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Holy Roman Empire

Poster: JBRMM266@aol.com

 I think the
 actual traditions of the Holy Roman Emperor began when the (Frankish)
 Merovingian King Clovis converted to Christianity, and after the
 Merovingian Dynasty fell out of power, this carried over to the
 Carolingian Dynasty. >>

It has always been my understanding that Karolus, aka Charlemagne, was the 
first to hold the title of "Holy Roman Emperor" (nitially called "Emperor of 
the West").  I forget which historian remarked that the Holy Roman Empire was 
a treble misnomer, being in fact neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire ... 

Any road, Charles was crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day 800.  
Some say the Pope snuck up behind him and crowned him as he prayed, others 
maintain that he was a willing participant.  It was only under him that the 
HRE was anything like an empire.  The title survived into the early 19th 
century, but was mostly an honorary and the Emperor had little if any real 
power by then.  I think one of the last Holy Roman Emperors to really do 
anything was Charles V, who took the Crawn Imperial in 1342.


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