The New Student's Reference Work/Maximilian I

Maximilian (măks′ĭ-mĭl′yan) I, German emperor, the son of Frederick III, was born at Neustadt, near Vienna, March 22, 1459. When only 10 he married Mary, the heiress of Charles the Bold, by whom he gained Burgundy and Flanders. But this brought him into war with Louis XI of France, and Maximilian was forced to give Artois and Burgundy to Louis. In 1486 he was chosen king of the Romans. In 1490 he drove out the Hungarians, who, under Matthias Corvinus, had seized a great part of the Austrian territories on the Danube, and at Villach in 1492 he routed the Turks. The death of his father in 1493 made Maximilian emperor. His marriage with the daughter of the duke of Milan turned his ambition toward Italy; but after many changes of fortune he was driven to give up Milan to France and Verona to the Venetians. He, however, gained Tyrol by peaceful means; the houses of Spain and Hapsburg were joined by the marriage of their children; and the marriage of his grandson, Ferdinand, brought Hungary and Bohemia to Austria. Maximilian ended the feuds of his nobles, improved the courts, and divided the empire into six (afterward into ten) circles, each ruled by a governor. He also encouraged the Universities of Vienna and Ingoldstadt in learning and arts generally. He was well-educated, skilled in all bodily exercises, chivalrous and genial; so that he has been called the first knight of his age. Maximilian died emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, at Wels in Upper Austria, Jan. 12, 1519. See Coxe's History of the House of Austria.