Holy Roman Empire

Mozart´s Linz Symphony. November 4, 1783.

Born in Salzburg, in the Holy Roman Empire, Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in Vienna, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his early death at the age of 35. The circumstances of his death have been much mythologized. He composed more than 600...

The Sacrifice of Stamira. September 1, 1173.

Emperor Frederick Barbarossa bore a long-standing grudge to Ancona, one of the Italian Maritime Republics, for its assertion of independence. Ancona had already stubbornly and successfully resisted an earlier attempt of Imperial occupation in 1167. Moreover, to counterbalance the power of the Holy Roman Empire, the Anconitans made a voluntary submission to the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos, and the Byzantines maintained representatives in the city. In the later part of May 1173 the Imperial forces, commanded by Christian von Buch, Archbishop of Mainz, laid siege to Ancona. In preparation for this step, the imperial troops had previously requested and obtained the naval alliance of the Republic of Venice. Despite the ongoing conflict between the Empire and the Italian cities associate...

The Battle of Pavia. February 24, 1525.

The Battle of Pavia, fought on the morning of 24 February 1525, was the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–26 between the Kingdom of France and the Habsburg Empire of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor as well as ruler of Spain, Austria, the Low Countries, and the Two Sicilies. The French army was led by King Francis I of France, who laid siege to the city of Pavia (then part of the Duchy of Milan within the Holy Roman Empire) with 26,200 troops since the month of October. The French infantry consisted of 6,000 French soldiers and 17,000 foreigners: 8,000 Swiss mercenaries, and 9,000 German-Italian black bands. The French cavalry consisted of 2,000 knights and 1,200 lances fournies. Charles V sent a relief force of 22,300 troops under the nominal command of the Flemish Charles de La...

The Battle of Lepanto. October 7, 1571.

Venice had attempted to check Ottoman expansion in the eastern Mediterranean until 1540 but then, exhausted and despairing of support, made a humiliating peace with Süleyman I. His successor, Selim II, was determined to acquire the Venetian outpost of Cyprus and, when the Venetians refused to cede the island, invaded it in 1570. Venice appealed for help to Pope Pius V, who had tried since 1566 to form an alliance of Roman Catholic states. France and the Holy Roman Empire were preoccupied with the sweeping changes wrought by the Reformation. Spain offered hope, but Philip II, with an empty treasury, was faced with revolts in Andalusia and the Netherlands. Venice also deeply distrusted Spanish influence in Italy. Pius, however, was committed to drawing Spain, Venice, and the smaller Italian ...

The Peace of Westphalia. October 24, 1648.

  The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster, ending the European wars of religion. These treaties ended the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, between the Habsburgs and their Catholic allies and the Protestant (Sweden, Denmark, Dutch, Holy Roman Principalities) and Catholic (France) Anti-Habsburg allies; and the Eighty Years’ War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognising the independence of the Dutch Republic.  

Martin Luther Excommunicated – December 10, 1520 AD

Martin Luther was originally an Augustinian friar, a Catholic religious order. As time went on, he moved away from some of the core Catholic teachings, insisting that the Bible was the only source of knowledge from God. He believed one could not purchase or earn through good deeds his way to salvation – it could only be attained through the acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. His teachings put him at odds with the Roman Catholic Church and the pope, writing his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517, when confronting the Dominican friar, Johann Tetzel. Tetzel was a Grand Inquisitor of Heresy to Poland and was in the practice of selling indulgences for money in exchange for freedom from God’s punishment of sin. This is a category of  martin luther coin. From 1510-1520, Luther preached about th...

Pope Clement VII Escapes – December 6, 1527 AD

When Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici became Pope Clement VII on November 19, 1523, the Italian War had already been raging for two years. The election of Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor and the allying of Pope Leo X with Charles against Martin Luther provoked the war of the Holy Roman Empire, Henry VIII of England and the Papal States against King Francis I of France and the Republic of Venice. Clement sent the Archbishop of Capua to the kings of France, England and Spain to try to end the war. The mission failed and Francis invaded Milan. In return, Clement joined with the other Italian princes, Republic of Venice and France against the Imperial and Spanish forces. In doing so, Parma and Piacenza became Papal States, the Medici rule over Florence and free passage of the French troops ...

The Sixth Crusade – October 17, 1244 AD

The Crusades were Catholic Church sanctioned military campaigns during the Middle Ages, beginning with pleas from the Byzantine Empire, under Alexius I, to the Pope to help with the Turkish threat in Constantinople, in 1095 AD. The last Crusade was undertaken in the 15th Century and meant to counter the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. The First Crusade resulted in the creation of four Crusader States – County of Edessa, Principality of Antioch, County of Tripoli and Kingdom of Jerusalem. Frederick II was ambitious and many modern historians call him “the first modern ruler” because of the efficient centralized government system he established in Sicily and southern Italy. When he was three, he was crowned King of Sicily and co-ruled with his mother. He was King of Germany, Burgundy and It...

The Western/Papal Schism and the End of Papal States – September 20, 1378 AD and September 20, 1870 AD

Robert of Geneva was the son of Amadeus III, Count of Geneva. He was born in 1342 AD in Chateau d’Annecy, in the county of Savoy, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1361, he became the Bishop of Thérouanne; the Archbishop of Cambrai in 1368 and a cardinal in 1371. From 1376-1378, he was serving as papal legate in Upper Italy and during that time, he was called upon in 1377 to suppress a rebellion in the Papal States. He personally led forces against the city of Cesena in Forlì, which was resisting being annexed into the Patrimony of Peter, during the War of the Eight Saints (1375-1378). The Papal States were territories in Italy under the direct sovereignty of the Pope, from the 700s-1870, ending when the unified Kingdom of Italy laid siege to the city of Rome and Pope Pius XI. On Sept...

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