Landgrave (german: Landgraf, nl, landgraaf, sv, lantgreve, french: landgrave; la, comes magnus, ', ', ', ', ') was a noble title used in the Holy Roman Empire, and later on in its former territories. The German titles of ', ' ("margrave"), and ' ("count palatine") are in the same class of ranks as ' ("duke") and above the rank of a ' ("count").


The English language, English word landgrave is the equivalent of the German language, German ''Landgraf'', a compound (linguistics), compound of the words ''Land'' and ''Graf'' (German: Count).


The title referred originally to a count who had imperial immediacy, or feudal duty owed directly to the Holy Roman Emperor. His jurisdiction stretched over a sometimes quite considerable territory, which was not subservient to an intermediate power, such as a duke, a bishop or count palatine. The title survived from the times of the Holy Roman Empire (first recorded in Lower Lotharingia from 1086: Henry III, Count of Louvain, as landgrave of Landgraviate of Brabant, Brabant). By definition, a landgrave exercised sovereign rights. His decision-making power was comparable to that of a Duke. ''Landgrave'' occasionally continued in use as the subsidiary title of such noblemen as the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, who functioned as the ''Landgrave of Thuringia'' in the first decade of the 20th century, but the title fell into disuse after World War II. The jurisdiction of a landgrave was a ''landgraviate'' (german: Landgrafschaft, links=no), and the wife of a landgrave or a female landgrave was known as a ''landgravine'' (from the German , being the feminine form of ) The term was also used in the Carolinas (what is now North and South Carolina in the United States) during British rule. A "landgrave" was "a county nobleman in the British, privately held North American colony Carolina, ranking just below the proprietary (chartered equivalent of a royal vassal)."


Examples include: * List of rulers of Thuringia, Landgrave of Thuringia ** Rulers of Hesse, Landgraves of Hesse and its subsequent divisions (Hesse-Kassel, Hesse-Darmstadt, -Darmstadt, Hesse-Rotenburg, -Rotenburg, Landgraviate of Hesse-Philippsthal, -Philippsthal(-Landgraviate of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld, Barchfeld), Hesse-Rheinfels, -Rheinfels, Hesse-Homburg, -Homburg(Hesse-Homburg-Bingenheim, -Bingenheim), Hesse-Marburg, -Marburg). * Landgraves of Leuchtenberg, situated around a Bavarian castle (later raised into a duchy) * * * Fürstenberg-Weitra * Fürstenberg-Taikowitz * Landgraviate of Alsace ** Upper Alsace ** Lower Alsace

Related terms

* Landgraviate – the rank, office, or territory held by a landgrave * Landgravine (german: Landgräfin, links=no) – the wife of a landgrave or one who exercises the office or holds the rank in her own right.


Further reading

* Mayer, Theodor, "Über Entstehung und Bedeutung der älteren deutschen Landgrafschaften", in ''Mitteralterliche Studien – Gesammelte Aufsätze'', ed. F. Knapp (Sigmaringen 1958) 187–201. Also published in ''Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte'', Germanische Abteilung 58 (1938) 210–288. * Mayer, Theodor, Herzogtum und Landeshoheit', Fürsten und Staat. Studien zur Verfassungsgeschichte des deutschen Mittelalters'' (Weimar 1950) 276–301. * Eichenberger, T., Patria: ''Studien zur Bedeutung des Wortes im Mittelalter'' (6.-12. Jahrhundert), Nationes – Historische und philologische Untersuchungen zur Entstehung der europäischen Nationen im Mittelalter 9 (Sigmaringen 1991). * Van Droogenbroeck, Frans J.
'De betekenis van paltsgraaf Herman II (1064-1085) voor het graafschap Brabant'
''Eigen Schoon en De Brabander'', 87 (2004), 1-166. * Van Droogenbroeck, Frans J.
Het landgraafschap Brabant (1085-1183) en zijn paltsgrafelijke voorgeschiedenis. De territoriale en institutionele aanloop tot het ontstaan van het hertogdom Brabant

External links

* {{Authority control German noble titles Heads of state Noble titles Counts, Landgraves of the Holy Roman Empire,