Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the 14th largest city in the European Union and it is the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters. Prague has been a political and economic centre of central Europe with waxing and waning fortunes during its history and it was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire. Prague is home to a number of cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence. Main attractions include the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The city has more than ten major museums, along with theatres, cinemas. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city, also, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe.
Prague is classified as an Alpha- global city according to GaWC studies, Prague ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination, and the city more than 6.4 million international visitors annually. Prague is the fifth most visited European city after London, Istanbul, the region was settled as early as the Paleolithic age. In the last century BC, the Celts were slowly driven away by Germanic tribes, around the area where present-day Prague stands, the 2nd century map of Ptolemaios mentioned a Germanic city called Casurgis. In the following century, the Czech tribes built several fortified settlements in the area, most notably in Levý Hradec, Butovice and in the Šárka valley. The construction of what came to be known as the Prague Castle began near the end of the 9th century, the first masonry under Prague Castle dates from the year 885 at the latest. The other prominent Prague fort, the Přemyslid fort Vyšehrad, was founded in the 10th century, Prague Castle is dominated by the cathedral, which was founded in 1344, but completed in the 20th century.
The legendary origins of Prague attribute its foundation to the 8th century Czech duchess and prophetess Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, legend says that Libuše came out on a rocky cliff high above the Vltava and prophesied, I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars. She ordered a castle and a town called Praha to be built on the site, a 17th century Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the city was founded as Boihaem in c.1306 BC by an ancient king, Boyya. The region became the seat of the dukes, and kings of Bohemia, under Roman Emperor Otto II the area became a bishopric in 973
Sopron is a city in Hungary on the Austrian border, near the Lake Neusiedl/Lake Fertő. When the area that is today Western Hungary was a province of the Roman Empire and its forum was located where the main square of Sopron can be found today. 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 strengthened the old Roman city walls, 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. Even though he took the children of Soprons nobility with him as hostages, 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, many Hungarians fled from the occupied areas to Sopron, and the citys importance grew. While the Ottomans occupied most of central Europe, the 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, Vas and Moson. These counties were awarded to Austria in the Treaty of Saint Germain. Since Sopron has been called Civitas Fidelissima, and the anniversary of the plebiscite is a city holiday, 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 greatly during World War II, it was bombed several times, the Soviet Red Army captured the city on April 1,1945. As the first successful crossing of the border it helped pave the way for the 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, Soprons economy immensely benefits from the European Union. Having been a city close to nowhere, that is, to the Iron Curtain, after being suppressed during the Cold War, Soprons German-speaking culture and heritage are now recognized again. As a consequence, many of the citys street-and traffic-signs are written in both Hungarian and German making it an officially 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
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family, usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system but sometimes appearing in elective republics. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a house, historians periodize the histories of many sovereign states, such as Ancient Egypt, the Carolingian Empire and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties. As such, the dynasty may be used to delimit the era during which the family reigned and to describe events, trends. The word dynasty itself is often dropped from such adjectival references, until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty, that is, to increase the territory and power of his family members. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. Succession through a daughter when permitted was considered to establish a new dynasty in her husbands ruling house, some states in Africa, determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mothers dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
It is extended to unrelated people such as poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team. The word dynasty derives via Latin dynastia from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to power, dominion and it was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, power or ability, from dýnamai, to be able. A ruler in a dynasty is referred to as a dynast. For example, following his abdication, Edward VIII of the United Kingdom ceased to be a member of the House of Windsor. A dynastic marriage is one that complies with monarchical house law restrictions, the marriage of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, to Máxima Zorreguieta in 2002 was dynastic, for example, and their eldest child is expected to inherit the Dutch crown eventually. But the marriage of his younger brother Prince Friso to Mabel Wisse Smit in 2003 lacked government support, thus Friso forfeited his place in the order of succession, lost his title as a Prince of the Netherlands, and left his children without dynastic rights.
In historical and monarchist references to formerly reigning families, a dynast is a member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchys rules still in force. Even since abolition of the Austrian monarchy and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position. The term dynast is sometimes used only to refer to descendants of a realms monarchs. The term can therefore describe overlapping but distinct sets of people, yet he is not a male-line member of the royal family, and is therefore not a dynast of the House of Windsor. Thus, in 1999 he requested and obtained permission from Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco. Yet a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time and that exclusion, ceased to apply on 26 March 2015, with retroactive effect for those who had been dynasts prior to triggering it by marriage to a Catholic
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold I was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia and King of Serbia. The second son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, by his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain, elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1658, Leopold would rule as such until his death in 1705. Leopolds reign is known for the conflicts with the Ottoman Empire in the east, and the rivalry with Louis XIV, after more than a decade of warfare, Leopold emerged victorious from the Great Turkish War thanks to military talents of Prince Eugene of Savoy. By the Treaty of Karlowitz, Leopold recovered almost all of the Kingdom of Hungary which had fallen under the Turkish yoke in the years after the 1526 Battle of Mohács. Leopold fought three wars against France including the Dutch War, the Nine Years War, and the War of the Spanish Succession, in this last, Leopold sought to give his younger son the entire Spanish inheritance, disregarding the late Spanish kings will. To this end, he started a war which soon engulfed much of Europe, when peace returned at the end of it all, Austria could not be said to have emerged as triumphant as it did from the war against the Turks.
Born on 9 June 1640 in Vienna, Leopold received an education by excellent teachers. From an early age Leopold showed an inclination toward learning and he became fluent in several languages, Italian, German and Spanish. In addition to German, Italian would be the most favored language at his court, Leopold was schooled in the classics, literature, natural science and astronomy, and was particularly interested in music, having inherited his fathers musical talents. Originally intended for the Church, Leopold had received an ecclesiastical education. But fate put in motion a different plan for him when smallpox took his elder brother Ferdinand on 9 July 1654, Leopolds church education had clearly marked him. Leopold remained influenced by the Jesuits and his education throughout his life, and was uncommonly knowledgeable for a monarch about theology, jurisprudence and he retained his interest in astrology and alchemy which he had developed under Jesuit tutors. A deeply religious and devoted person, Leopold personified the pietas Austriaca, Leopold was said to have typically Habsburg physical attributes.
Short, and of sickly constitution, Leopold was cold and reserved in public, however, he is said to have been open with close associates. Coxe described Leopold in the manner, His gait was stately and deliberate, his air pensive, his address awkward, his manner uncouth, his disposition cold. He grew to manhood without the military ambition that characterized most of his fellow monarchs, from the beginning, his reign was defensive and profoundly conservative. Hungary elected Leopold as its king in 1655, with Bohemia and Croatia following suit in 1656 and 1657 respectively. To conciliate France, which had influence in German affairs thanks to the League of the Rhine
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria
Born at the Escorial near Madrid, Spain in 16091, he was the son of the King of Spain and Portugal, Philip III and II and Margaret of Austria, sister of Emperor Ferdinand II. His older siblings were King Philip IV and III and the French queen Anne of Austria, as his father wished that he pursue an ecclesiastical career, Ferdinand was elevated to the Primacy of Spain in 1619, becoming Archbishop of Toledo. Shortly afterwards he was created Cardinal, the style Cardinal-Infante was a combination of his dignity as Cardinal and his station as a royal Prince of Spain. Ferdinand was never ordained a priest, In 1630 the Cardinal Infantes aunt Isabella Clara Eugenia planned to make him her successor as governor of the Spanish Netherlands. To move to the Netherlands in a style befitting a governor and he met with an army from Milan for a planned march through the famous Spanish Way across Lombardy and Swabia, and following the Rhine to the Netherlands. Since disease delayed his travels, he sent half of his army ahead under the command of the Duke of Feria, this army was severely depleted during fighting with the Swedish army of Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar and Gustaf Horn.
The Spanish requested 4000 cavalry from the Imperial general Albrecht von Wallenstein, but this being denied, the Cardinal-Infante was able to continue his travels in 1634, collecting in Bavaria the remains of the army of Gómez Suárez, who had died in January 1634. Meanwhile, Ferdinand of Hungary was able to defeat the Swedish army at Regensburg in July 1634 and this Ferdinand and his cousin the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand raced to merge their armies. The Swedish forces of Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar and Gustaf Horn desperately tried to prevent this merger, the Cardinal-Infante crossed the Danube in August 1634. In September both armies were able to merge, and camped south of Nördlingen in Swabia, at that time Nördlingen was protected by a small Swedish garrison. Shortly thereafter, the armies of Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar and Gustaf Horn reached Nördlingen, Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand and his nephew Ferdinand prepared for battle, ignoring the advice of the more experienced generals, such as the Imperial general Matthias Gallas.
Bernhard and Horn prepared for battle, but they were by now rivals, Gustaf Horn was captured, the Swedish army was destroyed, and the remainder that fled to Heilbronn was only a shadow of the former glorious army. At the end of 1634 he entered Brussels with all the glory befitting a Governor-General, due to the unpopularity of the clergy in Brussels, he downplayed his religious status and instead emphasized his worldly ranks. Ferdinand was a politician and diplomat, and quickly reformed the government. He especially managed to win the support of the Flemings against France, his powers were secretly limited, and the leader of his army was instructed to follow Spanish orders instead of Ferdinands orders if necessary. In 1635 the French attacked Namur, planning to merge with the Dutch near Maastricht, the Dutch hesitated, and the French retreated. Ferdinand subsequently was able to capture Diest, Gennep, Limbourg, on October 10,1637, Breda was recaptured again after a 10-month siege by the Prince of Orange after being under Spanish control for 12 years.
In the southern front Ferdinand lost the towns of La Capelle and Damvillers to the French, in 1638 Ferdinands army successfully defended Antwerp, Saint-Omer and Geldern from the Dutch and French armies
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years War was a series of wars in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. It was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history, as well as the deadliest European religious war, resulting in eight million casualties. Initially a war between various Protestant and Catholic states in the fragmented Holy Roman Empire, it developed into a more general conflict involving most of the great powers. These states employed relatively large mercenary armies, and the war became less about religion, in the 17th century, religious beliefs and practices were a much larger influence on an average European than they are today. The war began when the newly elected Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, tried to impose uniformity on his domains. The northern Protestant states, angered by the violation of their rights to choose that had granted in the Peace of Augsburg. Ferdinand II was a devout Roman Catholic and relatively intolerant when compared to his predecessor and his policies were considered strongly pro-Catholic.
They ousted the Habsburgs and elected Frederick V, Elector of the Rhenish Palatinate as their monarch, Frederick took the offer without the support of the union. The southern states, mainly Roman Catholic, were angered by this, led by Bavaria, these states formed the Catholic League to expel Frederick in support of the Emperor. The Empire soon crushed this rebellion in the Battle of White Mountain. After the atrocities committed in Bohemia, Saxony finally gave its support to the union, wishing to finally crush the Dutch rebels in the Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, intervened under the pretext of helping its dynastic Habsburg ally, Austria. No longer able to tolerate the encirclement of two major Habsburg powers on its borders, Catholic France entered the coalition on the side of the Protestants in order to counter the Habsburgs. Both mercenaries and soldiers in fighting armies traditionally looted or extorted tribute to get operating funds, the war bankrupted most of the combatant powers.
The Thirty Years War ended with the treaties of Osnabrück and Münster, the war altered the previous political order of European powers. Lutherans living in a prince-bishopric could continue to practice their faith, Lutherans could keep the territory they had taken from the Catholic Church since the Peace of Passau in 1552. Those prince-bishops who had converted to Lutheranism were required to give up their territories and this added a third major faith to the region, but its position was not recognized in any way by the Augsburg terms, to which only Catholicism and Lutheranism were parties. The Dutch revolted against Spanish domination during the 1560s, leading to a war of independence that led to a truce only in 1609. This dynastic concern overtook religious ones and led to Catholic Frances participation on the otherwise Protestant side of the war and Denmark-Norway were interested in gaining control over northern German states bordering the Baltic Sea
Bohemia is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. Bohemia was a duchy of Great Moravia, an independent principality, a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire, and subsequently a part of the Habsburg Monarchy, after World War I and the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak state, Bohemia became a part of Czechoslovakia. Between 1938 and 1945, border regions with sizeable German-speaking minorities of all three Czech lands were joined to Nazi Germany as the Sudetenland, in 1990, the name was changed to the Czech Republic, which become a separate state in 1993 with the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Until 1948, Bohemia was a unit of Czechoslovakia as one of its lands. Bohemia was bordered in the south by Upper and Lower Austria, in the west by Bavaria and in the north by Saxony and Lusatia, in the northeast by Silesia, and in the east by Moravia. In the 2nd century BC, the Romans were competing for dominance in northern Italy, the Romans defeated the Boii at the Battle of Placentia and the Battle of Mutina.
After this, many of the Boii retreated north across the Alps, much Roman authors refer to the area they had once occupied as Boiohaemum. The earliest mention was by Tacitus Germania 28, and mentions of the name are in Strabo. The name appears to include the tribal name Boi- plus the Germanic element *haimaz home and this Boiohaemum was apparently isolated to the area where King Marobods kingdom was centred, within the Hercynian forest. The Czech name Čechy is derived from the name of the Slavic ethnic group, the Czechs, like neighbouring Bavaria, is named after the Boii, who were a large Celtic nation known to the Romans for their migrations and settlement in northern Italy and other places. Another part of the nation moved west with the Helvetii into southern France, to the south, over the Danube, the Romans extended their empire, and to the southeast in Hungaria, were Sarmatian peoples. In the area of modern Bohemia the Marcomanni and other Suebic groups were led by their king Marobodus and he took advantage of the natural defenses provided by its mountains and forests.
In late classical times and the early Middle Ages, two new Suebic groupings appeared to the west of Bohemia in southern Germany, the Alemanni, many Suebic tribes from the Bohemian region took part in such movements westwards, even settling as far away as Spain and Portugal. With them were tribes who had pushed from the east, such as the Vandals, other groups pushed southwards towards Pannonia. These are precursors of todays Czechs, though the amount of Slavic immigration is a subject of debate. The Slavic influx was divided into two or three waves, the first wave came from the southeast and east, when the Germanic Lombards left Bohemia. Soon after, from the 630s to 660s, the territory was taken by Samos tribal confederation and his death marked the end of the old Slavonic confederation, the second attempt to establish such a Slavonic union after Carantania in Carinthia. Other sources divide the population of Bohemia at this time into the Merehani, Beheimare, Christianity first appeared in the early 9th century, but only became dominant much later, in the 10th or 11th century
Albrecht von Wallenstein
He became the supreme commander of the armies of the Habsburg Monarchy and a major figure of the Thirty Years War. Several Protestant victories over Catholic armies induced Ferdinand to recall Wallenstein, dissatisfied with the Emperors treatment of him, Wallenstein considered allying with the Protestants. However, he was assassinated at Eger/Cheb in Bohemia by one of the officials, Walter Devereux. His mother Margaretha died in 1593, his father Wilhelm in 1595 and they had raised him bilingually – the father spoke German while his mother preferred Czech – yet Wallenstein in his childhood had a better command of Czech than of German. The religious affiliation of both his parents was Lutheranism and Utraquism, after their deaths, Albrecht for two years lived with his maternal uncle Heinrich Slavata of Chlum and Košumberk, a member of the Unity of the Brethren, and adopted his uncles religious affiliation. His uncle sent him to the school at Košumberk Castle in Eastern Bohemia. In 1597, Albrecht was sent to the Protestant Latin school at Goldberg in Silesia, while German became Wallensteins everyday language, he is said to have continued to curse in Czech.
In February 1600, Albrecht left Altdorf and travelled around the Holy Roman Empire and Italy, by this time, Wallenstein was fluent in German, Czech and Italian, was able to understand Spanish, and spoke some French. Wallenstein joined the army of the Emperor Rudolf II in Hungary, in 1604, his sister Kateřina Anna married the leader of the Moravian Protestants, Karel the Older of Zierotin. He studied at the University of Olomouc and his contact with the Olomouc Jesuits was partly responsible for his conversion to Catholicism in the same year. Wallenstein was made a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece, in 1609, Wallenstein married Czech Lucretia of Víckov, née Nekšová, of Landek, rich widow of Arkleb of Víckov who owned the towns of Vsetín, Rymice and Všetuly/Holešov. She was three years older than Wallenstein, and he inherited her estates after her death in 1614 and he endowed a monastery in his dead wifes name and had her reburied there. In 1623, Wallenstein married Isabella Katharina, daughter of Count Harrach and she bore him two children, a son who died in infancy and a surviving daughter.
Examples of the couples correspondence survive, the two marriages made him one of the wealthiest men in the Bohemian Crown. The Thirty Years War began in 1618 when the estates of Bohemia rebelled against Ferdinand of Styria and elected Frederick V, Elector Palatine, Wallenstein associated himself with the cause of the Catholics and the Habsburg dynasty. Sympathizing with the Bohemians, he used his position as commander of the troops of the Moravian estates to escape with the Moravian treasure-chest to Vienna. There, the authorities told him that the money would go back to the Moravians — but he had shown his loyalty to Ferdinand, the future Emperor. Wallenstein recovered his lands and after the Battle of White Mountain he secured the estates belonging to his mothers family and he grouped his new possessions into a territory called Friedland in northern Bohemia
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster, effectively ending the European wars of religion. The Treaty of Osnabrück, involving the Holy Roman Empire, the treaties did not restore peace throughout Europe, but they did create a basis for national self-determination. Inter-state aggression was to be held in check by a balance of power, a norm was established against interference in another states domestic affairs. As European influence spread across the globe, these Westphalian principles, especially the concept of states, became central to international law. Peace negotiations between France and the Habsburgs, provided by the Holy Roman Emperor and the Spanish King, were started in Cologne in 1641 and these negotiations were initially blocked by France. Cardinal Richelieu of France desired the inclusion of all its allies, in Hamburg and Lübeck and the Holy Roman Empire negotiated the Treaty of Hamburg.
This was done with the intervention of Richelieu, the Holy Roman Empire and Sweden declared the preparations of Cologne and the Treaty of Hamburg to be preliminaries of an overall peace agreement. This larger agreement was negotiated in Westphalia, in the cities of Münster. Both cities were maintained as neutral and demilitarized zones for the negotiations, Münster was, since its re-Catholization in 1535, a strictly mono-denominational community. It housed the Chapter of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster, only Roman Catholic worship was permitted. No places of worship were provided for Calvinists and Lutherans, in the years of 1628–1633 Osnabrück had been subjugated by troops of the Catholic League. The Catholic Prince-Bishop Franz Wilhelm, Count of Wartenberg imposed the Counter-Reformation onto the city with many Lutheran burgher families being exiled, while under Swedish occupation Osnabrückss Catholics were not expelled, but the city severely suffered from Swedish war contributions. Therefore, Osnabrück hoped for a great relief becoming neutralised and demilitarised, since Lutheran Sweden preferred Osnabrück as a conference venue, its peace negotiations with the Empire, including the allies of both sides, took place in Osnabrück.
The Empire and its opponent France, including the allies of each, as well as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, between January 1646 and July 1647 probably the largest number of diplomats were present. The French delegation was headed by Henri II dOrléans, duc de Longueville and further comprised the diplomats Claude dAvaux, the Swedish delegation was headed by Count Johan Oxenstierna and was assisted by Baron Johan Adler Salvius. Philip IV of Spain was represented by a double delegation, the Spanish delegation was headed by Gaspar de Bracamonte y Guzmán, and notably included the diplomats and writers Diego de Saavedra Fajardo, and Bernardino de Rebolledo. The Burgundian lawyer Antoine Brun represented Philip as hereditary ruler of the Franche Comté, the papal nuncio in Cologne, Fabio Chigi, and the Venetian envoy Alvise Contarini acted as mediators. Various Imperial States of the Holy Roman Empire sent delegations, Brandenburg sent several representatives, including Vollmar
Jan van den Hoecke
Jan van den Hoecke was a Flemish painter and designer of wall tapestries. He was one of the assistants in Rubens’ studio in the 1630s, traveled to Italy where he resided for a decade and subsequently worked as a court painter in Vienna. He was born in Antwerp in an artistic family and it is believed that, like his brother Robert van den Hoecke, he first apprenticed with his father, the painter Gaspar van den Hoecke. He worked in the studio of Peter Paul Rubens in the 1630s, while he was at Rubens’ studio he was a frequent collaborator on various major projects of Rubens. He is believed to have collaborated with Rubens on the decorations for the Banqueting Hall. Jan painted monumental representations for this occasion after designs by Rubens, of these large-scale works some have been preserved such as the Triumphal Entrance of Cardinal Prince Ferdinand of Spain and The Battle of Nördlingen,1634. It is known that the work, which celebrates the Cardinal-Infant’s victory over a Swedish army at the Battle of Nördlingen of 1634 was painted by van den Hoecke after an oil sketch by Rubens.
It was placed at a position in the centre of the front of the Arch of Ferdinand during the Joyous Entry. It remained outside for a few months after the event during which it was exposed to the natural elements, as van der Hoecke was in Italy by this time, Jacob Jordaens carried out some re-touching of the canvas in 1636 before it was offered to Cardinal-Infant Ferdinand in 1637. Jan van den Hoecke travelled to Italy where he resided likely from 1635 to 1644 although some extend the period of his stay to 1646, in Italy he seems to have become familiar with the paintings of Guido Reni and studied the antique. These influences explain the classicizing trends in his work, in 1644, the artist was accepted in Rome as a member of a select club, the Virtuosi al Pantheon. Van den Hoecke moved to Austria and entered the service of Emperor Ferdinand III in 1644 and he painted for Ferdinand’s brother, Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, including a Madonna and Child and a number of allegorical pieces.
Van den Hoecke returned to his country with Archduke Leopold Wilhelm when the latter became the governor of the Southern Netherlands in 1647. He died in Antwerp or Brussels, van den Hoecke was a versatile artist producing historical paintings as well as portraits and designs for tapestries. His work combined the achievements of the art of Rubens with 17th-century Italian Classicism, the artist and his work have only started to attract renewed attention from art historians since the 1970s. Conversely, the knowledge of his unique style has led to the attribution to other painters of works earlier given to van den Hoecke. His early style with its precise draughtsmanship and closeness to Rubens can be found in his oil sketch of The Triumph of David that was for a time regarded as a work by Rubens. His Hercules between Vice and Virtue shows the influence from both Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, the closeness of his style to that of Rubens may have led to the attribution in 1780 to van den Hoecke of the Massacre of the Innocents when it was in the Liechtenstein Collection
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806. 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 Western Roman Empire. The title was revived in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne, 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 generally concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, the office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although frequently controlled by dynasties. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806, after the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by Napoleon, before 1157, the realm was merely referred to as the Roman Empire.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, by the end of the 18th century, the term Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation had fallen out of official use. As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control, by the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, and the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel’s son Pepin became King of the Franks, the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768 Pepin’s son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an expansion of the realm. He eventually incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, on Christmas Day of 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor, restoring the title in the west for the first time in over three centuries. After the death of Charles the Fat in 888, the Carolingian Empire broke apart, according to Regino of Prüm, the parts of the realm spewed forth kinglets, and each part elected a kinglet from its own bowels.
After the death of Charles the Fat, those crowned emperor by the pope controlled only territories in Italy, the last such emperor was Berengar I of Italy, who died in 924. Around 900, autonomous stem duchies reemerged in East Francia, on his deathbed, Conrad yielded the crown to his main rival, Henry the Fowler of Saxony, who was elected king at the Diet of Fritzlar in 919. Henry reached a truce with the raiding Magyars, and in 933 he won a first victory against them in the Battle of Riade, Henry died in 936, but his descendants, the Liudolfing dynasty, would continue to rule the Eastern kingdom for roughly a century. Upon Henry the Fowlers death, his son and designated successor, was elected King in Aachen in 936 and he overcame a series of revolts from an elder brother and from several dukes. After that, the managed to control the appointment of dukes. In 951, Otto came to the aid of Adelaide, the queen of Italy, defeating her enemies, marrying her. In 955, Otto won a victory over the Magyars in the Battle of Lechfeld