The Info List - Fürst

--- Advertisement ---

(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

_FüRST_ (German pronunciation: (_ listen ), female form FüRSTIN_, plural _FüRSTEN_; from Old High German _furisto_, "the first", a translation of the Latin
_princeps _) is a German word for a ruler and is also a princely title. _Fürsten_ were, since the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
, members of the highest nobility who ruled over states of the Holy Roman Empire and later its former territories, below the ruling _ Kaiser
_ (emperor ) or _König_ (king ).

A Prince
of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
was the reigning sovereign ruler of an Imperial State that held imperial immediacy in the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. The territory ruled is referred to in German as a _Fürstentum_ (principality ), the family dynasty referred to as a _Fürstenhaus_ (princely house), and the (non-reigning) descendants of a _Fürst_ are titled and referred to in German as _Prinz_ (prince ) or _Prinzessin_ (princess).

The English language
English language
uses the term _prince_ for both concepts. Latin-based languages (French, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese) also employ a single term, whereas Dutch as well as the Scandinavian and Slavic languages (Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, etc.) use separate terms similar to those used in German (see _knyaz _ for the latter).

Since the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
, the German designation and title of _Fürst_ refers to:

* the highest members of the nobility who ruled over the Holy Roman Empire , below the ruling _ Kaiser
_ ( Emperor
) or _König_ ( King
); * members of the nobility above the rank of _ Graf
_ (Count) but below _ Herzog
_ (Duke); * a ruler or monarch (in general).


* 1 Use of the title in German * 2 Other uses in German * 3 Derived titles * 4 Origins and cognates * 5 References * 6 Further reading


_ Fürst
von Putbus _, arms with a mantle and _Fürsten_ crown. _ Fürst
von Liechtenstein _, arms with a mediatised _Fürsten_ headpiece. _ Fürst
von Schwarzburg _, arms with a _Fürsten_ crown.

The title _Fürst_ (female form _Fürstin_, female plural _Fürstinnen_) is used for the heads of princely houses of German origin (in German a _Fürstenhaus_). From the Late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
, it referred to any vassal of the Holy Roman Emperor
ruling over an immediate estate . Unless he also holds a higher title, such as grand duke or king , he will be known either by the formula "_ Fürst
von _ + ", or by the formula "_ Fürst
zu _ + ". These forms can be combined, as in "_...von und zu Liechtenstein_".

The rank of the title-holder is not determined by the title itself, but by his degree of sovereignty , the rank of his suzerain , or the age of the princely family (note the terms _ Uradel , Briefadel, altfürstliche, neufürstliche_; and see German nobility
German nobility
). The _Fürst_ (Prince) ranked below the _ Herzog
_ (Duke) in the Holy Roman Empire's hierarchy, but princes did not necessarily rank below dukes in non-German parts of Europe. Likewise, the style usually associated with the title of _Fürst_ in post-medieval Europe, _Durchlaucht_ (translated as " Serene Highness "), was considered inferior to _Hoheit_ (" Highness
") in Germany, though not in France .

The present-day rulers of the sovereign principality of Liechtenstein bear the title of _Fürst_, and the title is also used in German when referring to the ruling princes of Monaco
. The hereditary rulers of the one-time principalities of Bulgaria
, Serbia
, Montenegro
, and Albania
were also all referred to in German as _Fürsten_ before they eventually assumed the title of "king" (_König_).


_Fürst_ is used more generally in German to refer to any ruler, such as a king , a reigning duke , or a prince in the broad sense (compare Niccolò Machiavelli 's _Il Principe _). Before the 12th century, counts were also included in this group, in accordance with its usage in the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
, and in some historical or ceremonial contexts, the term _Fürst_ can extend to any lord .

The descendants of a _Fürst_, when that title has not been restricted by patent or custom to male primogeniture , is distinguished in title from the head of the family by use of the prefix _Prinz_ (prince, from Latin
: _princeps_; female: _Prinzessin_).

A nobleman whose family is non-dynastic , i.e. has never reigned or been mediatised , may also be made a _Fürst_ by a sovereign, in which case the grantee and his heirs are deemed titular or nominal princes, enjoying only honorary princely title without commensurate rank. In families thus elevated to princely title (usually as a reward for military or political services) in or after the 18th century, the cadets often hold only the title of _Graf_ (Count), such as in the families of the princes of Bismarck , Eulenberg and Hardenberg . However, in a few cases, the title of _Fürst_ was shared equally by all male-line descendants of the original grantee (for example, the families of Hohenberg , Urach and Wrede ).


Several titles were derived from the term _Fürst_:

* _REICHSFüRST_ (_ Prince
of the Empire _) was a ruling Prince
whose territory was part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
. He was entitled to a vote, either individually (_Virilstimmen_) or as a member of a voting unit (_Curiatstimmen_), in the Imperial Diet (_Reichstag_). _Reichsfürst_ was also used generically for any ruler who cast his vote in either of the _Reichstag_'s two upper chambers, the Electoral College (_Kurfürstenrat_) or the College of Princes (_Fürstenrat_): Their specific title might be king , grand duke , duke , margrave , landgrave , count palatine (_Pfalzgraf_), burgrave , Imperial prince (_Reichsfürst_) or Imperial count (_Reichsgraf_). Usually included in this group were the _reichsständisch Personalisten_, Imperial princes and counts whose small territories did not meet the _Fürstenrat_'s criteria for voting membership as an Imperial estate (_Reichsständ_), but whose family's right to vote therein was recognised by the Emperor. Officially, a Prince
of the Church (_Kirchenfürst_) who voted in the Electoral or Princely College, along with a handful of titular princes (nobles granted an honorary but hereditary title of prince by an Emperor
who, however, were not _reichsständisch _, lacking a vote in the _Fürstenrat_) might also be referred to as _Reichsfürsten_. * _KIRCHENFüRST_ (_ Prince
of the Church _) was a hierarch who held an ecclesiastic fief and Imperial princely rank, such as prince-bishops , prince-abbots , or Grand Masters of a Christian military order. * _LANDESFüRST_ (_ Prince
of the Land_) is a princely head of state , i.e. not just a titular prince. A _Land_ was a geopolitical entity with (feudal) statehood, whether fully independent or not. The term is sometimes translated as in states bound together only in a personal union (e.g., the Electorate of Hanover and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland ) their joint ruler reigns as a _Landesfürst_ in each of the realms under different titles and constitutions, thus, e.g., the Habsburg emperors held a different regnal style in each of their _Kronland _ ('crown land') realms. * _KURFüRST_ (_Prince-Elector _) was a Prince
of the Holy Roman Empire with a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor
, as designated by the Golden Bull of 1356
Golden Bull of 1356
or elevated to that status subsequently. Originally, only seven princes possessed that right, of whom four were secular and three ecclesiastic. This prerogative conferred on its holders rank inferior only to that of the Emperor, regardless of the specific title attached to each Elector's principality. _Kur_ (earlier spelled _Chur_) is derived from _kur_ / _küren_, "to choose". Properly an office of the Empire rather than a hereditary title, during the long _de facto _ tenure of the Imperial throne held by the House of Habsburg
House of Habsburg
, the Electorates were less distinguished from other Imperial princes by their right to choose an emperor than by the right to transmit the fief associated with the office to a single heir by primogeniture , originally unknown in Germany, rather than to divide lands among descendants in multiple appanages , allowing preservation of each Elector's territorial integrity and power. * _GROßFüRST_ (_Grand Prince
_) was a rare title in German-speaking lands, and was used primarily to translate titles borne by rulers outside the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
(e.g., Russia, Tuscany). In 1765 Empress Maria Theresa proclaimed the Hungarian province of Transylvania
to be a "Grand Principality" (_Großfürstentum Siebenbürgen_), whereafter it became one of the titles of the Emperor of Austria
in 1804. * _FüRSTPRIMAS_ (_ Prince
primate _) referred to the head of the member states of the Napoleonic Confederation of the Rhine established in 1806, then held by the Archbishop- Elector of Mainz , Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg . Today it is a rarely used episcopal title: Upon the elevation of the Esztergom (_Gran_) archbishop, Christian August of Saxe-Zeitz , to a Prince
of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
in 1714, his successors bear the title of a Prince
primate (Hungarian : _hercegprímás_) up to today. The Archbishops of Salzburg still hold the title of _Primas Germaniae_ though their diocese is located in Austria


The word _Fürst_ designates the head (the "first") of a ruling house, or the head of a branch of such a house. The "first" originates from ancient Germanic times, when the "first" was the leader in battle.

Various cognates of the word _Fürst_ exist in other European languages (see extensive list under Prince
), sometimes only used for a princely ruler. A derivative of the Latin
_princeps _ (ironically, a Republican title in Roman law, which never formally recognized a monarchic style for the executive head of state but nominally maintained the Consuls as collegial Chief magistrates) is used for a genealogical prince in some languages (e.g., Dutch and Frisian , where a ruler is usually called _vorst_ (Frisian : _foarst_), but a prince of the blood is always styled _prins_; and Icelandic where _fursti_ is a ruler, and a prince of the blood royal is _prins_ (in these languages no capital letters are used in writing titles, unless, of course, they occur as the first word of a sentence)), while in other languages only a _princeps_-derived word is used for both irrespectively (e.g., English uses _prince_ for both). In any case the original (German or other) term may also be used.


* ^ _A_ _B_ Siebmacher, Johann ; Weber, Hilmar Hermann (1890). _Siebmacher\'s Grosses und allgemeines Wappenbuch: in einer neuen. Einleitungsband. Abt. A, B._ (in German). Nuremberg
: Otto Titan von Hefner. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ "Definition of the German title Fürst". _ Duden
_ (in German). * ^ "Definition of Fürstentum". _ Duden
_ (in German). * ^ "Definition of the German title Prinz". _ Duden
_ (in German).

_ Look up FüRST _ in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


* German Empire (in German – use the English and French translated versions only with due caution) * Danubian Monarchy Austria-Hungary (in German – use the English and French translated versions only with due caution) * Westermann, _Großer Atlas zur Weltgeschichte_ (in German) * WorldStatesmen – here Germany (with specifics on the HREmpire); see also other present countries * Etymology Online

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title= Fürst
additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy .® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. , a non-profit organization.

* Privacy policy * About * Disclaimers * Contact * Developers * Cookie statement * Mobile view

* *

Links: ------ /wiki/Help:IPA/Standard_German