Princes of The Holy Roman Empire

Princes Of The Holy Roman Empire

The title Prince of the Holy Roman Empire (German: Reichsf├╝rst, Latin: princeps imperii) was attributed to a hereditary ruler, noble or prelate recognised as such by the Holy Roman Emperors. Originally, possessors of the princely title bore it as immediate vassals of the Empire, secular or ecclesiastical, who held a fief that had no suzerain except the Emperor. However, by the time the Holy Roman Empire was abolished in 1806 there were a number of holders of Imperial princely titles who did not meet these criteria.

Thus, there were two principal types of princes; those who exercised Landhoheit (sovereignty within one's territory) as well as an individual or shared vote in the College of Princes; and those whose title was honorary, the possessor lacking an immediate Imperial fief and/or a vote in the Imperial Diet. The first came to be reckoned as "royalty" in the sense of being treated as sovereigns, entitled to inter-marry with reigning dynasties. The second tier consisted of high-ranking nobles whose princely title did not, however, imply equality with royalty. These distinctions evolved within the Empire, but were codified by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 when it created the German Confederation and recognised a specific, elevated status (Standesherren) for the mediatized princes of the defunct Empire.

The actual titles used by Imperial princes varied considerably for historical reasons, and included archdukes, dukes, margraves, landgraves, counts palatine, "princely counts" (Gefurstete Grafen), as well as princes. Moreover, most of the German fiefs in the Empire (except electorships) were heritable by all males of a family rather than by primogeniture, the princely title (or whatever title the family used) being likewise shared by all agnatic family members, male and female.

Read more about Princes Of The Holy Roman EmpireImperial State, Honorary Title

Other articles related to "princes of the holy roman empire, prince, the holy roman empire, empire":

Princes Of The Holy Roman Empire - Honorary Title
... The honorary status of prince of the Holy Roman Empire might be granted to certain individuals ... These individuals included Rulers of states of the Empire who did not hold an individual seat in the princely chamber of the Imperial Diet, but held a seat as a count and shared with other counts ... Sovereigns outside the Empire, such as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta) ...

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