Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Romanum Sacrum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo ) was a varying complex of lands that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe. It grew out of East Francia, one of the primary divisions of the Frankish Empire. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes. In its last centuries, it had become quite close to a union of territories.

The empire's territory lies predominantly in Central Europe and at its peak included territories of the Kingdom of Germany, Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Burgundy. For much of its history, the Empire consisted of hundreds of smaller sub-units, principalities, duchies, counties, Free Imperial Cities and other domains.

The Holy Roman Empire explicitly proclaimed itself to be the successor of the Western Roman Empire under the doctrine of translatio imperii ("transfer of rule" via a succession of singular rulers vested with supreme power). In 962 Otto I was crowned Holy Roman Emperor (Latin: Imperator Romanus Sacer), although the Roman imperial title was first restored to Charlemagne by the Pope in 800. Otto was the first emperor of the realm who was not a member of the earlier Carolingian dynasty. The last Holy Roman Emperor was Francis II, who abdicated and dissolved the Empire in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Read more about Holy Roman Empire:  Name, Institutions

Famous quotes containing the words holy roman empire, roman empire, holy roman, holy, roman and/or empire:

    Ce corps qui s’appelait et qui s’appelle encore le saint empire romain n’était en aucune manière ni saint, ni romain, ni empire. This agglomeration which called itself and still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.
    Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (1694–1778)

    The descendants of Holy Roman Empire monarchies became feeble-minded in the twentieth century, and after World War I had been done in by the democracies; some were kept on to entertain the tourists, like the one they have in England.
    Ishmael Reed (b. 1938)

    Ce corps qui s’appelait et qui s’appelle encore le saint empire romain n’était en aucune manière ni saint, ni romain, ni empire. This agglomeration which called itself and still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.
    Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (1694–1778)

    There is a very holy and a very terrible isolation for the conscience of every man who seeks to read the destiny in affairs for others as well as for himself, for a nation as well as for individuals. That privacy no man can intrude upon. That lonely search of the spirit for the right perhaps no man can assist.
    Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924)

    A Roman divorced from his wife, being highly blamed by his friends, who demanded, “Was she not chaste? Was she not fair? Was she not fruitful?” holding out his shoe, asked them whether it was not new and well made. “Yet,” added he, “none of you can tell where it pinches me.”
    Plutarch (c. 46–120 A.D.)

    I do not believe I am exaggerating in affirming that the empire of Russia is a country whose inhabitants are the most miserable on earth, because they suffer at one and the same time the evils of barbarism and of civilization.
    Marquis De Custine (1790–1857)