Frederick the Fair
Frederick the Handsome or the Fair, from the House of Habsburg, was Duke of Austria and Styria from 1308 as Frederick I as well as King of Germany from 1314 as Frederick III until his death. He was born in Vienna, the second son of King Albert I of Germany by his wife Elisabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol, a scion of the Meinhardiner dynasty, thereby a grandson of the first Habsburg king of Germany Rudolph I. Still a minor, he and his elder brother Rudolph III had been vested with the duchies of Austria and Styria by their father in 1298. Upon Rudolph's early death in 1307 and the assassination of his father in 1308, he became the ruler of the Austrian and Styrian duchies on behalf of himself and his younger brothers; the royal title held by his father and grandfather however passed to Count Henry VII of Luxembourg, elected by six of seven votes, contrived by the mighty Archchancellor Peter von Aspelt and Prince-Archbishop of Mainz, a fierce opponent of late King Albert. Frederick had to abjure all claims to the German crown and in turn received the official affirmation of his fiefs by King Henry.
He was a friend of his cousin Louis IV of Wittelsbach, raised at the Austrian court in Vienna. However, armed conflict arose between them when tutelage over the young sons of Louis' cousin, late Duke Stephen I of Lower Bavaria was entrusted to Frederick by local nobles in 1313. Frederick took the occasion to enlarge his reach of power, invaded the Bavarian lands, but was beaten by Louis at the Battle of Gammelsdorf on 9 November 1313, had to renounce the tutelage. Meanwhile, Henry VII had been crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Clement V on 29 June 1312, but he died in the following year; as his son John the Blind, King of Bohemia since 1310, seemed too powerful to the prince-electors, Frederick again became a candidate for the crown, while King John withdrew and backed Louis IV of Wittelsbach. On 19 October 1314 at Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen, Frederick received four out of seven votes, however two of them being contested, by Archbishop Henry II of Cologne, by Louis' brother Elector Palatine Rudolph I of Wittelsbach who did not want to support his younger brother, by the deposed King Henry of Bohemia and Duke Rudolph I of Saxe-Wittenberg.
The next day however, a second election was held upon the instigation of Archbishop Peter von Aspelt, where Louis IV of Wittelsbach was elected with the five votes by the Mainz archbishop himself, by Archbishop Baldwin of Trier, Margrave Waldemar of Brandenburg as well as by Duke John II of Saxe-Lauenburg and - again - the King of Bohemia, King John of Bohemia from the House of Luxemburg. It is clear. Louis made use of the conflict around the Bohemian throne and the rivalry over the Saxon electoral dignity between the Ascanian duchies of Saxe-Wittenberg and Saxe-Lauenburg. King Henry of Bohemia voting for Frederick only claimed the electoral power, as he had been deposed in 1310 by late King Henry's son John the Blind voting for Louis. Duke John II of Saxe-Lauenburg in turn sought to prevail against his cousin Duke Rudolph I of Saxe-Wittenberg - which failed as the 1338 Declaration of Rhense and the Golden Bull of 1356 conclusively named the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg as electors. Louis was crowned at Aachen Cathedral by Archbishop Peter von Aspelt, while Frederick was forced to proceed to Bonn Minster for his coronation on 25 November 1314 by the Cologne archbishop Heinrich von Virneburg.
Both tried for the support by the Imperial States. He was able to hold his ground against the Wittelsbach rival and after several years of bloody war, victory seemed to be within Frederick's grasp, as he was supported by the forces of his younger brother Leopold I. However, Frederick's army was in the end beaten near Mühldorf on Ampfing Heath on 28 September 1322, Frederick and 1,300 nobles from Austria and the allied Archbishopric of Salzburg were captured. Louis held Frederick captive at Trausnitz Castle in the Upper Palatinate for three years, but the persistent resistance by Frederick's brother Leopold, the retreat of King John of Bohemia from his alliance and a ban by Pope John XXII induced Louis to release him under the Treaty of Trausnitz of 13 March 1325. In this agreement, Frederick recognized Louis as legitimate ruler and undertook to return to captivity if he did not succeed in convincing his younger brothers to submit to Louis; as he did not manage to overcome Leopold's obstinacy, Frederick returned to Munich as a prisoner though the Pope had released him from his oath.
Impressed by Frede
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories. 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 earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476; the title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.
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 concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role; the exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii, the notion that he—the sovereign ruler—held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although controlled by dynasties; the German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans", he would be crowned emperor by the Pope. The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, duchies, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, other domains.
The power of the emperor was limited, while the various princes, lords and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806 following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by emperor Napoleon I the month before. In various languages the Holy Roman Empire was known as: Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Polish: Święte imperium rzymskie, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo, Dutch: Heilige Roomse Rijk, French: Saint-Empire romain. Before 1157, the realm was referred to as the Roman Empire; the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was used beginning in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa: the term was added to reflect Frederick's ambition to dominate Italy and the Papacy. The form "Holy Roman Empire" is attested from 1254 onward.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a form first used in a document in 1474. The new title was adopted because the Empire had lost most of its Italian and Burgundian territories to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Empire due to the Imperial Reform. By the end of the 18th century, the term "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" had fallen out of official use. Besides, contradicting the traditional view concerning that designation, Hermann Weisert has stated in a study on imperial titulature that, despite the claim of many textbooks, the name "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" never had an official status and points out that documents were thirty times as to omit the national suffix as include it. This, or the shortened "Roman Empire of the German Nation", is used in Germany to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. In a famous assessment of the name, the political philosopher Voltaire remarked sardonically: "This body, called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control. In the late 5th and early 6th centuries, the Merovingians, under Clovis I and his successors, consolidated Frankish tribes and extended hegemony over others to gain control of northern Gaul and the middle Rhine river valley region. By the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel's son Pepin became King of the Franks, gained the sanction of the Pope; the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm, he incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands. In 797, the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VI was removed from the throne by his mother Irene who declared herself Empress; as the Church regarded a male Roman Emperor as the head of Christendom, Pope
Growth of the Old Swiss Confederacy
The Old Swiss Confederacy began as a late medieval alliance between the communities of the valleys in the Central Alps, at the time part of the Holy Roman Empire, to facilitate the management of common interests such as free trade and to ensure the peace along the important trade routes through the mountains. The Hohenstaufen emperors had granted these valleys reichsfrei status in the early 13th century; as reichsfrei regions, the cantons of Uri and Unterwalden were under the direct authority of the emperor without any intermediate liege lords and thus were autonomous. With the rise of the Habsburg dynasty, the kings and dukes of Habsburg sought to extend their influence over this region and to bring it under their rule; the three founding cantons of the Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, as the confederacy was called, were joined in the early 14th century by the city states of Lucerne, Zürich, Bern, they managed to defeat Habsburg armies on several occasions. They profited from the fact that the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, for most of the 14th century, came from the House of Luxembourg and regarded them as potential useful allies against the rival Habsburgs.
By 1460, the confederates controlled most of the territory south and west of the Rhine to the Alps and the Jura mountains. At the end of the 15th century, two wars resulted in an expansion to thirteen cantons: in the Burgundian Wars of the 1470s, the confederates asserted their hegemony on the western border, their victory in the Swabian War in 1499 against the forces of the Habsburg emperor Maximilian I ensured a de facto independence from the empire. During their involvement in the Italian Wars, the Swiss brought the Ticino under their control. Two similar federations sprung up in neighboring areas in the Alps in the 14th century: in the Grisons, the federation of the Three Leagues was founded, in the Valais, the Seven Tenths were formed as a result of the conflicts with the Dukes of Savoy. Neither federation was part of the medieval Eidgenossenschaft but both maintained close connections with it. Under the Hohenstaufen dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, the three regions of Uri and Unterwalden had gained the Reichsfreiheit, the first two because the emperors wanted to place the strategically important pass of the St. Gotthard under their direct control, the latter because most of its territory belonged to reichsfrei monasteries.
The cities of Bern and Zürich had become reichsfrei when the dynasty of their patrons, the Zähringer, had died out. When Rudolph I of Habsburg was elected "King of the Germans" in 1273, he became the direct liege lord of these reichsfrei regions, he instituted a strict rule and raised the taxes to finance wars and further territorial acquisitions. When he died in 1291, his son Albert I got involved in a power struggle with Adolf of Nassau for the German throne, the Habsburg rule over the alpine territories weakened temporarily. Anti-Habsburg insurgences sprung up in Swabia and Austria, but were quashed by Albert in 1292. Zürich had participated in this uprising. Albert besieged the city; this time of turmoil prompted the Waldstätten to cooperate more trying to preserve or regain their Reichsfreiheit. The first alliance started in 1291 when Rudolph bought all the rights over the town of Lucerne and the abbey estates in Unterwalden from Murbach Abbey in Alsace; the Waldstätten saw their trade route over Lake Lucerne cut off and feared losing their independence.
When Rudolph died on July 15, 1291 the Communities prepared to defend themselves. On August 1, 1291 an Everlasting League was made between the Forest Communities for mutual defense against a common enemy. Uri and Schwyz got their status reconfirmed by Adolf of Nassau in 1297, but to no avail, for Albert won the power struggle and became emperor in 1298 after Adolf was killed in the Battle of Göllheim; the Federal Charter of 1291 is one of the oldest surviving written document of an alliance between Uri and Unterwalden, the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy. It is possible that it was written a few decades than the given date of 1291, which would put it in the same date range as the pact of Brunnen of 1315; the traditional date given for the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy in Swiss historiography of the 16th century is 1307. 1291 marks the death of king Rudolf I, 1307 falls into the reign of king Albert I, both members of the House of Habsburg ruling in a time of political instability, when the Holy Roman Empire had been without emperor for several decades.
The politically weak kings of this period had to make frequent concessions to their subjects and vassals in order to remain in power. The founding cantons received confirmations of the Freibriefe establishing their reichsfrei status. Unterwalden was properly granted this status by Albert's successor Henry VII in 1309; this did not prevent the dukes of Habsburg, who had had their homelands in the Aargau, from trying to reassert their sovereignty over the territories south of the Rhine. In the struggle for the crown of the Holy Roman Empire in 1314 between duke Frederick I of Austria and the Bavarian king Louis IV, the Waldstätten sided with Louis for fear of the Habsburgs trying to annex their counties again, like Rudolph I had done; when a long-simmering conflict between Schwyz and the abbey of Einsiedeln escalated once more, the Habsburgs responded by sending a strong army of knights against these peasants to subdue
House of Luxembourg
The House of Luxembourg was a late medieval European royal family, whose members between 1308 and 1437 ruled as King of the Romans and Holy Roman Emperors as well as Kings of Bohemia and Hungary. Their rule over the Holy Roman Empire was twice interrupted by the rival House of Wittelsbach; the Luxembourg line was a cadet branch of the ducal House of Limburg–Arlon, when in 1247 Henry, younger son of Duke Waleran III of Limburg inherited the County of Luxembourg upon the death of his mother Countess Ermesinde, a scion of the House of Namur. Her father, Count Henry IV of Luxembourg, was related on his mother's side to the Ardennes-Verdun dynasty, which had ruled the county since the late 10th century. Count Henry V's grandson Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg upon the death of his father Henry VI at the 1288 Battle of Worringen, was elected Rex Romanorum in 1308; the election was necessary after the Habsburg king Albert I of Germany had been murdered, Henry, backed by his brother Archbishop-Elector Baldwin of Trier, prevailed against Charles, Count of Valois.
Henry arranged the marriage of his son John with the Přemyslid heiress Elisabeth of Bohemia in 1310, through whom the House of Luxembourg acquired the Kingdom of Bohemia, enabling that family to compete more for power with the Habsburg and Wittelsbach dynasties. One year after being crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Rome, Henry VII, still on campaign in Italy, died in 1313; the prince-electors, perturbed by the rise of the Luxembourgs, disregarded the claims raised by Henry's heir King John, the rule over the Empire was assumed by the Wittelsbach duke Louis of Bavaria. John instead concentrated on securing his rule in Bohemia and vassalized the Piast dukes of adjacent Silesia from 1327 until 1335, his son Charles IV, in 1346 mounted the Imperial throne. His Golden Bull of 1356 served as a constitution of the Empire for centuries. Charles not only acquired the duchies of Brabant and Limburg in the west, but the former March of Lusatia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1373 under the Kingdom of Bohemia.
The family's decline began under Charles' son King Wenceslaus, deposed by the prince-electors in 1400 who chose the Wittelsbach Elector Palatine Rupert. In 1410 rule was assumed by Wenceslaus' brother Sigismund, who once again stabilized the rule of the Luxembourgs and contributed to end the Western Schism in 1417, he was succeeded by his son-in-law, the Habsburg archduke Albert V of Austria. The Habsburgs prevailed as Luxembourg heirs, ruling the Empire until the extinction of their senior branch upon the death of Maria Theresa in 1780. Henry VII — elected King of the Romans in 1308 succeeding assassinated Albert of Habsburg, crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1312, he was succeeded by Louis IV from the House of Wittelsbach. Baldwin — brother of Henry, Prince-Archbishop of Trier and thereby Archchancellor of Burgundy 1307–54. John the Blind — only son of Henry, he was enfeoffed with Bohemia by his father in 1310, married the Přemyslid heiress Elisabeth of Bohemia and deposed the Bohemian king Henry the Carinthian.
Charles IV — eldest son of John. He was elected King of the Romans in opposition to Louis IV in 1346 and succeeded his father as king of Bohemia in the same year, crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1355. John Henry, Margrave of Moravia — younger brother of Charles, he married Margaret, Countess of Tyrol, daughter of Henry the Carinthian in 1330. Jobst of Moravia — eldest son of John Henry. Margrave of Brandenburg 1388–1411, elected King of the Romans in 1410. Wenceslaus — eldest surviving son of Charles; as Margrave of Brandenburg from 1373 to 1378, he was elected King of the Romans in 1376 and succeeded his father as King of Bohemia in 1378. Declared deposed by the prince-electors in 1400, he was succeeded by Rupert of Wittelsbach. Sigismund — younger son of Charles. Margrave of Brandenburg from 1378 to 1388, he was King of Hungary from 1387 in right of his wife Mary of Anjou, was elected King of the Romans in 1411, succeeding his brother as King of Bohemia in 1419, being crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1433 yet he left no heirs male.
Jacquetta of Luxembourg — Mother of Queen Consort, Elizabeth Woodville and subsequent ancestress of all English and British monarchs since Henry VIII including the current monarch, Elizabeth II. Elizabeth of Luxembourg, only child of Emperor Sigismund, married Archduke Albert V of Austria from the Albertinian line of the House of Habsburg in 1422, becoming queen consort of Hungary from 1437 as well as Queen of the Romans and queen consort of Bohemia from 1438 until Albert's death in 1439: she was the heiress who conveyed the major portion of the Luxembourg inheritance to the Habsburgs and the Jagiellons through her daughter Elisabeth of Austria. According to the Salic law, the succession could have been disputed, in which case it would have passed collaterally to the cadet branch of Ligny; that branch descended from a younger son of Henry V, was headed by Louis de Luxembourg, Count of Saint-Pol, before he was executed for treason by Louis XI of France. The first instance of the house of Luxembourg seems to be: Two houses descended from the women of the counts of Luxembourg, the Counts of Loon and the Counts of Grandpré, wear a shield barry.
Both families had a place in relation to the succession of the House of Ardennes. Indeed, the Count of Grandpré was the next heir of Conrad II of Luxembourg, the last representative of the Ardennes dynasty, but Emperor Frederick Barbarossa preferred that Luxembourg was held by a lord Germanic rather than French and attributed the co
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
Sigismund of Luxembourg was Prince-elector of Brandenburg from 1378 until 1388 and from 1411 until 1415, King of Hungary and Croatia from 1387, King of Germany from 1411, King of Bohemia from 1419, King of Italy from 1431, Holy Roman Emperor from 1433 until 1437, the last male member of the House of Luxembourg. In 1396 he led the Crusade of Nicopolis, which attempted to liberate Bulgaria and save the Byzantine Empire and Constantinople from Ottoman rule. Afterwards, he founded the Order of the Dragon to fight the Turks, he was regarded as educated, spoke several languages and was an outgoing person who took pleasure in the tournament. Sigismund was one of the driving forces behind the Council of Constance that ended the Papal Schism, but which led to the Hussite Wars that dominated the period of Sigismund's life. Born in Nuremberg, Sigismund was the son of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV, of his fourth wife, Elizabeth of Pomerania, the granddaughter of King Casimir III of Poland and the great-granddaughter of the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Gediminas.
He was named after Saint Sigismund of the favourite saint of Sigismund's father. From Sigismund's childhood he was nicknamed the "ginger fox" in the Crown of Bohemia, on account of his hair colour. King Louis the Great of Hungary and Poland always had a good and close relationship with Emperor Charles IV, Sigismund was betrothed to Louis' eldest daughter, Mary, in 1374, when he was six years old. Upon his father's death in 1378, young Sigismund became Margrave of Brandenburg and was sent to the Hungarian court, where he soon learnt the Hungarian language and way of life, became devoted to his adopted country. King Louis appointed him his successor as King of Hungary. In 1381, the 13-year-old Sigismund was sent to Kraków by his eldest half-brother and guardian Wenceslaus, King of Germany and Bohemia, to learn Polish and to become acquainted with the land and its people. King Wenceslaus gave him Neumark to facilitate communication between Brandenburg and Poland; the disagreement between Polish landlords of Lesser Poland on one side and landlords of Greater Poland on the other, regarding the choice of the future King of Poland ended in choosing the Lithuanian side.
The support of the lords of Greater Poland was however not enough to give Prince Sigismund the Polish crown. Instead, the landlords of Lesser Poland gave it to Mary's younger sister Jadwiga I of Poland, who married Jogaila of Lithuania. On the death of her father in 1382, his betrothed, became queen of Hungary and Sigismund married her in 1385 in Zólyom; the next year, he was accepted as Mary's future co-ruler by the Treaty of Győr. However, Mary was captured, together with her mother, Elizabeth of Bosnia, who had acted as regent, in 1387 by the rebellious House of Horvat, Bishop Paul Horvat of Mačva, his brother John Horvat and younger brother Ladislav. Sigismund's mother-in-law was strangled. Having secured the support of the nobility, Sigismund was crowned King of Hungary at Székesfehérvár on 31 March 1387. Having raised money by pledging Brandenburg to his cousin Jobst, margrave of Moravia, he was engaged for the next nine years in a ceaseless struggle for the possession of this unstable throne.
The central power was weakened to such an extent that only Sigismund's alliance with the powerful Czillei-Garai League could ensure his position on the throne. It was not for selfless reasons that one of the leagues of barons helped him to power: Sigismund had to pay for the support of the lords by transferring a sizeable part of the royal properties.. The restoration of the authority of the central administration took decades of work; the bulk of the nation headed by the House of Garai was with him. Not until 1395 did Nicholas II Garay succeed in suppressing them. Mary died pregnant in 1395. To ease the pressure from Hungarian nobles, Sigismund tried to employ foreign advisors, not popular, he had to promise not to give land and nominations to other than Hungarian nobles. However, this was not applied to Stibor of Stiboricz, Sigismund's closest friend and advisor. On a number of occasions, Sigismund was imprisoned by nobles, but with help of the armies of Garai and Stibor of Stiboricz, he would regain power.
In 1396, Sigismund led the combined armies of Christendom against the Turks, who had taken advantage of the temporary helplessness of Hungary to extend their dominion to the banks of the Danube. This crusade, preached by Pope Boniface IX, was popular in Hungary; the nobles flocked in their thousands to the royal standard, were reinforced by volunteers from nearly every part of Europe. The most important contingent being that of the French led by John the Fearless, son of Philip II, Duke of Burgundy. Sigismund set out with a flotilla of 70 galleys. After capturing Vidin, he camped with his Hungarian armies before the fortress of Nicopolis. Sultan Bayezid I raised the siege of Constantinople and, at the head of 140,000 men defeated the Christian forces in the Battle of Nicopolis fought between the 25 and 28 September 1396. Sigismund returned by sea and through the realm of Zeta, where he ordained a local Montenegrin lord Đurađ II with the islands of Hvar and Korčula for resis
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles IV, born Wenceslaus, was the first King of Bohemia to become Holy Roman Emperor. He was a member of the House of Luxembourg from his father's side and the Czech House of Přemyslid from his mother's side, he was the eldest son and heir of King John of Bohemia, who died at the Battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346. His mother, Elizabeth of Bohemia, was the sister of King Wenceslas III, the last of the male Přemyslid rulers of Bohemia. Charles inherited the County of Luxembourg from his father and was elected king of the Kingdom of Bohemia. On 2 September 1347, Charles was crowned King of Bohemia. On 11 July 1346, the prince-electors chose him as King of the Romans in opposition to Emperor Louis IV. Charles was crowned on 26 November 1346 in Bonn. After his opponent died, he was crowned King of the Romans. In 1355, he was crowned King of Holy Roman Emperor. With his coronation as King of Burgundy in 1365, he became the personal ruler of all the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles IV was born to King John of the Luxembourg dynasty and Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia of the Czech Premyslid Dynasty in Prague.
He was named Wenceslaus, the name of his maternal grandfather, King Wenceslaus II. He chose the name Charles at his confirmation in honor of his uncle, King Charles IV of France, at whose court he was resident for seven years, he received French education and was literate and fluent in five languages: Latin, German and Italian. In 1331, he gained some experience of warfare in Italy with his father. At the beginning of 1333, Charles went to Lucca to consolidate his rule there. In an effort to defend the city, Charles founded the town of Montecarlo. From 1333, he administered the lands of the Bohemian Crown due to his father's frequent absence and deteriorating eyesight. In 1334, Charles was named Margrave of the traditional title for heirs to the throne. Two years he assumed the government of Tyrol on behalf of his brother, John Henry, was soon involved in a struggle for the possession of this county. On 11 July 1346, in consequence of an alliance between his father and Pope Clement VI, relentless enemy of the emperor Louis IV, Charles was chosen as Roman king in opposition to Louis by some of the prince-electors at Rhens.
As he had promised to be subservient to Clement, he made extensive concessions to the pope in 1347. Confirming the papacy in the possession of vast territories, he promised to annul the acts of Louis against Clement, to take no part in Italian affairs, to defend and protect the church. Charles IV was in a weak position in Germany. Owing to the terms of his election, he was derisively referred to as a "Priests' King". Many bishops and nearly all of the Imperial cities remained loyal to Louis the Bavarian. Worse still, Charles backed the wrong side in the Hundred Years' War, losing his father and many of his best knights at the Battle of Crécy in August 1346, with Charles himself escaping from the field wounded. Civil war in Germany was prevented, when Louis IV died on 11 October 1347, after suffering a stroke during a bear hunt. In January 1349, House of Wittelsbach partisans attempted to secure the election of Günther von Schwarzburg as king, but he attracted few supporters and died unnoticed and unmourned after a few months.
Thereafter, Charles faced no direct threat to his claim to the Imperial throne. Charles worked to secure his power base. Bohemia had remained untouched by the plague. Prague became his capital, he rebuilt the city on the model of Paris, establishing the New Town. In 1348, he founded the Charles University in Prague, named after him and was the first university in Central Europe; this served as a training ground for lawyers. Soon Prague emerged as the cultural center of Central Europe. Having made good use of the difficulties of his opponents, Charles was again elected in Frankfurt on 17 June 1349 and re-crowned at Aachen on 25 July 1349, he was soon the undisputed ruler of the Empire. Gifts or promises had won the support of the Swabian towns. In 1350, the king was visited at Prague by the Roman tribune Cola di Rienzo, who urged him to go to Italy, where the poet Petrarch and the citizens of Florence implored his presence. Turning a deaf ear to these entreaties, Charles kept Cola in prison for a year, handed him as a prisoner to Clement at Avignon.
Outside Prague, Charles attempted to expand the Bohemian crown lands, using his imperial authority to acquire fiefs in Silesia, the Upper Palatinate, Franconia. The latter regions comprised "New Bohemia," a string of possessions intended to link Bohemia with the Luxemburg territories in the Rhineland; the Bohemian estates, were not willing to support Charles in these ventures. When Charles sought to codify Bohemian law in the Maiestas Carolina of 1355, he met with sharp resistance. After that point, Charles found. In 1354, Charles crossed the Alps without an army, received the Lombard crown in St. Ambrose Basilica, Milan, on 5 January 1355, was crowned emperor at Rome by a cardinal in April of the same year, his sole object appears to have
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries. From an autocracy in Carolingian times the title by the 13th century evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the prince-electors. Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de-facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians and the Salians. Following the late medieval crisis of government, the Habsburgs kept possession of the title without interruption from 1440–1740; the final emperors were from the House of Lorraine, from 1765–1806. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved after the defeat at Austerlitz by emperor Francis II, who continued to rule as Austrian emperor; the Holy Roman Emperor was perceived to rule by divine right, though he contradicted or rivaled the Pope, most notably during the Investiture controversy. In theory, the Holy Roman Emperor was primus inter pares among other Catholic monarchs.
In practice, a Holy Roman Emperor was only as strong as his army and alliances, including marriage alliances, made him. There was never a Holy Roman Empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa of Austria served as de facto Empresses regnant. Throughout its history, the position was viewed as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith; until the Reformation, the Emperor elect was required to be crowned by the Pope before assuming the imperial title. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was the last to be crowned by the Pope in 1530. After the Reformation, the elected Emperor always was a Roman Catholic. There were short periods in history when the electoral college was dominated by Protestants, the electors voted in their own political interest. From the time of Constantine I, the Roman emperors had, with few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity; the reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor in the Church.
Emperors considered themselves responsible to the gods for the spiritual health of their subjects, after Constantine they had a duty to help the Church define orthodoxy and maintain orthodoxy. The emperor's role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, uphold ecclesiastical unity. Both the title and connection between Emperor and Church continued in the Eastern Roman Empire throughout the medieval period; the ecumenical councils of the 5th to 8th centuries were convoked by the Eastern Roman Emperors. In Western Europe, the title of Emperor became defunct after the death of Julius Nepos in 480, although the rulers of the barbarian kingdoms continued to recognize the Eastern Emperor at least nominally well into the 6th century. From the western perspective, the interregnum in the Roman Empire spanned the 8th centuries; the title of Emperor was revived in 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III. The title of Emperor in the West implied recognition by the pope; as the power of the papacy grew during the Middle Ages and emperors came into conflict over church administration.
The best-known and most bitter conflict was that known as the investiture controversy, fought during the 11th century between Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. After the coronation of Charlemagne, his successors maintained the title until the death of Berengar I of Italy in 924; the comparatively brief interregnum between 924 and the coronation of Otto the Great in 962 is taken as marking the transition from the Frankish Empire to the Holy Roman Empire. Under the Ottonians, much of the former Carolingian kingdom of Eastern Francia fell within the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. Since 911, the various German princes had elected the King of the Germans from among their peers; the King of the Germans would be crowned as emperor following the precedent set by Charlemagne, during the period of 962–1530. Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned by the pope, his successor, Ferdinand I adopted the title of "Emperor elect" in 1558; the final Holy Roman Emperor-elect, Francis II, abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empire's final dissolution.
The term sacrum in connection with the German Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa. The standard designation of the Holy Roman Emperor was "August Emperor of the Romans"; when Charlemagne was crowned in 800, he was styled as "most serene Augustus, crowned by God and pacific emperor, governing the Roman Empire," thus constituting the elements of "Holy" and "Roman" in the imperial title. The word Roman was a reflection of the principle of translatio imperii that regarded the Holy Roman Emperors as the inheritors of the title of Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, despite the continued existence of the Eastern Roman Empire. In German-language historiography, the term Römisch-deutscher Kaiser is used to distinguish the title from that of Roman Emperor on one hand, that of German Emperor on the other; the English term "Holy Roman Emperor" is a modern shorthand for "emperor of the Holy Roman Empire" not corresponding to the historical style or title, i.e. the adjective "holy" is not intended as modifying "emperor".