Founded by the Romans as Moguntiacum, Mainz is located on the west bank of the river Rhine, opposite the confluence of the Main. Moguntiacum was an important military town throughout Roman times and the base of a Roman river fleet. In 406, the Germanic tribes took advantage of the rare freezing of the Rhine to cross the river at Mainz and overwhelm the Roman defences. Mainz was part of the Frankinsh Kingdom of Clovis. Charlemagne (768-814) united the Celtic and Germanic tribes of Europe as the Holy Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages, Mainz was among the wealthiest and most important cities along the Rhine. The route from Trier over Mainz, Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig to Breslau was among the most prominent trade routes of this era.
The first Archbishop in Mainz, Boniface, established Mainz as a centre for the spread of Christianity among the German and Slavic peoples. The eastward expansion of the archdiocese of Mainz lead to the creation of a new archdiocese at Magdeburg. Archbishops of Mainz were archchancellors of the Holy Roman Empire and the most important of the seven Electors of the emperor. The archbishopric was a substantial ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire. It included lands near Mainz on both the left and right banks of the Rhine, as well as territory along the Main above Frankfurt, the Eichsfeld region in Lower Saxony, and the territory around Erfurt in Thuringia. Besides Rome, Mainz is the only other see referred to as a "Holy See" and the Archbishops of Mainz were traditionally the substitutes of the Pope north of the Alps.
Born June 28, 1490 Died September 24, 1545 was Elector and Archbishop of Mainz from 1514 to 1545, and Archbishop of Magdeburg from 1513 to 1545. He He was the younger son of the Elector of Brandenburg.
To pay for the pallium of the see of Mainz and to discharge the other expenses of his elevation, Albert had borrowed 21,000 ducats from Jacob Fugger, and had obtained permission from Pope Leo X to conduct the sale of indulgences in his diocese to obtain funds to repay this loan, as long as half the collection was forwarded to the Papacy. An agent of the Fuggers subsequently traveled in the Cardinal's retinue in charge of the cashbox. For this work he procured the services of John Tetzel, and so indirectly exercised a potent influence on the course of the Reformation. It was as a disgusted response to Tetzel's activities selling indulgences that Martin Luther wrote his famous 95 Theses, which he sent to Albrecht on 31 October 1517
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