Category: Regnum Teutonicum

Categories: German History | Former Countries in Europe

Preceded by Regnum Francorum Orientalium

Regnum Teutonicum (Kingdom of Germany)

The Kingdom of Germany (also referred to as the German Kingdom; Latin Regnum Teutonicum) developed out of the eastern half of the former Carolingian Empire.

Like medieval England and France, it began as "a conglomerate, an assemblage of a number of once separate and independent... gentes [peoples] and regna [kingdoms]." East Francia was formed in embryo by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, and was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty until 911, after which the kingship was electoral. The initial electors were the rulers of the stem duchies, who generally chose one of their own. After 962, when Otto I was crowned emperor, the kingdom formed the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire, which also included Italy (from 951) and Burgundy (after 1032).

The term rex teutonicorum (king of the Germans) first came into use in the chancery of Pope Gregory VII during the Investiture Controversy (late 11th century), perhaps as a polemical tool against the Emperor Henry IV. In the twelfth century, in order to stress the imperial and transnational character of their office, the emperors began to employ the title rex Romanorum (king of the Romans) on their election (by the prince-electors, seven German bishops and noblemen). Distinct titulature for Germany, Italy and Burgundy, which traditionally had their own courts, laws, and chanceries, gradually dropped from use. After the Reichsreform and Reformation settlement, the German part of the Holy Roman Empire was divided into Reichskreise (imperial circles), which effectively defined Germany against imperial Italy and the Kingdom of Bohemia. The archepiscopal electors continued to bear the titles of chancellors of Germany, Italy and Burgundy. After the Peace of Westphalia (1648), Germany was effectively a congeries of independent states and statelets, over which the remaining institutions of Kingdom and Empire claimed a declining authority. (1)

'Succeeded by Herzogtum Baiern

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