Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor

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Charles IV (Czech: Karel IV., German: Karl IV, Latin: Carolus IV) (14 May 1316 – 29 November 1378), born Wenceslaus (Václav), was the second king of Bohemia from the House of Luxembourg, and Holy Roman Emperor.

He was the eldest son and heir of John the Blind, who died (in the Battle of Crécy) on 26 August 1346. Charles inherited the County of Luxembourg and the Kingdom of Bohemia. On 2 September 1347 Charles was crowned King of Bohemia.

On 11 July 1346 Prince-electors had elected him King of the Romans (rex Romanorum) in opposition to Emperor Louis IV. Charles was crowned on 26 November 1346 in Bonn. After his opponent had died, he was re-elected in 1349 (17 June) and crowned (25 July) King of the Romans. In 1355 he was also crowned King of Italy on 6 January and Holy Roman Emperor on 5 April. With his coronation as King of Burgundy, delayed until 4 June 1365, he became the personal ruler of all the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire.

Contents

Life

Born to John and Elisabeth of Bohemia (1292–1330) in Prague as Wenceslaus (Václav), the name of her father, but later chose the name Charles at his confirmation after he went to France, at the court of his uncle, Charles IV of France, where he remained for seven years.

Charles received French education and was literate and fluent in five languages: Latin, Czech[1], German, French, and Italian. In 1331 he gained some experience of warfare in Italy with his father. From 1333 he administered the lands of the Bohemian Crown due to his father's frequent absence and later also deteriorating eyesight. In 1334, he was named Margrave of Moravia, the traditional title for the heirs to the throne. Two years later he undertook the government of Tirol on behalf of his brother John Henry, and was soon actively concerned in a struggle for the possession of this county.

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