The Upper Saxon Circle (German : Obersächsischer Reichskreis) was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire, created in 1512.
The circle was dominated by the electorate of Saxony (the circle's director) and the electorate of Brandenburg. It further comprised the Saxon Ernestine duchies and Pomerania. The Lusatias that fell to Saxony by the 1635 Peace of Prague were never encircled.
The circle was made up of the following states:
|Name||Type of entity||Comments|
|Principality||Emerged from Duchy of Saxony in 1212, re-united under the House of Ascania in 1570, divided into Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Köthen and Anhalt-Zerbst from 1603|
|County||Imperial immediacy in 1497, fell to the Saxe-Weissenfels branch of the electoral House of Wettin in 1659|
|Electorate||Margraviate established in 1157, Prince-elector from 1356|
|Bishopric||Secular territory of the diocese established in 1140, under Pomeranian overlordship, principality from 1545|
|Abbacy||Imperial abbey established in 961 by King Otto I, held by the House of Ascania from 1616|
|Hatzfeld-Gleichen||County||Established in 1631, principality from 1741, fell to Mainz in 1794|
|County||Territory around Scharzfeld and Lauterberg, line extinct in 1593, fell to Brunswick-Grubenhagen|
|Lohra and Klettenberg||Lordship||held by the Counts of Hohnstein, fell to Halberstadt in 1593, administrated by Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel|
|County||Established in 1069 by King Henry IV, seized by Saxony in 1579|
|Duchy||Ruled by the House of Griffins, internally divided from 1532 to 1625, Swedish Pomerania from 1637 on, Farther Pomerania to Brandenburg-Prussia in 1653|
|Abbacy||Established in 936 by King Otto I, occupied by Brandenburg-Prussia in 1698|
|Principality||Former lordship, to Saxon House of Wettin in 1635, held by Saxe-Weissenfels from 1656–1746|
|County||Established about 1080 by King Henry IV, partitioned in 1564 into Elder Line at Greiz (principality from 1778) and Junior Line at Gera|
|Electorate||Successor of Saxe-Wittenberg from 1356, held by the House of Wettin from 1423|
|Duchy||Wettin Ernestine duchy established in 1572|
|Duchy||Wettin Ernestine duchy split off Saxe-Weimar in 1602, inherited by Saxe-Gotha in 1672|
|Duchy||Wettin Ernestine duchy split off Saxe-Weimar in 1640, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg from 1672|
|Saxe-Coburg||Duchy||Wettin Ernestine duchy established in 1572 as Saxe-Coburg-Eisenach. Split between the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen from 1725|
|Duchy||Wettin Ernestine duchy split off Saxe-Coburg in 1596, personal union with Saxe-Weimar from 1741|
|County||Various territories, Imperial immediacy in 1182, acquired by Saxony in 1740|
|County||United under the House of Schwarzburg 1538-1583|
|County||subdivision established in 1599, raised to principality in 1697|
|County||subdivision established in 1599 as Schwarzburg-Arnstadt, raised to principality in 1697/1710|
|County||Stolberg-Stolberg from 1548, under Saxon supremacy from 1738|
|County||Split off Stolberg-Stolberg in 1706, under Saxon supremacy from 1738|
|Abbacy||Established in 1127, fell to Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in 1648|
|County||Held by Stolberg from 1429, Stolberg-Wernigerode from 1645, under Prussian supremacy from 1714|
Lower Saxony is a German state (Land) situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2 (18,388 sq mi), and fourth-largest in population among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon and Saterland Frisian are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining.
Saxony, officially the Free State of Saxony, is a landlocked state of Germany, bordering the states of Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, and Bavaria, as well as the countries of Poland and the Czech Republic. Its capital is Dresden, and its largest city is Leipzig. Saxony is the tenth largest of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of 18,413 square kilometres (7,109 sq mi), and the sixth most populous, with more than 4 million inhabitants.
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Upper Saxon is an East Central German dialect spoken in much of the modern German State of Saxony and in the adjacent parts of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Linguistically speaking, it is a "regiolect" or "regional vernacular" rather than a dialect in the strict sense. Though colloquially called "Saxon", it is not to be confused with the Low Saxon dialect group in Northern Germany. Upper Saxon is closely linked to the Thuringian dialect spoken in the adjacent areas to the west.
Eastphalia is a historical region in northern Germany, encompassing the eastern Gaue (shires) of the historic stem duchy of Saxony, roughly confined by the River Leine in the west and the Elbe and Saale in the east. The territory corresponds with the southeastern part of the present-day states of Lower Saxony, western Saxony-Anhalt and northern Thuringia. Together with Westphalia, central Angria and Nordalbingia it was one of the four main Saxon administrative regions. It should not be confused with East Westphalia (Ostwestfalen).
The Austrian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire. It was one of the four Imperial Circles created by decree after the 1512 Diet at Cologne, twelve years after the original six Circles were established in the course of the Imperial Reform. It roughly corresponds to present-day Austria, Slovenia, and the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Venezia Giulia regions of Northern Italy, but also comprised the Further Austrian territories in the former Swabian stem duchy.
The Bavarian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Franconian Circle was an Imperial Circle established in 1500 in the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. It comprised the eastern part of the former Franconian stem duchy — roughly corresponding with the present-day Bavarian Regierungsbezirke of Upper, Middle and Lower Franconia — while western Rhenish Franconia belonged to the Upper Rhenish Circle. The title of a "Duke of Franconia" was claimed by the Würzburg bishops.
The Lower Saxon Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire. It covered much of the territory of the medieval Duchy of Saxony, and was originally called the Saxon Circle before later being better differentiated from the Upper Saxon Circle by the more specific name.
The Electoral Rhenish Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire, created in 1512.
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The Circle of Swabia or Swabian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1500 on the territory of the former German stem-duchy of Swabia. However, it did not include the Habsburg home territories of Swabian Austria, the member states of the Swiss Confederacy nor the lands of the Alsace region west of the Rhine, which belonged to the Upper Rhenish Circle. The Swabian League of 1488, a predecessor organization, disbanded in the course of the Protestant Reformation later in the 16th century.
The Upper Rhenish Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1500 on the territory of the former Duchy of Upper Lorraine and large parts of Rhenish Franconia including the Swabian Alsace region and the Burgundian duchy of Savoy.
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The Electorate of Saxony was a state of the Holy Roman Empire established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356. Upon the extinction of the House of Ascania, it was feoffed to the Margraves of Meissen from the Wettin dynasty in 1423, who moved the ducal residence up the river Elbe to Dresden. After the Empire's dissolution in 1806, the Wettin Electors raised Saxony to a territorially reduced kingdom.
Philipp Julius was duke of Pomerania in the Teilherzogtum Pomerania-Wolgast from 1592 to 1625.
The Capitulation of Franzburg was a treaty providing for the capitulation of the Duchy of Pomerania to the forces of the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War. It was signed on 10 November (O.S.) or 20 November (N.S.) 1627 by Bogislaw XIV, Duke of Pomerania and Hans Georg von Arnim, commander in chief of an occupation force belonging to the army of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, led by Albrecht von Wallenstein. While the terms of the capitulation were unfavourable for the Duchy of Pomerania already, occupation became even more burdensome when the occupation force did not adhere to the restrictions outlined in Franzburg. Stralsund resisted with Danish, Swedish and Scottish support, another Danish intervention failed. Imperial occupation lasted until Swedish forces invaded in 1630, and subsequently cleared all of the Duchy of Pomerania of imperial forces until 1631.
The House of Mansfeld was a princely German house, which took its name from the town of Mansfeld in the present-day state of Saxony-Anhalt. Mansfelds were archbishops, generals, supporters as well as opponents of Martin Luther, and Habsburg administrators.
Upper Saxony was the name given to the majority of the German lands held by the House of Wettin, in what is now called Central Germany (Mitteldeutschland).