Maria Theresia was born in 1717 to the Holy Roman Emperor Karl VI and his wife Elisabeth Christine. She, her younger sister and their cousin sisters were the last generation of the Habsburg dynasty that had ruled over many parts of the European and the American continents. 1/10
In 1713, Emperor Karl had issued the Pragmatic Sanction effectively disinheriting his elder brother's daughters over his future daughters, in case he failed to produce a male heir, which he didn't. This made Maria Theresia the heir to the Habsburg realms. 2/10
Sophie Augusta Friederike was born in 1729 to Prince Christian August von Anhalt-Zerbst and Johann Elisabeth von Holstein-Gottorp. Her mother's brother, Adolf Friedrich, had become the King of Sweden in 1743 while a cousin had married the daughter of the Russian Tsar Peter. 1/10
This cousin had a son, Karl Peter Ulrich, who had been named as heir by his aunt, Empress Elisaveta, after she seized the Russian throne in 1741. The Empress would also arrange for the marriage of Karl with Sophie. They married in 1745 and converted to the Orthodox faith. 2/10
Charles-Louis Napoléon Bonaparte was born in 1808 to King Louis I of Holland and his wife, Hortense de Beauharnais. His mother was a step daughter of his uncle, the French Emperor Napoleon. In 1810, France annexed Holland sending King Louis to exile in Austria. 1/10
Louis Napoléon, however, lived with his mother, eventually ending up in Italy learning about national liberty and French history. In 1831, his elder brother, Napoléon-Louis, was involved in the failed Carbonari movement in Italy and Louis supported him. 2/10
Willem Frederik was born in 1772 to Willem V, Prince of Nassau-Diez & Stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands (Dutch Republic), & Princess Wilhemine of Prussia. Though Netherlands was a republic, the Stadtholder, the de facto Head of State, was hereditary. 1/10
The obvious contradiction was challenged during the Patriottentijd in the 1780s. But Stadtholder Willem V would come through in the end, after an invasion by Prussia backing their relative. Unsurprisingly, Prince Willem was given military training in his formative years. 2/10
Flavius Belisarius was born around 505 in a (likely) Germanic family in Illyria. He would join the Byzantine army and in 526, he would be send to war over Iberia. The Caucasian Kingdom of Iberia was a point of conflict for Byzantium and Sassanid Persia. 1/10
Though the Byzantines were initially unsuccessful, Belisarius would lead the Byzantine army to a successful victory at Dara, leading to Persia eventually settling for peace in 532, though the Byzantines would have to pay tribute. Iberia would remain under Sassanian hegemony. 2/10
Hannibal Barca was born around 247 BC to Hamilcar Barca, a Carthaginian general. Hamilcar Barca led the Carthaginian forces in Sicily against Rome in the latter stages of the First Punic War. With the fate of the war decided elsewhere, Hamilcar would set his sight for Rome. 1/10
But first Hamilcar would work to gain more influence in Carthage with the help of Hasdrubal, who would marry his daughter later. After achieving control over Carthage, the two would set sail for the Iberian peninsula where they developed their base. 2/10
James Francis Edward was born in 1688 to King James of England, Scotland and Ireland and his wife Maria Beatrice. As his father's only son, he became his father's heir, superseding his elder half sisters, Mary and Anne. 1/10
Both King James & Queen Maria were Catholic. Though princesses Mary & Anne had been raised as Protestants, the birth of a Catholic heir was an issue for the predominantly Anglican England. Mary, who was the heir earlier, was also married to Protestant Prince Willem Hendrik. 2/10
King at the age of 1. With Celtic origins, mother and (later) son beheaded by the English. Two assassination plots with gunpowder, three kingdoms to rule, with a dynasty of four Kings, dying in his fifties, numbered as 6 and 1.
James Charles Stuart was born in 1566 to Mary, Queen of Scotland, and her husband, Duke Henry Stuart of Albany. Soon after his son's birth, the house Henry Stuart was living in was blown up with gunpowder. Henry was dead, apparently strangled, with suspicion falling on Mary. 1/10
Mary would be forced to abdicate and flee by rebellious lords, making James King in 1568. James would be looked after by an array of regents including his grandfather, Earl of Lennox. As Queen Mary sought refuge in England, she would end up getting imprisoned instead. 2/10
Emperor at the age of 5, virtually abandoned by his parents on a different continent, but growing up and ruling one of the world's largest nations for over 50 years and resigning after a coup despite popular support.
Pedro de Alcântara was born in 1825 to Emperor Pedro of Brazil and Maria Leopoldina. Since 1807, the multi continental Portuguese Empire had been on the brink of collapse. As Napoleon's armies invaded, Queen Maria and the royal family had sought refuge in Brazil. 1/10
With the increasing importance of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was elevated to a Kingdom and Queen Maria's son, João, was crowned King of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, after Queen Maria's death in 1816. But Portugal would soon revolt in 1820, forcing King João back to Europe. 2/10
An illegitimate son of a King, set for a monastic life. But as the leader of a Christian military order, becomes a popular claimant to the throne in a succession crisis; breaking the monastic vows and sealing an historic alliance that would last for centuries with his marriage.
João de Aviz was born in 1357 to King Pedro of Portugal and his mistress Teresa Gille Lourenco. In 1364, he was made the Grand Master of the Order of Aviz, a Portugal based monastic military order. 1/10
In 1367, João's legitimate half brother, Fernando, succeeded their father as King. King Pedro also had two other sons, legitimized by their parents' alleged marriage. King Fernando would ally himself with John of Gaunt in the latter's claim of the Castilian throne. 2/10
Son a King and father of another. Refusing the throne and restoring a former dynasty, remaining more powerful than the King and creating a dynasty that will rule his nation for 800 years and many others in Europe and America.
Hugues was born in 898 to Count Robert of Paris and Beatrix de Vermandois. His father was elected King of West Francia in 922, when the nobles rebelled against Carolingian King Charles III. But it was not a complete rebellion with Rollo of Normandy supporting King Charles. 1/10
The two forces met at Soissons in 923, ending in victory for Robert's forces and capture of King Charles. But Robert also died in battle. Hugues would decline to succeed his father as King and the crown would go to his brother-in-law, Rodolphe, instead. 2/10
A prince of one of the oldest Germanic kingdoms in former Roman provinces, dispossessed and driven to a foreign land as a refugee, but returning strong and paving way for creation of a nation out of seven.
Prince Ecgberht was born around 770 to Ealhmund, who was the King of Kent in 784. In 789, Ecgberht was expelled from Kent by King Beorthric of Wessex, with the help of King Offa of Mercia. He would flee the islands and seek refuge on the continent. 1/10
Kent was the oldest of the Germanic kingdoms on the British Isles. It was founded by two brothers, Hengist and Horsa, Jutish mercenaries hired by a Celtic King after the Romans abandoned the island in 410. Their conquest led to Angles, Saxons and Jutes coming to the islands. 2/10
Princess Ilona was born after 1050 to Prince Béla of Hungary and his wife Princess Ryksa. Béla was the younger brother of the Hungarian King András. In 1060 with Polish support, Béla would seize the throne from his brother, as András tried to crown his son, Salamon. 1/10
But Béla's death in 1063 would bring Ilona and her brothers back to Poland as refugees. It was around this time Ilona married Zvonimir Dmitrije, Ban of Slavonia. Ilona's brothers would soon make peace with their cousin, Salamon, the new king. 2/10
A princess of an ancient kingdom, the last of her family, crowned Queen by her father. The first Queen Regnant, ruling over a land that is now divided into three nations and a bit more, and creating a new Empire, at least in name, for her nephew.
Princess Thamar was born around 1160 to King Giorgi and his wife, Burdukhan. Her cousin, Demne, had been blinded and castrated after a failed rebellion in 1177, leading to Thamar being crowned as co-ruler by her father in 1178. She would inherit the throne in 1184. 1/10
Her nation was the successor state of the the ancient Kingdom of Iberia that ruled in the Caucasus from 302 BC and Thamar's family, Bagrationi, had been ruling Iberia since 813 and could trace their ancestry in the female line to King Mirian III, who ruled Iberia in 361 AD. 2/10
Long long time ago, there was a large basin eagerly contested by many people. Then, ten tribes came over the mountains, first as mercenaries invited by an Emperor and later as invaders, and settled on it. And they were led by a legendary figure.
Árpád was born around 845 to Álmos, the leader of seven Magyar tribes that lived near River Dniester and the basin of River Danube. Not much is known about their people, but three more tribes, the Kavars, later joined the confederation, which was called On-Ogur (Ten Arrows). 1/10
Árpád is said to have led the On-Ogur in battle against Bulgars in 890s working for Byzantium, while another leader, Kurszán, led forces against Moravia, for Emperor Arnulf of East Francia. At the same time, the Pechengs would invade On-Ogur homeland forcing them to leave. 2/10
An unexpected king of a young nation, a reign filled with rebellions and invasions, nominating a rebel and rival as his successor, a successor who would stabilize the nation preventing its collapse into many smaller nations.
Konrad was a Frankish noble born around 880. His father, also named Konrad, was an influential noble in the court of the Emperor Arnulf. Their association with Arnulf led to an intense rivalry with another Frankish noble family, at whose expense the Konradiners had gained. 1/10
East Francia had been created in 843 after the Carolingian Empire was divided among warring brothers. Konrad came from Franconia, a historic Frankish region that became part of East Francia. Though Arnulf claimed the entire Empire, his rule was limited to East Francia. 2/10
Tancred de Hauteville was a Norman noble who lived in Normandy in early 1000s. But this thread isn't about him, but his sons who went to Italy. Italy at the time was a divided peninsula, with Frankish, Lombard, Byzantine and Muslim rulers. 1/10
In 1017, invited by a rebellious Lombard noble in Byzantine Italy, the first set of Normans would clash with Basil Boioannes, Catepan of Byzantine Italy. Though the Byzantines woud win the Battle of Cannae, it would be the start of a period of Norman adventurism in Italy. 2/10
Seizing the throne from his under age nephew, this young prince converted his kingdom into a military state with his innovations in warfare and consistent war efforts, setting its stage for global domination.
Philip was born in 382 BC to King Amyntas and his wife Eurydice. Amyntas ruled a northern Greek state, away from the powers of Athens, Sparta and Thebes that dominated Greece. It was briefly a vassal of Achaemenid Persia at the height of their powers as well. 1/10
For most of its history, Philip's people were largely left to the footnotes of ancient Greek history. Everything changed with the accession of Philip to the throne. It all started during the rule of Philip's eldest brother, when Philip was sent as a hostage to Thebes. 2/10
A young nation in the making, deposing its leader and electing a foreign prince. The foreign prince would bring independence to his adopted nation and his long rule would secure its survival despite its diverse origins.
Prince Karl Eitel Friedrich von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was born in 1839 to Prince Karl Anton and his wife Josephine von Baden. His father was the last prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen before it was annexed by Prussia. 1/10
Alexandru Ioan Cuza was a Moldavian noble who had become the Prince of the Ottoman Danubian principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia in 1859. By 1862, the two principalities has been combined to form Romania with Alexandru as the ruling Domnitor. 2/10
A noble lady whose life changed after her brother got an unexpected inheritance. Married by senatorial decree to her brother's rival and abandoned by him, but guardian to her step children, this matriarch played a crucial role in her brother's empire.
Octavia (Minor) was born around 69 BC to Gaius Octavius, a Roman quaestor and his wife Atia Balba Caesonia. Her mother was the niece of another Roman quaestor of 69 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar, and her father's political career seems to have benefitted from the relation. 1/10
In 54 BC, Octavia married Gaius Claudius Marcellus. Marcellus was one of the two Roman Consuls for 50 BC. Initially opposed to his wife's grand uncle, Marcellus switched sides as Caesar invaded Italy and was subsequently pardoned. 2/10
(Kara) Ðorđe Petrović was born in 1762 in Ottoman Serbia. Son of a peasant, Ðorđe spend his early life as a shepherd till 1787 when he moved to Habsburg domains. He would soon sign up for the Serbian Free Corps fighting against the Ottomans for the Habsburgs. 1/10
Though the war was inconclusive, the military experience he gained would be useful for Ðorđe. When rebellious janissaries seized Belgrade and murdered the Ottoman governor and many Serbian nobles, it was to Ðorđe the Serbians looked for leadership. 2/10