Supplemental 3: Grand Dukes of the Center Part 1 – The House of Luxembourg

Charles IV was a member of the House of Luxembourg who was the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. He held these titles for over 30 years and is perhaps most famous for issuing the Golden Bull of 1356. The Golden Bull defined the organization of the Holy Roman Empire for the next 450 years until it was dissolved during the Napoleonic Wars.

Over the course of the 14th Century the lords of a small county on the border between France and the Holy Roman Empire became the Kings of Bohemia, Hungary, and Germany and the lords of dozens of smaller principalities. The House of Luxembourg began its rise when the Count of Luxembourg was put forward as a compromise candidate for Holy Roman Emperor, and from there they became one of the most important houses in Central Europe. In this miniseries we’ll explore three of these powerful and influential houses: The House of Luxembourg, the Wittelsbach House of Bavaria, and the Habsburg House of Austria.

Time Period Covered: 1308 – 1396

Notable People: Henry VII of Luxembourg, Baldwin of Luxembourg Archbishop of Trier, John the Blind, Charles IV of Luxembourg, Wenceslas IV of Luxembourg, Sigismund of Luxembourg, Henry of Carinthia, Ludwig IV the Bavarian

Notable Events/Developments: The Great Interregnum of the Holy Roman Empire, The Golden Bull of 1356, Founding of Newtown Prague, Founding of Charles University

This map shows the Holy Roman Empire in 1356 when Emperor Charles IV issued his famous Golden Bull. The colors show the territories controlled by the Houses that I will be covering in this mini-series. The House of Luxembourg controlled the Purple Territories, the Wittelsbach House of Bavaria controlled the Green Territories, and the Habsburg House of Austria controlled the Orange Territories.


The Empire: From Adolf of Nassau to Lewis of Bavaria by Peter Herde in The New Cambridge Medieval History Volume VI

The Empire: The Luxemburgs and Rupert of the Palatinate by Ivan Hlavacek in The New Cambridge Medieval History Volume VI

A History of The Czech Lands by Jaroslav Panek and Oldrich Tuma

The Slavs in European History and Civilization by Francis Dvornik

Prague the Crown of Bohemia ed. by Barbara Drake Boehm and Jiri Fajt

The Czechs and the Lands of the Bohemian Crown by Hugh Agnew


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