The Holy Roman Empire portal gives an overview of events from about 900 to 1806, that affected the territories of the Empire and its leading aristocratic families.
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Philipp von Hutten
Philipp von Hutten was a German conquistador who, from 1535 to 1538, participated as a captain in an expedition by the Augsburg Welser Company into the interior of Venezuela in search of gold. At the end of 1540 he was appointed by Charles V as the military commander of the Spanish overseas province of Venezuela which was governed by the Welser family. On his return from a second expedition, which Hutten led between 1541 and 1546, he had his Spanish rival, Juan de Carvajal, murdered.
Little is known about the first thirty years of Philip von Hutten's life. It is documented that, when he was aged between twelve and fourteen, his parents placed him in the care of Count Henry III of Nassau-Breda-Viande, one of the teachers and closest confidants of the later Habsburg Emperor Charles V. Hutten had been living in Spain for several years in Charles' retinue before he set off with him in 1529 to the imperial coronation in Bologna.
The Holy Roman Empire, historiographically denoted as the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, (Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum; German: Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation) 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 included the neighbouring Kingdom of Bohemia and Kingdom of Italy, plus numerous other territories, and soon after the Kingdom of Burgundy was added. However, while by the end of the 15th century the Empire was still in theory composed of three major blocks – Italy, Germany, and Burgundy – in practice only the Kingdom of Germany remained, with the Burgundian territories lost to France and the Italian territories, ignored in the Imperial Reform, although formally part of the Empire, splintered into numerous de facto independent territorial entities.
The external borders of the Empire did not change noticeably from the Peace of Westphalia – which acknowledged the exclusion of Switzerland and the Northern Netherlands, and the French protectorate over Alsace – to the dissolution of the Empire. By then, it largely contained only German-speaking territories, plus the Kingdom of Bohemia, the southern Netherlands and lands of Carniola. At the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, most of the Holy Roman Empire was included in the German Confederation.
On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish kingCharlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476.
In theory and diplomacy, the Emperors were considered primus inter pares, regarded as first among equals among other Roman Catholic monarchs across Europe. 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, King of Germany, 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, before which the empire was referred to variously as universum regnum ("the whole kingdom", as opposed to the regional kingdoms), imperium christianum ("Christian empire"), or Romanum imperium ("Roman empire"), but the Emperor's legitimacy always rested on the concept of translatio imperii, that he held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome. The dynastic office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective through the mostly German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire; they would elect one of their peers as "King of the Romans" to be crowned emperor by the Pope, although the tradition of papal coronations was discontinued in the 16th century.
The Holy Roman Empire (LatinSacrum Romanum Imperium) was the official name for the sovereign territory of the Roman-German Emperor from the Middle Ages to the year 1806. The name of the Empire is derived from the claim of its medieval rulers that it continued the tradition of the Ancient Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire is the forerunner of the modern nation-states of Germany and Austria. To distinguish it from the German Empire founded in 1871 it is also referred to by modern historians as the “Old Empire” (German: Altes Reich)