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Rudolf I

king, emperor and imperial

RUDOLF I, roo'd61f, emperor of Germany, founder of the Imperial house of Austria: b. 1 May 1218; d. Germersheim, 15 July 1291. He was the eldest son of Albert IV, Gault of Haps burg and Laudgrave of Alsace, was brought up in the court and camp of the Emperor erick II and on the death of his father sue. ceeded to lands of very moderate extent, which, in the spirit of the times, he sought to augment by military enterprises. He gained some terri tory by his marriage in 1245 and more by his frequent military aggressions. In 1273, while encamped before the walls of Basel, he re ceived the unexpected intelligence that he was elected king and Holy Roman emperor, in preference to Alphonso, king of Castile, and Ottokar, king of Bohemia. His confirmation was not attained without some difficulty, how ever. Pope Gregory X induced the king of Castile to withraw his pretensions, but the king of Bohemia at that time one of the powerful princes in Europe, persisted in his opposition, and a war ensued, in which the latter was de feated, compelled to sue for peace and to agree to pay homage. He broke the treaty in 1277,

but the following year was defeated a second time and slain. The Diet of Augsburg in 1282 formally conferred Austria, Styria, Carinthia and Carinola on Rudolf's two sons, Albrecht and Rudolf, as a joint inheritance. He re stored peace and order to Germany, and wisely put down the private fortresses, which served as a retreat for banditti and ferocious nobles. For these and other eminent services in the same spirit he obtained the title of "a living law,') and was regarded as a second founder of the German Empire. He asked the Diet at Frankfort to secure the imperial throne to his son Albrecht, but the electors were jealous of the powerful family and their refusal caused such mortification to the aged emperor that he did not long survive. Consult Kopp, 'Konig Rudolf und seine Zeit' (1845-49, continued by Busson 1871) ; Hein, 'Rudolf von Habsburg' (1874) ; Schulte, 'Geschichte der Habsburgero (1887); Zisterer, 'Gregory X und Rudolf von Habsburg' (1891).