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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 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 French archeduc, a 15th-century derivation from Medieval Latin archidux, from Latin archi- (Greek ἀρχι-) meaning "authority" or "primary" (see arch- ) and dux "duke" (literally "leader").
"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).
The Latin title archidux is first attested in reference to Bruno the Great, who ruled simultaneously as Archbishop of Cologne and Duke of Lotharingia in the 10th century, in the work of his biographer Ruotger. In Ruotger, the title served as an honorific denoting Bruno's unusual position rather than a formal office.
The title was not used systematically until the 14th century, when the title "Archduke of Austria" was invented in the forged Privilegium Maius (1358–1359) by Duke Rudolf IV of Austria. Rudolf originally claimed the title in the form palatinus archidux ("palatine archduke").The title was intended 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, never got 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.
... man davon ausgehen muß, daß dieser Titel kein Amtstitel war. Dagegen sprit auch, daß außer Bruns Biograph Ruotger, Sigebert und Reiner keine andere Quelle den archidux-Titel erwähnt.
Frederick III was Holy Roman Emperor from 1452 until his death. He was the first emperor of the House of Habsburg, and the fourth member of the House of Habsburg to be elected King of Germany after Rudolf I of Germany, Albert I in the 13th century and his predecessor Albert II of Germany. He was the penultimate emperor to be crowned by the Pope, and the last to be crowned in Rome.
The House of Habsburg, also officially 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 and after the death of Francis I from 1765 until its dissolution in 1806. The house also produced kings of Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, Galicia, Portugal and Spain with their respective colonies, as well as rulers of several principalities in the Netherlands and Italy and emperors of Austria, Austria-Hungary and Mexico. 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.
Maximilian II, a member of the Austrian House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor from 1564 until his death. He was crowned King of Bohemia in Prague on 14 May 1562 and elected King of Germany on 24 November 1562. On 8 September 1563 he was crowned King of Hungary and Croatia in the Hungarian capital Pressburg. On 25 July 1564 he succeeded his father Ferdinand I as ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Holy Roman Emperor, officially the Emperor of the Romans, and also the German-Roman Emperor, was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. The Empire was considered by the Roman Catholic Church to be the only legal successor of the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was held in conjunction with the title of King of Italy from the 8th to the 16th century, and, almost without interruption, with the title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.
Charles VII was the Prince-elector of Bavaria from 1726 and Holy Roman Emperor from 24 January 1742 until his death in 1745. A member of the House of Wittelsbach, Charles' reign marked the end of three centuries uninterupted Habsburg imperial rule. He was, though related to the Habsburgs, both by blood and by marriage. After the death of emperor Charles VI in 1740 he claimed the Archduchy of Austria due to his marriage to Maria Amalia of Austria, the niece of Charles VI, and was from 1741 to 1743 as Charles III briefly King of Bohemia. In 1742 he was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire as Charles VII and ruled until his death three years later.
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.
Habsburg Monarchy is an umbrella term used by historians for the numerous lands and kingdoms of the Habsburg dynasty, especially for those of the Austrian line. Although from 1438 until 1806 a member of the House of Habsburg was also Holy Roman Emperor, the Empire itself is not considered a part of the Habsburg Monarchy.
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.
Albert VI, a member of the House of Habsburg, was Duke of Austria from 1424, elevated to Archduke in 1453. As a scion of the Leopoldian line, he ruled over the Inner Austrian duchies of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola from 1424, from 1457 also over the Archduchy of Austria until his death, rivalling with his elder brother Emperor Frederick III. According to tradition, Albert, later known as the Prodigal, was the exact opposite of Frederick: energetic and inclined to thoughtlessness.
Inner Austria was a term used from the late 14th to the early 17th century for the Habsburg hereditary lands south of the Semmering Pass, referring to the Imperial duchies of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola and the lands of the Austrian Littoral. The residence of the Inner Austrian archdukes and stadtholders was at the Burg castle complex in Graz.
The Duchy of Carniola was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, established under Habsburg rule on the territory of the former East Frankish March of Carniola in 1364. A hereditary land of the Habsburg Monarchy, it became a constituent land of the Austrian Empire in 1804 and part of the Kingdom of Illyria until 1849. A separate crown land from 1849, it was incorporated into the Cisleithanian territories of Austria-Hungary from 1867 until the state's dissolution in 1918. Its capital was Ljubljana.
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 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 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.