Austria was a major European power for a substantial period of time. This argument is very similar in nature to other arguments about Charlie and HRE in this thread, including ones made by me - whether pro or anti. To wit: 1) Charlemagne was the father of the Holy Roman Empire. However, it actually wasn't called the HRE until quite some time later, but in many respects it was the same evolving realm. Charlie "resurrected" and tried to re-form what was once the Roman Empire (or at least Western Roman Empire), but the Romans didn't have jack to do with it. 2) Charlemagne should not be HRE. Otto should or Maria Teresa or Charles V or whoever, because the HRE was German or whatever or Charles was French or whatever. Well, the Franks were a Germanic tribe and much of the Frankish Empire was German. Aachen is in Germany (quite nice by the way - went there a few years ago) Also, there were quite a few emperors who were not German. The point is that I guess you could go either way but to a degree all the arguments - including my own - have weak points. I will aver gain though that although Charlemagne envisioned a Roman Empire rising out of the ashes, I think the comparisons fall very short between the classical Roman Empire and the HRE - territory not withstanding. Actually there was goodly portion of the HRE that lay outside the old borders. In my opinion, HRE had a lot to do with the H, i.e., it was about realm governed by Christianity. Christianity had a very minor role in the old history of the Roman Empire. It was not its foundation and didn't rise until the Empire was well in decline.