The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Holy Roman Empire + 1000 Years


A conversation with my father Vladimir (who coincidentally shares the name of both the Russian and Ukrainian leaders) reminded me of the opening stanza of the Soviet National Anthem:

Союз нерушимый республик свободных
Сплотила навеки Великая Русь.
Да здравствует созданный волей народов
Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

An indestructible union of free republics,
Great Russia has joined forever.
Long live, created by the will of the peoples,
The united, mighty Soviet Union!

And that reminded me of the famous line that "the Holy Roman Empire was neither"; hard to think of a stanza that has a higher density of total falsehood, at least in its first three lines. (To be fair, the Soviet Union was indeed united and quite mighty for 70-odd years, though ultimately not mighty enough to endure beyond that.)