Holy Roman Empire

The change of territory of the Holy Roman Empire superimposed on present-day state borders
The double-headed eagle with coats of arms of individual states, the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire (painting from 1510)
The change of territory of the Holy Roman Empire superimposed on present-day state borders
A map of the Carolingian Empire (a.k.a. Francia, the Frankish Empire) within Europe circa 814 CE.
The Holy Roman Empire during the Ottonian Dynasty
The Holy Roman Empire between 972 and 1032
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 Reichssturmfahne, a military banner during the 13th and early 14th centuries
Lands of the Bohemian Crown since the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV
An illustration from Schedelsche Weltchronik depicting the structure of the Reich: The Holy Roman Emperor is sitting; on his right are three ecclesiastics; on his left are four secular electors.
The Holy Roman Empire when the Golden Bull of 1356 was signed
Innsbruck, most important political centre under Maximilian, seat of the Hofkammer (Court Treasury) and the Court Chancery, which functioned as "the most influential body in Maximilian's government". Painting of Albrecht Dürer (1496)
Maximilian I paying attention to an execution instead of watching the betrothal of his son Philip the Handsome and Joanna of Castile. The top right corner shows Cain and Abel. Satire against Maximilian's legal reform, associated with imperial tyranny. Created on behalf of the councilors of Augsburg. Plate 89 of Von der Arztney bayder Glück by the Petrarcameister.
Personification of the Reich as Germania by Jörg Kölderer, 1512. The "German woman", wearing her hair loose and a crown, sitting on the Imperial throne, corresponds both to the self-image of Maximilian I as King of Germany and the formula Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (omitting other nations). While usually depicted during the Middle Age as subordinate to both imperial power and Italia or Gallia, she now takes central stage in Maximilian's Triumphal Procession, being carried in front of Roma.
The Holy Roman Empire during the 16th century
Carta itineraria europae by Waldseemüller, 1520 (dedicated to Emperor Charles V)
The Holy Roman Empire around 1600, superimposed over current state borders
Religion in the Holy Roman Empire on the eve of the Thirty Years' War
The Empire after the Peace of Westphalia, 1648
The Empire on the eve of the French Revolution, 1789
The crown of the Holy Roman Empire (2nd half of the 10th century), now held in the Schatzkammer (Vienna)
The Seven Prince-electors (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340)
A map of the Empire showing division into Circles in 1512
Vienna, circa 1580 by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg
Front page of the Peace of Augsburg, which laid the legal groundwork for two co-existing religious confessions (Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism) in the German-speaking states of the Holy Roman Empire

Political entity in Western, Central and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

- Holy Roman Empire

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Carolingian Empire

Large Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe during the Early Middle Ages.

The Carolingian Empire at its greatest extent in 814style=padding-left: 0.6em; text-align: left;
The Dorestad Brooch, Carolingian-style cloisonné jewelry from c. 800. Found in the Netherlands, 1969.
Detailed map of the Carolingian Empire at its greatest extension (814) and subsequent partition of 843 (Treaty of Verdun).
Copy of the Ludwigslied, an epic poem celebrating the victory of Louis III of West Francia over the Vikings
Interior of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen, Germany
A denarius minted by Prince Adelchis of Benevento in the name of Emperor Louis II and Empress Engelberga, showing the expansion of Carolingian authority in southern Italy which Louis achieved
Carolingian Empire superimposed over contemporary European national boundaries

The Carolingian Empire is considered the first phase in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806.


The imperial prince-electors
left to right: Archbishop of Cologne, Archbishop of Mainz, Archbishop of Trier, Count Palatine, Duke of Saxony, Margrave of Brandenburg and King of Bohemia (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340)
Choosing the king. Above: the three ecclesiastical princes choosing the king, pointing at him. Middle: the Count Palatine of the Rhine hands over a golden bowl, acting as a servant. Behind him, the Duke of Saxony with his marshal's staff and the Margrave of Brandenburg bringing a bowl of warm water, as a valet. Below, the new king in front of the great men of the empire (Heidelberg Sachsenspiegel, around 1300)
The Arms of Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, Arch-Steward and Prince-Elector
The Arms of George III, King of Great Britain and Ireland and Elector (later King) of Hanover
Coats of arms representing the seven original electors with the figure of Germania. Original colours were vivid. Germania's gown was gold, not beige, and the blue-grey was purple.  Also, the browns were painted as vivid red and the muted grey in Saxony's arms was a brilliant green.
Coats of arms of prince electors surround the Holy Roman Emperor's; from flags book of Jacob Köbel (1545). Left to right: Cologne, Bohemia, Brandenburg, Saxony, the Palatinate, Trier, Mainz
The emperor Maximilian surrounded by shield of electorates
Kingdom of Bohemia. The white lion bears in his right paw a simple crown symbolizing the King of Bohemia as imperial Arch Cupbearer presenting it to the Emperor.  Restored directly from Medieval, hand-drawn armorials.{{efn|name=armorial Frederick III}}{{efn|name=armorial Maximilian I}}{{efn|name=Kurrent}}
The Palatinate was an electorate until 1777, when the Elector acceded to Bavaria. The office of Arch-Treasurer transferred to Hanover.
Bavaria was granted electoral dignity by Ferdinand II in 1623, removing the dignity from the Count Palatine of the Rhine.
Hanover (Brunswick-Lüneburg), made an elector by Leopold I in 1692 as a reward for aid given in the War of the Grand Alliance. Later, the ceremonial office of Chief Treasurer was transferred here from the Palatinate.
In 1777, the number of Electors dropped from nine to eight, until 1803, when Württemberg was raised to an electorate by Napoleon, while the prince himself was elevated from Standard-Bearer ({{lang|de|Bannerherr}}) to Arch-Standardbearer.
Hesse-Cassel was added in 1803.
Principality of Regensburg was added in 1803, after the annexation of Mainz by the French.
Grand Duchy of Salzburg was added in 1803. After it was mediatized to Austria in 1805, its electoral vote was transferred to Würzburg. Salzburg and Würzburg were ruled by the same person, Ferdinand III.
Grand Duchy of Würzburg
Margraviate of Baden was added in 1803.

The prince-electors (Kurfürst, pl. Kurfürsten, , Princeps Elector), or electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Western Europe

Western region of Europe.

Schism of 1054 (East–West Schism) in Christianity, the predominant religion in Europe at the time
Political spheres of influence in Europe during the Cold War; neutral countries (shaded gray or light blue) considered informally Western-oriented but not formally aligned to the West
Former Western European Union – its members and associates
WEOG member and observer states
European climate. The Köppen-Geiger climates map is presented by the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia and the Global Precipitation Climatology Center of the Deutscher Wetterdienst.

After the conquest of the Byzantine Empire, center of the Eastern Orthodox Church, by the Muslim Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, and the gradual fragmentation of the Holy Roman Empire (which had replaced the Carolingian Empire), the division between Roman Catholic and Protestant became more important in Europe than that with Eastern Orthodoxy.

Carolingian dynasty

Frankish noble family named after Charlemagne, grandson of mayor Charles Martel and descendant of the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD.

A map showing Charlemagne's additions (in light green) to the Frankish Kingdom
Carolingian denier of Lothair I, struck in Dorestad (Middle Francia) after 850
Carolingian family tree, from the Chronicon Universale of Ekkehard of Aura, 12th century

His death in 814 began an extended period of fragmentation of the Carolingian Empire and decline that would eventually lead to the evolution of the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire.

Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire

The dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire occurred de facto on 6 August 1806, when the last Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, abdicated his title and released all imperial states and officials from their oaths and obligations to the empire.

Marble bust of the final Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II, in a style inspired by ancient Roman marble busts
The Holy Roman Empire and its internal subdivisions and vassals in 1789
Battle of Fleurus by Jean-Baptiste Mauzaisse (1837)
The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David (1807)
The Imperial Crown of Austria, used until the end of the Habsburg monarchy in Austria and originally made for Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
Napoléon at the Battle of Austerlitz by François Gérard (1810)
Francis I as Austrian Emperor, undated, Salzburg Museum
Sarcophagus of Emperor Francis II in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna. The associated plaque describes him as the "last Roman emperor".
King Gustav IV of Sweden, who in 1806 issued a proclamation to his German subjects that the dissolution of the empire "would not destroy the German nation"
The German Empire (blue) and Austria-Hungary (red) in 1914
The modern states of Germany, seen by some as successors to the German states of the Holy Roman Empire

Since the Middle Ages, the Holy Roman Empire had been recognized by Western Europeans as the legitimate continuation of the ancient Roman Empire due to its emperors having been proclaimed as Roman emperors by the papacy.

Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire)

Seating plan for an inauguration of the Imperial Diet in the Regensburg Town Hall from a 1675 engraving: Emperor and Prince-electors at the head, secular Princes to the left, ecclesiastical to the right, deputies of Imperial Cities in the foreground.
The summons for Luther to appear at the Diet of Worms, signed by Charles V. The text on the left was on the reverse side.
"Here I stand": Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, 1521 19th-century painting by Hermann Wislicenus
The coats of arms of prince electors surround the Holy Roman Emperor's, from flags book of Jacob Köbel (1545).

The Imperial Diet (Dieta Imperii or Comitium Imperiale; Reichstag) was the deliberative body of the Holy Roman Empire.

Confederation of the Rhine

Confederation of German client states established at the behest of Napoleon some months after he defeated Austria and Russia at the Battle of Austerlitz.

The Confederation of the Rhine in 1812
Chart for the structure of the Confederation as projected in 1806
The Confederation of the Rhine in 1812

The founding members of the confederation were German princes of the Holy Roman Empire.

Imperial Estate

Seating order of the Perpetual Diet of Regensburg (1663 engraving)
Map of the Holy Roman Empire in 1400
Map of the Holy Roman Empire in 1648
A "Quaternion Eagle" (each quaternion being represented by four coats of arms on the imperial eagle's remiges) Hans Burgkmair, c. 1510.
Twelve quaternions are shown, as follows (eight dukes being divided into two quaternions called "pillars" and "vicars", respectively ): Seill ("pillars"), Vicari ("vicars"), Marggrauen (margraves), Lantgrauen (landgraves), Burggrauen (burggraves), Grauen (counts), Semper freie (nobles), Ritter (knights), Stett (cities), Dörfer (villages), Bauern (peasants), Birg (castles).

An Imperial State or Imperial Estate (Status Imperii; Reichsstand, plural: Reichsstände) was a part of the Holy Roman Empire with representation and the right to vote in the Imperial Diet (Reichstag).

Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor

Holy Roman emperor from 1452 until his death.

Portrait by Hans Burgkmair, c. 1500
Signum manus of Frederick III
Detail of Aeneas Piccolomini introduces Eleonora of Portugal to Frederick III by Pinturicchio (1454–1513)
A tapestry depicting the coronation of Frederick III, which misattributes the Pope in attendance as Pope Pius II.
Frederick III meeting with Charles the Bold
Frederick in old age
Frederick III and Eleanor of Portugal
Frederick III's tomb, Vienna

During his reign, Frederick concentrated on re-uniting the Habsburg "hereditary lands" of Austria and took a lesser interest in Imperial affairs.

Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire)

The Kingdom of Italy within the Holy Roman Empire and within Europe in the early 11th century.
The Iron Crown of Lombardy, now at Monza Cathedral
The Kingdom of Italy within the Holy Roman Empire and within Europe in the early 11th century.
Imperial Italy (outlined in red) in the 12th and 13th centuries
Imperial Italy within the Holy Roman Empire in 1356

The Kingdom of Italy (Regnum Italiae or Regnum Italicum; Regno d'Italia; Königreich Italien), also called Imperial Italy (Italia Imperiale, Reichsitalien), was one of the constituent kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire, along with the kingdoms of Germany, Bohemia, and Burgundy.