Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Rudolf of Hapsburg(ro͞o`dŏlf), 1218–91, German king (1273–91), first king of the HapsburgHapsburg
, ruling house of Austria (1282–1918). Rise to Power
The family, which can be traced to the 10th cent., originally held lands in Alsace and in NW Switzerland. Otto (d.
..... Click the link for more information. dynasty. Rudolf's election as king ended the interregnum (1250–73), during which time there was no accepted German king or Holy Roman emperor. The election was prompted by Pope Gregory X, who needed the support of a strong German ruler to counter the power of Charles ICharles I
(Charles of Anjou), 1227–85, king of Naples and Sicily (1266–85), count of Anjou and Provence, youngest brother of King Louis IX of France. He took part in Louis's crusades to Egypt (1248) and Tunisia (1270).
..... Click the link for more information. of Anjou in Italy. Rudolf's election was contested by the powerful King Ottocar IIOttocar II
or Přemysl Ottocar II,
c.1230–1278, king of Bohemia (1253–78), son and successor of Wenceslaus I. Ottocar shrewdly exploited the disorders of the great interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire to build an empire reaching from Bohemia to the
..... Click the link for more information. of Bohemia. Rudolf finally defeated Ottocar at Marchfeld (1278) and invested (1282) his own sons Albert (later King Albert IAlbert I,
c.1250–1308, Holy Roman Emperor (1298–1308), son of Rudolf I. Albert was invested with Austria and Styria in 1282 by his father, who also hoped to secure the succession as king of the Germans for Albert.
..... Click the link for more information. ) and Rudolf with Austria, Styria, and Carniola, which he had won from Ottocar; these lands became the core of the Hapsburg possessions. Rudolf thus laid the foundations for a strong kingship based on large dynastic holdings. In Germany, Rudolf attempted to recover the rights lost to the crown during the interregnum. He issued local land peaces to overcome internal anarchy and imposed taxes on the imperial towns in order to strengthen the central government, but these measures had little success. In his Italian policy Rudolf attempted to conciliate the new pope, Nicholas III (reigned 1277–80), in the hope of securing the pope's approval for his coronation as Holy Roman emperor; Rudolf renounced his sovereignty over the Papal States and sought to bring about the withdrawal of the house of Anjou from central Italy. With Nicholas's death, however, and the election of an anti-German pope, Rudolf's plans for imperial coronation fell through. He also failed to have his son Albert elected king, which would have insured Albert's succession as emperor. Instead, Adolf of Nassau succeeded Rudolf.
Born May 1, 1218; died July 15, 1291, in Speyer. German king from 1273; first of the Hapsburgs.
Rudolf laid the foundations for the Hapsburg Empire by taking from the Bohemian king Otakar II in the years 1276–78 Austria, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola and handing over Austria and Styria to his sons in 1282. Using the Hapsburg family holdings as a base, he sought, for example, by announcing Landfriede (resolutions forbidding private wars), to strengthen central authority in the German kingdom, which was greatly weakened during the Great Interregnum of 1254–73.