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Frederick III, Holy Roman emperor and German king
Frederick III, 1415–93, Holy Roman emperor (1452–93) and German king (1440–93). With his brother Albert VI he inherited the duchies of Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola. He became head of the house of Hapsburg at the death (1439) of his distant cousin Albert II, whom he was elected (1440) to succeed as German king. Although Frederick was generally a weak ruler, he made considerable progress toward reuniting the Hapsburg family lands under his own branch. On Albert II's death Frederick became guardian for his young son Ladislaus Posthumus (see Ladislaus V) and regent of Austria for Ladislaus. In Bohemia and Hungary, however, he was unable to establish himself as regent for Ladislaus. In 1453 he temporarily lost Austria when he was forced to give up the youth. After the death (1457) of Ladislaus, Frederick relinquished Bohemia to George of Podebrad and Hungary to Matthias Corvinus. In Austria, his succession to Ladislaus as duke was challenged by his brother, but Albert's death (1463) left Frederick with an undisputed claim. In 1485, Matthias Corvinus, who had invaded Bohemia and Austria, occupied Vienna, and Frederick was forced to abandon his hereditary lands. However, longevity again proved an advantage; Matthias died in 1490, and Frederick recovered his possessions. In his relations with the Roman Catholic Church, Frederick was guided by his secretary, the brilliant Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (later Pope Pius II). In return for his support of Pope Eugene IV against Antipope Felix V (see Amadeus VIII), Frederick was promised an imperial coronation at Rome and various subsidies and revenues. He was the last emperor crowned at Rome. Frederick's greatest success was his acquisition of Burgundy, including the Netherlands and Belgium, for the house of Hapsburg. In 1473 at an interview at Trier with Charles the Bold of Burgundy, Frederick attempted to arrange the marriage of his son, later King Maximilian I, to Charles's daughter Mary of Burgundy. However, he was not prepared to meet Charles's demands and the negotiations ended abruptly. In 1477, soon after the defeat and death of Charles at Nancy, the marriage of Maximilian and the Burgundian heiress nevertheless took place and netted Austria a huge and cheap prize. This alliance set the pattern for the subsequent marriages and successions through which the Hapsburgs came to dominate a large part of the globe. In 1486, Maximilian was elected king of the Romans, or German king, and after 1490, Frederick resigned most of his duties to his son. The anagram AEIOU, inscribed on Frederick's personal possessions, has traditionally been explained as signifying Austria est imperare orbi universo [Lat.,=it is Austria's destiny to rule the whole world] or Alles Erdreich ist Österreich untertan [Ger.,=all the earth is subject to Austria].
Frederick III, emperor of Germany and king of Prussia
Frederick III, 1831–88, emperor of Germany and king of Prussia (Mar.–June, 1888), son and successor of William I. In 1858 he married Victoria, the princess royal of England, who exerted considerable influence over him. Frederick was a liberal and a patron of art and learning. In the Franco-Prussian War he distinguished himself as a military commander. He was popular, and much good was expected of his reign, but he died of cancer of the throat soon after his accession and was succeeded by his son, William II. His war diary of 1870–71 has been translated into English.
Frederick III, king of Denmark and Norway
Frederick III, 1609–70, king of Denmark and Norway (1648–70), son and successor of Christian IV. He at first made great concessions to the powerful nobles but later asserted his own power. In 1657 war with Sweden began anew. Charles X of Sweden forced Denmark to accept the humiliating Treaty of Roskilde (1658). Charles soon renewed the war, and it was only through the heroic defense of Copenhagen by Frederick, assisted by Dutch ships, that the Danish kingdom was saved from utter destruction. The Netherlands and Brandenburg, allies of Denmark, then assisted in repulsing the Swedes, and the peace of Copenhagen was made (1660). Denmark lost Skåne, Halland, and Blekinge to Sweden. Denmark was devastated and in debt. To help the country recover, the burghers and clergy united to end aristocratic power and privilege. The monarchy was declared hereditary, and the state administration was centralized and staffed by civil servants. A constitution granting absolute power to a hereditary monarch was published after Frederick's death (see Griffenfeld). Frederick was succeeded by his son, Christian V.
Frederick III, king of Prussia
Frederick III, king of Prussia: see Frederick III, 1831–88, emperor of Germany and king of Prussia.
Frederick III, elector palatine
Frederick III (Frederick the Pious), 1515–76, elector palatine (1559–76). The first German prince to accept Calvinism, he ordered the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) drawn up (see under Heidelberg). He aided the Calvinists in the Netherlands and in France.
Frederick III, elector of Saxony
Frederick III or Frederick the Wise, 1463–1525, elector of Saxony (1486–1525). At Wittenberg he founded (1502) the university where Martin Luther and Melanchthon taught. At a crucial period for the early Reformation, Frederick protected Luther from the pope and the emperor, and took him into custody at the Wartburg castle after the Diet of Worms (1521), which put Luther under the imperial ban. Frederick, however, had little personal contact with Luther and remained a Catholic, although he gradually inclined toward the doctrines of the Reformation.
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1. 1415--93, Holy Roman Emperor (1452--93) and, as Frederick IV, king of Germany (1440--93)
2. called the Wise. 1463--1525, elector of Saxony (1486--1525). He protected Martin Luther in Wartburg Castle after the Diet of Worms (1521)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005