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Holy Roman Empire
Definitionby Simon Duits

Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Empire officially lasted from 962 to 1806. It was one of Europe’s largest medieval and early modern states, but its power base was unstable and continually shifting. The Holy Roman Empire was not a unitary state, but a confederation...
The Ideology of the Holy Roman Empire
Articleby Isaac Toman Grief

The Ideology of the Holy Roman Empire

"The Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire," wrote Voltaire, and this interpretation still dominates the popular imagination, so the Holy Roman Empire is treated as a bad joke, a pale parody of the glory of Rome...
Investiture Controversy
Definitionby Michael Griffith

Investiture Controversy

The Investiture Controversy, also referred to as the Investiture Contest or Investiture Dispute, was a conflict lasting from 1076 to 1122 between the papacy of the Catholic Church and the Salian Dynasty of German monarchs who ruled the Holy...
Western Roman Empire
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Western Roman Empire

The Western Roman Empire is the modern-day term for the western half of the Roman Empire after it was divided in two by the emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305 CE) in c. 285/286 CE. The Romans themselves did not use this term. At its height (c...
Roman Empire
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Roman Empire

The Roman Empire, at its height (c. 117 CE), was the most extensive political and social structure in western civilization. By 285 CE the empire had grown too vast to be ruled from the central government at Rome and so was divided by Emperor...
Carolingian Dynasty
Definitionby Michael Griffith

Carolingian Dynasty

The Carolingian Dynasty (751-887) was a family of Frankish nobles who ruled Francia and its successor kingdoms in Western and Central Europe during the Early Middle Ages. The dynasty expanded from Francia as far as modern Italy, Spain, and...
Matilda of Tuscany
Definitionby Michael Griffith

Matilda of Tuscany

Matilda of Canossa (c. 1046-1115), the Countess of Tuscany (r. 1055-1115) and Vice-Queen of Italy (r. 1111-1115), was the final head of the noble House of Canossa following the deaths of her father in 1052 and her elder brother in 1055. One...
The Extent of the Roman Empire
Articleby Donald L. Wasson

The Extent of the Roman Empire

Time has seen the rise and fall of a number of great empires - the Babylonian, the Assyrian, the Egyptian, and lastly, the Persian. Regardless of the size or skill of their army or the capabilities of their leaders, all of these empires...
Byzantine Empire
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire, often called the Eastern Roman Empire or simply Byzantium, existed from 330 to 1453. With its capital founded at Constantinople by Constantine I (r. 306-337), the Empire varied in size over the centuries, at one time...
Roman Warfare
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Roman Warfare

Roman warfare was remarkably successful over many centuries and across many territories. This was due to several important factors. Italy was a peninsula not easily attacked, there was a huge pool of fighting men to draw upon, a disciplined...