The Holy Roman Emperor, was the supreme head of state and ruler of the Holy Roman Empire…

The Empire was considered by the Roman Catholic Church to be the only legal successor of the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period…

The title was held in conjunction with the title of King of Italy from the 8th to the 16th century, and, almost without interruption, with the title of King of Germany (Rex Teutonicorum, lit. ‘King of the Germans’) throughout the 12th to 18th centuries…

The House of Habsburg is one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe…

The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1440 until their extinction in the male line in 1740 and after the death of Francis I from 1765 until its dissolution in 1806…

This portrait of Charles was painted by Jan Mostaert in 1520…

Jan Mostaert was the court painter for Margerat of Austria, the aunt of Charles V…

Margerat of Austria commissioned him to paint portraits of the principal members of the imperial Court…

This panel Portrait of Charles V, painted by Jan Mostaert and dating approximately from the period 1520-30, is the earliest [extant] and only independent painted portrait of a so called black man in the Renaissance…

The rich clothing worn by Charles—the gloves, the sword and the embroidered bag point to Spanish-Portuguese origins and are evidence of the considerable status he had…

The insignia on his hat, of Our Lady of Halle (south of Brussels, where Burgundy and Hapsburg pilgrims journeyed), the sword and the fleur-de-lis on the embroidered bag are clues that provided more information about his true identity…

“Philip II was of an atrabilaire (melancholic) complexion. He derived it from his father Charles V”


(Alexander Pope, “The works of Alexander Pope, with notes and illustrations, by himself and others”; 1847)

Atrabilaire is derived from the Latin ‘Atra Bilis’, meaning “Black Bile”

The word “melancholy” derives from Greek μέλαινα χολή (melaina kholé) meaning ‘black bile’

“Melancholy is associated with the color black”

“The melancholic temperament is characterized by black hair, black eyes, [and] a black complexion”


(Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Company; “The Encyclopaedic Dictionary”; 1885)

According to Hippocratic medicine, the people who are composed of ‘black bile’ have black hair, black eyes, and swarthy skin complexions…

“His [Carlos, Prince of Asturias] features were somewhat like those of his father Phillip II, his complexion was swarthy and sallow”


(Eliakim Littell, Robert S. Littell, “Littell’s Living Age – Volume 210”; 1896)

Definition of SWARTHY:

Black, Dark Brown [dusky], Tawny [tan-colored]


(Samuel Johnson, “A Dictionary of the English Language; in which the Words are Deduced from Their Originals; and Illustrated in Their Different Significations … Together with a History of the Language, and an English Grammar.”; Vol 4; 1818)

SALLOW, a. sāl’ lō [AS. salu, sallow: Bav. sal, discolored: Dut. zaluw, TAWNY]

Sallow means Tawny…

“The Fr. Tane, tanned, is also–swart, SALLOW, dusky, or tawney of hue”

Tawney or Tawny is derived from the French word Tanné which means Tan color or Brown…

“Tan or Tawny will be—the color of the chestnut”


(Charles Richardson, “A New Dictionary of the English Language, Volume 2; 1855)

“The man [Leopold I] who bore this heavy weight of genealogical responsibility was swarthy, of middling height, with the projecting lower jaw and protruding lower lip which traditionally marked (if not disfigured) the Hapsburgs”


(Robert K. Massie, “Peter the Great: His Life and World”)

“Francis II, on these occasions, still wears an old Neapolitan undress uniform and high top-boots. Nothing can be more gloomy than the expression of his swarthy, withered face”


(Appletons’ Journal; 1873)

By wmb3331

Isaiah Israel is a graduate of the University of Hawaii Pacific with a bachelors in Psychology and a deep love for history in which he believes that when you know the past you can understand the present and predict the future course of man and mankind and is the author of the best selling ebook The White Man's Burden Of Lies and Deceit.

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