Neither Holy, Nor Roman

This is a quiz, much like the quizzes we’ve done in the past, except that the answer, instead of being a book or an author, is a Holy Roman Emperor. The usual rules apply:

  • No Googling or other use of search engines
  • One point for the first correct answer
  • If there are any questions, the ruling of the judge (me) is final

Any questions? Good. Here we go.

1. He caught quite a chill visiting the Pope.

2. His plans went out the window.

3. Ruled more of the world than any Holy Roman emperor before or since.

4. “I am king of the Romans and above grammar.”

5. A wonder of the world.

6. Son of a German Roman and a Greek Roman.

7. He demonstrated why bathing suits aren’t armored.

8 .A Welf in sheep’s clothing.

9. Not as pragmatic as he thought.

10. And done. I blame Napoleon.

Image by maximilianschiffer Neither Holy, Nor Roman


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Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever. ...more →

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48 thoughts on “Neither Holy, Nor Roman

  1. 4. Charles V, who was Charles I in Spain. Product of a dynastic moonshot inheritence that united the heritary lands of the Crowns of Aragon and Castile, the Duchy of Burgundy and Austrian dominions into one person. Realized the unwieldiness of his regime and split into Austrian and Spanish halfs for his successors and retired to monasty to promptly die.

    7. Fredrick I Barbarossa. Drowned in his armour in a Turkish river, leading the German and then largest component of the Third Crusade. Neither the Byzantines nor the Turks could beat him, but the river did.

    9. Charles VI. His pragmatic sanction was the inheritence of Maria Theresa. Another great German military leader named Fredrick had something to say about that,

    5. I think is Fredrick II, decendant of the Barbarossa Fredrick, but I’m not sure of the regnal title. Impressively cultured and liked being the King of Sciliy (quite the prize territory in those days) more than King of the Romans (Germans).

    I know the events referenced in 2, 6 and 10, but not the personalities or names.

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    • Funny factoid on the Pragmatic Sanction I wasn’t aware of until very recently

      At the end of WWI, Hungary did not (immediately) abolish the monarchy. They just overturned the Pragmatic Sanction, barred crown inheritance via female line, and thus barred all descendants of Maria Theresa (that is, every single living Hapsburg) from the Hungarian throne. Hungary continued to be a Kingdom-without a King- until 1946

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      • That is partially true. The Hungarians were generally perfectly fine with the last Hapsburg being King of Hungary. The Allies were not. Since no faction could agree on a replacement King, Horthy was elected Regent.

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  2. #10 is Francis II, Marie Antoinette’s nephew, who surrendered the German Imperial crown in 1808 and became the first Emperor of Austria

    #2 is strange, because I think you are referring to the Defenestration of Prague, and the person involved would be the future Ferdinand II, who was already King of Bohemia. However, the Defenestration happened in 1618, a year before Ferdinand became Emperor. The them Emperor was Mathias, but he was (very old and) in principle supportive of the Protestant defenestrators, while the defenestrated were the representatives of the very Catholic already king, and future Emperor, Ferdinand

    #5 is Frederick II, who truly was one of the most interesting characters in history, and is impossible to do him justice in a blurb. Go Wikipedia him.

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  3. 1-10. What is an inbred Hapsburg?

    (“Is there any other kind?”)

    (Actually I think the Revolutions podcast mentioned that the family miscalculated on the election once or twice in the multi-century run. But always got back in the next one)

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  4. This one is for my wife (her being the European history major). I’m seriously impressed any of you can pull this stuff out of your heads. I can’t keep the various European heads of state and church straight without a program, too many rulers, not enough names.

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  5. 4. Refers to the comeback the Emperor made to a priest to corrected his bad Latin grammar at an important council, one dealing with Jan Hus’s heresey. I don’t remember his name but he would be one of the Luxembourg emperors.

    6. Refers to one of the later Saxon dynasty emperors, one of the many Ottos and not the first or the second Otto. The marriage of a Byzantine princess to the heir of the Saxon line was a big diplomatic event in the 10th century, and I believe she reigned as regent for her infant son for a time.

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  6. Can’t remember the real name for #4, only that he got tagged ‘Super Grammaticam’ because of that

    #8: Otto #?, son of Henry the Lion – only Welf to be Holy Roman Emperor and double crossed the pope

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