When the Imperial Circles (Latin : Circuli imperii German : Reichskreise) — comprising a regional grouping of territories of the Holy Roman Empire — were created as part of the Imperial Reform at the 1500 Diet of Augsburg, many Imperial territories remained unencircled.
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.
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.
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.
Initially six circles were established in order to secure and enforce the Public Peace (Landfrieden) declared by Emperor Maximilian I and the jurisdiction of the Reichskammergericht . They did not incorporate the territories of the Prince-electors and the Austrian homelands of the ruling House of Habsburg. Only at the 1512 Diet of Trier were these estates (except for the Kingdom of Bohemia) included in the newly implemented Burgundian, Austrian, Upper Saxon, and Electoral Rhenish circles, confirmed by the 1521 Diet of Worms.
The Peace and Truce of God was a movement in the Middle Ages led by the Catholic Church and the first mass peace movement in history. The goal of both the Pax Dei and the Treuga Dei was to limit the violence of feuding endemic to the western half of the former Carolingian Empire -- following its collapse in the middle of the 9th century -- using the threat of spiritual sanctions. The eastern half of the former Carolingian Empire did not experience the same collapse of central authority, and neither did England.
Maximilian I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1508 until his death. He was never crowned by the Pope, as the journey to Rome was always too risky. He was instead proclaimed Emperor elect by Pope Julius II at Trent, thus breaking the long tradition of requiring a papal coronation for the adoption of the imperial title. Maximilian was the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, and Eleanor of Portugal. He ruled jointly with his father for the last ten years of the latter's reign, from c. 1483 to his father's death in 1493.
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.
After 1512, the bulk of the remaining territories not comprised by Imperial Circles were the lands of the Bohemian crown, the Old Swiss Confederacy and the Italian territories. Besides these, there were also a considerable number of minor territories which retained imperial immediacy, such as individual Imperial Villages (Reichsdörfer), and the lands held by individual Imperial Knights (Reichsritter).
The Kingdom of Italy was one of the constituent kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire, along with the kingdoms of Germany, Bohemia, and Burgundy. It comprised northern and central Italy, but excluded the Republic of Venice and the Papal States. Its original capital was Pavia until the 11th century.
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 Emperor, and later of the institutions of the Empire such as the Diet, the Imperial Chamber of Justice and the Aulic Council.
The Archdiocese of Wrocław is a Latin Rite archdiocese of the Catholic Church named after its capital Wrocław in Poland. From its founding as a bishopric in 1000 until 1821, it was under the Archbishopric of Gniezno in Greater Poland. From 1821 to 1930 it was subjected directly to the Apostolic See. Between 1821 and 1972 it was officially known as (Arch)Diocese of Breslau.
The Duchy of Legnica or Duchy of Liegnitz was one of the Duchies of Silesia. Its capital was Legnica (Liegnitz) in Lower Silesia.
Duchy of Jawor was one of the Duchies of Silesia established in 1274 as a subdivision of the Duchy of Legnica. It was ruled by the Silesian Piasts, with its capital at Jawor in Lower Silesia.
Lower Silesia is the northwestern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia; Upper Silesia is to the southeast.
The Duchy of Silesia with its capital at Wrocław was a medieval duchy located in the historic Silesian region of Poland. Soon after it was formed under the Piast dynasty in 1138, it fragmented into various Duchies of Silesia. In 1327 the remaining Duchy of Wrocław as well as most other duchies ruled by the Silesian Piasts passed to the Kingdom of Bohemia as Duchies of Silesia. The acquisition was completed, when King Casimir III the Great of Poland renounced his rights to Silesia in the 1335 Treaty of Trentschin.
The Duchy of Nysa or Duchy of Neisse was one of the duchies of Silesia with its capital at Nysa in Lower Silesia. Alongside the Duchy of Siewierz, it was the only ecclesiastical duchy in the Silesian region, as it was ruled by a bishop of the Catholic Church. Nowadays its territory is divided between Poland and the Czech Republic.
The Kingdom of Bohemia, sometimes in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom, was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Central Europe, the predecessor of the modern Czech Republic. It was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Bohemian king was a prince-elector of the empire. The kings of Bohemia, besides Bohemia, also ruled the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which at various times included Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia, and parts of Saxony, Brandenburg, and Bavaria.
Bohemia is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, Bohemia sometimes refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings.
The Margraviate of Moravia was one of the lands of the Bohemian Crown existing from 1182 to 1918. It was officially administrated by a margrave in cooperation with a provincial diet. It was variously a de facto independent state, and also subject to the Duchy, later the Kingdom of Bohemia. It comprised the region called Moravia within the modern Czech Republic.
The Old Swiss Confederacy remained part of the Holy Roman Empire until 1648, when it gained formal independence in the Peace of Westphalia.
Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia, located mostly in Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic.
The Duke of Silesia was the sons and descendants of the Polish Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth. In accordance with the last will and testament of Bolesław, upon his death his lands were divided into four or five hereditary provinces distributed among his sons, and a royal province of Kraków reserved for the eldest, who was to be High Duke of all Poland. This was known as the fragmentation of Poland. Subsequent developments lead to further splintering of the duchies.
The Czech lands or the Bohemian lands are the three historical regions of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia. Together the three have formed the Czech part of Czechoslovakia since 1918 and the Czech Republic since 1 January 1969, which became independent on 1 January 1993.
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 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.
Austrian Silesia, officially the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia, was an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Habsburg Monarchy. It is largely coterminous with the present-day region of Czech Silesia and was, historically, part of the larger Silesia region.
The Přemyslid dynasty or House of Přemyslid was a Czech royal dynasty which reigned in the Duchy of Bohemia and later Kingdom of Bohemia and Margraviate of Moravia, as well as in parts of Poland, Hungary, and Austria.
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 Old Swiss Confederacy was a loose confederation of independent small states within the Holy Roman Empire. It is the precursor of the modern state of Switzerland.
The Duchy of Bytom or Duchy of Beuthen was one of many Silesian duchies. It was established in Upper Silesia about 1281 during the division of the Duchy of Opole and Racibórz among the sons of Duke Władysław Opolski. The duchy's capital was Bytom (Beuthen), formerly part of Lesser Poland until in 1177 the Polish High Duke Casimir II the Just had attached it to the Silesian Duchy of Racibórz.
The Silesian Piasts were the elder of four lines of the Polish Piast dynasty beginning with Władysław II the Exile (1105–1159), eldest son of Duke Bolesław III of Poland. By Bolesław's testament, Władysław was granted Silesia as his hereditary province and also the Lesser Polish Seniorate Province at Kraków according to the principle of agnatic seniority.
The Principality of Opava or Duchy of Troppau was a historic territory split off from the Margraviate of Moravia before 1269 by King Ottokar II of Bohemia to provide for his natural son, Nicholas I. The Opava territory thus had not been part of the original Polish Duchy of Silesia in 1138, and was first ruled by an illegitimate offshoot of the Bohemian Přemyslid dynasty, not by the Silesian Piasts like many of the neighbouring Silesian duchies. Its capital was Opava (Troppau) in the modern day Czech Republic.
State country was a unit of administrative and territorial division in the Bohemian crown lands of Silesia and Upper Lusatia, existing from 15th to 18th centuries. These estates were exempt from feudal tenure by privilege of the Bohemian kings. Some of the state countries were highly autonomous, they had their own legal code and their lords were vassals of the king himself, not of the local dukes or princes.
Duchy of Racibórz was one of the duchies of Silesia. Its capital was Racibórz in Upper Silesia.
Duchy of Opole was one of the duchies of Silesia ruled by the Piast dynasty. Its capital was Opole in Upper Silesia.
The Treaty of Trentschin was concluded on 24 August 1335 between King Casimir III of Poland and King John of Bohemia as well as his son Margrave Charles IV. The agreement was reached by the agency of Casimir's brother-in-law King Charles I of Hungary and signed at Trencsén Castle in the Kingdom of Hungary. It initiated the transfer of the suzerainty over the former Polish province of Silesia to the Kingdom of Bohemia, whereafter the Duchies of Silesia were incorporated into the Bohemian Crown.
The Duchy of Krnov or Duchy of Jägerndorf was one of the Duchies of Silesia, which in 1377 emerged from the Duchy of Troppau (Opava), itself a fief of the Bohemian Crown. Its capital was at Krnov in the present-day Czech Republic.