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11

You are referring to the Schwarze Reiters (i.e. black riders), named after the dark armour they wore. This was a type of cavalry that appeared in Germany after the decline of the medieval lancers, but later became a generic name (usually shortened to just reiters) for German cavalry mercenaries. Around the mid-16th century, advancements in firearms as well ...


8

As a bride, Marie Antoniette might have been disliked by some due to the longstanding conflict between the two dynasties. But in terms of legitimacy, I'm not sure what could be illegitimate about being an Archduchess of Austria. Indeed, I'm not sure how one could ask for a more legitimate bride than a princess of Europe's most prestigious royal house. In ...


5

Wherever Henry the Fowler happened to be. During this period, the kingdom was basically ruled from wherever its king held court. There was no single "ruling seat" per se since the King tended to move around his kingdom a lot, hunting, touring as well as campaigning. The closest is probably the several preferred residences that kings would have had. These ...


5

The striking thing was that France and Austria had been political rivals going back to the time of Francis I (France) and Charles V (Austria). Until the mid 18th century. After winning the 100 Years' War, France became the strongest power in western Europe. Spain and Austria (counting the Holy Roman Empire) were two and three, and when Princess Juana of ...


5

It is widely held that Gustavus Adolphus sought to become emperor. This is not a modern development, either. In fact, some of his own contemporaries thought Gustavus intended to create a Protestant Germany with him as emperor. The intervention was a war of conquest, it can be claimed ... Historians who have taken this line of reasoning have often ...


4

The problem with doing that is that there was an established precedent in Western Europe that an "emperor" had to be proclaimed as such by the pope. Even Napoleon, who held a popular referendum on his accession to Emperor, required a Papal ceremony to make it official. For a protestant ruler, that's obviously not going to happen. Now, he could I suppose ...


4

You have confused the very real changes that occurred to the borders over the 170 years from roughly 1520 to 1700 with the concept that the borders were vague throughout that time. That span of years encompasses both the Thirty Years War in Germany, the Eighty years War of Dutch Independence, the War of the League of Augsburg, and several smaller conflicts. ...


2

For Charlemagne's feelings about being crowned emperor, I quote from The Civilization of the Middle Ages by Norman F Cantor, chapter six "The Making of Carolingian Kingship": On Christmas day, 800, as Charlemagne rose from prayer before the tomb of St. Peter, Pope Leo suddenly placed the crown on the king's head, and the well-rehearsed Roman clergy ...


2

Given the southward spread, Slovenian was likely spoken within the Empire as well. Also Romansch, the fourth language of Switzerland. Not sure how much Polish was spoken; though the Empire overlaps modern Poland, remember that Poland was forcibly moved 300 miles to the west by the Soviets. The northern overlap is Brandenburg/Prussia, which would have been ...


1

The Holy Roman Empire, as an "empire", did not have a territory of its own. It must be understood in the context of feudalism: a number of princes/kings/bishops/whatever were tied, through sworn allegiance, to the elected Emperor. In a way, we can say that the Empire extended exactly as far as these constituent elements extended. On the other hand, the ...


1

In 1485 the House of Wettin split into the Ernestine and Albertine branches, splitting Saxony between them. During the Schmalkaldic War the two branches were headed by John Frederick I and Maurice, respectively Elector of Saxony (Ernestine) and Duke of Saxony (Albertine). The normal distinction between the two sovereignties was made through distinguishing ...



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