Holy Roman Empire

Individuals and events in the Holy Roman Empire during the European Middle Ages.

Otto III: The Ambitious Emperor

Otto III was born in July 980 to Holy Roman Emperor Otto II and Empress Theophano. Otto’s grandfather, Emperor Otto I, had established the Ottonian dynasty after his coronation in 962. As the emperor’s only son, the young Otto was groomed as his father’s heir. Three years after Otto’s birth, the emperor had his son elected German king. When Otto […]

Charles IV: The Diplomatic Emperor

Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV was born on May 14, 1316 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Originally named Wenceslas, the young boy was born into Bohemian royalty. His father, John of Luxembourg, was the king of Bohemia. Wenceslas’ mother, Elizabeth, was a member of Bohemia’s former ruling family: the Premsylid. The Premsylid dynasty had ruled Bohemia since the 9th century. After the […]

Otto II: The Capable Emperor

Otto II was born around 955. The only surviving son of Holy Roman Emperor Otto I and his second wife, Adelaide, Prince Otto became his father’s heir at a young age. During his reign, Otto I successfully consolidated his power over the empire. To ensure the succession, Otto had his son crowned co-king of Germany and Italy in 961 and […]

The Battle of Bouvines

Sixty years before the Battle of Bouvines, Henry II of England established the Angevin Empire. Through inheritance and marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, the king brought England and Western France under his control in 1154. Alarmed by this development, Louis VII of France sought to undermine the empire. Although the king spent his reign attempting to, he ultimately proved unsuccessful. […]

Henry V: The Ineffective Emperor

Emperor Henry V was born on August 11, 1086. The second son of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, Prince Henry’s elder brother, Conrad, initially served as their father’s heir. However, when Conrad revolted against the emperor, Henry became the new heir. On January 6, 1099, Henry succeeded Conrad as the King of Germany. During Henry IV’s reign, the emperor continually […]