Frederick III, Emperor, Archduke of Austria

(1415–1493)
   Best known for his doodled acronym A.E.I.O.U (Lat.: Austriae est imperare orbi universo; Germ.: Alles Erdreich ist Österreich Untertan); Eng: All the World Is Subject to Austria) Frederick did not live up to these later readings of his jottings. Indeed, one finds the motto very seldom in Habsburg representational settings. A notable exception is the principal domed ceiling of the Stately Hall (Prunksaal) in the Austrian National Library. Born when the Habsburg Austrian patrimony was still divided three ways, Frederick himself came into possession of the bulk of these lands after years of war with his brother, Archduke Albrecht VI (b. 1418), who finally died in 1463. A cousin continued to hold the Tyrol. The size of Frederick’s Austrian holdings, did not, however, increase his influence. The long conflict between the two men had drained their lands of money and other resources, and Frederick would remain forever vulnerable both to noble opposition within his own territories and foreign invaders. Hungary under its ambitious King Matthias Corvinus (1458–1490) was especially problematic. Effectively German king after 1442, Frederick was crowned emperor in Rome in 1452, the last ruler to receive the dignity in that city itself. The position gave him a certain amount of bargaining power with other European rulers; he used it with the last duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, to arrange a marriage between Charles’s daughter, Duchess Mary (1457–1482), and his son, the future Emperor Maximilian I. The union, which took place in 1477, laid part of the groundwork for the Spanish–Austrian Habsburg Empire of the 16th and 17th centuries
   See also Habsburg, House of.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

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