuscripts, is the same as Family I, except that it contains "interpolations or numerous additions which point to a period".
Family III is split into two divisions. The first, comprising three manuscripts, dated to the 8th–9th centuries, presents an expanded text of 99 or 100 titles; the Malberg Glosses are retained. The second division, with four manuscripts, not only drops the glosses, but "bears traces of attempts to make the language more concise". A statement gives the provenance: "in the 13th year of the reign of our most glorious king of the Franks, Pipin"; some of the internal documents were composed after the reign of Pepin the Short, but it is considered to be an emendation initiated by Pepin, is therefore termed the Pipina Recensio. Family IV has two divisions: the first comprised 33 manuscripts, they are characterized by the internal assignment of Latin names to various sections of different provenance. Two of the sections are dated to 768 and 778, but the emendation is believed to be dated to 798, late in the reign of Charlemagne; this edition calls itself the Lex Salica Emendata, or the Lex Reformata, or the Lex Emendata, is the result of a law code reform by Charlemagne.
By that time his Holy Roman Empire comprised most of Western Europe. He adds laws of choice taken from the earlier law codes of Germanic peoples not part of Francia; these are numbered into the laws that were there. All the Franks of Francia were subject to the same law code, which retained the overall title of Lex Salica; these integrated sections borrowed from other Germanic codes are the Lex Ribuariorum Lex Ribuaria, laws adopted from the Ripuarian Franks, before Clovis, had been independent. The Lex Alamannorum took laws from the Alamanni subject to the Franks. Under the Franks, they were governed by Frankish law, not their own; the inclusion of some of their law as part of the Salic Law must have served as a palliative. Charlemagne goes back earlier to the Lex Suauorum, the ancient code of the Suebi preceding the Alemanni. Glosses to the Salic law code contain several Old Dutch words and what is the earliest full sentence in the language: * Old Dutch and Early Modern and earlier versions
A duchy is a country, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess. The term is used exclusively in Europe, where in the present day there is no sovereign duchy left; the term "duke" should not be confused with the title Grand Duke, as there exists a significant difference of rank between the two. In common European cultural heritage, a grand duke is the third highest monarchic rank, after emperor and king, its synonym in many Slavic and Baltic European languages is translated as Grand Prince, whereas most Germanic and Romance European languages use expressions corresponding to Grand Duke. Unlike a duke, the sovereign grand duke is considered royalty; the proper form of address for a grand duke is His Royal Highness, whereas for a non-royal duke in the United Kingdom it is His Grace. In contrast to this, the rank of a duke differs from one country to the next. In Germany, for example, a duke is listed in the aristocratic hierarchy below an emperor, grand duke, elector – in that order – whereas in Britain the duke comes third after king/queen and prince.
In all countries, there existed an important difference between "sovereign dukes" and dukes subordinate to a king or emperor. Some historic duchies were sovereign in areas that would become part of nation-states only during the modern era, such as Germany and Italy. In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that had unified either or during the medieval era, such as France, Sicily and the Papal States. In England, the term is used in respect of non-territorial entities. Traditionally, a grand duchy, such as Luxembourg or Tuscany, was independent and sovereign. There were many sovereign or semi-sovereign duchies in the de facto confederate Holy Roman Empire and German-speaking areas. In France, a number of duchies existed in the medieval period including Normandy, Burgundy and Aquitaine; the medieval German stem duchies were associated with the Frankish Kingdom and corresponded with the areas of settlement of the major Germanic tribes. They formed the nuclei of the major feudal states that comprised the early era of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation.
These were Schwaben and Sachsen in pre-Carolingian times, to which Franken and Lothringen were added in post-Carolingian times. As mentioned above, such a duke was styled Herzog. In medieval England, duchies associated with the territories of Lancashire and Cornwall were created, with certain powers and estates of land accruing to their dukes; the Duchy of Lancaster was created in 1351 but became merged with the Crown when, in 1399, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, ascended the throne of England as Henry IV. Nowadays the Duchy of Lancaster always belongs to the sovereign and its revenue is the Privy Purse; the Duchy of Cornwall was created in 1337 and held successively by the Dukes of Cornwall, who were heirs to the throne. Nowadays, the Duchy of Cornwall belongs to the sovereign's heir apparent, if there is one: it reverts to the Crown in the absence of an heir apparent, is automatically conferred to the heir apparent upon birth; these duchies today have lost any non-ceremonial political role, but generate their holders' private income.
During the Wars of the Roses, the Duke of York made a successful entry into the City of York, by claiming no harm and that it was his right to possess "his duchy of York". Any and all feudal duchies that made up the patchwork of England have since been absorbed within the Royal Family. Other than Cornwall and Lancaster, British royal dukedoms are titular and do not include land holdings. Non-royal dukedoms are associated with ducal property, but this is meant as the duke's private property, with no other feudal privileges attached. In more recent times, territorial duchies have become rare. At present all independent duchies have disappeared. Luxembourg, an independent and sovereign nation with a history dating back as far as the 8th century, is the only remaining independent grand duchy, with HRH the Grand Duke Henri I as its head of state since the year 2000. In the middle east the concept of beylik can be seen as equivalent to duchy. For example, the Ottoman Empire, first just the nomadic Kayı tribe among the Ghuzz, settled in Bithynia on the border to the Byzantine Empire, evolved under the Sultanate of Rûm into a border principality.
It became an independent principality. It grew further into its own empire by conquering the nearby Anatolian beyliks remnants of the Sultanate of Rûm. Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Grand Duchy of