Holy Roman Emperor

Emperor of the
Romans
Imperator Romanorum
Kaiser der Römer
Imperial
Double-headed Reichsadler used by the Habsburg emperors of the early modern period
Charlemagne denier Mayence 812 814.jpg
First to reign
Charlemagne
25 December AD 800 – 28 January AD 814
Details
First monarchCharlemagne (AD 800 formation)
Otto the Great (AD 962 formation)
Last monarchFrancis II
Formation25 December 800
Abolition6 August 1806

The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans (Latin: Imperator Romanorum, German: Kaiser der Römer) during the Middle Ages, and also known as the German-Roman Emperor since the early modern period[1] (Latin: Imperator Germanorum, German: Römisch-deutscher Kaiser, lit.'Roman-German emperor'), was the ruler and head of state of the Holy Roman Empire. The empire was considered by the Roman Catholic Church to be the only 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 (Rex Italiae) from the 8th to the 16th century, and, almost without interruption, with the title of king of Germany (Rex Teutonicorum, lit. “King of the Teutons”) throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.[2]

In theory and diplomacy, the emperors were considered primus inter pares, regarded as first among equals among other Roman Catholic monarchs across Europe.[3]

From an autocracy in Carolingian times (AD 800–924) the title by the 13th century evolved into an elective monarchy, with the emperor chosen by the prince-electors. Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians (962–1024) and the Salians (1027–1125). Following the late medieval crisis of government, the Habsburgs kept possession of the title without interruption from 1440 to 1740. The final emperors were from the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, from 1765 to 1806. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by Francis II, after a devastating defeat by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz.

The emperor was widely perceived to rule by divine right, though he often contradicted or rivaled the pope, most notably during the Investiture controversy. The Holy Roman Empire never had an empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa exerted strong influence. Throughout its history, the position was viewed as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith. Until Maximilian I in 1508, the emperor-elect (Imperator electus) was required to be crowned by the pope before assuming the imperial title. Charles V was the last to be crowned by the pope in 1530. Even after the Reformation, the elected emperor was always a Roman Catholic. There were short periods in history when the electoral college was dominated by Protestants, and the electors usually voted in their own political interest.

Title

Coats of arms of prince electors surround the imperial coat of arms; from a 1545 armorial. Electors voted in an Imperial Diet for a new Holy Roman Emperor.
Depiction of Charlemagne in a 12th-century stained glass window, Strasbourg Cathedral, now at Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame.

From the time of Constantine I (r. 306–337), the Roman emperors had, with very few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity. The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor in the Church. Emperors considered themselves responsible to the gods for the spiritual health of their subjects, and after Constantine they had a duty to help the Church define and maintain orthodoxy. The emperor's role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity.[4] Both the title and connection between Emperor and Church continued in the Eastern Roman Empire throughout the medieval period (in exile during 1204–1261). The ecumenical councils of the 5th to 8th centuries were convoked by the Eastern Roman Emperors.[5]

In Western Europe, the title of Emperor in the West lapsed after the death of Julius Nepos in 480, although the rulers of the barbarian kingdoms continued to recognize the authority of the Eastern Emperor at least nominally well into the 6th century. While the reconquest of Justinian I had reestablished Byzantine presence in Italy, religious frictions existed with the Papacy who sought dominance over the Constantinople Church. Toward the end of the 8th century the Papacy still recognised the ruler at Constantinople as the Roman Emperor, though Byzantine military support in Italy had increasingly waned, leading to the Papacy to look to the Franks for protection. In 800 Pope Leo III owed a great debt to Charlemagne, the King of the Franks and King of Italy, for securing his life and position. By this time, the Eastern Emperor Constantine VI has been deposed in 797 and replaced as monarch by his mother, Irene.[6]

Under the pretext that a woman cannot rule the empire, Pope Leo III declared the throne vacant and crowned Charlemagne Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum), the successor of Constantine VI as Roman emperor under the concept of translatio imperii.[6] On his coins, the name and title used by Charlemagne is Karolus Imperator Augustus and in his documents, he used Imperator Augustus Romanum gubernans Imperium ("August Emperor, governing the Roman Empire") and serenissimus Augustus a Deo coronatus, magnus pacificus Imperator Romanorum gubernans Imperium ("most serene Augustus crowned by God, great peaceful emperor governing the empire of the Romans"). The Eastern Empire eventually relented to recognizing Charlemagne and his successors as emperors, but as "Frankish" and "German emperors", at no point referring to them as Roman, a label they reserved for themselves.[7]

The title of emperor in the West implied recognition by the pope. As the power of the papacy grew during the Middle Ages, popes and emperors came into conflict over church administration. The best-known and most bitter conflict was that known as the investiture controversy, fought during the 11th century between Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII.

After the coronation of Charlemagne, his successors maintained the title until the death of Berengar I of Italy in 924. The comparatively brief interregnum between 924 and the coronation of Otto the Great in 962 is taken as marking the transition from the Frankish Empire to the Holy Roman Empire. Under the Ottonians, much of the former Carolingian kingdom of Eastern Francia fell within the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire.

Since 911, the various German princes had elected the King of the Germans from among their peers. The King of the Germans would then be crowned as emperor following the precedent set by Charlemagne, during the period of 962–1530. Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned by the pope, and his successor, Ferdinand I, merely adopted the title of "Emperor elect" in 1558. The final Holy Roman emperor-elect, Francis II, abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empire's final dissolution.

The term sacrum (i.e., "holy") in connection with the German Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa.[8]

The Holy Roman Emperor's standard designation was "August Emperor of the Romans" (Romanorum Imperator Augustus). When Charlemagne was crowned in 800, he 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.[9]

The word Roman was a reflection of the principle of translatio imperii (or in this case restauratio imperii) that regarded the (Germanic) Holy Roman emperors as the inheritors of the title of emperor of the Western Roman Empire, despite the continued existence of the Eastern Roman Empire.

In German-language historiography, the term Römisch-deutscher Kaiser ("Roman-German emperor") is used to distinguish the title from that of Roman emperor on one hand, and that of German emperor (Deutscher Kaiser) on the other. The English term "Holy Roman Emperor" is a modern shorthand for "emperor of the Holy Roman Empire" not corresponding to the historical style or title, i.e., the adjective "holy" is not intended as modifying "emperor"; the English term "Holy Roman Emperor" gained currency in the interbellum period (the 1920s to 1930s); formerly the title had also been rendered "German-Roman emperor" in English.[1]

Succession

Illustration of the election of Henry VII (27 November 1308) showing (left to right) the Archbishop of Cologne, Archbishop of Mainz, Archbishop of Trier, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Saxony, Margrave of Brandenburg and King of Bohemia (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340).

The elective monarchy of the kingdom of Germany goes back to the early 10th century, the election of Conrad I of Germany in 911 following the death without issue of Louis the Child, the last Carolingian ruler of Germany. Elections meant the kingship of Germany was only partially hereditary, unlike the kingship of France, although sovereignty frequently remained in a dynasty until there were no more male successors. The process of an election meant that the prime candidate had to make concessions, by which the voters were kept on his side, which was known as Wahlkapitulationen (electoral capitulation).

Conrad was elected by the German dukes, and it is not known precisely when the system of seven prince-electors was established. The papal decree Venerabilem by Innocent III (1202), addressed to Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen, establishes the election procedure by (unnamed) princes of the realm, reserving for the pope the right to approve of the candidates. A letter of Pope Urban IV (1263), in the context of the disputed vote of 1256 and the subsequent interregnum, suggests that by "immemorial custom", seven princes had the right to elect the king and future emperor. The seven prince-electors are named in the Golden Bull of 1356: the archbishop of Mainz, the archbishop of Trier, the archbishop of Cologne, the king of Bohemia, the count palatine of the Rhine, the duke of Saxony and the margrave of Brandenburg.

After 1438, the kings remained in the house of Habsburg and Habsburg-Lorraine, with the brief exception of Charles VII, who was a Wittelsbach. Maximilian I (emperor 1508–1519) and his successors no longer travelled to Rome to be crowned as emperor by the pope. Maximilian, therefore, named himself elected Roman emperor (Erwählter Römischer Kaiser) in 1508 with papal approval. This title was in use by all his uncrowned successors. Of his successors, only Charles V, the immediate one, received a papal coronation.

The elector palatine's seat was conferred on the duke of Bavaria in 1621, but in 1648, in the wake of the Thirty Years' War, the elector palatine was restored, as the eighth elector. Electorate of Hanover was added as a ninth elector in 1692. The whole college was reshuffled in the German mediatization of 1803 with a total of ten electors, a mere three years before the dissolution of the Empire.

List of emperors

This list includes all 47 German monarchs crowned from Charlemagne until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806).

Several rulers were crowned king of the Romans (king of Germany) but not emperor, although they styled themselves thus, among whom were: Conrad I and Henry the Fowler in the 10th century, and Conrad IV, Rudolf I, Adolf and Albert I during the interregnum of the late 13th century.

Traditional historiography assumes a continuity between the Carolingian Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, while a modern convention takes the coronation of Otto I in 962 as the starting point of the Holy Roman Empire (although the term Sacrum Imperium Romanum was not in use before the 13th century).

Frankish emperors

On Christmas Day, 800, Charlemagne, King of the Franks, was crowned Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum) by Pope Leo III, in opposition to Empress Irene, who was then ruling the Roman Empire from Constantinople. Charlemagne's descendents from the Carolingian Dynasty continued to be crowned Emperor until 899, excepting a brief period when the Imperial crown was awarded to the Widonid Dukes of Spoleto. There is some contention as to whether the Holy Roman Empire dates as far back as Charlemagne, some histories consider the Carolingian Empire to be a distinct polity from the later Holy Roman Empire as established under Otto I in 962.

800–888: Carolingian dynasty

PortraitName
Lifespan
ReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Charlemagne denier Mayence 812 814.jpgCharlemagne (Charles I)
742–814
25 December 80028 January 814
Ludwik I Pobożny.jpgLouis I, the Pious
778–840
11 September 813[10]20 June 840Son of Charles I
Lothar I.jpgLothair I
795–855
5 April 82329 September 855Son of Louis I
Louis II of Italy.pngLouis II
825–875
29 September 85512 August 875Son of Lothair I
Карл Лысый.jpgCharles II, the Bald
823–877
29 December 8756 October 877Son of Louis I, younger brother of Lothair I
Sceau de Charles le gros.jpgCharles III, the Fat
839–888
12 February 88113 January 888Grandson of Louis I

891–898: Widonid dynasty

PortraitName
Lifespan
ReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Wido rex Italiae.jpgGuy
?–894
21 February 89112 December 894Great-great-grandson of Charles I
Lambert de Spolète.jpgLambert
880–898
30 April 89215 October 898Son of Guy

896–899: Carolingian dynasty

PortraitName
Lifespan
ReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Seal of Arnulph of Carinthia (896).jpgArnulph
850–899
22 February 8968 December 899Nephew of Charles III, great-grandson of Louis I

901–905: Bosonid dynasty

PortraitName
Lifespan
ReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)

Coins of Pope Benedict IV and Emperor Louis III.PNG

Louis III, the Blind
880–928
22 February 90121 July 905Grandson of Louis II

915–924: Unruoching dynasty

PortraitName
Lifespan
ReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Berengar I on a seal.jpgBerengar
845–924
December 9157 April 924Grandson of Louis I

Holy Roman Emperors

While earlier Germanic and Italian monarchs had been crowned as Roman emperors, the actual Holy Roman Empire is often considered to have begun with the crowning Otto I, at the time Duke of Saxony and King of Germany. Because the King of Germany was an elected position, being elected King of Germany was functionally a pre-requisite to being crowned Holy Roman Emperor. By the 13th century, the Prince-electors became formalized as a specific body of seven electors, consisting of three bishops and four secular princes. Through the middle 15th century, the electors chose freely from among a number of dynasties. A period of dispute during the second half of the 13th century over the kingship of Germany led to there being no emperor crowned for several decades, through this ended in 1312 with the coronation of Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor. The period of free election ended with the ascension of the Austrian House of Habsburg, as an unbroken line of Habsburgs held the imperial throne until the 18th century. Later a cadet branch known as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine passed it from father to son until the abolition of the Empire in 1806. Notably, from the 16th century, the Habsburgs dispensed with the requirement that emperors be crowned by the pope before exercising their office. Starting with Ferdinand I, all successive emperors forwent the traditional coronation.

962–1024: Ottonian dynasty

PortraitName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
017 otto siegel 2.jpgOtto I, the Great
912–973
7 August 9362 February 9627 May 973
Otto II. (HRR).jpgOtto II, the Red
955–983
26 May 96125 December 9677 December 983Son of Otto I
Meister der Reichenauer Schule 002.jpgOtto III
980–1002
25 December 98321 May 99623 January 1002Son of Otto II
Kronung Heinrich II.jpgHenry II[note 1]
973–1024
7 June 100214 February 101413 July 1024Second cousin of Otto III

1027–1125: Salian dynasty

PortraitName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Konrad2Salsky-2.jpgConrad II, the Elder[note 2]
990–1039
8 September 102426 March 10274 June 1039Great-great-grandson of Otto I
Heinrich III. (HRR) Miniatur.jpgHenry III, the Black
1017–1056
14 April 102825 December 10465 October 1056Son of Conrad II
  • King of Burgundy
  • King of Italy
  • King of Germany
  • Duke of Bavaria
  • Duke of Swabia
  • Duke of Carinthia
  • Margrave of Meissen
Heinrich 4 g.jpgHenry IV
1050–1106
17 July 10541 April 10847 August 1106Son of Henry III
Paschalis.jpgHenry V[11]
1086–1125
6 January 109913 April 111123 May 1125Son of Henry IV

1133–1137: Supplinburg dynasty

PortraitName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Lothair II, Holy Roman Emperor.jpgLothair II[note 3]
1075–1137
30 August 11254 June 11334 December 1137Great-great-great-great-great-great-grandnephew of Otto I

1155–1197: Staufen dynasty

PortraitName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Frederick I (HRE).jpgFrederick I Barbarossa
1122–1190
4 March 115218 June 115510 June 1190Great-grandson of Henry IV
Codex Manesse Heinrich VI. (HRR).jpgHenry VI
1165–1197
15 August 116914 April 119128 September 1197Son of Frederick I

1198–1215: Welf dynasty

PortraitCoat of armsName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Ottta4Brunsvicky.jpgCoat of arms of Otto IV of Brunswick as Holy Roman Emperor (Chronica Maiora).svgOtto IV
1175–1218
9 June 119821 October 12091215Great-grandson of Lothair II

1220–1250: Staufen dynasty

PortraitName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Frederick II (HRE).jpgFrederick II,
Stupor Mundi 1194–1250
5 December 121222 November 122013 December 1250Son of Henry VI

The interregnum of the Holy Roman Empire is taken to have lasted from the deposition of Frederick II by Pope Innocent IV (1245, alternatively from the death of Frederick 1250 or the death of Conrad IV 1254) to the election of Rudolf I of Germany (1273). Rudolf was not crowned emperor, nor were his successors Adolf and Albert. The next emperor was Henry VII, crowned on 29 June 1312 by Pope Clement V.

1312–1313: House of Luxembourg

PortraitCoat of armsName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Henry Lux head.jpg
Holy Roman Emperor
Henric van Lusenborch.svg Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1200-c.1300).svg
Coats of arms
Henry VII
1273–1313
27 November 130829 June 131224 August 1313Great x11 grandson of Charles II

1314–1347: House of Wittelsbach

PortraitCoat of armsName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Holy Roman Emperor
Bavaria Wittelsbach coa medieval.svg Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1200-c.1300).svg
Coats of arms
Louis IV, the Bavarian
1282–1347
20 October 131417 January 132811 October 1347Far descendant of Henry IV and great-great-great-great-grandson of Lothair II

1346–1437: House of Luxembourg

PortraitCoat of armsName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Charles IV-John Ocko votive picture-fragment.jpg
Holy Roman Emperor
Insigne Cechicum.svg Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1300-c.1400).svg
Coats of arms
Charles IV
1316–1378
11 July 13465 April 135529 November 1378Grandson of Henry VII
  • King of Germany
  • King of Italy
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Burgundy
  • Count of Luxemburg
  • King of the Lombards
Pisanello 024b.jpg
Holy Roman Emperor
Sigismund Arms Hungarian Czech per pale.svg Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1433-c.1450).svg
Coats of arms
Sigismund
1368–1437
10 September 1410
/21 July 1411
31 May 14339 December 1437Son of Charles IV

1440–1740: House of Habsburg

In 1508, Pope Julius II allowed Maximilian I to use the title of Emperor without coronation in Rome, though the title was qualified as Electus Romanorum Imperator ("elected Emperor of the Romans"). Maximilian's successors adopted the same titulature, usually when they became the sole ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. Maximilian's predecessor Frederick III was the last to be crowned Emperor by the Pope in Rome.

PortraitCoat of armsName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Hans Burgkmair d. Ä. 005.jpgArms of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor.svgFrederick III, the Peaceful
1415–1493
2 February 144016 March 145219 August 1493Second cousin of Albert II of Germany, Emperor designate
Maximilian I as Emperor.JPGArms of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.svgMaximilian I
1459–1519
16 February 14864 February 150812 January 1519Son of Frederick III
  • King of Germany
  • Archduke of Austria
Francesco Terzio 001.jpgArms of Charles V Holy Roman Emperor, Charles I as King of Spain -Or shield variant.svgCharles V
1500–1558
28 June 151928 June 151927 August 1556Grandson of Maximilian I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor.jpgFerdinand I
1503–1564
5 January 153127 August 155625 July 1564Brother of Charles V; grandson of Maximilian I
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary
  • King of Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
Nicolas Neufchâtel 002.jpgMaximilian II
1527–1576
22 November 156225 July 156412 October 1576Son of Ferdinand I
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary
  • King of Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
Portrait des Kaiser Rudolph II (20).pngRudolf II[note 4]
1552–1612
27 October 157512 October 157620 January 1612Son of Maximilian II
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary
  • King of Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
Matthias - Holy Roman Emperor (Hans von Aachen, 1625).jpgMatthias
1557–1619
13 June 161213 June 161220 March 1619Brother of Rudolf II
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary
  • King of Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
Ferdinand II King of Bohemia Holy Roman Emperor.jpgFerdinand II
1578–1637
28 August 161928 August 161915 February 1637Cousin of Matthias; grandson of Ferdinand I
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary
  • King of Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
Jan van den Hoecke - Portrait of Emperor Ferdinand III.jpgArms of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svgFerdinand III
1608–1657
22 December 163615 February 16372 April 1657Son of Ferdinand II
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary
  • King of Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
Leopold I
1640–1705
18 July 165818 July 16585 May 1705Son of Ferdinand III
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary
  • King of Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
Joseph I Holy Roman Emperor 002.jpgJoseph I
1678–1711
23 January 16905 May 170517 April 1711Son of Leopold I
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary
  • King of Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
Porträt des Kaiser Karl VI im Krönungsornat.pngArms of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svgCharles VI
1685–1740
12 October 171112 October 171120 October 1740Brother of Joseph I; son of Leopold I
Full list
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary
  • King of Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
  • King of Naples
  • King of Sicily
  • King of Sardinia
  • Duke of Luxemburg
  • Duke of Teschen
  • Duke of Parma and Piacenza
  • Count of Flanders

1742–1745: House of Wittelsbach

PortraitCoat of armsName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor.PNGCoat of Arms of Charles VII Albert, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svgCharles VII
1697–1745
24 January 174224 January 174220 January 1745Great-great grandson of Ferdinand II; son-in-law of Joseph I
  • King of Bohemia
  • Elector of Bavaria

1745–1765: House of Lorraine

PortraitCoat of armsName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Pohl - Francis I in Coronation Regalia (Riesensaal).jpgArms of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svgFrancis I
1708–1765
13 September 174513 September 174518 August 1765Great-grandson of Ferdinand III; son-in-law of Charles VI
  • King of Germany
  • Archduke of Austria
  • Grand Duke of Tuscany
  • Duke of Lorraine

1765–1806: House of Habsburg-Lorraine

PortraitCoat of armsName
Lifespan
KingEmperorEndedRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Giuseppe II imperatore del sri.PNGArms of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svgJoseph II
1741–1790
27 March 176418 August 176520 February 1790Son of Empress Maria Theresa, de facto ruler of the empire, and Francis I.
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary and Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
Porträt Leopold II in Krönungsornat.pngArms of Leopold II and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperors-Or shield variant.svgLeopold II
1747–1792
30 September 179030 September 17901 March 1792Son of Empress Maria Theresa,de facto ruler of the empire, and Francis I. Brother of Joseph II.
  • King of Germany
  • King of Bohemia
  • King of Hungary and Croatia
  • Archduke of Austria
  • Grand Duke of Tuscany
Ludwig Streitenfeld 001.jpgArms of Leopold II and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperors-Or shield variant.svgFrancis II
1768–1835
5 July 17925 July 17926 August 1806Son of Leopold II

Coronation

The Emperor was crowned in a special ceremony, traditionally performed by the Pope in Rome. Without that coronation, no king, despite exercising all powers, could call himself Emperor. In 1508, Pope Julius II allowed Maximilian I to use the title of Emperor without coronation in Rome, though the title was qualified as Electus Romanorum Imperator ("elected Emperor of the Romans"). Maximilian's successors adopted the same titulature, usually when they became the sole ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.[12] Maximilian's first successor Charles V was the last to be crowned Emperor.

EmperorCoronation dateOfficiantLocation
Charles I25 December 800Pope Leo IIIRome, Italy
Louis I5 October 816Pope Stephen IVReims, France
Lothair I5 April 823Pope Paschal IRome, Italy
Louis II15 June 844Pope Leo IVRome, Italy
Charles II29 December 875Pope John VIIIRome, Italy
Charles III12 February 881Rome, Italy
Guy III of Spoleto21 February 891Pope Stephen VRome, Italy
Lambert II of Spoleto30 April 892Pope FormosusRavenna, Italy
Arnulf of Carinthia22 February 896Rome, Italy
Louis III15 or 22 February 901Pope Benedict IVRome, Italy
BerengarDecember 915Pope John XRome, Italy
Otto I2 February 962Pope John XIIRome, Italy
Otto II25 December 967Pope John XIIIRome, Italy
Otto III21 May 996Pope Gregory VMonza, Italy
Henry II14 February 1014Pope Benedict VIIIRome, Italy
Conrad II26 March 1027Pope John XIXRome, Italy
Henry III25 December 1046Pope Clement IIRome, Italy
Henry IV31 March 1084Antipope Clement IIIRome, Italy
Henry V13 April 1111Pope Paschal IIRome, Italy
Lothair III4 June 1133Pope Innocent IIRome, Italy
Frederick I18 June 1155Pope Adrian IVRome, Italy
Henry VI14 April 1191Pope Celestine IIIRome, Italy
Otto IV4 October 1209Pope Innocent IIIRome, Italy
Frederick II22 November 1220Pope Honorius IIIRome, Italy
Henry VII29 June 1312Ghibellines cardinalsRome, Italy
Louis IV17 January 1328Senator Sciarra ColonnaRome, Italy
Charles IV5 April 1355Pope Innocent VI's cardinalRome, Italy
Sigismund31 May 1433Pope Eugenius IVRome, Italy
Frederick III19 March 1452Pope Nicholas VRome, Italy
Charles V24 February 1530Pope Clement VIIBologna, Italy

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Enumerated as successor of Henry I who was German King 919–936 but not Emperor.
  2. ^ Enumerated as successor of Conrad I who was German King 911–918 but not Emperor
  3. ^ Enumerated also Lothair III as successor of Lothair II, who was King of Lotharingia 855–869 but not Emperor
  4. ^ Enumerated as successor of Rudolph I who was German King 1273–1291.

References

  1. ^ a b 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. ^ Peter Hamish Wilson, The Holy Roman Empire, 1495–1806, MacMillan Press 1999, London, p. 2. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn: The Menace of the Herd or Procrustes at Large – p. 164. Robert Edwin Herzstein, Robert Edwin Herzstein: +The Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages: universal state or German catastrophe?"
  3. ^ Terry Breverton (2014). Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Tudors but Were Afraid to Ask. Amberley Publishing. p. 104. ISBN 9781445638454.
  4. ^ Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) pp. 14–15.
  5. ^ Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) p. 16.
  6. ^ a b James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce, The Holy Roman Empire, 1864, pp 62–64
  7. ^ Klewitz, Hans-Walter (1943). "Eduard Eichmann, die Kaiserkrönung im Abendland. Ein Beitrag zur, Geistesgeschichte des Mittelalters, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des kirchlichen Rechts, der Liturgie und der Kirchenpolitik". Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Kanonistische Abteilung. 32: 509–525. doi:10.7767/zrgka.1943.32.1.509. S2CID 183386465.
  8. ^ Peter Moraw, Heiliges Reich, in: Lexikon des Mittelalters, Munich & Zurich: Artemis 1977–1999, vol. 4, columns 2025–2028.
  9. ^ Bryce, James (1968). The Holy Roman Empire. Macmillan. p. 530.
  10. ^ Egon Boshof: Ludwig der Fromme. Darmstadt 1996, p. 89
  11. ^ Barraclough, Geoffrey (1984). The Origins of Modern Germany. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-30153-3.
  12. ^ " Wir Franz der Zweyte, von Gottes Gnaden erwählter römischer KaiserImperator Austriae, Fransiscus I (1804), Allerhöchste Pragmatikal-Verordnung vom 11. August 1804, The HR Emperor, p. 1

External links

Media files used on this page

Ottta4Brunsvicky.jpg
This is a scan of the historical document:
Paschalis.jpg
Papst Paschalis II. [oder Bischof Ruthard von Mainz?] überreicht Kaiser Heinrich V. den Reichsapfel als Symbol der weltlichen Macht
Coins of Pope Benedict IV and Emperor Louis III.PNG
Coins of Pope Benedict IV and Emperor Louis III
Ferdinand II King of Bohemia Holy Roman Emperor.jpg
Portrait of Ferdinand II (1578–1637), King of Bohemia and later Hungary, Holy Roman Emperor
Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1300-c.1400).svg
Author/Creator: Heralder & Tom Lemmens, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor, drawn in the style the late medieval period.
Also used as shield of arms (generic) by the King of the Romans
Sceau de Charles le gros.jpg
Sceau de Charles III le gros, IXème siècle. Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich.
Konrad2Salsky-2.jpg
Emperors of the Salian dynasty: Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor an the throne holding images of Henry III, Henry IV, Conrad, Henry V and Agnes
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).svg
(c) I, N3MO, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor (after 1400).
Kronung Heinrich II.jpg
Sacramentary of king Henry II [1002-14] - München BSB Clm 4456 Seite 33c: King Henry II
Arms of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svg
Author/Creator: Adelbrecht & Heralder, elements Sodacan, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Arms of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant
Seal of Arnulph of Carinthia (896).jpg
Seal of Arnulph of Carinthia, from 896.
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor.jpg
Bildnis in ganzer Figur
detail
Frederick II (HRE).jpg
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Heinrich 4 g.jpg

Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, miniature from the

Emmeram Evangeliary
Reichskrone.jpg
The Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire
Artist: Johann Adam Delsenbach, done in 1751.
Hans Burgkmair d. Ä. 005.jpg
Kaiser Friedrich III. nach einem verlorenen Original von 1468
Pisanello 024b.jpg
Person depicted: Emperor Sigismund I. Son of Charles IV of Luxembourg
Wido rex Italiae.jpg
Seal of king Wido on a paper from his coronation, Pavia AD 889
Block Emperor Leopold I.jpg
The portrait looks to be a derivative copy after a painting by Benjamin von Block, official portraitist of Leopold I
Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1200-c.1300).svg
Author/Creator: Heralder & Tom Lemmens, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor, based on the depiction in Codex Manesse (c. 1310). An imperial coat of arms in this style was in use from c. 1200 to c. 1430. From 1433 (accession of Sigismund), use of the double-headed eagle became prevalent. The shield shape used here is typical of the early to mid 14th century. A variant with a shield shape more typical of the late 14th to early 15th century can be found here.
Arms of Charles V Holy Roman Emperor, Charles I as King of Spain -Or shield variant.svg
Author/Creator: Adelbrecht (in collaboration with Heralder), inescutcheon by Katepanomegas and castles and lions by Sodacan, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Arms of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (Charles I as King of Spain). Or shield variant (1530-1556)
Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1433-c.1450).svg
Author/Creator: Tom Lemmens & Heralder, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Double-headed Reichsadler, Heraldic shield of the Holy Roman Emperor, from Wernigeroder Wappenbuch (c. 1475-1500) [the heads should be crowned]
Arms of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.svg
Author/Creator: Adelbrecht (in collaboration with Heralder), inescutcheon by: Katepanomegas, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Arms of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
017 otto siegel 2.jpg
Otto I., sogen. 3. Kaisersiegel, Magdeburg, Landeshauptarchiv Sachsen-Anhalt, Rep. U 1, Tit. I. Nr. 23: 966 August 24, aus: Bernward 2, II-2, S. 18f. (R. Kahsnitz).
Ignoto, re ludovico IV, bull d'oro, 1329.JPG
(c) I, Sailko, CC BY-SA 3.0
Ignoto, re ludovico IV, bull d'oro, 1329
Henric van Lusenborch.svg
Author/Creator: Claes Heynenzoon before 23 june 1405, SVG Own work, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Coat of arms of Luxembourg, drawn after the Beyeren Armorial (1405), where it is attributed to "Henry of Luxembourg" (presumably Henry VI, 1240–1288).
Henry Lux head.jpg
Henry of Luxembourg being crowned Emperor
Portrait des Kaiser Rudolph II (20).png
Portrait of Kaiser Rudolf II
Coat of Arms of Leopold II and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperors-Or shield variant.svg
Author/Creator: Tom Lemmens (in collaboration with Heralder), Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Coat of Arms of Leopold II and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperors-Or shield variant
Ludwik I Pobożny.jpg
Louis the Pious Edit this at Structured Data on Commons
Empereur en majesté (musée de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg) (36005712991).jpg
Author/Creator: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France, Licence: CC BY 2.0

Empereur en majesté Vitrail dernier quart du XIIème siècle Cathédrale de Strasbourg déposé au musée vers 1880

Oeuvre présentée au musée de l'oeuvre Notre-Dame à Strasbourg

www.musees.strasbourg.eu/musee-de-l-oeuvre-notre-dame
Sigismund Arms Hungarian Czech per pale.svg
Author/Creator: Own work, from elements by: Tom Lemmens, Heralder, Ssolbergj, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
A possible coat of arms for emperor Sigismund.

For use with the imperial coa at File:Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1433-c.1450).svg (same shield shape). Sigismund used many different combinations of coats of arms in the course of his life, not to mention the permutations used in attribution to him after his death, and there isn't a single correct one. The inescutcheon version here appears to be slightly anachronistic. He used the Hungarian coats of arms per pale in one seal, and the Hungarian (Arpad) stripes with the Bohemian lion per pale in a later seal (used here). Equestrian seals also show quartering of the Bohemian lion with the imperial eagle.

Still other seals show arrangements of up to six separate shields without division of the field, or quartering of the Hungarian (Arpad) stripes with the Bohemian lion.
Arms of Leopold II and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperors-Or shield variant.svg
Author/Creator: Adelbrecht (in collaboration with Heralder), Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Arms of Leopold II and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperors-Or shield variant
Louis II of Italy.png
Louis II, king of Italy and emperor of the Romans. (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Latin 5411, fol. 85v)
Frederick I (HRE).jpg
Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor.
Holy Roman Empire Arms-double head.svg
(c) I, N3MO, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire from ca. 1433

(emperor Sigismund was the first to use the double-headed eagle, but the single-headed eagle continued to see some use well into the 16th century).

The style is loosely based on that of the mid-16th century (cf. e.g. Jacob Kallenberg (1545)), but largely equivalent designs were used in heraldry well into the 19th century.
Giuseppe II imperatore del sri.PNG
Author/Creator: Joseph Hickel , Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Ritratto di Giuseppe II d'Asburgo
Coat of Arms of Charles VII Albert, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svg
Author/Creator: Tom Lemmens & Heralder, elements Sodacan, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Coat of Arms of of Charles VII Albert, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant
Bavaria Wittelsbach coa medieval.svg
Author/Creator: User:Dbachmann, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Wittelsbach coat of arms in the style of the 14th century.

The shield shape is chosen to go with File:Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1200-c.1300).svg. The size and arrangement of the lozenges is informed by the equestrian seal of Louis IV (File:Posse Band 1 b 0084.jpg), as far as has been possible within the chosen shield shape.

Note that Louis IV also used the Wittelsbach lozenges per pale with the Palatine lion, as seen here: File:Posse_Band_1_b_0085.jpg.
Lothair II, Holy Roman Emperor.jpg
Lothair II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Arms of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svg
Author/Creator: Adelbrecht (in collaboration with Heralder), Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Arms of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant
Wapen 1545 Kaiserwappen des Heiligen Römischen Reichs Polychromie.jpg
Imperial coat of arms (Holy Roman Empire), with the seven coats of arms of the prince-electors: Cologne, Mainz, Trier, Bohemia, Palatinate, Brandenburg, Saxony. Title page of a 1545 armorial printed in Frankfurt.
Porträt des Kaiser Karl VI im Krönungsornat.png
Kaiser Karl VI. im Krönungsornat
Arms of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svg
Author/Creator: Adelbrecht (in collaboration with Heralder), Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Arms of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant
Insigne Cechicum.svg
Author/Creator: Ssolbergj, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
The coat of arms of the Czech Republic
Lambert de Spolète.jpg
Lambert de Spolète.
Charlemagne denier Mayence 812 814.jpg
Obverse of a Charlemagne denier (a silver coin) coined in Mainz from 812 to 814, today at the Cabinet des Médailles in Paris.
Arms of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svg
Author/Creator: Adelbrecht & Heralder, elements Sodacan, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Arms of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant
Arms of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor.svg
Author/Creator: Tom Lemmens & Heralder, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Arms of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
Codex Manesse Heinrich VI. (HRR).jpg
Codex Manesse, fol. 6r, Henry VI., Holy Roman Emperor, c. 1300
Balduineum Wahl Heinrich VII.jpg
 
  • "The seven electors choose Henry, Count of Luxembourg, as King of the Romans at Frankfurt on the 27th day of November."
  • The "Seven Prince Electors" electing Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor. The electoral princes, identified by the coat of arms above their heads, from left to right are the archbishops of Cologne (Heinrich II. von Virneburg), Mainz (Peter von Aspelt), and Trier (Balduin von Luxemburg), the count palatine of the Rhine (count of former Electorate of the Palatinate) (Rudolf I. (Pfalz)), the duke of Saxony (Rudolf 1. (Sachsen-Wittenberg)), the margrave of Brandenburg (Waldemar (Brandenburg)), and the king of Bohemia (Heinrich von Kärnten).
  • Pen-and-ink miniature from the picture chronicle of Henry VII (Balduineum).
  • Drawing on parchment from 1341; today at public main federal state record office in Koblenz, Germany.
Coat of arms of Otto IV of Brunswick as Holy Roman Emperor (Chronica Maiora).svg
Author/Creator: FDRMRZUSA, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Coat of arms of Otto IV of Brunswick as Holy Roman Emperor (Chronica Maiora).