Battle of Göllheim
|Battle of Göllheim|
|Part of the fight for the rule over the Holy Roman Empire|
Death of Adolf of Nassau, Simon Meister, 1829
Duchy of Austria|
Kingdom of Bohemia
County of Nassau|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Albert I of Habsburg||Adolf of Nassau †|
After the death of Rudolph I at Germesheim on 15 July 1291, his son, Albert I seemed to be the inevitable successor to the throne of Holy Roman Empire. However, Albert's grotesque appearance (including an open eye socket from battle; hence, "Albert the One-Eyed") and his lack of good manner cost him the throne. When the Diet met near Frankfurt the following year, they were discouraged to appoint Albert, thus they elected a cousin of one of the Electors, Adolf of Nassau-Weilburg. Nevertheless, Albert's patience allowed him to recognize Adolf with good grace, while secretly plotting against him. Nearly five years later, Adolf was deposed by the Electors, and Albert anticipated their judgment by killing Adolf face-to-face at the battlefield at Göllheim.
Once the battle had commenced, Albert rode his horse through the throng of fighting men until he had found Adolf. Earlier in the battle, Adolf had lost his helmet, thus facing Albert bare-headed. It is said that they exchanged angry words, until Albert pierced his adversary through the chin. Adolf was thrown off his horse, and was butchered by his opponent. It is believed that Albert killed Adolf with a ballock-knife, only to rise from the ground completely stained in Adolf's blood.
After the gruesome battle, Albert was reluctantly elected King of the Romans. His electors had good reason to be afraid of Albert, for he is often compared to the biblical King Rehoboam, who often declared to his people, "My father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions!"
- Wheatcroft, Andrew (1996) The Habsburgs, Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-023634-1
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