When historians think of an absolute important monarchy in Europe after the Dark Ages-Medieval Times, they generally think of Louis XIV of France or Frederick the Great of Prussia. But Federico (1195-1250), Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Sicily ruled as an autocrat several centuries before them and established a model that later monarchs attempted to follow. All law and all justice came from him. He had a standing army and navy paid in cash and financed by taxation. He ruled the church as he ruled the state. His was the only Nation except for the Eastern Roman Empire. The city-states of northern Italy rose in wealth and influence. There were no other unified nations in Medieval Europe 600 A.D. – 1500 A.D. The rest of Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire became a largely rural and backward region and a patchwork of feudal fiefdoms. Viking barbarians invaded many areas for plunder before converting to Christianity. Arab Muslim barbarians invaded many areas to destroy Christian civilizations, kill Christians and/or take Christian slaves.
In 1231 the Holy Roman Empire comprised most of what we today call Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, and about the northern half of the Italian peninsula, down to and including Rome. The Vatican was a nation that controlled a few states in the middle of Italy called the Papal States. The Kingdom of Sicily was not just the island, but also the southern third of the Italian peninsula.
Victor P Musso, President
American Italian Federation of the Southeast