Talk:List of German monarchs

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Pretenders of Germany[edit]

I want to readd the pretenders section. Under the German Empire's Constitution, the King of Prussia was German Emperor; therefore, the pretenders to the Prussian throne are also pretenders to the German throne. Just check the articles House of Hohenzollern, Line of succession to the German throne, List of rulers of Prussia. Emperor001 (talk) 02:21, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Liudolfing or Ottonian?[edit]

Since Liudolfing is piped to Ottonian, which redirects to Ottonian dynasty, is there any particular reason why we can't just say "Ottonian". Certainly I think of those kings as "Ottonian". Scolaire (talk) 19:20, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Ferdinand II[edit]

Could somebody cite a source for Ferdinand being elected during Matthias's lifetime and becoming king of the Romans? I've never heard of such a thing, and I've read a decent amount about the period. My understanding was that he was only elected after Matthias's death. john k (talk) 01:09, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Alright, looks like this was just vandalism by an anon that nobody caught. Sigh. john k (talk) 01:18, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Confusion about names/titles[edit]

The sections from the German_Emperor#German_confederations.2C_1806-1871 downwards have separate columns for rulers name and title, yet the titles are actually confusingly split between name and title. Example: Frederick William IV has also the title "King of Prussia" in his name and only "President of the German Union" in his title column; presumably the "King of Prussia" should be moved to the title column as well. Also, to clear the confusion, the intro should discuss the usage of the title of German Emperor from 1871 onwards. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 01:17, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

I think the idea of the "title" column is that we're talking about the title they held that gave them authority over Germany, not all titles they held. "King of Prussia" identifies who he was, but has nothing, technically speaking, to do with ruling over Germany. The idea is that there were various different organizations formed between 1806 and 1871 that were confederations or federations that had authority over the whole of Germany. The heads of those organizations had titles, which is what the title column is for. The text should perhaps explain this, though. john k (talk) 02:24, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Also regarding the titles: they are provided in English and Modern High German, both languages unknown to the rulers (at least in the early days). It would be nice to have them in OHG/MHG as appropriate if someone has the ability and time, unfortunately I have neither. (talk) 17:24, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

No, it would not be appropriate and totaly useless to put them here in a language no reader understands. Certainly not in this list, maybe (if it really must be) in the articles about the various offices. Str1977 (talk) 18:27, 23 July 2010 (UTC)


The article is called List_of_German_monarchs not List_of_monarchs of Germany. All we have in here is: Eastern Frankish Kingdom German Kingdom, Holy Roman Empire German confederations, 1806-1871 Confederation of the Rhine, 1806-1813 German Confederation, 1815-1866 North German Confederation, 1867-1871 German Empire (1871–1918) Where is Germany? Mootros (talk) 16:04, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Where is Germany? Between France and Poland, as always.
But it is quite true that this should be the list of monarchs of Germany; Frederick the Great and Ludwig the Mad were German monarchs. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:15, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid this is a rather ahistorical perspective. The sources I've added, especially with regards to kings prior to Henry IV (Heinrich IV) clearly show this. Mootros (talk) 17:58, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
What sources? These edits have none. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:44, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
No. 18:54, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
-> ^ a b c d Medieval Europeans: studies in ethnic identity and national perspectives in medieval Europe By Alfred P. Smyth, Palgrave Macmillan (1998), p. 64
This is an anthology; I presume you actually mean Chapter 3: The Making of England and Germany 850–1050; which uses kingdom of Germany and Germany throughout. Since this applies only to the rise of the Saxon dynasty, and says that their Germany may have been as well organized as Anglo-Saxon England, the strongest state in Europe, this fails verification. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:29, 15 April 2011 (UTC)


I think that the "Emperor-elect" identifications in the list should be preceded with "de jure" because in our modern understanding an "-elect" is someone without power. СЛУЖБА (talk) 07:00, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

It might be what it means now, for example in the period between where an American President is elected and when he is inaugurated, but it isn't what it meant then. It was just the title the Holy Roman Emperor used before his coronation (which, btw, does NOT make a monarch a monarch. an uncrowned monarch is still a monarch.). (Holy) Roman Emperor Elect' and 'President-Elect' are not the same thing.JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 07:31, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

An uncrowned monarch is not always a monarch. The notion that coronation does not make one a monarch is a British tradition. In Hungary, coronation very much did make monarch a monarch. In medieval times, uncrowned popes such as Pope-elect Stephen were not considered legitimate popes - Stephen still isn't. Coronation was also indispensable in Poland. Surtsicna (talk) 10:23, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

But that is the exception to the rule, and if anything is more connected to monarchies where the crown has some national/semi-divine status, which was certainly the case with the Crowns of Charlemagne and St. Stephen: to give but a few examples: no monarch of the Netherlands has ever been crowned (though the Kingdom does have a crown, it has never been worn), no King of Norway has been crowned since Haakon VII, nor any of Sweden since Oscar II. None of the Kings of the modern Kingdom of Italy were crowned, neither have any of the Grand-Dukes/Duchesses of Luxembourg, nor any of the Kings of Greece, Yugoslavia, modern Bulgaria, Albania, post-1871 German Emperors, any of the Emperors of Austria or any of the Kings/Queens of Portugal after the sixteenth century, nor any of the Kings or Queens of a unified Spain, nor the vast majority of Islamic monarchies, modern and past. Each was no less a monarch in the eyes of the law and indeed the eyes of the international community for lack of a coronation, so your assertion that this is somehow a 'British' tradition is simply not true: furthermore, in most monarchies, both pre-modern and modern, a monarch was proclaimed immediately after the death or abdication of their predecessor, the coronation simply acting as a spectacular event of undoubted religious significance, but of very little legal significance. Whilst, of course, there are exceptions as you rightly point out, this was exceptional and in most cases the adage 'the King is dead, long live the King' was quite literally true. Likewise, the monarchs of France (until 1830), Russia, Serbia, Britain (and its predecessor states), Romania, Prussia, (and Norway and Sweden til the early 20th century),whilst they did have coronations, the coronation was of absolutely no legal significance as to whether they were King or not.

Note also that until the time of Edward I, the English King was not titled 'King' (being merely titled 'dominus anglorum' or 'Lord of the English' before his coronation. So where this supposed 'British' tradition is supposed to come from, I have no idea.

I will however draw a curious, albeit isolated modern-day parallel however: the Kings of the Belgians, whilst none of them have ever been crowned (the only Crown of Belgium only exists in heraldry on paper: a real physical crown does not and has never existed), nonetheless the throne is considered vacant until the monarch takes the oath as King at their inauguration, at which point they legally become monarch

My point is there is often an assumption amongst readers (usually American, but by no means always) that, like a President of a Republic becomes President not upon election, but upon inauguration, that the same applies in a monarchy, and moreover that Emperor-Elect=the same meaning as 'President-Elect' when, in most cases (though there are exceptions) this is untrue. The title of 'Emperor-Elect' was simply used (with papal approval) from 1508, so the person elected by the imperial college of electors did not have to bother with the costly and often dangerous business of the imperial coronation, and still legitimately call themselves 'Emperor'. It also meant the Pope did not have to worry too much about imperial interference in matters relating to Italy.JWULTRABLIZZARD (talk) 11:14, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Otto II. `the red´????[edit]

Never heard anyone calling him the red - even his wiki-page lacks that title. (a historian)-- (talk) 00:26, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Check his wiki-page again. For a primary source, try the Gesta principum Polonorum. —Srnec (talk) 22:37, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Merge with German monarchy 1918[edit]

This article appears to cover the same ground as German monarchy 1918. I suggest that the two articles be merged.

IMO this should be done to form a retitled/another page titled: "German monarchy" which should then tie back to both German Empire and Holy Roman Empire

--LookingGlass (talk) 19:17, 15 December 2012 (UTC)


As the term Reich was used to denote Nazi Germany, and that the Holy Roman Emperorship was elective, I figure that Hitler should be included as he was the de facto "monarch" of Germany.Ericl (talk) 15:09, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

The term Reich as "Realm" was used by both the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany in their official name: German Reich. This did not mean that their leaders were monarchs. Dimadick (talk) 15:59, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Disputed elections of 1247 and 1257[edit]

It is not the job of Wikipedia's editors to pronounce on the legality of an election held in 1257. The election of Richard on 13 January was not regular, and involved only three electors. Maybe it gained the support of Bohemia later. Alfonso's election on 1 April had the support of four electors, including Bohemia.

William of Holland secured election post facto by all the electors save Bavaria in 1252. He was basically the undisputed king of Germany, recognised almost everywhere, after Conrad's death in 1254. It is only the circumstances of his initial election in 1247 that get him marked off in the history books as merely an anti-king. Srnec (talk) 23:36, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

You make some important points, both of which suggest that the "Interregnum" should be removed and changed to a hybrid of what I attempted to change it to and what you suggest. First, I think we can both agree that Henry Raspe does not belong in the "Interregnum period since he was indisputably an anti-king to Frederick II, during whose reign his entire pretension occurred. His name belongs with the other Hohenstaufen anti-kings such as Philip of Swabia and Otto IV. Second, if William of Holland secured the throne by a majority of electors in 1252, then he should not be noted purely as an anti-king, as he currently is. He should be afforded the title of king, with a reference to his pretension prior to 1252, as with most of the other articles of anti-kings who became kings. Similarly, Richard's election in 1257 was not illegal or illegitimate and the majority of European kingdoms, including notably France, eventually accepted it except for those few that supported Alfonso of Castile. Alfonso's election was irregular in that another man had already been proclaimed king by many of the electors. Richard also held some, albeit very little, power in Germany while Alfonso held none and never even went there. Richard received the crown, Alfonso did not.
The larger issue, I think, is that there is no article on the "Interregnum" which suggests to me that it is primarily a wikipedia construct – no other historical source I can find references this period as such. True, none of the kings of this period had much power in Germany, but there was almost continuously a nominated king in Germany. In fact, only Alfonso of Castile's antagonism toward Richard of Cornwall really represents a conflict at all. The bigger issue in this period is that there was no authoritative ruler in Germany so everybody was simply doing as they wished.
I suggest the section get replaced with this:

Continued from Hohenstaufen

Image Name House King Emperor Ended Notes
Heinrich Raspe.jpg Henry Raspe
(Heinrich Raspe)
Thuringia 22 May 1246 16 February 1247 Rival King to Frederick II and great-great-great grandson of Henry IV
Conrad IV of Germany.jpg Conrad IV
(Konrad IV)
Hohenstaufen May 1237 1 May 1254 Son of Frederick II;
King of Germany under his father, 1237–1250


Image Name House King Emperor Ended Notes
Guillaume II de Hollande.png William of Holland
(Wilhelm von Holland)
Holland 3 October 1247 28 January 1256 Previously Rival King to Frederick II and Conrad IV, 1247–1254


Image Name House King Emperor Ended Notes
Richard of Cornwall .jpg Richard of Cornwall
(Richard von Cornwall)
Plantagenet 13 January 1257 2 April 1272 Supported only by four electors; held no substantial political authority.
TumboAKing.jpg Alfonso of Castile
(Alfons von Kastilien)
House of Burgundy 1 April 1257 1275 Grandson of Philip; Rival King to Richard of Cornwall; later opposed by Rudolf I; renounced claims 1275; died 4 April 1284
This cleans up the period significantly, makes all the table fields consistent with the rest of the list, and matches things closer to their historical context. Two minor corrections I made are that I removed the reference of Richard being brother-in-law to Frederick – this relationship does not appear to have played into his election. I also added the full date of death for Alfonso to match the consistency of other similar dates on the list.
Please let me know your opinion of this revised scheme.
Darius von Whaleyland, Great Khan of the Barbarian Horde 05:49, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
The "Great Interregnum" is defined by Britannica as the period of 1250–73 in the history of Germany.
I don't really think that separate headings for Holland and Plantagenet make much sense. In fact, the dynastic headings make no sense at all between the deaths of Conrad IV (1254) and Sigismund (1437). Even for the earlier period we are forced to have one-king sections (Supplinburger) or to lump them together (Welf with Hohenstaufen). And this ignores the anti-kings of Henry IV's reign. I'd suggest just one table and put the house names of the true dynasties (Carolingian, Ottonian, Salian, Hohenstaufen, maybe Luxembourg, Habsburg and Habsburg-Lorraine) in bold so that a reader can follow them while scanning the list. Use bold for the names of those crowned emperor (as currently). Ditch the italics. Note irregular elections (i.e. anti-kings) and limited real authority in the notes. The problem is that pretty much each case of kingly rivalry is sui generis. Srnec (talk) 23:20, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
That is a generally good point and I had not seen the heading in Britannica, I've only been looking at more specific sources which may be why the period isn't especially called out. I agree that one table may be better. Could it be color-coordinated as some other genealogical tables are? Each dynasty gets its own color and single-reign dynasties are white. I hesitantly agree that Italics should be removed, but only because of the vagueness of some imperial elections. I definitely think that people designated as anti-kings by most authorities should be cited as such in the comments box, though. I also agree that if the current dynastic organization is maintained, then Conrad IV should be pulled out of the Hohenstaufen section and placed squarely in the Interregnum, while Henry Raspe gets moved into the Hohenstaufen since he never pretended during the interregnum period. But I think combining the entire list is a better option due to the elective, non-dynastic nature of the Holy Roman Empire.
Darius von Whaleyland, Great Khan of the Barbarian Horde 23:33, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Anachronistic titles[edit]

Can we please stop applying German nationalism to the middle ages by referring to various historic titles like "King of the Romans" (rex romanorum) "King of East Francia" (rex francorum orientalium) as "King of Germany"? The only thing that could even be considered remotely appropriate for this translation are contemporary terms like "rex teutonicorum", "rex alemannie", etc. Most of which had a polemic intent in their usage, see Heimerich IV & the Investiture Controversy Goodpoints (talk) 00:54, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Well, that's basically accepted historiography. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 02:34, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
I'd agree with you in theory but since this is primarily an informative site, exclusively using the title "King of the Romans", especially after 1556, could be confusing to many people. "King of East Francia", however, is more important and is used with the Carolingians, but not their German successors because those successors never used the title. Regarding your statement about German nationalism, though, simply stated, it isn't. Medieval chroniclers in France were using the title "king of the Germans" to refer to non-Holy Roman Emperors in the thirteenth and fourteenth century, long before any notion of nationalism existed in Germany or really anywhere in Europe. It's not anachronistic; it is precisely what their European counterparts thought of them. That's why Richard of Germany is called that and not Richard of Rome. Even Richard's son used that title within and outside of England. "Germany" is not anachronistic, it is historical. – Whaleyland (Talk • Contributions) 07:47, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Should not an 'informative site' provide correct historical information even if it does not necessarily conform with modern understandings of political geography? Lack of familiarity on the part of the average reader is not an excuse to not use the person's historically attested title or a direct translation of such, that is what hyperlinking is for. There already exists an article, though a pretty poor one, on the title of King of the Romans. Can you provide an example of these French chroniclers? I've never come across anything like "rex germanorum" or "rex germani"/"rex germaniae" in any primary source. If you're referring to Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall; he is referred to as "King of Germany" only by modern English historians, not by any contemporary sources. The Chronica Majora of Matthew of Paris refers to Richard upon his coronation in Aachen as "regem [rex] Alemanniae sive [or] Romanorum". (Luard, ed., Vol. 5, pg. 640 — Royal MS 14 C VII f.200r) The Chronicon ex Chronicis records him as "Ricardus, Alemmaniae rex" and refers to his son as "Eadmundus de Alemmania" (Thorpe, ed., Vol. 2, pg. 207-209)
Also in the c. 1300 Middle English poem "Richard Coeur de Lion", the titular Richard has an encounter with the otherwise unnamed "kyng of Almayn(e)" (lines 271-300, etc.). Derivatives of "Germania" were mostly used in a historical context (i.e. Julius Caesar's Germani), not to be confused with the Frankish derived use referring to close relatives ("cousin-german" / "cosyn germayn"), until the 15th century. Even then I've only seen it used to refer to a general region & its people, and not as any sort of title or polity. See: quotation search results for "germayn" and "german" in the Uni. of Michigan Middle English Dictionary. A rather humorous example being the given excerpt from Capgrave's "The Life of St. Norbert" (1440) where he's reading the 12th c. manuscript "Vita S. Norbertus" and says (in the full text): 'This mannys name Norbert thoo þei called Of Teutonye nacioun, the story seith rith soo. Whech word made me of stody al apalled; For whethir it is a cyte weel iwalled, Or ellis a cuntre, auctouris touch him nowt. But aftirward whann I was bettir beþowt ¶ I supposed þan þis cuntre stant in Germayne, Because þis man of whech we haue now told Was sumtyme dwellinge in the þe cyte of Colayne". ('This man's name is Norbert, though they called him 'of Teutonye nation', the story sayeth right so. This word made me so weary of study; For whether it ['Teutonye'] is a well-walled city, or else a country, the author didn't bother [explaining]. But afterward, when I was better bethought ¶ I supposed than this country stands in 'Germayne', Because this man of which we have now told was sometime dwelling in the city of Cologne.') This being evidence that "Germania" derivations might have just eclipsed "Teutonia" and "Alemannia" in English very recently to Capgrave's life as he should have otherwise been familiar with the terms. Goodpoints (talk) 23:21, 7 January 2016 (UTC)
Stammtafel der Karolinger.jpg
"King of Germany" is a perfect translation of "rex Alemanniae" into modern English. We aren't writing in Middle English. In fact, we can't write at all about the Middle Ages without translating. You can find rex germaniae (applied to Louis the German) in the image at right. Srnec (talk) 01:12, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
A perfect translation how? It is neither literal nor does it clarify. It only causes confusion by conflating various medieval polities, titles, and appellations with the post-19th c. states known in English as "Germany". A literal translation would be "rex Alemanniae" = "King of Alemannia". But that's not my main point, references like "rex alemanniae" are not the official title ("rex romanorum"), historical persons should be referred to by their official titles (or a direct translation of) in an encyclopedia. Should the article for Leonid Brezhnev refer to him as "The Premier" rather than "General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union"? Should Obama's refer to him as "The American President" rather than "President of the United States of America"?
In the image you give, from the Chronicon Universale , Louis is the top male figure on the right section labelled "Lothuwicus", the scroll he holds reads (upsidedown) "rex Germania". It's an example I did not remember, but it's not relevant to the broader discussion. The appellation "Ludovicus Germanicus" refers to the Roman "Germania" as Frankish culture was heavily influenced by the Gallo-Roman culture and Louis' kingdom (still referred to officially as "regnum francorum orientalium") was largely within the Roman defined Magna Germania.[1]Caligula's full name was "Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus", would you refer to him as "Caligula the German"? Note that in the image, none of Louis' descendants bear that same appellation, but are labelled "rex alemannia", "rex bawaria", "rex oster francia", etc. Goodpoints (talk) 03:27, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
Do you think that the French term roi d'Allemagne is correct, but that the corresponding English term, which must have the same connotations, is not?
The "official" title of a medieval monarch is whatever title his chancery was using, which could change at any time. We do not, nor should we, distinguish between rex Anglorum and rex Angliae when translating. Nor should we demand the anachronistic "Angles" or "Anglia" where "English" and "England" would be appropriate. High medieval Alemannia is just modern English Germany and French Allemagne. Official titles and direct translations are sometimes appropriate, but at other times they don't, as you say, clarify. Mariano Rajoy is called Prime Minister of Spain, not President of the Government. It's Byzantine Empire, not Romania.
Of course, the various titles a ruler used can be explained in his article. Srnec (talk) 04:32, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
I strongly agree, but German nationalism is rooted into the German language. Older German writers have typically always translated Deutsch/Teutonic/Germani/etc. to "German" in the sense of Germany. Though misconceptional, this is hard to actually make clear without resorting to original research. That's mostly why a lot of this lingers around on the wiki. Bataaf van Oranje (Prinsgezinde) (talk) 10:26, 23 May 2016 (UTC)


Napoleon shouldn't be in this. He might have been the protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, but he wasn't it's head. The conferderation had a Prince-Primat. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 20:08, 1 January 2016 (UTC)

Some corrections German Confederation / North German Confederation[edit]

Hello, I made some correction with regard to the German Confederation and the North German Conferederation. The G.C. did not have a president or any head of state etc. The Austrian delegate presided the Bundestag. Therefore, Austria was unofficially called the Präsidialmacht. The supreme organ of the G.C. was the Bundestag, so one might name the delegate a kind of chairman. In the monarchal world of the time, it is okay to use here the Emperor instead.

The North German Confederation did not have a head of state expressis verbis, but the Prussian King was given the title and function of bearer of the Bundespräsidium. The N.G.C. and the title ended with the new constitution of January 1st, 1871. Ziko (talk) 12:24, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Wolfram, Herwig (2005). The Roman Empire and its Germanic peoples. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press. p. 11. ISBN 0520244907.