Holy Roman Emperor

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The Holy Roman Emperor (Latin: Imperator Romanus Sacer) or Roman-German Emperor (German: Römisch-deutscher Kaiser), but also German-Roman Emperor,[1] was the medieval Germanic, later German ruler who had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope and governed the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a Central European union of territories of the Medieval and Early Modern period.

History

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By convention the first Emperor was taken to be Charlemagne, king of the Frankish Empire, crowned as Emperor of the West by Pope Leo III on December 25, 800, although the Empire itself (as well as the style Holy Roman Emperor) did not come into use until some time later. Holy Roman Emperors were crowned by the Popes up until the 16th century, and the last Emperor, Francis II, abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empire's final dissolution.

The Roman of the Emperor's title was a reflection of the translatio imperii (transfer of rule) principle that regarded the Roman-German Emperors as the inheritors of the title of Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, a title left unclaimed in the West after the death of Julius Nepos in 480.

Title

The title of Emperor (Imperator) carried with it an important role as protector of the Catholic Church. As the papacy's power grew during the Middle Ages, Popes and emperors came into conflict over church administration. The best-known and bitterest conflict was that known as the Investiture Controversy, fought during the 11th century between Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII.[2]

After Charlemagne was crowned Roman Emperor by the Pope, his successors maintained the title until the death of Berengar I of Italy in 924. No pope appointed an emperor again until the coronation of Otto the Great in 962. Under Otto and his successors, much of the former Carolingian kingdom of Eastern Francia became the Holy Roman Empire. The various German princes elected one of their peers as King of the Germans, after which he would be crowned as Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope.

The term "sacrum" (i.e. "holy") in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa.[3]

The standard designation of the Holy Roman Emperor was "August Emperor of the Romans" (Romanorum Imperator Augustus). When Charlemagne was crowned in 800, his was styled as "most serene Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor, governing the Roman Empire," thus constituting the elements of "Holy" and "Roman" in the imperial title. The word Holy had never been used as part of that title in official documents.[4]

The word Roman was a reflection of the translatio imperii (transfer of rule) principle that regarded the (Germanic) Holy Roman Emperors as the inheritors of the title of Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, a title left unclaimed in the West after the death of Julius Nepos in 480.

List

Map of the division of the Frankish Empire enacted at Verdun in 843; grey was now the "Kingdom of the West Franks", which would be known as France at the end of the Middle Ages, yellow was "Middle Francia" or Lotharii Regnum (German: Mittelreich), which would soon be swallowed up by the Holy Roman Empire, blue was the "Kingdom of the East Franks" (Regnum Francorum orientalium), which would become the Kingdom of Germany. After 962, when Otto the Great was crowned emperor, East Francia formed the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire, which also included the Kingdom of Italy and, after 1032, the Kingdom of Burgundy.
  • Karl der Große (Charles I), Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (800–814), Carolingian King of the Franks (768–814)
  • Louis I, the Pious or Ludwig der Fromme, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (813–840; co-ruling with his father Charles I for a short time, King of the Franks, King of Italy, King of Aquitaine
  • Lothair I, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (823–855; co-ruling with his father Louis I until 840), King of Middle Francia, King of Italy
  • Louis II or Ludwig der Deutsche, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (855–875), King of Italy
  • Charles II, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (875–77) and King of the West Franks (843–77)
  • Charles III, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (881–88), King of the West Franks, King of the East Franks, King of Italy
  • Guy I or Wido, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (891–94), King of Italy, Duke of Spoleto
  • Lambert I or Lambert von Spoleto, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (892–98; co-ruling with his father Guy I until 894), King of Italy, Duke of Spoleto
  • Arnulph or Arnolf von Kärnten, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (896–99), King of the East Franks, King of Italy
  • Louis III, the Blind or Ludwig III. Bosonides, genannt der Blinde, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (901–05), King of Italy, King of Provence
  • Berengar I or Berengar I. von Friaul, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire (915–24), King of Italy, Margrave of Friuli
    • There was no Holy Roman Emperor between 924 and 962.
  • Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor (962–73) and German King (936–73)
  • Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor (973–83) and German King (961–83)
  • Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor (996–1002) and German King (983–1002)
  • Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor (1014–24) and German King (1002–24), last of the Saxon line
  • Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor (1027–39) and German King (1024–39), first of the Salian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire
  • Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (1046–56) and German King (1039–56)
  • Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1084–1105) and German King (1056–1105)
  • Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (1111–25) and German King (1105–25)
  • Lothair II, also called Lothair III, Holy Roman Emperor (1133–37) and German King (1125–37)
  • Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor (1155–90) and German King (1152–90)
  • Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1191–97) and German King (1190–97)
  • Constance, Holy Roman empress, wife of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI
  • Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1209–15) and German King (1208–15)
  • Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (1220–50) and German King (1212–20), King of Sicily (1197–1250), and King of Jerusalem (1229–50)
  • Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor (1312–13) and German King (1308–13)
  • Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1328–47) and German King (1314–47), Duke of Upper Bavaria
  • Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1355–78), German King (1347–78), and King of Bohemia (1346–78)
  • Wenceslaus, Holy Roman Emperor (uncrowned) and German King (1378–1400), King of Bohemia (1378–1419) as Wenceslaus IV, Elector of Brandenburg (1373–76)
  • Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor (1433–37), German King (1410–37), King of Hungary (1387–1437) and of Bohemia (1419–37), Elector of Brandenburg (1376–1415)
  • Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (1452–93) and German King (1440–93)
  • Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and German King (1493–1519)
  • Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (1519–58) and, as Charles I, King of Spain (1516–56)
  • Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (1558–64), King of Bohemia (1526–64) and of Hungary (1526–64)
  • Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (1564–76), King of Bohemia (1562–76) and of Hungary (1563–76)
  • Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor (1576–1612), King of Bohemia (1575–1611) and of Hungary (1572–1608)
  • Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor (1612–19), King of Bohemia (1611–17) and of Hungary (1608–18)
  • Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (1619–37), King of Bohemia (1617–37) and of Hungary (1618–37)
  • Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor (1637–57), King of Hungary (1626–57) and of Bohemia (1627–57)
  • Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor (1658–1705), King of Bohemia (1656–1705) and of Hungary (1655–1705)
  • Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor (1705–11), King of Hungary (1687–1711) and of Bohemia (1705–11)
  • Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1711–40), King of Bohemia (1711–40) and, as Charles III, King of Hungary (1712–40)
  • Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor (1742–45) and, as Charles Albert, Elector of Bavaria (1726–45)
  • Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor (1745–65), Duke of Lorraine (1729–37) as Francis Stephen, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1737–65)
  • Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (1765–90), King of Bohemia and Hungary (1780–90)
  • Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor (1790–92), King of Bohemia and Hungary (1790–92), as Leopold I Grand Duke of Tuscany (1765–90)
  • Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor (1792–1806), first Emperor of Austria as Francis I (1804–35), King of Bohemia and of Hungary (1792–1835)

See also

External links

References

  1. The New International Encyclopædia, vol. 10 (1927), p. 675. Carlton J. H. Hayes, A Political and Cvltvral History of Modern Europe vol. 1 (1932), p. 225.
  2. History OF The Holy Roman Empire. historyworld. Retrieved on 22 August 2012.
  3. Peter Moraw, Heiliges Reich, in: Lexikon des Mittelalters, Munich & Zurich: Artemis 1977-1999, vol. 4, columns 2025-2028.
  4. Bryce, James (1968). The Holy Roman Empire. Macmillan, 530.