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The HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR (historically _Romanorum Imperator_ "Emperor of the Romans") was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
.

The title was held in conjunction with the rule of the Kingdom of Germany
Germany
.

From an autocracy in Carolingian times the title evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the prince-electors . The Holy Roman Emperor
Emperor
was widely perceived to be the deputy of Jesus Christ on Earth by Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
rulers in Europe
Europe
, and he often contradicted or rivaled the Pope
Pope
, most notably during the Investiture controversy . In theory, the Holy Roman Emperor
Emperor
was _primus inter pares _ (first among equals) among other Catholic monarchs. In practice, a Holy Roman Emperor
Emperor
was only as strong as his army and alliances made him.

After the Reformation , many of the subject states in Germany
Germany
turned Protestant
Protestant
while the Emperor
Emperor
continued to be a Roman Catholic. Until the Reformation , the Emperor
Emperor
elect (_imperator electus_) was required to be crowned by the Pope
Pope
before assuming the imperial title. Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became hereditary holders of the title. In particular the Habsburgs kept the longest possession of the title. The Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
was dissolved by Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Emperor
as a result of the collapse of the polity during the Napoleonic wars.

CONTENTS

* 1 Title * 2 Succession of the Holy Roman Emperors

* 3 The Holy Roman Emperors

* 3.1 Carolingian dynasty * 3.2 Widonid dynasty * 3.3 Carolingian dynasty * 3.4 Bosonid dynasty * 3.5 Unruoching dynasty * 3.6 Ottonian dynasty * 3.7 Salian dynasty * 3.8 Supplinburg dynasty * 3.9 Staufen dynasty * 3.10 Welf dynasty * 3.11 Staufen dynasty * 3.12 House of Luxembourg * 3.13 House of Wittelsbach
Wittelsbach
* 3.14 House of Luxembourg * 3.15 House of Habsburg
Habsburg
* 3.16 House of Wittelsbach
Wittelsbach
* 3.17 House of Habsburg-Lorraine

* 4 Coronation * 5 See also * 6 References

TITLE

Further information: Emperor
Emperor

From the time of Constantine I
Constantine I
(4th century) the Roman emperors had, with very few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity . The title of _Emperor_ became defunct in Western Europe
Europe
after the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in AD 476, although the rulers of the "barbarian kingdoms " continued to recognize the Eastern Emperor
Emperor
at least nominally well into the 6th century; both the title and connection between Emperor
Emperor
and Church continued in the Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
until 1453, when it fell to the forces of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
.

In the west, the title of Emperor
Emperor
(_Imperator_) was revived in 800, which also renewed ideas of imperial–papal cooperation. 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
Pope
Gregory VII .

After Charlemagne
Charlemagne
was crowned Emperor
Emperor
of the Romans (_Imperator Romanorum_) by Pope
Pope
Leo III , 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 fell within the boundaries of 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 emperor by the Pope
Pope
. After Charles V's coronation, all succeeding emperors were called _elected Emperor_ due to the lack of papal coronation, but for all practical purposes they were simply called _emperors_.

The term "sacrum" (i.e. "holy") in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa . Charles V was the last Holy Roman Emperor
Emperor
to be crowned by the Pope
Pope
(1530). The final Holy Roman Emperor-elect, Francis II , abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empire's final dissolution.

The standard designation of the Holy Roman Emperor
Emperor
was "August Emperor
Emperor
of the Romans" (_Romanorum Imperator Augustus_). When Charlemagne
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. The word _Holy_ had never been used as part of that title in official documents.

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
Emperor
of the Western Roman Empire
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
Emperor
on one hand, and that of German Emperor
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.

SUCCESSION OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPERORS

Holy Roman Emperors of Habsburg
Habsburg
dynasty and their families

Successions to the kingship were controlled by a variety of complicated factors. Elections meant the kingship of Germany
Germany
was only partially hereditary, unlike the kingship of France
France
, although sovereignty frequently remained in a dynasty until there were no more male successors. Some scholars suggest that the task of the elections was really to solve conflicts only when the dynastic rule was unclear, yet the process meant that the prime candidate had to make concessions, by which the voters were kept on side, which were known as _Wahlkapitulationen_ (election capitulations).

The Electoral council was set at seven princes (three archbishops and four secular princes) by the Golden Bull of 1356
Golden Bull of 1356
. It remained so until 1648, when the settlement of the Thirty Years\' War required the addition of a new elector to maintain the precarious balance between Protestant
Protestant
and Catholic factions in the Empire. Another elector was added in 1690, and the whole college was reshuffled in 1803, a mere three years before the dissolution of the Empire.

After 1438, the Kings remained in the house of Habsburg
Habsburg
and Habsburg-Lorraine , with the brief exception of Charles VII , who was a Wittelsbach
Wittelsbach
. Maximilian I ( Emperor
Emperor
1508–1519) and his successors no longer travelled to Rome
Rome
to be crowned as Emperor
Emperor
by the Pope. Maximilian therefore named himself Elected Roman Emperor
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 HOLY ROMAN EMPERORS

See also: List of German monarchs

This list includes all 47 emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, whether or not they styled themselves _Holy Roman Emperor_. There are some gaps in the tally. For example, Henry the Fowler was King of Germany but not Emperor; Emperor
Emperor
Henry II was numbered as his successor as German King. The Guideschi follow the numeration for the Duchy of Spoleto .

CAROLINGIAN DYNASTY

Main article: Carolingian dynasty

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
Holy Roman Empire
(although the term _Sacrum Imperium Romanum_ was not in use before the 13th century).

The rulers who were crowned as Emperors in the West before 962 were as follows:

PORTRAIT NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

_ Charles I , the Great_ (Charlemagne) (742–814) 25 December 800 28 January 814

• King of the Lombards • King of the Franks

_ Louis I , the Pious_ (778–840) 11 September 813 20 June 840 Son of Charles I • King of the Franks • King of Aquitaine

Lothair I (795–855) 5 April 823 29 September 855 Son of Louis I • King of Bavaria King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Middle Francia

Louis II (825–875) 29 September 855 12 August 875 Son of Lothair I King of Bavaria King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Middle Francia

_ Charles II , the Bald_ (823–877) 29 December 875 6 October 877 Son of Louis I • King of West Francia King of Italy
King of Italy

_ Charles III , the Fat_ (839–888) 12 February 881 13 January 888 Grandson of Louis I • King of West Francia • King of East Francia • King of Italy
King of Italy

WIDONID DYNASTY

Main article: Widonids

PORTRAIT NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

Guy I (?–894) 891 12 December 894 Great-great grandson of Charles I • King of Italy
King of Italy
Duke of Spoleto

Lambert I (880–898) 30 April 892 15 October 898 Son of Guy I • King of Italy
King of Italy
Duke of Spoleto

CAROLINGIAN DYNASTY

PORTRAIT NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

Arnulph (850–899) 22 February 896 8 December 899 Nephew of Charles III • King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of East Francia

BOSONID DYNASTY

Main article: Bosonids

PORTRAIT NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

_ Louis III , the Blind_ (880–928) 22 February 901 21 July 905 Grandson of Louis II • King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Provence

UNRUOCHING DYNASTY

Main article: Unruochings

PORTRAIT NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

Berengar I (845–924) December 915 7 April 924 Grandson of Louis I • King of Italy
King of Italy
• Margrave of Friuli

There was no emperor in the west between 924 and 962.

While earlier Germanic and Italian monarchs had been crowned as western Roman Emperors, the actual Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
is usually considered to have begun with the crowning of the Saxon king Otto I . It was officially an elective position, though at times it ran in families, notably the four generations of the Salian dynasty in the 11th century. From the end of the Salian dynasty through the middle 15th century, the Emperors drew from many different German dynasties, and it was rare for the throne to pass from father to son. That changed with the ascension of the Austrian House of Habsburg
Habsburg
, as an unbroken line of Habsburgs would hold the Imperial throne until the 18th century, later a cadet branch known as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine would likewise pass it from father to son until the abolition of the Empire in 1806. Notably, the Habsburgs also 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.

OTTONIAN DYNASTY

Main article: Ottonian dynasty

PORTRAIT NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

_ Otto I , the Great_ (912–973) 2 February 962 7 May 973 Great-great-great grandson of Louis I • King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Germany
Germany
• Duke of Saxony

_ Otto II , the Red_ (955–983) 25 December 967 7 December 983 Son of Otto I • King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Germany
Germany

Otto III (980–1002) 21 May 996 23 January 1002 Son of Otto II • King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Germany
Germany

Henry II (973–1024) 7 June 1002 14 February 1014 Second cousin of Otto III • King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Germany
Germany
Duke of Bavaria

SALIAN DYNASTY

Main article: Salian dynasty

PORTRAIT NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

_ Conrad II , the Elder_ (990–1039) 26 March 1027 4 June 1039 Great-great-grandson of Otto I • King of Burgundy King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Germany
Germany

_ Henry III , the Black_ (1017–1056) 25 December 1046 5 October 1056 Son of Conrad II • King of Burgundy King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Germany
Germany

Henry IV (1050–1116) 31 March 1084 7 August 1106 Son of Henry III • King of Burgundy King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Germany
Germany

Henry V (1086–1125) 13 April 1111 23 May 1125 Son of Henry IV • King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Germany
Germany

SUPPLINBURG DYNASTY

PORTRAIT NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

Lothair II (1075–1137) 4 June 1133 4 December 1137 Far descendant of Otto I • King of Italy
King of Italy
• King of Germany
Germany

STAUFEN DYNASTY

Main article: Hohenstaufen

PORTRAIT COAT OF ARMS NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

_

Frederick I , Barbarossa_ (1122–1190) 8 June 1155 10 June 1190 Great-grandson of Henry IV • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
King of Burgundy

Henry VI (1165–1197) 14 April 1191 28 September 1197 Son of Frederick I • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
King of Burgundy • Co- King of Sicily

WELF DYNASTY

Main article: House of Welf

PORTRAIT COAT OF ARMS NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

Otto IV (1175–1218) 9 June 1198 1215 Great-grandson of Lothair II • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
King of Burgundy

STAUFEN DYNASTY

PORTRAIT COAT OF ARMS NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

Frederick II (1194–1250) 22 November 1220 13 December 1250 Son of Henry VI • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
King of Sicily King of Jerusalem

Conrad IV (1228–1254) 13 December 1250 21 May 1254 Son of Frederick II • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
King of Sicily King of Jerusalem

Conrad V (1252–1268) 21 May 1254 29 October 1268 Son of Conrad IV • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
King of Sicily King of Jerusalem

HOUSE OF LUXEMBOURG

Main article: House of Luxembourg

PORTRAIT COAT OF ARMS NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

Henry VII (1275–1313) 29 June 1312 24 August 1313 Far descendant of Louis III • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
Count of Luxemburg

HOUSE OF WITTELSBACH

Main article: House of Wittelsbach
Wittelsbach

PORTRAIT COAT OF ARMS NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

_

Louis IV , the Bavarian_ (1282–1347) October 1314 11 October 1347 Far descendant of Lothair II and Henry IV • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
Duke of Bavaria

HOUSE OF LUXEMBOURG

PORTRAIT COAT OF ARMS NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

Charles IV (1316–1378) 11 July 1346 29 November 1378 Grandson of Henry VII • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Burgundy Count of Luxemburg

Sigismund (1368–1437) 10 September 1410 9 December 1437 Son of Charles IV • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary and Croatia

HOUSE OF HABSBURG

Main article: House of Habsburg
Habsburg

PORTRAIT COAT OF ARMS NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

_

Frederick III , the Peaceful_ (1415–1493) 2 February 1440 19 August 1493 Far descendant of Lothair II • King of Germany
Germany
Archduke of Austria

Maximilian I (1459–1519) 19 August 1493 12 January 1519 Son of Frederick III • King of Germany
Germany
Archduke of Austria

Charles V (1500–1558) 28 June 1519 16 January 1556 Grandson of Maximilian I • King of Germany
Germany
King of Italy
King of Italy
Archduke of Austria King of Spain
King of Spain
• Lord of the Netherlands and Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy

Ferdinand I (1503–1564) 16 January 1556 25 July 1564 Grandson of Maximilian I • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary King of Croatia Archduke of Austria

Maximilian II (1527–1576) 25 July 1564 12 October 1576 Son of Ferdinand I • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary King of Croatia Archduke of Austria

Rudolph II (1552–1612) 12 October 1576 20 January 1612 Son of Maximilian II • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary King of Croatia Archduke of Austria

Matthias (1557–1619) 23 January 1612 20 March 1619 Son of Maximilian II • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary King of Croatia Archduke of Austria

Ferdinand II (1578–1637) 20 March 1619 15 February 1637 Grandson of Ferdinand I • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary King of Croatia Archduke of Austria

Ferdinand III (1608–1657) 15 February 1637 2 April 1657 Son of Ferdinand II • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary King of Croatia Archduke of Austria

Leopold I (1640–1705) 6 March 1657 5 May 1705 Son of Ferdinand III • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary King of Croatia Archduke of Austria

Joseph I (1678–1711) 5 May 1705 17 April 1711 Son of Leopold I • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary King of Croatia Archduke of Austria

Charles VI (1685–1740) 12 October 1711 20 October 1740 Son of Leopold I FULL LIST

* • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary King of Croatia Archduke of Austria King of Naples
King of Naples
King of Sicily King of Sardinia Duke of Luxemburg Duke of Teschen Duke of Parma and Piacenza Count of Flanders

HOUSE OF WITTELSBACH

PORTRAIT COAT OF ARMS NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

Charles VII (1697–1745) 12 February 1742 20 January 1745 Great-great grandson of Ferdinand II • King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
Elector of Bavaria

HOUSE OF HABSBURG-LORRAINE

Main article: House of Lorraine

PORTRAIT COAT OF ARMS NAME REIGN RELATIONSHIP WITH PREDECESSOR(S) OTHERS TITLE(S)

Francis I (1708–1765) 13 September 1745 18 August 1765 Great-grandson of Ferdinand III ; Son-in-law of Charles VI • King of Germany
Germany
Archduke of Austria Grand Duke of Tuscany Duke of Lorraine

Joseph II (1741–1790) 19 August 1765 20 February 1790 Son of Francis I • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary and Croatia • Archduke of Austria

Leopold II (1747–1792) 21 February 1790 1 March 1792 Son of Francis I • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary and Croatia • Archduke of Austria Grand Duke of Tuscany

Francis II (1768–1835) 4 March 1792 6 August 1806 Son of Leopold II • King of Germany
Germany
King of Bohemia
King of Bohemia
King of Hungary and Croatia • Archduke of Austria

CORONATION

See also: Coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor and Papal appointment

The Emperor
Emperor
was crowned in a special ceremony, traditionally performed by the Pope
Pope
in Rome
Rome
. Without that coronation, no king, despite exercising all powers, could call himself Emperor. In 1508, Pope
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
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 first successor Charles V was the last to be crowned Emperor.

EMPEROR CORONATION DATE OFFICIANT LOCATION

Charles I 25 December 800 Pope
Pope
Leo III Rome
Rome
, Italy

Louis I 5 October 816 Pope
Pope
Stephen IV Reims
Reims
, France

Lothair I 5 April 823 Pope
Pope
Paschal I Rome, Italy

Louis II 15 June 844 Pope
Pope
Leo IV Rome, Italy

Charles II 29 December 875 Pope
Pope
John VIII Rome, Italy

Charles III 12 February 881 Rome, Italy

Guy III of Spoleto 21 February 891 Pope
Pope
Stephen V Rome, Italy

Lambert II of Spoleto 30 April 892 Pope
Pope
Formosus Ravenna
Ravenna
, Italy

Arnulf of Carinthia 22 February 896 Rome, Italy

Louis III 15 or 22 February 901 Pope
Pope
Benedict IV Rome, Italy

Berengar December 915 Pope
Pope
John X Rome, Italy

Otto I 2 February, 962 Pope
Pope
John XII Rome, Italy

Otto II 25 December, 967 Pope
Pope
John XIII Rome, Italy

Otto III 21 May, 996 Pope
Pope
Gregory V Monza
Monza
, Italy

Henry II 14 February 1014 Pope
Pope
Benedict VIII Rome, Italy

Conrad II 26 March 1027 Pope
Pope
John XIX Rome, Italy

Henry III 25 December 1046 Pope
Pope
Clement II Rome, Italy

Henry IV 31 March 1084 Antipope Clement III Rome, Italy

Henry V 13 April 1111 Pope
Pope
Paschal II Rome, Italy

Lothair III 4 June 1133 Pope
Pope
Innocent II Rome, Italy

Frederick I 18 June 1155 Pope
Pope
Adrian IV Rome, Italy

Henry VI 14 April 1191 Pope
Pope
Celestine III Rome, Italy

Otto IV 4 October 1209 Pope
Pope
Innocent III Rome, Italy

Frederick II 22 November 1220 Pope
Pope
Honorius III Rome, Italy

Henry VII 29 June 1312 Ghibellines cardinals Rome, Italy

Louis IV 17 January 1328 Senator Sciarra Colonna Rome, Italy

Charles IV 5 April 1355 Pope
Pope
Innocent VI 's cardinal Rome, Italy

Sigismund 31 May 1433 Pope
Pope
Eugenius IV Rome, Italy

Frederick III 19 March 1452 Pope
Pope
Nicholas V Rome, Italy

Charles V 24 February 1530 Pope
Pope
Clement VII Bologna
Bologna
, Italy

SEE ALSO

_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to HOLY ROMAN EMPERORS _.

* Book: Holy Roman Emperors

* Concordat of Worms
Concordat of Worms
* Emperor
Emperor
for other uses of the title "Emperor" in Europe
Europe
. * First Council of the Lateran
First Council of the Lateran
* Holy Roman Emperors family tree * Holy Roman Empress
Holy Roman Empress
* King of the Romans * List of German monarchs *