Aulic Council

Last updated
Reichskanzlei wing of the Hofburg, Vienna Reichskanzleitrakt Vienna Sept 2006 001.jpg
Reichskanzlei wing of the Hofburg, Vienna

The Aulic Council (Latin : Consilium Aulicum, German : Reichshofrat, literally meaning Court Council of the Empire) was one of the two supreme courts of the Holy Roman Empire, the other being the Imperial Chamber Court. It had not only concurrent jurisdiction with the latter court, but in many cases exclusive jurisdiction, in all feudal processes, and in criminal affairs, over the immediate feudatories of the Emperor and in affairs which concerned the Imperial Government. The seat of the Aulic Council was at the Hofburg residence of the Habsburg emperors in Vienna.

Contents

History

Meeting of the Aulic Council, c. 1700 Reichshofrat.jpg
Meeting of the Aulic Council, c. 1700

The Aulic Council (from the Latin aula, court in feudal language, in antiquity a Hellenistic type of grand residence, usually private) was originally an executive-judicial council for the Empire. Originating during the later Middle Ages as a paid Council of the Emperor, it was organized in its later form by the German king Maximilian I by decree of 13 December 1497. It was meant as a rival to the separate Imperial Chamber Court, which the Imperial Estates had forced upon him by promulgating the Ewiger Landfriede at the Diet of Worms two years before. Maximilian emphasised the fact that the Emperor embodied supreme legal authority and would continue to answer legal requests addressed to him.

Each emperor summoned a new Council upon his accession to the throne. According to a regulation issued by Emperor Ferdinand I in 1559, the Council was composed of a president, a vice-president, a vice-chancellor, and 18 councillors, who were all chosen and paid by the Emperor, with the exception of the vice-chancellor, who was appointed by the Elector of Mainz in his capacity as Imperial archchancellor. Of the 18 councilors, six were Protestants, whose votes, when they were unanimous, were an effective veto, so that a religious parity was to some extent preserved. On the death of the Emperor, the Council was dissolved and had to be reconstructed by his successor.

When Napoleon I's gains after the Battle of Austerlitz and the Peace of Pressburg culminated in the end of the Holy Roman Empire, the Aulic Council likewise ceased to exist in 1806 as an imperial institution.

Sources and references

    Related Research Articles

    Holy Roman Empire Complex of territories in Europe from 962 to 1806

    The Holy Roman Empire, also known as Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, 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 included the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia and Kingdom of Italy, plus numerous other territories, and soon after the Kingdom of Burgundy was added. Its size gradually diminished over time, particularly from 1648 onward, and by the time of its dissolution, it largely contained only German-speaking territories, plus the Kingdom of Bohemia which was bordered by the German lands on three sides. At the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, most of the Holy Roman Empire was included in the German Confederation.

    Chancellor of Austria Head of government of the Republic of Austria

    The Chancellor of Austria is the head of government of the Austrian Republic.

    Chancellor is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the audience. A chancellor's office is called a chancellery or chancery. The word is now used in the titles of many various officers in all kinds of settings. Nowadays the term is most often used to describe:

    Imperial Reform

    Imperial Reform is the name given to repeated attempts in the 15th and 16th centuries to adapt the structure and the constitutional order (Verfassungsordnung) of the Holy Roman Empire to the requirements of the early modern state and to give it a unified government under either the Imperial Estates or the emperor's supremacy.

    <i lang="de" title="German language text">Graf</i> historical title of the German nobility

    Graf (male) or Gräfin (female) is a historical title of the German nobility, usually translated as "count". Considered to be intermediate among noble ranks, the title is often treated as equivalent to the British title of "earl".

    Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria Duke of Bavaria

    Maximilian I, occasionally called "the Great", a member of the House of Wittelsbach, ruled as Duke of Bavaria from 1597. His reign was marked by the Thirty Years' War during which he obtained the title of a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire at the 1623 Diet of Regensburg.

    <i>Reichskammergericht</i> Reichskammergericht

    The Reichskammergericht was one of two highest judicial institutions in the Holy Roman Empire, the other one being the Aulic Council in Vienna. It was founded in 1495 by the Imperial Diet in Worms. All legal proceedings in the Holy Roman Empire could be brought to the Imperial Chamber Court, except if the ruler of the territory had a so-called privilegium de non appellando, in which case the highest judicial institution was found by the ruler of that territory. Another exception was criminal law. The Imperial Chamber Court could only intervene in criminal cases if basic procedural rules had been violated.

    Imperial immediacy was a privileged constitutional and political status rooted in German feudal law under which the Imperial estates of the Holy Roman Empire such as Imperial cities, prince-bishoprics and secular principalities, and individuals such as the Imperial knights, were declared free from the authority of any local lord and placed under the direct authority of the Holy Roman Emperor, and later of the institutions of the Empire such as the Diet, the Imperial Chamber of Justice and the Aulic Council.

    Archchancellor Title given to the highest dignitary of the Holy Roman Empire

    An archchancellor or chief chancellor was a title given to the highest dignitary of the Holy Roman Empire, and also used occasionally during the Middle Ages to denote an official who supervised the work of chancellors or notaries.

    Stanislaus Hosius Catholic cardinal

    Stanislaus Hosius was a Polish Roman Catholic cardinal. From 1551 he was the Prince-Bishop of the Bishopric of Warmia in Royal Prussia and from 1558 he served as the papal legate to the Holy Roman Emperor's Imperial Court in Vienna, Austria. From 1566 he was also the papal legate to Poland.

    Hofburg palace located in Vienna, Austria

    The Hofburg is the former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers and today serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. It is located in the center of Vienna and was built in the 13th century and expanded several times afterwards. It also served as the imperial winter residence, as Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence.

    Within the Holy Roman Empire, the privilegium de non appellando was a privilege that could be granted by the emperor to an imperial estate. It limited the right of an estate's subjects to appeal cases from territorial courts to either of the imperial supreme courts, the Imperial Chamber Court (Reichskammergericht) or the Imperial Aulic Council (Reichshofrat). The privilege itself could be limited (limitatum) or unlimited (illimitatum). When unlimited, it effectively turned the highest territorial court into a court of last resort.

    Berthold von Henneberg Roman Catholic archbishop

    Bertold von Henneberg-Römhild (1442–1504) was Archbishop of Mainz and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 1484, imperial chancellor from 1486, and leader of the reform faction within the Empire.

    Arch-Treasurer

    An Arch-Treasurer is a chief treasurer, specifically the great treasurer of the Holy Roman Empire. He was the imperial high Finance Minister of the realm.

    The Congress of Ems was a meeting set up by the four prince-archbishops of the Holy Roman Empire, and held in August 1786 at Bad Ems in the Electorate of Trier. Its object was to protest against papal interference in the exercise of episcopal powers, and to fix the future relations between the participating archbishops and the pope. Representatives of the three elector-archbishops: Friedrich Karl von Erthal of Mainz, Maximilian Franz of Cologne, Clemens Wenceslaus of Trier, as well as of Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus von Colloredo of Salzburg took part.

    Andreas Gaill jurist of the Holy Roman empire

    Andreas Gaill was one of the leading jurists of the Holy Roman Empire.

    Konrad St├╝rtzel jurist for canon laws, knight and chancellor of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I.

    Konrad Stürtzel von Buchheim was a German jurist for canon laws, knight and chancellor of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I.

    Patria del Friuli territory under the temporal rule of the Patriarch of Aquileia and one of the ecclesiastical states of the Holy Roman Empire; acqured in 1420 by the Republic of Venice

    The Patria del Friuli was the territory under the temporal rule of the Patriarch of Aquileia and one of the ecclesiastical states of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1420, the Republic of Venice acquired it, but it continued to be ruled for some time under its own laws and customs.

    Wenzel Anton, Prince of Kaunitz-Rietberg Czech nobleman

    Wenzel Anton, Prince of Kaunitz-Rietberg was an Austrian and Czech diplomat and statesman in the Habsburg Monarchy. A proponent of enlightened absolutism, he held the office of State Chancellor for about four decades and was responsible for the foreign policies during the reigns of Maria Theresa, Joseph II, and Leopold II. In 1764, he was elevated to the noble rank of a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire (Reichfürst).

    <i>Landfrieden</i>

    A Landfrieden or Landfriede was, under medieval law of the Holy Roman Empire, a contractual waiver by rulers of specified territories of the use of force to assert their own legal claims. This especially affected the right of feuding.