Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

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Missing image
Emperor Maximilian I
Missing image
Portrait by Albrecht Dürer, 1519 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). Maximilian holds his personal emblem, the pomegranate.

Maximilian I of Habsburg (March 22, 1459January 12, 1519) was Holy Roman Emperor.


Life and reign in the Habsburg hereditary lands

Maximilian was born in Vienna as the son of the Emperor Frederick III and Eleanore of Portugal. He married (1477) the heiress of Burgundy, Mary, the only daughter of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Through this marriage, Maximilian obtained the Burgundian Netherlands and the Free County of Burgundy, though France took Burgundy proper.

In 1490, he bought Tyrol and Further Austria from his cousin Sigismund, the last member of the Elder Tyrolean Line of the House of Habsburg. Upon the death of his father in 1493, he inherited the remaining Habsburg possesions and thus reunified all Habsburg territories. That same year Maximilian married Bianca Maria Sforza (d. 1510), the daughter of the Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza of Milan as he had been a widower since the death of his first wife in 1482.

Reign in the Holy Roman Empire

Elected King of the Romans in 1486 at the initiative of his father, he also stood at the head of the Holy Roman Empire upon his father's death in 1493. The following year brought French intervention in Italy, inaugurating the prolonged Italian Wars. He joined the Holy League to counter the French. The war only ended with a success of the Empire after his death.

Maximilian is possibly best known for leading the 1495 Reichstag at Worms which concluded on the Reichsreform (Imperial Reform), reshaping much of the constitution of the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1508, Maximilian, with the assent of Pope, took the title of Elected Roman Emperor (Erwhlter Rmischer Kaiser), and thus ended the century-old custom that the Holy Roman Emperor had to be crowned by the pope.

Tu felix Austria nube

In order to reduce the growing pressures on the Empire brought about by treaties between the rulers of France, Poland, Hungary, Bohemia, and Russia, as well as to secure Bohemia and Hungary for the Habsburgs, Maximilian I met with the Jagiellonian kings Ladislaus II of Hungary and Bohemia and Sigismund I of Poland at Vienna in 1515. The marriages arranged there brought Habsburg kingship over Hungary and Bohemia in 1526.

Death and legacy

Template:Commons Maximilian died in Wels, Upper Austria, and was succeeded as Emperor by his grandson Charles V, his son Philip I of Castile having died in 1506. Maximilian had appointed his daughter Margaret of Austria as the educator of his grandsons Charles and Ferdinand, and she fulfilled this task well.



Preceded by:
Frederick III
King of Germany
Also Holy Roman Emperor-Elect
Succeeded by:
Charles V
Archduke of Austria, Duke of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola
Preceded by:
Count of the Tyrol and Regent of Further Austria
Preceded by:
Charles the Bold
Count of Burgundy and Artois
Succeeded by:
Philip I
de:Maximilian I. (HRR)

fr:Maximilien Ier du Saint Empire es:Maximiliano I nl:Maximiliaan I van het Heilige Roomse Rijk ja:マクシミリアン1世 (神聖ローマ皇帝) no:Maximilian I av det tysk-romerske rike pl:Maksymilian I zh:馬西米連一世 (神聖羅馬帝國)


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