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a Germanic empire located chiefly in central Europe that began with the coronation of Charlemagne as Roman emperor in a.d. 800 (or, according to some historians, with the coronation of Otto the Great, king of Germany, in a.d. 962) and ended with the renunciation of the Roman imperial title by Francis II in 1806, and was regarded theoretically as the continuation of the Western Empire and as the temporal form of a universal dominion whose spiritual head was the pope.
the complex of European territories under the rule of the Frankish or German king who bore the title of Roman emperor, beginning with the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 ad. The last emperor, Francis II, relinquished his crown in 1806

A major political institution in Europe that lasted from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries. It was loosely organized and modeled somewhat on the ancient Roman Empire. It included great amounts of territory in the central and western parts of Europe. Charlemagne was its first emperor. In later years, the emperors were Germans and Austrians. The empire declined greatly in power after the sixteenth century.

Note: The eighteenth-century French author Voltaire once wrote that the Holy Roman Empire was “neither holy, Roman, nor an empire.”


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