Ljubljana is the capital and largest city of Slovenia. It has been the cultural, economic and administrative centre of independent Slovenia since 1991. During antiquity, a Roman city called. Ljubljana itself was first mentioned in the first half of the 12th century. Situated at the middle of a trade route between the northern Adriatic Sea and the Danube region, it was the historical capital of Carniola, one of the Slovene-inhabited parts of the Habsburg Monarchy, it was under Habsburg rule from the Middle Ages until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. After World War II, Ljubljana became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, it retained this status until Slovenia became independent in 1991 and Ljubljana became the capital of the newly formed state. The origin of name of the city, Ljubljana, is unclear. In the Middle Ages, both the river and the town were known by the German name Laibach; this name was in official use as an endonym until 1918, it remains frequent as a German exonym, both in common speech and official use.
The city is alternatively named Lublana in many English language documents. The city is called Lublana in Silesian, Lubiana in Latin: Labacum and anciently Aemona. For most scholars, the problem has been in how to connect the German names; the origin from the Slavic ljub- "to love, like" was in 2007 supported as the most probable by the linguist Tijmen Pronk, a specialist in comparative Indo-European linguistics and Slovene dialectology, from the University of Leiden. He supported the thesis; the linguist Silvo Torkar, who specialises in Slovene personal and place names, argued at the same place for the thesis that the name Ljubljana derives from Ljubija, the original name of the Ljubljanica River flowing through it, itself derived from the Old Slavic male name Ljubovid, "the one of a lovely appearance". The name Laibach, he claimed, was a hybrid of German and Slovene and derived from the same personal name; the symbol of the city is the Ljubljana Dragon. It is depicted on the top of the tower of Ljubljana Castle in the Ljubljana coat of arms and on the Ljubljanica-crossing Dragon Bridge.
It symbolises power and greatness. There are several explanations on the origin of the Ljubljana Dragon. According to a Slavic myth, the slaying of a dragon releases the waters and ensures the fertility of the earth, it is thought that the myth is tied to the Ljubljana Marshes, the expansive marshy area that periodically threatens Ljubljana with flooding. According to the celebrated Greek legend, the Argonauts on their return home after having taken the Golden Fleece found a large lake surrounded by a marsh between the present-day towns of Vrhnika and Ljubljana, it was there. This monster has evolved into the dragon, it is more believable that the dragon was adopted from Saint George, the patron of the Ljubljana Castle chapel built in the 15th century. In the legend of Saint George, the dragon represents the old ancestral paganism overcome by Christianity. According to another explanation, related to the second, the dragon was at first only a decoration above the city coat of arms. In the Baroque, it became part of the coat of arms, in the 19th and the 20th century, it outstripped the tower and other elements in importance.
Around 2000 BC, the Ljubljana Marshes in the immediate vicinity of Ljubljana were settled by people living in pile dwellings. Prehistoric pile dwellings and the oldest wooden wheel in the world are among the most notable archeological findings from the marshland; these lake-dwelling people lived through hunting and primitive agriculture. To get around the marshes, they used dugout canoes made by cutting out the inside of tree trunks, their archaeological remains, nowadays in the Municipality of Ig, have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since June 2011, in the common nomination of six Alpine states. The area remained a transit point for numerous tribes and peoples, among them the Illyrians, followed by a mixed nation of the Celts and the Illyrians called the Iapydes, in the 3rd century BC a Celtic tribe, the Taurisci. Around 50 BC, the Romans built a military encampment that became a permanent settlement called Iulia Aemona; this entrenched fort was occupied by the Legio XV Apollinaris.
In 452, it was destroyed by the Huns under Attila's orders, by the Ostrogoths and the Lombards. Emona housed 5,000 -- 6,000 played an important role during numerous battles, its plastered brick houses, painted in different colours, were connected to a drainage system. In the 6th century, the ancestors of the Slovenes moved in. In the 9th century, they fell while experiencing frequent Magyar raids. Not much is known about the area during the settlement of Slavs in the period between the downfall of Emona and the Early Middle Ages; the parchment sheet Nomina defunctorum, most written in the second half of 1161, mentions the nobleman Rudolf of Tarcento, a lawyer of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, who had bestowed a canon with 20 farmsteads beside the castle of Ljubljana to the Patriarchate. According to the historian Peter Štih's deduction, this happened between 1112 and 1125, thus representing the earliest mention of Ljubljana. Owned by a number of possessors, until the first half of the 12th century, the territory south of the Sava where the town of
A Prime Minister is the head of a cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. A prime minister is not a head of state or chief executive officer of their respective nation, rather they are a head of government, serving under a monarch in a hybrid of aristocratic and democratic government forms. In parliamentary systems fashioned after the Westminster system, the prime minister is the presiding and actual head of government and head of the executive branch. In such systems, the head of state or the head of state's official representative holds a ceremonial position, although with reserve powers. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime minister is chairman of the cabinet. In a minority of systems, notably in semi-presidential systems of government, a prime minister is the official, appointed to manage the civil service and execute the directives of the head of state.
The prime minister is but not always, a member of the Legislature or the Lower House thereof and is expected with other ministers to ensure the passage of bills through the legislature. In some monarchies the monarch may exercise executive powers that are constitutionally vested in the crown and may be exercised without the approval of parliament; as well as being head of government, a prime minister may have other roles or posts—the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, for example, is First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. Prime ministers may take other ministerial posts. For example, during the Second World War, Winston Churchill was Minister of Defence and in the current cabinet of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu serves as Minister of Communications, Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and Interior; the term prime minister in its French form, premier ministre, is attested in 17th Century sources referring to Cardinal Richelieu after he was named to head the royal council in 1624.
The title was however informal and used alongside the informal principal ministre d'État more as a job description. After 1661, Louis XIV and his descendants refused to allow one of their ministers to be more important than the others, so the term was not in use; the term prime minister in the sense that we know it originated in the 18th century in the United Kingdom when members of parliament disparagingly used the title in reference to Sir Robert Walpole. During the whole of the 18th Century, Britain was involved in a prolonged conflict with France, periodically bursting into all-out war, Britons took outspoken pride in their "Liberty" as contrasted to the "Tyranny" of French Absolute Monarchy. Over time, the title became honorific and remains so in the 21st century; the monarchs of England and the United Kingdom had ministers in whom they placed special trust and who were regarded as the head of the government. Examples were Thomas Cromwell under Henry VIII; these ministers held a variety of formal posts, but were known as "the minister", the "chief minister", the "first minister" and the "prime minister".
The power of these ministers depended on the personal favour of the monarch. Although managing the parliament was among the necessary skills of holding high office, they did not depend on a parliamentary majority for their power. Although there was a cabinet, it was appointed by the monarch, the monarch presided over its meetings; when the monarch grew tired of a first minister, he or she could be dismissed, or worse: Cromwell was executed and Clarendon driven into exile when they lost favour. Kings sometimes divided power between two or more ministers to prevent one minister from becoming too powerful. Late in Anne's reign, for example, the Tory ministers Harley and Viscount Bolingbroke shared power. In the mid 17th century, after the English Civil War, Parliament strengthened its position relative to the monarch gained more power through the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and passage of the Bill of Rights in 1689; the monarch could no longer establish any law or impose any tax without its permission and thus the House of Commons became a part of the government.
It is at this point. A tipping point in the evolution of the prime ministership came with the death of Anne in 1714 and the accession of George I to the throne. George spoke no English, spent much of his time at his home in Hanover, had neither knowledge of, nor interest in, the details of English government. In these circumstances it was inevitable that the king's first minister would become the de facto head of the government. From 1721 this was the Whig politician Robert Walpole. Walpole chaired cabinet meetings, appointed all the other ministers, dispensed the royal patronage and packed the House of Commons with his supporters. Under Walpole, the doctrine of cabinet solidarity developed. Walpole required that no minister other than himself have private dealings with the king, that when the cabinet had agreed on a policy, all ministers must defend it in public, or resign; as a prime minister, Lord Melbourne, said, "It matters not what we say, gentlemen, so long as we all say the same thing."
Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Maria Anna of Bavaria (1551–1608)
Maria Anna of Bavaria was a politically active Archduchess of Austria by marriage to Archduke Charles II of Austria. She played an important role in favor of the counter reformation in Austria. Maria Anna was Duke of Bavaria and Anna of Austria, she was given an elementary education in Latin and religion, but a high education in music by Orlando di Lasso. On 26 August 1571 in Vienna, Maria Anna married Charles II of Austria; the marriage was arranged to give Charles political support from Bavaria, Bavaria an agent in Vienna. The relation between Maria Anna and Charles are described as good. Maria Anna was described as confident, ambitious and a great lover of pomp and power, but foremost as a devoted Catholic, she participated in the affairs of state, benefited a powerful counter reformation in the domains of her spouse. She continued her education in music, benefited the Jesuit school in Graz, spent her time in religious worship and religious charity. Maria Anna was widowed in 1590, she continued to participate in politics as the adviser of her son and encouraged him to continue the counter reformation and work against the Protestant clergy and nobility.
In 1608, she retired to the Nunnery of St Clare in Graz. Her correspondence is preserved. Ferdinand. Anne, married on 31 May 1592 to Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Sweden. Maria Christina, married on 6 August 1595 to Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania. Catherine Renata. Elisabeth. Ferdinand, Holy Roman Emperor as Ferdinand II in 1619. Charles. Gregoria Maximiliana. Eleanor, a nun. Maximilian Ernest, Teutonic Knight. Margaret, married on 18 April 1599 to Philip III, King of Spain. Leopold, Archduke of Further Austria and Count of Tirol. Constance, married on 11 December 1605 to Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Sweden. Maria Magdalena, married on 19 October 1608 Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Charles the Posthumous, Bishop of Wroclaw and Brixen, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. HAMANN, Die Habsburger: Ein Biografisches Lexicon. SÁNCHEZ, Magdalena, A Woman's Influence: Archduchess Maria of Bavaria and the Spanish Habsburgs.
In C. Kent, T. K. Wolber, C. M. K. Hewitt The lion and the eagle: interdisciplinary essays on German-Spanish relations over the centuries. New York: Berghahn Books. WorldRoots.com http://bsbndb.bsb.lrz-muenchen.de/sfz58333.html http://www.nad.riksarkivet.se/sbl/Presentation.aspx?id=18720 http://de.wikisource.org/wiki/ADB:Maria_ http://de.wikisource.org/wiki/BLK%C3%96:Habsburg,_Maria_von_Bayern
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of
Albrecht von Wallenstein
Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein von Waldstein, was a Bohemian military leader and nobleman who gained prominence during the Thirty Years' War, in the Catholic side. His outstanding martial career made him one of the most influential men in the Holy Roman Empire by the time of his death. Wallenstein became the supreme commander of the armies of the Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand II and was a major figure of the Thirty Years' War. Wallenstein was born in Heřmanice into a poor Protestant noble family, he acquired a multilingual university education across Europe and converted to Roman Catholicism in 1606. A marriage in 1609 to the wealthy widow of a Bohemian landowner gave Wallenstein access to considerable estates and wealth after her death at an early age in 1614. Three years Wallenstein embarked on a career as a military contractor by raising forces for the Emperor in the war against Venice. Wallenstein fought for the Catholics against the Protestant Bohemian revolt in 1618 and confiscated and was awarded further estates after the defeat of the rebels at White Mountain in 1620.
A series of military victories against the Protestants raised Wallenstein's reputation in the Imperial court and in 1625 he raised a large army of 50,000 men to further the Imperial cause. A year he administered a crushing defeat to the Protestants at Dessau Bridge. For his successes, Wallenstein became an Imperial count palatine and made himself ruler of the lands of the Duchy of Friedland in northern Bohemia. An imperial generalissimo by land, Admiral of the Baltic Sea from 21 April 1628, Wallenstein found himself released from service on 13 August 1630 after Ferdinand grew wary of his ambition. Several Protestant victories over Catholic armies induced Ferdinand to recall Wallenstein, who defeated the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus at Alte Veste and killed him at Lützen. Dissatisfied with the Emperor's treatment of him, Wallenstein considered allying with the Protestants. However, he was assassinated at Eger in Bohemia by one of the army's officials, with the emperor's approval. Wallenstein was born on 24 September 1583 in Heřmanice, the easternmost and largest region in what was the Holy Roman Empire, the present-day Czech Republic, into a poor Protestant branch of the Waldstein family who owned Heřmanice castle and seven surrounding villages.
His mother, Markéta Smiřická of Smiřice, died in 1593. 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, his parents' religious affiliations were Utraquist Hussitism. 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, adopted his uncle's religious affiliation, his uncle sent him to the brethren's school at Košumberk Castle in Eastern Bohemia. In 1597, Albrecht was sent to the Protestant Latin school at Goldberg in Silesia, where the then-German environment led him to hone his German language skills. While German became Wallenstein's lingua franca, he is said to have continued to curse in Czech. On 29 August 1599, Wallenstein continued his education at the Protestant University of Altdorf near Nuremberg, where he was engaged in brawls and épée fights, leading to his imprisonment in the town prison.
In February 1600, Albrecht left Altdorf and travelled around the Holy Roman Empire and Italy, where he studied at the universities of Bologna and Padua. By this time, Wallenstein was fluent in German, Czech and Italian, was able to understand Spanish, spoke some French. Wallenstein joined the army of the Emperor Rudolf II in Hungary, under the command of Giorgio Basta, he saw two years of armed service against the Ottoman Turks and Hungarian rebels. 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. His contact with the Olomouc Jesuits was responsible for his conversion to Catholicism in the same year; the contributory factor to his conversion may have been the Counter-Reformation policy of the Habsburgs that barred Protestants from being appointed to higher offices at court in Bohemia and in Moravia, the impressions he gathered in Catholic Italy. However, there are no sources indicating the reasons for Wallenstein's conversion, except for a subjunctive anecdote by his contemporary Franz Christoph von Khevenhüller about the Virgin Mary saving Wallenstein's life when he fell from a window in Innsbruck.
Wallenstein was made a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece. In 1607, based on recommendations by his brother-in-law and another relative, Adam of Waldstein mistakenly referred to as his uncle, Wallenstein was made chamberlain at the court of Matthias, also chamberlain to archdukes Ferdinand and Maximilian. In 1609, Wallenstein married the Czech Lucretia of Víckov, née Nekšová, of Landek, the wealthy widow of Arkleb of Víckov who owned the towns of Vsetín, Rymice and Všetuly/Holešov, she was three years older than Wallenstein, he inherited her estates after her death in 1614. He used his wealth to win favour and commanding 200 horses for Archduke Ferdinand of Styria for his war with Venice in 1617, thereby relieving the fortress of Gradisca from the Venetian siege, he endowed a monastery in his late wife's name and had her reburied there. In 1623, Wallenstein married Isabella Katharina, daug