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)

Survey[edit]

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 79.194.6.1 (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. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/735/735-h/735-h.htm#link2HCH0003

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)