Holy Roman Emperor

Last updated

Emperor of the
Holy Roman Empire
Imperator Romanorum
Imperial
Holy Roman Empire Arms-double head.svg
Double-headed Reichsadler used by the Habsburg emperors of the early modern period
Charlemagne denier Mayence 812 814.jpg
First to reign
Charlemagne
25 December AD 800 – 28 January AD 814
Details
First monarchCharlemagne (AD 800 formation)
Otto the Great (AD 962 formation)
Last monarch Francis II
Formation25 December 800 /
2 February 962
Abolition6 August 1806

The Holy Roman Emperor (also "German-Roman Emperor", [1] German : Römisch-deutscher Kaiser "Roman-German emperor"; historically Imperator Romanorum, "Emperor of the Romans") was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire (considered by itself to be the successor of the 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 (rex teutonicorum) throughout the 12th to 18th centuries. [2]

German language West Germanic language

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.

Holy Roman Empire Varying complex of lands that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe

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.

Translatio imperii is a historiographical concept, originating in the Middle Ages, in which history is viewed as a linear succession of transfers of an imperium that invests supreme power in a singular ruler, an "emperor". The concept is closely linked to translatio studii. Both terms are thought to have their origins in the second chapter of the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible.

Contents

From an autocracy in Carolingian times (AD 800924) the title by the 13th century evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the prince-electors. Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians (9621024) and the Salians (10271125). Following the late medieval crisis of government, the Habsburgs kept possession of the title without interruption from 14401740. The final emperors were from the House of Lorraine (Habsburg-Lorraine), from 17651806. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by Emperor Francis II, after a devastating defeat to Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz.

An autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control. Absolute monarchies and dictatorships are the main modern-day forms of autocracy. Symptoms of an autocracy, due possibly to the lack of repercussions to an unpopular or negative decision, often include standards of living that are poorer than elsewhere although this is not always the case. Autocracies often contain scrupulous censorship and opinions directed against the autocratic ruler may often have negative consequences.

Imperial election election of a Holy Roman Emperor

The election of a Holy Roman Emperor was generally a two-stage process whereby, from at least the 13th century, the King of the Romans was elected by a small body of the greatest princes of the Empire, the prince-electors. This was then followed shortly thereafter by his coronation as Emperor, an appointment that was normally for life. Until 1530, emperors were crowned by the Pope. In 1356, the Emperor Charles IV promulgated the Golden Bull, which became the fundamental law by which all future kings and emperors were elected.

Prince-elector members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire

The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, or Electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor.

The Holy Roman Emperor was widely perceived to rule by divine right, though he often contradicted or rivaled the Pope, most notably during the Investiture controversy. In theory, the Holy Roman Emperor was primus inter pares (first among equals) among other Catholic monarchs. In practice, a Holy Roman Emperor was only as strong as his army and alliances, including marriage alliances, made him. There was never a Holy Roman Empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa of Austria served as de facto Empresses regnant. Throughout its history, the position was viewed as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith. Until the Reformation, the Emperor elect (imperator electus) was required to be crowned by the Pope before assuming the imperial title. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was the last to be crowned by the Pope in 1530. Even after the Reformation, the elected Emperor always was a Roman Catholic. There were short periods in history when the electoral college was dominated by Protestants, and the electors usually voted in their own political interest.

In many historical societies, the position of kingship carries a sacral meaning, that is, it is identical with that of a high priest and judge. The concept of theocracy is related, although a sacred king need not necessarily rule through his religious authority; rather, the temporal position has a religious significance.

Pope leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

Primus inter pares is a Latin phrase meaning first among equals. It is typically used as an honorary title for someone who is formally equal to other members of their group but is accorded unofficial respect, traditionally owing to their seniority in office. Historically, the princeps senatus of the Roman Senate was such a figure and initially bore only the distinction that he was allowed to speak first during debate. Also, Constantine the Great was given the role of primus inter pares. However, the term is also often used ironically or self-deprecatingly by leaders with much higher status as a form of respect, camaraderie, or propaganda. After the fall of the Republic, Roman emperors initially referred to themselves only as princeps despite having power of life and death over their "fellow citizens". Various modern figures such as the Chair of the Federal Reserve, the prime minister of parliamentary countries, the Federal President of Switzerland, the Chief Justice of the United States, the Chief Justice of the Philippines, the Archbishop of Canterbury of the Anglican Communion and the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church fall under both senses: bearing higher status and various additional powers while remaining still merely equal to their peers in important senses.

Title

Coats of arms of prince electors surround the imperial coat of arms; from a 1545 armorial. Electors voted in an Imperial Diet for a new Holy Roman Emperor. Wapen 1545 Kaiserwappen des Heiligen Romischen Reichs Polychromie.jpg
Coats of arms of prince electors surround the imperial coat of arms; from a 1545 armorial. Electors voted in an Imperial Diet for a new Holy Roman Emperor.
Depiction of Charlemagne in a 12th-century stained glass window, Strasbourg Cathedral, now at Musee de l'OEuvre Notre-Dame. Empereur en majeste (musee de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg) (36005712991).jpg
Depiction of Charlemagne in a 12th-century stained glass window, Strasbourg Cathedral, now at Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame.

From the time of Constantine I (r. 306337), the Roman emperors had, with very few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity. The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor in the Church. Emperors considered themselves responsible to the gods for the spiritual health of their subjects, and after Constantine they had a duty to help the Church define orthodoxy and maintain orthodoxy. The emperor's role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity. [3] Both the title and connection between Emperor and Church continued in the Eastern Roman Empire throughout the medieval period (in exile during 12041261). The ecumenical councils of the 5th to 8th centuries were convoked by the Eastern Roman Emperors. [4]

Roman emperor ruler of the Roman Empire

The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific. Early Emperors also used the title princeps. Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus, consul and pontifex maximus.

State church of the Roman Empire a form of Christianity in the Roman Empire

With the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD, Emperor Theodosius I made Nicene Christianity the Empire's state religion. The Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Catholic Church each stand in that continuity.

Constantine the Great and Christianity Constantine and Christianity

During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (AD 306–337), Christianity began to transition to the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Historians remain uncertain about Constantine's reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have often argued about which form of early Christianity he subscribed to. There is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother Helena's Christianity in his youth, or, as claimed by Eusebius of Caesarea, encouraged her to convert to the faith he had adopted himself.

In Western Europe, the title of Emperor became defunct after the death of Julius Nepos in 480, although the rulers of the barbarian kingdoms continued to recognize the Eastern Emperor at least nominally well into the 6th century. From the western perspective, the interregnum in the Roman Empire spanned the 7th and 8th centuries. The title of Emperor (Imperator) was revived in 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum) by Pope Leo III. The title of Emperor in the West implied recognition by the pope. As the power of the papacy grew during the Middle Ages, popes and emperors came into conflict over church administration. The best-known and most bitter conflict was that known as the investiture controversy, fought during the 11th century between Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII.

Western Roman Empire Independently administered western provinces of the Roman Empire

In historiography, the Western Roman Empire refers to the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court; in particular, this term is used to describe the period from 395 to 476, where there were separate coequal courts dividing the governance of the empire in the Western and the Eastern provinces, with a distinct imperial succession in the separate courts. The terms Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire are modern descriptions that describe political entities that were de facto independent; contemporary Romans did not consider the Empire to have been split into two separate empires but viewed it as a single polity governed by two separate imperial courts as an administrative expediency. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476, and the Western imperial court was formally dissolved in 480. The Eastern imperial court survived until 1453.

Julius Nepos Roman emperor

Julius Nepos was de jure and de facto Western Roman Emperor from AD 474 to 475 and then only de jure until his death in AD 480. He was also the ruler of Roman Dalmatia from 468 to 480. Some historians consider Nepos to be the final Western Roman Emperor, while others consider the western line to have ended with Romulus Augustulus in 476. In contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire and its line of emperors survived this period.

Barbarian kingdoms

The barbarian kingdoms were Germanic, Hunnic and other kingdoms established all over Europe and North Africa during Late Antiquity, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The term "barbarian" has been commonly used by historians even though the term was not used by the peoples in question and carries considerable value judgement. Other terms used include "Germanic kingdoms", "Romano-Germanic kingdoms", and "post-Roman kingdoms".

After the coronation of Charlemagne, his successors maintained the title until the death of Berengar I of Italy in 924. The comparatively brief interregnum between 924 and the coronation of Otto the Great in 962 is taken as marking the transition from the Frankish Empire to the Holy Roman Empire. Under the Ottonians, much of the former Carolingian kingdom of Eastern Francia fell within the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire.

Berengar I of Italy Holy Roman Emperor

Berengar I was the king of Italy from 887. He was Roman Emperor between 915 and his death in 924. He is usually known as Berengar of Friuli, since he ruled the March of Friuli from 874 until at least 890, but he had lost control of the region by 896.

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor German king and first emperor of the Ottonian empire

Otto I, traditionally known as Otto the Great, was German king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henry I the Fowler and Matilda.

Since 911, the various German princes had elected the King of the Germans from among their peers. The King of the Germans would then be crowned as emperor following the precedent set by Charlemagne, during the period of 9621530. Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned by the pope, and his successor, Ferdinand I, merely adopted the title of "Emperor elect" in 1558. The final Holy Roman Emperor-elect, Francis II, abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empire's final dissolution.

The term sacrum (i.e., "holy") in connection with the German Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa. [5]

The standard designation of the Holy Roman Emperor was "August Emperor of the Romans" (Romanorum Imperator Augustus). When Charlemagne was crowned in 800, he was styled as "most serene Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor, governing the Roman Empire," thus constituting the elements of "Holy" and "Roman" in the imperial title. [6]

The word Roman was a reflection of the principle of translatio imperii (or in this case restauratio imperii) that regarded the (Germanic) Holy Roman Emperors as the inheritors of the title of Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, despite the continued existence of the Eastern Roman Empire.

In German-language historiography, the term Römisch-deutscher Kaiser ("Roman-German emperor") is used to distinguish the title from that of Roman Emperor on one hand, and that of German Emperor (Deutscher Kaiser) on the other. The English term "Holy Roman Emperor" is a modern shorthand for "emperor of the Holy Roman Empire" not corresponding to the historical style or title, i.e., the adjective "holy" is not intended as modifying "emperor"; the English term "Holy Roman Emperor" gained currency in the interbellum period (1920s to 1930s); formerly the title had also been rendered "German-Roman emperor" in English. [1]

Succession

Illustration of the election of Henry VII (27 November 1308) showing (left to right) the Archbishop of Cologne, Archbishop of Mainz, Archbishop of Trier, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Saxony, Margrave of Brandenburg and King of Bohemia (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340). Balduineum Wahl Heinrich VII.jpg
Illustration of the election of Henry VII (27 November 1308) showing (left to right) the Archbishop of Cologne, Archbishop of Mainz, Archbishop of Trier, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Saxony, Margrave of Brandenburg and King of Bohemia ( Codex Balduini Trevirorum , c. 1340).

The elective monarchy of the kingdom of Germany goes back to the early 10th century, the election of Conrad I of Germany in 911 following the death without issue of Louis the Child, the last Carolingian ruler of Germany. Elections meant the kingship of Germany was only partially hereditary, unlike the kingship of France, although sovereignty frequently remained in a dynasty until there were no more male successors. The process of an election meant that the prime candidate had to make concessions, by which the voters were kept on the side, which was known as Wahlkapitulationen (electoral capitulation).

Conrad was elected by the German dukes, and it is not known precisely when the system of seven prince-electors was established. The papal decree Venerabilem by Innocent III (1202), addressed to Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen, establishes the election procedure by (unnamed) princes of the realm, reserving for the pope the right to approve of the candidates. A letter of Pope Urban IV (1263), in the context of the disputed vote of 1256 and the subsequent the interregnum, suggests that by "immemorial custom", seven princes had the right to elect the King and future Emperor. The seven prince-electors are named in the Golden Bull of 1356: The Archbishop of Mainz, the Archbishop of Trier, the Archbishop of Cologne, the King of Bohemia, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, the Duke of Saxony and the Margrave of Brandenburg.

After 1438, the Kings remained in the house of Habsburg and Habsburg-Lorraine, with the brief exception of Charles VII, who was a Wittelsbach. Maximilian I (Emperor 1508–1519) and his successors no longer travelled to Rome to be crowned as Emperor by the Pope. Maximilian, therefore, named himself Elected Roman Emperor (Erwählter Römischer Kaiser) in 1508 with papal approval. This title was in use by all his uncrowned successors. Of his successors, only Charles V, the immediate one, received a papal coronation.

The Elector Palatine's seat was conferred on the Duke of Bavaria in 1621, but in 1648, in the wake of the Thirty Years' War, the Elector Palatine was restored, as the eighth elector. Brunswick-Lüneburg was added as a ninth elector in 1692. The whole college was reshuffled in the German mediatization of 1803 with a total of ten electors, a mere three years before the dissolution of the Empire.

List of emperors

This list includes all 47 German monarchs crowned from Charlemagne until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806).

Several rulers were crowned King of the Romans (King of Germany) but not emperor, although they styled themselves thus, among whom were: Conrad I of Germany and Henry the Fowler in the 10th century, and Conrad IV, Rudolf I, Adolf and Albert I during the interregnum of the late 13th century.

Traditional historiography assumes a continuity between the Carolingian Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, while a modern convention takes the coronation of Otto I in 962 as the starting point of the Holy Roman Empire (although the term Sacrum Imperium Romanum was not in use before the 13th century).

Frankish emperors

The rulers who were crowned as Roman emperors in Western Europe between AD 800 and 915 were as follows:

Carolingian dynasty

NameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Charlemagne denier Mayence 812 814.jpg Charles I, the Great (Charlemagne)
(742–814)
25 December 80028 January 814
Ludwik I Pobozny.jpg Louis I, the Pious
(778–840)
11 September 813 [7] 20 June 840Son of Charles I
Lothar I.jpg Lothair I
(795–855)
5 April 82329 September 855Son of Louis I
Louis II of Italy.png Louis II
(825–875)
29 September 85512 August 875Son of Lothair I
Karl Lysyi.jpg Charles II, the Bald
(823–877)
29 December 8756 October 877Son of Louis I
Sceau de Charles le gros.jpg Charles III, the Fat
(839–888)
12 February 88113 January 888Grandson of Louis I

Widonid dynasty

NameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Wido rex Italiae.jpg Guy I
(?–894)
89112 December 894Great-great grandson of Charles I
Lambert I
(880–898)
30 April 89215 October 898Son of Guy I

Carolingian dynasty

NameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Seal of Arnulph of Carinthia (896).jpg Arnulph
(850–899)
22 February 8968 December 899Nephew of Charles III

Bosonid dynasty

NameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Louis III, the Blind
(880–928)
22 February 90121 July 905Grandson of Louis II

Unruoching dynasty

NameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Berengar I on a seal.jpg Berengar I
(845–924)
December 9157 April 924Grandson of Louis I

Holy Roman Emperors

There was no emperor in the west between 924 and 962.

While earlier Germanic and Italian monarchs had been crowned as Roman Emperors, the actual Holy Roman Empire is usually considered to have begun with the crowning of the Saxon king Otto I. It was officially an elective position, though at times it ran in families, notably the four generations of the Salian dynasty in the 11th century. From the end of the Salian dynasty through the middle 15th century, the Emperors drew from many different German dynasties, and it was rare for the throne to pass from father to son. That changed with the ascension of the Austrian House of Habsburg, as an unbroken line of Habsburgs would hold the Imperial throne until the 18th century, later a cadet branch known as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine would likewise pass it from father to son until the abolition of the Empire in 1806. Notably, the Habsburgs also dispensed with the requirement that emperors be crowned by the pope before exercising their office. Starting with Ferdinand I, all successive Emperors forwent the traditional coronation.

Ottonian dynasty

ImageNameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
017 otto siegel 2.jpg Otto I, the Great
(912–973)
2 February 9627 May 973Great-great-great grandson of Louis I
Otto II. (HRR).jpg Otto II, the Red
(955–983)
25 December 9677 December 983Son of Otto I
Meister der Reichenauer Schule 002.jpg Otto III
(980–1002)
21 May 99623 January 1002Son of Otto II
Kronung Heinrich II.jpg Henry II [note 1]
(973–1024)
14 February 1014July 13, 1024Second cousin of Otto III

Salian dynasty

PortraitNameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Konrad2Salsky-2.jpg Conrad II, the Elder [note 2]
(990–1039)
26 March 10274 June 1039Great-great-grandson of Otto I
Heinrich III. (HRR) Miniatur.jpg Henry III, the Black
(1017–1056)
25 December 10465 October 1056Son of Conrad II
Heinrich 4 g.jpg Henry IV
(1050–1116)
5 October 10567 August 1106Son of Henry III
Paschalis.jpg Henry V [8]
(1086–1125)
13 April 111123 May 1125Son of Henry IV

Supplinburg dynasty

PortraitNameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Lothair II, Holy Roman Emperor.jpg Lothair II [note 3]
(1075–1137)
4 June 11334 December 1137Great-great-great-great-great-great-grandnephew of Otto I

Staufen dynasty

PortraitNameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Frederick I (HRE).jpg Frederick I Barbarossa
(1122–1190)
8 June 115510 June 1190Great-grandson of Henry IV
Codex Manesse Heinrich VI. (HRR).jpg Henry VI
(1165–1197)
14 April 119128 September 1197Son of Frederick I

Welf dynasty

PortraitNameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Ottta4Brunsvicky.jpg Otto IV
(1175–1218)
9 June 11981215Great-grandson of Lothair II

Staufen dynasty

PortraitNameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Frederick II (HRE).jpg Frederick II,
Stupor Mundi(1194–1250)
22 November 122013 December 1250Son of Henry VI

The interregnum of the Holy Roman Empire is taken to have lasted from the deposition of Frederick II by Pope Innocent IV (1245, alternatively from the death of Frederick 1250 or the death of Conrad IV 1254) to the election of Rudolf I of Germany (1273). Rudolf was not crowned emperor, nor were his successors Adolf and Albert. The next emperor was Henry VII, crowned on 29 June 1312 by Pope Clement V.

House of Luxembourg

Portrait Coat of arms NameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Henry Lux head.jpg
Holy Roman Emperor
Henric van Lusenborch.svg Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1200-c.1300).svg
Coats of arms
Henry VII
(1274–1313)
29 June 131224 August 1313Great x11 grandson of Charles II

House of Wittelsbach

Portrait Coat of arms NameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Ignoto, re ludovico IV, bull d'oro, 1329.JPG
Holy Roman Emperor
Bavaria Wittelsbach coa medieval.svg Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1200-c.1300).svg
Coats of arms
Louis IV, the Bavarian
(1282–1347)
October 131411 October 1347Far descendant of Henry IV and great-great-great-great-grandson of Lothair II

House of Luxembourg

Portrait Coat of arms NameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Charles IV-John Ocko votive picture-fragment.jpg
Holy Roman Emperor
Insigne Cechicum.svg Shield and Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1300-c.1400).svg
Coats of arms
Charles IV
(1316–1378)
11 July 134629 November 1378Grandson of Henry VII
Zikmund Zhorelecka radnice.jpg
Holy Roman Emperor
Sigismund Arms Hungarian Czech per pale.svg Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (c.1433-c.1450).svg
Coats of arms
Sigismund
(1368–1437)
31 May 14339 December 1437Son of Charles IV

House of Habsburg

In 1508, Pope Julius II allowed Maximilian I to use the title of Emperor without coronation in Rome, though the title was qualified as Electus Romanorum Imperator ("elected Emperor of the Romans"). Maximilian's successors adopted the same titulature, usually when they became the sole ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. Maximilian's first successor Charles V was the last to be crowned Emperor.

Portrait Coat of arms NameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Hans Burgkmair d. A. 005.jpg Arms of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor.svg Frederick III, the Peaceful
(1415–1493)
2 February 144019 August 1493second cousin of Albert II of Germany, Emperor designate.
Maximilian I as Emperor.JPG Arms of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.svg Maximilian I
(1459–1519)
19 August 149312 January 1519Son of Frederick III
Francesco Terzio 001.jpg Arms of Charles V Holy Roman Emperor, Charles I as King of Spain -Or shield variant.svg Charles V
(1500–1558)
28 June 1519 (crowned 1530)16 January 1556Grandson of Maximilian I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor.jpg Arms of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (variant).svg Ferdinand I
(1503–1564)
16 January 1556 (crowned 1558)25 July 1564Brother of Charles V
Nicolas Neufchatel 002.jpg Arms of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (variant).svg Maximilian II
(1527–1576)
25 July 156412 October 1576Son of Ferdinand I
Martino Rota - Emperor Rudolf II in Armour - WGA20140.jpg Arms of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor (variant).svg Rudolph II [note 4]
(1552–1612)
12 October 157620 January 1612Son of Maximilian II
Ritratto di Mattia d'Asburgo.jpg Arms of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor (variant).svg Matthias
(1557–1619)
13 June 161220 March 1619Brother of Rudolf II
Ferdinand II King of Bohemia Holy Roman Emperor.jpg Arms of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor (variant).svg Ferdinand II
(1578–1637)
28 August 161915 February 1637Cousin of Matthias
Jan van den Hoecke - Portrait of Emperor Ferdinand III.jpg Arms of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svg Ferdinand III
(1608–1657)
15 February 16372 April 1657Son of Ferdinand II
Block Emperor Leopold I.jpg Arms of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor (variant).svg Leopold I
(1640–1705)
18 July 16585 May 1705Son of Ferdinand III
Jozef I. (1705-1711).jpg Arms of Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor (variant).svg Joseph I
(1678–1711)
5 May 170517 April 1711Son of Leopold I
Johann Gottfried Auerbach 002.JPG Arms of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svg Charles VI
(1685–1740)
12 October 171120 October 1740Brother of Joseph I

House of Wittelsbach

PortraitCoat of armsNameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor.PNG Arms of Charles VII Albert, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svg Charles VII
(1697–1745)
12 February 174220 January 1745Great-great grandson of Ferdinand II; Son-in-law of Joseph I

House of Lorraine

PortraitCoat of armsNameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Joseph II Portrait with crown.jpg Arms of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svg Francis I
(1708–1765)
13 September 174518 August 1765Great-grandson of Ferdinand III; Son-in-law of Charles VI

House of Habsburg-Lorraine

PortraitCoat of armsNameReignRelationship with predecessor(s)Other title(s)
Kaiser Joseph II als Feldherr.JPG Arms of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor-Or shield variant.svg Joseph II
(1741–1790)
18 August 176520 February 1790Son of Empress Maria Theresa, de facto ruler of the empire, and Francis I.
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor.jpg Arms of Leopold II and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperors-Or shield variant.svg Leopold II
(1747–1792)
30 September 17901 March 1792Son of Empress Maria Theresa,de facto ruler of the empire, and Francis I. Brother of Joseph II.
Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor at age 25, 1792.png Arms of Leopold II and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperors-Or shield variant.svg Francis II
(1768–1835)
5 July 17926 August 1806Son of Leopold II

Coronation

The Emperor was crowned in a special ceremony, traditionally performed by the Pope in Rome. Without that coronation, no king, despite exercising all powers, could call himself Emperor. In 1508, Pope Julius II allowed Maximilian I to use the title of Emperor without coronation in Rome, though the title was qualified as Electus Romanorum Imperator ("elected Emperor of the Romans"). Maximilian's successors adopted the same titulature, usually when they became the sole ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. [9] Maximilian's first successor Charles V was the last to be crowned Emperor.

EmperorCoronation dateOfficiantLocation
Charles I 25 December 800 Pope Leo III Rome, Italy
Louis I 5 October 816 Pope Stephen IV Reims, France
Lothair I 5 April 823 Pope Paschal I Rome, Italy
Louis II 15 June 844 Pope Leo IV Rome, Italy
Charles II 29 December 875 Pope John VIII Rome, Italy
Charles III 12 February 881Rome, Italy
Guy III of Spoleto 21 February 891 Pope Stephen V Rome, Italy
Lambert II of Spoleto 30 April 892 Pope Formosus Ravenna, Italy
Arnulf of Carinthia 22 February 896Rome, Italy
Louis III 15 or 22 February 901 Pope Benedict IV Rome, Italy
Berengar December 915 Pope John X Rome, Italy
Otto I 2 February, 962 Pope John XII Rome, Italy
Otto II 25 December, 967 Pope John XIII Rome, Italy
Otto III 21 May, 996 Pope Gregory V Monza, Italy
Henry II 14 February 1014 Pope Benedict VIII Rome, Italy
Conrad II 26 March 1027 Pope John XIX Rome, Italy
Henry III 25 December 1046 Pope Clement II Rome, Italy
Henry IV 31 March 1084 Antipope Clement III Rome, Italy
Henry V 13 April 1111 Pope Paschal II Rome, Italy
Lothair III 4 June 1133 Pope Innocent II Rome, Italy
Frederick I 18 June 1155 Pope Adrian IV Rome, Italy
Henry VI 14 April 1191 Pope Celestine III Rome, Italy
Otto IV 4 October 1209 Pope Innocent III Rome, Italy
Frederick II 22 November 1220 Pope Honorius III Rome, Italy
Henry VII 29 June 1312 Ghibellines cardinalsRome, Italy
Louis IV 17 January 1328Senator Sciarra Colonna Rome, Italy
Charles IV 5 April 1355 Pope Innocent VI's cardinalRome, Italy
Sigismund 31 May 1433 Pope Eugenius IV Rome, Italy
Frederick III 19 March 1452 Pope Nicholas V Rome, Italy
Charles V 24 February 1530 Pope Clement VII Bologna, Italy

See also

Notes

  1. Enumerated as successor of Henry I who was German King 919–936 but not Emperor.
  2. Enumerated as successor of Conrad I who was German King 911–918 but not Emperor
  3. Enumerated also Lothair III as successor of Lothair II, who was King of Lotharingia 855–869 but not Emperor
  4. Enumerated as successor of Rudolph I who was German King 1273–1291.

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References

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  4. Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) p. 16.
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  9. ” Wir Franz der Zweyte, von Gottes Gnaden erwählter römischer Kaiser Imperator Austriae, Fransiscus I (1804), Allerhöchste Pragmatikal-Verordnung vom 11. August 1804, The HR Emperor, p. 1