Adolf of Nassau

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Adolf of Nassau (nä´sou), d. 1298, duke of Luxembourg, German king (1292–98). He owed his election to the ecclesiastical electors, who, fearing the growing power and ambition of the Hapsburgs, chose him rather than Albert of Austria (later King Albert I), son of Rudolf I of Hapsburg. Seeking to strengthen his rule by establishing a territorial power of his own, Adolf seized Meissen and Thuringia. He entered into an alliance with Edward I of England against Philip IV of France in an effort to halt French encroachment of German territory; the alliance produced no results, however, and led to Adolf's deposition (1298) and the election of Albert. Soon afterward he was defeated and killed by an army commanded by Albert.