Holy Roman Empire

CKM 2018-19 / Aziz Yardımlı


“Holy” Roman Empire
“Not to be confused with Roman Empire or Western Roman Empire.” (W)

Frankish Empire 481 to 814

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  Frankish Empire (Francia) (481-843)

W: “... the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe.”

Wikipedia’nın bu makalesinin editörleri Roma İmparatorluğunun 1453’e dek sürdüğünü unutmaktadırlar.

“Barbar krallık” terimi ise bir oxymoron olarak görülebilir ve “tiranlık” çok daha uygun bir terim olacaktır.

🗺️ Frankish Empire

Frankish Empire (W)

Francia and neighbouring Slavic peoples c. 650

, also called the Kingdom of the Franks (Latin: Regnum Francorum), or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. It is the predecessor of the modern states of France and Germany.

After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, and 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 partition of the Frankish kingdom among the four sons of Clovis with Clotildepresiding, Grandes Chroniques de Saint-Denis (Bibliothèque municipale de Toulouse).

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 who was crowned King of the Franks in 496. His dynasty, the Merovingian dynasty, was eventually replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short, Charlemagne, and Louis the Pious — father, son, 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, often 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 initially called Austrasia, centred on the Rhine and Meuse, and expanding eastwards into central Europe. It evolved into a German kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire. The western kingdom Neustria was founded in Northern Roman Gaul, and 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 generally 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, and 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, Ampsivarii, Chamavi, Chattuarii 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 already been living in the civitas 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 (411). Jovinus was dead by 413, but the Romans found it increasingly 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 (with its capital in Tongeren), launched an attack on Roman territory and extended his realm as far as Camaracum (Cambrai) and the Somme. Though Sidonius Apollinaris relates that Flavius Aetius defeated a wedding party of his people (c. 431), 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, even 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 already existing in Gaul: Visigoths, Burgundians, and Alemanni.

The original core territory of the Frankish kingdom later came to be known as Austrasia (the "eastern lands"), while the large Romanised Frankish kingdom in northern Gaul came to be known as Neustria.


The different Frankish tribes, such as the Salii, Ripuarii, and Chamavi, had different legal traditions, which were only lately codified, largely under Charlemagne. The Leges Salica, Ribuaria, and Chamavorum were Carolingian creations, their basis in earlier Frankish reality being difficult for scholars to discern at the present distance. Under Charlemagne codifications were also made of the Saxon law and the Frisian law.

It was also under Frankish hegemony that the other Germanic societies east of the Rhine began to codify their tribal law, in such compilations as the Lex Alamannorum and Lex Bajuvariorum for the Alemanni and Bavarii respectively. Throughout the Frankish kingdoms there continued to be Gallo-Romans subject to Roman law and clergy subject to canon law. After the Frankish conquest of Septimania and Catalonia, those regions which had formerly been under Gothic control continued to utilise the Visigothic law code.

During the early period Frankish law was preserved by the rachimburgs, officials trained to remember it and pass it on. The Merovingians adopted the capitulary as a tool for the promulgation and preservation of royal ordinances. Its usage was to continue under the Carolingians and even the later Spoletan emperors Guy and Lambert under a programme of renovation regni Francorum ("renewal of the Frankish kingdom").

The last Merovingian capitulary was one of the most significant: the edict of Paris, issued by Chlothar II in 614 in the presence of his magnates, had been likened to a Frankish Magna Carta entrenching the rights of the nobility, but in actuality it sought to remove corruption from the judiciary and protect local and regional interests. Even after the last Merovingian capitulary, kings of the dynasty continued to independently exercise some legal powers. Childebert III even found cases against the powerful Arnulfings and became renowned among the people for his justness. But law in Francia was to experience a renaissance under the Carolingians.

Among the legal reforms adopted by Charlemagne were the codifications of traditional law mentioned above. He also sought to place checks on the power of local and regional judiciaries by the method of appointing missi dominici in pairs to oversee specific regions for short periods of time. Usually missi were selected from outside their respective regions in order to prevent conflicts of interest. A capitulary of 802 gives insight into their duties. They were to execute justice, enforce respect for the royal rights, control the administration of the counts and dukes (then still royal appointees), receive the oath of allegiance, and supervise the clergy.


The Frankish Church grew out of the Church in Gaul in the Merovingian period, which was given a particularly Germanic development in a number of "Frankish synods" throughout the 6th and 7th centuries, and with the Carolingian Renaissance, the Frankish Church became a substantial influence of the medieval Western Church.

In the 7th century, the territory of the Frankish realm was (re-)Christianized with the help of Irish and Scottish missionaries. The result was the establishment of numerous monasteries, which would become the nucleus of Old High German literacy in the Carolingian Empire. Columbanus was active in the Frankish Empire from 590, establishing monasteries until his death at Bobbio in 615. He arrived on the continent with twelve companions and founded Annegray, Luxeuil, and Fontaines in France and Bobbio in Italy. During the 7th century the disciples of Columbanus and other Scottish and Irish missionaries founded several monasteries or Schottenklöster in what are now France, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland. The Irish influence in these monasteries is reflected in the adoption of Insular style in book production, visible in 8th-century works such as the Gelasian Sacramentary. The Insular influence on the uncial script of the later Merovingian period eventually gave way to the development of the Carolingian minuscule in the 9th century.


The most dramatic change in medieval Gaul was the collapse of trade and town life. While many "towns" existed in the Dark Ages, they were usually only the fortified villages or market-centers surrounding government or religious buildings; many of these towns were descended from Roman cities. There were, however, improvements in agriculture, notably the adoption of a new heavy plough and the growing use of the three-field system.



Franks (W)

The Franks (Latin: Franci or gens Francorum) were a collection of Germanic peoples, whose name was first mentioned in 3rd century Roman sources, associated with tribes on the Lower and Middle Rhine, on the edge of the Roman Empire. Later the term was associated with later Romanized Germanic dynasties within the collapsing Roman Empire, who eventually commanded the whole region between the rivers Loire and Rhine. They then imposed power over many other post-Roman kingdoms and Germanic peoples, and still later they were given recognition by the Catholic Church as successors to the old rulers of the Western Roman Empire.

Although the Frankish name does not appear until the 3rd century, at least some of the original Frankish tribes had long been known to the Romans under their own names, both as allies providing soldiers and as enemies. The new name first appears when the Romans and their allies were losing control of the Rhine region. The Franks were first reported as working together to raid Roman territory, but from the beginning these raids were associated with attacks upon them from outside their frontier area, by the Saxons, for example, and with the desire of frontier tribes to move into Roman territory with which they had had centuries of close contact.

Frankish peoples inside Rome's frontier on the Rhine river were the Salian Franks who from their first appearance were permitted to live in Roman territory, and the Ripuarian or Rhineland Franks who, after many attempts, eventually conquered the Roman frontier city of Cologne and took control of the left bank of the Rhine. Later, in a period of factional conflict in the 450s and 460s, Childeric I, a Frank, was one of several military leaders commanding Roman forces with various ethnic affiliations in Roman Gaul (roughly modern France). Childeric and his son Clovis I faced competition from the Roman Aegidius as competitor for the "kingship" of the Franks associated with the Roman Loire forces. (According to Gregory of Tours, Aegidius held the kingship of the Franks for 8 years while Childeric was in exile.) This new type of kingship, perhaps inspired by Alaric I, represents the start of the Merovingian dynasty, which succeeded in conquering most of Gaul in the 6th century, as well as establishing its leadership over all the Frankish kingdoms on the Rhine frontier. It was on the basis of this Merovingian empire that the resurgent Carolingians eventually came to be seen as the new Emperors of Western Europe in 800.

Childeric I (437-481) (W)

Childeric I (French: Childéric; Latin: Childericus; reconstructed Frankish: *Hildirīk; c. 437 – 481 AD) was a Frankish leader in the northern part of imperial Roman Gaul and a member of the Merovingian dynasty, described as a King (Latin Rex), both on his Roman-style seal ring, which was buried with him, and in fragmentary later records of his life. He was father of Clovis I, who acquired lordship over all or most Frankish kingdoms, and a significant part of Roman Gaul.

Childeric I, Childericus or Childerich (c. 440-481/482); a Merovingian king of the Salian Franks.
Clovis I (466-511) (W)

Clovis (Latin: Chlodovechus; reconstructed Frankish: *Hlōdowig; c. 466 – 27 November 511) was the first king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a group of royal chieftains to rule by a single king and ensuring that the kingship was passed down to his heirs. He is considered to have been the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Frankish kingdom for the next two centuries.

Clovis is important in the historiography of France as “the first king of what would become France.”

Clovis is also significant due to his conversion to Catholicism in 496 (as opposed to the Arianism of most other Germanic tribes) .

Clovis I, King of the Franks.
Merovingian dynasty (5th century to 751) (W)

The Merovingian dynasty was the ruling family of the Franks from the middle of the 5th century until 751. They first appear as "Kings of the Franks" in the Roman army of northern Gaul. By 509 they had united all the Franks and northern Gaulish Romans under their rule. They conquered most of Gaul, defeating the Visigoths (507) and the Burgundians (534), and also extended their rule into Raetia (537). In Germania, the Alemanni, Bavarii and Saxons accepted their lordship. The Merovingian realm was the largest and most powerful of the states of western Europe following the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

The Merovingian kingdoms at their height.


In the Middle Ages, the term Frank came to be used as a synonym for Western European, as the Carolingian Franks were rulers of most of Western Europe, and established a political order that was the basis of the European ancien regime that only ended with the French revolution. Western Europeans shared their allegiance to the Roman Catholic church and worked as allies in the Crusades beyond Europe in the Levant, where they still referred to themselves and the Principalities they established as Frankish. This has had a lasting impact on names for Western Europeans in many languages.

From the beginning the Frankish kingdoms were politically and legally divided between an eastern Frankish and Germanic part, and the western part that the Merovingians had founded on Roman soil. The eastern Frankish kingdom came to be seen as the new “Holy Roman Empire,” and was from early times occasionally called “Germany.” Within "Frankish" Western Europe itself, it was the original Merovingian or "Salian" Western Frankish kingdom, founded in Roman Gaul and speaking Romance languages, which has continued until today to be referred to as “France” – a name derived directly from the Franks.


📹 The History of the Franks to 768 CE (VİDEO)

📹 The History of the Franks to 768 CE (LINK)

In this video, I look at Frankish history from the fall of the Western Roman frontier to the accession of Charlemagne in 768 CE.


📹 Clovis I — The Germanic Tribal Leader Who Created The Kingdom Of France (VİDEO)

📹 Clovis I — The Germanic Tribal Leader Who Created The Kingdom Of France (LINK)

Clovis I was a Germanic tribal leader who is considered the founder of the medieval kingdom of France. He rose from a relatively minor ruler in northern Gaul to become the most powerful leader in what is now the modern nation of France. Clovis laid the foundation of the Merovingian dynasty the ruled Medieval France for hundreds of years after his death. Through brutal conquest and skilled diplomacy, he is remembered as one of the most powerful rulers in post-Roman Western Europe.


📹 Medieval France — Carolingians to Capetians, 814-1328 CE (VİDEO)

📹 Medieval France — Carolingians to Capetians, 814-1328 CE (LINK)

In this video, I trace the history of medieval France from the collapse of Charlemagne's empire to the rise and reign of the Capetian dynasty.


  Holy Roman Empire (962-1806)
  • “Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu” ne Leo III tarafından, ne de Charlemagne tarafından kuruldu.
  • “Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu” bir exonym olarak etnik Alman tarihçiliği tarafından kuruldu.
  • Ve bu sanal imparatorluğu daha iyi temellendirmek için, Habsburg tarihçileri tarafından “Bizans İmparatorluğu” gibi ikinci bir exonym daha yaratıldı.
  • Sonraki tarihçilerin çoğu “maymun gör, maymun yap” formülü gereği her iki adı da sorgulamaksızın ve düşünmeksizin kullanmaya alıştılar.
  • Bu gelenek bugün de sürmektedir.


  • 800’de Papa Leo III kendisine karşı yer alan bir ayaklanmayı bastıran Charlemagne’a “İmparator” olarak taç giydirdi.

Bizans İÖ altıncı yüzyılda Megaralılar tarafından bilicinin bilmecemsi sözleri üzerine kurulan bir Helenik kent idi ve Roma ile hiçbir ilgisi yoktu.

Etrüskler tarafından kurulduğu düşünülen Ravena kenti 402-476 arasında Roma İmparatorluğunun Batıdaki başkenti idi. Kent daha sonra Ostrogotların ve daha sonra Lombardların eline geçti.


  • 391 — Roma İmparatorluğu Hıristiyanlığı resmi dini olarak kabul etti.
  • 476 — Odoacer Augustulus’u tahttan indirdi.
  İmparatorlar taçlarını kendileri takarlar (Napoleon’un yaptığı gibi). "Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu" söz konusu olduğunda soru böyle bir “imparatorluğun” olup olmadığı değildir. Açıktır ki karanlıktan da karanlık Orta Çağların tam ortasına böyle bir sanal devlet yerleştirmek Germanik etnik duygu için doyum vericidir.
  • “Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu” terimi 13’üncü yüzyıla dek kullanılmadı.
  • 1512 Köln Dietinin bir buyruğu ile ad “Alman Ulusunun Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu” olarak değiştirildi (Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation).


Double-headed eagle with coats of arms of individual states, the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire (painting from 1510). (W)

  • Kutsal Roma “imparatorları” onlardan bağımsız olan prensler tarafından seçim yoluyla belirleniyordu.
  • Böyle ‘tekerk’ gerçekte bir erkler çoğulculuğu ya da ‘çokerklik’ idi.
  • Bu seçim yoluyla gelen “tekerk”in egemenliği bölünebilir ve devredilebilir idi ve sık sık edimsel olarak bölündü ve devredildi.
  • Ve bu ‘olmayan’ ve salt imgelemde türetilen imparatorluk etnik tarihçilik için “a universal monarchy, a “commonwealth of the whole world, whose sublime unity transcended every minor distinction”; and the emperor “was entitled to the obedience of Christendom.” (L)


Althochdeutsche Sprachräume, 962. Linguistic map of Old High German (Alemannic and Bavarian), Old Frankish, Old Saxon and Old Frisian at the time of Otto I, 10th century.

Holy Roman Empire (W)

Holy Roman Empire (W)

The Holy Roman Empire (Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum; German: Heiliges Römisches Reich) 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 also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and 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 generally 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 frequently controlled by dynasties. The mostly German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire, usually elected one of their peers as “King of the Romans,” and he would later be crowned emperor by the Pope; the tradition of papal coronations was discontinued in the 16th century.

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, principalities, duchies, counties, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, and other domains.

The power of the emperor was limited, and while the various princes, lords, bishops, and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they also 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 Ithe month before.


Holy Roman Empire (B)

Holy Roman Empire (B)

Holy Roman Empire, German Heiliges Römisches Reich, Latin Sacrum Romanum Imperium, the varying complex of lands in western and central Europe ruled over first by Frankish and then by German kings for 10 centuries (800-1806).

Nature Of The Empire

The precise term Sacrum Romanum Imperium dates only from 1254, though the term Holy Empire reaches back to 1157, and the term Roman Empire was used from 1034 to denote the lands under Conrad II’s rule.

The term Roman emperor is older, dating from Otto II (died 983). This title, however, was not used by Otto II’s predecessors, from Charlemagne (or Charles I) to Otto I, who simply employed the phrase imperator augustus (“august emperor”) without any territorial adjunct. The first title that Charlemagne is known to have used, immediately after his coronation in 800, is “Charles, most serene Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor, governing the Roman empire.” This clumsy formula, however, was soon discarded.

These questions about terms reveal some of the problems involved in the nature and early history of the empire. It can be regarded as a political institution, or approached from the point of view of political theory, or treated in the context of the history of Christendom as the secular counterpart of a world religion. The history of the empire is also not to be confused or identified with the history of its constituent kingdoms, Germany and Italy, though clearly they are interrelated. The constituent territories retained their identity; the emperors, in addition to the imperial crown, also wore the crowns of their kingdoms. Finally, whereas none of the earlier emperors from Otto I had assumed the imperial title until actually crowned by the pope in Rome, after Charles V none was emperor in this sense, though all laid claim to the imperial dignity as if they had been duly crowned as well as elected. Despite these anomalies and others, the empire, at least in the Middle Ages, was by common assent, along with the papacy, the most important institution of western Europe.

Theologians, lawyers, popes, ecclesiastics, rulers, rebels like Arnold of Brescia and Cola di Rienzo, literary figures like Dante and Petrarch, and the practical men, members of the high nobility, on whom the emperors relied for support, all saw the empire in a different light and had their own ideas of its origin, function, and justification. Among these heterogeneous and often incompatible views, three may be said to predominate:

(1) the papal theory, according to which the empire was the secular arm of the church, set up by the papacy for its own purposes and therefore answerable to the pope and, in the last resort, to be disposed of by him;

(2) the imperial, or Frankish, theory, which placed greater emphasis on conquest and hegemony as the source of the emperor’s power and authority and according to which he was responsible directly to God; and

(3) the popular, or Roman, theory (the “people” at this stage being synonymous with the nobility and in this instance with the Roman nobility), according to which the empire, following the tradition of Roman law, was a delegation of powers by the Roman people.

Of the three theories the last was the least important; it was evidently directed against the pope, whose constitutive role it implicitly denied, but it was also a specifically Italian reaction against the predominance in practice of Frankish and German elements.

It is also important to distinguish between the universalist {!} and localist conceptions of the empire, which have been the source of considerable controversy among historians. According to the former, the empire was a universal monarchy, a “commonwealth of the whole world, {!} whose sublime unity transcended every minor distinction”; and the emperor “was entitled to the obedience of Christendom.” According to the latter, the emperor had no ambition for universal dominion; his policy was limited in the same way as that of every other ruler, and when he made more far-reaching claims his object was normally to ward off the attacks either of the pope or of the Byzantine emperor. According to this view, also, the origin of the empire is to be explained by specific local circumstances rather than by far-flung theories.


📹 The Holy Roman Empire — 846-1871

📹 The Holy Roman Empire (1) — 846-1647 (LINK)

📹 The Holy Roman Empire (2) — 1648-1871 (LINK)


The Kingdom of East Francia was created in 843 as a partition of the Frankish Empire and result of the Treaty of Verdun.

Through Crusades, conquests, and inheritance, it expanded significantly thought the next 200 years, becoming the Holy Roman Empire in 962 after the conquest of Rome.

After this point, the Empire began to divide to the point where it was more of the union than a state, allowing foreign powers to control large swaths of imperial territory. It shrank to the benefit of France during the Renaissance, whilst other states, such as the Netherlands and Switzerland, broke off in 1648 due to the Peace of Westphalia. As Prussia and Austria became increasingly dominant through the 1700s, it finally came to an end when they were defeat at the hands of Napoleon in 1806. After Napoleon, a similar state was set up, the German Confederation, which would last almost until German Unification in 1871.


Colour = State in the HRE
White = Not in HRE
Colour-Colour = States within the HRE controlled by state outside HRE
Colour-White = Territory outside HRE controlled by state in HRE
Coloured Border = Within a March but not controlled
(States in HRE controlled by other states in HRE are coluored)



📹 Holy Roman Empire — Medieval Europe’s Frankenstein Monster (VİDEO)

📹 Holy Roman Empire — Medieval Europe’s Frankenstein Monster (LINK)

In this video, I look at the Holy Roman Empire, an outgrowth of the Carolingian Empire. I try my best to describe the origins and operations of this mess of a medieval power.


📹 The Holy Roman Empire in the Late Middle Ages — The Rise of the Habsburgs (VİDEO)

📹 The Holy Roman Empire in the Late Middle Ages (LINK)

In this video, I look at the history and constitutional development of the Holy Roman Empire during the Late Middle Ages. The primary purpose for covering this material is to contextualize the discussion that I want to have of the Italian city-states and the national monarchies of England and France.


📹 What if the Holy Roman Empire Reunited Today? (VİDEO)

What if the Holy Roman Empire Reunited Today? (LINK)



📹 Why The Holy Roman Empire Was The WEIRDEST Country Ever? (VİDEO)

Why The Holy Roman Empire Was The WEIRDEST Country Ever? (LINK)

The Holy Roman Empire is not only an ironic concept, it's also weirdly complicated. Learn how many titles the rulers needed to see how cool they were trying to be or why the Emperor's rule was only semi-optional.


📹 What Were the 1st and 2nd Reichs? (VİDEO)

📹 What Were the 1st and 2nd Reichs? (LINK)

We've all heard of the third, but what were the first and second reichs in German history? In this video, we explain that, and more.


  Carolingian Forerunners
  • Wikipedia metnine göre, 800’de Papa III. Leo’nun Charlemagne’ı “imparatorluğa” atamasından sonra “there were two Roman Emperors.”
  • Böylece bu hanedanın papalık onaylı tekerkleri (“Pepin the Short,” “Charles the Fat,” “Charles the Bald,” “Louis the Child”) dünya-tarihsel figürler oldular ve Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius gibi Roma imparatorlarının yarım bıraktıkları işi sürdürdüler.
  • “Kutsal Roma İmparatorları” Roma İmparatorluğunun kendisinin sürmekte olduğunu anlamada güçlük çekiyorlar ve bu nedenle kendilerini varolan bir imparatorluğun ardılları olarak görüyorlardı (imperator Romanorum).
  • Bu “imparatorlar”ın güçsüzlüğü, böyle tekerklerin erksizliği sonunda fiziksel güç üzerine dayanan feodalizmin kökleşmesine götürdü.
  • Etik hiçbir karakteri olmayan “Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu” altında ancak feodalizm ve ona uyarlanmış bir ‘Hıristiyanlık’ türü gelişebilirdi.
  • İnançsız papaları ile Roma Katolik Kilisesi, Haçlı Seferleri, Engizisyon ve daha başka sayısız anomali “Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğunun” ve Germanik “ortaçağ rönesanslarının” gerçek karakterinin belgeleridir.
  • Avrupa bu sonsuz yalandan bu sonsuz moral düşüklüğe bir tepki olarak doğan Reformasyon ile kurtulmaya başladı.

📹 The Carolingian Empire — Disintegration and Division, 814-1000 CE (VİDEO)

📹 The Carolingian Empire — Disintegration and Division, 814-1000 CE (LINK)

The Carolingian Empire established by Charlemagne aspired to be a resurrected Western Roman Empire, but was unable to sustain its unity and had fragmented by about 850. In this video, I explore why this empire fell apart and how this empire's collapse set the stage for the rise of France and the Holy Roman Empire.


Holy Roman Empire (Carolingian forerunners)

Holy Roman Empire (Carolingian forerunners) (W)

Carolingian forerunners

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, however, 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 [the Short] became King of the Franks, and later gained the sanction of the Pope. The Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy.


The Holy Roman Empire between 972 and 1032


In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm. He eventually incorporated the territories of present-day France, Germany, northern Italy, and 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 Leo III sought a new candidate for the dignity. Charlemagne's good service to the Church in his defense of Papal possessions against the Lombards made him the ideal candidate. 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. In 802, Irene was overthrown by Nikephoros I and henceforth there were two Roman Emperors. {!}

After Charlemagne died in 814, the imperial crown passed to his son, Louis the Pious. Upon Louis' death in 840, it passed to his son Lothair, who had been his co-ruler. By this point the territory of Charlemagne had been divided into several territories, and over the course of the later ninth century the title of Emperor was disputed by the Carolingian rulers of Western Francia and Eastern Francia, with first the western king (Charles the Bald) and then the eastern (Charles the Fat), who briefly reunited the Empire, attaining the prize.

After the death of Charles the Fat in 888, however, the Carolingian Empire broke apart, and was never restored. 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 (Franconia, Bavaria, Swabia, Saxony, and Lotharingia) reemerged in East Francia. After the Carolingian king Louis the Child died without issue in 911, East Francia did not turn to the Carolingian ruler of West Francia to take over the realm but instead elected one of the dukes, Conrad of Franconia, as Rex Francorum Orientalium. On his deathbed, Conrad yielded the crown to his main rival, Henry the Fowler of Saxony (r. 919–36), 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 (or Ottonian) dynasty, would continue to rule the Eastern kingdom for roughly a century. Upon Henry the Fowler's death, Otto, his son and designated successor, was elected King in Aachen in 936. He overcame a series of revolts from a younger brother and from several dukes. After that, the king managed to control the appointment of dukes and often also employed bishops in administrative affairs.

In 951, Otto came to the aid of Adelaide, the widowed queen of Italy, defeating her enemies, marrying her, and taking control over Italy. In 955, Otto won a decisive victory over the Magyars in the Battle of Lechfeld. In 962, Otto was crowned Emperor by Pope John XII, thus intertwining the affairs of the German kingdom with those of Italy and the Papacy. Otto’s coronation as Emperor marked the German kings as successors to the Empire of Charlemagne, which through the concept of translatio imperii, also made them consider themselves as successors to Ancient Rome.

The kingdom had no permanent capital city. Kings traveled between residences (called Kaiserpfalz) to discharge affairs. However, each king preferred certain places; in Otto’s case, this was the city of Magdeburg. Kingship continued to be transferred by election, but Kings often ensured their own sons were elected during their lifetimes, enabling them to keep the crown for their families. This only changed after the end of the Salian dynasty in the 12th century.

In 963, Otto deposed the current Pope John XII and chose Pope Leo VIII as the new pope (although John XII and Leo VIII both claimed the papacy until 964 when John XII died). This also renewed the conflict with the Eastern Emperor in Constantinople, especially after Otto's son Otto II (r. 967-83) adopted the designation imperator Romanorum. Still, Otto II formed marital ties with the east when he married the Byzantine princess Theophanu. Their son, Otto III, came to the throne only three years old, and was subjected to a power struggle and series of regencies until his age of majority in 994. Up to that time, he had remained in Germany, while a deposed Duke, Crescentius II, ruled over Rome and part of Italy, ostensibly in his stead.

In 996 Otto III appointed his cousin Gregory V the first German Pope. A foreign pope and foreign papal officers were seen with suspicion by Roman nobles, who were led by Crescentius II to revolt. Otto III's former mentor Antipope John XVI briefly held Rome, until the Holy Roman Emperor seized the city.

Otto died young in 1002, and was succeeded by his cousin Henry II, who focused on Germany.

Henry II died in 1024 and Conrad II, first of the Salian Dynasty, was elected king only after some debate among dukes and nobles. This group eventually developed into the college of Electors.

The Holy Roman Empire became eventually composed of four kingdoms. The kingdoms were:



Holy Roman Empire under Hohenstaufen dynasty (1138-1254)

Holy Roman Empire under Hohenstaufen dynasty (1138-1254) (W)

When the Salian dynasty ended with Henry V's death in 1125, the princes chose not to elect the next of kin, but rather Lothair, the moderately powerful but already old Duke of Saxony. When he died in 1137, the princes again aimed to check royal power; accordingly they did not elect Lothair's favoured heir, his son-in-law Henry the Proud of the Welf family, but Conrad III of the Hohenstaufen family, the grandson of Emperor Henry IV and thus a nephew of Emperor Henry V. This led to over a century of strife between the two houses. Conrad ousted the Welfs from their possessions, but after his death in 1152, his nephew Frederick I "Barbarossa" succeeded him and made peace with the Welfs, restoring his cousin Henry the Lion to his – albeit diminished – possessions.


Holy Roman Empire under Hohenstaufen dynasty

The Hohenstaufen-ruled Holy Roman Empire and Kingdom of Sicily. Imperial and directly held Hohenstaufen lands in the Empire are shown in bright yellow.

The Hohenstaufen (also known as Staufer, were a dynasty of German kings (1138-1254) during the Middle Ages. Before ascending to the kingship, they were Dukes of Swabia from 1079. As kings of Germany, they had a claim to Italy, Burgundy and the Holy Roman Empire. Three members of the dynasty — Frederick I (1155), Henry VI (1191) and Frederick II(1220) — were crowned emperor. Besides Germany, they also ruled the Kingdom of Sicily (1194-1268) and the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1225-1268).


The Hohenstaufen rulers increasingly lent land to ministerialia, formerly non-free servicemen, who Frederick hoped would be more reliable than dukes. Initially used mainly for war services, this new class of people would form the basis for the later knights, another basis of imperial power. A further important constitutional move at Roncaglia was the establishment of a new peace mechanism for the entire empire, the Landfrieden, with the first imperial one being issued in 1103 under Henry IV at Mainz. This was an attempt to abolish private feuds, between the many dukes and other people, and to tie the Emperor's subordinates to a legal system of jurisdiction and public prosecution of criminal acts – a predecessor of the modern concept of “rule of law.” Another new concept of the time was the systematic foundation of new cities by the Emperor and by the local dukes. These were partly caused by the explosion in population, and they also concentrated economic power at strategic locations. Before this, cities had only existed in the form of old Roman foundations or older bishoprics. Cities that were founded in the 12th century include Freiburg, possibly the economic model for many later cities, and Munich.

Frederick I, also called Frederick Barbarossa, was crowned Emperor in 1155. He emphasized the “Romanness” of the empire, partly in an attempt to justify the power of the Emperor independent of the (now strengthened) Pope. An imperial assembly at the fields of Roncaglia in 1158 reclaimed imperial rights in reference to Justinian's Corpus Juris Civilis. Imperial rights had been referred to as regalia since the Investiture Controversy but were enumerated for the first time at Roncaglia. This comprehensive list included public roads, tariffs, coining, collecting punitive fees, and the investiture or seating and unseating of office holders. These rights were now explicitly rooted in Roman Law, a far-reaching constitutional act.

Holy Roman Empire under Hohenstaufen dynasty

The Hohenstaufen-ruled Holy Roman Empire and Kingdom of Sicily. Imperial and directly held Hohenstaufen lands in the Empire are shown in bright yellow.

Frederick's policies were primarily directed at Italy, where he clashed with the increasingly wealthy and free-minded cities of the north, especially Milan. He also embroiled himself in another conflict with the Papacy by supporting a candidate elected by a minority against Pope Alexander III (1159-81). Frederick supported a succession of antipopes before finally making peace with Alexander in 1177.

In Germany, the Emperor had repeatedly protected Henry the Lion against complaints by rival princes or cities (especially in the cases of Munich and Lübeck). Henry gave only lackluster support to Frederick's policies, and in a critical situation during the Italian wars, Henry refused the Emperor's plea for military support. After returning to Germany, an embittered Frederick opened proceedings against the Duke, resulting in a public ban and the confiscation of all his territories. In 1190, Frederick participated in the Third Crusadeand died in the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia.

During the Hohenstaufen period, German princes facilitated a successful, peaceful eastward settlement of lands that were uninhabited or inhabited sparsely by West Slavs. German speaking farmers, traders, and craftsmen from the western part of the Empire, both Christians and Jews, moved into these areas. The gradual Germanization of these lands was a complex phenomenon that should not be interpreted in the biased terms of 19th-century nationalism. The eastward settlement expanded the influence of the empire to include Pomerania and Silesia, as did the intermarriage of the local, still mostly Slavic, rulers with German spouses. The Teutonic Knights were invited to Prussia by Duke Konrad of Masovia to Christianize the Prussians in 1226. The monastic state of the Teutonic Order(German: Deutschordensstaat) and its later German successor state of Prussia were, however, never part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Under the son and successor of Frederick Barbarossa, Henry VI, the Hohenstaufen dynasty reached its apex. Henry added the Norman kingdom of Sicily to his domains, held English king Richard the Lionheart captive, and aimed to establish a hereditary monarchy when he died in 1197. As his son, Frederick II, though already elected king, was still a small child and living in Sicily, German princes chose to elect an adult king, resulting in the dual election of Frederick Barbarossa's youngest son Philip of Swabia and Henry the Lion's son Otto of Brunswick, who competed for the crown. Otto prevailed for a while after Philip was murdered in a private squabble in 1208 until he began to also claim Sicily.

Pope Innocent III, who feared the threat posed by a union of the empire and Sicily, now supported by Frederick II, who marched to Germany and defeated Otto. After his victory, Frederick did not act upon his promise to keep the two realms separate. Though he had made his son Henry king of Sicily before marching on Germany, he still reserved real political power for himself. This continued after Frederick was crowned Emperor in 1220. Fearing Frederick's concentration of power, the Pope finally excommunicated the Emperor. Another point of contention was the crusade, which Frederick had promised but repeatedly postponed. Now, although excommunicated, Frederick led the Sixth Crusade in 1228, which ended in negotiations and a temporary restoration of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Despite his imperial claims, Frederick's rule was a major turning point towards the disintegration of central rule in the Empire. While concentrated on establishing a modern, centralized state in Sicily, he was mostly absent from Germany and issued far-reaching privileges to Germany's secular and ecclesiastical princes: In the 1220 Confoederatio cum principibus ecclesiasticis, Frederick gave up a number of regalia in favour of the bishops, among them tariffs, coining, and fortification. The 1232 Statutum in favorem principum mostly extended these privileges to secular territories. Although many of these privileges had existed earlier, they were now granted globally, and once and for all, to allow the German princes to maintain order north of the Alps while Frederick concentrated on Italy. The 1232 document marked the first time that the German dukes were called domini terræ, owners of their lands, a remarkable change in terminology as well.


İmparatorsuz İmparatorluk

  • Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu sık sık olmayan tekerkinden de yoksun kaldı. Başka pekçoklarının arasında, en uzun aralar şunlardır:
  • 924 ve 962 (38 yıl),
  • 1245 ve 1312 (67 yıl),
  • 1378 ve 1433 (55 yıl).

Interregnum (Holy Roman Empire)

Interregnum (Holy Roman Empire) (W)

There were many imperial interregna in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, when there was no emperor. Interregna in which there was no emperor-elect (king of the Romans) were rarer. Among the longest periods without an emperor were between 924 and 962 (38 years), between 1245 and 1312 (67 years), and between 1378 and 1433 (55 years). The crisis of government of the Holy Roman Empire and the German kingdom thus lasted throughout the late medieval period,
{N} The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period of European history lasting from 1250 to 1500 AD. The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern period (and in much of Europe, the Renaissance). (W)
and ended only with the rise of the House of Habsburg on the eve of the German Reformation and the Renaissance. The term Great Interregnum is occasionally used for the period between 1250 (death of Frederick II) and 1273 (accession of Rudolf I).
Great Interregnum (1250-1273)

After the deposition of Frederick II by Pope Innocent IV in 1245, Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia was set up as anti-king to Frederick's son Conrad IV (d. 1254). Henry was killed in 1247 and succeeded as anti-king by William of Holland (died 1256). After 1257, the crown was contested between Richard of Cornwall, who was supported by the Guelph party, and Alfonso X of Castile, who was recognized by the Hohenstaufen party but never set foot on German soil. After Richard's death in 1273, Rudolf I of Germany, a minor pro-Staufen count, was elected. He was the first of the Habsburgs to hold a royal title, but he was never crowned emperor. After Rudolf's death in 1291, Adolfand Albert were two further weak kings who were never crowned emperor.

Albert was assassinated in 1308. Almost immediately, King Philip IV of France began aggressively seeking support for his brother, Charles of Valois, to be elected the next King of the Romans. Philip thought he had the backing of the French Pope Clement V (established at Avignon in 1309), and that his prospects of bringing the empire into the orbit of the French royal house were good. He lavishly spread French money in the hope of bribing the German electors. Although Charles of Valois had the backing of Henry, Archbishop of Cologne, a French supporter, many were not keen to see an expansion of French power, least of all Clement V. The principal rival to Charles appeared to be Rudolf, the Count Palatine.

Instead, Henry VII, of the House of Luxembourg, was elected with six votes at Frankfurt on 27 November 1308. Given his background, although he was a vassal of king Philip, Henry was bound by few national ties, an aspect of his suitability as a compromise candidate among the electors, the great territorial magnates who had lived without a crowned emperor for decades, and who were unhappy with both Charles and Rudolf. Henry of Cologne's brother, Baldwin, Archbishop of Trier, won over a number of the electors, including Henry, in exchange for some substantial concessions. Henry VII was crowned king at Aachen on 6 January 1309, and emperor by Pope Clement V on 29 June 1312 in Rome, ending the interregnum.


However, political instability in Germany re-emerged after Henry’s untimely death in 1314. Louis IV was opposed by Frederick the Fair, and later by Charles IV, and Charles IV in turn (briefly) by Günther of Schwarzburg, ruling unopposed only from 1350. His successors Wenceslaus, Rupert and Jobst again were not crowned emperor. Sigismund (r. 1411-1437) was crowned emperor in 1433, but only with Frederick III (r. 1452-1493), the second emperor of the House of Habsburg, did the Holy Roman Emperor return to an unbroken succession of emperors (with the exception of Charles VII all of the House of Habsburg) until its dissolution in 1806.

The crisis of the interregnum established the college of prince-electors as the only source of legitimacy of the German king. At the same time, the lack of central government strengthened the communal movements, such as the Swabian League of Cities, the Hanseatic League and the Swiss Confederacy. It also encouraged increased feuding among the lesser nobility, leading to conflicts such as the Thuringian Counts' War, leading to a general state of near-anarchy in Germany where robber barons acted unopposed by the nominal system of justice. Germany was fractured into countless minor states fending for themselves, a condition that would persist into the modern period and, termed Kleinstaaterei, present an obstacle to the modern project of national unification.

Robber baron (W)

robber baron or robber knight (German Raubritter) was an unscrupulous feudal landowner who, protected by his fief's legal status, imposed high taxes and tolls out of keeping with the norm without authorization by some higher authority. Some resorted to actual banditry.  The German term for robber barons, Raubritter (robber knights) was coined by Friedrich Bottschalk in 1810.

Some robber barons violated the custom under which tolls were collected on the Rhine either by charging higher tolls than the standard or by operating without authority from the Holy Roman Emperor altogether. During the period in the history of the Holy Roman Empire known as the Great Interregnum (1250-1273), the number of such tolling stations exploded in the absence of Imperial authority.

Medieval robber barons most often imposed high or unauthorized tolls on rivers or roads passing through their territory. Some robbed merchants, land travelers, and river traffic — seizing money, cargoes, entire ships, or engaged in kidnapping for ransom.


Tolls were collected from ships sailing on the River Rhine in Europe for one thousand years from around 800 AD to 1800 AD. During this time, various feudal lords (among them archbishops who held fiefs from the Holy Roman Emperor) collected tolls from passing cargo ships to bolster their finances. Only the Holy Roman Emperor could authorise the collection of such tolls. Allowing the nobility and Church to collect tolls from the busy traffic on the Rhine seems to have been an attractive alternative to other means of taxation and funding of government functions.

Often iron chains were stretched across the river to prevent passage without paying the toll, and strategic towers were built to facilitate this.

The Holy Roman Emperor and the various noblemen and archbishops who were authorised to levy tolls seem to have worked out an informal way of regulating this process. Among the decisions involved in managing the collection of tolls on the Rhine were how many toll stations to have, where they should be built, how high the tolls should be, and the advantages/disadvantages. While this decision process was made no less complex by being informal, common factors included the local power structure (archbishops and nobles being the most likely recipients of a charter to collect tolls), space between toll stations (authorized toll stations seem to have been at least five kilometres apart), and ability to be defended from attack (some castles through which tolls were collected were tactically useful until the French invaded in 1689 and levelled them). Tolls were standardized either in terms of an amount of silver coin allowed to be charged or an "in-kind" toll of cargo from the ship.

The men who came to be known as robber barons or robber knights (GermanRaubritter) violated the structure under which tolls were collected on the Rhine either by charging higher tolls than the standard or by operating without authority from the Holy Roman Emperor altogether.

Writers of the period referred to these practices as "unjust tolls," and not only did the robber barons thereby violate the prerogatives of the Holy Roman Emperor, they also went outside of the society's behavioural norms, since merchants were bound both by law and religious custom to charge a "just price" for their wares.


During the period in the history of the Holy Roman Empire known as the Great Interregnum (1250-1273), when there was no Emperor, the number of tolling stations exploded in the absence of imperial authority. In addition, robber barons began to earn their newly coined term of opprobrium by robbing ships of their cargoes, stealing entire ships, and even kidnapping.

In response to this organized, military lawlessness, the "Rheinischer Bund," or Rhine League was formed by 100 Cities, and from several princes and prince-prelates (lords of the Church), all of whom held large stakes in the restoration of law and order to the Rhine.

Officially launched in 1254, the Rhine League wasted no time putting robber barons out of business by the simple expedient of taking and destroying their castles. In the next three years, four robber barons were targeted and between ten and twelve robber castles destroyed or inactivated.

The Rhine League was not only successful in suppressing illicit collection of tolls and river robbery, they also took action against other state aggression. For example, they are documented as having intervened to rescue a victim of abduction by the Baron of Rietberg.

The procedure pioneered by the Rhine League for dealing with robber barons — to besiege, capture and destroy their castles — survived long after the League self-destructed from political strife over the election of a new Emperor and military reversals against unusually strong robber barons.

When the Interregnum ended, the new king Rudolf of Habsburg applied the lessons learned by the Rhine League to the destruction of the highway robbers at Sooneck, torching their castles and hanging them. While robber barony never entirely ceased, especially during the Hundred Years' War, the excesses of their heyday during the Interregnum never recurred.


House of Habsburg (1438-1740)

House of Habsburg (1438-1740) (W)

Holy Roman Empire under Hohenstaufen dynasty

The Habsburg dominions around 1200 in the area of modern-day Switzerland are shown as Habsburg, among the houses of Savoy, Zähringer and Kyburg

The House of Habsburg (traditionally spelled Hapsburg in English), also called the House of Austria (Haus Österreich in German, Casa de Austria in Spanish), was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740. The house also produced emperors and kings of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of England (Jure uxoris King), Kingdom of Germany, Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Illyria, Second Mexican Empire, Kingdom of Ireland (Jure uxoris King), Kingdom of Portugal, and Kingdom of Spain, as well as rulers of several Dutch and Italian principalities.

From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried.

The House takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, by Count Radbot of Klettgau, who chose to name his fortress Habsburg. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the fortress name as his own, adding "Count of Habsburg" to his title. The House of Habsburg gathered dynastic momentum through the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries.

Growth of the Habsburg Empire in Central Europe


By 1276, Count Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph of Habsburg moved the family's power base from Habsburg Castle to the Duchy of Austria. Rudolph became King of Germany in 1273, and the dynasty of the House of Habsburg was truly entrenched in 1276 when Rudolph became ruler of Austria, which the Habsburgs and their descendants ruled until 1918.

A series of dynastic marriages enabled the family to vastly expand its domains to include Burgundy, Spain and its colonial empire, Bohemia, Hungary, and other territories. In the 16th century, the family separated into the senior Habsburg Spain and the junior Habsburg Monarchy branches, who settled their mutual claims in the Oñate treaty.

The House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century. The senior Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 and was replaced by the House of Bourbon. The remaining Austrian branch became extinct in the male line in 1740 with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, and completely in 1780 with the death of his eldest daughter Maria Theresa of Austria. It was succeeded by the Vaudémont branch of the House of Lorraine, descendants of Maria Theresa's marriage to Francis III, Duke of Lorraine. The new successor house styled itself formally as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine (German: Habsburg-Lothringen), and because it was often confusingly still referred to as the House of Habsburg, historians use the unofficial appellation of the Habsburg Monarchy for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1521 and 1780 and then by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918. The Lorraine branch continues to exist to this day and its members use the Habsburg name (example: Otto von Habsburg).

Dominion of the Habsburgs after (1547)

A map of the dominion of the Habsburgs following the Battle of Mühlberg (1547) as depicted in The Cambridge Modern History Atlas (1912); Habsburg lands are shaded green, but do not include the lands of the Holy Roman Empireover which they presided, nor the vast Castilian holdings outside of Europe, particularly in the New World.

The Habsburg Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities, and its industrial base was thin. Its naval resources were so minimal that it did not attempt to build an overseas empire. It did have the advantage of good diplomats, typified by Metternich (1773-1859); they had a grand strategy for survival that kept the empire going despite wars with the Ottomans, Frederick the Great, Napoleon and Bismarck, until the final disaster of the First World War. Along with the Capetian dynasty, it was one of the two most powerful continental European royal families, dominating European politics for nearly five centuries.



  Charlemagne (742-814)

Daha iyisinin yokluğunda, Charlemagne Avrupa’nın Babası (Pater Europae) olarak kabul edilir.
Başka yoksunluklar arasında, moral gelişimi aşağı yukarı bütünüyle yetersizdi. Okuma-yazması yoktu. Hıristiyanlığa döndürmenin aracı olarak kitle-kıyımı yöntemini kullandı.

  • The first title that Charlemagne is known to have used, immediately after his coronation in 800, is “Charles, most serene Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor, governing the Roman empire.”
  • Charlemagne was never called Charlemagne during his lifetime. He was simply Charles. Or more officially, Charles I.
  • He was called the Great within his lifetime and operated hand in hand with the Church. He was, in fact, appointed by Pope Leo III.
  • Before becoming Holy Roman Emperor, Charles had ruled as king of the Franks from 768-814 and king of the Lombards 774-814.
  • He campaigned against the Saxons to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death and leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden.

📹 Charlemagne — An Introduction / 📹 Charlemagne and the Carolingian revival

📹 Charlemagne — An Introduction (LINK)

Brief overview of Charlemagne and his coronation in 800. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
📹 Charlemagne and the Carolingian revival (LINK)

A brief introduction to Charlemagne's military campaigns and the cultural revival that he supported. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.



Pope Leo III crowning Charlemagne as Emperor on Christmas Day.
  Etnik Alman tarihçiliğine göre, “Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu” kutsal-olmayan Roma İmparatorluğunun kendisi sürerken ortaya çıktı ve Batı Avrupa’nın bütün bir karanlık Orta Çağları boyunca en önemli politik kurum oldu.
  • Charlemagne Batı Roma’nın yıkılışından sonraki ‘ilk Avrupalı imparator’ ve aynı zamanda ‘Roma İmparatoru’ idi.
  • Charlemagne gerçekte karanlık Avrupa’yı tanımlayan birincil adlardan biridir.
  • Din ve inanç konusunda herhangi bir bilgisi olmadığı için, Saxonları ölüm cezası gözdağı altında Hırisitiyanlaştırdı.
  • 782’de 4.500 putperest Saxon kabile önderinin öldürülmesi buyruğunu verdi (Verden kitle kıyımı).

Islam and Christendom under Harun al-Rashid (786-809) and Charlemagne (768-814)

Islam and Christendom under Harun al-Rashid (786-809) and Charlemagne (768-814)

Abbasid–Carolingian alliance (W)

An Abbasid–Carolingian alliance was attempted and partially formed during the 8th to 9th century through a series of embassies, rapprochements and combined military operations between the Frankish Carolingian Empire and the Abbasid Caliphate and pro-Abbasid rulers in Al Andalus (Islamic Spain and Portugal).

Muslim troops leaving Narbonne to Pépin le Bref, in 759, after 40 years of occupation.

These contacts followed the intense conflict between the Carolingians and the Umayyads of Al Andalus, marked by the Battle of Tours in 732, and were aimed at establishing a counter-alliance with the 'faraway' Abbasid Empire based in the Near East. Slightly later, another Carolingian-Abbasid alliance was attempted in a conflict against the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire).

The Umayyad invasion of Gaul from 719 to 759 was a period of intense conflict between the Carolingians and the Umayyads, marked by the Battle of Tours in 732. Umayyad forces were finally expelled from Gaul with the conquest of Narbonne in 759 by Pepin the Short, but the Umayyad presence in the Iberian peninsula continued to represent a challenge to the Carolingians.

Contacts under Pepin the Short

Contacts between the Carolingians and the Abbasids started soon after the establishment of the Abbasid Caliphate and the concommital fall of the Umayyad Caliphate in 751. The Carolingian ruler Pepin the Short had a powerful enough position in Europe to “make his alliance valuable to the Abbasid caliph of Baghdad, al-Mansur.” Former supporters of the Umayyad Caliphate were established firmly in southern Spain under Abd ar-Rahman I, and constituted a strategic threat both to the Carolingian on their southern border, and to the Abbasid at the western end of their dominion.

Embassies were exchanged both ways, with the apparent objective of cooperating against the Umayyads of Spain: a Frankish embassy went to Baghdad in 765 which returned to Europe after three years with numerous presents, and an Abbasid embassy from Al-Mansur visited France in 768.

Commercial exchanges

Commercial exchanges occurred between the Carolingian and Abassid realms, and Arabic coins are known to have spread in Carolingian Europe in that period. Arab gold is reported to have circulated in Europe during the 9th century, apparently in payment of the export of slaves, timber, iron and weapons from Europe to Eastern lands. As a famous example, the 8th century English king Offa of Mercia is known to have minted copies of Abbasid dinars struck in 774 by Caliph Al-Mansur with "Offa Rex" centered on the reverse amid inscriptions in Pseudo-Kufic script.



Charlemagne (742-814) (W)

Charlemagne or Charles the Great (2 April 742 - 28 January 814), numbered Charles I, was king of the Franks from 768, king of the Lombards from 774, and emperor of the Romans from 800. He united much of western and central Europe during the Early Middle Ages. He was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire. He was later canonized by Antipope Paschal III.

Charlemagne was the eldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, born before their canonical marriage. He became king in 768 following his father's death, initially as co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman's sudden death in December 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the sole ruler of the Frankish Kingdom.

He continued his father’s policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He campaigned against the Saxons to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death and leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden. He reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned “Emperor of the Romans” by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Rome's Old St. Peter's Basilica.

Charlemagne has been called the “Father of Europe” (Pater Europae), as he united most of Western Europe for the first time since the classical era of the Roman Empire and united parts of Europe that had never been under Frankish or Roman rule. His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of energetic cultural and intellectual activity within the Western Church. Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire considered themselves successors of Charlemagne, as did the French and German monarchs. However, the Eastern Orthodox Church views Charlemagne more controversially, labelling as heterodox his support of the filioque and the Pope's recognition of him as legitimate Roman Emperor rather than Irene of Athens of the Byzantine Empire. These and other machinations led to the eventual split of Rome and Constantinople in the Great Schism of 1054.

Charlemagne died in 814, having ruled as emperor for almost 14 years and as king for almost 46 years. He was laid to rest in his imperial capital city of Aachen. He married at least four times and had three legitimate sons, but only his son Louis the Pious survived to succeed him.


Massacre of Verden

Massacre of Verden, 782 (W)

Frankish Empire, 481 to 814

The Massacre of Verden was an event during the Saxon Wars where the Frankish king Charlemagne ordered the death of 4,500 Saxons in October 782. Charlemagne claimed suzerainty over Saxony and in 772 destroyed the Irminsul, an important object in Saxon paganism, during his intermittent thirty-year campaign to Christianize the Saxons.

The massacre occurred in Verden in what is now Lower Saxony, Germany. The event is attested in contemporary Frankish sources, including the Royal Frankish Annals.

Beginning in the 1870s, some scholars have attempted to exonerate Charlemagne of the massacre by way of a proposed manuscript error but these attempts have since been generally rejected. While the figure of 4,500 victims has generally been accepted, some scholars regard it as an exaggeration.

Charlemagne baptizes the Saxons (art by Émile-Antoine Bayard).

In 780, Charlemagne decrees the death penalty for all who fail to be baptised.

The massacre became particularly significant and controversial among German nationalists
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and in Nazi Germany. In 1935, landscape architect Wilhelm Hübotter designed a memorial, known as the Sachsenhain ("Saxon Grove"), that was built at a possible site for the massacre. This site functioned for a period as a meeting place for the Schutzstaffel.

Popular discussion of the massacre made Charlemagne a controversial figure in Nazi Germany until his official "rehabilitation" by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, after which Charlemagne was officially presented in a positive manner in Nazi Germany.


Annales Regni Francorum

Annales Regni Francorum (W)


An entry for the year 782 in the first version of the Royal Frankish Annals (Annales Regni Francorum) records a Saxon rebellion, followed by a Frankish victory in the battle of the Süntel before Charlemagne arrived and put down the rebellion. Charlemagne ordered the execution of 4,500 Saxons near the confluence of the Aller and the Weser, in what is now Verden. Regarding the massacre, the entry reads:

“When he heard this, the Lord King Charles rushed to the place with all the Franks that he could gather on short notice and advanced to where the Aller flows into the Weser. Then all the Saxons came together again, submitted to the authority of the Lord King, and surrendered the evildoers who were chiefly responsible for this revolt to be put to death — four thousand and five hundred of them. This sentence was carried out. Widukind was not among them since he had fled to Nordmannia [Denmark]. When he had finished this business, the Lord King returned to Francia.”
— Scholz (1970), p. 61.


📹 Animated map shows how Christianity spread around the world (VİDEO)

📹 Animated map shows how Christianity spread around the world (LINK)

Christianity is currently the world's largest religion with over 2 billion followers. Beginning with the son of a Jewish carpenter, the religion was spread around the world first by Jesus's disciples, then by emperors, kings, and missionaries. Through crusades, conquests, and simple word of mouth, Christianity has had a profound influence on the last 2,000 years of world history.




The Massacre of Verden, or the Bloody Verdict of Verden, was a massacre of Saxons in 782 near the present town of Verden in Lower Saxony, Germany, ordered by Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars.

In 782 A.D. some 4,500 Saxon leaders are said to have been beheaded for practicing their indigenous Germanic paganism, having officially, albeit under duress, converted to Christianity and undergone baptism. The river Aller was said to have been flowing red with their blood. Charlemagne's motives were to demonstrate his overlordship and the severity of punishment for rebellion.

The effect was that the Saxons lost virtually their entire tribal leadership and were henceforth largely governed by Frankish counts installed by Charlemagne. The Saxon leader, Duke Widukind, had escaped to his in-laws in Denmark, but soon returned. In 785 he, along with his people, was forced to convert to Christianity by Charlemagne.

On the issue of beheading the historian Ramsay MacMullen notes that in 681 a council of bishops at Toledo called on civil authorities to seize and behead all those guilty of non-Christian practices of whatever sort. These massacres were common on both sides throughout the Christianization of Europe, with similar events involving pagan Saxons, Germans and Celts and Christians documented in Britain and Ireland.

The controversy over the massacre was linked to disputes among German nationalists about the image of Charlemagne. Some Germans saw the victims of the massacre as heroic defenders of Germany’s traditional beliefs, resisting the “foreign” religion of Christianity. Wilhelm Teudt mentions the site of the massacre in his 1929 book Germanische Heiligtümer ('Germanic Shrines'). Some Christian nationalists linked Charlemagne with the humiliation of French domination after World War I, especially the occupation of the Rhineland.

Hermann Gauch, Heinrich Himmler's adjutant for culture, took the view that Charlemagne (known in German as Karl der Große ‘Karl the Great’) should be officially renamed “Karl the Slaughterer” because of the massacre. He advocated a memorial to the victims. Alfred Rosenberg also stated that the Saxon leader Widukind, not Karl, should be called "the Great".

During the Third Reich the massacre became a major topic of debate. In 1934, two plays about Widukind were performed. The first, Der Sieger (The Victor) by Friedrich Forster, portrayed Charlemagne as brutal but his goal, Christianization of the pagan Saxons, as necessary. Reception was mixed. The second, Wittekind, by Edmund Kiß, was more controversial for its criticism of Christianization. The play saw various disturbances during its run.
In 1935, landscape architect Wilhelm Hübotter was commissioned to build the Sachsenhain (German 'Grove of the Saxons') in Verden, a monument to commemorate the massacre consisting of 4,500 large stones. The monument was used as both a memorial to the event and as a meeting place for the Schutzstaffel. The memorial was inscribed to "Baptism-Resistant Germans Massacred by Karl, the Slaughterer of the Saxons". In the same year the annual celebration of Charlemagne in Aachen, where he is buried, was cancelled and replaced by a lecture on "Karl the Great, Saxon Butcher."However, attacks on the legacy of Charlemagne were ended after Charlemagne was officially rehabilitated as a "German hero" under the Third Reich

Sources wikipedia.com and http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/einhard.asp


📹 Charlemagne — Emperor of the West, 768-814 CE (VİDEO)

📹 Charlemagne — Emperor of the West, 768-814 CE (LINK)

In this video, I look at the career of the Frankish king turned Roman Emperor Charlemagne, who is generally considered to be the most important individual of the European Middle Ages.



  Carolingian Renaissance
  • İnsanların çoğu yalanlara bayılır.
  • Charlemagne yalnızca “Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu”nu kurmakla onurlandırılmadı.
  • Kimi yazarlara göre Charlemagne dönemi ayrıca bir ‘rönesans’ dönemidir.
  • Charlemagne adını yazmayı öğrenmeye çalışıyordu.
  • “Rönesans” (yeniden-doğuş) teriminin Germenler ile hiçbir ilgisi olamaz — ya da, daha doğrusu, ancak negatif bir ilgisi olabilir.
  • Germenlerin kültürleri yeniden doğmayı değil, ortadan kaldırılmayı hak eden pagan-barbar kültürü idi.
  • Rönesans İtalya’ya aittir ve yeniden doğan şey gerçekte barbar Germenlerin ortadan kaldırdığı Klasik Roma kültürüne bir öykünmedir.
  • Germenlerin uygarlık ile tanışmaları bir yeniden-doğuş değil, yalnızca bir doğuştur.
  • Klasik kültür evrenseldir; Germanik kabileler her zaman tikel etnik kültürlerine bağlı kalmada direttiler.
  • Germenlere özgü kültür tikel Gotik kültürdür.

Rönesans yeniden doğuş demektir. Germanik Avrupa’nın gereksindiği şey bir ‘yeniden doğuş’ değil, yalnızca doğuş idi.

Charlemagne ileri yaşlarında yazı yazmayı ve hesap yapmayı öğrenmeye çalıştı. Ama fazla başarılı olamadı ve harfleri bile yazmayı öğrenemedi. Karolen Rönesansını herkesten önce Charlemagne tanımlar. Germenlerin “yeniden” yaratacakları bir altın geçmişleri yoktu. Daha barbarlıklarını üstlerinden atmadan Roma İmparatorluğunun ardılı oldular.
  • “Kutsal Roma İmparatorluğu,” ”Karolen Rönesansı” (aslında üç ‘ortaçağ rönesansı’), “Bizans İmparatorluğu” terminolojisi olguları yansıtmayan etnik-Germanik bakış açısına aittir.
  • Feodalizm ve Karanlık Orta Çağlar barbar-Germanik Avrupa’nın kabaca bin yıllık durumunu anlatan doğru terimlerdir.
  • Aynı bin yıl içinde, Roma İmparatorluğu sonunda Osmanlılar tarafından yıkılıncaya dek varlığını sürdürdü.
  • Avrupa ancak Reformasyondan sonra etik bir yapılanma kazanmanın yoluna girdi.

Carolingian Renaissance

Carolingian Renaissance (W)

“He most zealously cultivated the liberal arts, held those who taught them in great esteem, and conferred great honours upon them. He took lessons in grammar of the deacon Peter of Pisa, at that time an aged man. Another deacon, Albin of Britain, surnamed Alcuin, a man of Saxon extraction, who was the greatest scholar of the day, was his teacher in other branches of learning. The King spent much time and labour with him studying rhetoric, dialectics, and especially astronomy; he learned to reckon, and used to investigate the motions of the heavenly bodies most curiously, with an intelligent scrutiny. He also tried to write, and used to keep tablets and blanks in bed under his pillow, that at leisure hours he might accustom his hand to form the letters; however, as he did not begin his efforts in due season, but late in life, they met with ill success.”

The Carolingian Renaissance was the first of three medieval renaissances, a period of cultural activity in the Carolingian Empire. It occurred from the late 8th century to the 9th century, which took inspiration from the Christian Roman Empire of the fourth century. During this period, there was an increase of literature, writing, the arts, architecture, jurisprudence, liturgical reforms, and scriptural studies.

The Carolingian Renaissance occurred mostly during the reigns of Carolingian rulers Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. It was supported by the scholars of the Carolingian court, notably Alcuin of York. Charlemagne's Admonitio generalis (789) and Epistola de litteris colendis served as manifestos.

The effects of this cultural revival were mostly limited to a small group of court literati. According to John Contreni, "it had a spectacular effect on education and culture in Francia, a debatable effect on artistic endeavors, and an unmeasurable effect on what mattered most to the Carolingians, the moral regeneration of society". The secular and ecclesiastical leaders of the Carolingian Renaissance made efforts to write better Latin, to copy and preserve patristic and classical texts, and to develop a more legible, classicizing script. (This was the Carolingian minuscule that Renaissance humanists took to be Roman and employed as humanist minuscule, from which has developed early modern Italic script.) They also applied rational ideas to social issues for the first time in centuries, providing a common language and writing style that enabled communication throughout most of Europe.


As Pierre Riché points out, the expression “Carolingian Renaissance” does not imply that Western Europe was barbaric or obscurantist before the Carolingian era. The centuries following the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West did not see an abrupt disappearance of the ancient schools, from which emerged Martianus Capella, Cassiodorus and Boethius, essential icons of the Roman cultural heritage in the Middle Ages, thanks to which the disciplines of liberal arts were preserved. The 7th century saw the "Isidorian Renaissance" in the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania in which sciences flourished and the integration of Christian and pre-Christian thought occurred, while the spread of Irish monastic schools (scriptoria) over Europe laid the groundwork for the Carolingian Renaissance.

There were numerous factors in this cultural expansion, the most obvious of which was that Charlemagne’s uniting of most of Western Europe brought about peace and stability, which set the stage for prosperity. {!} This period marked an economic revival in Western Europe, following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Local economies in the West had degenerated into largely subsistence agriculture by the early seventh century, with towns functioning merely as places of gift-exchange for the elite. By the late seventh century, developed urban settlements had emerged, populated mostly by craftsmen, merchants and boaters and boasting street grids, artisanal production as well as regional and long-distance trade. A prime example of this type of emporium was Dorestad.

The development of the Carolingian economy was fueled by the efficient organization and exploitation of labor on large estates, producing a surplus of primarily grain, wine and salt. In turn, inter-regional trade in these commodities facilitated the expansion of towns. Archaeological data shows the continuation of this upward trend in the early eighth century. The zenith of the early Carolingian economy was reached from 775 to 830, coinciding with the largest surpluses of the period, large-scale building of churches as well as overpopulation and three famines that showed the limits of the system.

After a period of disruption from 830 to 850, caused by civil wars and Viking raids, economic development resumed in the 850s, with the emporiums disappearing completely and being replaced by fortified commercial towns.

One of the major causes of the sudden economic growth was the slave trade. Following the rise of the Arab empires, the Arab elites created a major demand for slaves with European slaves particularly prized. As a result of Charlemagne's wars of conquest in Eastern Europe, a steady supply of captured Slavs, Avars, Saxons and Danes reached mostly Jewish merchants in Western Europe, who then exported the slaves via Ampurias, Girona and the Pyrenees passes to Muslim Spain and other parts of the Arab world. The market for slaves was so lucrative that it almost immediately transformed the long-distance trade of the European economies. The slave trade enabled the West to re-engage with the Muslim and Eastern Roman empires so that other industries, such as textiles, were able to grow in Europe as well.


Kenneth Clark was of the view that by means of the Carolingian Renaissance, Western civilization {!} survived by the skin of its teeth. However, the use of the term renaissance to describe this period is contested, notably by Lynn Thorndike, due to the majority of changes brought about by this period being confined almost entirely to the clergy, and due to the period lacking the wide-ranging social movements of the later Italian Renaissance. Instead of being a rebirth of new cultural movements, the period was more an attempt to recreate the previous culture of the Roman Empire. The Carolingian Renaissance in retrospect also has some of the character of a false dawn, in that its cultural gains were largely dissipated within a couple of generations, a perception voiced by Walahfrid Strabo(died 849), in his introduction to Einhard's Life of Charlemagne, summing up the generation of renewal:

Charlemagne was able to offer the cultureless and, I might say, almost completely unenlightened territory of the realm which God had entrusted to him, a new enthusiasm for all human knowledge. In its earlier state of barbarousness, his kingdom had been hardly touched at all by any such zeal, but now it opened its eyes to God's illumination. In our own time the thirst for knowledge is disappearing again: the light of wisdom is less and less sought after and is now becoming rare again in most men's minds.[26]


  Otto I the Great (912-973) (r. 962-973)
  • Roma İmparatorluğunun, Arap İmparatorluklarının, ve Selçuklu ve Osmanlı İmparatorluklarının ve gölgesinde, Avrupa’nın Karanlık Orta Çağları geç etnik Alman tarihçiliği tarafından ‘ortaçağ rönesansları’ ile süslendi.

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor (W)

Otto I (23 November 912 - 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (German: Otto der Große, Italian: Ottone il Grande), was German king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henry I the Fowler and Matilda.

Otto inherited the Duchy of Saxony and the kingship of the Germans upon his father's death in 936. He continued his father's work of unifying all German tribes into a single kingdom and greatly expanded the king's powers at the expense of the aristocracy. Through strategic marriages and personal appointments, Otto installed members of his family in the kingdom's most important duchies. This reduced the various dukes, who had previously been co-equals with the king, to royal subjects under his authority. Otto transformed the Roman Catholic Church in Germany to strengthen royal authority and subjected its clergy to his personal control.

After putting down a brief civil war among the rebellious duchies, Otto defeated the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld in 955, thus ending the Hungarian invasions of Western Europe. The victory against the pagan Magyars earned Otto a reputation as a savior of Christendom and secured his hold over the kingdom. By 961, Otto had conquered the Kingdom of Italy. The patronage of Otto and his immediate successors facilitated a so-called “Ottonian Renaissance” of arts and architecture. Following the example of Charlemagne's coronation as "Emperor of the Romans" in 800, Otto was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 by Pope John XII in Rome.

Otto's later years were marked by conflicts with the papacy and struggles to stabilize his rule over Italy. Reigning from Rome, Otto sought to improve relations with the Byzantine Empire, which opposed his claim to emperorship and his realm's further expansion to the south. To resolve this conflict, the Byzantine princess Theophanu married his son Otto II in April 972. Otto finally returned to Germany in August 972 and died at Memlebenin May 973. Otto II succeeded him as Holy Roman Emperor.


Ottonian Renaissance

Ottonian Renaissance (W)

Das Vortragekreuz mit den großen Senkschmelzen aus dem Essener Domschatz
The Ottonian Renaissance was a renaissance of Byzantine and Late Antique art in Central and Southern Europe that accompanied the reigns of the first three Holy Roman Emperors of the Ottonian (or Saxon) dynasty: Otto I (936-973), Otto II (973-983), and Otto III (983-1002), and which in large part depended upon their patronage.

Registrum Gregorii, Szene: Porträt Kaiser Otto II., mit den Symbolen der vier Teile seines Reiches.


The concept of a renaissance was first applied to the Ottonian period by the German historian Hans Naumann — more precisely, his work published in 1927 grouped the Carolingian and Ottonian periods together under the title Karolingische und ottonische Renaissance (The Carolingian and Ottonian Renaissance). This was only two years after Erna Patzelt's coining of the term 'Carolingian Renaissance' (Die Karolingische Renaissance: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Kultur des frühen Mittelalters, Vienna, 1924), and the same year as Charles H. Haskins published The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century (Cambridge Mass., 1927)

One of three medieval renaissances, the Ottonian Renaissance began after King Otto's marriage to Adelaide of Italy (951) united the Italian and German kingdoms, and thus brought the West closer to Byzantium. He furthered the cause of Christian (political) unity with his Imperial coronation in 962 by the Pope at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

The period is sometimes extended to cover the reign of Emperor Henry II (1014-1024) as well, and, rarely, his Salian successors. The term is generally confined to Imperial court culture conducted in Latin in Germany, — it is sometimes also known as the Renaissance of the 10th Century, or 10th Century Renaissance, so as to include developments outside Germania, or as the Year 1000 Renewal, due to coming right at the end of the 10th century. It was shorter than the preceding Carolingian Renaissance and to a large extent a continuation of it — this has led historians such as Pierre Riché to prefer evoking it as a ‘third Carolingian renaissance,’ covering the 10th century and running over into the 11th century, with the ‘first Carolingian renaissance’ occurring during Charlemagne’s own reign and the ‘second Carolingian renaissance’ happening under his successors.*

*[P. Riché et J. Verger, chapitre IV, — La Troisième Renaissance caroligienne, p. 59 sqq., chapter IV, «La Troisième Renaissance caroligienne», p.59 sqq.]


The Logica vetus (consisting of translations of Aristotle by Boethius and Porphyry and the Topica of Cicero) remained the basis of dialectic education; Gerbert, the future Pope Sylvester II was familiar with these books and was noted for his mastery of dialectics during the dispute of Ravenna against Otric in 980, and in his treatise De rationalis et ratione uti ( Of the rational and the use of reason ), composed in 997 and dedicated to Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor. Abbo of Fleury wrote commentaries on these works through two treatises.

An anthology of dialectical works dating from Fulbert of Chartres probably from his library, contains the Isagoge of Porphyry, the Categories of Aristotle, the distinction between rhetoric and dialectic of Fulbert himself, the Topica of Cicero, the De Interpretatione of Aristotle, Boethius three comments and de Ratione written by Gerbert in 997. The development of dialectics was furthered by Majolus of Cluny.


The growing interest in the disciplines of the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy) was translated to the teachings of the leading scholars of their time, such as Abbo of Fleury who wrote many treatises on the calculation of the computus, astronomical subjects such as the trajectories of the sun, moon and planets, and a star catalogue.

The future Pope Sylvester II, introduced the use of wooden terrestrial spheres for the astronomical study of the movement of the earth, planets and constellations, the use of the monochord for musical study, and construction of the abacus for arithmetic studies. Fulbert of Chartres introduced the use of Arabic numerals.


The Ottonian Renaissance is recognized especially in the arts and architecture, invigorated by renewed contact with Constantinople, in some revived cathedral schools, such as that of Archbishop Bruno of Cologne, in the production of illuminated manuscripts from a handful of elite scriptoria, such as Quedlinburg Abbey, founded by Otto in 936, and in political ideology. The Imperial court became the center of religious and spiritual life, led by the example of women of the royal family: Matilda the literate mother of Otto I, his sister Gerberga of Saxony, or his consort Adelaide. The Byzantine influence further increased with the marriage of Otto II with Princess Theophanu, who upon her husband's death in 983 ruled as Empress dowager for her minor son Otto III until 991.

After Otto I's Imperial coronation, there emerged a renewed faith in the idea of Empire in Otto's immediate circle and a reformed church, creating a period of heightened cultural and artistic fervor. Ottonian art was a court art, created to confirm a direct Holy and Imperial lineage as a source of legitimized power linked from Constantine and Justinian. In this atmosphere the masterpieces that were created fused the traditions which the new art was based on: paintings from Late Antiquity, the Carolingian period, and Byzantium. In this way, the term is used as an analogue to the Carolingian Renaissance which accompanied Charlemagne's coronation in 800.

A small group of Ottonian monasteries received direct sponsorship from the Emperor and bishops and produced some magnificent medieval illuminated manuscripts, the premier art form of the time. Corvey produced some of the first manuscripts, followed by the scriptorium at Hildesheim after 1000. The most famous Ottonian scriptorium was at the island monastery of Reichenau on Lake Constance: hardly any other works have formed the image of Ottonian art as much as the miniatures which originated there. One of the greatest Reichenau works was the Codex Egberti, containing narrative miniatures of the life of Christ, the earliest such cycle, in a fusion of styles including Carolingian traditions as well as traces of insular and Byzantine influences. Other well known manuscripts included the Reichenau Evangeliary, the Liuther Codex, the Pericopes of Henry II, the Bamberg Apocalypse and the Hitda Codex.

Hroswitha of Gandersheim characterises the changes which took place during the time. She was a nun who composed verse and drama, based on the classical works of Terence. The architecture of the period was also innovative and represents a predecessor to the later Romanesque.

Politically, theories of Christian unity and empire thrived, as well as revived classical notions of Imperial grandeur in the West. By Otto II's Greek wife Theophanu, Byzantine iconography entered the West. The globus cruciger became a symbol of kingly power and the Holy Roman Emperors were represented as crowned by Christ in the Byzantine fashion. It was in trying to revive the "glory that was Rome" that Otto III made the Eternal City his capital and increased in Greco-Roman fashion the ceremony of the court.


📹 Otto I — The German King Who Ended The Magyar Invasions Of Western Europe (VİDEO)

📹 Otto I — The German King Who Ended The Magyar Invasions Of Western Europe (LINK)

Otto I was a German king best known for his defeat of the final Magyar invasion of Western Europe at Lechfeld in 955. Although the start of his reign was marred by rebellions, he eventually became powerful and renown enough to become crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor in 962.

His rule began a period of prosperity that was known as the Ottonian Renaissance.


  Italy in the early Middle Ages

Italy in the early Middle Ages

Italy in the early Middle Ages (B)


Italy in the early Middle Ages

The Roman Empire was an international political system in which Italy was only a part, though an important part. When the empire fell, a series of barbarian kingdoms initially ruled the peninsula, but, after the Lombard invasion of 568-569, a network of smaller political entities arose throughout Italy. How each of these developed — in parallel with the others, out of the ruins of the Roman world — is one principal theme of this section. The survival and development of the Roman city is another. The urban focus of politics and economic life inherited from the Romans continued and expanded in the early Middle Ages and was the unifying element in the development of Italy’s regions.

The late Roman Empire and the Ostrogoths

The military emperors of the late 3rd century, most notably Diocletian (284-305), reformed the political structures of the Roman Empire. They restructured the army after the disasters of the previous 50 years, extensively developed the civil bureaucracy and the ceremonial rituals of imperial rule, and, above all, reorganized and enlarged the tax system. The fiscal weight of the late Roman Empire was heavy, given the resources of the period: its major support, the land tax, collected by local city governments, took at least one-fifth, and probably one-third, of the agricultural produce. On the other hand, the administration and the army that the tax system paid for reestablished a measure of stability for the empire in the 4th century. Central government was not always stable; there were several periods of civil war in the 4th century, notably in the decade after Diocletian’s retirement and in the years around 390. But succession disputes had been a normal part of imperial politics since the Julio-Claudians in the 1st century AD; in general, self-confidence in the 4th-century empire was fairly high. Aggressive emperors such as Valentinian I (364-375) could not have imagined that within a century nearly all of the Western Empire was to be under barbarian rule. Nor was this lack of a sense of doom a simple delusion; after all, in the richer Eastern provinces the imperial system held firm for many centuries, in the form of the Byzantine Empire.

Fifth-century political trends

The Germanic invasions of the years after 400 did not, then, strike at an enfeebled political system. But in facing them, ultimately unsuccessfully, Roman emperors and generals found themselves in a steadily weaker position, and much of the coherence of the late Roman state dissolved in the environment of the continuous emergencies of the 5th century. One of the tasks of the historian must be to assess the extent of the survival of Roman institutions in each of the regions of the West conquered by the Germans, for this varied greatly. It was considerable in the North Africa of the Vandals, for example, as Africa was a rich and stable province and was conquered relatively quickly (429-442); it was more limited in northern Gaul, a less Romanized area to begin with, which experienced 80 years of war and confusion (406-486) before it finally came under the control of the Franks. In Italy the 4th-century system remained relatively unchanged for a long time. The government of the Western Empire, which was permanently based at Ravenna after 402, became progressively weaker but remained substantially intact. While the Germanic king Odoacer ruled Italy after 476, the peninsula was not conquered by a Germanic tribe until the Ostrogothic invasion in 489-493. Although the peninsula had faced invasions, such as those of Alaric the Visigoth in 401-410, Italian politics continued during the 5th century to be those of the Roman Empire. This meant, in the context of the military crisis of the period, a continual struggle between civil and military leaders, with the emperors themselves more or less pawns in the middle.

The careers of three of these leaders serve as examples of 5th-century political trends. Aetius controlled the armies of the West between 429 and his murder in 454; he was the last man to be active in both Italy and Gaul, as a Roman senatorial leader of a barbarian army that was Germanic, Hunnic, or both. His career was typical of those in the military tradition of Roman politics, and, had his life not been cut short, he might well have become emperor. The makeup of his army was, however, already significantly different from that of Diocletian or Valentinian, and its growing number of non-Roman military detachments tended increasingly to have their own ethnic leaders and to be organized according to their own rules. Ricimer (in power 456-472, by this time only in Italy) was a Germanic tribesman, not a Roman. He was culturally highly Romanized and, as such, was himself part of a tradition of Romano-Germanic military leadership that went back to the 370s, but he could not, as a “barbarian,” be emperor, and he made and unmade several emperors in a search for a stable ruler who would not undermine his own power. Significantly, in 456-457 and 465-467 he ruled alone, subordinate only to the Eastern emperor in Constantinople. Odoacer was militarily supreme from 476 to 493. In a coup in 476 he replaced the last ethnic-Roman military commander, Orestes, and deposed Orestes’ son, Romulus Augustulus, the child emperor and the last of the Western emperors. Odoacer pushed Ricimer’s politics to its logical conclusion and ruled without an emperor except for the nominal recognition of Constantinople as supreme authority. Odoacer, however, did not merely call himself patricius — local ruler for the Eastern Empire — but also rex — king of his Germanic army of Sciri, Rugians, and Heruls. To what extent he was a military commander of a Roman army as opposed to being a German “tribal” leader was by now impossible to tell. Nonetheless, he, like Ricimer, was an effective defender of Italy against invaders for a long time.

The Ostrogothic kingdom

Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, conquered Italy and killed Odoacer in 493. The decades of the Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy (493-552) can be seen as the first true period of Germanic rule in the peninsula, for an entire tribe of 100,000 to 200,000 people came with Theodoric. Still, the Ostrogothic kingdom continued to operate inside a largely Roman political system. Like Odoacer, Theodoric courted the Roman aristocracy, both the civil administrators at Ravenna and the great landowners who made up the Senate at Rome. He needed them to run a still largely functioning tax system, which continued, in part, to pay for the army, though the latter was now entirely Ostrogothic. Roman law remained the basis of political and civil life except for the Ostrogoths, who continued to observe their own customary laws and practices. Theodoric, who did not want the Ostrogoths to become Romanized, encouraged them to keep their distance from the Romans. Yet such apartheid did not last. Some Romans joined the army; many more Goths became landowners, legally or illegally, and adopted civilian Roman cultural traditions.

Theodoric’s rule was probably the most peaceful and prosperous period of Italian history since Valentinian, but a decade after his death Italy was already in ruins. Theodoric himself had fallen out with an important, traditionalist senatorial faction and had executed several senators, including the philosopher-politician Boethius in 524; the Roman elites looked increasingly to Constantinople as a result. The Goths began to split between factions representing more-Roman or more-Germanic cultural traditions; when the latter faction murdered Theodoric’s daughter and successor, Amalasuntha (regent 526-534; queen 534-535), a crisis began that was to end the kingdom.

The end of the Roman world

The Eastern emperors in Constantinople regarded themselves as the legitimate rulers of the West, including Italy, after 476; both Odoacer and, for a time, Theodoric had recognized them, and they had strong links with the Roman Senate. In 533-534 Belisarius, general for the Eastern emperor Justinian I (527-565), conquered Vandal Africa; Amalasuntha’s death was the necessary excuse to invade Italy. Belisarius arrived in Sicily in 535, and by 540 he had fought his way north to Ravenna. The Ostrogothic king Witigis (536-540) surrendered to him. The Gothic armies of the north, however, elected new kings, and Totila (541-552), the most successful of them, kept the war going throughout the peninsula until his death in battle.

The Gothic wars were a disaster for Italy; almost no region was untouched by them. Together with the subsequent wars of the Lombard conquest (568-605), they mark the end of the Roman world there. In the 550s and the early 560s, however, the Eastern (thenceforth, Byzantine) Empire succeeded in reestablishing its political order in Italy, and in 554 Justinian issued the Pragmatic Sanction setting forth its terms: Italy was made a province of the Byzantine Empire, with its capital still at Ravenna (Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, however, were to remain administratively separate), and the Ostrogothic political system was to be dissolved. Indeed, the Ostrogoths virtually vanished as a people from then on; it is assumed they were absorbed into the Roman population or into that of the Lombards.


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