1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adolph of Nassau

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ADOLPH OF NASSAU (c. 1255-.1298), German king, son of Walram, count of Nassau. He appears to have received a good education, and inherited his father's lands around Wiesbaden in 1276. He won considerable fame as a mercenary in many of the feuds of the time, and on the 5th of May 1292 was chosen German king, in succession to Rudolph I., an election due rather to the political conditions of the time than to his personal abilities. He made large promises to his supporters, and was crowned on the 1st of July at Aix-la-Chapelle. Princes and towns did homage to him, but his position was unstable, and the allegiance of many of the princes, among them Albert I., duke of Austria, son of the late king Rudolph, was merely nominal. Seeking at once to strengthen the royal position, he claimed Meissen as a vacant fief of the Empire, and in 1294 allied himself with Edward I., king of England, against France. Edward granted him a subsidy, but owing to a variety of reasons Adolph did not take the field against France, but turned his arms against Thuringia, which he had purchased from the landgrave Albert II. This bargain was resisted by the sons of Albert, and from 1294 to 1296 Adolph was campaigning in Meissen and Thuringia. Meissen was conquered, but he was not equally successful in Thuringia, and his relations with Albert of Austria were becoming more strained. He had been unable to fulfil the promises made at his election, and the princes began to look with suspicion upon his designs. Wenceslaus II., king of Bohemia, fell away from his allegiance, and his deposition was decided on, and was carried out at Mainz, on the 23rd of May 1298, when Albert of Austria was elected his successor. The forces of the rival kings met at Gollheim on the 2nd of July 1298, where Adolph was killed, it is said by the hand of Albert. He was buried at Rosenthal, and in 1309 his remains were removed to Spires.

See F. W. E. Roth, Geschichte des Romischen Königs Adolf I. von Nassau (Wiesbaden, 1879); V. Domeier, Die Absetzung Adolf von Nassau (Berlin, 1889); L. Ennen, Die Wahl des Königs Adolf von Nassau (Cologne, 1866); L. Schmid, Die Wahl des Grossen Adolf von Nassau zum Römischen König; B. Gebhardt, Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte, Band i. (Berlin, 1901).