Ferdinand, name of 3 Holy Roman Emperors. Ferdinand I (1503–64), emperor 1558–64, was king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526. The Peace of Augsburg ended religious conflict in Germany and his capable administration stabilized the unwieldy empire. Ferdinand II (1578–1637) reigned as emperor 1619–37. His attempts to enforce Catholicism in Protestant Bohemia led to a revolt in 1619, which began the Thirty Years' War. Ferdinand IIΙ (1608–57) succeeded his father Ferdinand II as emperor in 1637. A capable ruler, he compromised with Protestant powers in the Peace of Westphalia (1648).
See also: Holy Roman Empire.