Talk:List of states in the Holy Roman Empire

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'04 comment[edit]

About this article: This article was started as a pure list of states. Then the members of the Imperial Diet (Reichstag) of 1792 were added, and this list was just a minor part of the article. The entire article was moved to a new location (List of Reichstag participants (1792), but final title appears to be still under discussion). The list of states was then taken out and moved back to the original location. -- Cordyph 10:18 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Shouldn't this list be fully linked, i.e. all names equipped with link brackets? --Liveforever 22:38, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Dispute over Livonian states[edit]

I recently restored my edits which included Livonian states as part of the Holy Roman Empire. Those edits were recently deleted under subject line "the Livonian territories were not part of the Empire" What is the exact definition of "the part of the Holy Roman Empire" which Livonian states are not?

Certainly the Livonian princes were repeatedly given the title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. The title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire was given to Albert, Bishop of Riga by king Philipp in 1207. In 1225 the King Henry VII confirmed for Albert and his brother Bishop Hermann I von Buxhoeveden the title of Prince.

Wikipedia articles Albert of Buxhoeveden and Prince-Bishop confirm that.

Also, very many sources say that Livonia WAS part of the Holy Roman Empire. They are too many to quote. Just make a simple Google query like "Holy Roman Empire" Riga and you see many of them easily.

I suspect the only reason Livonia is in many cases not listed as part of Holy Roman Empire is that after 16th century all connections between Germany and Livonia were lost forever.

If there are compelling reasons why Livonia should be excluded from List of states in the Holy Roman Empire then I think a little more explanation is appropriate.

If you'll notice, nearly all of the states of the Holy Roman Empire listed are those that were there after 1648. Perhaps this should be made clearer, but it's pretty clear. Including the states of northern Italy (especially), the Swiss cantons, and the provinces that made up the United Provinces would be on there. Livonia's role in the Holy Roman Empire is far more dubious. Certainly, from the 16th century on, it was part of Poland, and after that of Sweden and Russia. Even before the Reformation, I think the relationship between the Knights and the Empire is questionable. john k 00:20, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree. However, the first sentence of the arcticle is "This is a list of states, which were part of the Holy Roman Empire at any time within its existence between 962 and 1806" and I believe many people are interested about Holy Roman States before 1648, Italian, Swiss or whatever. This list is indeed imcomplete but incomplete articles are common in Wikipedia. Warbola 23:11, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Article lay-out[edit]

I'm about to add a lot more states to this list, but I'm in doubt where to put them. I don't know what is meant by old and new princely families. Is that about when they became "reichsunmittelbar"? I think a completely alphabetical list (including the ecclestiastical states and/or imperial free cities?) would be more useful, maybe something like the table at the end, with date of formation, date of dissolution (or exit from the HRE) and the names of the predecessor and successor states. Markussep 12:29, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I believe that old and new princely states has to do with when they got a seat in the Council of Princes in the Imperial Diet. The old princely families had it before 1500 or so, the new princely families got it later. But, yeah, perhaps this isn't important enough to be the basis for the list. We already have another page that goes over the Diet in 1792. What I would suggest, however, is only listing reichsunmittelbar entities. Thus, no Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, or Saxe-Zeitz, or Margraves of Bradenburg-Schwedt, or whatever. If I were to make a table, I would probably have categories for date of formation, date of dissolution, which Imperial Circle they were a part of (if any), where they sat in the Imperial Diet (if they did), when they got a seat in the Reichstag (again, if they did). For states that split up into multiple states, I'd suggest some kind of organization that makes it clear. But definitely go ahead an overhaul it. john k 14:41, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Markussep - shouldn't the table show what type of polity they were, as well - i.e. Duchy, County, Principality, Margraviate, Landgraviate, free city, and so forth? A problem with this is that a number of them changed over time. Austria started out as a margraviate, became a duchy, and then became an archduchy, for instance. But we ought to try to indicate this as best we can, no? john k 14:52, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hi John, that's the exact problem, I think all duchies were counties initially. But you can do that, something like C/P for counties that became principalities, or for Austria M/D/A, in an extra column. I hadn't added any free cities yet, I'd list them as Cologne City etc. Markussep 17:17, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Bavaria, Saxony, (Upper) Lorraine, and Lower Lorraine/Brabant were always duchies. Franconia and Swabia had been as well, but became extinct. The rest all started out as Counties of some sort (although they might have had Markgrafen or Landgrafen rather than mere Grafen). For Free Cities, I'd suggest "Free City of Cologne," rather than "Cologne City." This is a more usual usage, and matches the German Freistadt Köln. In terms of adding a column, maybe, or perhaps it ought to be done in the "notes" column. john k 23:27, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Another thing - I notice that you added the other provinces of the Austrian circle (Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, and so forth). But be careful about when they went "to Austria." Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola were ruled by their own Archduke in Graz until 1619, and Tirol and the Vorlände were being ruled separately even later. This was intermittent, depending on whether cadet branches of the Habsburg family existed, but it is not quite accurate to say they were simply part of Austria. john k 23:29, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Austria: you're right, I simply assumed that if Styria, Carinthia etc. went to Habsburg, they would be in personal union with Austria, but they were different Habsburgs from time to time.
Cities: I try to keep the table "lean", so as little words as possible. I can do it like for the Bp. and Abp., some abbreviation. F.C. is like football club (e.g. 1. FC Köln), but well, why not. Markussep 23:54, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Man, when FC Aachen plays FC Worms for the Bench Cup, that'll be awesome! F.C. seems fine, though. john k 00:54, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I added a separate column for "type." john k 01:27, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

LOL! The table is getting enormous, but that was to be expected. Good work! Markussep 09:48, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Early states of the HRE[edit]

So, what is the consensus then on adding pre-1648 stuff? I'd be interested in adding territories of the Kingdom of Burgundy other than the Franche-Comté (such as Provence and Forcalquier), but pretty much all of that left the Imperial orbit early on. Choess July 1, 2005 00:39 (UTC)

Hmm...perhaps we should have separate tables for Germany, Burgundy, and Italy...putting in Burgundian territories opens up the question of the Italian ones, which is even more problematic. Was the Duchy of Parma, say, or the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, part of the Empire? They kind of were, but only in a very nominal and theoretical sense. We ought to be clear on what the whole thing means, I think. john k 1 July 2005 01:13 (UTC)

What if we break out a third section underndeath "Grouped lists", called, say "Peripheral territories"? We could move the Livonian material down there, too, and have a little blurb at the top about Imperial control being variable/nominal in these areas. Choess 18:49, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

My opinion is that there could and should be separate articles for post-1648 (=organized) states of empire, and pre-1648 fiefs (= feudal dependencies). There are enormous differences between the nature of "state" in both extremes of the existence of empire, and 1648 is a good border. This would mean i.a that the present article introduces itself as from 1648, and the new article would be something like List of fiefs under Holy Roman Emperors 1 July 2005 22:17 (UTC)

What about List of Fiefs in the Holy Roman Empire? - Nomadic1 07:29, 19 July 2005 (UTC)


The county of Flanders was not HRE, it was under French monarchy. Until recognized sovereign. However, I believe some dominions of counts of Flanders (was Antwerp???) were HRE. 1 July 2005 21:02 (UTC)

Weren't all the Burgundian Netherlands part of the HRE in the 15th century? I suppose before (12th century), Flanders was a French fief, but maybe not all of Flanders. I remember something about Kroonvlaanderen (Crown Flanders, France) and Rijksvlaanderen (Empire Flanders, Germany), with the border running right through Ghent. Markussep 1 July 2005 21:36 (UTC)
At least most of Flanders, the main county, was French. I already mentioned some border areas which could have been HRE. 1 July 2005 21:42 (UTC)

Flanders became part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1529, I believe. Prior to that it was technically a French fief. john k 1 July 2005 21:38 (UTC)

Are you totally certain that it officially submitted to HRE. In 1529 or in any other time? 1 July 2005 21:42 (UTC)

Absolutely certain. It was part of the Treaty of Cambrai - Charles V renounced his claim to the Duchy of Burgundy. In exchange, Francis I recognized that Flanders would become an imperial fief. It was certainly part of the Burgundian Circle of the Empire organized shortly thereafter. john k 1 July 2005 21:46 (UTC)

Did Treaty of Cambrai stipulate that French Flanders becomes an imperial fief, or that Francis I renounces the suzerainty over Flanders, the latter being the version I have read about. You need to remember that despite Charles V being emperor at that time, not all his dominions became HRE (such as kingdoms of Spain).
Quite possible that the "Flanders" you have seen in B.Circle, means only those small dominions of Flanders which already originally were HRE 1 July 2005 21:50 (UTC)

Francis renounced suzerainty over Flanders, and it was thenceforth incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire. Every map I have ever seen of the Holy Roman Empire at this time period includes Flanders and Artois as being part of the Empire. john k 1 July 2005 21:52 (UTC)

Almost all maps are notoriously imprecise in small details. About incorporation, I want evidence of a clear incorporation act, not only a belief that Charles who just had the overlord renounce suzerainty, made himself as HRE as his own new suzerain. Quite often, places which gain sovereignty, do not relinquish it. 1 July 2005 21:57 (UTC)

What evidence do you think can be found, exactly? In terms of maps inaccurate on "small details" - on a large map of the Holy Roman Empire, the position of Flanders and Artois is not a "small detail." In terms of "giving up sovereignty" - the status of the Burgundian Circle was such that territories within it, while part of the Empire, had almost no actual imperial obligations. I have Pieter Geyl's The Revolt of the Netherlands before me, and he describes the whole of Charles V's possessions as comprising "the Burgundian Circle." That suggests that by 1548, at least, Flanders and Artois were considered imperial territories. I'm not sure what you want beyond this. It was not common at this time period for a county to be considered to not be part of any larger unit. john k 1 July 2005 22:43 (UTC)

See also here - it seems pretty obvious that at least by 1548 the whole thing was included in the Burgundian Circle, and thus in the Empire. john k 1 July 2005 22:51 (UTC)

Good. Good. It seems that the info to be given in the article had improved, as you John have now made better research. The date to which assign the "annexation" is now is much firmer foot, comntrary to your early guesses. 08:38, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

I've got here a copy of The New Cambridge Modern History Atlas (pub. Cambridge University Press, revised 1978), and I've gleaned from it the following:

  • The Counties of Artois, Boulogne, Eu, Picardy, and Vermandois were French fiefs which (with the exception of Eu), passed to the French crown in "1477/82", following the collapse of the Burgundian mini-empire. The split date usually indicates on these maps something like an initial occupation with a treaty confirmation at a later date.
  • The County of Flanders except for the lands on the right bank of the Scheldt was also a French fief, but the whole of the county passed into Habsburg hands in 1477. The "border" splitting Flanders appears to pass through, or near to, Ghent (as mentioned above).
  • The Marquesate of Antwerp was an imperial fief, and also passed into Habsburg hands in 1477.
  • Artois (except for some land near the coast) passed into Habsburg hands in 1493.
  • Also in 1493, Artois (excluding those coastal lands), and the remaining bulk of Flanders, became imperial fiefs. The date of the change is shown quite clearly on the maps, even if no explanation is given.

I don't know what significance that 1493 has, but hopefully this is all of some use. Hopefully a book that's a couple of decades' old isn't considered too unreliable when discussing the late Middle Ages! (Silverhelm 03:44, 18 August 2005 (UTC))

To partially answer my own question, the emperor Maximilian I gained Flanders by marriage in 1493. (Silverhelm 15:13, 22 August 2005 (UTC))

No, Maximilian did not gain Flanders by marriage in 1493. He gained it by marriage in 1477. he regained Artois, which Louis XI of France had seized after Charles the Bold's death, in 1493 due to Charles VIII's desire to neutralize Maximilian while he (Charles) invaded Italy. At any rate, it is possible that after 1493 the Habsburgs claimed Artois and Flanders as imperial fiefs, I am not certain. But they were still claimed as French fiefs until the aforementioned Treaty of Cambrai in 1529. john k 16:47, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Ah, thanks for the correction. So would you agree with this summary:
  • In 1477, Artois (already a French fief) passed into the hands of the French crown.
  • In 1477, Flanders passed into the hands of Maximilian as count. Since he was also emperor, he considered that "Crown Flanders" (which was a French fief) was now an imperial fief; from the point of view of the French crown, however, it was just a coincidence that the count and the emperor were the same person.
Maximilian only became Emperor in 1493. He was the son of the Emperor Frederick III. Maximilian himself was not properly count. Charles the Bold, who had ruled Flanders and Artois before 1477, was succeeded by his daughter, Marie. She married Maximilian later in 1477, and he held them in right of her until her death in 1482. Thereafter, Maximilian was only regent for his and Marie's son, Philip. I am not certain that Maximilian would have at this time regarded Flanders as an imperial fief. john k 23:14, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
  • In 1493, most of Artois was given by the French crown to Maximilian; the same assumptions then being made as with Flanders.
It was given not to Maximilian, but to Philip, his son. Again, I am uncertain that Artois would have been seen as an Imperial Fief at this time. The territories were only under the same ruler as the Empire as a whole from 1519, when Philip's son Charles V succeeded Maximilian as Emperor. It is possible that it was only with Charles that the claim that these had become imperial fiefs was made. john k 23:14, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
  • In 1529, the French crown formally gave up its claim to the territories, hence confirming de jure what had previously operated as de facto.
Yes. This was by the Treaty of Cambrai. Francis had already given up his claims by the Treaty of Madrid in 1526, but he only signed this while a prisoner of Charles V after the Battle of Pavia, and immediately renounced it upon achieving his freedom. john k 23:14, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
The above is in the absence of having a copious tome on my bookshelf covering the subject. However, I did just realise that I have a book on French history that does at least confirm the details of the origins of the Flemish split between the two crowns. As I'd recalled, Flanders had been a bit of a tearaway fief of the French crown, and had been chipping away at neighbouring territory; taking advantage of the minority of the emperor (Henry IV) in 1056, count Baldwin V got the regent (Agnes, the emperor's mother) to rubber-stamp his possession of the territories east of the Scheldt. Apologies if I'm telling you things you already know! (Silverhelm 17:50, 22 August 2005 (UTC))
No, that's interesting, I wasn't aware of it. john k 23:14, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Table layout[edit]

Here's an example of a revised table layout, for your comments:

Name Type Circle Bench Formed Notes
Aachen Imperial City LR RH ? Annexed to France in 1794(?)
Arenberg Duchy from 1644
Originally a county;
then a princely county from 1576
ER PR 12th c.
Augsburg Bishopric SW EC ? Annexed to Bavaria in 1803
Augsburg Imperial City SW SW 1276 Annexed to Bavaria in 1806
Austria Archduchy from 1359 or 1453
Originally a margraviate;
then a duchy from 1155
AU PR 960
Baden Margraviate from 1112, and an electorate from 1803 SW PR c.960 Divided into Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach, 1535-1771
Baden-Baden Margraviate SW PR 1535 Inherited by the Baden-Durlach line in 1771

The basic changes that I'm proposing are:

  • The "Type" column is moved next to the name.
  • The "Type" column is colour-coded for imperial cities, ecclesiastical states, and electorates. In my example I've used the conventional red and blue for the former, and a colour chosen at random for the latter. Unfortunately, whilst highlighting the entire row might be more ideal in terms of formatting, it would interfere with link colours in other columns.
  • The "Dissolution (to)" and "Notes" columns are merged, since the latter is mainly going to be used to give details of the former.
  • Details of an earlier status have been italicized on a separate line in the "Type" column.

If people are happy with this, I'll go ahead and overhaul the page. I've also got a fair few additional states that can be added in as well. I've also reformatted the structure of the table "behind the scenes", hopefully making it a little easier to edit. For anyone interested in that, I've posted it to my Talk page. Cheers, Silverhelm 22:56, 26 August 2005 (UTC).

It looks pretty good to me. john k 23:16, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

I've now gone ahead and changed the formatting, as well as tidying some odds and ends up; I've also added some more detail on a few of the entries.
I've not used colouring to highlight the electors after all, as I realised after I'd written the post above that of course some of the ecclesiastical states would then have to get two different colours. Maybe further down the line some sort of additional colouring might be useful; perhaps to distinguish between states still in existence in (say) 1803 and those that were no longer around; or perhaps to group states by which major state such as Prussia, the Habsburg empire, Bavaria, etc, had absorbed them by the end of the empire. Silverhelm 11:28, 27 August 2005 (UTC) Silverhelm 11:28, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Good work! Markussep 18:49, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
Nice. Although the red and blue seem a bit too bold. Could they be muted down a bit? You could colourode the states which survived the dissolution of the empire, into two categories: those which were mediatised in the ensuing years and those which were not. -- Nomadic1 22:37, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
Yes, the two colours do stand out quite a lot with nothing else around to help tone them down. I'll find a gentler shade for both. As for using any other colours, I'm half-thinking of a few different ideas; the difficulty is those dratted link colours in the first column, otherwise I'd probably go with colouring the whole row. Still, there's plenty of work still to do with the rest of it, so I'm in no sort of hurry. :-) Cheers, Silverhelm 02:21, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Current state of play[edit]

Just done a quick back-of-the envelope calculation, and see that we're up to around 460 entities. Not bad going for just a few days' work: Good work, fellows!
I'm adding to the list by working off just my own notes (which I'm also trying to overhaul as we go along[!]); are you chaps using any standard reference works?
Silverhelm 11:01, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

I find this German list of HRE states (comparison of various Reichstag attendance lists) very useful. And this one for the 1789 situation (nice maps) and history links. Markussep 11:18, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
I've got a nice collection of notes that I've amassed from various sources. It's not easy finding them all though, since states like Khevenhüller-Metsch, Dietrichstein, Harrach or Schlitz gennant von Görtz (which can be added to this list) don't get mentioned much. -Nomadic1 08:07, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Names of the subdivisions of Brunswick-Lüneburg[edit]

What should we name the various subdivisions of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg? There do not seem to be generally accepted names. The problem is that Brunswick-Lüneburg already has a hyphen in its name, and so the usual convention of calling subdivisions "OriginalEntity-Division" (e.g., Hesse-Cassel) does not work well. OK, I have seen Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Brunswick-Calenberg before, but what do you call the Lüneburg subdivision?

It seems to me there are only two good possibilities:

1) Append the subdivision names to the *whole* name of the original duchy, e.g., Brunswick-Lüneburg-Wolfenbüttel and Brunswick-Lüneburg-Lüneburg.

2) Use two names, e.g. Principality of Wolfenbüttel of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Principality of Lüneburg of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, or some such.

Comments? --Chl 13:05, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

The German wikipedia entries for Brunswick-Lüneburg (de:Herzogtum Braunschweig-Lüneburg, de:Fürstentum Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel) and this page about the Welfs bring some clarity, though it remains complicated. About more hyphens in a name, that's no problem, see for instance Salm-Reifferscheid-Dyck. Still, Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel is not known as Brunswick-Lüneburg-Wolfenbüttel, so I wouldn't do that. The name for the Lüneburg division of BrLü should be Brunswick-Lüneburg I guess. I wouldn't choose your second option. Markussep 14:43, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

The second option might be the best for the most formal purposes, since it is my understanding that this is the technically correct designation. It should not be used generally. I think the general title is just to ignore the "Lüneburg" and give "Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel," "Brunswick-Calenberg," "Brunswick-Celle," and so forth. After 1692, "Hanover" is the usual usage, even if not technically correct (the Electorate was given to the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg.) john k 18:59, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Inner Austria, Lower Austria[edit]

I am a little bewildered by the entries of Inner Austria and Lower Austria (presumably not meaning the modern province, but the Archduchy of Austria as opposed to Inner Austria and Upper Austria (again not the modern province, but Tyrol and Further Austria)) as states fo the HRE. My (non-historian) understanding is that the original duchies and counties (Carinthia, Styria, Tyrol etc.) continued to exist as formally independent polities with separate Landtage and so on up to the 19th century. After all, the Habsburgs were still using the titles then. Inner Austria etc. just indicates by which branch of the Habsburg family the respective territories were ruled, so I would suggest removing those entries from the list. Martg76 12:17, 16 October 2005 (UTC)


Gentlemen, what was the status of the Princes of Ligne (They are not mentioned in the 'table.')?--Anglius 02:21, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

  • It looks like one of countless non-feudal noble titles not attached to a principality but just granting equal rank as a personal distinction, awarded to courtiers etcetera a s a favor by a Monarch, like the modern British peerages. There has however been a countship of Ligne in Belgium, see [[1]] - whether this was ever part of the HRE is unclear, at first glance probably not, so better leave it off the (anyhow still incomplete) Table Fastifex 10:42, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate your information, sir.--Anglius 19:58, 16 February 2006 (UTC)


The Princes of Ligny owned the lordship of Fagnolles and a vote in the Low Rhine-Westphalian Imperial Circle. In 1803 the Prince of Ligne received Edelstetten and a vote in the Council of Princes. In 1804, he sold Edelstetten and all attached rights to the prince of Esterhazy of Galantha. I tried to provide information on this subject on my site (page Val Rozn

Devaluation of a state[edit]

Would it have been possible to devalue a state(e.g. from a principality to county) following the extinction of the family possessed it(it being devalued whenever was bestowed to someone who subsequently would receive a lower title with name of the state)?--Anglius 01:31, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes and no. It is more complicated than that. Generally, if one family inherited the lands of another, they would keep their original title (Baron, Count, Prince, etc.). Every territory though had a title associated with it (eg: Principality of Anhalt; Princely County of Edelstetten; Duchy of Bavaria; Lordship of Myllendonk; etc.) and that title would remain unchanged through inheritance. Eg: if the Lord of Gooperspoopers inherited the Barony of Herethere after the Counts of Faaaarnsworth became extinct, they would be the Lord of Gooperspoopers. They wouldn't necessarily become a Count though just because Faaaarnsworth was one. I don't know if this answers what you were asking though - Nomadic1 08:21, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
I appreciate your reply, sir. I think that you sufficiently answered my question.--Anglius 03:32, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Splitting the page[edit]

The page us so long now it is hard to edit and view. Suggest splitting; maybe into A - M and N - S for starters.

I agree. A listing of the States of the Holy Roman Empire will necessarily be long. The actual total number of States throughout the HRE's thousand years has never been definitely established (even in German sources). Some scholars have estimated the number to be 1800 estates/States. Even excluding the 600 or so knightly estates which do not comply with the qualities of State (see references at end of article), the list will eventually encompass over a thousand entries (even excluding again the "appanage" lines of HRE dynasties/families many of which are not considered States).

Splitting the article into sub-sections will ease the navigation as the data is grossly incomplete and needs to be expanded as more research is done. I have not seen a comprehensive list of States (in English or other language source on the Internet) so this Wikipedia article will perhaps set the standard. Even the Wikipedia articles on the individual States are so lacking in information about the origin, growth, decline and successes or failures of the States and their ruling families. There is a dearth of Internet materials on the States so I have had to search sources in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, etc. using Google's translation service. Reading them could be a challenge but the materials are much, much richer than English ones.

I would like to suggest deleting the "Date Formed" in the table and just add the data to the "Notes" section to expand the space for the latter. The "Notes" should be used for adding data on the dynastic, territorial and political history of the States. While indicating the divisions and partitions through the years, there is a need to supplement the information with, for example, modes of transmission of rights and "sovereignty" (purchase, conquest, marriage, inheritance, treaties, etc.). It is also helpful to indicate the post-1806 (HRE dissolution) developments of the States so we can relate them to current geo-political realities such as the post-Germany unification (1871), -WWI and -WWII eras. Let us always remember that the HRE was a feudal institution so the basis for transmission of rights was based on a ruling family's or individual's "blood" or marriage connections. Territories, people and other properties and goods (including "virgins") were transferred from one State to another in accordance with feudal law.

We should keep the list alphabetically ordered to help in navigation, viewing and editing. I also suggest using the English spellings of the States (sans diacritical marks and umlauts) because they are a barrier to navigation. After all, this is an English article and using German "special" spellings do not really belong here.

I hope a Wikipedian (contributor or editor) will take the cudgels and split this article to make it easier to navigate and edit. I am too new to Wikipedia to know how to do it. And I'm not really computer savvy in the first place.

  • I can split the page very easily enough. It is just fiddly. Deleting columns is a very fiddly business though, moreso on a really long page like this. One problem with removing appanage lines is that many ceased to be only appanage lines; when the real state lines became extinct the apanage lines inherited them. An example of this occuring is in the Fürstenberg partitions. Another problem is that for many states it is hard to discover which were appanages and which weren't. As for umlauts and everything, we should keep them as articles such as Fürstenberg and Öttingen-Spielberg use them. But we should definately use Anglicisations of any names (eg: Brunswick instead of Braunschweig (sp?), and Saxony (and Saxe) instead of Sachsen) - Nomadic1 23:00, 9 July 2006 (UTC)'re not talking of appanages here but which are HRE States and which are not. I guess the test is, for example, some of the Brunswick lines you added were not considered (at that time by the other princes) as States of the Empire. So we don't have to do any sorting out ourselves. All we have to do is to reflect history in the table from the historical sources as we find them on the Internet. I don't want us to go into the debate of "who's in and who's out". That's not our job here. We're not historians; we're only compilers. A "non-State" appanage line which later earns the qualities of a State (as explained in the sources I have cited and listed at the end of the article) then just has to be added to the list. Otherwise, we can use the "Notes" column to reflect dynastic divisions into non-ruling or non-sovereign lines (Hesse comes to mind here).

I do not refer to the German version of the States' names. The English version of HRE States and other geographical places are well-known, -recognized and -used. I refer to using German spelling symbols that should not be used in an English article (like what Encyclopaedia Britannica and others observe). Ordinarily, when we English-speakers write "Wurttemberg", we don't put two dots above the "u" to indicate that the word should be pronounced as "Wuerttemberg". We write "Wurttemberg" and pronounce it as "Wurttemberg". Another example is "Besancon" without the "tailed c" which is not in the English spelling. All I'm saying is let's make navigation of this supposedly English article easy and not write names and data using German or French spellling special signs or symbols.

I know the umlauts and diacritical marks are in all the other articles such as the individual articles on the States. Too bad. Just think of researchers using Wikipedia looking for information on "Prince Egon of Furstenberg" or the perfume "Diane von Furstenberg" and cannot be linked because they type "Furstenberg" without the 2 dots above the "u"! Again, to be honest about it, it was wrong in the first place to allow umlauts and diacritical marks in the English Wikipedia of German, French, etc. words. To be truly easy to use and universal, Wikipedia should make navigation easy by starting with observing ordinary English spelling.

  • I whole-heartedly disagree. The standard Anglicisation of the names can quite easily be put in brackets next to the proper spelling, which is the Wikipedia standard. In regards to articles, have redirects. Really a non-issue IMO. (BTW: It is written Baden-Württemberg in the article, not Baden-Wurttemberg. The same holds true for everything: cities, states, districts, names; stubs, categories, redirects; etc.) - Nomadic1 06:15, 10 July 2006 (UTC) just don't get it.

  • No, I think you don't. Using umlauts and everything is what just about every wikipedia article does. They also use non-umlauts and everything variants as redirects and in brackets. This article isn't so special as to be different. - Nomadic1 11:25, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

More layout, Longest Page[edit]

Congratulations, this is currently the longest page on Wikipedia (Species:Longpages) ;) I like it!

Some suggestions:

  1. Remove the long "State of the Empire (Reichsstand)" quote which isn't part of the list
  2. Move "Definition of Terms" and "Notes" sections to the end
  3. Add a key for the colouring
  4. Move all text from the Formed column to Notes. It currently wastes too much space, making the Notes column too crowded and vertically long.
  5. Similarly, dates in the Type column could go into Notes.
  6. Remove aliases or persons from the Name column (eg: in case of Solms-Braunfels or Württemberg). They can go into the article or a separate list.

I'll try to do some of these, depending on your comments Eug 13:03, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

ELAC notice[edit]

Hi, with aims to improve Wikipedia, your page has been submitted to the Extra-Long Article Committee for page division. It is strongly suggested that the regular users here divide the article up into separate pages. If this does not occur in the coming weeks, this page will then be scheduled for committee involvement. Please comment at ELAC talk with concerns. Thanks: --Sadi Carnot 16:35, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I am going to begin making a subfolder table, i.e. Template:List of states in the Holy Roman Empire, for the upper right hand corner. --Sadi Carnot 11:48, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Finished A-G so far (page down to 190kb presently). Please chip in. Thanks: --Sadi Carnot 12:34, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me, but I thought we had "the coming weeks" to determine for ourselves about splitting the article? What gives you the right to do this on your own without waiting for any input from those of us who have worked on this page? Your self-appointed committee? john k 16:59, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm very surprised about this fast action as well. I don't think dividing the list benefits it. However, it certainly needs cleanup, I think there are far too many details in it now. See the notes for "Helffenstein" for instance, this belongs in a separate article. We need to reconsider what this list is for. Markussep 18:39, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, I tried to cleanup some of the crap in the article, but it would've started an edit war. But this list still needs to be split. - Nomadic1 20:50, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Folks, I sincerely apologize for the fast action. This is just a "test run" we can always revert the changes in the weeks to come if need be. We have no issues with this list in particular, it just happens to be the longest (it is 135 page printed) and coincidently is our first list test project. Our aims are to facilitate the use of "lists", in general, in Wikipedia; possibly using new page formats specifically designed for lists. Please, help us finish implementing the "sidebar table method" and then we can debate and discuss its merits over the next few weeks as well as suggest new methods. Again, if need be, we can revert back and try another method. Thanks: --Sadi Carnot 23:36, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. It would've been nice, though, if you'd explained that this was what you were going to do in the first notice. john k 23:58, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, sorry about that; our model plan is to give pages (2-3 week) notice to divide up their long pages on their own. This page, as well as a few others such as Psycho (1960 film), kind of ended up being test run pages. This page is now divided up. The main page is now only 8 pages printed (vs. 135 pages previous) and less than 32kb. If all goes well with this new format, i.e. if everyone likes the feel of it, we'll use it as a reference model for other lists to refer to. I will direct people over to this talkpage to give feedback. P.S. maybe you would like to join our group to help out with other lists in the future? Thanks, talk soon: --Sadi Carnot 00:12, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, this is experimental, and, frankly, came out better than I thought it would. I would suggest:
  1. The main page properly has the definitions at the top. (But the table is more readable if circles &c are mentioned before the table.)
  2. That in addition to the A to Z at the left, there be somewhere a complete alphabetic list so people can recognize names.
  3. All the links in the WP will of course need to be redone.
  4. Now that they are on separate pages, there is a need for internal links in the hundreds of cases where the info on one state refers to another, and this has to be distinguished somehow from the links going to the main WP pages for those states. They were needed in the single page also, but not quite as badly.
  5. I understand the rush so we can see if what we are doing will work, but: the comments of the regular editors have made it very clear at least to me that we should absolutely never do it this fast again unless there is true consensus early on from everyone we know to be a regular editor from the page history. In addition, we should notify each individual editor, as in other actions. DGG 02:05, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

On point #5, yes agree; I just wanted to get a working model going so to see what we are dealing with. As for point #1, an option recently pointed out by User: Bryan Derksen, we could use a (horizontal) top-bar navigation template, as is done here: The list of Template:Star Trek planets TOC, lower in the article. As to point #2, this might be a little redundant. States S, for example, is 42kb by itself; typing up all the names somewhere else looks, to me, as though it might be duplicate to a certain extent. Regarding points 3-4, I’m sure there will be a lot of this; however, in the future, we might be able to learn from this such that we implement suggestive measures to lists “before” we get into a situation like this. --Sadi Carnot 08:07, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I see that the list has been divided into sub-articles. It was my understanding that sub-articles were frowned upon. Has this changed? (This is not a criticism, but an inquiry. As a matter of preference, I personally think that, in this case, if the article must be divided, this is the best way to do it). john k 06:36, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I have just actually tried to use this to look something up, and it was much easier the old way, for I could scan. I read by scrolling and scanning. I suppose we could write code to display it two ways--which would be more elegant than needing to maintain two lists, but not necessarily easier
Sadi, why don't you move the set of pages you are working with to a user page, or a project page, and

restore the original one here. That is probably what should have been done initially. DGG 01:09, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

No sub pages in article space[edit]

(from User talk:Sadi Carnot)

Sadi, I'm sorry to point this out, but I made the same mistake a long time ago: article space is not supposed to have sub-pages. It's probably written out somewhere, but I don't have time to look for it. Just to warn you that the sub pages of the Roman list may get deleted fairly soon. I'm sure a better solution can be found. You may wish to submit this as a question on one of the notice boards. Regards, Samsara (talk  contribs) 13:03, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, I didn't know that. I'll check into it. I was curious as to why the back-links didn't work like they do on user subpages. --Sadi Carnot 13:20, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I will now fix this by using a different (non-subpage) name per each page. --Sadi Carnot 12:21, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Like or Don’t Like?[edit]

The pages are all divided. What do people think, do we like the present version or the all-in-one version? This question is really addressed to all lists in general, not just this one. In other words, should lists be left alone to grow indefinitely or should they be divided up after a certain point? Thanks: --Sadi Carnot 12:51, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

I tend to prefer one large list. john k 14:42, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Having the separate lists is good for writers, maybe unimportant for most readers. It would be nice if there was a way to have one page that can display the whole list by referring to the letter-divided pages - that way, everyone would be happy. - 52 Pickup 14:17, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I think we should go back to one large list. The point of a list is to provide an overview of a large amount of data, presented in a systematic way. If the data is split up among 26 pages, it is very hard to get this overview. Few people are interested in "states of the Holy Roman Empire starting with J", specifically.

Realizing that the old all-in-one list was huge, we might want to cut down the sizes of the list(s). Some of the information in the "Notes" column should probably moved to the individual articles; the same goes for the rather lengthy full styles in the "Name" column (e.g., Austria). The goal should be to have the average entry fill not much more than one line of text.

In addition, there are lordships (which were reichsunmittelbar, but were not imperial estates) and subdivisions of reichsunmittelbar principalities that were never reichsunmittelbar themselves -- these could reasonably be moved to other places, too. The large number of such entities would be a reason against their inclusion: in 1789, there were more than 2000 lordships that were reichsunmittelbar. - Chl 17:14, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

  • I tried deleting the useless crap in the "Notes" column, as well as the added crap after the names of certain states like "Austria". I gave up after it would have started an edit war. Even if the smaller lordships and collateral lines were deleted, the list would still be too large to contain on one, or even ten, pages. Another sticking point is what to do with those states and collateral lines and everything that existed before the Imperial Reforms, and existed at any of the many dates without a Register. - Nomadic1 21:16, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: move styles to List of styles of rulers in the Holy Roman Empire[edit]

Per the discussion above. The styles currently listed in the Name column take up too much space, and are not very closely related to the purpose of this list. Other reasons they should be on their own page:

  • The styles really belong to specific ruling houses, and not the states themselves;
  • The styles represent a specific point in time (looks like near the end of the Empire), while this list is supposed to cover the whole period the Empire existed.

Comments? Chl 14:41, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

  • I say delete the crap, and attach it to the appropriate article (if it exists), eg: the Kingdom of Württemberg. The styles changed quite a bit, and they just got longer and longer as time wore on. - Nomadic1 21:28, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

help - where is the list?[edit]

"Table of states

Whilst any such list could never be truly definitive, nevertheless the list below attempts to be as comprehensive as possible."

I've scrolled down and back up and can't find the list. Is it a work in progress coming later? Thanks-- (talk) 16:14, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

That was an outdated sentence, I just changed it. The list has been split into 24 lists (by alphabet), that are accessible through the template at the top of the article. Markussep Talk 10:35, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposed changes to colour scheme[edit]

As things are, Imperial Cities and Valleys are shown in orange, Church states are shown in blue. I am proposing making several changes to this:

  1. Make all the colours less bright. Nomadic1 wrote above "the red and blue seem a bit too bold. Could they be muted down a bit?", and Silverhelm replied "Yes, the two colours do stand out quite a lot with nothing else around to help tone them down. I'll find a gentler shade for both". But they haven't been changed.
  2. Use purple, rather than blue, for church states. This is customary on maps.
  3. Distinguish abbacies from bishoprics, by choice of colour. I'm not at all sure about this, and will welcome advice.
  4. Use a colour to denote electorates, as proposed in the table layout above. I think the yellow in the sample above (or a muted version of it) is a good choice - we could say that it represents gold, as only electors had the right to exploit gold mines within their territories. This idea was abandoned by Silverhelm because "some of the ecclesiastical states would then have to get two different colours". I would propose colouring archbishop-electorates with the electorate colour, and putting in the yellow table cell a purple emblem of their archiepiscopal status.

I am sceptical about "Imperial Valleys", of which Glarus, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Uri and Zug are orange, while Harmersbach is white. Was there really such a status? Do they warrant the same colouring as Imperial free cities?

I have also noted quite a few inconsistencies in the list.

  • Some states are listed more than once, e.g. Nassau-Orange, Nassau-Orange, Orange-Nassau; Salm-Salm, Salm-Salm.
  • Some states are listed as "RA" (reichsabtei), and some as "Imperial Abbey". These should all be listed the same way. Moreover some RAs and some Imperial Abbeys are coloured blue, some of each are left white.
  • Oberried and Odenheim are both listed as "Provostry", one is blue, one is white.

I will, eventually, check and correct such things.

Maproom (talk) 13:07, 10 February 2010 (UTC)


I did some fixes on the Palatine territories. Looking at these territories, I noted two points:

  • In some cases the list exhibits the coats of arms of the modern cities, not the coats of the historical territories.
  • In some cases the list traces the history of the governing house, in other cases the history of the territory.

Both points are extremely difficult to fix. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 11:27, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Separate immediate territories?[edit]

In the 18th century the Holy Roman Empire consisted of over 1,800 separate immediate territories governed by distinct authorities

What does this mean? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:42, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Immediate means owing allegiance directly to the emperor, with no intermediate overlord. See also Mediatization. —Tamfang (talk) 22:36, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
1800 is much higher than numbers I've seen elsewhere for the same late period. Does it count every exclave as a "separate territory"? —Tamfang (talk) 03:11, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
No, not counting the zilions of enclaves and exclaves. Here is where I took that figure: The territorial composition of the Empire in the eighteenth century, in the most technical sense, must be judged according to the number of separate territories governed by distinct authorities which were defined as immediate (...) By that standard (...) the Empire must be said to have consisted of over 1,800 territories ranging in size from quite large states (...) to tiny estates of only a few square miles or less. The vast majority of these territories lay in western and southwester Germany (...) (John Gagliardo, Reich and Nation, 1980 p. 4-5)
Gagliardo point out elsewhere that "Together, the number of distinct territories they (the Imperial Knights) governed approached 1,600-1,700".
Aside from the immediate territories of the Imperial Knights, there was a substantial number of small immediate lordships baronnies, etc. (herrschaft) that must also be counted even if, like the Imperial Knights, they had no voice and vote in the Reichstag.
In his later book (Germany Under the Old Regime, 1991, page 2) Gagliardo gives the following figures for the early 1500s (based on the Matrikel of 1521): The Empire was an elected monarchy headed by an Emperor to whom, in theory, almost 2500 inferior authorities who exercised actual governmental power over the German people were directly responsible. Some 2000 of these authorities were Imperial knights whose tiny, scattered enclaves comprised not much more than 250 square miles of land. The remainder – almost 400 – were divided among some 136 ecclesiastical and 173 secular lords, as well as 85 Free and Imperial Cities.--Lubiesque (talk) 12:53, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
I must say I don't agree with Gagliardo that the Knights' territories "comprised not more than 250 square miles of land". I'm looking at a (modern) detailed political map of Alsace in the 17th century on the eve of the French annexation of that German land. Imperial Knights were very present in Alsace and the map shows (very roughly) the territories they ruled, almost exclusively in the northern half of that province. Right there, I would say the I.K. ruled over a few hundreds square miles of territory in Alsace alone. Lubiesque (talk) 13:37, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Ah! This is what I was looking for: The figure of 350 families (of Imperial Knights) with 1500 estates covering 10,455 square kilometers, with some 400,000-500,000 subjects, is based on the claims for compensation made during the (French) revolutionary era. Joachim Whaley, Germany and the Holy Roman Empire, Volume II, 2012, page 204)--Lubiesque (talk) 14:05, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Messy and unfocussed[edit]

This article is way too messy, erratic and unfocussed. Plus, if you include anything (lordships or "sous-fiefs", etc.) then we might be talking of tens of thousands of units over a nearly 1000-year period. We will never know...

It's not intended as an article. It is, as the title implies, a list. Maproom (talk) 09:47, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Multiple issues tag[edit]

I could not make out what this article is about. It begins with a generic understanding of what a state is but later in the other half the article moves into concepts of Nazism etc. There is no link between the two. I am not sure if the article is about Philosophy or history or an amalgamation of both. If the latter is true then please split the article in two for history and philosophy both.-Wikishagnik (talk) 02:58, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

What do you mean by "concepts of Nazism"? I'm not finding it. —Tamfang (talk) 03:43, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Wikishagnik asked this question on the help desk. I have tried to answer it there. I'm also removing the "multiple issues tag" since I don't think most of them apply here. --Jayron32 04:53, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

What is so tough about understanding why an article is tagged with maintenance templates?[edit]

Ok, lets understand what is wrong with this article.

  1. The article is about the Holy Roman Empire right? Well, there is no disambiguation present to clarrify the point. The article does not say in it's lead that its about a German Kingdom and non-european users would be tempted to believe that we are talking about the empire started by Julius Ceaser.
  2. The section about the list of states says There is also a separate list of Free Imperial Cities, as well as a list of participants in the Imperial Diet as of 1792. What is this? The Diet as I understand is a parliament, so did this empire have democracy with a king?
  3. There is then a section called Definition of terms. Where are these terms? Are we supposed to read a book before reading this article?
  4. The article then says in the section Notes Column The "Notes" column shows, in capsule form, Where is this Notes column?
  5. The article then speaks about State of the Empire (Reichsstand) Is Reichsstand part of the List of states in the Holy Roman Empire?
  6. The article then has a section called Grouped lists which says The following lists are going to be included into the table above. Where is the table?
  7. What are points 3,4 and 5 doing in article about List of states in the Holy Roman Empire?
  8. Jayron32 Why have you removed tags for generalize and Very long? Where have you addressed these issues? Should I report you as WP:VANDAL or would you be kind enough to do this on your own? -Wikishagnik (talk) 15:12, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Answering these in order:
  1. I'm not sure there needs to be a disambiguation. This article links to Holy Roman Empire, which explains what the HRE was in some detail. If you feel that an explanation as to what the HRE was in the lead of this article, no one here is going to stop you. I don't know that it's that confusing, however, the HRE was a real, major political entity for almost a millennium, or about twice as long as the Western Roman Empire (the one whose capital was in Rome) existed . It's hardly an obscure topic. But if you feel the need to explain what the Holy Roman Empire was in some detail, this article could use it a bit, so feel free to fix it.
  2. Sure, there was an Imperial Diet. Most European states had parliamentary bodies alongside their monarchs for a long time. England and their Parliament, France had its States General, Spain had its Cortes. Almost every European nation had a similar arrangement as the Holy Roman Empire did. The Diet wasn't a very democratic body compared to modern standards (but then again, neither were many such bodies at the time; they evolved over time). Information on the Imperial Diet is at Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire).
  3. I'm confused about your question here. The section titled "definition of terms" defines the terms that one finds on the various lists. It is literally a glossary of the terms you're going to find on the list.
  4. Every part of the list, for example List of states in the Holy Roman Empire (A) has a "notes" column in the list. The section here is just an explanation of terms you're going to find there.
  5. The word "Reichsstand" means "State of the Empire" in German. It literally translates as "Realm-state", but the term "Reich" was the German word for "Realm" and is sometimes translated as "Empire" when translating into English. Strictly speaking, the German word for Empire is "Kaiserreich", lit. "Emperor's Realm", but there's not a perfect one-to-one correspondence between words when translating between languages, and historically "Reich" in the context of this entity gets translated as "Empire", even if it doesn't mean that in the strictest sense.
  6. The table is the very first thing on the top of the page. See the box with all the letters in it? Click a letter, and you'll get to the part of the list starting with that letter.
  7. The Holy Roman Empire was a very complicated entity, as many medieval countries were. While the vast majority of the "subjects" of the empire (the thousands listed in the alphabetical breakdown at the very top of the article) were various duchies, counties, marches, and typical feudal divisions often found in medieval kingdoms, the Holy Roman Empire also counted among its "subjects" various entities which didn't fit well into that scheme. There were entities which, for example, had a seat in the Imperial Diet which weren't strictly "Imperial Territories" in the traditional sense. There were also entities which were based in territories outside of the Empire which still were nominally members of the empire. For example, the Teutonic Knights and Knights of St. John were military-religious orders which crusaded in the Baltic Lands (TK) and the Mediterranean (KofStJ) and so, strictly speaking, weren't involved in territories that were the subject of the Empire, but still had a place in various organs of the Empire (like the Council of Princes), and so are sometimes counted among the "states of the empire". There were also territories with odd relationships like various duchies in Holstein (see Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp) which were simultaneously part of both the Holy Roman Empire and part of Denmark, so they are mentioned here for that oddity. There are also the various Italian States which are mentioned which were, early on formally part of the Empire, but were written out of the Hegemony when the Empire reorganized itself into "Imperial Circles" of purely German nature. And there's also the weird case of the Thurn und Taxis family, which was basically the Post Office, they had no land (and so weren't properly a state), but they were treated as such because of the important role they played in the management of the Empire.
  8. You have fun with that. I thought it was better to discuss the misunderstandings you were having in a civil manner, but if you want to run off and report me for vandalism, you go right ahead. I wouldn't see that as a productive move here, but you do what you gotta do. --Jayron32 19:24, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
All of the above is excellent and needed explanatory material given succinctly. Nonetheless I see and agree with Wikishagnik's point: to the layman unfamiliar with the topic, the article can seem bewildering and overwhelming precisely where one expects an encyclopedia to steer readers through. Having put in the labour to very substantially improve and clarify much of it, no doubt Jayron and perhaps Lubiesque feel it's come into intelligible shape. But as Voltaire observed, the Holy Roman Empire was notoriously "neither holy nor Roman nor an empire" and therefore defies ready simplification; the sheer number and variety of sub-states alone evokes a headache. But I'm inclined to trust the "fresh" reader's perception: the article's subject remains dauntingly elusive and would benefit both from more explicit definition/context and, apparently, from a more reader-friendly organisation/format. Noting those deficiencies with tags isn't a dismissal of the yeoman's work contributed heretofore, but a list of suggestions as to where future improvements might usefully focus -- and one isn't estopped from making those suggestions because of lack of ability or willingness to undertake them (granted, the "Messy and unfocussed" label given above wasn't helpful, but suggests the frustration of trying and failing to understand the article rather than lazy criticism of its authors, and the inquiry posted on the Help Desk attests to the sincerity of the attempt). I'd say the most useful next contribution would be to get much of the above clarifications, properly sourced, from this page into the article. I'd start that myself but, currently, by far the best (as in most accessible, clearest, most comprehensive yet most compact, most objective, best sourced and most detailed) work in English on the Empire and its constituent parts, as Tamfang implicitly acknowledges in the article's edit summaries, is Velde, whom WP's sticklers would eventually just come along and delete as technically failing WP's "reliable source" standard. So... FactStraight (talk) 05:05, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I meant no comment on the usefulness of Velde's writing or anyone else's. The text was there, I noticed that it had some minor format errors, I cleaned it up a bit. I wouldn't be bothered if it vanished. —Tamfang (talk) 16:03, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I've started taking a stab at reorganizing the lead and expanding it to avoid the sort of confusion that the OP expressed. Without completely replicating the Holy Roman Empire article, I've tried to provide some basic context which was probably lacking and led to the OPs confusion. I also tried to explain, in some detail, the organization and formatting of the lists themselves. This probably violates the strict interpretation of WP:SELF, but per WP:IAR, this page could be confusing without some explicit instructions for the reader. I invite anyone else to continue in this vein, and especially for people with access to the reliable sources, to help with the sourcing and referencing of the text. --Jayron32 06:06, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

about those tags[edit]

The tag has hidden text: "Unclear context, is this article about the Historic Rome of Ceaser or some Philosophical Rome?"

As the title implies, it's about the Holy Roman Empire. If only there were some convenient way for the reader to find out what the Holy Roman Empire was! —Tamfang (talk) 05:58, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved: insufficient support. DrKiernan (talk) 09:26, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

List of states in the Holy Roman Empirestates in the Holy Roman Empire – I am suggesting this article be moved to states in the Holy Roman Empire to better meet WP:PRECISE as this article is a lot more than a list, it also talks about philosophy and history . Wikishagnik (talk) 08:42, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Oppose. If I saw an article called states in the Holy Roman Empire, I would expect a discursive article on those states, concentrating on the important ones like Prussia and Bavaria, and dealing with the tiny ones en masse rather than individually. But this article is not like that. It doesn't even mention Prussia, instead it deals with the Electorate of Brandenburg, giving it no more space than many other member states. This is fundamentally a list, giving a mention to as many states as editors can find evidence for. It would mislead readers if it were renamed. Maproom (talk) 09:14, 10 October 2012 (UTC)   See also this reply above.

Comment. Have I already asked what Wikishagnik means by "philosophy"? Can a list of entities that existed at different times avoid involving history? —Tamfang (talk) 16:01, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose I also don't understand at all what the OP is talking about. We've been working hard to clean up this article in the main text to explain exactly what this page is and its purpose. This is the entry page for the list itself: it explains how to read the list, and some background as to how the list was put together, a vital part of any list article. The realities of this specific list is that the list is so huge that it can't fit onto one page, so the organization of the pages is a sui generis solution to the peculiarities of the list. However, other than the fact that the list itself is on separate pages from the introductory text describing the list, this works exactly like every list on Wikipedia. I too am completely perplexed by the OP's repeated use of "philosophy". There's nothing terribly "philosophical" about this page at all. The language and organization could be cleaned up a bit, and we're working on that, but it is a completely straightforward introduction to a big list of states. That's about it. --Jayron32 16:32, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
  • The list(s) clearly needs a lot of context info so this page, though a bit unwieldy, is probably necessary. If there is non-list info, can it be split out? —  AjaxSmack  23:03, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
    • This page is the split-out page for the non-list info. --Jayron32 17:17, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The infobox[edit]

I see that Wikishagnik has added an infobox at the top of the article "to give some more context to this article". This will help those who start reading the article without knowing what the Holy Roman Empire was. But it will confuse those who start reading it thinking it will be an informative article about the constituent states, describing their constitutions, the relationships between them, etc. I would prefer to make it as clear as possible that this is not an article intended to be read, but a list to be used for reference purposes. The less content not directly related to the list, the better.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Maproom (talkcontribs)

I've removed the infobox, as I agree that it didn't belong here. People wanting more information have the option to click blue links to get it. I have, however, returned the map itself so that there's some visual context. --Jayron32 16:37, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

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