History of Europe

936 to 1291:The Holy Roman Empire

IN 936:Otto I was elected King of Germany

Otto 1st, son of Henri Iᵉʳ is called "Henri the Birdcatcher" because he is passionate about falcon hunting. He was elected King of Germany by hereditary right and thus gave birth to a dynasty.

EN 955:Battle of Lechfeld

Otto I emerges victorious from the battle against the Magyars at Lechfeld. The latter then abandoned their raids and settled in the Danube plain.

February 2, 962:Otto is crowned Emperor

Pope John XII crowns Otto I “Holy Roman Emperor”. Following Otto I, all the Germanic kings also bear this title. At that time, the Holy Roman Empire includes present-day Germany and part of Italy. For this, Otto the Great is considered to be the most powerful sovereign in Europe. However, his empire is not as vast as that of Charlemagne, but it is politically more solid. Otto dies in 973.

Between 1190 and 1197:Reign of Henry VI

On the death of Frederick Barbarossa, his son Henry, already King of the Romans and of Italy, became German Emperor despite some reluctance on the part of the princes.

He rules by terror and is known to have a deceitful, cruel and authoritarian temperament. He murders Sicilian nobles, mutilates a child by castrating him and gouging out his eyes, puts a Count to death on a white-hot throne and decapitates corpses.

BETWEEN 1208 AND 1250:Reign of Frederick II

The story of Frederick II is at the crossroads of History and Myth. Orphaned at the age of 4, it was well after the death of his father Henry VI that Frederick II inherited the kingdom of Sicily through his mother. He rules Germany there but feels above all king of Sicily. He claims to be a genuine successor to the emperors of ancient Rome and wishes to create a universal empire that would be the supreme authority on earth. But the Italian papacy does not admit it and does not see with a good eye that Frederick II applies himself to the sciences and is interested in Islamic civilization by establishing an antipapist and anticlerical policy.

Excommunicated Frederick II went on a crusade (Sixth Crusade) to reconquer the kingdom of Jerusalem, which had fallen into Muslim hands in 1187. He returned Jerusalem to the Christians through diplomacy and not through war, which caused a scandal in the clerical milieu. Back in Sicily, he must fight to reestablish his authority.

BETWEEN 1250 AND 1273:Decline of the Holy Roman Empire

BETWEEN 1273 AND 1291:Reign of Emperor Rudolf of Habsburg

With him, a new dynasty of emperors was born.