Talk:Kingdom of Germany

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Bold move[edit]

This is a bold move that followed the achieved consensus on the article of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown. Mootros (talk) 09:32, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

What about Kingdom of Bohemia? I have no idea what you're talking about. Srnec (talk) 20:08, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to split this article[edit]

Propose to split as follows:

WikiProject Germany and WikiProject European history have been notified about this proposal.

Thanks for your comments on this proposal. Marcocapelle (talk) 08:13, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Support 1, 2 and 4; and make alternate proposal for 3 i.e. that content about "King of the Germans" is integrated into King of the Romans. Reasoning:
1. There was no official "Kingdom of Germany". While it is occasionally used in English sources, it is almost never found in German ones, because during the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period there was a vast array of separate states within the Holy Roman Empire on what is now German territory. East Francia is valid as it was the precursor to the Holy Roman Empire.
2. However, the title "King of the Germans" is problematic. German Wikipedia calls it the "Roman-German king" and claims modern scholars use this title to described the sovereign between his election as king and his coronation as emperor. The actual historical titles used were: King of the Franks (Lat. Rex Francorum, Ger. König der Franken), Roman king or King of the Romans (Lat. Rex Romanorum, Ger. Römischer König or König der Römer) and King in Germania (Lat. Germaniae Rex, Ger. König in Germanien). King of the Germans (Lat. Rex Teutonicorum, Ger. König der Deutschen) was never officially used in the Middle Ages. A search on Google Books reveals some interesting stats:
  • "King in Germania": 16 hits
  • "Roman-German king": 1,010 hits
  • "King of the Germans": 8,880 hits
  • "Roman king": 24,000 hits - but this includes kings of the Roman empire
  • "King in Germany": 31,800 hits - but this includes non-titular references.
  • "King of the Franks": 1.7M hits
  • "King of the Romans": 6M hits - so this looks by far the most common English language title and we already have this article. Bermicourt (talk) 16:11, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
There was a kingdom of Germany distinct from Italy, Burgundy and the Empire throughout the Middle Ages. Why did you not search for "King of Germany", which gets about 750,000 hits? As noted, we already have an article on the title King of the Romans. "Roman-German king" is almost never used in English. In fact, many more titles were used in the Middle Ages than just those you list, including, just as an example, rex Alamannie (king of Germany). Srnec (talk) 19:47, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't search it because "King of Germany" is only mentioned on German Wiki as a film and a pop song. So the Germans don't use the title at all. And while there are lots of sources, for "king of Germany", 750,000 is still way short of 6 million hits. And one of the sources states: "In speaking of the origins and early development of royal law in Germany, one is confronted by the fact that there was no "king of Germany" in the sense that there was a king of Sicily or a king of England or a king of France. There were dukes, kings and other princes of autonomous territories that made up the empire... Hence royal law in Germany may be taken to refer either to the law of the empire ... or to the law of any one of the duchies or other principalities..." Like I said - there was no Kingdom of Germany and this article should be split up and reduced to a dab or redirect.--Bermicourt (talk) 20:06, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
John Gillingham, Timothy Reuter, Susan Reynolds, F. R. H. Du Boulay, David S. Bachrach and Benjamin Arnold all speak of a kingdom of Germany. Srnec (talk) 23:45, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I have Arnold's book. He mentions it once and it could easily be interpreted as a loose concept not an actual sovereign state. My sense is that some English sources use "Kingdom of Germany" to refer to the Holy Roman Empire, because they think it's less confusing to English readers whose may be less familiar with European history than Germans. But it is historically inaccurate and the overwhelming majority use the correct title, Holy Roman Empire. --Bermicourt (talk) 09:19, 2 June 2015 (UTC)


Support Although I'm not convinced about the King of the Germans, it's a much more plausible situation than what exists today. Guidaw (talk) 18:15, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Oppose any split. Srnec (talk) 19:47, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Support, and advise that we use the term Germania instead of Germany and Germanic instead of German. This is a very unfortunatele common English term that often leads to confusion and misconceptions about German and/or Germanic history. In this sense it does not matter what is common, as it is simply not the correct translation. Germanic tribes did not live exclusively in (modern) "Germany", just as the equally Germanic peoples of the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria are still no part of the country Germany. Germany refers to the modern country that did not exist before the unification under Prussia. Germania, "land the Germani" is at least more specific. To compare, how often do we call the Roman Empire the "Italian Empire" or Frankia the "French Empire"? A case of WP:SYNTH (that Srnec seems to be childishly defending) Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 20:48, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
In other words, you advise that we make up our own special lexicon because you don't like the existing one used by historians. "Germania" and "Germanic" would be completely wrong. This isn't about Germania in any sense. It is about the kingdom known as Germany, whose inhabitants were Germans, not merely Germanic. The idea that there was no Germany before 1871 seems to be a belief peculiar to the Dutch. Srnec (talk) 23:45, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Please don't use personal attacks on people's nationality. In any case, not just Dutch, no German sources talk about a real Kingdom of Germany because it didn't actually exist. And several million English sources appear to agree. --Bermicourt (talk) 09:19, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
No more a personal attack than your suggestion that Germans know European history better than English speakers. Plenty of German historians (e.g., Fuhrmann) write of a deutsche Königreich or deutsche Königtum, or when all else fails a regnum Teutonicum distinct from the Empire. This discussion has played out in the archives many times already. In the section above, I linked to this article. I can't read German that well, perhaps you can tell me if it says anything germane to this discussion. Srnec (talk) 01:27, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
It is the table of contents from Josef Fleckenstein, Grundlagen und Beginn der Deutschen Geschichte (1988). The title of chapter VII from part two reads: "Das Reich als Trias von Deutschland, Italien und Burgund", translated: The empire as trias of Germany, Italy and Burgundy". No conflating there of Germany with the Holy Roman Empire. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 5 June 2015 (UTC) Larkusix (talk) 22:37, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Support, first best with the mentioned integration by Bermicourt, second best in the proposed way by Marcocapelle. Creihag (talk) 00:28, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Oppose at this time. Larkusix (talk) 22:37, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
Support per BermicourtOwenBlacker (Talk) 13:36, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Oppose - I doubt, such a proposal can really solve the underlying issues of this dispute. First of all: deleting an entire article about a naming and content dispute is the possibly worst solution (and content will likely get deleted, as the HRE article simply can't take all new details and be kept readable). I am well aware, that previous discussions have found no solution, but still: editors have debated about Hillary Clinton's correct name or some obscure video game scandal for months and years, but it's impossible to find a better compromise for this article? Secondly: I am not convinced, that all possible viewpoints will be represented fairly and accurately in the HRE article. A good consensus hasn't been found in this stand-alone article, why should it be easier to find one, when the problematic content is lumped together with a wider, even more complex topic? Thirdly: Even considering the disagreement about the title and the content's presentation, all listed historians (and I could add several more modern German historians) acknowledge the history of the East Frankish/German/whatever realm as distinct historical topic (see the quotes). As such it should have a distinct article, even if it may need a different title or a possibly different approach to clarify the various viewpoints. GermanJoe (talk) 14:25, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Support Everything in this article can be treated in the Kingdom of the East Franks article without the modern bias. Bertdrunk (talk) 22:42, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
Nothing against Srnec, but it's clearly just him wishing to keep this article existing. Bertdrunk (talk) 17:11, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Two other users have opposed this. And look at the archives. I'm hardly the only one. Besides, Wikipedian consensus is argument- (and reference-) based and not determined by vote counting unsupported by arguments (or references). Like yours. Srnec (talk) 18:54, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. per the comments I made in the first section on this page long since in the archives Talk:Kingdom of Germany/Archive 1#Last King of Scotland (February 2007) "There is a difference between claiming that one is King of the Germans and that a Kingdom of Germany existed...." -- PBS (talk) 19:42, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Numerous scholars claiming that a kingdom of Germany existed have been cited. Srnec (talk) 00:38, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Oppose. The Kingdom of Germany is simply not the Holy Roman Empire. Therefore, content about Germany after 962 cannot be integrated into Holy Roman Empire article. Jirka.h23 (talk) 03:49, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Some quotes[edit]

Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500–1300: A Political Interpretation (UTP, 1997), pp. 180–82:

What description of the medieval German polity would be taxonomically convincing in our present state of knowledge? To find in the sources some equivalent of 'state' and 'nation' is not easy, but the labels 'kingdom' and 'Empire' are well grounded: regnum of the East Franks from the ninth century, regnum Teutonicorum from the eleventh, and Henry VII addressed as rex Alamannie by his father's chancery in 1231. Romanum imperium was in literary use, as in Gerbert of Aurillac's letters or the Vita Heinrici Quarti. It was fitfully in chancery usage in the eleventh century, and habitually in Frederick Barbarossa's diplomas. . . But apart from the expeditio Romana for the purposes of imperial coronation at the hands of the pope, there existed no imperial institutions of rule separable from those of the German and Italian kingship, with the possible exception of a handful of edicts inserted into the Corpus Iuris civilis.

It's not the Holy Roman Empire that has primacy. Du Boulay, Germany in the Late Middle Ages (St Martin's Press, 1983), p. 19:

At least two objections may be raised against writing a chapter ... on the German monarchy. The first is that the king was also the emperor of the so-called 'holy' or Holy Roman' empire, and that these two royal overlordships, by no means all German, were historically so bound together that it is misleading to write at all of one without the other. The second ... is that a political narrative of the German kingship may give the impression that royal policy possessed the same sort of overriding importance within the realm as it did in more centralized monarchies, even in the middle ages, whereas in reality Germany differed from kingdoms like England or France in that the monarch's politics, often weak, remote or muted, formed a continuing counterpoint to those of the great princes. These are powerful objections. But ... German historians themselves give good reasons for separating the history of Germany ... from a history of the empire.

He then cites Reuter (1981), "A New History of Medieval Germany", History 66 (218): 440–44, who begins this review article by stating:

Anyone writing or studying the history of medieval Germany faces considerable difficulties. It is not easy, though very necessary, to separate the history of Germany from the history of the Empire of which it was the main constituent. Even when this has been done, there still remains the immense regional diversity of medieval German history. The historian of medieval England or medieval France can, without too much distortion, consider their history at the level of the kingdom and ignore or play down regional differences. Medieval Germany will not sustain such treatment. . .

I would only quibble with Reuter on that last point. Can we really subsume Aquitaine or Gascony into the medieval history of France-as-a-kingdom without much distortion? The point, though, is that Germany and the Holy Roman Empire are distinct and should not be conflated. Srnec (talk) 01:27, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

They all make the mistake of talking about "Germany" as if it were a single sovereign entity. Whilst it is convenient to lump the dozens of German-speaking principalities under one term that is not the same as equating it to a kingdom. And the Germans themselves (who ought to know!) don't talk of a Kingdom of Germany. For good reason - there wasn't one! --Bermicourt (talk) 07:24, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Another quote:

Edward Gibbon: "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 5", Chapter XLIX: Conquest Of Italy By The Franks.—Part V.

Otho 117 was of the noble race of the dukes of Saxony; and if he truly descended from Witikind, the adversary and proselyte of Charlemagne, the posterity of a vanquished people was exalted to reign over their conquerors. His father, Henry the Fowler, was elected, by the suffrage of the nation, to save and institute the kingdom of Germany. Its limits 118 were enlarged on every side by his son, the first and greatest of the Othos. A portion of Gaul, to the west of the Rhine, along the banks of the Meuse and the Moselle, was assigned to the Germans, by whose blood and language it has been tinged since the time of Caesar and Tacitus. Between the Rhine, the Rhone, and the Alps, the successors of Otho acquired a vain supremacy over the broken kingdoms of Burgundy and Arles. In the North, Christianity was propagated by the sword of Otho, the conqueror and apostle of the Slavic nations of the Elbe and Oder: the marches of Brandenburgh and Sleswick were fortified with German colonies; and the king of Denmark, the dukes of Poland and Bohemia, confessed themselves his tributary vassals. At the head of a victorious army, he passed the Alps, subdued the kingdom of Italy, delivered the pope, and forever fixed the Imperial crown in the name and nation of Germany. From that memorable aera, two maxims of public jurisprudence were introduced by force and ratified by time. I. That the prince, who was elected in the German diet, acquired, from that instant, the subject kingdoms of Italy and Rome. II. But that he might not legally assume the titles of emperor and Augustus, till he had received the crown from the hands of the Roman pontiff. 119

Larkusix (talk) 22:28, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

No one is disputing that some English sources refer to a "kingdom of Germany", what is clear is that the overwhelmingly WP:COMMONNAME is the Holy Roman Empire and that the notion of a Kingdom of Germany is almost a WP:FRINGE idea as it never existed as a concrete entity. It merits an explanatory paragraph in the HRE article, but not a separate article which is highly misleading. --Bermicourt (talk) 09:36, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
Reuter, Germany in the Early Middle Ages, pp. 245–46: "The transfers of abbots and monks (and also of books and scribes) between monasteries [meant] a recognition of the existence of a kingdom of Germany as something more than a collection of small provinces." He's talking about the 10th century. Note how he takes the existence of the kingdom of Germany for granted to instead make a point about its nature. Srnec (talk) 00:55, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Srnec, once again, these are erroneous translational reasonings on your side. From that same book:

...I have also deliberately made hardly any use of the feudal terminology of the high middle ages – homage, fealty, fiefeven when this meant some circumlocution.

To write a history of Germany from the Carolingian period to the mid-eleventh century is of course to beg the question of whether there was such a thing at the time. This book will try, among other things, to suggest some answers, but will not start by offering any. ...whether these entities can be properly called Germany will emerge from the discussion. One should not in any case overemphasize the nation, either as a unit of historical being or as a unit of historical consciousness.

Reuter is German. His translation is of the word Reich, which does not translate to Kingdom in English. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 12:06, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Reuter was born in Manchester and educated at Oxford. He was as British as he was German. He wrote the book in English. No translation was involved. If he uses "kingdom", he means "kingdom".
So, the book will suggest some answers to the question whether there was such a thing as Germany at the time (9th–10th centuries). Do you think, maybe, my quotation from pp. 245–46 is doing just that? Nobody arguing for retaining this article is talking about nations. Srnec (talk) 16:50, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Granted, he was part English. But my point still stands. Reuter openly states he derived from German sources, which overwhelmingly use the word Reich. There is no accurate English translation for the word "Reich" (see: Third Reich - not "Third Kingdom").
Reuters also never said "nature" in your quote, but spoke of a perceived in some aspects "recognition of the existence of a kingdom of Germany as something more than a collection of small provinces". I don't see "something more than a collection of small provinces" as a very strong conviction. Especially since he warned having "deliberately made hardly any use of the feudal terminology of the high middle ages".
What can be concluded from his disclaimers is that he could not say whether there was or wasn't a "Kingdom of Germany" back then, and refused to assert either possibility. He should not be used as a supporter of the term. Germany is, in historical terms, a nation.Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 00:43, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
There is no feudal terminology in "something more than a collection of small provinces". Why are you trying to judge the strength of his conviction rather than just taking him at his word? He says the kingdom of Germany was "recognised ... as" something, not that it was merely "recognised" but that it was "recognised ... as". He is asserting its existence. This is not the only place in the book where he does so. Srnec (talk) 03:12, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
If the article's title is erroneous or misleading, it should be improved. Only if the article's content is entirely wrong or no valid encyclopedic topic, the entire article could be deleted. Mixing those separate questions in 1 issue is the fundamental flaw of the OPs proposal. There has been a distinct political entity (with a lot of unclear details) after 962 north of the Alps, this is broad consensus among historians. The quoted historians discuss the problem of finding a good accurate definition for this realm and its organization, they don't reject its existence. Another notable historian, Hagen Keller, goes a step further and treats Germany and Italy as clearly distinctive separate kingdoms under common rule (Hagen Keller, Die Ottonen, page 47ff. "Otto and Adelheid - Emperors with two kingdoms" (translated from German)). Again, the definition and a lot of details for this entity are certainly under discussion, but not it's existence. GermanJoe (talk) 14:03, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Leaving aside the existence of a "kingdom of Germany" as a unified, political entity of the German people under a single sovereign, there is no doubt that a smallish number of English writers use the term, either instead of "Holy Roman Empire" or in some other not entirely clear sense (e.g. I have looked at Arnold's use of the term, but he uses it very rarely and never defines it). This is different from German writers who, it would seem, never apparently use the term which is probably why it does not form an article on German Wikipedia. So it seems to me that there is justification to have an article with this title on English Wikipedia, BUT it must reflect the use of the term in the sources. On my reading, this would restrict itself to a discussion of the use of the term "kingdom of Germany" as it appears in the literature, making clear that it is not used by German writers and not widely by most English historians. This is not currently the case. The lede gives the impression that the "kingdom of Germany" is a historical fact and then goes on to describe "its" development. At the very least it should be made clear that this is only a concept espoused by a minority of English writers and no German historians of note. Bottom line is it needs to accurately reflect the corpus of source material. --Bermicourt (talk) 19:26, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Just because a few historians writing in English have used the term that is no reason to have an article on it, if the subject matter is covered elsewhere (which is what is being proposed, if it is not true already). This is covered by WP:AT "Recognizability – The title is a name or description of the subject that someone familiar with, although not necessarily an expert in, the subject area will recognize." (my italics for emphasis). As I made clear in 2007 at the start of these talk pages, in the section Talk:Kingdom of Germany/Archive 1#Last King of Scotland, just because the title King of the Germans was used it does not mean a kingdom existed. For most English speaking people, thanks to the kingdom's of England and Scotland, kingdom has a meaning for none experts that does not describe the entity this article purports to cover and as such this article title is misleading. -- PBS (talk) 19:09, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT? Let me repeat the quotations offered above, from very notable and prolific English-language historians of medieval Germany:
  • What description of the medieval German polity would be taxonomically convincing in our present state of knowledge? To find in the sources some equivalent of 'state' and 'nation' is not easy, but the labels 'kingdom' and 'Empire' are well grounded.
  • German historians themselves give good reasons for separating the history of Germany ... from a history of the empire.
  • It is not easy, though very necessary, to separate the history of Germany from the history of the Empire of which it was the main constituent.
Digging into the archives—because you've been not hearing this since 2007, as you always advertise—I find these (the first from a source more recent than that first debate, from 2008):
  • The kingdom of Germany generally is considered by scholars to have been militarily the most powerful polity in the medieval West during the tenth and early eleventh centuries.
  • Three years earlier the Concordat of Worms had distinguished clearly between the regnum Teutonicorum and the rest of the empire. German claims to the Roman empire did not imply a lack of German regnal feeling: the Germans had conquered Rome and inherited its glories but they saw a difference between Germans and Romans, between the kingdom of Germany and the kingdom of Italy. Confusion about the king's title did not prevent them from envisaging the kingdom as a geographical and political entity.
Reliable sources address your concerns explicitly. Reynolds, the source for the last quote, explicitly compares Germany to England and Scotland ("If one compares the evidence of cohesion and conflict in Germany with that for France, England, and Scotland at the same time, some of the controversies about it seem overstrained"). Srnec (talk) 23:41, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Srnec, I have never heard you speak, but I have read what you wrote (so what is the point of "IDIDNTHEARTHAT"?). BTW the use of capitals is as a general rule taken to be shouting and it frowned upon. I have remained fairly quiet on this talk page. Over the last 1000 edits (since 15 April 2008‎) I have made 26 edits (4 in the last 3 years) you have made 100 edits (28 in the last 3 years). Looking at the exchanges it seems to be you who over the years to have been in the minority -- perhaps you should consider taking this page off you watch list come back in a years time as see if without your tenacious defence there is a consensus among other editors to keep it as it is. As to that list you present "one swallow does not a summer make". Now that I have said my piece I will resume lurking, reply if you must but I will not, as I consider my quota of posts to this page used up for this year. -- PBS (talk) 14:16, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

It's more than a swallow. It's a flock of the leading historians of medieval Germany writing in English. At Wikipedia, we use sources. Srnec (talk) 14:31, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Just checked the latest issue of War in History. Happens to have an article on pre-crusade Germany in it. The phrase "German kingdom" appears 22 times. "French kingdom" appears twice and "English kingdom" once. He explicitly distinguishes Italy and Burgundy from Germany (p. 324). The article title is "Milites and Warfare in Pre-Crusade Germany". This is pretty typical. Srnec (talk) 04:05, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
No, it's a flock of unrelated contemporary fragments from which you carefully cherry picked the words Kingdom and Empire interchangeably wherever they were related to some form of Germany. The piece including "the Germans (NOTE: not even Germanic peoples) had conquered Rome and inherited its glories" is absurd. The point here is that there was no political Germany, just as there was no United States of America. You are being disruptive, and I find it ironic of you to bring up WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT when it is you who refuses to get the point. Just google this:

"Kingdom of Germany" -wikipedia

Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 02:51, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Setting things straight[edit]

I will reply to Srnec here so this section can remain manageable. I was told that I "advise that we make up our own special lexicon because [I] don't like the existing one used by historians." First of all, ignoring the weasel wording, most historians I know are not necessarily linguistic experts. This article is based almost entirely on an alternative language interpretation; and yes, I say 'alternative interpretation' because the meanings of all words involved have changed dramatically over time. "Deutsche Königreich" or "deutsche Königtum", both from "regnum Teutonicum", have been used in the past - as you noted. You counted that as a mention of "Germany". However, the English word Dutch has the same role and origin as our Duits and the German Deutsch. For centuries all Germanic lands were known as "teutonic"/"Deutsch". Wouldn't it be equally confusing to therefore deliberately call the page the "Dutch Kingdom" as per English title guidelines? I understand the necessity to be literal, and yet we should not let that keep us from being factual. In the end it's still best to simply form a consensus using our common sense.

I'm still not certain if you're denying the significant distinction between Germanics and Germans or not. Intentionally abusing the ambiguity of words to give readers a false idea of the subject counts as POV-pushing. While others have joined your reasoning, the only one to militantly guard this page has been you. You have occasionally been rude or have gone against consensus ("reverting bullshit consensus") and have used personal attacks ("a belief particular to the Dutch") to get your point across. Still the issue remains unresolved. I'd like to do so before this turns into endless stonewalling. So please, remain civil, so we can keep assuming your good faith. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 02:00, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Autonomous territories[edit]

When reading this article I still get the feeling that the Kingdoms of Germany, Italy, Bohemia, and Burgundy are supposedly autonomous areas, or independent polities. I think this is misleading. Am I wrong to think that that after 962 these kingdoms did not have rulers other than the emperor? If so, these kingdsom are "areas," and not autonomous kingdoms, and that's something that should be clearified. Machinarium (talk) 17:25, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

You are wrong. Partly. In 962 Burgundy was still ruled by its own king. It was not inherited by the German king until 1033. You are right, though, that these kingdoms were not autonomous polities. Neither, however, were they mere "areas". They were constitutional of the Empire; that is, they were its basic political units. As for rulers other than the emperor at the kingdom-level: they did not have kings other than the emperor, but they could and frequently did have separate regents or vicars, who sometimes did and sometimes did not actually exercise power. Making the heir to the French throne, who also happened to be the dauphin of the Viennois within the Empire, the vicar of the kingdom of Arles (Burgundy) in 1378 is often regarded as the de facto end of that kingdom. Srnec (talk) 23:39, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining. Were there any regents or vicars for a German kingdom specifically? If so can you name some? Machinarium (talk) 17:08, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Be aware that the status of a so-called "Kingdom of Germany" has been questioned by a majority of commentators on this talk page. The term is only used in English and often rather vaguely or instead of "Holy Roman Empire". Read the above page and its last archive for a flavour of the discussion. --Bermicourt (talk) 19:09, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm aware of that, I used to participate in discussions. But I'm trying to get to the source of the problem. Machinarium (talk) 20:12, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I think the root is that a %age of English sources use the term "kingdom of Germany" in various ways. However, German sources don't use the term at all which suggests what other editors are arguing, that such a body didn't exist in terms of what is generally understood by a kingdom i.e. a defined political and geographic area ruled by a sovereign king. Yes, there were kings who were German and, yes, there were Holy Roman Emperors with the honorific title "King of the Germans" but they had limited rule over a large number of German-speaking and non-German-speaking states which themselves were largely autonomous. If the Germans themselves don't recognise the term, it suggests that English authors have either misunderstood or mistranslated the Latin/German terminology, or are just using it as an alternative for Holy Roman Empire (HRE), perhaps because we English readers, not steeped in Central European history, might otherwise confuse HRE with the original Roman Empire. That doesn't mean we should delete the article, but we should make clear the scope of the term in English and not pretend it refers to an actual European kingdom that is a predecessor of modern-day Germany. I know the article creator would disagree, but he seems to be a lone voice. I think it's getting to the point where we need to round off the discussion, take a vote and take action. --Bermicourt (talk) 20:27, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
@Machinarium: Engelbert, archbishop of Cologne, was the regent of Germany during Frederick II's absence in the 1220s. Then there's the case of Ferdinand I, who governed Germany in his brother's lifetime and was supposed to make his nephew Philip vicar in Italy after he became emperor. In the 13th century the count palatine of the Rhine was considered to possess the right to govern Germany (ius administrandi iura imperii in partibus Alamanniae) when the king was absent; this right was later limited to certain regions by the Golden Bull.
@Bermicourt: Horst Fuhrmann uses deutsche Königreich and deutsche Reich many times in his book Deutsche Geschichte im hohen Mittelalter. I know because I read Reuter's translation and wanted to know what terms were being translated "kingdom of Germany" and "German kingdom". I also have in front of me a sizable book, Regnum Teutonicum: Aufkommen und Verbreitung der deutschen Reichs- und Königsauffassung im früheren Mittelalter.
The real problem here is that I am the lone voice presenting sources and not my own opinions and speculations. I have quoted from very reliable sources extensively, not just to show that the medieval German kingdom was real and is really an object of scholarly attention, but also to show that certain specific claims of this article's critics (like that they "are just using it as an alternative for Holy Roman Empire" or that the word "kingdom" is misleading) are wrong. Srnec (talk) 00:11, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
No one is disputing that there are sources using the term; the question is how and how many? The majority do not, but it is rather difficult for editors to cite the non-use of a term. We could cite hundreds of authors that use "Holy Roman Empire" and not "Kingdom of Germany", but how many would be needed to persuade you to change your viewpoint? I suspect it would be a nugatory exercise.
Even the article itself fails to make the case. It begins by asserting that "the Kingdom of Germany developed out of the eastern half of the Carolingian Empire." It then talks about the Carolingian Empire with the kings of East and West Francia, the stem duchies ("sometimes called kingdoms") and the Saxons/Salians, most of which is a quote which merely illustrates the confusion between the "kingdom of the Franks" and the "kingdom of the Germans" i.e. East Francia. It never gets to describe this "kingdom" as anything other than an alternative for East Francia or the Holy Roman Empire.
And the term "king of the Germans" was an honorific title used before the Emperor was crowned by the Pope. It was the political assent of the princes to the next emperor. The article cries out for some statement of the establishment and dissolution of a Kingdom of Germany and some indication of who its kings were - but there isn't any. It needs to focus (as it does in part) on the various uses of the term, but needs to acknowledge the mainstream position: there was no Kingdom of Germany but some authors have used the term in different ways that warrant explanation. -- Bermicourt (talk) 07:17, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Germany and the Empire are not the same thing and never were. The term "kingdom" (regnum) is the appropriate one for it, being both contemporary and well-used by historians. The question of what kind of kingdom it was, how it differed from France and England, what were its institutions, who its kings, is a separate issue. The article needs a lot of work. Srnec (talk) 16:46, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
@Srnec Ferdinand I lived in the 16th century, at a time when the HRE was already associated with Germany and the existence of a German nation. It's the Middle Ages that are problematic, not the early modern period. You mentioned Engelbert and a count palatine of the Rhine who I don't know, but neither of them appear to have been in control af an area as big as the regnum teutonicum. And that's exactly my point. Germany may have existed in the minds of people (kind of like today's Kurdistan), and existed as a title, but there was no polity called Germany; it was a region and a title, that's it. And that's also what this article should clearify in my opinion. Machinarium (talk) 21:49, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
What you guys are describing is the Kingdom of the East Franks and after that a mere token title of the HRE to end merging with it altogether. Unless someone tries to prove they are all concomitants too. Vinukin (talk) 23:14, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
I think the German sister article does a good job explaining the realm Machinarium (talk) 12:13, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 21 August 2015[edit]

Kingdom of GermanyRegnum Teutonicum – See the above discussions. The majority of editors appear to oppose the current title Kingdom of Germany. There is, unfortunately, no clear and undisputable term for the subject that is used in all sources alike. Translation issues make it particularly complex.

Several questions have been raised:

  • Was there strictly speaking a "Germany" back then (instead of Germania)?
  • Was it truly a "Kingdom"?
  • Was it "German", "Teutonic", "Deutsch" or "Germanic"?
  • Isn't this just East Francia?

Mary Fulbrook writes for the Cambridge University Press in her A Concise History of Germany (pages 12&13): "...Germany is probably unique among modern European states in having a name derived not from a tribe or territory, but from a spoken language." This is important to us because it stresses Germania was the land of the Germanic-speaking peoples (meaning all Germanic tribes) while Germany is the state that still exists today. Fulbrook further notes that there is no consensus on when the latter was first established, and that doubt about the existence of a united Germany is to be noted up until even the late Middle Ages (~14th century) when the name deutsche Lande ("German lands") was still most common.

I've found that the original and most precise name for the subject is regnum Teutonicum ("reign of Teutonics"). Fulbrook uses "Regnum Teutonicum; so does Timothy Reuter as seen in his The Perception of the Past in 12th Century Europe and his Beyond the Regnum Teutonicum; so does The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages as seen here; and as a notable extra, on the German wiki the name Regnum Teutonicum is also used. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 21:08, 21 August 2015 (UTC) --Relisted. sovereign°sentinel (contribs) 07:33, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

"Beyond the Regnum Teutonicum" is a review essay by Len Scales about Reuter. Srnec (talk) 22:17, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
Support move, as nom. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 21:17, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It is probably true that regnum Teutonicum is more common in German historiography than, for example, Deutsches Königtum. It is not true of English historiography that it is more common than "kingdom of Germany"/"German kingdom". The nominator's citations are cherry-picked: the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages has an entry for "Germany, Kingdom of" and citations have already been given where Reuter translates the work of Horst Fuhrmann by using "kingdom of Germany". Srnec (talk) 22:17, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Weak support, the added value of the article - as is - is about the title of Rex Teutonicorum, so the latter is the best possible article name. Renaming to Regnum Teutonicum instead of Rex Teutonicorum is a sort of second best option. Otherwise, with regard to the country/empire the article just describes the gradual transition from East Francia to Holy Roman Empire where Regnum Teutonicum has been just one of the names being used; I think this part of the article should rather be integrated in East Francia and Holy Roman Empire articles. Marcocapelle (talk) 22:22, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose any move. Srnec provided many reliable sources. The Kingdom of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire never were the same thing. It was part of the Empire as was the other kingdoms. Regnum Teutonicum is not more common in English historiography. Jirka.h23 (talk) 06:30, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose The fact that Germany is different from the historic realm doesn't mean they cannot be, or are not, frequently called by the same name. Srnec has noted that the present name is used in a number of English-language histories, presumably most of them, which makes sense since it was the historically used name in English. —innotata 06:58, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
    "it was the historically used name in English" Surly in the period referred to in this document the name used in English would have been Latin. What are the sources you are using for saying that historical English language sources used "Kingdom of Germany"?-- PBS (talk) 09:01, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
    John Gower: "Of Alemaine Princes sevene..."
    Robert of Gloucester: "Flowe into Germaine, þat in Alimayne ys..." [The editor takes this to be equating Germaine and Alimayne.]
    Robert Plumer Ward: "The Empire of Rome, and the Kingdom of Germany are still in existence as such ... elected Roman Emperors, which with the reassumed title of King of Germany, has been the custom ever since." Srnec (talk) 16:02, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
    There is a difference between "since it was the historically used name in English" and "since it is the name used in English histories". Most of the documents of the period under discussion would either have been written in Latin or possibly French, few if any would have been in English. As an aside the content Gower does not support your contention, I do not have access to "Flowe into Germaine..." but "Flowe into Yorkshire" is not a phrase that would indicate Yorkshire was a kingdom, so what makes you think that is prof of usage? As to the third one, it is much too late (1795) to be a primary source (and is written during a period of a massive European war -- "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."). -- PBS (talk) 12:13, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
    The point is that Germany was the "historically used name in English" going back to the Middle Ages and continuing into the modern period. It is false that it is an anachronism. All that aside, "the name used in English histories" is the one we should go with per Wikipedia's policies—and that would be "Kingdom of Germany". Srnec (talk) 13:32, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I would support Bermicourt's modified split proposal (so up to 962 goes to East Francia, after 962 goes to Holy Roman Empire, the title itself goes to King of the Romans and this becomes a disambiguation page) but, much though I am happy to see article titles in foreign languages, most Wikipedians prefer English-language titles. It would seem perverse to move this article from it's current English-language title to one that is effectively just a translation into mediæval Latin — particularly when, as Srnec points out, it's not even a more-common title in English historiography. — OwenBlacker (Talk) 08:57, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment by nom. Can we just get it clarified at least who wants the page to be moved, split or deleted? I know Srnec does not, as he has shown us, but the above discussion quite clearly showed a consensus for it (count the Supports). Over half the voters here haven't been involved with the article before. If someone else wants to propose an alternative they may do so, but we need this thing solved. It's being stonewalled right now by a very, very persistent editor who is certainly knowledgeable if a bit stubborn. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 15:59, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I would like to see a section about how our primary sources called it in the Middle Ages, I fail to see how using a Latin name would clarify anything. Dimadick (talk) 17:29, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the proposed term is used by historians. But as a general knowledge encyclopedia we also need article titles, that are recognizable and understandable by average lay readers. A specialist Latin term completely fails to meet "Recognizability", "Naturalness" and "Consistency" with other titles - 3 of the 5 main criteria of WP:COMMONNAME. Such a specialist term should only be used as title (imo), if no other term exists or the term is part of a commonly accepted consistent terminology. GermanJoe (talk) 18:23, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - as the nominator asked: I would be content with the current article title or with a move to a clearly better title (the obvious problem being to find one). But the main focus in my opinion should be the article's content and how to clarify it, not an endless academic dispute about the "best title". GermanJoe (talk) 18:23, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - split article content to East Francia and Holy Roman Empire; redirect King of Germany to King of the Romans and turn this into a dab page or short article explaining the [mis]use of the term in English. Bermicourt (talk) 19:08, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
Nonsense. Term "King of Germany" and "King of the Romans" are simply not the same, as well as "Kingdom of Germany" and "HRE". But I also oppose this request, translation into medieval Latin do not solve anything. Jirka.h23 (talk) 09:33, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Try to be civil. Actually I partly agree, because "King of Germany" and "Kingdom of Germany" are not used in German or Latin, but have been equated to "King of the Romans" (rex Romanorum; Römischer König or König der Römer) or "King of the Germans/Germanii" / "King in Germany/ia" (rex Teutonicorum; König in Germanien, etc.) by some English authors, inaccurately in my view. All these terms effectively refer to the time between the election to king by the electors and the coronation as emperor by the pope. "King of the Romans" was the title they actually used and which others, e.g. Henry VIII of England used of them. The problem is that the terms are imprecise because there was no actual Kingdom of Germany and so sources use them in different, and sometimes loose, ways. My suggestion was simply intended to accept the misuse of the term by some sources and point it at the more accurate term. Bermicourt (talk) 10:09, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
I've just translated the German Wiki article to create Regnum Teutonicum which I think partly explains why there is confusion. The Latin term was used to describe part of the Empire, rather than some separately governed sovereign kingdom. However, but its English translation, "Kingdom of Germany", appears to have been used both in this narrower sense and also one or more wider senses. Bermicourt (talk) 12:14, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Why is there no uproar over the fact that we call the other parts of the Empire kingdoms, i.e. Kingdom of Arles and Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire)? —Srnec (talk) 13:32, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
The Kingdom of Arles existed as such for a while as a vassal state of the Holy Roman Empire. It is clearly mentioned in the Golden Bull of Charles IV. By contrast, in the long list of princes assigned as royal escorts, there is no mention of a king or kingdom of either Germany or Italy. The only kingdoms mentioned are those of Arles, Bohemia and Christ. The only kings mentioned are those of Bohemia, Saxony and the Romans. The omission of Germany and Italy would be odd if such mighty states really existed, but they didn't - they were a collection of states within the HRE. Note also that Charles calls himself "Emperor of the Romans"... Bermicourt (talk) 15:55, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - although I agree with the others editors that this isn't the best choice, it's inevitable to think that it's better than the current. AdjectivesAreBad (talk) 02:03, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Comment. If you take a look at Regnum Teutonicum which I have just translated from German Wikipedia, you will get a flavour of what the term means and an idea what this article should look like. It does not try to assert that there was a real kingdom (regnum means more like the sphere of a sovereign's reign), but that the term was used to describe that part of the Holy Roman Empire north of the Alps. I took it straight from German Wikipedia without alteration apart from the last sentence which needs to point to this article while it exists. Bermicourt (talk) 06:42, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
If historians have been "imprecise" or "mistranslated" certain terms, that extraordinary claim needs to be backed up with strong expert sources. Without such sources the added last sentence is simply WP:OR. Walter Mohr's text is available online in German - he also mentions the usage of "rex Germaniae" both as geographical and political term, albeit rarely with the latter meaning (that aspect is missing in the de-Wiki article). The claim, that no "actual" or "real" German kingdom existed during the early HRE, needs reliable secondary sources as well, not the analysis of primary sources. And even then, this would only be one claim among other different views - we have to present all views from reliable sources in 1 article as impartial as possible. It would be a lot better to improve the current article including some sourced information from the de-Wiki article, instead of trying to push a personal view with a separate WP:CONTENTFORK. GermanJoe (talk) 08:31, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I actually agree with your earlier view that the content needs working on which is why I thought translating would be helpful at least to clarify what I and several others are getting at. I expect once the discussion is resolved, we may get away with one article and a redirect, but only if the consensus is that the sources use KoG and Regnum Teutonicum interchangeably to mean the same thing. And yes, we do need to go from sources, primary and secondary. Bermicourt (talk) 14:49, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
But, generally speaking, the "Terminology" section in this article does need some work of course. Some of the unsourced analysis could be trimmed a bit for instance. All those details are interesting, but are a bit much to digest. And parts of paragraph 4 and 5 (after 1250) would probably better fit in the HRE article, as they primarily deal with the imperial title or with a "German" title in imperial context. GermanJoe (talk) 09:31, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Wow, now Wikipedia has 5 articles about something historians can't even agree it existed. AdjectivesAreBad (talk) 02:21, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose this move. Also oppose move to split. While "Kingdom of Germany" may have been roughly synonymous with East Francia, it is not synonymous with the HRE, but only one of three constituent kingdoms (and one of four parts) defining the Holy Roman Empire, retaining a separate chancellor, separate collection of lords and separate coronation through most of the Middle Ages. Walrasiad (talk) 11:25, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Can you name some of those chanellors and lords who resided over the Kingdom of Germany? Machinarium (talk) 12:33, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Archbishop of Mainz was chancellor for the K of Germany (Cologne for Italy, Trier for Burgundy) for much of the duration (confirmed in perpetuity in Golden Bull). German nobility consists of the stem duchies, marches & subfeuded lords in the 10th C. elections for German king (911 on, but esp. 1024 election and coronation of Conrad the Salian) Walrasiad (talk) 14:17, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
The Mainz office, like the title of German king, was largely ceremonial, which you can read in Len Scales' book (available on google books p. 182-184). The area related to this title also did not necessarily match the boundaries of the former East Francia. For example, in 1362 Fritsche Closener declared that Mainz's title covered all of Germania, "that is to say, from Hungary to the Rhine." This reaffirms the point I tried to make earlier, which is that the regnum teutonicum was a geographic area which sometimes existed in speech and writing, but was neither a kingdom, state or any other type of polity. Machinarium (talk) 15:52, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Shrug. You can say that for any kingdom. The Germanic concept of a "kingdom" is not a geographic area, it is a political area, defined by folks, not acres. The area (often a Latin term) will always be an informal shorthand for a collection of dominions of barons owing allegiance to a king. "East Franks" are a folk, "Germany" is an area. "Lombards" are a folk. "Italy" is an area, etc. The "Kingdom of Germany" refers to the collection of barons in the area that once constituted the lands of the East Franks and their subject tribes (Swabians, Bavarians, Saxons, Thuringians, etc.), which by the 10th-11th C. is now settled down into large duchies (the royal duchy of Franconia, plus Swabia, Bavaria, Saxony, etc.). This specific collection of barons acclaim their king, who is crowned in Aachen (usually) by the Archbishop of Mainz (almost always). This is the "King of Germany", and the area these barons cover we can call the "Kingdom of Germany". There really is no term more convenient to call him or it. Walrasiad (talk) 18:12, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
You can't say that for any kingdom, because other kingdoms (like the Kingdom of France) weren't areas of larger polities such as the Holy Roman Empire. If Germany was a political area as you say then try to name any ruler who ruled over the Kingdom of Germany who wasn't (becoming) the Holy Roman Emperor, and you will find that there were no such rulers. That's because the real polity that we're talking about was the Holy Roman Empire. Germany as kingdom was not a polity, but existed only as a title for the emperor. I would have believed you if the Kingdom of Germany had its own king or governor who ruled as a right hand to the emperor, but that's not the case. While I agree that renaming article doesn't solve much, it's the content of the article that's the main problem. Machinarium (talk) 19:34, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
"Holy Roman Empire" is itself an summary name, to refer to the four collected domains and titles of Conrad the Salian (rather than clumsily calling him "King of Germany, Italy, Burgundy and Roman Emperor"). Each of those entities are distinct polities, with different collections of barons, different chancellors, different coronations, etc. that happen to (often) be held by one person. There are plenty of "Kings of Germany" who never collected the "Emperor" title (nor the Italy title), e.g. Conrad I, Henry I the Fowler, Philip Hohenstaufen, Conrad IV Hohenstaufen, William (of Holland), Richard (of Cornwall), Alfonso (of Castile), Rudolf Hapsburg were all elected king of Germany, yet never became emperor. "Emperor" is not a Germanic title, it is a Roman title, in the Roman hierarchy - and a fourth feather in the cap that has to be collected. You actually need to go to Rome, and be acclaimed by the Senate and People of Rome and crowned by the Bishop of Rome, to become Emperor. Otherwise you're not. You may be a candidate, but that is effectively meaningless. Nonetheless, you are a fully bona fide King of Germany the moment German barons (and only German barons - not Burgundians or Lombards) acclaim you and you are crowned by the Archbishop of Mainz. Getting or not getting the "Emperor" title doesn't affect the authority a King of Germany has over Germany. Picking the imperial title up doesn't affect your authority in Germany (nor Lombard Italy nor Burgundy). Geographically, "emperor" adds nothing but the Roman/Byzantine dominions in Italy (i.e. the Papal States). Walrasiad (talk) 20:13, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
The list of supposed Kings of Germany that you've mentioned were not actually rulers of Germany. Conrad I and Henry I were kings of East Francia, before the establishment of the HRE. To call them kings of Germany is very anachronistic. Philip of Swabia / Hohenstaufen was anti-King to Otto IV; him and Otto were claiming to be King of the Romans, which was a struggle over who would become the leader of the HRE, not over who would become the ruler of Germany. Philip was murdered, after which Otto became the only ruler of the HRE and was crowned emperor. Conrad IV was not a ruler of Germany, he was simply the son of emperor Frederick II, who had given him the title of King of the Romans at the age of 9 so that he would become his successor. I Could go on. You noted that the title of emperor didn't change the amount of authority a king held over Germany. That only reaffirms my point, which is that this article should discuss a title, instead of giving the illusion that the Holy Roman Empire was a federation of several kingdoms. Machinarium (talk) 22:38, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

@Machinarium: Totally agreed. AFAICS "King of Germany" was a title that was hardly if ever used at the time and is rarely used by German historians. However a number of English-language historians use the term anachronistically as a sort of lazy shorthand for King of the Romans because either they think it's easier to write, more understandable to those educated outside the German/Austrian system or maybe they're popular historians who don't really understand the politics. Whatever the reason, it's quite misleading, especially as English readers naturally think of a kingdom as a sovereign state with a king at its head and all subjects under his direct rule; like England or, later, France and Spain. I'm afraid the Kingdom of Italy article may have the same issues, but that's for another day... Bermicourt (talk) 06:36, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Your constant slighting of English historians has to stop—especially since you don't even know if the cited historians are mere popularizers or not. Their usage is neither anachronistic nor lazy. In fact, I've quoted multiple English historians explicitly justifying their usage. I could quote more. And don't tell English readers what they naturally think. I've cited at least one historians explicitly justifying the term "kingdom" as well. Srnec (talk) 12:13, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Translation of de:Regnum Teutonicum[edit]

The term Regnum Teutonicum ("German Empire") or Regnum Teutonicorum ("Empire of the Germans") was used during the time of the Holy Roman Empire to describe that part of the empire north of the main chain of the Alps. It first appeared in the 11th century. Its southern counterpart, imperial Italy was distinguished by the term Regnum Italicum.

Commonly used hitherto, and partly also in parallel, were terms like franca orientali ("East Francia"), trans rhenum ("beyond the Rhine"), Austrasia or Germania, based on the Roman provinces of the same name, although the exact geographical extent of these terms cannot be determined. In the 10th century the term teutonicus, a Latinisation of the root from which the modern word deutsch ("German") is derived, is discernible as a description of a language or tribe. It did not become more widespread until the 11th century, however.

With the complete separation of the East Francian empire from the remaining elements of the Reich under the Ottonians the term Regnum Teutonicum established itself increasingly as a description of that portion of the empire north of the Alps. The increasing use of the construct to describe a territory emerged in the late 11th century. The term deutsch surfaced in its Middle High German form from the 13th century, initially predominantly with reference to the German language. Not until the 16th century was the term Regnum Teutonicum increasingly displaced by the word Deutschland ("Germany").

The term has been translated into English as Kingdom of Germany; however, the latter is often used imprecisely and may also refer, for example, to the Holy Roman Empire as a whole.


Walter Mohr: Von der Francia Orientalis zum Regnom Teutonicum, in: Archivum Latinitatis Medii Aevi, Bd. 27, Paris, 1957. S. 27-49."

translation of de:Regnum Teutonicum by Bermicourt (talk · contribs)
  • Copied from original page for further improvements on Kingdom of Germany, as suggested here. Last sentence "The term has been translated ..." not part of the de-Wiki article. GermanJoe (talk) 08:23, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, GermanJoe. The text in the box above is the equivalent of this article on German Wikipedia. --Bermicourt (talk) 12:57, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

King of the Romans vs King of the Germans[edit]

Can the folks who believe that the King of the Germans (Rex Teutonicorum) ruled over Germany, rather than the Holy Roman Empire, explain if this title was different from King of the Romans (Rex Romanorum)? As far as I'm aware these two titles are the same. That the King of the Romans was sometimes called King of the Germans is similar to the fact that the Holy Roman Emperor (Romanorum Imperator) was sometimes called the German Emeperor (Imperator Teutonicorum). Machinarium (talk) 22:40, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes, they are basically the same. Why? Srnec (talk) 01:22, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, the title King of the Romans was a claim to rule over the romans, and thus the entire empire, not just German lands. The latter suggestion was generally avoided in the first few centuries of the Empire's existence. Scales explains this well:
"One fact above all renders implausible the notion that rulers in the Post-Staufer period aspired to a German kingship distinct from the Empire: the pains which their own chanceries took to avoid mentioning such a kingship in their documents. Even Frederick II's sons were almost always styled, in traditional fashion, 'king of the Romans' in their public acts, as were the 'Interregnum' kings: official invocations of their 'German' kingship, if in some ways suggestive, are few, indeed anomalous. Nord did conventions change in the decades that followed. (..) Henry VII judged it a dishonour to be adressed, disregarding his Roman title, as 'King of Germany' (rex Alamannie). Invocations of a 'German' kingship are almost entirely absent from Latin documents in the ruler's name: and the few examples which do occur are usually identifiable as the product of special circumstances. The signs are that the term was consciously avoided. It is found only slightly more often in writings issued by the electors and other princes.
p. 174
Also please read the following:
"But over what, and whom was this 'royal power' to be exercised? To what kind of kingdom did Charlemagne's aurea sedes regni hold the key? A German one, perhaps - paralleling the Burgandian and Lombard crowns which the Empire's ruler might receive at Arles and Milan? Certainly, there were those who believe it to be. The diploma of 1166 conferring sainthood upon Charlemagne had named Aachen as 'the head and seat of the kingdom of Germany.' Johannes von Buch, in his gloss on the Sachsenspiegel (c 1325), explained that the ruler's first coronation made him 'king over all the German lands.' For Heinrich von herford, writing in the time of Charles IV, the Frankish emperor himself had decreed that a king was to be crowned in Aachen 'for Germany' (pro Theutonia), just as coronation at Monza would make him king of the Lombards, and in Rome 'emperor of the world.'
Such a satisfyingly clear resolution was not, alas supported by the facts of the chronicler's own day. from the time of his first elevation, the ruler's official titles announced a kingship over the Romans, not the Germans, while his public acts assumed from the start the power to rule through the Empire's territories. His regalia, including the famous octagonal crown (which tradition identified as Charlemagne's own), were used without distinction both for 'royal' coronations and for the creation of emperors of in Rome. It therefore made perfect sense when another chronicler wrote of the 'advocacy of the Roman Empire' being conferred on the new king at Aachen. The distinctiveness of the Empire's constituent regna was further eroded by the shift tracable in German constitutional thinking during the fourteenth century, towards affirming election, not coronation, as the constitutive act in making a ruler. (...)
Yet writings of diverse kinds nevertheless clung firmly to the notion that north of the Alps there existed, in some sense, a 'kingdom,' which lay within, but was not identical with, the Empire - even if, in the late Middle Ages, the distinction between the two became somewhat less easily discernible than in earlier times. And a special link between the rule of this kingdom and the German people and their lands seemed, in the eyes of many, as hard to deny as it was precisely to define"
pp. 154-155
I think these excerpts explain the controversy that exists around this article. Currently, the distinction between German kingdom and Roman Empire is too clearly emphasized. While the idea of the existence of a German kingdom certainly existed (and changed throughout the centuries), it was not a clearly defined constituent difference. Machinarium (talk) 13:06, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that the German kings claimed to rule over the Romans by right. I also agree with Scales that "that rulers in the Post-Staufer period [did not] aspire to a German kingship distinct from the Empire" and that "the term [King of Germany] was consciously avoided" by the royal/imperial chancery. Where have I ever suggested otherwise? Of course, Scales is correct, too, that "in the late Middle Ages, the distinction between the two became somewhat less easily discernible". I know I stated the same thing in an earlier round of this debate.
This article needs work. Nobody denies it. But what is wrong with an article on "a 'kingdom,' which lay within, but was not identical with, the Empire" that " existed, in some sense" to the "north of the Alps" during the Middle Ages? And why can't we call it "Kingdom of Germany", as many historians do? Srnec (talk) 15:32, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm glad that you support change of this article's content, so I'm just trying to seek some common ground here. I don't really mind that we call it Kingdom of Germany anymore, though I would support explaining that this is all but a modern translation of Regnum Teutonicum. Anyway, I'm invoking Scales here because I believe the content of this article should be more similar to the content of the German wikipedia article. Currently the article starts with a quote from Gillingham, who calls Germany "a single, indivisible political unit throughout the middle ages." This is a fringe view, and contradicts what Scales and other authors have written. Other editors have already tried to explain that we should carefully distinguish historians who use the term "Germany" for convenience from those historians who give an accurate description of medieval statehood. In fact, now that I've been able to read Gillingham's article, he admits doing this himself: "For the purpose of this essay I am simply assuimg that 'medieval Germany' lasted from the tenth century to the fifteenth century. I also set aside complications such as the relationships between the Reich and the kingdoms of Bohemia, burgundy and Italy." (first page, footnote 1). I thus suggest we remove Gillingham's description and explain better the complication surrounding the idea of a German kingdom. Machinarium (talk) 17:47, 26 August 2015 (UTC)