Holy Roman Empire
Timeline: Caesar of Rome
962 – TBD
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) Quaterionenadler David de Negker
Flag Coat of Arms
HRE 1600 (Caesar of Rome)
The Empire at its zenith, before the 1600s
(and largest city)
no official capital
Other cities Vienna, Prague, Rome
Language German, Latin, Italian, Polish, Dutch, French, among others
Religion Catholicism, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Gallicanism
Demonym German, Roman
Government Elective monarchy
Imperial Diet
Established 962

The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic union of nations and territories in central Europe that developed during the Middle Ages, and gradually decreased in power over centuries. The Empire was never as centralized and politically united as that of nations like France, and instead evolved into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy made up of hundreds of principalities, duchies, territories, counties, Free Imperial Cities, ecclesiastical states, and other domains.

The leader of the Empire, the Holy Roman Emperor, was elected. The power of the Emperor was limited, and while the various princes, lords, and kings of the Empire were considered vassals and subjects to the Emperor, they also possessed certain privileges that gave them a sense of sovereignty within their territories.

With the Seventy Years' War devastating much of Europe, the Empire became further disunited in terms of politics and identity, and many states within the Empire were expanding their power rapidly. Eventually, minor conflicts and nationalism led to the demise of the Empire, however intergovernmental organizations were later established in place of the Empire for economic trade and security.


Early history

For history before 1450, see Wikipedia:Holy Roman Empire