Kingdom of Germany
The Kingdom of Germany or German Kingdom developed out of Eastern Francia, the eastern division of the former Carolingian Empire, over the 9th to 11th centuries. East Francia was formed by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty until 911, after which the kingship was elective; the initial electors were the rulers of the stem duchies, who chose one of their own. After 962, when Otto I was crowned emperor, East Francia formed the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire along with Italy. Like medieval England and medieval France, medieval Germany consolidated from a conglomerate of smaller tribes, nations or polities by the High Middle Ages; the term rex teutonicorum first came into use in Italy around the year 1000. It was popularized by the chancery of Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy as a political tool against Emperor Henry IV. In the twelfth century, in order to stress the imperial and transnational character of their office, the emperors began to employ the title rex Romanorum on their election.
Distinct titulature for Germany and Burgundy, which traditionally had their own courts and chanceries dropped from use. After the Imperial Reform and Reformation settlement, the German part of the Holy Roman Empire was divided into Reichskreise, which defined Germany against imperial territories outside the Imperial Circles: imperial Italy, the Bohemian Kingdom, the Old Swiss Confederacy. There are few references to a German realm distinct from the Holy Roman Empire; the eastern division of the Treaty of Verdun was called the regnum Francorum Orientalium or Francia Orientalis: the Kingdom of the Eastern Franks or East Francia. It was the eastern half of the old Merovingian regnum Austrasiorum; the "east Franks" themselves were the people of Franconia, settled by Franks. The other peoples of East Francia were Saxons, Frisians and the like, referred to as Teutonici and sometimes as Franks as ethnic identities changed over the course of the ninth century. An entry in the Annales Iuvavenses for the year 919 contemporary but surviving only in a twelfth-century copy, records that Baiuarii sponte se reddiderunt Arnolfo duci et regnare ei fecerunt in regno teutonicorum, i.e. that "Arnulf, Duke of the Bavarians, was elected to reign in the Kingdom of the Germans".
Historians disagree on. Beginning in the late eleventh century, during the Investiture Controversy, the Papal curia began to use the term regnum teutonicorum to refer to the realm of Henry IV in an effort to reduce him to the level of the other kings of Europe, while he himself began to use the title rex Romanorum or King of the Romans to emphasise his divine right to the imperium Romanum; this title was employed most by the German kings themselves, though they did deign to employ "Teutonic" titles when it was diplomatic, such as Frederick Barbarossa's letter to the Pope referring to his receiving the coronam Theutonici regni. Foreign kings and ecclesiastics continued to refer to the regnum Alemanniae and règne or royaume d'Allemagne; the terms imperium/imperator or empire/emperor were employed for the German kingdom and its rulers, which indicates a recognition of their imperial stature but combined with "Teutonic" and "Alemannic" references a denial of their Romanitas and universal rule.
The term regnum Germaniae begins to appear in German sources at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Therefore, throughout the Middle Ages, the convention was that the king of Germany was Emperor of the Romans, his title was royal from his election to his coronation in Rome by the Pope. After the death of Frederick II in 1250, the trend toward a "more conceived German kingdom" found no real consolidation; the title of "king of the Romans" became less and less reserved for the emperor-elect but uncrowned in Rome. The reign was dated to begin either on the day of the coronation; the election day became the starting date permanently with Sigismund. Maximilian I changed the style of the emperor in 1508, with papal approval: after his German coronation, his style was Dei gratia Romanorum imperator electus semper augustus; that is, he was "emperor elect": a term that did not imply that he was emperor-in-waiting or not yet emperor, but only that he was emperor by virtue of the election rather than papal coronation.
At the same time, the custom of having the heir-apparent elected as king of the Romans in the emperor's lifetime resumed. For this reason, the title "king of the Romans" came to mean heir-apparent, the successor elected while the emperor was still alive; the Archbishop
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto I, traditionally known as Otto the Great, was German king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henry I the Matilda. Otto inherited the Duchy of Saxony and the kingship of the Germans upon his father's death in 936, he continued his father's work of unifying all German tribes into a single kingdom and expanded the king's powers at the expense of the aristocracy. Through strategic marriages and personal appointments, Otto installed members of his family in the kingdom's most important duchies; this reduced the various dukes, co-equals with the king, to royal subjects under his authority. Otto transformed the Roman Catholic Church in Germany to strengthen royal authority and subjected its clergy to his personal control. After putting down a brief civil war among the rebellious duchies, Otto defeated the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld in 955, thus ending the Hungarian invasions of Western Europe; the victory against the pagan Magyars earned Otto a reputation as a savior of Christendom and secured his hold over the kingdom.
By 961, Otto had conquered the Kingdom of Italy. The patronage of Otto and his immediate successors facilitated a so-called "Ottonian Renaissance" of arts and architecture. Following the example of Charlemagne's coronation as "Emperor of the Romans" in 800, Otto was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 by Pope John XII in Rome. Otto's years were marked by conflicts with the papacy and struggles to stabilize his rule over Italy. Reigning from Rome, Otto sought to improve relations with the Byzantine Empire, which opposed his claim to emperorship and his realm's further expansion to the south. To resolve this conflict, the Byzantine princess Theophanu married his son Otto II in April 972. Otto returned to Germany in August 972 and died at Memleben in May 973. Otto II succeeded him as Holy Roman Emperor. Otto was born on 23 November 912, the oldest son of the Duke of Saxony, Henry the Fowler and his second wife Matilda, the daughter of Dietrich of Ringelheim, a Saxon count in Westphalia. Henry had married Hatheburg of Merseburg a daughter of a Saxon count, in 906, but this marriage was annulled in 909 after she had given birth to Henry's first son and Otto's half-brother Thankmar.
Otto had four full siblings: Hedwig, Gerberga and Bruno. On 23 December 918, King of East Francia and Duke of Franconia, died. According to the Res gestae saxonicae by the Saxon chronicler Widukind of Corvey, Conrad persuaded his younger brother Eberhard of Franconia, the presumptive heir, to offer the crown of East Francia to Otto's father Henry. Although Conrad and Henry had been at odds with one another since 912, Henry had not opposed the king since 915. Furthermore, Conrad's repeated battles with German dukes, most with Arnulf, Duke of Bavaria, Burchard II, Duke of Swabia, had weakened the position and resources of the Conradines. After several months of hesitation and the other Frankish and Saxon nobles elected Henry as king at the Imperial Diet of Fritzlar in May 919. For the first time, a Saxon instead of a Frank reigned over the kingdom. Burchard II of Swabia soon swore fealty to the new king, but Arnulf of Bavaria did not recognize Henry's position. According to the Annales iuvavenses, Arnulf was elected king by the Bavarians in opposition to Henry, but his "reign" was short-lived.
In 921, Henry forced him into submission. Arnulf had to accept Henry's sovereignty. Otto first gained experience as a military commander when the German kingdom fought against Wendish tribes on its eastern border. While campaigning against the Wends/West Slavs in 929, Otto's illegitimate son William, the future Archbishop of Mainz, was born to a captive Wendish noblewoman. With Henry's dominion over the entire kingdom secured by 929, the king began to prepare his succession over the kingdom. No written evidence for his arrangements is extant, but during this time Otto is first called king in a document of the Abbey of Reichenau. While Henry consolidated power within Germany, he prepared for an alliance with Anglo-Saxon England by finding a bride for Otto. Association with another royal house would give Henry additional legitimacy and strengthen the bonds between the two Saxon kingdoms. To seal the alliance, King Æthelstan of England sent Henry two of his half-sisters, so he could choose the one which best pleased him.
Henry selected Eadgyth as Otto's bride and the two were married in 930. Several years shortly before Henry's death, an Imperial Diet at Erfurt formally ratified the king's succession arrangements; some of his estates and treasures were to be distributed among Thankmar and Bruno. But departing from customary Carolingian inheritance, the king designated Otto as the sole heir apparent without a prior formal election by the various dukes. Henry died from the effects of a cerebral stroke on 2 July 936 at his palace, the Kaiserpfalz in Memleben, was buried at Quedlinburg Abbey. At the time of his death, all of the various German tribes were united in a single realm. At the age of 24, Otto assumed his father's position as Duke of Saxony and King of Germany, his coronation was held on 7 August 936 in Charlemagne's former capital of Aachen, where Otto was anointed and crowned by Hildebert, the Archbishop of Mainz. Though he was a Saxon by birth, Otto appeared at the coronation in Frankish dress in an attempt to demonstrate his sovereignty over the Duchy of Lotharingia and his role as true successor to Charlemagne
Ingelheim am Rhein
Ingelheim am Rhein is a town in the Mainz-Bingen district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany on the Rhine’s west bank. The town has been Mainz-Bingen’s district seat since 1996. From the half of the 8th century, the Ingelheim Imperial Palace, which served emperors and kings as a lodging and a ruling seat until the 11th century, was to be found here; the Rhenish-Hessian placename ending —heim might well go back to Frankish times, to say as far back as the 5th or 6th century. Settlements or estates took their lords’ names and were given this suffix, which means "home" in German; the name is recorded in documents as Ingilinhaim, Ingilenhaim, Hengilonheim, Engilinheim, Ingilunheim, Ingelesheim, Anglia sedes and Ingelnheim, among other forms. Since 1269, a distinction has been made between Nieder-Ingelheim and Ober-Ingelheim Ingelheim am Rhein lies in the north of Rhein Hessen on the so-called Rhein Knee, west of the state capital, Mainz; the Rhein forms the town's northern limit. Southwards, the town stretches into the valley of the river Selz, which empties into the Rhein in the constituent community of Frei-Weinheim or Ingelheim-Nord.
The constituent communities of Ingelheim-Mitte and Ingelheim-Süd are nestled against the corner of the so-called Mainzer Berg. The municipal area's lowest point is the harbour on the Rhein at 80.8 m above sea level. The two highest points are the Mainzer Berg at 247.8 m above sea level and the Westerberg at 247.5 m above sea level. An obelisk on the south side of the village in direction Wackernheim, marks the road begun by Charlemagne, completed by Napoleon. From this point a fine prospect of the entire Rheingau could be obtained; the municipal area's north-south extent is 7.9 km. Clockwise from the north, these are Geisenheim, Oestrich-Winkel on the Rhine's right bank, on the left bank Heidesheim am Rhein, the Verbandsgemeinde of Nieder-Olm, Gau-Algesheim and Bingen am Rhein. On 1 July 2019 Wackernheim and Heidesheim will be incorporated into the city of Ingelheim. Ingelheim is divided into six Stadtteile: Ingelheim-Mitte, Ingelheim-Nord, Ingelheim-Süd, Groß-Winternheim and Ingelheim-West. Before Ingelheim became a town in 1939, the first three centres bore the names Nieder-Ingelheim, Frei-Weinheim and Ober-Ingelheim.
Official changes notwithstanding, the old names are still quite used. The town lies in the temperate zone; the average yearly temperature in Ingelheim is 9.8 °C. The warmest months are July and August with average temperatures of 18.0 and 18.5 °C and the coldest month is January at 1.0 °C on average. The most precipitation falls in June and August with an average of 64 mm, the least in March with an average of 31 mm. Like all Rhenish Hesse, too, is sheltered from the weather by the Hunsrück, the Taunus, the Odenwald and the Donnersberg, thereby limiting the yearly precipitation to only 560 mm; the Ingelheim area was settled in prehistoric times. The place first earned itself particular importance, only under Charlemagne and his successors. Charlemagne had built the Ingelheim Imperial Palace here, where synods and Imperial diets were held in the time that followed, his son and successor, Emperor Louis the Pious, died on 20 June 840 in Ingelheim. In the High and Late Middle Ages, the Palatinate's, thereby Ingelheim's, importance shrank.
For German justice history, the Ingelheimer Oberhof is of particular importance, as a unique collection of judgments from the 15th and 16th centuries that it handed down has been preserved. Late 19th century Ingelheim was the residence of the Dutch writer Multatuli. In 1939, the self-administering municipalities of Nieder-Ingelheim, Ober-Ingelheim and Frei-Weinheim were merged into the Town of Ingelheim am Rhein. From the Second World War, Ingelheim emerged as the only unscathed town between Koblenz. Today, Ingelheim is a middle centre in Rhineland-Palatinate, a Great District-Bound Town and the seat of district administration for Mainz-Bingen. Furthermore, Ingelheim harbours the business Boehringer Ingelheim, active worldwide. In 2004, 36% of Ingelheim's inhabitants belonged to the Lutheran faith, 34% were Catholic, while 24% were without any religious faith; the six Catholic parishes belong, within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mainz to the Deanery of Bingen. The five Evangelical parishes of the EKHN belong to the Provostship of Mainz, within this to the Deanery of Ingelheim.
Besides these, the Baptists, Religious humanists and Muslims each have small communities in Ingelheim, as do the Jehovah's Witnesses and Buddhists. Until 1942 there was a Jewish community. About 1850 200 Jewish inhabitants lived in Ober-Ingelheim, by 1933 there were still 134 all together in Oberingelheim and Niederingelheim. In 1840 and 1841, a synagogue, important to architectural history was built, it was destroyed on 9 November 1938 -- Kristallnacht. Many Jewish inhabitants lost their lives after being deported to the death camps during the time of the Third Reich. On 22 April 1972 the municipality of Groß-Winternheim was amalgamated
Battle of Lechfeld (955)
The Battle of Lechfeld was a series of military engagements over the course of three days from 10–12 August 955 in which the German forces of King Otto I the Great annihilated a Hungarian army led by harka Bulcsú and the chieftains Lél and Súr. The complete German victory put an end to the invasions of Latin Europe by Eurasian raiders; the Hungarians invaded the Duchy of Bavaria in late June or early July 955 with 8,000–10,000 horse archers and siege engines, intending to draw the main German army under Otto into battle in the open field and destroy it. The Hungarians laid siege to Augsburg on the Lech river. Otto advanced to relieve the city with an army of 8,000 heavy cavalry, divided into eight legions; as Otto approached Augsburg on 10 August, a Hungarian surprise attack destroyed Otto's Bohemian rearguard legion. The Hungarian force stopped to plunder the German camp and Duke Conrad the Red led a counter-attack with heavy cavalry, dispersing the Hungarians. Otto brought his army into battle against the main Hungarian army that barred his way to Augsburg.
The German heavy cavalry defeated the armed and armored Hungarians in close combat but the latter retreated in good order. Otto did not pursue, returning to Augsburg for the night and sending out messengers to order all local German forces to hold the river crossings in Eastern Bavaria and prevent the Hungarians from returning to their homeland. On 11 and 12 August, the Hungarian defeat was transformed into disaster, as heavy rainfall and flooding slowed down the retreating Hungarians and allowed German troops to hunt them down and kill them all; the Hungarian leaders were taken to Augsburg and hanged. The German victory preserved the Kingdom of Germany and halted nomad incursions into Western Europe for good. Otto was proclaimed emperor and father of the fatherland by his army after the victory and he went on to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 on the basis of his strengthened position after Lechfeld; the most important source is Gerhard's monograph Vita Sancti Uodalrici, which describes the series of actions from the German point of view.
Another source is the chronicler Widukind of Corvey. After having put down a rebellion by his son, Duke of Swabia and son-in-law, Duke of Lorraine, Otto I the Great, King of East Francia, set out to Saxony, his duchy. In early July he received Hungarian legates, who claimed to come in peace, but whom the Germans suspected were assessing the outcome of the rebellion. After a few days, Otto let. Soon, couriers from Otto's brother Henry I, Duke of Bavaria, arrived to inform Otto in Magdeburg of a Hungarian invasion; the couriers added. The Hungarians had invaded once before during the course of the rebellion; this occurred after he had put down a revolt in Franconia. Because of unrest among the Polabian Slavs on the lower Elbe, Otto had to leave most of his Saxons at home. In addition, Saxony was distant from Augsburg and its environs, considerable time would have elapsed waiting for their arrival; the battle took place six weeks after the first report of an invasion, historian Hans Delbrück asserts that they could not have made the march in time.
The King ordered his troops to concentrate in the vicinity of Neuburg and Ingolstadt. He did this in order to march on the Hungarian line of communications and catch them in their rear while they were raiding northeast of Augsburg, it was a central point of concentration for all the contingents that were assembling. Strategically, this was the best location for Otto to concentrate his forces before making the final descent upon the Hungarians. There were other troops. On previous occasions, in 932 and 954 for example, there had been Hungarian incursions that had invaded the German lands to the south of the Danube, retreated back to their native country via Lotharingia, to the West Frankish Kingdom and through Italy; that is to say, a wide sweeping U-turn that started westward progressed to the south, finally to the east back to their homeland. The King was aware of the escape of these Hungarians on the above-mentioned occasions, was determined to trap them, he therefore ordered Archbishop Bruno, to keep the Lotharingian forces in Lotharingia.
He did this with the fear that the Hungarians would follow their plan of retreat on the previous occasions. However, with a powerful enough force of knights pressing them in the front from the west, an strong force of knights chasing them from the east, the Hungarians would be unable to escape. Located south of Augsburg, the Lechfeld is the flood plain; the battle appears as the second Battle of Augsburg in Hungarian historiography. The first Battle of Lechfeld happened in the same area forty-five years earlier; the Bishop Ulrich defended a border city of Swabia, with a contingent of soldiers. Motivating them with the 23rd Psalm. While this defense was going on, the King was raising an army to march south. Gerhard writes that the Hungarian forces advanced across the Lech to the Iller River and ravaged the lands in between, they withdrew from the Iller and placed Augsburg under siege. Augsburg had been damaged during a rebellion against Otto in 954; the city was defended by Bishop Ulrich. He ordered his soldiers to not fight the Hungarians in the open and reinforce the main south gate of the fortress instead.
A major action took place on 8 August at the eastern gate, which th
Henry the Fowler
Henry the Fowler was the duke of Saxony from 912 and the elected king of East Francia from 919 until his death in 936. As the first non-Frankish king, he established the Ottonian Dynasty of kings and emperors, he is considered to be the founder and first king of the medieval German state, known until as East Francia. An avid hunter, he obtained the epithet "the Fowler" because he was fixing his birding nets when messengers arrived to inform him that he was to be king, he was born into the Liudolfing line of Saxon dukes. His father Otto I of Saxony was succeeded by Henry; the new duke launched a rebellion against the king of East Francia, Conrad I of Germany, over the rights to lands in the Duchy of Thuringia. They reconciled in 915 and on his deathbed in 918, Conrad recommended Henry as the next king, considering the duke the only one who could hold the kingdom together in the face of internal revolts and external Magyar raids. Henry was elected and crowned king in 919, he went on consolidating his rule.
Through successful warfare and a dynastic marriage, Henry acquired Lotharingia as a vassal in 925. Unlike his Carolingian predecessors, Henry did not seek to create a centralized monarchy, ruling through federated autonomous stem duchies instead. Henry built an extensive system of fortifications and mobile heavy cavalry across Germany to neutralize the Magyar threat and in 933 routed them at the Battle of Riade, ending Magyar attacks for the next 21 years and giving rise to a sense of German nationhood. Henry expanded German hegemony in Europe with his defeat of the Slavs in 929 at the Battle of Lenzen along the Elbe river, by compelling the submission of Duke Wenceslaus I of Bohemia through an invasion of the Duchy of Bohemia the same year and by conquering Danish realms in Schleswig in 934. Henry's hegemonic status north of the Alps was acknowledged by King Rudolph of West Francia and King Rudolph II of Upper Burgundy, who both accepted a place of subordination as allies in 935. Henry planned an expedition to Rome to be crowned as Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope, but the design was thwarted by a hunting accident near the royal palace of Bodfeld in the autumn of 935 that mortally injured him.
Henry prevented a collapse of royal power, as had happened in West Francia, left a much stronger kingdom to his successor Otto I. Henry died of a stroke on 2 July 936 in his royal palace in one of his favourite places, he was buried at Quedlinburg Abbey, established by his wife Matilda in his honor. Born in Memleben, in what is now Saxony-Anhalt, Henry was the son of Otto the Illustrious, Duke of Saxony, his wife Hedwiga, daughter of Henry of Franconia and Ingeltrude and a great-great-granddaughter of Charlemagne. In 906 he married Hatheburg of daughter of the Saxon count Erwin, she had been a nun. The marriage was annulled in 909 because her vows as a nun were deemed by the church to remain valid, she had given birth to Henry's son Thankmar. The annulment placed a question mark over Thankmar's legitimacy; that year he married Matilda, daughter of Dietrich of Ringelheim, Count in Westphalia. Matilda bore him three sons, one called Otto, two daughters and Gerberga, founded many religious institutions, including the Quedlinburg Abbey where Henry is buried.
She was canonized. Henry became Duke of Saxony after his father's death in 912. An able ruler, he continued to strengthen the position of his duchy within the weakening kingdom of East Francia, was in conflict with his neighbors to the South in Duchy of Franconia. On 23 December 918 Conrad I, king of East Francia and Franconian duke, died. Although Henry had rebelled against Conrad I between 912 and 915 over the lands in Thuringia, Conrad recommended Henry as his successor. Kingship now changed from Franks to Saxons, who had suffered during the conquests of Charlemagne and were proud of their identity. Henry, as Saxon, was the first non-Frank on the throne. Conrad's choice was conveyed by his brother, duke Eberhard III of Franconia at the Imperial Diet of Fritzlar in 919; the assembled Franconian and Saxon nobles elected Henry to be king with other regional dukes not participating in election. Archbishop Heriger of Mainz offered to anoint Henry according to the usual ceremony, but he refused - the only king of his time not to undergo that rite - because he wished to be king not by the church's but by the people's acclaim.
Henry, elected to kingship by only Saxons and Franconians at Fritzlar, had to subdue other dukes. Duke Arnulf of Bavaria did not submit until Henry defeated him in two campaigns in 921. Henry forced Arnulf into submission. Arnulf had crowned himself as king of Bavaria in 919, but in 921 renounced crown and submitted to Henry while maintaining large autonomy and the right to mint his own coins. Duke Burchard II of Swabia soon swore fealty to the new King, but when he died, Henry appointed a noble from Franconia to be the new duke. Henry was too weak to impose absolutist rule, regarded his kingdom as a confederation of stem duchies rather than as a feudal monarchy and saw himself as primus inter pares. Instead of seeking to administer the empire through counts, as Charlemagne had done and as his successors had attempted, Henry allowed the local dukes in Duchy of Franconia, Duchy of Swabia, Duchy of Bavaria to maintain large internal autonomy. In 920 king of West Francia Charles the Simple invaded and marched as far as Pfeddersheim near Worms, but retreated when he learned that Henry was organizing an army.
On 7 November 921, He
Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire)
The Imperial Diet was the deliberative body of the Holy Roman Empire. It was not a legislative body in the contemporary sense, its members were the Imperial Estates, divided into three colleges. The diet as a permanent, regularized institution evolved from the Hoftage of the Middle Ages. From 1663 until the end of the empire in 1806, it was in permanent session at Regensburg; the Imperial Estates had, according to feudal law, no authority above them besides the Holy Roman Emperor himself. The holding of an Imperial Estate entitled one to a vote in the diet. Thus, an individual member might have multiple votes in different colleges. In general, members did not attend the permanent diet at Regensburg, but sent representatives instead; the late imperial diet was in effect a permanent meeting of ambassadors between the Estates. The precise role and function of the Imperial Diet changed over the centuries, as did the Empire itself, in that the estates and separate territories gained more and more control of their own affairs at the expense of imperial power.
There was neither a fixed time nor location for the Diet. It started as a convention of the dukes of the old Germanic tribes that formed the Frankish kingdom when important decisions had to be made, was based on the old Germanic law whereby each leader relied on the support of his leading men. For example under Emperor Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars, the Diet, according to the Royal Frankish Annals, met at Paderborn in 777 and determined laws concerning the subdued Saxons and other tribes. In 803, the Frankish emperor issued the final version of the Lex Saxonum. At the Diet of 919 in Fritzlar the dukes elected the first King of the Germans, a Saxon, Henry the Fowler, thus overcoming the longstanding rivalry between Franks and Saxons and laying the foundation for the German realm. After the conquest of Italy, the 1158 Diet of Roncaglia finalized four laws that would alter the constitution of the Empire, marking the beginning of the steady decline of the central power in favour of the local dukes.
The Golden Bull of 1356 cemented the concept of "territorial rule", the independent rule of the dukes over their respective territories, limited the number of electors to seven. The Pope, contrary to modern myth, was never involved in the electoral process but only in the process of ratification and coronation of whomever the Prince-Electors chose. However, until the late 15th century, the Diet was not formalized as an institution. Instead, the dukes and other princes would irregularly convene at the court of the Emperor. Only beginning in 1489 was the Diet called the Reichstag, it was formally divided into several collegia; the two colleges were that of the prince-electors and that of the other dukes and princes. The imperial cities, that is, cities that had Imperial immediacy and were oligarchic republics independent of a local ruler that were subject only to the Emperor himself, managed to be accepted as a third party. Several attempts to reform the Empire and end its slow disintegration, notably starting with the Diet of 1495, did not have much effect.
In contrast, this process was only hastened with the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, which formally bound the Emperor to accept all decisions made by the Diet, in effect depriving him of his few remaining powers. From to its end in 1806, the Empire was not much more than a collection of independent states; the most famous Diets were those held in Worms in 1495, where the Imperial Reform was enacted, 1521, where Martin Luther was banned, the Diets of Speyer 1526 and 1529, several in Nuremberg. Only with the introduction of the Perpetual Diet of Regensburg in 1663 did the Diet permanently convene in a fixed location; the Imperial Diet of Constance opened on 27 April 1507. Since 1489, the Diet comprised three colleges: The Electoral College, led by the Prince-Archbishop of Mainz in his capacity as Archchancellor of Germany; the seven Prince-electors were designated by the Golden Bull of 1356: three ecclesiastical Prince-Bishops, the Prince-Archbishop of Mainz as Archchancellor of Germany the Prince-Archbishop of Cologne as Archchancellor of Italy the Prince-Archbishop of Trier as Archchancellor of Burgundy four secular Princes, the King of Bohemia as Archcupbearer the Elector of the Palatinate as Archsteward the Elector of Saxony as Archmarshal the Margrave of Brandenburg as ArchchamberlainThe number increased to eight, when in 1623 the Duke of Bavaria took over the electoral dignity of the Count Palatine, who himself received a separate vote in the electoral college according to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, including the high office of an Archtreasurer.
In 1692 the Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg became the ninth Prince-elector as Archbannerbearer during the Nine Years' War. In the War of the Bavarian Succession, the electoral dignities of the Palatinate and Bavaria were merged, approved by the 1779 Treaty of Teschen; the German Mediatisation of 1803 entailed the dissolution of the Cologne and Trier Prince-archbishoprics, the Prince-Archbishop of Mainz and German Archchancellor received—as compensation for his lost territory occupied by Revolutionary France—the newly establ
Nordhausen is a city in Thuringia, Germany. It is the capital of the Nordhausen district and the urban centre of northern Thuringia and the southern Harz region. Nordhausen is located 60 km north of Erfurt, 80 km west of Halle, 85 km south of Braunschweig and 60 km east of Göttingen. Nordhausen was first mentioned in records in the year 927 and became one of the most important cities in central Germany during the Middle Ages; the city is situated on the Zorge river, a tributary of the Helme within the fertile region of Goldene Aue at the southern edge of the Harz mountains. In the early 13th century, it became a free imperial city, so that it was an independent and republican self-ruled member of the Holy Roman Empire. Due to its long-distance trade, Nordhausen was prosperous and influential, with a population of 8,000 around 1500, it was the third-largest city in Thuringia after Erfurt, today's capital, Mühlhausen, the other free imperial city in the land. Nordhausen was once known for its tobacco industry and is still known for its distilled spirit, Nordhäuser Doppelkorn.
Industrialization accompanied railway construction that linked the cities to major markets in the mid-19th century. In the late 19th century, narrow-gauge railways were constructed in this region through the Harz mountains. In December 1898 the Nordhausen-Wernigerode Railway Company or NWE added a line, with the full network operating by 1899; the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways are maintained today by local authorities and frequented by tourists. In the early 20th century, this became a centre of the engineering and arms industries. During World War II, the Nazi German government established and operated the nearby KZ Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp, where 60,000 forced labourers had to work in the arms industry, they were prisoners of war and persons from occupied territories. Some 20,000 persons died because of the bad conditions. In April 1945, most of the city was destroyed by Royal Air Force bombings, resulting in 8,800 casualties. Most of the historic buildings in the city were destroyed. A week the United States troops occupied the city, followed weeks by the Soviet Red Army.
The city was within the Soviet zone of occupation, the territory was known as East Germany. Hundreds of German scientists and their families from Nordhausen were among thousands deported to the Soviet Union after the war to work on advanced rocket and other arms engineering projects. Nordhausen is the birthplace of the famous mathematician Oswald Teichmüller, known for his groundbreaking work on the Teichmüller spaces – which were named after him, it is the site of the Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences, founded in 1997 after the reunification of Germany. The university has 2,500 students; the Franks colonized the area around Nordhausen about 800, many place names here have a Frankish origin, discernible by the suffix -hausen. Nordhausen itself is first mentioned in a 13 May 927 document of King Henry the Fowler, he built a castle here, traceable between 910 and 1277 and became a centre of the empire during the 10th century. Gerberga of Saxony, Henry's daughter is supposed to have been born there, as was Henry I, Duke of Bavaria.
The first market was established in the 10th century. During the 12th century, the old town was semi-planned and established around the new market place and St. Nicholas' Church. Nordhausen was Reichsgut from the beginning, but in 1158, Frederick Barbarossa donated it to the local chapter of nuns, converted to a cathedral chapter by Frederick II in 1220, whereby the city came back to the empire and became an Imperial Free City. Nordhausen was granted the privileges of a town around 1200, in 1198 it was first mentioned as a villa and in 1206, there was a mayor, a Vogt and citizens; the municipal law of Nordhausen was similar to that of Mühlhausen, hence the Mühlhausen Book of Law was adopted in the mid-13th century. Today's city wall was established between 1290 and 1330 and cut the old town off from Altendorf in the north-west, the new town in the west and Altnordhausen in the south; the new town was incorporated in 1365. Besides the parish churches, many monasteries were founded during the late Middle Ages in Nordhausen.
As distinct from Mühlhausen and many other free imperial cities, Nordhausen did not own any territories or villages in the surrounding area. The city's independence was endangered by the ambitions of regional counts by those of Hohnstein County, who extorted funds from Nordhausen during the 14th century. On the other hand, the debts of the Hohnstein Counts were gigantic: they owed 86 citizens of Nordhausen 5744 Mark silver in 1370. In 1306, Nordhausen allied with the two other major Thuringian cities Erfurt and Mühlhausen against the Wettins and the local counts and joined the Hanseatic League together with them in 1430. Further alliances were concluded with Goslar, Halberstadt and Aschersleben to represent urban interests against the landlords. In 1349, during a plague ep