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Ho'ly Ro'man Em'pire




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.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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