King of Italy ( it|links=no|Re d'Italia; la|links=no|Rex Italiae) was the title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The first to take the title was Odoacer, a barbarian military leader, in the late 5th century, followed by the Ostrogothic kings up to the mid-6th century. With the Frankish conquest of Italy in the 8th century, the Carolingians assumed the title, which was maintained by subsequent Holy Roman Emperors throughout the Middle Ages. The last Emperor to claim the title was Charles V in the 16th century. During this period, the holders of the title were crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. A Kingdom of Italy was restored from 1805 to 1814 with Napoleon as its only king, centered in Northern Italy. It was not until the Italian unification in the 1860s that a Kingdom of Italy covering the entire Italian Peninsula was restored. From 1861 the House of Savoy held the title of ''King of Italy'' until the last king, Umberto II, was exiled in 1946 when Italy became a republic.


After the deposition of the last Western Emperor in 476, Heruli leader Odoacer was appointed ''Dux Italiae'' ("Duke of Italy") by the reigning Byzantine Emperor Zeno. Later, the Germanic ''foederati,'' the Scirians and the Heruli, as well as a large segment of the Italic Roman army, proclaimed Odoacer ('King of Italy).Bury, ''History'', vol. 1 p. 406 In 493, the Ostrogothic king Theoderic the Great killed Odoacer, and set up a new dynasty of kings of Italy. Ostrogothic rule ended when Italy was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in 552. In 568, the Lombards entered the peninsula and ventured to recreate a barbarian kingdom in opposition to the Empire, establishing their authority over much of Italy, except the Exarchate of Ravenna and the duchies of Rome, Venetia, Naples and the southernmost portions. In the 8th century, estrangement between the Italians and the Byzantines allowed the Lombards to capture the remaining Roman enclaves in northern Italy. However, in 774, they were defeated by the Franks under Charlemagne, who deposed their king and took up the title "king of the Lombards". After the death of Charles the Fat in 887, Italy fell into instability and a number of kings attempted to establish themselves as independent Italian monarchs. During this period, known as the Feudal Anarchy (888–962), the title ''Rex Italicorum'' ("King of the Italians" or "King of the Italics") was introduced. After the breakup of the Frankish empire, Otto I added Italy to the Holy Roman Empire and continued the use of the title ''Rex Italicorum''. The last to use this title was Henry II (1004-1024). Subsequent emperors used the title "King of Italy" until Charles V. They were crowned in Pavia, Milan and Bologna. In 1805, Napoleon I was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy at the Milan Cathedral. The next year, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated his imperial title. From the deposition of Napoleon I (1814) until the Italian Unification (1861), there was no Italian monarch claiming the overarching title. The ''Risorgimento'' successfully established the House of Savoy dynasty over the whole peninsula and, uniting the kingdoms of Sardinia and the Two Sicilies, it formed the modern Kingdom of Italy. The monarchy was superseded by the Italian Republic, after a constitutional referendum was held on 2 June 1946, after World War II.Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) ''Elections in Europe: A data handbook'', p1047 The Italian monarchy formally ended on 12 June of that year and Umberto II left the country.

As "Rex Italiae"

* Odoacer (476–493), vassal of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Ostrogothic Kingdom (493 – 553)

* Theoderic the Great (493 – 526) * Athalaric (526 – 534) * Theodahad (534 – 536) * Witiges (536 – 540) * Ildibad (540 – 541) * Eraric (541) * Totila (541 – 552) * Teia (552 – 553)

Kingdom of the Lombards (568 – 814)

* Alboin (568 – 572) * Cleph (572 – 574) * Rule of the dukes (ten-year interregnum) * Authari (584 – 590) * Agilulf (591 – c. 616) * Adaloald (c. 616 – c. 626) * Arioald (c. 626 – 636) * Rothari (636 – 652) * Rodoald (652 – 653) * Aripert I (653 – 661) * Perctarit and Godepert (661 – 662) * Grimoald (662 – 671) * Garibald (671) * Perctarit (671 – 688), restored from exile * Alahis (688 – 689), rebel * Cunincpert (688 – 700) * Liutpert (700 – 701) * Raginpert (701) * Aripert II (701 – 712) * Ansprand (712) * Liutprand (712 – 744) * Hildeprand (744) * Ratchis (744 – 749) * Aistulf (749 – 756) * Desiderius (756 – 774) * Charlemagne (774 – 814)

Kingdom of Italy (781 – 962)

Carolingian Dynasty (781 – 887)

* Pippin (781 – 810) * Bernard (810 – 818) * Louis I (818 – 822) * Lothair I (822 – 855) * Louis II (844 – 875) * Charles II the Bald (875 – 877) * Carloman (877 – 879) * Charles III the Fat (879 – 887)

Instability (888 – 962)

After 887, Italy fell into instability, with many rulers claiming the kingship simultaneously: * Berengar I (888 – 896), vassal of the German King Arnulf of Carinthia, reduced to Friuli (889-894), deposed by Arnulf in 896. * Guy of Spoleto (889 – 894), opponent of Berengar, ruled most of Italy but was deposed by Arnulf. * Lambert of Spoleto (891 – 896), subking of his father Guy before 894, reduced to Spoleto (894–895). * Arnulf of Carinthia (894 – 899) * Ratold, sub-king (896) In 896, Arnulf and Ratold lost control of Italy, which was divided between Berengar and Lambert: * Berengar I (896 – 924), seized Lambert's portion upon the latter's death in 898. * Lambert of Spoleto (896 – 898) * Louis III of Provence (900-905), opposed Berengar in 900-902 and 905. * Rudolph II of Burgundy (922 – 933), defeated Berengar but fled Italy in 926. * Hugh of Arles (926 – 947), elected by Berengar's partisans in 925, resigned to Provence after 945. * Lothair II of Arles (945 – 950) * Berengar II of Ivrea, jointly with his son Adalbert of Ivrea (950 – 961) In 951 Otto I of Germany invaded Italy and was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. In 952, Berengar and Adalbert became his vassals but remained kings until being deposed by Otto.

Holy Roman Empire (962 – 1556)

Ottonian dynasty (962 – 1024)

Salian dynasty (1027 – 1125)

Süpplingenburg dynasty (1125 – 1137)

House of Hohenstaufen (1128 – 1197)

House of Welf (1208 – 1212)

House of Hohenstaufen (1212 – 1254)

House of Luxembourg (1311 – 1313)

House of Wittelsbach (1327 – 1347)

House of Luxembourg (1355 – 1437)

House of Habsburg (1437 – 1556)

Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned king of Italy or to officially use the title. The Habsburg emperors claimed the Italian crown until 1801. The empire continued to include Italian territories until its dissolution in 1806.

Kingdom of Italy, House of Bonaparte (1805–1814)

Full title

This title is present on Italian laws proclaimed by Napoleon I: ame by the Grace of God and the Constitutions, Emperor of the French and King of Italy.

Kingdom of Italy, House of Savoy (1861–1946)

Kings in pretense since 1946

Italy voted to abolish its monarchy on 2 June 1946, after which Umberto II became king in pretense. On his death in 1983, he was succeeded by his son Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples. However, due to Vittorio Emanuele marrying Marina, Princess of Naples without his father's permission, his cousin Amedeo, Duke of Aosta argues that Vittorio Emanuele's claim to the throne is invalid and that he is the rightful head of the House of Savoy (see House of Savoy#House of Savoy today for details).Royal cousins fight for defunct Italian throne
from The Telegraph

Full title

Up until the dissolution of the monarchy in 1946, the full titles of the Kings of the Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) were: ame by the Grace of God and the will of the Nation, King of Italy, King of Sardinia, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Armenia, Duke of Savoy, count of Maurienne, Marquis (of the Holy Roman Empire) in Italy; Prince of Piedmont, Carignano, Oneglia, Poirino, Trino; Prince and Perpetual Vicar of the Holy Roman Empire; Prince of Carmagnola, Montmélian with Arbin and Francin, Prince bailiff of the Duchy of Aosta, Prince of Chieri, Dronero, Crescentino, Riva di Chieri and Banna, Busca, Bene, Bra, Duke of Genoa, Monferrat, Aosta, Duke of Chablais, Genevois, Duke of Piacenza, Marquis of Saluzzo (Saluces), Ivrea, Susa, of Maro, Oristano, Cesana, Savona, Tarantasia, Borgomanero and Cureggio, Caselle, Rivoli, Pianezza, Govone, Salussola, Racconigi over Tegerone, Migliabruna and Motturone, Cavallermaggiore, Marene, Modane and Lanslebourg, Livorno Ferraris, Santhià, Agliè, Centallo and Demonte, Desana, Ghemme, Vigone, Count of Barge, Villafranca, Ginevra, Nizza, Tenda, Romont, Asti, Alessandria, of Goceano, Novara, Tortona, Bobbio, Soissons, Sant'Antioco, Pollenzo, Roccabruna, Tricerro, Bairo, Ozegna, delle Apertole, Baron of Vaud and of Faucigni, Lord of Vercelli, Pinerolo, of Lomellina, of Valle Sesia, of the Marquisate of Ceva, Overlord of Monaco, Roccabruna and eleven-twelfths of Menton, Noble Patrician of Venice, Patrician of Ferrara. The king of Italy was the monarch with the largest number of titles.

See also

* King of Jerusalem * List of kings of the Lombards * List of monarchs of Naples * List of monarchs of Sardinia * List of Sicilian monarchs * List of monarchs of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia * List of monarchs of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies * List of rulers of Tuscany * List of popes * List of viceroys of Naples * List of viceroys of Sicily * List of Italian queens


{{DEFAULTSORT:King of Italy Category:Political history of Italy Italy Category:Lists of Italian nobility Category:Monarchy in Italy