Coregency

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A coregency or co-principality is the situation where a monarchical position (such as king, queen, emperor or empress), normally held by only a single person, is held by two or more. It is to be distinguished from diarchies or duumvirates such as ancient Sparta and Rome, or contemporary Andorra, where monarchical power is formally divided between two rulers.

Roman Republic Period of ancient Roman civilization (509–27 BC)

The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world.

Andorra European microstate between France and Spain

Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south. Believed to have been created by Charlemagne, Andorra was ruled by the Count of Urgell until 988, when it was transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell, and the present principality was formed by a charter in 1278. It is known as a principality as it is a diarchy headed by two Princes: the Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain, and the President of France.

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Historical examples

Historical examples of this include the coregency of Frederick I of Austria and Louis the Bavarian over the Kingdom of Germany. Jure uxoris Kings in Kingdoms such as Spain and Portugal can also be found (Ferdinand V and Isabella I of Castile, Philip I and Joanna of Castile, Peter III and Maria I of Portugal, etc.). In Navarre, the husbands of queens regnant were styled as co-rulers.

Kingdom of Germany 10th-century kingdom of Germany

The Kingdom of Germany or German Kingdom developed out of Eastern Francia, the eastern division of the former Carolingian Empire, over the 9th to 11th centuries. East Francia was formed by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, and was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty until 911, after which the kingship was elective. The initial electors were the rulers of the stem duchies, who generally chose one of their own. After 962, when Otto I was crowned emperor, East Francia formed the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire along with Italy; it later included Bohemia and Burgundy.

Jure uxoris is a title of nobility used by a man because his wife holds the office or title suo jure. Similarly, the husband of an heiress could become the legal possessor of her lands. For example, married women in England were legally incapable of owning real estate until the Married Women's Property Act 1882.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a European country located in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of Spanish territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Ancient Egypt

Another example is in Ancient Egypt, mainly in the Middle Kingdom, where the Pharaoh occasionally appointed his successor (often one of his sons) as coregent, or joint king, to ensure a smooth succession. The Pharaoh also did this when he was elderly or unable to rule his country on his own (such as the case of Thutmose III and Amenhotep II or Amenemhat I and Senusret I). The existence of the practice makes establishing firm dates in Egyptian chronology more of a challenge, as the lengths of coregencies are often uncertain and complicate the use of accepted regnal lengths to establish dates. Some of the Queens of Egypt rose to a status of equal to the God-Kings, becoming co-rulers and / or at least as important in religious affairs, and were even portrayed with the same size as their male consort and even with the same size as the other Gods of Egypt. Such were the cases of Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, Nefertari and the Nubian Egyptian Queens. In the Ptolemaic Dynasty women finally rose to become equal co-rulers with men and even challenging them in order to become their respective consorts. This was due to a progressive improvement of the already high status of women in the Egyptian society, as well as to the religious principle of balance (Maat) between male and female. In Nubia, Queens like Amanishakheto and Amanitore were crowned alongside Kings at Dangeil and had both their pyramids at Meroë with the same height and side by side, and exercised power at the same level, even commanding armies. In Ethiopia, Kandakes also reached and hold this or a similar status.

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Pharaoh Title of Ancient Egyptian rulers

Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.

Thutmose III sixth Egyptian Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty

Thutmose III was the sixth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Officially, Thutmose III ruled Egypt for almost 54 years and his reign is usually dated from 24 April 1479 BC to 11 March 1425 BC, from the age of two and until his death at age fifty-six; however, during the first 22 years of his reign, he was coregent with his stepmother and aunt, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh. While he was shown first on surviving monuments, both were assigned the usual royal names and insignia and neither is given any obvious seniority over the other. Thutmose served as the head of Hatshepsut's armies. During the final two years of his reign, he appointed his son and successor, Amenhotep II, as his junior co-regent. His firstborn son and heir to the throne, Amenemhat, predeceased Thutmose III.

Britain

The monarchy of England experienced joint rule under the terms of the act sanctioning the marriage of Mary I to Philip II of Spain. Philip notionally reigned as king of England (inclusive of Wales) and Ireland by right of his wife from 1554 to 1558. Similarly, following the Glorious Revolution, Mary II and her husband William III held joint sovereignty over the kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1688 to 1694.

Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain United Kingdom legislation

The Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain or Queen Mary's Marriage Act was passed by the Parliament of England in April 1554 to regulate the future marriage and joint reign of Queen Mary I and Philip of Spain, son and heir apparent of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Mary I of England Queen of England and Ireland from 1553-1558

Mary I, also known as Mary Tudor, was the Queen of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death. She is best known for her aggressive attempt to reverse the English Reformation, which had begun during the reign of her father, Henry VIII. The executions that marked her pursuit of the restoration of Roman Catholicism in England and Ireland led to her denunciation as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents.

Philip II of Spain King of Spain and King of England by marriage to Mary I

Philip II of Spain was King of Spain (1556–98), King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, and jure uxoris King of England and Ireland. He was also Duke of Milan. From 1555 he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands.

China

The Gonghe Regency (meaning joint harmony) of the Zhou dynasty in China was ruled jointly by two dukes for a short period according to Han Dynasty historian Sima Qian, but it is more likely that the Count of Gong was the actual single ruler (according to bronze tapestries).

The Gonghe Regency was an interregnum period in Chinese history from 841 to 828 BC, after King Li of Zhou was exiled by his nobles until the ascension of his son, King Xuan of Zhou.

Lithuania

The Lithuanian Grand Dukes typically selected submonarchs from their families or loyal subjects to assist controlling the Grand Duchy. However, the Grand Dukes remained superior.

Grand Duchy of Lithuania European state from the 12th century until 1795

The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state that lasted from the 13th century to 1795, when the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria. The state was founded by the Lithuanians, a polytheistic Baltic tribe from Aukštaitija.

A slightly different system developed for a brief period after Vytautas became Grand Duke, where nominally Vytautas ruled together with Jogaila, who took the title of aukščiausiasis kunigaikštis (Supreme Duke), but he has not once used the title to take any action, and in general the powers invested in the title were not clearly stated in any documents, besides the Pact of Horodlo, which guaranteed that Jogaila would have to approve the selection of a Lithuanian Grand Duke. The title was not used by any other king of Poland after Jogaila.

Russia

Following the death of Tsar Feodor III of Russia in 1682, his brother Ivan and half-brother Peter were both crowned autocrats of Russia. This compromise was necessary because Ivan was unfit to rule due to physical and mental disabilities, while Peter's exclusive rule was opposed by Feodor and Ivan's older sister Sofia Alekseyevna, who led a Streltsy uprising against him and his mother's family. Because neither Tsar was of age to rule, Sofia subsequently claimed regency until she was removed from power by Peter in 1689. Ivan V and Peter I's joint reign continued, however, with Ivan maintaining formal seniority despite having little participation in the affairs of the state until his death in 1696, at which point Peter became the sole ruler.

Sweden

The monarchy of Sweden has had several periods of joint rule: Erik and Alrik, Yngvi and Alf, Björn at Hauge and Anund Uppsale, Eric the Victorious and Olof Björnsson, Eric the Victorious and Olof Skötkonung, Halsten Stenkilsson and Inge I, and Philip and Inge II.

Date discrepancies

In the book The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, Edwin R. Thiele proposed co-regency as a possible explanation for discrepancies in the dates given in the Hebrew Bible for the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah. At least one co-regency is explicitly documented in the Bible: the coronation of King Solomon occurred before the death of his father David. Some Kings of Egypt, especially during the Twelfth Dynasty, also practiced this custom by associating their own sons in order to both prepare them for the office and prevent anyone else from usurping the throne.

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Lithuanian Civil War (1389–1392)

The Lithuanian Civil War of 1389–92 was the second civil conflict between Jogaila, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and his cousin Vytautas. At issue was control of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, then the largest state in Europe. Jogaila had been crowned King of Poland in 1386; he installed his brother Skirgaila as ruler of Lithuania. Skirgaila proved unpopular and Vytautas attempted to depose him. When his first attempt to take the capital city of Vilnius failed, Vytautas forged an alliance with the Teutonic Knights, their common enemy – just as both cousins had done during the Lithuanian Civil War between 1381 and 1384. Vytautas and the Knights unsuccessfully besieged Vilnius in 1390. Over the next two years it became clear that neither side could achieve a quick victory, and Jogaila proposed a compromise: Vytautas would become Grand Duke and Jogaila would remain Superior Duke. This proposal was formalized in the Ostrów Agreement of 1392, and Vytautas turned against the Knights. He went on to reign as Grand Duke of Lithuania for 38 years, and the cousins remained at peace.

Lithuanian Civil War (1381–1384)

The Lithuanian Civil War of 1381–1384 was the first struggle for power between the cousins Jogaila, Grand Duke of Lithuania and later King of Poland, and Vytautas the Great. It began after Jogaila signed the Treaty of Dovydiškės with the Teutonic Knights which was aimed against his uncle Kęstutis, father of Vytautas. Kęstutis briefly seized power in the Grand Duchy, but was betrayed by adherents of Jogaila primarily from Vilnius. During negotiations for a truce Kęstutis and Vytautas were arrested and transported to the Kreva Castle. Kęstutis died there a week later but Vytautas managed to escape and then sought an alliance with the Teutonic Knights. Subsequently their joint forces raided Lithuanian lands. Eventually the cousins were reconciled as Jogaila needed internal stability in anticipation of negotiations with the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Kingdom of Poland regarding the possible Christianization of Lithuania. The war did not settle the power struggle; it continued during the next Lithuanian Civil War (1389–1392) which was resolved by the signing of the Ostrów Agreement. After more than ten years of struggle, Vytautas finally became the Grand Duke of Lithuania and ruled the country for thirty-eight years.

Duchy of Trakai was a subdivision of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the 14th and early 15th centuries. The Duke of Trakai was an important position held either by the Grand Duke of Lithuania himself or his second-in-command.

Christianization of Lithuania

The Christianization of Lithuania occurred in 1387, initiated by King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Władysław II Jagiełło and his cousin Vytautas the Great. It signified the official adoption of Christianity by Lithuanians, the last pagan nation in Europe. This event ended one of the most complicated and lengthiest processes of Christianization in European history.

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