HOHENZOLLERN. The family name of the royal house of Prussia• in which has been vested also. since January IS, 1871, the dignity of t:erman Emperor. The name is derived from the ancestral Castle Zollern. or Hohenzollern. in Swabia (see preceding article). The origin of the house is involved in obscurity, and the story of its descent from Count Thassilo, a Swabian noble of the time of Charles the Great. is a fiction of the sixteenth century. The family name recur as early as the eleventh century in the persons of Burehard and Wezel of Zolre, who were killed in 1001. hut whether there is any relationship between these and the suc ceeding llohenzollern family is a matter of doubt. The lIonse of FlohenzAdlern occupied a prominent position among the petty princely families of Swabia as early as the first half of the twelfth century, and at the close of that century we find Count Frederick of 'Loire in vested with the Burggraviate of Nuremberg, an Imperial (Alice, ‘vhich descended to his posterity. Ills sons, Frederick and Conrad, divided tile possessions of the hors• in 1227. founding the Swabian and •raneonian lines. From the close of the siXtrentli centltry the elder or Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollern existed in the two lines of llohenzollern-llechingen and IlnheliZollern.Siginaringcn. In 1095 a pact of inheritance was made between these branche; and that of Brandenburg (see below). In 1521 a new covenant was drawn up and Noifirined by Prussia, as head of the Hohen zollern family, by which it was provided that in case of failure of male issue in either line pos session should pass to the other, and on the ex tinction of both lines should vest in the royal family of Prussia. But before the prospect of extinction presented itself the princes of Holten zollern-llechingen and llohenztillern-Signiarin gen. after the •ommotions of the revolutionary year DitS, decided to abdicate in favor of the King of Prussia. The of renunciation took place at the close of 1849, and in accordance with the covenant of IS21 the King of Prussia took possession of the two prin(ipalit•s in the 1,d lowMg year. the two princes being given annual pensions. Leopold of Ilohenztillern, the prince
who was offered the crown of Spain in 1571). was the eldest son of the last ruler of Mullen zollern-Signiaringen. The second son, Charles, beeame Prince and King of lInniania.
The great destiny of the family was reserved for the Pallet branch, the Franconian line. They attached themselves to the Hohenstaufen until that great house became extinct, when they gave their support to Rudolph of Hapsburg. During the civil war which followed the double election of 1314 they sided with Louis of Bavaria against the House of Austria. hilt subsequently they be came once more faithful supporters of the Haps burgs. Acquisitiveness and a capacity to hold Was once obtained and to administer it with thrift seem to have characterized to a greater or less degree all the Franconian Hohenzollern princes. From the founder of the line, Conrad 111. (died 1261), there was a steady gain in territory and influence under Frederick Ill. 11201-971. Frederick IV. . dolin I I. 1332-571. and Frederick V. (1357-981. 'rile possessions of the house, in which was vested the Burggraviate of Nuremberg. were constituted into the two mar gravial es of Bayreuth (originally Culmbach) and Anspaeh. The sons of Frederick V., John Ill. and Frederic-lc VI., possessed Bayreuth and Anspaeh. the latter inheriting his brother's possessions in 1420. Frederick VI. in 1411 received the .Xlargraviate of Brandenburg as a pledge for a loan to the Emperor Sigismund, and in 1415 it was granted to him as an heredi tary possession. together with the dignity of Elector. This was the foundation of the real greatness of the House of Hohenzollern.
The Elector Albert Achilles of Brandenburg by the so-called Dispositio Achill( a of 1473 decreed that the Franconian margraviates (An-.path and Bayreuth) should Inc• separated from Branden burg and ruled as seennologenitures. The last Margrave of Bayreuth died in 1769, when the State was united with Anspach. In 1791 the Margrave of Anspach and Bayreuth sold his principalities to Prussia, which, however, re tained them only a few years.