In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
The Reformation was a movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic church – and papal authority in particular. Although the Reformation is considered to have started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517, there was no schism between the Catholics and the nascent Lutheran branch until the 1521 Edict of Worms; the edict condemned Luther and banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas. The end of the Reformation era is disputed: it could be considered to end with the enactment of the confessions of faith which began the Age of Orthodoxy. Other suggested ending years relate to the Counter-Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, or that it never ended since there are still Protestants today. Movements had been made towards a Reformation prior to Luther, so some Protestants in the tradition of the Radical Reformation prefer to credit the start of the Reformation to reformers such as Arnold of Brescia, Peter Waldo, Jan Hus, Tomáš Štítný ze Štítného, John Wycliffe, Girolamo Savonarola.
Due to the reform efforts of Huss and others in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Utraquist Hussitism was acknowledged by both the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, although other movements were still subject to persecution, as were the including Lollards in England and Waldensians in Italy and France. Luther began by criticising the sale of indulgences, insisting that the Pope had no authority over purgatory and that the Treasury of Merit had no foundation in the Bible; the Reformation developed further to include a distinction between Law and Gospel, a complete reliance on Scripture as the only source of proper doctrine and the belief that faith in Jesus is the only way to receive God's pardon for sin rather than good works. Although this is considered a Protestant belief, a similar formulation was taught by Molinist and Jansenist Catholics; the priesthood of all believers downplayed the need for saints or priests to serve as mediators, mandatory clerical celibacy was ended. Simul justus et peccator implied that although people could improve, no one could become good enough to earn forgiveness from God.
Sacramental theology was simplified and attempts at imposing Aristotelian epistemology were resisted. Luther and his followers did not see these theological developments as changes; the 1530 Augsburg Confession concluded that "in doctrine and ceremonies nothing has been received on our part against Scripture or the Church Catholic", after the Council of Trent, Martin Chemnitz published the 1565–73 Examination of the Council of Trent in order to prove that Trent innovated on doctrine while the Lutherans were following in the footsteps of the Church Fathers and Apostles. The initial movement in Germany diversified, other reformers arose independently of Luther such as Zwingli in Zürich and Calvin in Geneva. Depending on the country, the Reformation had varying causes and different backgrounds, unfolded differently than in Germany; the spread of Gutenberg's printing press provided the means for the rapid dissemination of religious materials in the vernacular. During Reformation-era confessionalization, Western Christianity adopted different confessions.
Radical Reformers, besides forming communities outside state sanction, sometimes employed more extreme doctrinal change, such as the rejection of the tenets of the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon with the Unitarians of Transylvania. Anabaptist movements were persecuted following the German Peasants' War. Leaders within the Roman Catholic Church responded with the Counter-Reformation, initiated by the Confutatio Augustana in 1530, the Council of Trent in 1545, the Jesuits in 1540, the Defensio Tridentinæ fidei in 1578, a series of wars and expulsions of Protestants that continued until the 19th century. Northern Europe, with the exception of most of Ireland, came under the influence of Protestantism. Southern Europe remained predominantly Catholic apart from the much-persecuted Waldensians. Central Europe was the site of much of the Thirty Years' War and there were continued expulsions of Protestants in central Europe up to the 19th century. Following World War II, the removal of ethnic Germans to either East Germany or Siberia reduced Protestantism in the Warsaw Pact countries, although some remain today.
Absence of Protestants however, does not imply a failure of the Reformation. Although Protestants were excommunicated and ended up worshipping in communions separate from Catholics contrary to the original intention of the Reformers, they were suppressed and persecuted in most of Europe at one point; as a result, some of them lived as crypto-Protestants called Nicodemites, contrary to the urging of John Calvin who wanted them to live their faith openly. Some crypto-Protestants have been identified as late as the 19th century after immigrating to Latin America; as a result Reformation impulses continued to affect the Latin Church well past the end of what is considered the Reformation era. The oldest Protestant churches, such as the Unitas Fratrum and Moravian Church, date their origins to Jan Hus in the early 15th century; as it was led by a Bohemian noble majority, recognised, for a time, by the Basel Compacts, the Hussite Reformation was Europe's first "Magisterial Reformation" because the ruling magistrates supported it, unlike the "Radical Reformation", which the state did not support.
Common factors that played a role during the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation included the rise of nationalism, the
Duchy of Thuringia
The Duchy of Thuringia was an eastern frontier march of the Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia, established about 631 by King Dagobert I after his troops had been defeated by the forces of the Slavic confederation of Samo at the Battle of Wogastisburg. It was recreated in the Carolingian Empire and its dukes appointed by the king until it was absorbed by the Saxon dukes in 908. From about 1111/12 the territory was ruled by the Landgraves of Thuringia as Princes of the Holy Roman Empire; the former kingdom of the Thuringii arose during the Migration Period after the decline of the Hunnic Empire in Central Europe in the mid 5th century, culminating in their defeat in the 454 Battle of Nedao. With Bisinus a first Thuringian king is documented about 500, who ruled over extended estates that stretched beyond the Main River in the south, his son and successor Hermanafrid married Amalaberga, a niece of the Ostrogoth king Theoderic the Great, thereby hedging the threat of incursions by the Merovingian Franks in the west.
However, when King Theoderic died in 526, they took the occasion to invade the Thuringian lands and carried off the victory in a 531 battle on the Unstrut River. King Theuderic of Rheims had Hermanafrid trapped in Zülpich where the last Thuringian king was killed, his niece Princess Radegund was kidnapped by King Chlothar I and died in exile in 586. The Thuringian realm was shattered: the territory north of the Harz mountain range was settled by Saxon tribes, while the Franks moved into the southern parts on the Main River; the estates east of the Saale River were beyond Frankish control and taken over by Polabian Slavs. The first documented duke of remaining Thuringia was a local noble named Radulf, installed by King Dagobert in the early 630s. Radulf was able to secure the Frankish border along the Saale River in the east from Slavic incursions. However, according to the Chronicle of Fredegar, in 641/2 his victories "turned his head" and he allied with Samo and rebelled against Dagobert's successor, King Sigebert III going so far as to declare himself king of Thuringia.
A punitive expedition led by the Frankish Mayor of the Palace Grimoald failed and Radulf was able to maintain his semi-autonomous position. His successors of the local ducal dynasty, the Hedenen, supported missionary activity within the duchy, but seem to have lost their hold on Thuringia after the rise of the Pippinids in the early eighth century. A conflict with Charles Martel around 717–19 brought an end to autonomy. In 849, the eastern part of Thuringia was organised as the limes Sorabicus, or Sorbian March, placed under a duke named Thachulf. In the Annals of Fulda his title is dux Sorabici limitis, "duke of the Sorbian frontier", but he and his successors were known as duces Thuringorum, "dukes of the Thuringians", as they set about establishing their power over the old duchy. After Thachulf's death in 873, the Sorbs rose in revolt and he was succeeded by his son Radulf. In 880, King Louis replaced Radulf with Poppo a kinsman. Poppo instigated a war with Saxony in 882 and in 883 he and his brother Egino fought a civil war for control of Thuringia, in which the latter was victorious.
Egino died in 886 and Poppo resumed command. In 892, King Arnulf replaced Poppo with Conrad; this was an act of patronage by the king, for Conrad's house, the Conradines, were soon feuding with Poppo's, the Babenbergs. But Conrad's rule was short because he had a lack of local support, he was replaced by Burchard, whose title in 903 was marchio Thuringionum, "margrave of the Thuringians". Burchard had to defend Thuringia from the incursions of the Magyars and was defeated and killed in battle, along with the former duke Egino, on 3 August 908, he was the last recorded duke of Thuringia. The duchy was the smallest of the so-called "younger stem duchies", was absorbed by Saxony after Burchard's death, when Burchard's sons were expelled by Duke Henry the Fowler in 913; the Thuringians remained a distinct people, in the Middle Ages their land was organised as a landgraviate. A separate Thuringian stem duchy did not exist during the emergence of the German kingdom from East Francia in the 10th century.
Large parts of the Thuringian estates were controlled by the Counts of Weimar and the Margraves of Meissen. According to the medieval chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg, Margrave Eckard I was appointed Thuringian duke. After his assassination 1002, Count William II of Weimar acted as Thuringian spokesman with King Henry II of Germany. In 1111/12 Count Herman I of Winzenburg is documented as a Thuringian landgrave, the first mention of a secession from Saxony, however, he had to yield as he sided with the Papacy during the Investiture Controversy. Meanwhile, the Franconian aristocrat Louis the Springer laid the foundations for the erection of Wartburg Castle, which became the residence of his descendants who, beginning with his son Louis I, served as Thuringian landgraves. Louis I had married the Rhenish Franconian countess Hedwig of Gudensberg and became the heir of extended estates in Thuringia and Hesse. A close ally of King Lothair II of Germany against the rising Hohenstaufen dynasty, he was appointed Landgrave of Thuringia in 1131.
The dynasty maintained the landgraviate throughout the fierce struggle of the Hohenstaufen and Welf royal families switching sides according to the circumstances. Beside the Wartburg, the Ludowingian landgraves had further lavish residences erected, like Neuenburg Castle near Freyburg, Marburg Castle in their Hessian estates. In the "Golden Age" under Hohenstaufen rule, Thuringia became a centre of Middle High German culture, epitomized by the legendary Sängerkrieg at the Wartburg, or the ministry of Saint Elizabeth, the daughter
The Thuringian Forest, is a mountain range in the southern parts of the German state of Thuringia, running northwest to southeast between the valley of the river Werra near Eisenach and the Thuringian-Vogtlandian Slate Mountains. The geographical boundary with the latter range follows a line from Gehren via Großbreitenbach to Schönbrunn near Schleusingen, defined by the rivers Schleuse and Neubrunn on the southwestern slope, Talwasser, Wohlrose and Möhre on the northeastern slope; the Thuringian Forest forms a continuous chain of ancient rounded mountains with steep slopes to both sides and poses ample difficulties in transit routing save through a few navigable passes. It is 20 km wide; the highest elevation is Großer Beerberg at 982 m a.s.l. The Rennsteig is an ancient path connecting the summits, it is now a famous hiking path and marks the traditional boundary between the hills-dominated terrain of central Germany and the more rugged terrain characteristic of southern Germany, the boundary between the cultural regions of central and north Thuringia and Franconia.
Dialects and traditional customs and costumes are different on either side of the Rennsteig. The Rennsteig is the subject of the unofficial hymn of Thuringia. Motorway A 4 passes north of the Thuringian Forest, while A 71, intersecting the former south of Erfurt, crosses the range from the northeast to the southwest, passes under the ridge in the Rennsteig Tunnel near Oberhof, is joined near Suhl by A 73. Two more long-distance roads, Bundesstraßen 19 and 84, pass over the western parts of the range, while Bundesstraße 88 skirts the northern foothills between Eisenach and Geraberg; the Neudietendorf–Ritschenhausen railway crosses the Thuringian Forest in Brandleite Tunnel between Gehlberg and Oberhof, the Werra Railway between Eisenach and Eisfeld does so in a tunnel near Förtha. Both are in daily operation. A third line, the southern section of the Plaue–Themar railway, does not use a tunnel, but crosses the mountain ridge at Rennsteig switchback station, it has only been used by museum trains since 1998.
The Nuremberg–Erfurt high-speed railway, due to be commissioned in December 2017, crosses the Thuringian Forest with the help of several tunnels and bridges. Thüringerwaldbahn, a cross-country line of the Gotha tramway network, serves the northern foothills of the Thuringian Forest between Gotha and Bad Tabarz, including a branch to Waltershausen. Geologically, the Thuringian Forest is defined by a belt of uplifted and deformed metamorphic and igneous rock that divides the flat sedimentary plains of the Thüringer Becken from similar rock formations in the valley of the Werra, it consists of a large fault block in hercynian orientation, which consists from sandstones and conglomerates of Rotliegend age in its western parts, followed by granites and gneisses of the Ruhlaer Kristallin formation of early paleozoic origin which were uplifted in the Rotliegend era, the conglomerates and abundant volcanic rocks of the Oberhof trough. Ore deposits associated with the upthrust of the range have been of significant historical importance in the development of the region, for example, the metalworking tradition in Suhl and the mining history of Ilmenau.
The uplift of the horst-like fault block was part of the Saxonian tectonic processes and is understood as a long range effect of the Alpine orogeny. It ended in the late Tertiary after about 40 million years. Thuringian forest is surrounded on three sides by triassic rocks: the Thuringian Basin in the northeast, the Hesse Highlands in the west, the northeastern parts of the South German Scarplands in the south, by the Variscan rocks of the Thuringian Highland towards the east; the geological borders differ from the geographical ones insofar, as the Rotliegend rock of the Thuringian forest finds its continuation in the Masserberg and Crock block in Hildburghausen district, southeast of the main range, the rock types of the Thuringian Highland are found in the Schleuse horst between Schönbrunn reservoir and Schönau, in the Vesser complex near Schmiedefeld, an island of Variscan rocks embedded in Rotliegend. While the near-surface rocks of the Thuringian Highland comprise the folded Variscan basement, the oldest unfolded overlying strata of this basement are exposed in the Thuringian forest.
Common to both ranges, but to other low mountain ranges in Central Europe uplifted at the same time, are the bordering Zechstein deposits which contain Bryozoa reefs. These stretch wide on the northwestern edge of the Thuringian forest, where the landscape park of Altenstein Palace is located on one of the largest Zechstein reefs in Germany; the Eisenach trough is part of the much larger Werra basin, which in turn is part of the Saar-Unstrut depression of early Permian origin. It was uplifted as one of the fault blocks in the Saxonian tectonic era and is filled with Variscan molasses, named Eisenach formation after the location, it consists of monotonous sequences of reddish conglomerates representing a proximal alluvial fan which originated in debris flows from the Ruhla anticline. Dated in the upper Rotliegend, the Eisenach formation consists of some of the youngest geological units in the Thuringian forest; the lack of volcanic rocks suggests that at the time of the deposition of the Eisenach formation, no significant tectonic prosesses took place in the Werra basin, by a consolidated depositional environment.
In the Ruhla anticline the basement rocks
Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia
Henry Raspe succeeded his nephew Hermann II as Landgrave of Thuringia in central Germany in 1241. In 1226, Henry's brother Louis IV, Landgrave of Thuringia, died en route to the Sixth Crusade, Henry became regent for his under-age nephew Hermann II, Landgrave of Thuringia, he managed to expel his nephew and the boy's young mother, St. Elisabeth of Hungary, from the line of succession and ca. 1231 formally succeeded his brother as landgrave. In 1242 Henry, together with King Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, was selected by Emperor Frederick II to be administrator of Germany for Frederick's under-age son Conrad. After the papal ban on Frederick imposed by Pope Innocent IV in 1245, Raspe changed sides, on 22 May 1246 he was elected anti-king in opposition to Conrad; the strong papal prodding that led to his election earned Raspe the derogatory moniker of "Pfaffenkönig". Henry defeated Conrad in the Battle of Nidda in southern Hesse in August 1246, laid siege to Ulm and Reutlingen. Having suffered a mortal wound, he died February 1247 in Wartburg Castle near Eisenach in Thuringia.
In 1228, he married the daughter of Albert II, Margrave of Brandenburg. After her death, he married the daughter of Leopold VI, Duke of Austria. After her death, he married the daughter of Henry II, Duke of Brabant. All three of his marriages were childless. After his death, the Emperor enfeoffed Thuringia to the son of his sister Jutta. Cox, Eugene L.. The Eagles of Savoy. Princeton University Press. Knodler, Julia. "Germany:Narrative". The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology. Vol. 1. Oxford University Press. Rasmussen, Ann Marie. Mothers and Daughters in Medieval German Literature. Syracuse University Press. Stubbs, William. Germany in the Later Middle Ages, 1200-1500. Longmans, Green and Co. Van Cleve, Thomas C.. "The Crusade of Frederick II". In Wolff, Robert Lee. A History of the Crusades. Vol. II; the University of Wisconsin Press
Francia called the Kingdom of the Franks, or Frankish Empire was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during the Early Middle Ages, it is the predecessor of the modern states of Germany. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843; the core Frankish territories inside the former Western Roman Empire were close to the Rhine and Maas rivers in the north. After a period where small kingdoms inter-acted with the remaining Gallo-Roman institutions to their south, a single kingdom uniting them was founded by Clovis I, crowned King of the Franks in 496, his dynasty, the Merovingian dynasty, was replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short and Louis the Pious—father, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century, by this point dubbed as the Carolingian Empire.
During the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties the Frankish realm was one large kingdom polity subdivided into several smaller kingdoms effectively independent. The geography and number of subkingdoms varied over time, but a basic split between eastern and western domains persisted; the eastern kingdom was called Austrasia, centred on the Rhine and Meuse, expanding eastwards into central Europe. It evolved into the Holy Roman Empire; the western kingdom Neustria was founded in Northern Roman Gaul, as the original kingdom of the Merovingians it came over time to be referred to as Francia, now France, although in other contexts western Europe could still be described as "Frankish". In Germany there are prominent other places named after the Franks such as the region of Franconia, the city of Frankfurt, Frankenstein Castle; the Franks emerged in the 3rd century as a term covering Germanic tribes living on the northern Rhine frontier of the Roman Empire, including the Bructeri, Chamavi and Salians.
While all of them had a tradition of participating in the Roman military, the Salians were allowed to settle within the Roman Empire. In 357, having been living in the civitis of Batavia for some time, Emperor Julian, who forced the Chamavi back out of the empire at the same time, allowed the Salians to settle further away from the border, in Toxandria; some of the early Frankish leaders, such as Flavius Bauto and Arbogast, were committed to the cause of the Romans, but other Frankish rulers, such as Mallobaudes, were active on Roman soil for other reasons. After the fall of Arbogastes, his son Arigius succeeded in establishing a hereditary countship at Trier and after the fall of the usurper Constantine III some Franks supported the usurper Jovinus. Jovinus was dead by 413, but the Romans found it difficult to manage the Franks within their borders; the Frankish king Theudemer was executed by the sword, in c. 422. Around 428, the king Chlodio, whose kingdom may have been in the civitas Tungrorum, launched an attack on Roman territory and extended his realm as far as Camaracum and the Somme.
Though Sidonius Apollinaris relates that Flavius Aetius defeated a wedding party of his people, this period marks the beginning of a situation that would endure for many centuries: the Germanic Franks ruled over an increasing number of Gallo-Roman subjects. The Merovingians, reputed to be relatives of Chlodio, arose from within the Gallo-Roman military, with Childeric and his son Clovis being called "King of the Franks" in the Gallo-Roman military before having any Frankish territorial kingdom. Once Clovis defeated his Roman competitor for power in northern Gaul, Syagrius, he turned to the kings of the Franks to the north and east, as well as other post-Roman kingdoms existing in Gaul: Visigoths and Alemanni; the original core territory of the Frankish kingdom came to be known as Austrasia, while the large Romanised Frankish kingdom in northern Gaul came to be known as Neustria. Chlodio's successors are obscure figures, but what can be certain is that Childeric I his grandson, ruled a Salian kingdom from Tournai as a foederatus of the Romans.
Childeric is chiefly important to history for bequeathing the Franks to his son Clovis, who began an effort to extend his authority over the other Frankish tribes and to expand their territorium south and west into Gaul. Clovis converted to Christianity and put himself on good terms with the powerful Church and with his Gallo-Roman subjects. In a thirty-year reign Clovis defeated the Roman general Syagrius and conquered the Kingdom of Soissons, defeated the Alemanni and established Frankish hegemony over them. Clovis defeated the Visigoths and conquered all of their territory north of the Pyrenees save Septimania, conquered the Bretons and made them vassals of Francia, he conquered most or all of the neighbouring Frankish tribes along the Rhine and incorporated them into his kingdom. He incorporated the various Roman military settlements scattered over Gaul: the Saxons of Bessin, the Britons and the Alans of Armorica and Loire valley or the Taifals of Poitou to name a few prominent ones. By the end of his life, Clovis ruled all of Gaul save the Gothic province of Septimania and the Burgundian kingdom in the southeast.
The Merovingians were a hereditary monarchy. The Frankish kings adhered to th
Matthäus Merian der Ältere was a Swiss-born engraver who worked in Frankfurt for most of his career, where he ran a publishing house. He was a member of the patrician Basel Merian family. Born in Basel, Merian learned the art of copperplate engraving in Zürich, he next worked and studied in Strasbourg and Paris, before returning to Basel in 1615. The following year he moved to Oppenheim, Germany where he worked for the publisher Johann Theodor de Bry, the son of renowned engraver and traveler Theodor de Bry. In 1617, Merian married Maria Magdalena de Bry, daughter of the publisher, was for a time associated with the de Bry publishing house. In 1620, when Oppenheim was destroyed by fire during the Spanish occupation, they moved back to Basel, but three years returned to Germany, this time to Frankfurt, they had three sons, including Matthäus Merian the Younger. Maria Magdalena de Bry died in the following year Matthäus married Johanna Catharina Hein. Five years Matthäus died, leaving his wife with two small children, Anna Maria Sibylla Merian who became a pioneering naturalist and illustrator and a son, who died before his third birthday.
In 1623 Merian took over the publishing house of his father-in-law after de Bry's death. In 1626 he could henceforth work as an independent publisher, he spent most of his working life in Frankfurt. Early in his life, he had created detailed town plans in his unique style, e.g. a plan of Basel and a plan of Paris. With Martin Zeiler, a German geographer, with his own son, Matthäus Merian, he produced a series of Topographia; the 21-volume set was collectively known as the Topographia Germaniae. It includes numerous town plans and views, as well as maps of most countries and a World Map—it was such a popular work that it was re-issued in many editions, he took over and completed the parts and editions of the Grand Voyages and Petits Voyages started by de Bry in 1590. Merian's work inspired the Suecia Hodierna by Erik Dahlberg; the German travel magazine Merian is named after him. He was noted for the finesse of his alchemical illustrations, in books such as the Musaeum Hermeticum and Atalanta Fugiens.
Matthäus Merian died after several years of illness in 1650 near Wiesbaden. After his death, his sons Matthäus Caspar took over the publishing house, they continued publishing the Topographia Germaniae and the Theatrum Europaeum under the name Merian Erben. Topographia Galliae Lucas Heinrich Wüthrich: Das druckgraphische Werk von Matthäus Merian d.Ä.. Vol.1 and 2: Basel 1966, vol.3 Hamburg 1993, vol.4: Hamburg 1996. Catalog zu Ausstellungen im Museum für Kunsthandwerk Franckfurt am Mayn und im Kunstmuseum Basel als unsterblich Ehren-Gedächtnis zum 400. Geburtstag des hochberühmten Delineatoris, Incisoris et Editoris Matthaeus Merian des Aelteren. Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt am Main 1993, ISBN 3-88270-065-3. Ulrike Valeria Fuss: Matthaeus Merian der Ältere. Von der lieblichen Landschaft zum Kriegsschauplatz – Landschaft als Kulisse des 30jährigen Krieges. Frankfurt am Main, 2000, ISBN 3-631-35558-0. Jörg Diefenbacher: Die Schwalbacher Reise. Mannheim 2002, ISBN 3-00-008209-3. Ulrike Valeria Fuss: Momentaufnahme und Monumentalansicht.
Ein Vergleich zwischen Valentin Wagner und Matthäus Merian d. Ä. In: Valentin Wagner: Ein Zeichner im Dreißigjährigen Krieg. Aufsätze und Werkkatalog. Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-921254-92-2. Lucas Heinrich Wüthrich: Matthaeus Merian d. Ä. Eine Biographie. Hoffmann und Campe, Hamburg 2007 Götz J. Pfeiffer: Bild-Zeitung und Moral-Büchlein - der Dreissigjährige Krieg in Druckgraphiken von Matthäus Merian und Abraham Hogenberg, Jacques Callot und Hans Ulrich Franck, in: Der Dreissigjährige Krieg in Hanau und Umgebung, hrsg. vom Hanauer Geschichtsverein, Hanau, 2011, pp. 255–275. Media related to Matthäus Merian at Wikimedia Commons Pictures and texts of Topographia Helvetiae, Rhaetiae et Valesiae by Matthäus Merian can be found in the database VIATIMAGES. Works by Matthäus Merian, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa America noviter delineata, 1633 map by Matthäus Merian, Portal to Texas History, University of Texas Merian maps and engravings