In all, eighteen battles were fought in what is now northwestern Germany. They resulted in the incorporation of Saxony into the Frankish realm, despite repeated setbacks, the Saxons resisted steadfastly, returning to raid Charlemagnes domains as soon as he turned his attention elsewhere. This agreement saved the Saxons leaders exceptional rights in their homeland, Widukind was baptized in 785 and buried in the only Germanic church without a spire. The Saxons were divided into four subgroups in four regions, nearest to the ancient Frankish kingdom of Austrasia was Westphalia, and farthest away was Eastphalia. In between these two kingdoms was that of Engria and north of three, at the base of the Jutland peninsula, was Nordalbingia. In mid-January 772, the sacking and burning of the church of Deventer by a Saxon expedition was the Casus belli for the first war waged by Charlemagne to the Saxons. It began with a Frankish invasion of Saxon territory and the subjugation of the Engrians, Irminsul may have been a hollow tree trunk, presumably representing the pillar supporting the skies—similar to the Nordic tree Yggdrasil and apparently a common belief among the Germanic peoples.
Charlemagnes campaign led all the way to the Weser River and destroyed several major Saxon strongholds, armed confrontations continued unabated for years. Charlemagnes second campaign came in the year 775, he marched through Westphalia, conquering the fort of Sigiburg, and crossed Engria, where he defeated the Saxons again. Finally, in Eastphalia, he defeated them, and their leader Hessi converted to Christianity and he returned through Westphalia, leaving encampments at Sigiburg and Eresburg. All of Saxony, except for Nordalbingia was under his control, after warring in Italy, he returned very rapidly to Saxony for the third time in 776, when a rebellion destroyed his fortress at Eresburg. The Saxons were once brought to heel, though Widukind fled to the Danes. Charlemagne built a new camp at Karlstadt, in 777, he called a national diet at Paderborn to integrate Saxony fully into the Frankish kingdom. The chief purpose of the diet was to bring Saxony closer to Christianity, mainly Anglo-Saxons from England, were recruited to carry out this task.
Charlemagne issued a number of decrees designed to break Saxon resistance, in summer 779, Charlemagne again went into Saxony and conquered Eastphalia and Westphalia. At a diet near Lippspringe, he divided the land into missionary districts and he himself assisted in several mass baptisms. He returned to Italy, and there was no Saxon revolt, from 780 to 782, the land had peace. Charlemagne returned in 782 to Saxony and instituted a code of law and appointed counts, the laws were severe on religious issues, namely the native paganism of the Saxons
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name Carolingian derives from the Latinised name of Charles Martel, the Carolingian dynasty reached its peak in 800 with the crowning of Charlemagne as the first Emperor of Romans in over three centuries. His death in 814 began a period of fragmentation of the Carolingian empire and decline that would eventually lead to the evolution of the Kingdom of France. This picture, however, is not commonly accepted today, the greatest Carolingian monarch was Charlemagne, who was crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III at Rome in 800. His empire, ostensibly a continuation of the Western Roman Empire, is referred to historiographically as the Carolingian Empire, the Carolingian rulers did not give up the traditional Frankish practice of dividing inheritances among heirs, though the concept of the indivisibility of the Empire was accepted. The Carolingians had the practice of making their sons kings in the various regions of the Empire.
The Carolingians were displaced in most of the regna of the Empire by 888 and they ruled in East Francia until 911 and held the throne of West Francia intermittently until 987. One chronicler of Sens dates the end of Carolingian rule with the coronation of Robert II of France as junior co-ruler with his father, Hugh Capet, the dynasty became extinct in the male line with the death of Eudes, Count of Vermandois. His sister Adelaide, the last Carolingian, died in 1122, the Carolingian dynasty has five distinct branches, The Lombard branch, or Vermandois branch, or Herbertians, descended from Pepin of Italy, son of Charlemagne. Though he did not outlive his father, his son Bernard was allowed to retain Italy, Bernard rebelled against his uncle Louis the Pious, and lost both his kingdom and his life. Deprived of the title, the members of this branch settled in France. The counts of Vermandois perpetuated the Carolingian line until the 12th century, the Counts of Chiny and the lords of Mellier, Neufchâteau and Falkenstein are branches of the Herbertians.
With the descendants of the counts of Chiny, there would have been Herbertian Carolingians to the early 14th century, the Lotharingian branch, descended from Emperor Lothair, eldest son of Louis the Pious. At his death Middle Francia was divided equally between his three surviving sons, into Italy and Lower Burgundy, the sons of Emperor Lothair did not have sons of their own, so Middle Francia was divided between the western and eastern branches of the family in 875. The Aquitainian branch, descended from Pepin of Aquitaine, son of Louis the Pious, since he did not outlive his father, his sons were deprived of Aquitaine in favor of his younger brother Charles the Bald. The German branch, descended from Louis the German, King of East Francia, since he had three sons, his lands were divided into Duchy of Bavaria, Duchy of Saxony and Duchy of Swabia. His youngest son Charles the Fat briefly reunited both East and West Francia — the entirety of the Carolingian empire — but it again after his death.
With the failure of the lines of the German branch, Arnulf of Carinthia
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto I, traditionally known as Otto I the Great, was German king from 936 and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henry I the Fowler and Matilda, Otto inherited the Duchy of Saxony and the kingship of the Germans upon his fathers death in 936. He continued his fathers work of unifying all German tribes into a single kingdom, through strategic marriages and personal appointments, Otto installed members of his family in the kingdoms most important duchies. This reduced the various dukes, who had previously been co-equals with the king, 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 duchies, Otto defeated the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld in 955. The victory against the pagan Magyars earned Otto a reputation as a savior of Christendom, by 961, Otto had conquered the Kingdom of Italy and extended his realms borders to the north and south.
The patronage of Otto and his immediate successors facilitated a so-called Ottonian Renaissance of arts, following the example of Charlemagnes coronation as Emperor of the Romans in 800, Otto was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 by Pope John XII in Rome. Ottos 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 realms further expansion to the south. To resolve this conflict, the Byzantine princess Theophanu married his son Otto II in April 972, Otto finally 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. Otto had four siblings, Gerberga, Henry. On 23 December 918, Conrad I, King of East Francia and Duke of Franconia, although Conrad and Henry had been at odds with one another since 912, Henry had not openly opposed the king since 915.
Furthermore, Conrads repeated battles with German dukes, most recently with Arnulf, Duke of Bavaria, 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 Henrys position. According to the Annales Iuvavenses, Arnulf was elected king by the Bavarians in opposition to Henry, in 921, Henry besieged Arnulfs residence at Ratisbon and forced him into submission. Arnulf had to accept Henrys sovereignty, Bavaria retained some autonomy, Otto first gained experience as a military commander when the German kingdom fought against Slavic tribes on its eastern border. While campaigning against the Slavs in 929, Ottos illegitimate son William, with Henrys dominion over the entire kingdom secured by 929, the king probably 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
Louis the German
Louis the German, known as Louis II, was the first king of East Francia. His early years were spent at the court of his grandfather, Charlemagne. Louis ruled from Regensburg, the old capital of the Bavarii, in 825 he became involved in wars with the Wends and Sorbs on his eastern frontier. In 827 he married Hemma, sister of his stepmother Judith of Bavaria, Louis soon began to interfere in the quarrels arising from Judiths efforts to secure a kingdom for her son Charles the Bald and the consequent struggles of his brothers with their father. In 832 he led an army of Slavs into Alamannia and completely subjugated it, Louis the Pious disinherited him, but to no effect, the emperor was soon captured by his own rebellious sons and deposed. Upon his swift reinstatement, the emperor Louis made peace with his son Louis, Louis was the instigator of the third civil war, which began in 839. A strip of his land having been given to the young haf-brother Charles and this time emperor Louis responded quickly, and soon the younger Louis was forced into the far southeastern corner of his realm, the March of Pannonia.
Peace was made by force of arms, in June 842 the three brothers met on an island in the river Saône to negotiate a peace, and each appointed forty representatives to arrange the boundaries of their respective kingdoms. His territories included Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony, Louis may be called the founder of the German kingdom, though his attempts to maintain the unity of the Empire proved futile. Having in 842 crushed the Stellinga rising in Saxony, in 844 he compelled the Obotrites to own his authority and put their prince, Gozzmovil, to death. Thachulf, Duke of Thuringia, undertook campaigns against the Bohemians and other tribes, in 852 Louis sent his son Louis the Younger to Aquitaine, where nobles had grown resentful of Charles the Balds rule. The younger Louis did not set out until 854, and returned the following year, encouraged by his nephews Pepin of Herstal and Charles of Provence, Louis invaded in West Francia in 858. Charles the Bald could not even raise an army to resist the invasion, that year Louis issued a charter dated the first year of the reign in West Francia.
In 868 at Metz Louis and Charles agreed to partition Lotharingia, when Lothair II died in 869, Louis was lying seriously ill, and his armies were engaged in a war with the Moravians. The years of Louis the German were troubled by rebellions of his sons, the eldest, Carloman of Bavaria, revolted in 861 and again two years later. This was followed by the second son Louis the Younger, who was joined by his brother Charles the Fat, in 864 Louis was forced to grant Carloman the kingdom of Bavaria, which he himself had once held under his father. In 865 he divided the remainder of his lands - Saxony with Franconia and Thuringia went to Louis the Younger and Swabia with Raetia to Charles the Fat. A report that the emperor Louis II of Italy had died led to a peace between father and sons and attempts by Louis the German to gain the crown for his oldest son Carloman
Kingdom of Germany
The Kingdom of Germany or German Kingdom developed out of the eastern half of the former Carolingian Empire. Like Anglo-Saxon England and medieval France, it began as a conglomerate, East Francia was formed by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, and was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty until 911, after which the kingship was elective. The initial electors were the rulers of the duchies, who generally chose one of their own. After 962, when Otto I was crowned emperor, the formed the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire. The term rex teutonicorum first came into use in the chancery of Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy, 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, there are nevertheless relatively few references to a German realm and an instability in the terms use. The eastern division of the Treaty of Verdun was called the regnum Francorum Orientalium or Francia Orientalis and it was the eastern half of the old Merovingian regnum Austrasiorum.
The east Franks themselves were the people of Franconia, which had settled by Franks. Foreign kings and ecclesiastics continued to refer to the regnum Alemanniae, the term regnum Germaniae begins to appear even 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 and his title was royal from his election to his coronation in Rome by the Pope, thereafter, he was emperor. After the death of Frederick II in 1250, the trend toward a clearly 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 election or 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 fully emperor, at the same time, the custom of having the heir-apparent elected as king of the Romans in the emperors lifetime resumed. For this reason, the king of the Romans came to mean heir-apparent. The Archbishop of Mainz was ex officio arch-chancellor of Germany, as his colleagues the Archbishop of Cologne and Archbishop of Trier were, arch-chancellors of Italy and these titles continued in use until the end of the empire, but only the German chancery actually existed. The tripartite division of the Carolingian Empire effected by the Treaty of Verdun was challenged early on with the death of the Emperor Lothair I in 855. He had divided his kingdom of Middle Francia between his three sons and immediately the northernmost of the three divisions, was disputed between the kings of East and West Francia, the war over Lotharingia lasted until 925
Bruno, Duke of Saxony
Bruno, called Brun or Braun, a member of the Ottonian dynasty, was Duke of Saxony from 866 until his death. He is rated as an ancestor of the Brunonids, a branch of the Ottonians. Bruno was killed fighting against Norse warriors in the Battle of Luneburg Heath and is venerated as one of the Ebsdorf Martyrs and he was the eldest son of the Saxon count Liudolf and his wife, Oda of Billung. His father held large estates in Eastphalia along the Leine river, Bruno succeeded his father and is mentioned as a count in 877. Nothing is known of Brunos marriage and children and he supported his brother-in-law Louis the Younger in the fights with his uncle, Emperor Charles the Bald. As Saxon commander-in-chief during the Viking invasions, he died, along several other noblemen. The mid-winter battle was a defeat, Duke Bruno, the bishops of Minden and Hildesheim, as well as twelve Saxon counts. According to the chronicler Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg, Bruno died in a flooded river and he was succeeded by his younger brother Otto the Illustrious, whose son Henry the Fowler became King of East Francia in 919.
Bruno is venerated as a saint and martyr in the Catholic Church, about 1160 his relics were translated by the Dannenberg counts to Ebstorf Abbey near Uelzen, which from the 14th century was defined as the place of the 880 battle and became a major pilgrimage site. According to tradition, Bruno is the founder of Brunswick as well as the ancestor of the local count Brun I, consistent naming suggests a kinship, some mentions appear to refer to an earlier Saxon margrave called Brun the Younger, possibly Brunos grandfather. Ebstorf Map Reuter, Timothy The Annals of Fulda
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The title was revived in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne, some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars generally concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, the office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although frequently controlled by dynasties. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806, after the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by Napoleon, before 1157, the realm was merely referred to as the Roman Empire.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, by the end of the 18th century, the term Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation had fallen out of official use. As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control, by the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, and the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel’s son Pepin became King of the Franks, the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768 Pepin’s son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an expansion of the realm. He eventually incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, on Christmas Day of 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor, restoring the title in the west for the first time in over three centuries. After the death of Charles the Fat in 888, the Carolingian Empire broke apart, according to Regino of Prüm, the parts of the realm spewed forth kinglets, and each part elected a kinglet from its own bowels.
After the death of Charles the Fat, those crowned emperor by the pope controlled only territories in Italy, the last such emperor was Berengar I of Italy, who died in 924. Around 900, autonomous stem duchies reemerged in East Francia, on his deathbed, Conrad yielded the crown to his main rival, Henry the Fowler of Saxony, who was elected king at the Diet of Fritzlar in 919. Henry reached a truce with the raiding Magyars, and in 933 he won a first victory against them in the Battle of Riade, Henry died in 936, but his descendants, the Liudolfing dynasty, would continue to rule the Eastern kingdom for roughly a century. Upon Henry the Fowlers death, his son and designated successor, was elected King in Aachen in 936 and he overcame a series of revolts from an elder brother and from several dukes. After that, the managed to control the appointment of dukes. In 951, Otto came to the aid of Adelaide, the queen of Italy, defeating her enemies, marrying her. In 955, Otto won a victory over the Magyars in the Battle of Lechfeld
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto III was Holy Roman Emperor from 996 until his early death in 1002. A member of the Ottonian dynasty, Otto III was the son of the Emperor Otto II. Otto III was crowned as King of Germany in 983 at the age of three, shortly after his fathers death in southern Italy while campaigning against the Byzantine Empire, though the nominal ruler of Germany, Otto IIIs minor status ensured his various regents held power over the Empire. His cousin Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, initially claimed regency over the young king, Otto III was still a child, so his grandmother, the Dowager Empress Adelaide of Italy, served as regent until 994. In 996, Otto III marched to Italy to claim the titles King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor, Otto III sought to reestablish Imperial control over the city of Rome, which had revolted under the leadership of Crescentius II, and through it the papacy. Crowned as Emperor, Otto III put down the Roman rebellion and installed his cousin as Pope Gregory V, after the Emperor had pardoned him and left the city, Crescentius II again rebelled, deposing Gregory V and installing John XVI as Pope.
Otto III returned to the city in 998, reinstalled Gregory V, when Gregory V died in 999, Otto III installed Sylvester II as the new Pope. Otto IIIs actions throughout his life further strengthened imperial control over the Catholic Church, from the beginning of his reign, Otto III faced opposition from the Slavs along the eastern frontier. Following the death of his father in 983, the Slavs rebelled against imperial control, Otto III would fight to regain the Empires lost territories throughout his reign with only limited success. While in the east, Otto III strengthened the Empires relations with Poland, returning to Rome in 1001, Otto III faced a rebellion by the Roman aristocracy, which forced him to flee the city. While marching to reclaim the city in 1002, Otto III suffered a sudden fever, with no clear heir to succeed him, his early death threw the Empire into political crisis. Otto III was born in June or July 980 somewhere between Aachen and Nijmegen, the only son of Emperor Otto II and his wife Theophanu, Otto III was the youngest of the couples four children.
Immediately prior to Otto IIIs birth, his father had completed military campaigns in France against King Lothar, on 14 July 982, Otto IIs army suffered a crushing defeat against the Muslim Emirate of Sicily at the Battle of Stilo. Otto II had been campaigning in southern Italy with hopes of annexing the whole of Italy into the Holy Roman Empire, Otto II himself escaped the battle unharmed but many important imperial officials were among the battles casualties. This was the first time a German ruler had been elected on Italian soil, after the assembly was concluded, Otto III and his mother Theophanu travelled across the Alps in order for Otto to be crowned at Aix, the traditional location of the coronation of the German kings. Otto II stayed behind to address military action against the Muslims, while still in central Italy, Otto II suddenly died on 7 November 983, and was buried in St. Peters Basilica in Rome. Otto III was crowned as king on Christmas Day 983, three weeks after his fathers death, by Willigis, the Archbishop of Mainz, and by John, news of Otto IIs death first reached Germany shortly after his sons coronation.
The unresolved problems in southern Italy and the Slavic uprising on the Empires eastern border made the Empires political situation extremely unstable, with a minor on the throne, the Empire was thrown into confusion and Otto IIIs mother Theophanu assumed the role of regent for her young son
Ministerialis were people raised up from serfdom to be placed in positions of power and responsibility. What began as an arrangement of workers with a wide variety of duties and restrictions rose in status. The ministeriales were not legally free people, but held social rank, their liege lord determined whom they could or could not marry, and they were not able to transfer their lords properties to heirs or spouses. They were, considered members of the nobility since that was a social designation, ministeriales were trained knights, held military responsibilities and surrounded themselves with the trappings of knighthood, and so were accepted as noblemen. Both women and men held the status, and the laws on ministeriales made no distinction between the sexes in how they were treated. The origin of the pedigree is obscure. A mediaeval chronicler reported that Julius Caesar defeated the Gauls and rewarded his Germanic allies with Roman rank, princes were awarded senatorial status and their lesser knights received Roman citizenship.
He assigned these knights to princes but urged the princes to treat the knights not as slaves and servants but rather to receive their services as the knights lords and defenders. Hence it is, the chronicler explained, that German knights, unlike their counterparts in other nations, are called servants of the royal fisc, abbot Adalard of Corbie was Emperor Charlemagnes chief adviser, and described the running of the government in his work De ordine palatii. There he praises the merits of his imperial staff, made up of household servii proprii who were the first ministerials authoritatively recorded. His letters specify that not only were they considered exceptional by their superiors and this may be the origin of ministerials as individuals in a set position. It was Emperor Conrad II who first referred to ministerials as a distinct class and he had them organized into a staff of officials and administrators. In documents they are referred to as ministerialis vir, or ministerial men, kings placed military requirements upon their princes, who in turn, placed requirements upon their vassals.
The free nobles under a prince may have a bond of vassalage that let them get out of serving, so kings, such a body made up the group called ministeriales. They received fiefs, which to begin with were not heritable, Ministerials were found holding the four great offices necessary to run a great household, butler and chamberlain. They were vidames or castellans, having military and administrative responsibilities. Conrad II of Kuchl was the adviser to four archbishops over the course of 40 years. From the reign of Archbishop Conrad II they were employed as stewards and judges in the administration of the imperial territories, as Imperial ministerials they upheld the Salian, and particularly the Hohenstaufen, imperial polity
Westphalia is a region in northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of 7,802 sq mi and 7.9 million inhabitants, the region is almost identical with the Province of Westphalia which was a part of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1815 to 1918 and the Free State of Prussia from 1918 to 1946. In 1946, Westphalia merged with the Northern Rhineland, another part of Prussia. In 1947, the state with its two parts was joined by a third one, Lippe, a former principality and free state. All of the 17 districts and 9 independent cities of Westphalia, the Westphalian language, a variant of the German language, spreads north of Westphalias borders into southwest Lower Saxony. Being a part of the North German Plain, most of Westphalias north is flat, in the south the German Central Uplands emerge. Westphalia is divided into the following landscapes, other important rivers are the Ems and the Lippe. The Langenberg and the Kahler Asten in the Sauerlands part of the Rothaar Mountains are Westphalias, Westphalia is divided into three governmental districts.
These are subdivided into districts and independent cities. All districts and independent cities of the districts of Arnsberg. The District of Lippe as successor of the Free State of Lippe in the Governmental District of Detmold is rather considered to be a historic region. The traditional symbol of Westphalia is the Westphalian Steed, a horse on a red field. It is derived from the Saxon Steed in the coat of arms of the medieval Duchy of Saxony which most of todays Westphalia was part of. In official contexts the coat of arms of Westphalia is being used by the Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association which represents these two historic parts of North Rhine-Westphalia. The coat of arms of Lower Saxony uses a different version of the Saxon Steed since the state covers parts of the Old Saxons duchy. The colors of Westphalia are white and red, the flag of the Westphalia-Lippe Regional Association uses these colors with the Westphalian coat of arms in its center. The flag of North Rhine-Westphalia is a combination of the Northern Rhinelands colors green/white, the flag of the Prussian Province of Westphalia already displayed the colors white and red.
The flag of Lower Saxony shows the colors of Germany and the Saxon Steed, composed in Iserlohn in 1886 by Emil Rittershaus, the Westfalenlied is an unofficial anthem of Westphalia
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. From an autocracy in Carolingian times the title evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the Prince-electors, until the Reformation the Emperor elect was required to be crowned by the Pope before assuming the imperial title. The title was held in conjunction with the rule of the Kingdom of Germany, in theory, the Holy Roman Emperor was primus inter pares among the other Catholic monarchs, in practice, a Holy Roman Emperor was only as strong as his army and alliances made him. Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, effectively became hereditary holders of the title, after the Reformation many of the subject states and most of those in Germany were Protestant while the Emperor continued to be Catholic. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by the last Emperor as a result of the collapse of the polity during the Napoleonic wars, from the time of Constantine I the Roman emperors had, with very few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity.
In the west, the title of Emperor was revived in 800, 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 known as the Investiture Controversy. After Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III, no pope appointed an emperor again until the coronation of Otto the Great in 962. Under Otto and his successors, much of the former Carolingian kingdom of Eastern Francia fell within the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire, the various German princes elected one of their peers as King of the Germans, after which he would be crowned as emperor by the Pope. After Charles Vs coronation, all succeeding emperors were called elected Emperor due to the lack of papal coronation, the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa. Charles V was the last Holy Roman Emperor to be crowned by the Pope, the final Holy Roman Emperor-elect, Francis II, abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empires final dissolution.
The standard designation of the Holy Roman Emperor was August Emperor of the Romans, the word Holy had never been used as part of that title in official documents. In German-language historiography, the term Römisch-deutscher Kaiser is used to distinguish the title from that of Roman Emperor on one hand, 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. Successions to the kingship were controlled by a variety of complicated factors, elections meant the kingship of Germany was only partially hereditary, unlike the kingship of France, although sovereignty frequently remained in a dynasty until there were no more male successors. The Electoral council was set at seven princes by the Golden Bull of 1356, another elector was added in 1690, and the whole college was reshuffled in 1803, a mere three years before the dissolution of the Empire. After 1438, the Kings remained in the house of Habsburg and Habsburg-Lorraine, with the exception of Charles VII.
Maximilian I and his successors no longer travelled to Rome to be crowned as Emperor by the Pope, Maximilian therefore named himself Elected Roman Emperor in 1508 with papal approval. This title was in use by all his uncrowned successors, of his successors only Charles V, the immediate one, received a papal coronation
Gandersheim Abbey is a former house of secular canonesses in the present town of Bad Gandersheim in Lower Saxony, Germany. It was founded in 852 by Duke Liudolf of Saxony, progenitor of the Liudolfing or Ottonian dynasty, in the collegiate church the original Romanesque church building is still visible, with Gothic extensions. It is a basilica with two towers on the westwork, consisting of a flat-roofed nave and two vaulted side-aisles. The transept has a crossing with more or less square arms. Beneath the crossing choir is a hall-crypt, the westwork consist of two towers and a connecting two-storey block, it originally had in addition a projecting entrance hall, on two storeys, the paradise. The present church building, which has been subject to restoration in the 19th and 20th centuries, was begun in about 1100, remains of the previous building are incorporated into the present structure. The community settled first at Brunshausen, the first abbess was Hathumod, a daughter of Liudolf, as were the two succeeding abbesses.
In 856 construction began on the church at Gandersheim and in 881 Bishop Wigbert dedicated it to the Saints Anastasius and John the Baptist, already in 877 King Louis the Younger placed the abbey under the protection of the Empire, which gave it extensive independence. In 919 King Henry I granted it Imperial immediacy, the close connection to the Empire meant that the abbey was obliged to provide accommodation to the German kings on their travels, and numerous royal visits are recorded. The establishment of the abbey by the founder of the Liudolfingers gave it importance during the Ottonian period. Until the foundation of Quedlinburg Abbey in 936, Gandersheim was among the most important Ottonian family institutions, the canonesses, commonly known as Stiftsdamen, were allowed private property and as they had taken no vows, were free at any time to leave the abbey. The Ottonian and Salian kings and their entourages often stayed in Gandersheim, apart from the memorial masses for the founding family, one of the main duties of the canonesses was the education of the daughters of the nobility.
One of the abbeys best-known canonesses was Roswitha of Gandersheim, famous as the first female German language poet. During a period of approximately 20 years — from about 950 to 970 or so — she wrote poetry, spiritual pieces and dramas. The pressure from Hildesheim moved the abbey increasingly into the sphere of Mainz, with the death of the last Salian king in 1125 the importance of the abbey began to diminish and it came more and more under the influence of the local territorial rulers. The Welfs in particular attempted until the dissolution of the abbey to gain control over it, the abbey were not able to establish their own territorial lordship. No than the mid-1270s, the Dukes of Brunswick succeeded in obtaining the Vogtei of the abbey, another way to gain influence over the abbey was to place relatives in the abbesss chair. The Reformation was first introduced into the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in 1542 when troops of the Schmalkaldic League occupied it, the townspeople of Gandersheim had received the Reformation enthusiastically and on 13 July 1543 undertook an iconoclastic attack on the abbey church, where they destroyed images and altars