Paracelsus, born Theophrastus von Hohenheim, was a Swiss physician and astrologer of the German Renaissance. He was a pioneer in several aspects of the "medical revolution" of the Renaissance, emphasizing the value of observation in combination with received wisdom, he is credited as the "father of toxicology". He had a substantial impact as a prophet or diviner, his "Prognostications" being studied by Rosicrucians in the 1700s. Paracelsianism is the early modern medical movement inspired by the study of his works. Paracelsus was born in Egg, a village close to the Etzel Pass in Schwyz, he was born in a house right next to a bridge across the Sihl river. The historical house, dated to the 14th century, was destroyed in 1814; the Restaurant Krone now stands in its place. His father Wilhelm was a chemist and physician, an illegitimate descendant of the Swabian noble family Bombast von Hohenheim, it has been suggested that Paracelsus's descent from the Bombast of Hohenheim family was his own invention, that his father was in fact called Höhener and was a native of Gais in Appenzell, but it is plausible that Wilhelm was the illegitimate son of Georg Bombast von Hohenheim, commander of the Order of Saint John in Rohrdorf.
Paracelsus's mother was a native of the Einsiedeln region and a bondswoman of Einsiedeln Abbey, who before her marriage worked as superintendent in the abbey's hospital. Paracelsus in his writings made references to his rustic origins and used Eremita as part of his name. Paracelsus' mother died in 1502, after which Paracelsus's father moved to Villach, where he worked as a physician, attending to the medical needs of the pilgrims and inhabitants of the cloister. Paracelsus was educated by his father in botany, mineralogy and natural philosophy, he received a profound humanistic and theological education from local clerics and the convent school of St. Paul's Abbey in the Lavanttal, he accounts for being tutored by Johannes Trithemius, abbot of Sponheim. At the age of 16 he started studying medicine at the University of Basel moving to Vienna, he gained his doctorate degree from the University of Ferrara in 1515 or 1516. Between 1517 and 1524, he worked as a military surgeon, in Venetian service in 1522.
In this capacity he travelled across Europe, as far as Constantinople. He settled in Salzburg in 1524 but had to leave in the following year due to his support of the German Peasants' War. In 1525, he was active at the University of Freiburg. In 1526, he bought the rights of citizenship in Strasbourg to establish his own practice, but soon after he was called to Basel to the sickbed of printer Johann Frobenius curing him. During that time, the Dutch Renaissance humanist Erasmus von Rotterdam at the University of Basel, witnessed the medical skills of Paracelsus, the two scholars initiated a letter dialogue on medical and theological subjects. In 1527, Paracelsus was a licensed physician in Basel with the privilege of lecturing at the University of Basel. Basel at the time was a center of Renaissance humanism, Paracelsus here came into contact with Erasmus of Rotterdam, Wolfgang Lachner, Johannes Oekolampad. Paracelsus's lectures at Basel university unusually were held in German, not Latin, he stated.
He published harsh criticism of the Basel physicians and apothecaries, creating political turmoil to the point of his life being threatened. In a display of his contempt for conventional medicine, Paracelsus publicly burned editions of the works of Galen and Avicenna, he was prone to many outbursts of abusive language, abhorred untested theory, ridiculed anybody who placed more importance on titles than practice. During his time as a professor at the University of Basel, he invited barber-surgeons, alchemists and others lacking academic background to serve as examples of his belief that only those who practiced an art knew it:'The patients are your textbook, the sickbed is your study.' Paracelsus was compared with Martin Luther because of his defiant acts against the existing authorities in medicine. Paracelsus rejected that comparison. Famously Paracelsus said, "I leave it to Luther to defend what he says and I will be responsible for what I say; that which you wish to Luther, you wish to me: You wish us both in the fire."
Being threatened with an unwinnable lawsuit, he left Basel for Alsace in February 1528. In Alsace, Paracelsus took up the life of an itinerant physician once again. After staying in Colmar with Lorenz Fries, in Esslingen, he moved to Nuremberg in 1529, his reputation went before him, the medical professionals excluded him from practicing. The name Paracelsus is first attested in this year, used as a pseudonym for the publication of a Practica of political-astrological character in Nuremberg. Pagel supposes that the name was intended for use as the author of non-medical works, while his real name Theophrastus von Hohenheim was used for medical publications; the first use of Doctor Paracelsus in a medical publication was in 1536, as the author of the Grosse Wundartznei. The name is interpreted as either a latinization of Hohenheim or as the claim of "surpassing Celsus", it has been argued that the name was not the invention of Paracelsus himself, who would have been opposed to the humanistic fashion of Latinized names, but w
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
Pope Pius II
Pope Pius II, born Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini was Pope from 19 August 1458 to his death in 1464. He was born at Corsignano in the Sienese territory of a impoverished family, his longest and most enduring work is the story of his life, the Commentaries, the only autobiography written by a reigning pope. Aeneas was born to Silvio, a soldier and member of the House of Piccolomini, Vittoria Forteguerri, who had 18 children including several twins, though most died at a young age, he worked with his father in the fields for some years and at age 18 left to study at the universities of Siena and Florence. He settled in the former city as a teacher, but in 1431 accepted the post of secretary to Domenico Capranica, bishop of Fermo on his way to the Council of Basel. Capranica was protesting against the new Pope Eugene IV's refusal of a cardinalate for him, designated by Pope Martin V. Arriving at Basel after enduring a stormy voyage to Genoa and a trip across the Alps, he successively served Capranica, who ran short of money, other masters.
In 1435 he was sent by Cardinal Albergati, Eugenius IV's legate at the council, on a secret mission to Scotland, the object of, variously related by himself. He visited England as well as Scotland, underwent many perils and vicissitudes in both countries, left an account of each; the journey to Scotland proved so tempestuous that Piccolomini swore that he would walk barefoot to the nearest shrine of Our Lady from their landing port. This proved to be Dunbar; the journey through the ice and snow left Aeneas afflicted with pain in his legs for the rest of his life. Only when he arrived at Newcastle, did he feel that he had returned to "a civilised part of the world and the inhabitable face of the Earth", Scotland and the far north of England being "wild and never visited by the sun in winter". In Scotland, he fathered a child. Upon his return to Basel, Aeneas sided with the council in its conflict with the Pope, although still a layman obtained a share in the direction of its affairs, he participated in his coronation.
Aeneas was sent to Strasbourg where he fathered a child with a Breton woman called Elizabeth. The baby died 14 months later, he withdrew to the court of Holy Roman Emperor Emperor Frederick III in Vienna. He had been crowned imperial poet laureate in 1442, he obtained the patronage of the emperor's chancellor, Kaspar Schlick; some identify the love adventure at Siena that Aeneas related in his romance The Tale of the Two Lovers with an escapade of the chancellor. Aeneas' character had hitherto been that of an easy and democratic-minded man of the world with no pretense to strictness in morals or consistency in politics, he now began to be more regular in the former respect, in the latter adopted a decided line by making his peace between the Empire and Rome. Being sent on a mission to Rome in 1445, with the ostensible object of inducing Pope Eugene to convoke a new council, he was absolved from ecclesiastical censures and returned to Germany under an engagement to assist the Pope; this he did most effectually by the diplomatic dexterity with which he smoothed away differences between the papal court of Rome and the German imperial electors.
He played a leading role in concluding a compromise in 1447 by which the dying Pope Eugene accepted the reconciliation tendered by the German princes. As a result, the council and the antipope were left without support, he had taken orders, one of the first acts of Pope Eugene's successor, Pope Nicholas V, was to make him Bishop of Trieste. He served as Bishop of Siena. In 1450 Aeneas was sent as ambassador by the Emperor Frederick III to negotiate his marriage with Princess Eleonore of Portugal. In 1451 he undertook a mission to Bohemia and concluded a satisfactory arrangement with the Hussite leader George of Poděbrady. In 1452 he accompanied Frederick III to Rome, where Frederick wedded Eleanor and was crowned emperor by the pope. In August 1455 Aeneas again arrived in Rome on an embassy to proffer the obedience of Germany to the new pope, Calixtus III, he brought strong recommendations from emperor Frederick and Ladislaus V of Hungary for his nomination to the cardinalate, but delays arose from the Pope's resolution to promote his own nephews first, he did not attain the object of his ambition until December of the following year.
He did acquire temporarily the bishopric of Warmia. Calixtus III died on 6 August 1458. On 10 August, the cardinals entered into a papal conclave. According to Aeneas' account, the wealthy cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville of Rouen, though a Frenchman and of exceptionable character, seemed certain to be elected. In a passage of his own history of his times, long excerpted from that work and printed clandestinely in the Conclavi de' Pontifici Romani, Aeneas explained how he frustrated the ambitions of d'Estouteville, it seemed appropriate to Aeneas that the election should fall upon himself: although the sacred college included a few men of higher moral standards, he believed that his abilities made him most worthy of the papal tiara. It was the peculiar faculty of Aeneas to accommodate himself to whatever position he might be called upon to occupy, he now believed that he could exploit this adaptability to assume the papacy with appropriate success and personal character. After a minimum of intrigue among the cardinals, he was able to secure enough votes for his candidacy after the second bal
University of Basel
The University of Basel is located in Basel, Switzerland. Founded on 4 April 1460, it is Switzerland's oldest university and among the world's oldest surviving universities; the university is traditionally counted among the leading institutions of higher learning in the country. The associated Basel University Library is the largest and among the most important libraries in the country; the university hosts the faculties of theology, medicine and social sciences, science and business and economics, as well as numerous cross-disciplinary subjects and institutes, such as the Biozentrum for biomedical research and the Institute for European Global Studies. In 2016, the University boasted 377 professors. International students accounted for 24 percent of the student body. In its over 500-year history the university has been home to Erasmus of Rotterdam, Daniel Bernoulli, Leonhard Euler, Jacob Burckhardt, Friedrich Nietzsche, Tadeusz Reichstein, Karl Jaspers, Carl Gustav Jung, Karl Barth and Jeanne Hersch.
The institution is associated with nine Nobel prize winners and two Presidents of the Swiss Confederation. The University of Basel was founded in connection with the Council of Basel; the deed of foundation given in the form of a Papal bull by Pope Pius II on November 12, 1459, the official opening ceremony was held on April 4, 1460. The University of Basel was decreed to have four faculties—arts, medicine and jurisprudence; the faculty of arts served until 1818 as the foundation for the other three academic subjects. In the eighteenth century as Basel became more commercial, the university, one of the centres of learning in the Renaissance, slipped into insignificance. Enrollment, over a thousand around 1600, dropped to sixty in 1785 with eighteen professors; the professors themselves were sons of the elite. Over the course of centuries as many scholars came to the city, Basel became an early centre of book printing and humanism. Around the same time as the university itself, the Basel University Library was founded.
Today it is the largest library in Switzerland. Located in what was once a politically volatile area, the University's fate ebbed and flowed with regional political developments, including the Reformation, the Kantonstrennung, both World Wars; these factors affected student attendance, university-government relations. In 1833 the Canton of Basel split in two with the Federal Diet requiring that the canton's assets, including the books at the University library, be divided—two-thirds going to the new half canton of Basel-Landschaft; the city, Basel-Stadt, had to buy back this share and the university became so impoverished that it drastically reduced its course offerings. Students were expected to continue their education after two years or so at a German university. Student enrollment surged after the University shed its medieval curriculum and began to add more faculties those in the humanities and sciences. Liberal Arts became a faculty in 1818, from which the Philosophy and History and Natural History faculties were derived in 1937.
The University subsequently established the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Business and Economics, the Faculty of Psychology. During the 20th century, the University grew from one thousand students in 1918 to eight thousand in 1994; the first woman, admitted to the University, Emilie Frey, began her medical studies in 1890. After the seizure of power in the year 1933 by the Nazis, numerous renowned German professors decided to emigrate to Basel and started to work at the University of Basel. Several Swiss scholars returned, inter alia the Law Professor Arthur Baumgarten, the Theologians Karl Barth and Fritz Lieb and after World War II the Philosopher Karl Jaspers from Heidelberg University, as well as the surgeon Rudolf Nissen. On January 1, 1996, the University of Basel became independent from the cantonal government and thus earned its right to self-government. In 2007, the Canton of Basel-Landschaft voted in favor to share the sponsorship of the University in parity with the Canton Basel-Stadt.
Well-respected rankings attest to the University of Basel's international academic performance: Times Higher Education World University Ranking: 95 Leiden Ranking: 45 Academic Ranking of World Universities: 96 Since January 1, 1996, the University of Basel has been independent. The University Law of 1995 stipulates that, “The University of Basel is an institution established under public law, it has its own legal personality and right to self-government.” As the entity that formally receives the Performance Mandate for the University from both supporting cantons, the University Council is the supreme decision-making body of the University. The Council consists of eleven voting members and three non-voting members, including the President, the Executive Director, the Secretary of the Council. Beneath the University Council are the President's Board; the 80-member Senate consists of the senior members of the President's Board, faculty deans, professors and research assistants, assistants and administrative and technical employees.
The President's Office is tasked with leading the overall university business. It consists of the President and her staff, a General Secretariat, an Administrative Directorate, the Communications and Marketing Office, two respective Vice-Presidents for Research and Education
Augusta Raurica is a Roman archaeological site and an open-air museum in Switzerland located on the south bank of the Rhine river about 20 km east of Basel near the villages of Augst and Kaiseraugst. It is the site of the oldest known Roman colony on the Rhine. Augusta Raurica, or Colonia Augusta Rauracorum, was founded by Lucius Munatius Plancus around 44 BC in the vicinity of a local Gallic tribe, the Rauraci, relatives of the Helvetii. No archaeological evidence from this period has yet been found, leading to the conclusion that, either the settlement of the colony was disturbed by the civil war following the death of Julius Caesar, or that Plancus' colony was in the area of modern Basel, not Augst. Successful colonization of the site had to wait for Augustus' conquest of the central Alps around 15 BC; the oldest find to date at Augusta Raurica has been dated to 6 BC by dendrochronology. The inscription on Munatius Plancus' grave states the name of the colony as Colonia Raurica. A fragmentary inscription from the Augustinian period speaks of the Colonia P M naris merita ica.
Apart from this fragmentary reference, the first certain witness to the use of the name Augustus comes from the geographer Ptolemy in the Ancient Greek form Augústa Rauríkon. Augusta Raurica played an important role in Augustus' plans of conquest with two other colonies that bear his name: Augusta Praetoria and Augusta Vindelicum; these three Augustae form the corners of a triangle that reaches across the alpine conquests of Augustus, the long base of which form the Rhine knee to the Danube formed the frontier against unconquered Germania. During excavations it was determined that the city was founded on a high plateau just south of the Rhine river. Two small rivers, the Ergolz and Violen, have carved a triangle in the plateau, the base of, about 1 kilometer wide along the base of the Jura Mountains, the apex points northward toward the Rhine, about 1 kilometer from the base; this point is military fortification. The city is, well-defended by steep slopes to the north and west; the next step in planning the city was the surveying of the area according to the architect's plans for the city.
Every important public building had its specific place, starting with the temple of Jupiter as the sacred high point from which the street network would spread. The architect, responsible for executing the plans for the city, next laid a longitudinal axis across the triangle 36˚ west of north to form the main street of the settlement. Other longitudinal streets were laid out parallel to the main street at intervals of 55 meters; the main street was divided into sections of 66 meters, which formed the corners of 10 crossing streets. This created a series of rectangular blocks of around 50 by 60 meters; the streets were flanked by gutters on both sides. The more important roads featured covered sidewalks behind rows of columns; the limits of Colonia Raurica can no longer be determined with absolute accuracy. However the approximate boundaries can be determined by examining the extent of Augst in the Early Middle Ages; this would seem to indicate the colony extended from Basel toward the mouth of the Aare up the Aare to the mouth of the Sigger below Solothurn, across to the Lüssel, back down the Birs to Basel, though this is still conjecture.
New research, based on tiles stamped with the mark of the Vindonissa Legion, indicates some administrative dependence on Vindonissa. This would indicate that the colony reached over the Bözberg toward Frick, with the Thiersteinberg below Frick forming the eastern boundary; the western boundary, was near the mouth of the Birs marked by a border station. Early Roman cremation remains, found in 1937 by the church in Neuallschwil, show that such a post did exist on the main road north into Alsace; the Colonia Raurica, on the whole, contained the modern Canton of Basel, the Frick valley, the eastern Jura Mountains of the Canton of Solothurn. The total area of the colony was around 700 km². By the 2nd century AD, Augusta Raurica was a prosperous commercial trading centre and, in its glory days, the capital of a local Roman province, it is estimated that the population reached 20,000 people. Augusta Raurica prospered between the 1st and 3rd centuries, exported smoked pork and bacon to other parts of the Roman Empire.
The city possessed the typical amenities of a Roman city, an amphitheatre, a main forum, several smaller forums, an aqueduct, a variety of temples, several public baths and the largest Roman theatre north of the Alps, with 8,000 to 10,000 seats. Many of these sites are open to visitors year-round. In 250 AD, a powerful earthquake damaged a large part of the city. Shortly after, around 260 AD, Alemanni tribes and/or marauding Roman troops destroyed the city; the Romans attempted to maintain their military position by building a fortress on the Rhine, Castrum Rauracense, the walls of which are still intact. Augusta Raurica was resettled on a much smaller scale on the site of the castrum; these two settlements form the centers of the modern communities of Kaiseraugst. In 1442, these communities were divided along the Violenbach rivers; the western portion was given to Basel, which became a canton of Switzerland in 1501. In 1833, Augst became part of the Canton of Basel-Land; the eastern part became part of Habsburg territories and, to differentiate between the two towns, was renamed Kaiser
German mediatisation was the major territorial restructuring that took place between 1802 and 1814 in Germany and the surrounding region by means of the mass mediatisation and secularisation of a large number of Imperial Estates. Most ecclesiastical principalities, free imperial cities, secular principalities, other minor self-ruling entities of the Holy Roman Empire lost their independent status and were absorbed into the remaining states. By the end of the mediatisation process, the number of German states had been reduced from 300 to just 39. In the strict sense of the word, mediatisation consists in the subsumption of an immediate state into another state, thus becoming mediate, while leaving the dispossessed ruler with his private estates and a number of privileges and feudal rights, such as low justice. For convenience, historians use the term mediatisation for the entire restructuring process that took place at the time, whether the mediatized states survived in some form or lost all individuality.
The secularization of ecclesiastical states took place concurrently with the mediatisation of free imperial cities and other secular states. The mass mediatisation and secularisation of German states that took place at the time was not initiated by Germans, it came under diplomatic pressure from revolutionary France and Napoleon. It constituted the most extensive redistribution of property and territories in German history prior to 1945; the two highpoints of the process were the secularization/annexation of ecclesiastical territories and free imperial cities in 1802–03, the mediatisation of secular principalities and counties in 1806. Although most of its neighbors coalesced into centralized states before the 19th century, Germany did not follow that path. Instead, the Holy Roman Empire maintained its medieval political structure as a "polyglot congeries of hundreds of nearly sovereign states and territories ranging in size from considerable to minuscule". From a high of nearly 400 – 136 ecclesiastical and 173 secular lords plus 85 free imperial cities – on the eve of the Reformation, this number had only reduced to a little less than 300 by the late-18th century.
The traditional explanation for this fragmentation has focused on the gradual usurpation by the princes of the powers of the Holy Roman Emperor during the Staufen period, to the point that by the Peace of Westphalia, the Emperor had become a mere primus inter pares. In recent decades, many historians have maintained that the fragmentation of Germany – which started out as a large polity while its neighbors started small – can be traced back to the geographical extent of the Empire – the German part of the Empire being about twice the size of the realm controlled by the king of France in the second half of the 11th century – and to the vigor of local aristocratic and ecclesiastical rule from early on in the medieval era. In the 12th century, the secular and spiritual princes did not regard themselves as the Emperor's subordinates, still less his subjects, but as rulers in their own right - and they jealously defended their established sphere of predominance. At the time of Emperor Frederick II's death in 1250, it had been decided that the regnum teutonicum was "an aristocracy with a monarchical head".
Among those states and territories, the ecclesiastical principalities were unique to Germany. The Ottonian and early Salian Emperors, who appointed the bishops and abbots, used them as agents of the imperial crown - as they considered them more dependable than the dukes they appointed and who attempted to establish independent hereditary principalities; the emperors expanded the power of the Church, of the bishops, with land grants and numerous privileges of immunity and protection as well as extensive judicial rights, which coalesced into a distinctive temporal principality: the Hochstift. The German bishop became a "prince of the Empire" and direct vassal of the Emperor for his Hochstift, while continuing to exercise only pastoral authority over his larger diocese; the personal appointment of bishops by the Emperors had sparked the investiture controversy in the 11th century, in its aftermath the emperor‘s control over the bishops' selection and rule diminished considerably. The bishops, now elected by independent-minded cathedral chapters rather than chosen by the emperor or the pope, were confirmed as territorial lords equal to the secular princes.
Having to face with the territorial expansionism of the powerful secular princes, the position of the prince-bishops became more precarious with time. In the course of the Reformation, several of the bishoprics in the north and northeast were secularized to the benefit of Protestant princes. In the sixteenth century the Counter-Reformation attempted to reverse some of these secularizations, the question of the fates of secularized territories became an important one in the Thirty Years' War. In the end, the Peace of Westphalia confirmed the secularization of a score of prince-bishoprics, including the archbishoprics of Bremen and Magdeburg and six bishoprics with full political powers, which were assigned to Sweden and Mecklenburg. On the other hand and Paderborn – under Protestant administration for decades and given up for lost – were restored as prince-bishoprics. In addition, the Peace conclusively reaffirmed the imperial immediacy, therefore the de facto independence, of the prince-bishops and imperial abbots, free imperial cities, imperial counts, as well as the imperial knights.
According to one authority, the sixty-five ecclesiastical rulers cont
In the Holy Roman Empire, the German term Hochstift referred to the territory ruled by a bishop as a prince, as opposed to his diocese much larger and over which he exercised only spiritual authority. The terms prince-bishopric and ecclesiastical principality are synonymous with Hochstift. Erzstift and Kurerzstift referred to the territory ruled by a prince-archbishop and an elector-archbishop while Stift referred to the territory ruled by an imperial abbot or abbess, or a princely abbot or abbess. Stift was often used to refer to any type of ecclesiastical principality; the Hochstift was made of land acquired in the Middle Age through donations by the king/emperor, bequests by local lords or through purchase. It was made of non-contiguous parts, some of which could be located outside the bishop’s diocese; the prince-bishop, elected by the canons of the cathedral chapter and belonging to the high nobility, enjoyed imperial immediacy. He had vote at the Imperial Diet. From a high of 40 in the late Middle Ages, the number of Hochstifte was down to 26 by the late 18th century.
They had all been secularized and their territory absorbed by secular states by the time the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806. Das Stift /het sticht, denotes in its original meaning the donated or else acquired fund of estates whose revenues are taken to maintain a college and the pertaining church and its collegiate canons or canonesses. If the Stift as a fund served to maintain the specific college of a cathedral the Stift was called das Domstift. Hochstift is a compound with hoch used for a prince-bishopric, meaning a "high donation ". Whereas Erzstift, a compound with Erz…, was the corresponding expression for a prince-archbishopric. For the three prince-electorates of Cologne and Trier, which were archbishoprics the corresponding term is Kurerzstift; the adjective pertaining to Stift as a territory is stiftisch. As a compound, the term Stift today takes the copulative "s" when used as a preceding compound, such as in Stiftsadel, Stiftsmann, Stiftsstände, or Stiftstag. Specific prince-bishoprics were called Hochstift/Erzstift X, as in Hochstift Ermland or in Erzstift Bremen, with stiftbremisch meaning of/pertaining to the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen, as opposed to stadtbremisch.
By contrast, the spiritual entities, the dioceses, are called Erzbistum in German. The difference between a Hochstift/Erzstift and a Bistum/Erzbistum is not always clear to authors so that non-scholarly texts translate Hochstift or Erzstift incorrectly as diocese/bishopric or archdiocese/archbishopric, respectively