|Emperor / Empress|
|King / Queen|
| Grand Prince / Grand Princess |
Grand Duke / Grand Duchess
|Prince / Princess / Infante / Infanta / Królewicz / królewna|
|Duke / Duchess|
|Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess /Fürst / Fürstin|
| Marquess /Marquis / Marchioness /|
Margrave / Landgrave /
| Count / Countess / Earl |
Burgrave / Châtelain / Castellan
|Viscount/Viscountess / Vidame|
|Baron / Baroness|
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Hereditary Knight / Lady / Ritter / Ridder
| Knight / Dame |
|Esquire / Laird / Edler / Jonkheer / Junker|
|Gentleman / Younger / Maid|
Archduke (feminine: Archduchess; German: Erzherzog, feminine form: Erzherzogin) was the title borne from 1358 by the Habsburg rulers of the Archduchy of Austria, and later by all senior members of that dynasty. It denotes a rank within the former Holy Roman Empire (962–1806), which was below that of Emperor and King and above that of (debatably) a Grand Duke, Duke and Prince.
The Archduchy of Austria was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. With its capital at Vienna, the archduchy was centered at the Empire's southeastern periphery.
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.
An emperor is a monarch, and usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife, mother, or a woman who rules in her own right. Emperors are generally recognized to be of a higher honour and rank than kings. In Europe, the title of Emperor has been used since the Middle Ages, considered in those times equal or almost equal in dignity to that of Pope due to the latter's position as visible head of the Church and spiritual leader of the Catholic part of Western Europe. The Emperor of Japan is the only currently reigning monarch whose title is translated into English as Emperor.
The territory ruled by an Archduke or Archduchess was called an Archduchy. All remaining Archduchies ceased to exist in 1918.
The English word is first recorded in 1530, derived from Middle, via Old, French archeduc, from Merovingian Latin archidux, from Greek arch(i)-, ἀρχι- meaning "authority" or "primary" (see arch- ) and dux "duke" (literally "leader")
Middle French is a historical division of the French language that covers the period from the 14th to the early 17th centuries. It is a period of transition during which:
Old French was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. In the 14th century, these dialects came to be collectively known as the langue d'oïl, contrasting with the langue d'oc or Occitan language in the south of France. The mid-14th century is taken as the transitional period to Middle French, the language of the French Renaissance, specifically based on the dialect of the Île-de-France region.
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in Roman Catholic Western Europe during the Middle Ages. In this region it served as the primary written language, though local languages were also written to varying degrees. Latin functioned as the main medium of scholarly exchange, as the liturgical language of the Church, and as the working language of science, literature, law, and administration.
"Archduke" (German : Erzherzog; Dutch : Aartshertog) is a title distinct from "Grand Duke" (French : Grand-Duc; Luxembourgish : Groussherzog; German : Großherzog), a later monarchic title borne by the rulers of other European countries (for instance, Luxembourg).
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
The first known claim to the title of Archduke was by the rulers of Austrasia (c. 750), one of the Merovingian (Frankish) realms resulting from the complex successions in the house of Clovis, roughly comprising Germany, Switzerland and the Low Countries.
Austrasia was a territory which formed the northeastern section of the Merovingian Kingdom of the Franks during the 6th to 8th centuries. It was centred on the Meuse, Middle Rhine and the Moselle rivers, and was the original territory of the Franks, including both the so-called Salians and Rhineland Franks, which Clovis I conquered after first taking control of the bordering part of Roman Gaul, now northern France, which is sometimes described in this period as Neustria.
Clovis was the first king of the Franks to unite all of the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a group of royal chieftains to rule by a single king and ensuring that the kingship was passed down to his heirs. He is considered to have been the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which ruled the Frankish kingdom for the next two centuries.
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western, central and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.
In the Carolingian Empire, the title Archduke was awarded not as rank of nobility, but as a unique honorary title to the Duke of Lotharingia (who held a substantially larger territory than the post-medieval Duchy of Lorraine). The Lotharingian (Arch)Duchy could be seen as the successor to the former Carolingian Kingdom of Lotharingia, a realm which had been of approximately equal stature with West Francia (modern France) in the dynastic divisions under the early heirs of Charlemagne. Lotharingia was eventually absorbed by East Francia (Greater Germany), becoming part of the Holy Roman Empire rather than a fully independent Kingdom.
Lotharingia was a medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire, comprising the present-day Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), Saarland (Germany), and Lorraine (France). It was named after King Lothair II who received this territory after the kingdom of Middle Francia of his father Lothair I was divided among his sons in 855.
The Duchy of Lorraine, originally Upper Lorraine, was a duchy now included in the larger present-day region of Lorraine in northeastern France. Its capital was Nancy.
In medieval historiography, West Francia or the Kingdom of the West Franks was the western part of Charlemagne's Empire, ruled by the Germanic Franks that forms the earliest stage of the Kingdom of France, lasting from about 840 until 987. West Francia was formed out of the division of the Carolingian Empire in 843 under the Treaty of Verdun after the death of Emperor Louis the Pious and the east–west division which "gradually hardened into the establishment of separate kingdoms (...) of what we can begin to call Germany and France."
After the split of the (Arch)Duchy of Lotharingia in 959 into the Duchies of Upper Lotharingia in the south (German : Oberlothringen, which included modern Lorraine) and Lower Lotharingia in the north (German : Niederlothringen, capital city: Cologne on the Rhine river), the title Archduke disappeared officially for almost 400 years. The later extended fragmentation of both territories created two "succeeding" Duchies in the Low Countries, Brabant (mainly in modern-day Belgium) and Geldre (now in the Netherlands, giving its name to the province of Gelderland). Both claimed archducal status but were never officially recognised as such by the Holy Roman Emperor.
Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and its 1 million+ (2016) inhabitants make it the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. The largest city on the Rhine, it is also the most populous city both of the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas, and of the Rhineland. Centred on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Bonn. It is the largest city in the Central Franconian and Ripuarian dialect areas.
The Low Countries, the Low Lands, or historically also the Netherlands, is a coastal lowland region in northwestern Europe, forming the lower basin of the Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt rivers, divided in the Middle Ages into numerous semi-independent principalities that consolidated in the countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, as well as today's French Flanders.
The Duchy of Brabant was a State of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1183. It developed from the Landgraviate of Brabant and formed the heart of the historic Low Countries, part of the Burgundian Netherlands from 1430 and of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1482, until it was partitioned after the Dutch revolt.
Archduke of Austria, the only archducal title to re-emerge, was invented in the Privilegium Maius in the 14th century by Duke Rudolf IV of Austria. Originally, it was meant to emphasize the claimed precedence (thus "Arch-") of the Duchy of Austria, in an effort to put the Habsburgs on an even level with the Prince-Electors of the Holy Roman Empire, as Austria had been passed over when the Golden Bull of 1356 assigned that dignity to the four highest-ranking secular Imperial princes and three Archbishops. Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV refused to recognise the title, as did all the other ruling dynasties of the member countries of the Empire. But Duke Ernest the Iron and his descendants unilaterally assumed the title of Archduke.
The archducal title was only officially recognized in 1453 by Emperor Frederick III, when the Habsburgs had solidified their grip on the throne of the de jure elected Holy Roman Emperor, making it de facto hereditary.Despite that imperial authorization of the title, which showed a Holy Roman Emperor from the Habsburg dynasty deciding over a title claim of the Habsburg dynasty, many ruling dynasties of the countries which formed the Empire refused to recognize the title "Archduke". Ladislaus the Posthumous, Duke of Austria, who died in 1457, did never get in his lifetime the imperial authorization to use it, and accordingly, neither he nor anyone in his branch of the dynasty ever used the title. Emperor Frederick III himself simply used the title "Duke of Austria", never Archduke, until his death in 1493. The title was first granted to Frederick's younger brother, Albert VI of Austria (d. 1463), who used it at least from 1458.
In 1477, Frederick III also granted the title of Archduke to his first cousin, Sigismund of Austria, ruler of Further Austria (German : Vorderösterreich). Frederick's son and heir, the future Emperor Maximilian I, started to use the title, but apparently only after the death of his wife Mary of Burgundy (d. 1482), as Archduke never appears in documents issued jointly by Maximilian and Mary as rulers in the Low Countries (where Maximilian is still titled "Duke of Austria"). The title appears first in documents issued under the joint rule of Maximilian and his son Philip in the Low Countries.
Archduke was initially borne by those dynasts who ruled a Habsburg territory —i.e., only by males and their consorts, appanages being commonly distributed to cadets. But these "junior" archdukes did not thereby become sovereign hereditary rulers, since all territories remained vested in the Austrian crown. Occasionally a territory might be combined with a separate gubernatorial mandate ruled by an archducal cadet.
From the 16th century onward, "Archduke" and its female form, "Archduchess", came to be used by all the members of the House of Habsburg (e.g. Queen Marie Antoinette of France was born Archduchess Maria Antonia of Austria). Upon extinction of the male line of the Habsburgs and the marriage of their heiress, the Holy Roman Empress-consort Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary and Archduchess of Austria, to Francis Stephen, Duke of Lorraine who was elected Holy Roman Emperor, their descendants formed the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire this usage was retained in the Austrian Empire (1804–1867) and the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918).
The official use of titles of nobility and of all other hereditary titles, including Archduke, has been illegal in the Republic of Austria for Austrian citizens since the Law on the Abolition of Nobility (Gesetz vom 3. April 1919 über die Aufhebung des Adels, der weltlichen Ritter- und Damenorden und gewisser Titel und Würden). Thus those members of the Habsburg family who are residents of the Republic of Austria are simply known by their first name(s) and their surname Habsburg-Lothringen. However, members of the family who reside in other countries may or may not use the title, in accordance with laws and customs in those nations.
For example, Otto Habsburg-Lothringen (1912–2011), the eldest son of the last Habsburg Emperor, was an Austrian, Hungarian and German citizen. As he lived in Germany, where it is permitted to use hereditary titles as part of the civil surname (including indications of origin, such as von or zu), his official civil name was Otto von Habsburg (literally: Otto of Habsburg), whereas in Austria he was registered as Otto Habsburg.
The King of Spain also bears the nominal title of Archduke of Austria as part of his full list of titles, as the Bourbon dynasty adopted all the titles previously held by the Spanish Habsburgs when they took over the Spanish throne. However, "Archduke" was never considered by the Spanish Bourbons as a substantial dignity of their own dynasty, but rather as a traditional supplementary title of the Spanish Kings since the days of the Habsburg dynasty on the royal throne (1516–1700). Hence, no member of the royal family other than the King bears the (additional) title of "Archduke".
The insignia of the Archduke of Lower and Upper Austria was the archducal hat, a coronet which is kept in Klosterneuburg Monastery.
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The House of Habsburg, also called the House of Austria, was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740. The house also produced emperors and kings of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Germany, Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Illyria, Second Mexican Empire, Kingdom of Ireland, Kingdom of Portugal, and Kingdom of Spain, as well as rulers of several Dutch and Italian principalities. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried.
The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.
The Duchy of Carinthia was a duchy located in southern Austria and parts of northern Slovenia. It was separated from the Duchy of Bavaria in 976, and was the first newly created Imperial State after the original German stem duchies.
The Emperor of Austria was the ruler of the Austrian Empire and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A hereditary imperial title and office proclaimed in 1804 by Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and continually held by him and his heirs until Charles I relinquished power in 1918.
The House of Lorraine originated as a cadet branch of the House of Metz. It inherited the Duchy of Lorraine in 1473 after the death of duke Nicholas I without a male heir. By the marriage of Francis of Lorraine to Maria Theresa in 1736, and with the success in the ensuing War of the Austrian Succession, the House of Lorraine was joined to the House of Habsburg, and was now known as Habsburg-Lorraine. Francis, his sons Joseph II and Leopold II, and grandson Francis II were the last four Holy Roman Emperors from 1745 to the dissolution of the empire in 1806. Habsburg-Lorraine inherited the Habsburg Empire, ruling the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary until the dissolution of the monarchy in 1918.
The Duchy of Teschen, also Duchy of Cieszyn or Duchy of Těšín (Czech: Těšínské knížectví, was one of the Duchies of Silesia centered on Cieszyn in Upper Silesia. It was split off the Silesian Duchy of Opole and Racibórz in 1281 during the feudal division of Poland and was ruled by Silesian dukes of the Piast dynasty from 1290 until the line became extinct with the death of Duchess Elizabeth Lucretia in 1653.
The Habsburg Monarchy – also Habsburg Empire, Austrian Monarchy or Danube Monarchy – is an unofficial umbrella term among historians for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1526 and 1780 and then by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918. The Monarchy was a typical composite state composed of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire, united only in the person of the monarch. The dynastic capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague. From 1804 to 1867 the Habsburg Monarchy was formally unified as the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The Privilegium maius was a medieval document forged in 1358 or 1359 at the behest of Duke Rudolf IV of Austria (1358–65) of the House of Habsburg. It was essentially a modified version of the Privilegium minus issued by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in 1156, which had elevated the former March of Austria into a duchy. In a similar way, the Privilegium maius elevated the duchy into an Archduchy of Austria.
The Treaty of Neuberg, concluded between the Austrian duke Albert III and his brother Leopold III on 25 September 1379, determined the division of the Habsburg hereditary lands into an Albertinian and Leopoldian line.
The Lands of the Bohemian Crown, sometimes called Czech lands in modern times, were a number of incorporated states in Central Europe during the medieval and early modern periods connected by feudal relations under the Bohemian kings. The crown lands primarily consisted of the Kingdom of Bohemia, an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire according to the Golden Bull of 1356, the Margraviate of Moravia, the Duchies of Silesia, and the two Lusatias, known as the Margraviate of Upper Lusatia and the Margraviate of Lower Lusatia, as well as other territories throughout its history.
The archducal hat is the insignia of the Archduchy of Austria, mostly apparently symbolic and used in the heraldry and some portraits of Austrian archdukes rather than routinely worn. One late example is kept in Klosterneuburg Monastery.
The Leopoldian line was a sequence of descent in the Habsburg dynasty begun by Duke Leopold III of Austria, who, after the death of his elder brother Rudolf IV, divided the Habsburg hereditary lands with his brother Albert III according to the 1379 Treaty of Neuberg.
The Duchy of Austria was a medieval principality of the Holy Roman Empire, established in 1156 by the Privilegium Minus, when the Margraviate of Austria (Ostarrîchi) was detached from Bavaria and elevated to a duchy in its own right. After the ruling dukes of the House of Babenberg became extinct in male line, there was as much as three decades of rivalry on inheritance and rulership, until the German king Rudolf I took over the dominion as the first monarch of the Habsburg dynasty in 1276. Thereafter, Austria became the patrimony and ancestral homeland of the dynasty and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1453, the archducal title of the Austrian rulers, invented by Duke Rudolf IV in the forged Privilegium Maius of 1359, was officially acknowledged by the Habsburg emperor Frederick III.
The (Princely) County of Tyrol was an estate of the Holy Roman Empire established about 1140. Originally a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of the Counts of Tyrol, it was inherited by the Counts of Gorizia in 1253 and finally fell to the Austrian House of Habsburg in 1363. In 1804 the Princely County of Tyrol, unified with the secularised Prince-Bishoprics of Trent and Brixen, became a crown land of the Austrian Empire in 1804 and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary.
The Duchy of Styria was a duchy located in modern-day southern Austria and northern Slovenia. It was a part of the Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806 and a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria–Hungary until its dissolution in 1918.
The grand title of the Emperor of Austria was the official list of the crowns, titles, and dignities which the emperors of Austria carried from the foundation of the empire by Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor's imperial proclamation of August 11, 1804 until the end of the monarchy in 1918.