In the late days of the fifteenth century, the Holy Roman Empire1 was all unwittingly nearing its end; the bark of State, for long fighting adverse wind and wave, was struggling amidst stormy seas, assailed by tempests from every quarter.
The Holy Roman Empire, of which it has been bitterly but truly said that it was not holy, it was not Roman, and it was not an empire, was a living thing for many years after Otto II (Otto the Great), its founder, was crowned in Rome in A.D. 962; it never, indeed, achieved its ideal; but the German King and the Roman Emperor met in one person, who was crowned at Rome, and who was, in effect, selected by the Roman Pontiff. The ideal, half poetry and half theology,2 was that the whole Christian world was one great Empire, over which presided the Pope in ecclesiastical and
RIDDELL WR. SEBASTIAN BRANT: DE PESTILENTIALI SCORRA SIVE IMPETIGINE ANNI XCVI. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1929;20(1):63–74. doi:10.1001/archderm.1929.01440010071009
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