Talk:Holy Roman Emperor

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Leopold I's portrait[edit]

I think Leopold I's portrait was not well chosen. It depicts him "in costume as Acis in La Galatea". The portrait there without explanation makes it appear that this is his usual clothing.


Shouldn't this mention Mehmed's claim to the title, upon his acclaimed conquest of the ancient (and still-standing) Roman capital Constantinople in the 15th Century? Hilal2

Did you read this?I think you are referring to the capital of "one of" the Roman Empires, usually refferred to as the Eastern or Byzantine. The Holy Roman Empire was a mostly Germanic thing, it wasn't Roman per se, it wasn't conquered either! Ciriii 16:17, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Mehmet's claim to the Roman imperial title is mentioned in the article "Roman Empire" under the section "Legacy", along with other claimants such as the Holy Roman Emperors and the Russian Czars. Iblardi 18:53, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
It must be clearly stated within this article, that the "Holy Roman Emperors" (singular correct: Holy Roman emperor and German king) have nothing to do with "Rome", they were German kings who became emperor of the Holy Roman (German) Empire, the greatest power in Europe and the world until the 19th century. Also it should be stated, that this GERMAN ruler is known as "Römisch-deutscher Kaiser" (Roman-German emperor). -- (talk) 02:04, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
That is simply not true, or it is true only from one perspective. The Roman Empire itself was not Holy Roman, it infact had alot of Germans in it, especially in the latter years when many tribes were declared official allies of the Empire and ruled over portions of it. The "Holy" portion comes from the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, who granted the title to Charlemagne and crowned various Emperors, who would refer to themselves as "Rex Romanus", King of the Romans and Kaiser der Romer. The HRE was also NEVER wholly German, at conception it included France, Italy and the Christian portions of Hispania, as well as the Netherlands. Calling it the greatest power in Europe is also pretty questionable, considering that it regularly lost wars to France, Prussia and the Ottomans. (talk) 06:25, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
It should be noted somewhere that Ottoman Sultans did in fact claim (among many other foreign titles) the Holy Roman Emperor title. Suleyman I (the magnificent) and Mehmed II were probably the most notable. The Ottomans saw themselves as inheritors of Greek-Roman legacy (which they were, along with various other Islamic empires) and a new Roman empire of sorts.


A map of Europe detailing the extent of the empire, and present nation states, would be most interesting and helpful. 23:54, 3 July 2006 (UTC)


"The emperor was also ordained as a subdeacon which excluded non-Catholics and women from the throne."

If this is true, then how can emperor marry and have children ?

Yes 17:36, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

The Catholic deaconate is open to married men. --Jfruh (talk) 16:23, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

When the emperors stopped seeking papal coronation and merely took the title of Emperor-elect, were they still ordained as subdeacons, or did that require papal coronation as well as the actual use of the specific title Holy Roman Emperor? Emperor001 21:42, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Removal of Carolingians[edit]

I've removed all the references to the Carolingians, because they just weren't Holy Roman Emperors. It's not even arguable. They styled themselves either Roman Emperors or Emperors of the Romans. Their Empire was in no was organized like that of the later HRE, nor were their administration or institutions the same. The fact that some of what eventually became the HRE had once been ruled by the Carolingians is beside the point. The HRE arguably starts with Otto I, because it was under his rule that it began to take shape in the way we know it. The 'arguable' comes in because there is some evidence that Otto himself looked back to Charlemagne as a model. There is also evidence, however, that the Ottonians looked to the Byzantine Emperors as well. In any case, Otto is a much safer beginning point, although it was not till later -- AFAIK, not to the Salians, that teh title HRE comes into normal use. This means there is clean-up to do in terms of the Carolingian emperors, who will need to be changed to something else -- this is especially sticky, by the way, because the Carolingian emperors themselves seldom used the "Roman", preferring merely the title ' Imperator '. I've been wading through Carolingian legal documents all day, as it happens. JHK 02:51, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't dispute what you say, but the problem is that this chunk of information becomes orphaned. There is no generally accepted term that encompasses the the post-Charlemagne, pre-Otto Western Emperors, especially the later ones whose relationship with the Carolingian dynasty was fairly distant. I remember being quite greatful when someone filled in the gaps in the List of Holy Roman Emperors article (which seems to have been redirected to this article without much discussion, if only so one could get at all the names in one place.
I think historiography has traditionally seen these emperors as forming a continuity with Otto and his descendants. Certainly they established the notion that the Pope could bestow an imperial dignity upon a German ruler; without this precedent, the circumstances of Otto's elevation to imperial status doesn't make sense. Otto didn't create the concept of a Western Emperorship ex nihilo. If you're going to just excise this huge chunk of material, you should take the responsiblity of figuring out where else to put it and link it properly to this material. You could have also left in some of the explanatory material about the ordinals of the rulers, which is all the more necessary now that the early rulers aren't in the list--Jfruh (talk) 00:30, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm adding the deleted material here just so we have a place to store it while we think about where it could go.

- *Louis I the Pious, 814-840 - *Lothair I, 843-855 - *Louis II, 855-875 - *Charles II the Bald, 875-877 - *Charles III the Fat, 881-887 - - ===House of Guideschi=== - *Guy III of Spoleto, 891-894 - *Lambert II of Spoleto, 894-898 - - ===Carolingian Dynasty=== - *Arnulf of Carinthia, 896-899 - *Louis III the Blind, 901-905 - *Berengar of Friuli, 915-924

--Jfruh (talk) 00:32, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

You're right, I could have cleaned it up, but I don't have the time. I used to contribute a great deal, and got tired of fighting lame battles. Also, since I didn't write the original errors, I don't see why I should clean up every piece of someone else's mess. It would be like going in and trying to fix the mess that is the Charlemagne article. Some of it is not bad, but it's misleading in many places. By the way, AFAIK (and I have to say I know a decent amount -- my PhD thesis was on the Carolingians), there is no current accepted authority that argues for continuity. Most of those arguments come from late C19 and early C20 history that tried to show a great continuous history of a German Nation. And I don't know of any reputable history that considers the Spoletans as anything more than interlopers. Althoff, who is perhaps the most accepted authority on imperial traditions and the Ottonians at the moment, certainly doesn't see continuity, except in some of the imagery and ritual. Even then, the Ottonians ignore the Carolingian emperors -- the look directly to Charlemagne. JHK 03:05, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I would say that there is such a thing as too much reliance on the most recent scholarship in preference to past (eg S.XIX) scholarship. All academic fields go through phases and fads and it is difficult in history to know whether any given analysis will stand the test of time or will be blown away in the future. The theories of the Romantic period may make for good mocking today, but who's to say that modern theories won't be equally derided by future generations? If there is a tradition, largely created in the modern era and not at all contemporaneous, to view the HRE as in continuity with the Carolingian Empire, and this tradition is still pretty common in general reference works and other works which don't deal directly with the subject, such that a great deal of people would understand the Empire as being one entity existing from 800 to 1806, then why try to simply excise it? Wouldn't it be better to explain why the predominant opinion today is that the Carolingian and HR empires are distinct and only loosely connected by shared "imagery," while still concluding that "the Carolingian emperors are nonetheless still commonly encountered as HREs"? And what does "interlopers" mean? Does it mean "last to issue capitularies in the Frankish fashion"? The marginal authority of the Spoletans is no cause for their complete dismissal anymore than the purely theoretical authority of the current emperor of Japan is for his. And isn't "Carolus Quintus" evidence that "Carolus Tertius" was considered a predecessor? I just don't want to see important information simply removed when the cause for removal is, in my opinion, cause for a note of explanation within the article instead.
Finally, as the one who mostly wrote what exists of the Charlemagne article, I have been meaning to clean it up and give it citations and more analysis instead of just unending narrative. If you could suggest some places that need the most attention or where it is factually misleading... Srnec 06:00, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely. The blanket removal of all material related to a period of over a century means that the article makes no sort of sense to those of us who aren't experts on the period but can count up to 962, and we are the people the article is supposed to be for. The wikipedia articles in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch all cover the period before 962. (Yes I know that other wikipedia's are not reliable sources of facts but they are perhaps are more reliable guide to what information needs to be provided to general readers on a basic topic, than anything that can be found in an academic journal.) Academics are prone to concentrate on the points which are currently subject to academic dispute, but those points may be far less important in a wider perspective. The removal of the information was in the nature of academic point scoring, which should have been kept out of a general reference work. As for the point in dispute, I have to say that it is pretty clear to me that it is arguable that Charlemagne was a Holy Roman Emperor. There were elements of continuity, so a case can be made. It's not for me to come to a conclusion, but JHK sounds like any other academic who thinks those who disagree with her are 100% wrong without any need for nuance: too strident to be convincing. Piccadilly (talk) 00:12, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

The HRE as established by Otto I was the resurgence of the Empire of Charlemagne, therefore it should be included. Also, the numbering of the HREmperors look to Charles I (Charlemagne), Louis I (the Pious), Charles II (the Bald), Charles III (the Fat), Louis II (son of Lothair) ... Finally, the non-use of the title "Holy Roman Emperor" by the Carolingians is of no consequence, as no one ever used that title. The Carolingians did not call themselves "Roman Emperors" at all - the first to use this was Otto II. The Holy only pops up in the 12th century. Str1977 (smile back) 08:49, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Actually, Charlemagne did take the title Imperator Romanorum at his coronation. But I do agree with the restoration of this material --Jfruh (talk) 15:35, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but only immediately after his coronation. Later he avoided it as it produced trouble with the Emperor at Constantinople and instead called himself "Imperator gubernans Imperium Romanum". Str1977 (smile back) 00:03, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Alot of that argument is nonsense, the separation of the Holy Roman Empire from the Roman Empire of Charlemagne is apocryphal (much like the use of the term Byzantine Empire), Otto would not have recognized it, and the Emperors did not refer or think of themselves as non-Roman Emperors, they often referred to themselves as Rex Romanus. Also the name count includes the Carolingians, Ludwig, Charles, Lothair, etc. (talk) 06:25, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

missing William of Holland[edit]

Wilhelm / William of Holland Holy Roman Emperor d 1256 is missing ?? /s/ knee coe kneecola toscanee (talk) 16:43, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I only can tell he was killed before he was crowned


I don't understand why this term is being used in the list of Emperors. It is apparently being used to describe post-1508 emperors, who no longer had to be crowned by the Pope. But "Emperor-elect" to me implies that the holder of the title is not yet officially emperor -- e.g., like a U.S. President-elect who is called that after he is voted in but before his formal inauguration. My understanding is that the post-1508 emperors were generally recognized as the official emperors - not as emperors-elect who never actually took office.

Therefore, to me it would make more sense to either (1) call the post-1508 emperors "Elected Roman Emperor" - which is the way the German title Erwählter Römischer Kaiser, used by Maximilian I, is translated in his article, or (2) don't give them any different title, but simply insert a note in the list regarding the change in the way they became the official emperor.Eldred 17:31, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Note: I see there was a long discussion of this on the talk page of the old "List of Holy Roman Emperors" article. Still, I'm not satisfied with the result, for the reasons stated above. It seems to me that they were either Holy Roman Emperors or not. If not, they should not be on the list. If so, then they shouldn't have a different title, or at least not a title that implies they weren't officially emperor.Eldred 17:50, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Agree. The "emperor-elect" title should be removed. Srnec 18:00, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Frankly, it surprises me that there would be this much concern about the issue. The distinction between "emperor-elect" and "emperor" was not an important one (as opposed to "President-Elect", where there is an important distinction), but it doesn't hurt to mention it. Readers' unfamiliarity with the intricacies involved in German dynastic politics is no reason to compromise on accuracy. Slac speak up! 01:58, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

I think that the references to emperor elect should stay and that the pages of all emperors-elect should say Holy Roman Emperor elect because, as far as I know, the emperors-elect did not recieve all of the benefits of being crowned (such as being ordained subdeacons). I was always under the impression that the title emperor-elect was created just so Maximillian could use a higher title (emperor is higher than king). Therefore, if the emperors-elect did not recieve the full benefits that came with the coronation, then there is a differnce between crowned and uncrowned emperors, there for the emperor-elect references should stay. Emperor001 19:29, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

But "x-elect" tends to mean "x after winning an election and before taking power" in English. "Emperor-elect" has the wrong connotations. Is it standard in historical works? Srnec 20:04, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
A quick google reveals this: there are probably others with a more thorough look. I've definitely seen Emperor-Elect in print. In any case, it was part of their official title (imperator electus). Because an Emperor was chosen by God to be ruler of all Christendom, and because he inherited the title from Charlemagne, who acquired it from the Pope, they had to be crowned in order to be Emperors. That the practice of early modern Germany could be confused with that of the 21st-century US is unfortunate, but we aim to be accurate above all. Slac speak up! 23:15, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
The term "Emperor-elect" - it is useful to note it and doesn't hurt a bit.
It is completely wrong to say that "post-1508 emperors, who no longer had to be crowned by the Pope." They were not crowned by the Pope (Charles V being the exception) but nothing changes in the requirements for being Emperor: no papal coronation - no Emperor. Strictly speaking that is. Sure the term "Emperor" was used commonly for those merely being Emperor elects but that doesn't change the fact that strictly speaking they were not Emperors. (Hence any talk about wrong connotations cannot overcome this fact.)
Indeed, Emperor001 is correct: the Emperor-elect designation was created by the Pope for Maximilian who was prevented on his way to Rome. After Ferdinand I this was continued.
Also, "before taking office" is also the wrong way to look at it, as the Emperor-elect was King - the office which yielded the actual power. And yes, the Emperor-elect was elected to be Emperor but did not actually make it to the inauguration (to use a modern American term). But he was elected and crowned King and ruled as such.Str1977 (smile back) 00:11, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

This is all way too simplistic. The meaning of Empire changed drastically over the centuries and its connection to the papacy, though obvious at Charlemagne's time, was nonexistent when Francis II simply made himself Emperor of Austria. The meaning of the term "emperor" was also not the subject of universal agreement. Otto I does not appear to have regarded his title as a Roman one and some authors of his time regarded it as the natural product of his "imperial" rule of multiple peoples or his victories, such as the Lechfeld. Henry IV clearly regarded the imperium as his by right and not by papal gift, as did Barbarossa. By the time of Charles IV, the pope's part was small to play, though not insignificant and the meaning of Empire had been turned on its head since Henry IV's time. Was the emperor the de jure ruler of all Christendom or merely a king on par with those of France and England with a special title owing to his historic forebears and his nominal rule over Rome? Contemporaries would have disagreed. Also, whether or not the emperorship granted one any extra powers is largely related to the time and to the individual. It certainly added prestige in many instances, though not always and it clearly entailed a responsibility: to protect the papal states and the city of Rome. It gave some emperors the power to interfere in papal elections (eg Henry III) and others the prerogative to rule in southern Italy (eg Otto I, Conrad II). It was practically meaningless for Charles I and the later emperors-elect, but its history is too varied to be summed up in sweeping statements. In short, I have no idea if the term "emperor-elect" is accurate for all the emperors after Maximilian I. Srnec 23:21, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Sure all this is simplistic. But nonetheless, the distinction between Emperors and Emperors-elect is real, even though it was of little practical importance post 1556.
One must also not confuse different meanings of the term "Imperator" - Otto was acclaimed as such on the Lechfeld (or so the source says) in keeping with the ancient Roman custom predating the Principate by a long shot. But that didn't make him Imperator as a ruler. I never heard that Otto called himself Emperor after Lechfeld. He did so after his coronation by the Pope.
Neither Henry IV nor Barbarossa claimed the Imperial title without (anti-)papal coronation. Also, Barbarossa's conflict was spawned by Rainald von Dassel's dodgy translation and the papal schism. Neither Henry nor Barbarossa did succeed in their claims.
The Roman bit is a matter of diplomatic controversy with the Roman Emperor residing at Constantinople. It doesn't concern this issue. Neither do claims to southern Italy.
And as for German titles ... remember that the official language of the Roman Empire was Latin. So the official title is Latin, which had: "Imperator electus" and not "Erwählter Römischer Kaiser".
As for sweeping statements - such a one was made by Eldoredo at the top of this section. (Including the very wrong one that some requirement changed in 1508 - practice changed, not requirements.)
Also, I was quite surprised and upset at your, Srnec, much to quick jumping to agree with his faulty reasoning. Str1977 (smile back) 09:47, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, I'm happy to withdraw the "sweeping statement" -- I was merely parroting what I had found written elsewhere in Wikipedia. However, I'm a bit of a pragmatist when talking about what is "required". My notion is, if a "requirement" is ignored in practice for several centuries, and no strenuous objections are made, then the requirement probably doesn't exist any more. So I would say, first of all, what is the evidence that the requirement still existed? Second, whose authority determines whether the requirement still exists? And third, was anybody making strenuous objections to the fact that they weren't crowned during the 2 1/2 centuries when it wasn't happening? Fourth, what's the ultimate plan here - to change all the titles of the articles for Post-Charles V Emperors to "Ferdinand I [or whoever], Holy Roman Emperor-Elect"? Fifth, what do other encyclopedia's do about this issue? Do they all use the term "emperor-elect" in lists of emperors, or are we making an innovation here?

Apart from these issues, and assuming there is consensus that the requirement still exists, I would still disagree with calling these emperors "emperor-elect." (I would think that "imperator electus" would translate as "elected emperor" rather than "emperor-elect", but I don't know a lot of Latin.) As Srnec has explained, the term implies, at least to American readers, that the monarch was waiting to complete a formal ceremony before becoming officially emperor. But the reality is that they weren't waiting to complete the ceremony because it never happened for 2 1/2 centuries. So you'll have American readers, at least, scratching their heads and saying "Huh? Why did none of these later emperors ever actually take office?" So I feel it would be preferable to call them "elected Emperor" - which merely indicates that the method by which they became Emperor was different. Then if you want to insert a note somewhere saying that the Pope never officially recognized any of them as emperor, if that's the case, I would have no objection.

Finally, despite the above rant, I don't feel all that strongly about this issue. It just struck me as pretty odd to call these guys "emperor elect" when none of them ever "finished the process" of becoming emperor.Eldred 12:48, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Eldredo, I hope you don't take my remarks above personally.
Articles always use as titles the one title that is consider most common, so that a reader might most easily find the article. Personally, I find the term "Holy Roman Emperor" horrid since a) it was never used, b) it actually terms a person Holy for whom such an attribute was never claimed ... but I have long given up to protest against it (and Emperor of the Holy Roman Emperor is just too unwieldy)
... and commonly these are called Emperor (or Kaiser in German). Thus the article titles.
Nor would it be, under these premises, be extremly wrong if the list used the word "Emperor" - but Emperor elect is more precise, and we shouldn't be changing it back.
The requirement exists as long as there is no formal revokation of it. No Rome, no Emperor - and Rome basically means Pope in this context. And remember, the title "Imperator electus" was conferred on Maximilian by the Pope.
The linguistic difference actually is none, because to say "elected Emperor" only makes sense if something is still lacking. The difference to American politics is that a President does step down after 4 years, whereas a King or Emperor was such for life. "the method by which they became Emperor" was actually not different, it just lacked the final step.
Also, there was not much ado about this step because the Emperor did after Charles V no longer de facto the old Imperial importance. It was only important to German Kingdom, of which half didn't care about the Pope anyway.
Str1977 (smile back) 13:28, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

No, I don't take it personally at all. I've been around long enough to recognize that this is a teatime chat by Wiki standards. So, I gather that the answers to my first four questions are (1) the requirement still existed formally, (2) because the Popes made the requirement and never formally revoked it, (3) nobody was making strenuously, (4) no need to change article titles. That still leaves (5) what do other encyclopedias say? Does anybody know?

I still believe that there is a significant difference between "emperor elect" and "elected emperor". Emperor-elect implies to me that the emperor's authority is still provisional, because something that everyone expected to happen hadn't happened. In other words, you have no authority as U.S. president until you're inaugurated. You're president-elect from November 2008 until January 2009, when you're sworn in and the old president steps down. Similarly, an organization can have a "chairman" and a "chairman-elect," who doesn't become "chairman" until the old chairman steps down. But by the 1600s, anyway, it seems that nobody expected the emperor to be crowned anymore before exercising authority. That's why I would prefer "elected emperor." There was a new method of establishing an emperor, unsanctioned by the pope but well enough accepted that it was repeated over and over for several centuries.Eldred 14:44, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Eldredo, the two situations are not really comprable. The US president elect has no actual office yet, while the HRE elect is already King of Germany (or rather: "King of the Romans") - imagine the president elect couldn't come to the inauguration and the Supreme Court decided that he would have the authority of the office nonetheless. A more comparable case is the one of a King elected in his father's lifetime ... this junior King had no actual governing authority until his father's death. But he was nonetheless King.
Another issue: what makes a King a king: the death of the predecessor?, the election?, the coronation? The US is one of these countries where there is still a noticeable gap between election (first popular election, then election by the electors, then confirmation by Congress) and the inauguration. In non-presidial countries the prime minister goes rather quickly from election to appointment (but then there is a distinction between the parliamentary election and the election of a prime minister).
And no: there was no method of establishing an emperor! There was a special solution in the case of Maximilian I, sanctioned by the Emperor. This was continued by Ferdinand I and successors (whether any Pope had something to say on this I do not know). It was a permanent exception (but so was the 1555 Religious Peace of Augsburg)
But there was no method until other rulers claimed the Imperial title: Peter of Russia, Napoleon, Francis II adopting "Emperor of Austria". Simply repeating the claim about "a new method" doesn't make it true. Str1977 (smile back) 15:33, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
It's not just America. I think it's the English language that recognises "x-elect" as meaning "not holding office yet." The fact that there are places where election implies the holding of an office means that the term "x-elect" is meaningless there. My questions are these:
  • Was the title imperator electus the (near-)universal official title of the post-1508 emperors? Did it ever go out of style?
  • Did the emperor hold the imperial office, or did he not? If he did, then I think it is incorrect to say that he was "emperor-elect." Eldredo would, I think, be right in asserting that "elected Emperor" would be a better choice in this instance, but...
  • Is "emperor-elect" common use in English, even common use by one author at least?
  • Also, especially after the Protestant Reformation, was the emperor regarded as emperor by those who did not regard the pope as anything important? Did the Protestant German princes regard the emperor as emperor w/o papal coronation and, if so, would they have regarded the lack of papal coronation as have any (even de jure) significance?
  • Finally, does not the fact that, as I pointed out, Francis II made himself an emperor after he abdicated from the HRE imply that papal coronation was not regarded as essential to the imperial title by that time?
Anyways, I think that the issue here is pretty minor and I think we have to maintain accuracy and clarity. If these emperors were de jure elect only, then we should make that known, but if they can be considered as holding the imperial office w/o papal coronation than it is not clear English to call them "emperors-elect," in my opinion, unless that is typical scholarly usage. (Though I am pretty certain it is not standard.) Srnec 20:39, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
I was not saying that it's just America. It is basically those countries with a presidial systems (USA, France) as opposed to parliamentary systems (Britian, Germany). I was merely pointing out that the two situations are not actually comparable.
  • The Imperator electus was the official titulatur. Commonly Emperor/Kaiser was used.
  • The Protestants accepted the Emperor (without any regard for the Pope), even hoping that he would support their cause (in the cases of Charles V and Maximilian II) or that one day a Protestant would be elected. But the main thing in this regard was the Emperor/King as ruler of Germany. Even before the reformation there was line of thought leading to a nationalisation of the Imperium (nonetheless with universial importance), a though prevalent in 19th century nationalism and Wilhelminism. The HRE(otGN) existed in between these two worlds: the old idea of the universal Roman Empire with an Emperor crowned by the Pope and the newer national(istic) Empire with the German people as the centre of the universe. The Protestants would have supported the cutting of the ties - but it never to this until 1806.
  • Regarding the new Imperia: Napoleon, controlling France and Italy, wanted to revive Charlemagne's Empire, supposedly French (as in of the Franks) and therefore crowned himself Emperor (in reference to the first Imperial coronation of Louis the Pious) in 1804. The changes in 1803 had produced a Protestant majority among the electors and Francis expected that Napoleon would make these elect him as Holy Roman Emperor too. Therefore, he announced in 1804 that he had assumed the title of Emperor of Austria (by which he referred to all his territories, including Hungary, Bohemia etc.) - remember: Austria was also the family name. Then in 1806 expectations proved right: Napoleon pressured Francis into resigning as HRE - Francis however refused and (after the secession of the Rheinbund states) declared the Empire to be dissolved (to hinder Napoleon from succeding). So the Austrian Empire dates from 1804 - since it is no Roman Empire, no Roman confirmation (by the Pope) was needed. But that is a whole new state.
Finally, I do not think that Emperor elect takes away clarity. I do think it is more accurate (even though the difference is more and more a technical thing without any effective importance).
Ah, and yes, it is indeed a minor issue. Str1977 (smile back) 21:13, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Look, just on one point: I'm asserting that "emperor-elect" is the usual form of the title in English-language work. I've found one source so far that says this, but of course we probably can and should do some more digging. Slac speak up! 23:22, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

The exact nature of an "emperor-elect" and how it differs from a proper pope-crowned emperor can be gotten into in article text. The issue of what to call the office which in Latin was called imperator electus ought to be one based on common usage in English, not our own judgment as to what makes the most sense. I agree with Slac on this point - "emperor-elect" is the commonly used term in English. "Elected Emperor" may or may not be a better translation, but that's not really relevant - it most certainly isn't the dominant one. john k 20:19, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I must honestly say, I've never seen the term Holy Roman Emperor-elect in the English language, until having seen this article. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? time will tell. GoodDay (talk) 21:09, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that title should enclosed in quotes: Leopold I, 1658–1705 ("emperor-elect"). SamEV (talk) 00:36, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
According to this article, all the HRE articles have to be moved to HRE-elect. Example - Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor should be moved to Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emepeor-elect. I suspect orginial research in the additon of (elect). GoodDay (talk) 18:05, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
The reasoning behind using Holy Roman Emperor-elect (emperors weren't crowned), could also be used to describe Popes John Pau I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI as an uncrowned Pope or Pope-elect (simply because they had no papal coronation, but rather an investiture). We have to be careful of misleading less familiar readers. GoodDay (talk) 18:41, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
No, it's not OR. It's just that it gives the wrong impression to the non-expert readers, whom Wikipedia articles should cater to: most readers, whether they're all experts in one or even ten fields, won't be experts at everything. That's obvious enough. But it bears reminding other contributors, because sometimes we seem to forget that we shouldn't be throwing obscure stuff at readers. So it's not an OR issue, it's just that as already stated, emperor-elect has a connotation of 'not quite emperor' for the non-expert reader, whose most likely reference will be president-elect, when in fact the moment these emperors became "elect(-ed)" (no waiting till inaguration day) they held imperial power (such as this was by then), for life. SamEV (talk) 06:11, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
You hit the nail on the head; when I first came across this term Holy Roman Emperor-elect, my first impression 'was' -elected emperor, but not installed yet-. We've got to be careful with such potentially confusing terms. GoodDay (talk) 17:24, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
The term "Holy Roman Emperor-elect" is not used. "Emperor-elect," however, is used, in order to distinguish between the uncrowned post-1508 emperors and the papally-crowned emperors who preceded them. We should, however, only use that term in contexts where it's meaning is clear, and the distinction is important. In most contexts, it is perfectly acceptable to call, say, Joseph I, simply the Holy Roman Emperor." john k (talk) 20:42, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
It's like the article List of Popes, even though since 1978 Popes haven't been crowned, we certainly don't put (elect) next to their names. GoodDay (talk) 20:55, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
No, it's not like that at all. The official title of the Emperors after 1508 (except Charles V) was Imperator Electus. There is nothing similar for popes. john k (talk) 21:01, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Still though, they were as much Emperors as their pre-1508 predecessors. GoodDay (talk) 22:10, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
That's it. And unfortunately, the only readers who will know that are those who are either experts or serious hobbyists in this. SamEV (talk) 04:52, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
In informal contexts, and in contexts where the distinction doesn't matter, we should just call them "Holy Roman Emperor". But in places where it is relevant, we ought to make and explain the distinction. john k (talk) 06:50, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

The term Emperor-elect is not used in the proper sense here. I've seen it used for pre 1508 Kings of Germany who never got to be crowned by the Pope.(and are btw ommited from the list in this article, Rudolph I of habsburg would be a good example, just like Adolph of Nassau.) That requirement was abandonded after 1508. The post 1508 Emperors therefore were fully Emperor. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 22:31, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Some have said here that Emperor-elect could be confused with the President-elect of America who is not yet President. Now the thing is, the really interesting thing is, that this was quite exactly the case for any Roman-German Emperor (the German historical term, römisch-deutscher Kaiser, imo better than Holy Roman Emperor) for 250 years. Maybe quite exactly and not fully exactly, but then again there is no such thing as a fitting comparison.
The facts are (@Hebel): Prior to 1508, there was no Emperor-elect. After 1508, there was - you may as much give in to the thing that's called reality as to say an emperor, but certainly no full Emperor.
As to the question to the Pope past 1508: I don't know how he reacted as Charles V took the title, but his successor protested in 1556. It seems that the title (only the -elect version) has been acknowledged by the Papacy later at least by passing of time. But even in 1801, Pope Pius VII, after just being elected unter Austrian protection and owing to the Austrian Emperor - I don't want to say the preserving of the Papacy, as the Papacy is unperishable by Divine command until World end - but I think at least to some degree the way it was preserved in that actual moment of history -- Pius VII is in his first encyclical very careful to say thanks to "Francis II., King of Hungary and Bohemia, and Emperor-elect of the Romans". It's impossible that any electus means not -elect here, because if a full Emperor had been meant, he would've been put in front of any other title.
True is: Under the name of Emperor were - in common reception - subsummed quite a lot of his responsibilities that technically were responsibilities of the King of Germany, which he was in full. That also made it easier if we look at the fact that to the Empire (unclear if to a possible "Germany" destinct from the Empire) belonged one King (of Bohemia) and to all practical effects another king (Prussia) and at high times up to four outward kings (Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, Poland plus, technically, the name-giving land of Prussia).
True is: Even the Emperor-elect held some part of the Emperorship, for instance to rank above kings (though the King of France may not have liked it), to be civil protector of Catholic Christianity, and so forth.
But true is as well that the Roman Missal was quite careful to indicate: pro imperatore nostro ([si non est coronatus:] electo) with the [text] being rubrics. I don't know whether this was executed but I believe so, and I'm sure it was within the Papal States. Note also that after 1806, Austria-Hungary hat the liturgical privilege to mention their Emperor (as somewhat successor) within the liturgy.
The structure of the Holy Roman Empire after 1556 was sort of a perpetuated exception. E. g. after the coronation in Frankfurt, a law was passed that ensured Aachen to retain their privilege of coronation city. But as we know, Aachen did not. In any Election even centuries after the Reformation, the Elector of Saxony as Leader of the Protestant Party (a function which he afaik retained when personally converting to Catholicism) had to do some formal protesting to indicate that the Empire was and stayed confessionally split. The Emperor was acknowledged as civil protector of the Catholic Church and a Catholic himself, but in some respect he was also the fount of government to the Protestant Churches, as the Protestant Churches were governed by the Protestant princes who again formally took their powers as an imperial (or, as I said: better, Royal German) fief. It is also probably due to a possible further protesting of the Protestants that they weren't crowned.
But they remembered quite well that they theoretically aimed to do so. Which was probably why Francis II was as much shocked when Napoleon I received what he at least technically had wanted for twelve years: a papal coronation. Note also that Napoleon acted quite Emperor-like after his coronation, assumed an Emperor-like position within the confederation of the Rhine (but with more power), and took up the title King of Rome (which was sometimes beared by the Heirs to the Throne) for his own son. -- (talk) 21:42, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I must say: the emperor's title in German sounds much more normal than this discussion seems to regard it. "Von Gottes Gnaden erwählter römischer Kaiser" literally means "by the grace of god chosen roman emperor". There is no connotation that he was elected by princes or that he lacks papal coronation.--MacX85 (talk) 07:24, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes there is. It may have been forgotten. (talk) 16:14, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
"erwählter römischer Kaiser" does not translate into English as "Roman Emperor-elect" and has a different meaning. It means "Elected Roman Emperor". Al the HR Emperors of those days, crowned or not, were elected. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 00:42, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
My "citation needed tag" was removed with the argument "well known fact". I am not disputing or doubting the fact itself, just the translation in English and the qualifications "mere" and "restriction" stemming from that. "Erwählt" translates as "elected" and not as elect. There is a word in German for "Elect" and it's "Elect". Elect implies a restriction. Elected (erwählt) does not I think. Hence my request for qualification. I have restored the request. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 21:15, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

I removed the word "elect" as a wrong translation and the qualifications connected. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 23:40, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict) "Emperor-elect" appears to be the common title used for the HR emperor in reliable English literature, e.g [1][2]. While I agree with your translation and the meaning of "erwählt", we are supposed to stick to what the sources say. De728631 (talk) 23:44, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
There is a word in German for Elect, and it's Elect. Means the same as it does in English. There may be a misunderstanding about the word, but the qualifications attached are just a result of that misunderstanding. Better to choose language that avoids misunderstandings and involves unsubstantiated interpretations of the word. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 23:54, 20 November 2013 (UTC)


Dont you think it should be mentioned that he had the pope crown him as holy roman emporor. He was the last one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) at 23:55, 23 June 2007

No, Francis II put an end to the idea by abolishing the Empire. Napoleon was happy to crown himself Emperor of the French. Slac speak up! 08:16, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes and no. Napoleon crowed himself Emperor of the French but in presence of the Pope, with papal anointing, and he took a quite Holy-Roman-Emperor-like (and -surpassing) position within the Confederation of the Rhine, and what should be especially noted, called his son King of Rome (which Holy Roman Emperors sometimes did). Francis II did not abolish the Empire but time did, what Francis did was a personal abdication. After this both Austria and after 1871 Germany claimed to lead on the idea of the Holy Roman Emperor at least in some respect. -- (talk) 21:47, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, Francis II may have abolished the Empire to ensure Napoleon not becoming Emperor. I don't know the original wordings. -- (talk) 13:13, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Read Leviticus. That's what Napoleon reads like figuratively. He looks like Joseph I J*****s real pictures. Not the figurative representation of a tall blonde man akin to the Lich King. Bonaparte was Marie Theresa's Red Cloud company. The Hi**s didn't like the J*****s for a few reasons thus Joseph was aparently a c*nt. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Surley (talkcontribs) 23:27, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Romano-German emperor[edit]

I wonder if this might be a way to resolve the concern about distinguishing Charlemagne and the "emperors of the Romans" from those who later ruled the Holy Roman Empire: use the broader term "Romano-German emperor" current among some historians. As I understand it, it is intended to describe precisely what this article is about, viz., all the German kings who claimed any sort of Romanesque mandate. See also Römisch-deutscher Kaiser, which also covers the changing significance of the term Kaiser. -- Rob C. alias Alarob 21:55, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't know. I think "Holy Roman Emperor" works fine. In any case, is it really that widespread? Slac speak up! 23:06, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
It is in German. There just is no Heiliger Römischer Kaiser. -- (talk) 21:48, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. The emperor never called himself "Holy". It's the Empire that was holy. I like the German term "Römisch-deutsch" in this context. It should also be used in English.--MacX85 (talk) 09:28, 14 June 2010 (UTC)--MacX85
I agree that the German term is superior, but unfortunately it is not used in English, and we are stuck with Holy Roman Emperor. john k (talk) 14:10, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
To say "Holy Roman Emperor" is like saying "Great British king/queen". It's ahistorical and sounds silly. If "Romano-German Emperor" is absolutely not used in English I'd suggest "Roman Emperor and king of Germany" which is btw the correct title from the 15th century onwards.--MacX85 (talk) 15:51, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

New emperors[edit]

I was reading the imperial crown artical and it was mentioned that the imperial regialia is officially to be kept in Austria until there is another holy roman emperor. Should this be mentioned somehow? I do not believe the popes have given up thier rights to crown new emperors. Just a thought. --Wilson 04:22, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Roman Catholic Mass[edit]

According to the article Exultet, the Catholic mass had prayers for the Holy Roman Emperor up to 1955! I think this is worth mentioning. 03:00, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Are you sure that's not 1755? The office of Holy Roman Emperor was abolished in 1806, and immediately replaced with a completely secular Emperorship of Germany and Austria (later separated into distinct German and Austrian offices via breakup of personal union). This made Francis II, the final Holy Roman Emperor, also Francis I, the founding predecessor of Emperor William II against whom Britain and the USA (and others) fought World War I.
So, depending how you look at it, the office was either abolished or secularized with restarted numbering in 1806, which probably indicates that your other article has the wrong year for when there stopped being special prayers for the Holy Roman Emperor alongside those for the Pope. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 06:49, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
The prayer was still technically extant, even though by '55 there wasn't even a claimant to the Imperial Roman throne; in practice after 1806 the prayer was not used, but it could have been recalled had a candidate been crowned as HRE. In '55 the phrase was officially replaced by a generic sentiment about the people of God. - an anonymous lurker — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:38, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Infobox is confused[edit]

The infobox lists two emperors as the first. One after the other. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

See the discussion above. This is disputed, though by how many people apart from JHK I have no idea. I will remove both names from the infobox. Piccadilly (talk) 00:40, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

The list[edit]

User:Jacobite restoration has been making a lot of edits to the list. I think they are largely misguided. As it stands, the article lists rulers' tenure as emperor - whether crowned or emperor elect - and ignores uncrowned kings of the Romans and such-like. We have a separate article, List of German monarchs, which deals with the whole line of rulers of Eastern Francis and the Holy Roman Empire, included those who were not crowned by the pope and did not use the title of Emperor Elect. As such, I have reverted. john k (talk) 14:45, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Otto I vs Charles I[edit]

Over at Holy Roman Empire it says that Otto I is considered to be the first emperor but in the infobox here it says that Charles I was the first emperor(wrting this 2010-10-10). I think I understand the difference between the two and how both are correct but should we settle for a single choice here on Wikipedia? Someone should edit either page and write a little note on different approaches on this matter. I don't feel confident doing it since I know so little about this.

If someone has fixed this you can feel free to delete this entry --Immunmotbluescreen (talk) 14:00, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

This is an issue. My general feeling is that in both cases, properly speaking, we should probably start with Otto I, but that a considerable explanation is required of the earlier set of western emperors from 800 to 924. By the fourteenth century at latest, these were considered to be predecessors by the emperors themselves, as seen by the ordinals taken by Emperors Louis IV and Charles IV, who numbered themselves as successors to the Carolingian emperors, rather than the German kings (as had been done by the Emperors named Henry and Conrad) - the Carolingians need to be included in some manner in this article. I had a long argument about this with Slrubenstein a year ago or so, and I'm not sure what the upshot was and am not sure where it occurred. john k (talk) 15:27, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
It has to be the Otto I, as there is no political/state continuity with Charlemagne. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 01:40, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
There is continuity (insofar as the office has any continuity at all) with the office of emperor. The role of emperor as conceived in the time of Otto I was far closer to that as conceived by Charlemagne than that of Francis II. And Otto ruled exactly the same state that Charles the Fat and Arnulf ruled. john k (talk) 02:04, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
That's not enough, since Charlemagne was made emperor to replace Irene. Using the imperial title alone, continuity between 'Byzantium' and Frankia, Frankia and Italy, Italy and Saxon Germany is comparable. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:35, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that's quite right. Charlemagne's innovation (or Leo III's, perhaps) was the coronation by the pope, which had never been part of the original Roman/Byzantine conception of the Emperor. This was adopted by Charlemagne's successors, including Otto. Furthermore, Otto's position as emperor was, again, exactly the same as Arnulf's or Charles the Fat's - all three were the rulers of the kingdom established by Louis the German, who went down into Italy to be crowned emperor by the pope. There was obviously a significant gap between Arnulf's coronation (896) and Otto's (962), or even between Berengar I's (915) and Otto's, but later gaps are even longer - Frederick II (1220) to Henry VII (1312) is 92 years; Charles IV (1355) to Sigismund (1433) is 78 years; Frederick III (1452) to Charles V (1530) is the same. I just don't think that there's anything particularly new about Otto, at least in terms of the idea of him as Emperor. The difference between the way in which Constantine VI was emperor and the way that Charlemagne was is just much, much greater than the difference between Charlemagne and Otto I, just as the difference between Otto I and Francis II is greater than the difference between Charlemagne and Otto I. And there is hardly any discernible difference between Arnulf and Otto I. john k (talk) 20:45, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
The patriarch of Constantinople crowned the Roman emperor, normally. So the pope decides he can do so too. That's not an important point.
The difference is that Otto's state is separate from Charlemagne's. All that unites Charlemagne and Otto is that they were emperors, the same thing that unites Charlemagne with Irene's predecessors. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:53, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Otto's state was a direct successor state to Charlemagne's, and was the same state ruled by previous Frankish emperors Charles the Fat and Arnulf, whom you seem to see as successors to Charlemagne rather than predecessors to Otto. Furthermore, the idea of a northern European king traveling to Rome to be crowned emperor by the Pope is a rather unique one that continued from Charlemagne, through many of the later Carolingian emperors (Louis the Pious, Lothar, Charles the Bald, Charles the Fat, Arnulf) to Otto and beyond, and is quite distinct from a Byzantine emperor happening to be consecrated by the Patriarch of Constantinople, who, unlike the Pope with the western emperors, was his creature. Obviously there are differences, but the difference between a Byzantine emperor in Charlemagne is far greater than the difference between Charlemagne and Otto. john k (talk) 04:43, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Hardly direct! The imperial title is associated with the kingdom of Italy, and from Otto onwards the German kingdom rules that; and the continuity involved thereafter means that it eventually becomes associated with the German kingdom instead. It's not that I do or do not see Frankish and Lombard emperors as successors to Charlemagne, but that the Holy Roman Empire is the common name for a state, Holy Roman Emperor its rulers, and that the term thus cannot be applied back to rulers of a different state. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 11:45, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Otto's kingdom is a direct successor state to Charlemagne's, though. Eastern Francia was one of the three successor states carved out of Charlemagne's Frankish kingdom in 843, and the Kingdom of Germany ruled by Otto was simply Eastern Francia under another name. It's not the only successor state, but it is a successor state. It's certainly an awkward situation. As I said to start this, I think the discussion in this article, like the one at Holy Roman Empire, should largely begin with Otto I. I also think, though, that the earlier western emperors, from Charlemagne through Berengar I, need to be touched upon here as precursors. john k (talk) 12:41, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
A successor state arguably, but arguably a new and independent formation of component parts that happened to be in the Frankish empire. I do think there is a need to have a separate article for emperors who did not rule the Holy Roman Empire ... in some ways we are accepting medieval German propaganda treating them as the same. C/f:
de:Liste der römisch-deutschen Herrscher
I dunno what English name title to suggest though, we just use "emperor" and we strongly distinguish Roman emperors from Germanic ones. (A number of OR suggestions come to mind, like List of papal anti-emperors (Byzantine) or List of Byzantine anti-emperors (papal), and so on ...using "Byzantine" rather than "Roman" since we insist on this misleading neologism elsewhere). Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 13:05, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
That would be intensely OR. We could have "List of Western Emperors (800-924)". john k (talk) 16:02, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
It couldn't have the word "Western" in it ... certainly not in upper case, as that suggests a division of imperium or a connection with the western sphere of the Roman empire before 500. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:09, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Any separate article would be a bad idea. We already have Carolingian Empire. Of all the emperors before Otto I, only Charlemagne, Louis the Pious and Charles the Fat ruled over the whole Frankish realm. Lothair I, Louis II, Charles the Bald and Arnulf all ruled only a part, and not the same parts. Guy, Lambert, Louis III and Berengar basically ruled Italy. There is nothing to tie these guys together more strongly than all of them and Otto I except the lack of a major gap in time, although it was 19 years from Arnulf (896) to Berengar (915). How is it that "Otto's state is separate from Charlemagne's", but the state of everyone between Louis the Pious and Otto is the same state as Charlemagne's? Srnec (talk) 20:49, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I explained this above. Holy Roman Emperor implies head of the Holy Roman Empire, which is the common name of one particular state, and thus misleading. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:01, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting we have to call Charlemagne a "Holy Roman Emperor", but the title "Holy Roman Emperor" is just as anachronistic for Otto I. Srnec (talk) 03:33, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not really making a point of anachronistic title. If we want an accurate title, we should call them Byzantine Emperors (since we elsewhere translate what they meant by "Roman" as "Byzantine"). I do feel I've explained this above. Yes, I agree Otto isn't much different just in being crowned; but because Holy Roman Emperor is the title of the ruler of one particular state, the Holy Roman Empire, it is unsuitable for previous monarchs also crowned "Byzantine emperor" by the Pope. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 10:39, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Why not Carolingian Emperors? Revcasy (talk) 12:52, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Guy, Lambert, Louis III, and Berengar I were not Carolingians. Deacon - this "Byzantine" thing you are going on about is bizarre. Obviously both Byzantine emperors and western post-Charlemagne emperors referred to themselves as "Roman Emperors." But "Byzantine emperor" is a purposefully anachronistic term with a very specific meaning. It is never used to refer to Charlemagne and his successors. Nor are we translating what they meant by "Roman" as "Byzantine" - we are using the term "Byzantine" the way it is used by historians - to refer to the successors of the Roman emperors reigning in Constantinople (not including the Latin Emperors). If you're going to insist on a continuity from Constantine VI to Charlemagne (which is, imo, quite dubious), you have to call both of them Roman Emperors, because it's pure madness to call Charlemagne a Byzantine emperor. john k (talk) 23:49, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Its use would preserve the structure of meaning from the time ... Charlemagne was calling himself the same thing the Irene's predecessors called themselves, and as we call them Byzantine, then we must call Charlemagne 'Byzantine'. So I'm using the term 'Byzantine' to amuse myself only, making fun of people's attempts to be 'real' while continuing to use nonsense neologisms. It's the only comfort I have living in such a mad world! :/
But I didn't think it'd distract. Do you have anything better than Carolingian? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 23:57, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Not really. I tend to think that the emperors from Charlemagne to Berengar I should be distinguished from Otto I and his successors, but dealt with in this article as precursors to the Holy Roman Emperors. john k (talk) 23:59, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Because I believe there is more continuity between Charles the Fat, Berengar and Otto I than between Otto I, Charles IV and Francis II, I don't see "one particular state" as existing from 962–1806 distinct from an earlier state that existed from 800–924/8 (either the death of Berengar or of Louis III). I would say that there is more discontinuity between Charlemagne and any previous emperor you choose than between Charlemagne and Otto. So while I am willing to follow historical scholarship in, generally, not labelling the Carolingian emperors "Holy Roman Emperors", I am not willing to admit that the Holy Roman Empire was created in 962 and that therefore Otto I has no predecessor in his imperial office. That is why to leave them off this page is too much of a "tidy-up" for my taste. Srnec (talk) 05:59, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's OR. Lots of conventions of historical writing are dumb, but we follow them (though I don't agree with your opinion here in any case); the fact remains that the Holy Roman Emperors are the guys from Otto I onward ... emperors before are just emperors. When historians drop the dumb name Holy Roman Empire, then it'll be different ... but until then the other guys need a separate article. List of Carolingian emperors and List of Frankish emperors are both temping; imperfect as they are, they are better than this one. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 10:01, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
They don't need a separate article if we have Carolingian Empire, do they? And why create another list just to list the precursors to the Holy Roman Emperors? And the list of precursors would explain the numbering of later emperors. Do you want an article on what the imperial title meant in the West before 962? Why should that be separated from talk of how the later medieval and modern concept of the Holy Roman Emperor originated? Srnec (talk) 20:59, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
Deacon: List of Frankish emperors but not including the Carolingians? That seems somewhat arbitrary (and risks confusion with the Frankish emperors in Constantinople from 1204), but I understand what you are getting at. Post-Caroligians? lol. I don't know. This is a tough one. Revcasy (talk) 23:45, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
Srnec, necessary to link from info- and succession boxes, and also allows one to remove the imperial 'precursors' from the Holy Roman Emperor template.
Revcasy... Frankish including Carolingians.
Anyone have any objection to List of Frankish emperors? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 00:38, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Maybe with a hat referring to List of Latin Emperors, since they are sometimes referred to as "Frankish". Or maybe not. *shrug* Revcasy (talk) 14:06, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
No, I don't like that. Plenty of scholars treat the Holy Roman Empire as beginning in 800, or as being over a millennium old at its dissolution in 1806, or as being resurrected/recreated/reborn in 962, or Otto I's coronation as being of the same kind as Charlemagne's. Srnec (talk) 02:44, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Formal style and appellation of the Emperor[edit]

The formal appellation of the Holy Roman Emperor was His Imperial Majesty not as listed in this article as His Imperial Highness, which ceased to be used, whilst the Imperial Office ceased to be a Papal appointment in the 16th century, having such simple mistakes at the begining of this article makes the article look like its written by a 9 year old school boy.Johnkennedy58 (talk) 22:15, 17 October 2010 (UTC)


Maybe there must a piece on the page how and why this list ended with Napoleon Bonaparte — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Er, no there mustn't, and no it doesn't. It ends with Francis II, who was (just) still HRE while Napoleon was Emperor of France. The HRE was abolished in 1806 partly in order to prevent Napoleon making a play for it. Nevertheless, he named his son Napoleon II as 'King of Rome', in reference to the title 'King of the Romans' for the appointed successor of the HRE. Napoleon II never got to try this out for himself, as his father was defeated and exiled. Napoleon II was make Duke of Reichstadt, but was powerless and treated as of no consequence by the victorious allies. He himself felt that his loss was due to his parentage; he said something like "If my mother had been Josephine rather than Marie-Louise, I would be ruling in Paris instead of rotting in Vienna". But none of this affects the fact that the HRE came to an end in 1806, and was supplanted by the newly-created Austrian Empire. AlexTiefling (talk) 23:25, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Von Habsburgs[edit]

The first von Habsburg, Rudolph I, is missing from the list. Odlly, Rudolph II is there, which makes the math slightly puzzling. (talk) 06:25, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

That's because Rudolph I was just King of Germany. He was elected but never got around to be crowned Emperor. Rudolph II was Emperor but he was Emperor at a time when the Coronation wasn't acquired anymore. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 23:18, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

These are all actors. S*****i isn't the name on anything in 58 countries. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Surley (talkcontribs) 23:29, 20 November 2013 (UTC)


Are there examples of emperor elevate nobles to kingship ? Or is that a privilege of papacy ?

Siyac 08:30, 24 March 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Siyac (talkcontribs)

The Kings of Bohemia were elevated to Kingship by the HRE. So were some early Kings of Poland I believe. The Margrave of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia became King with permission of the HRE in 1701. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 23:21, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Franz Ferdinand Hi**s eyeballed Abner Ha**s for this for a while, but it didn't happen. You'd have to ask Abner's youngest about this. No one has asked in the last 200 years. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Surley (talkcontribs) 22:41, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Two peculiarities[edit]

I am not an expert, but I enjoyed this article and I noticed two related curious points. In the article Family tree of the German monarchs the relationship of Otto I to Louis I the pious is spelt out, yet this article gives it as a possibly wrong fact ("citation needed"). I was looking at the names and Charles IV seems to follow the Carolingian numbering, which probably means that back then the Saxon bit of the Holy Roman Empire was considered a continuation of the Carolingian one, which I would guess has a lot more weight that what current historian believe or debate unlike what the separating paragraph. However, no names are shared with the original roman empire (Maximilian and Maximinus are close though), which could mean that the continuity thing must not have been a big deal anyway. --Squidonius (talk) 10:10, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Kingdom of Arles/Burgundy[edit]

Shouldn't the sentence "The title was held in conjunction with the rule of the Kingdom of Germany and the Kingdom of Italy (Imperial Northern Italy)" be amended to include the Kingdom of Arles? Actual rule was lost quite early on but the title was kept (and rule in the Kingdom of Italy ended up being little more than a pretence, too). (talk) 12:12, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

I think it should. The Emperors held the three kingly titles since Burgundy specifically joined the HRE. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 21:58, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Lothair III[edit]

It is mentioned that Lothair III is 9th descendant of Otto I and 11th descendant of Charles II; I think both are wrong. If not, can you explain the connection? Also the image of his seal is the same as Henry IV's above; the seal has the inscription HEINRICVS; when you click on the seal and then More Info... it says Henry IV, so the image of the seal is also wrong. You may correct these, Aris de Methymna (talk) 23:36, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Ancestry of Habsburgs[edit]

How are Frederick III and the other Habsburgs related to Lothair II? Since the article only says he is a "far descendant" of Lothair, I would like to know exactly how they are related. Martiniterum (talk) 19:35, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

Henry VII descendant of Louis III[edit]

Is there any source for this link ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bobdemaths (talkcontribs) 09:31, 23 March 2017 (UTC)