In this sixth installment we trace the incredible story of the Habsburg family who rose from petty nobility to Holy Roman emperors. The Habsburgs revived the empire and thrust it into the center of the European political arena. When holy Roman Emperor Frederick II died in 1250, a frightening two hundred year period began for Europeans. An on-the-scene observer in the fifteenth century could easily speculate that the empire was essentially finished. Proof that European civilization was about to be extinguished seemed everywhere:
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