Charles IV Holy Roman EMPEROR

Male 1316 - 1378  (62 years)

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  • Name Charles IV Holy Roman EMPEROR  [1
    Born 14 May 1316  Wenceslaus Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 29 Nov 1378  [1
    • Charles IV (born Wenceslaus, 14 May 1316 ? 29 November 1378), of the House of Luxembourg, was eldest son and heir of John the Blind, from whom he inherited Luxembourg and Bohemia on 26 August 1346. He was elected King of Germany (rex Romanorum) in opposition to Louis IV at Rhens on 11 July that year and crowned on 26 November in Bonn. In 1349, he was elected (17 June) and crowned (25 July) King of Germany without opposition. In 1355, he crossed the Alps and was crowned King of Italy on 6 January and Holy Roman Emperor on 5 April. His coronation as King of Burgundy was delayed until 4 June 1365, but then he was the personal ruler of all the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire.

      His reign was characterised by a transformation in the nature of the Empire and by the coming-of-age of Bohemia. He promulgated the Golden Bull of 1356 whereby the succession to the imperial title was laid down: it held for the next four centuries. He made Prague the imperial capital, refusing even at the insistence of Petrarch to move to Rome, and he was a great builder in that city, which bears his name in so many spots: Charles University, Charles Bridge, and Charles Square. In the present Czech Republic, he is still regarded as Pater patriae (father of the country or otec vlasti), a title first coined by Adalbertus Ranconis de Ericinio at the his funeral.

      He was born to Elisabeth I of Bohemia in Prague as Wenceslaus, the name of her father, but later chose the name Charles at his confirmation. Charles received a French education and was literate and fluent in five languages: Latin, Czech, German, French, and Italian. From 1333, he administered the lands of the Bohemian Crown due to his father's frequent absence. In 1334, he was named Margrave of Moravia, the traditional title for the heirs to the throne. He was crowned King of Bohemia on 2 September 1347 as Charles I.

      Charles' imperial policy was focused on the dynastic sphere and abandoned the lofty ideal of the Empire as a universal monarchy of Christendom. In 1353, he granted Luxembourg to his brother Jobst. He concentrated his energies chiefly on the economic and intellectual development of Bohemia, where he founded the university in 1348 and encouraged the early humanists. Indeed, he corresponded with Petrarch, whom he invited to visit his residence in Prague, but the great Italian hoped ? to no avail ? to see Charles move his residence to Rome and reawaken tradition of the Roman Empire. As he became fond of Prague, art and architecture flourished in his capital. Not only the bridge that bears his name, but the castle of Hradcany and the cathedral of Saint Vitus, by Peter Parler, were completed under his patronage. Finally, it is from the reign of Charles that dates the first flowering of manuscript painting in Prague.

      In 1356, he issued his famous Golden Bull, which codified the procedures for imperial elections, but had the disastrous effect of causing minor princes who were left out of the electoral process to loosen their allegiance to the empire.

      In 1373, he inherited the margraviate of Brandenburg.

      Meeting with Charles V of France in Paris in 1378, from a fifteenth-century manuscript in the Biblioth╦que de l'Arsenal.Charles's sister Bona, married the eldest son of Philip VI of France, the future John II of France, in 1335. Thus, Charles was the maternal uncle of Charles V of France, who solicited his relative's advice at Metz in 1356 during the Parisian Revolt. This family connection was celebrated publicly when Charles IV made a solemn visit to his nephew in 1378, just months before his death. A detailed account of the occasion, enriched by many splendid miniatures, can be found in Charles V's copy of the Grandes Chroniques de France.
    Person ID I21213  Main Tree

    Father John I King Of BOHEMIA,   b. 10 Aug 1296,   d. 27 Aug 1346, Killed - Battle of Crecy Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 50 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Elizabeth Of BOHEMIA,   d. 28 Sep 1330 
    Relationship Natural 
    Family ID F07030  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Blanche Of VALOIS,   b. 1316,   d. 1348  (Age 32 years) 
     1. Katharina Of GERMANY,   b. 1342,   d. 1395  (Age 53 years)  [Natural]
     2. Margaret Of GERMANY,   b. 1335,   d. 1349  (Age 14 years)  [Natural]
    Family ID F17547  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Elizabeth Of POMERANIA,   b. Between 1345 and 1347,   d. 1393  (Age ~ 48 years) 
     1. Charles Of GERMANY,   b. 13 Mar 1372,   d. 24 Jul 1373  (Age 1 years)  [Natural]
     2. John Duke Of GORLITZ,   b. 1370,   d. 1396  (Age 26 years)  [Natural]
     3. Anne Of BOHEMIA,   b. 1366,   d. 1394  (Age 28 years)  [Birth]
     4. Sigismund King Of Hungary And BOHEMIA,   b. 1368,   d. 1437  (Age 69 years)  [Natural]
     5. Margaret Of GERMANY,   b. 1373,   d. 1410  (Age 37 years)  [Natural]
    Family ID F17555  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Anna Of PALATINE,   b. 1329,   d. 1353  (Age 24 years) 
     1. Wenceslas Of GERMANY,   d. young Find all individuals with events at this location  [Natural]
    Family ID F17551  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 4 Anne Of SWIDNICA,   b. 1339,   d. 1362  (Age 23 years) 
     1. Wenceslaus King Of The ROMANS,   b. 26 Feb 1361,   d. 16 Aug 1419  (Age 58 years)  [Natural]
     2. Elisabeth Of BOHEMIA,   b. 19 Apr 1358,   d. 04 Sep 1373  (Age 15 years)  [Natural]
    Family ID F17552  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S03581] Wikipedia Encyclopedia.