Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor

Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor

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Ferdinand III was Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 from 15 February 1637 until his death, as well as King of Hungary and Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, King of Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 and Archduke of Austria.

Life


Ferdinand was born in Graz
Graz
The more recent population figures do not give the whole picture as only people with principal residence status are counted and people with secondary residence status are not. Most of the people with secondary residence status in Graz are students...

, the eldest son of Emperor Ferdinand II
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand II , a member of the House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Bohemia , and King of Hungary . His rule coincided with the Thirty Years' War.- Life :...

 of Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 and his first wife, Maria Anna of Bavaria. Educated by the Jesuits, he became King of Hungary in 1625, King of Bohemia in 1627 and Archduke of Austria in 1621.

In 1627 Ferdinand enhanced his authority and set an important legal and military precedent by issuing a Revised Land Ordinance that deprived the Bohemian estates
Estates of the realm
The Estates of the realm were the broad social orders of the hierarchically conceived society, recognized in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period in Christian Europe; they are sometimes distinguished as the three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and commoners, and are often referred to by...

 of their right to raise soldiers, reserving this power solely for the monarch.

Following the death of Wallenstein (who had previously denied him the overall military command of the Catholic side) in 1634, he was made titular head of the Imperial Army
Imperial Army of the Holy Roman Empire
The Imperial Army of the Holy Roman Empire was the army of the Holy Roman Empire...

 in the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

, and later that year joined with his cousin, the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand was Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Infante of Spain, Archduke of Austria, Archbishop of Toledo , and military...

, being nominally responsible of the capture of Donauwörth
Donauwörth
Donauwörth is a city in the German State of Bavaria , in the region of Swabia . It is said to have been founded by two fisherman where the Danube and Wörnitz rivers meet...

 and Regensburg
Regensburg
Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...

, and of defeat of the Swedes at the Battle of Nördlingen
Battle of Nördlingen (1634)
The Battle of Nördlingen was fought on 27 August or 6 September , 1634 during the Thirty Years' War. The Roman Catholic Imperial army, bolstered by 18,000 Spanish and Italian soldiers, won a crushing victory over the combined Protestant armies of Sweden and their German-Protestant allies .After...

. Leader of the peace party at court, he helped negotiate the Peace of Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 with the Protestant states, especially Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

 in 1635.

Having been elected King of the Romans
King of the Romans
King of the Romans was the title used by the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire following his election to the office by the princes of the Kingdom of Germany...

 in 1636, he succeeded his father as Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in 1637. He hoped to be able to make peace soon with France and Sweden, but the war dragged on for another 11 years, finally coming to an end with the Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October of 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the...

 (Treaty of Münster
Münster
Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland...

 with France, Treaty of Osnabrück
Osnabrück
Osnabrück is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany, some 80 km NNE of Dortmund, 45 km NE of Münster, and some 100 km due west of Hanover. It lies in a valley penned between the Wiehen Hills and the northern tip of the Teutoburg Forest...

 with Sweden) in 1648, both negotiated by his envoy Maximilian von und zu Trauttmansdorff
Maximilian von und zu Trauttmansdorff
Maximilian, Freiherr von und zu Trauttmansdorff , was an Austrian politician of the Thirty Years' War era...

, a diplomat who had been made a count in 1623 by his father Ferdinand II.

During the last period of the war, in 1644 Ferdinand III gave to all rulers of German states the right to conduct their own foreign policy (ius belli ac pacis). This way the emperor was trying to gain more allies in the negotiations with France and Sweden. This very edict contributed to the gradual erosion of the imperial authority in the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

.

After 1648 the emperor was engaged in carrying out the terms of the treaty and ridding Germany of the foreign soldiery. In 1656 he sent an army into Italy to assist Spain in her struggle with France, and he had just concluded an alliance with Poland to check the aggressions of Charles X of Sweden when he died on 2 April 1657.

Marriages and children


On 20 February 1631 Ferdinand III married his first wife Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria. She was the youngest daughter of Philip III of Spain
Philip III of Spain
Philip III , also known as Philip the Pious, was the King of Spain and King of Portugal and the Algarves, where he ruled as Philip II , from 1598 until his death...

 and Margaret of Austria. They were first cousins as Maria Anna's mother was a sister of Ferdinand's father. They were parents to six children:
  • Ferdinand IV of Hungary
    Ferdinand IV of Hungary
    Ferdinand IV was King of the Romans, King of Hungary, and King of Bohemia.He was born in Vienna, the eldest son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor and his first wife Maria Ana of Spain...

     (8 September 1633 – 9 July 1654).
  • Mariana of Austria
    Mariana of Austria
    Mariana of Austria was Queen consort of Spain as the second wife of King Philip IV, who was also her maternal uncle...

     (22 December 1634 – 16 May 1696). Married her maternal uncle Philip IV of Spain
    Philip IV of Spain
    Philip IV was King of Spain between 1621 and 1665, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands, and King of Portugal until 1640...

    . They were parents to Charles II of Spain
    Charles II of Spain
    Charles II was the last Habsburg King of Spain and the ruler of large parts of Italy, the Spanish territories in the Southern Low Countries, and Spain's overseas Empire, stretching from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies...

    , the last Habsburg monarch of Spain.
  • Archduke Philip August of Austria (1637–1639).
  • Archduke Maximilian Thomas of Austria (1638–1639).
  • Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
    Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
    | style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

     (9 June 1640 – 5 May 1705).
  • Archduchess Maria of Austria (1646).


In 1648, Ferdinand III married his second wife Archduchess Maria Leopoldine of Austria
Maria Leopoldine of Austria
Maria Leopoldine was Holy Roman Empress as the spouse of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor.-Biography:...

. She was a daughter of Leopold V, Archduke of Austria
Leopold V, Archduke of Austria
Leopold V, Archduke of Further Austria was the son of Archduke Archduke Charles II of Inner Austria, and the younger brother of Emperor Ferdinand II, father of Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Further Austria...

 and Claudia de' Medici
Claudia de' Medici
Claudia de' Medici was a daughter of Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Christina of Lorraine...

. They were first cousins as male-line grandchildren of Charles II, Archduke of Austria
Charles II, Archduke of Austria
Charles II Francis of Austria was an Archduke of Austria and ruler of Inner Austria from 1564...

 and Maria Anna of Bavaria
Maria Anna of Bavaria (Archduchess of Austria)
Maria Anna of Bavaria was the daughter of Albert V, Duke of Bavaria and Anna of Austria , and the wife of Archduke Charles II of Austria.-Family:...

. They had a single son:
  • Archduke
    Archduke
    The title of Archduke denotes a noble rank above Duke and below King, used only by princes of the Houses of Habsburg and Habsburg-Lorraine....

     Karl Josef of Austria (1649–1664). He was Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights
    Teutonic Knights
    The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem , commonly the Teutonic Order , is a German medieval military order, in modern times a purely religious Catholic order...

     from 1662 to his death.


In 1651, Ferdinand III married Eleonora Gonzaga. She was a daughter of Charles IV Gonzaga, Duke of Rethel. They were parents to four children:
  • Archduchess Theresia Maria Josefa of Austria (1652–1653).
  • Archduchess Eleonora Maria Josefa of Austria (1653–1697). Married first Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki, King of Poland and secondly Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
    Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
    Charles V , Karl V. Leopold, , son of Nicolas François, Duke of Lorraine, and Claude Françoise de Lorraine. Karl Leopold was born in Vienna and became the brother in law of Emperor Leopold and son in law of emperor Ferdinand III...

    .
  • Archduchess Maria Anna Josepha of Austria
    Archduchess Maria Anna Josepha of Austria
    Maria Anna Josepha of Austria was the youngest surviving daughter of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor and his third wife Eleonora Gonzaga.-Biography:Maria Anna Josepha's mother Eleonora was the third wife of Ferdinand...

     (1654–1689). Married Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine
    Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine
    Johann Wilhelm II, Elector Palatine was Elector Palatine , Duke Palatine of Neuburg/Danube , Duke of Jülich and Berg , and Duke of Upper Palatinate and Cham...

    .
  • Archduke Ferdinand Josef of Austria (1657–1658).

Music


Ferdinand III was a well-known patron of music and a composer. He studied music under Giovanni Valentini
Giovanni Valentini
Giovanni Valentini was an Italian Baroque composer, poet and keyboard virtuoso. Overshadowed by his contemporaries, Claudio Monteverdi and Heinrich Schütz, Valentini is practically forgotten today, although he occupied one of the most prestigious musical posts of his time...

, who bequeathed his musical works to him, and had close ties with Johann Jakob Froberger
Johann Jakob Froberger
Johann Jakob Froberger was a German Baroque composer, keyboard virtuoso, and organist. He was among the most famous composers of the era and influenced practically every major composer in Europe by developing the genre of keyboard suite and contributing greatly to the exchange of musical...

, one of the most important keyboard composers of the 17th century. Froberger lamented the emperor's death and dedicated to him one of his most celebrated works, Lamentation faite sur la mort très douloureuse de Sa Majesté Impériale, Ferdinand le troisième; a tombeau
Tombeau
A tombeau is a musical composition commemorating the death of a notable individual. The term derives from the French word for "tomb" or "tombstone". The vast majority of tombeaux date from the 17th century and were composed for lute or other plucked string instruments...

 for Ferdinand III's death was composed by the renowned violinist Johann Heinrich Schmelzer
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer was an Austrian composer and violinist of the Baroque era. Almost nothing is known about his early years, but he seems to have arrived in Vienna during the 1630s, and remained composer and musician at the Habsburg court for the rest of his life...

. Some of Ferdinand's own compositions survive in manuscripts: masses, motets, hymns and other sacred music, as well as a few secular pieces. His Drama musicum was praised by Athanasius Kircher
Athanasius Kircher
Athanasius Kircher was a 17th century German Jesuit scholar who published around 40 works, most notably in the fields of oriental studies, geology, and medicine...

, and the extant works, although clearly influenced by Valentini, show a composer with an individual style and a solid technique.

Recordings of Ferdinand's compositions include:
Jesu Redemptor Omnium. Deus Tuorum. Humanae Salutis. With Schmelzer
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer was an Austrian composer and violinist of the Baroque era. Almost nothing is known about his early years, but he seems to have arrived in Vienna during the 1630s, and remained composer and musician at the Habsburg court for the rest of his life...

: Lamento Sopra La Morte de Ferdinand III. Joseph I
Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph I , Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary, King of the Romans was the elder son of Emperor Leopold I and his third wife, Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg....

: Regina Coeli. Leopold I
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

: Sonata Piena; Laudate Pueri. Wiener Akademie, dir. Martin Haselböck
Martin Haselböck
Martin Haselböck is the musical director of Musica Angelica in Santa Monica, California, and the musical director and founder of the Orchester Wiener Akademie. He is also a professor at the University of Vienna, where he teaches organ.-External links:...

, CPO 1997.
Ferdinand III: Hymnus "Jesu Corona Virginum". On Musik für Gamben-Consort. Klaus Mertens
Klaus Mertens
Klaus Mertens is a German bass and bass-baritone singer who is known especially for his interpretation of the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach.-Professional career:Klaus Mertens took singing lessons while attending school...

, Hamburger Ratsmusik, dir. Simone Eckert CPO 2010

Ancestors





Titles


Ferdinand III, by the grace of God elected Holy Roman Emperor, forever August, King of Germany, King of Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Rama, Serbia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Cumania and Bulgaria, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Margrave of Moravia, Duke of Luxemburg, of the Higher and Lower Silesia, of Württemberg and Teck, Prince of Swabia, Count of Habsburg, Tyrol, Kyburg and Goritia, Marquess of the Holy Roman Empire, Burgovia, the Higher and Lower Lusace, Lord of the Marquisate of Slavonia, of Port Naon and Salines, etc. etc.

External links