First to reign
Charlemagne
25 December AD 800 – 28 January AD 814
Coats of arms of prince electors surround the imperial coat of arms; from a 1545 armorial. Electors voted in an Imperial Diet for a new Holy Roman Emperor.
Family tree of the imperial dynasties of the Holy Roman Empire: Carolingians, Ottonians, Salians and Hohenstaufen.
Depiction of Charlemagne in a 12th-century stained glass window, Strasbourg Cathedral, now at Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame.
Map of the Holy Roman Empire in the 10th and 11th centuries: Germany (blue), Italy (grey), Burgundy (orange to the West), Bohemia (orange to the East), Papal States (purple).
Illustration of the election of Henry VII (27 November 1308) showing (left to right) the Archbishop of Cologne, Archbishop of Mainz, Archbishop of Trier, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Saxony, Margrave of Brandenburg and King of Bohemia (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340).
Pope Gregory V anoints Emperor Otto III (a miniature by an unidentified author, c. undefined 1450).
Speyer Cathedral, burial place of all Salian Emperors

The dynasty provided four kings of Germany (1024–1125), all of whom went on to be crowned Holy Roman emperors (1027–1125).

- Salian dynasty

Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians (962–1024) and the Salians (1027–1125).

- Holy Roman Emperor
First to reign
Charlemagne
25 December AD 800 – 28 January AD 814

5 related topics

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Holy Roman Empire

Political entity in Western, Central and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Political entity in Western, Central and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

The change of territory of the Holy Roman Empire superimposed on present-day state borders
The double-headed eagle with coats of arms of individual states, the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire (painting from 1510)
The change of territory of the Holy Roman Empire superimposed on present-day state borders
A map of the Carolingian Empire (a.k.a. Francia, the Frankish Empire) within Europe circa 814 CE.
The Holy Roman Empire during the Ottonian Dynasty
The Holy Roman Empire between 972 and 1032
The Hohenstaufen-ruled Holy Roman Empire and Kingdom of Sicily. Imperial and directly held Hohenstaufen lands in the Empire are shown in bright yellow.
The Reichssturmfahne, a military banner during the 13th and early 14th centuries
Lands of the Bohemian Crown since the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV
An illustration from Schedelsche Weltchronik depicting the structure of the Reich: The Holy Roman Emperor is sitting; on his right are three ecclesiastics; on his left are four secular electors.
The Holy Roman Empire when the Golden Bull of 1356 was signed
Innsbruck, most important political centre under Maximilian, seat of the Hofkammer (Court Treasury) and the Court Chancery, which functioned as "the most influential body in Maximilian's government". Painting of Albrecht Dürer (1496)
Maximilian I paying attention to an execution instead of watching the betrothal of his son Philip the Handsome and Joanna of Castile. The top right corner shows Cain and Abel. Satire against Maximilian's legal reform, associated with imperial tyranny. Created on behalf of the councilors of Augsburg. Plate 89 of Von der Arztney bayder Glück by the Petrarcameister.
Personification of the Reich as Germania by Jörg Kölderer, 1512. The "German woman", wearing her hair loose and a crown, sitting on the Imperial throne, corresponds both to the self-image of Maximilian I as King of Germany and the formula Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (omitting other nations). While usually depicted during the Middle Age as subordinate to both imperial power and Italia or Gallia, she now takes central stage in Maximilian's Triumphal Procession, being carried in front of Roma.
The Holy Roman Empire during the 16th century
Carta itineraria europae by Waldseemüller, 1520 (dedicated to Emperor Charles V)
The Holy Roman Empire around 1600, superimposed over current state borders
Religion in the Holy Roman Empire on the eve of the Thirty Years' War
The Empire after the Peace of Westphalia, 1648
The Empire on the eve of the French Revolution, 1789
The crown of the Holy Roman Empire (2nd half of the 10th century), now held in the Schatzkammer (Vienna)
The Seven Prince-electors (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340)
A map of the Empire showing division into Circles in 1512
Vienna, circa 1580 by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg
Front page of the Peace of Augsburg, which laid the legal groundwork for two co-existing religious confessions (Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism) in the German-speaking states of the Holy Roman Empire

Otto III's former mentor Antipope John XVI briefly held Rome, until the Holy Roman Emperor seized the city.

Henry II died in 1024 and Conrad II, first of the Salian dynasty, was elected king only after some debate among dukes and nobles.

Depiction of Otto I on his seal in 968

Otto the Great

Depiction of Otto I on his seal in 968
12th-century stained glass depiction of Otto I, Strasbourg Cathedral
Side view of the Throne of Charlemagne at Aachen Cathedral, where Otto was crowned King of Germany in 936
Central Europe, 919–1125. The Kingdom of Germany included the duchies of Saxony (yellow), Franconia (blue), Bavaria (green), Swabia (orange) and Lorraine (pink left). Various dukes rebelled against Otto's rule in 937 and again in 939.
Statues of Otto I, right, and Adelaide in Meissen Cathedral. Otto and Adelaide were married after his annexation of Italy.
The Iron Crown of the Lombards was passed to Otto in 951 during his first Italian campaign.
Manuscript depiction (c. 1200) of Otto accepting the surrender of Berengar II of Italy. The headline reads Otto I Theutonicorum rex ("Otto the First, King of the Germans").
A medieval king investing a bishop with the symbols of office. Otto centralized his control over Germany through the investiture of bishops and abbots.
Europe shortly after Otto's reign. The Hungarians (orange), located to the east of Otto's realm (blue), invaded Germany in 954 and 955.
A 1457 illustration of the Battle of Lechfeld in Sigmund Meisterlin's codex about the history of Nuremberg
The Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire. Otto was crowned as Emperor on February 2, 962 by Pope John XII.
Replica of the Magdeburger Reiter, an equestrian monument traditionally regarded as a portrait of Otto I (Magdeburg, original c. 1240)
Contemporary image of Otto I, lower left, in one of the Magdeburg Ivories. Otto presents Magdeburg Cathedral to Christ and Saints, and is depicted smaller than them as a sign of humility.
Italy around 1000, shortly after Otto's reign. Otto's expansion campaigns brought northern and central Italy into the Holy Roman Empire.
Tomb of Otto I in Magdeburg Cathedral
Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire commemorative coin

Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (Otto der Große, Ottone il Grande), was East Frankish king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973.

A Salian Frank by birth, Conrad was a nephew of former king Conrad I of Germany.

The imperial prince-electors
left to right: Archbishop of Cologne, Archbishop of Mainz, Archbishop of Trier, Count Palatine, Duke of Saxony, Margrave of Brandenburg and King of Bohemia (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340)

Prince-elector

The imperial prince-electors
left to right: Archbishop of Cologne, Archbishop of Mainz, Archbishop of Trier, Count Palatine, Duke of Saxony, Margrave of Brandenburg and King of Bohemia (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340)
Choosing the king. Above: the three ecclesiastical princes choosing the king, pointing at him. Middle: the Count Palatine of the Rhine hands over a golden bowl, acting as a servant. Behind him, the Duke of Saxony with his marshal's staff and the Margrave of Brandenburg bringing a bowl of warm water, as a valet. Below, the new king in front of the great men of the empire (Heidelberg Sachsenspiegel, around 1300)
The Arms of Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, Arch-Steward and Prince-Elector
The Arms of George III, King of Great Britain and Ireland and Elector (later King) of Hanover
Coats of arms representing the seven original electors with the figure of Germania. Original colours were vivid. Germania's gown was gold, not beige, and the blue-grey was purple.  Also, the browns were painted as vivid red and the muted grey in Saxony's arms was a brilliant green.
Coats of arms of prince electors surround the Holy Roman Emperor's; from flags book of Jacob Köbel (1545). Left to right: Cologne, Bohemia, Brandenburg, Saxony, the Palatinate, Trier, Mainz
The emperor Maximilian surrounded by shield of electorates
Mainz
Trier
Cologne
Kingdom of Bohemia. The white lion bears in his right paw a simple crown symbolizing the King of Bohemia as imperial Arch Cupbearer presenting it to the Emperor.  Restored directly from Medieval, hand-drawn armorials.{{efn|name=armorial Frederick III}}{{efn|name=armorial Maximilian I}}{{efn|name=Kurrent}}
The Palatinate was an electorate until 1777, when the Elector acceded to Bavaria. The office of Arch-Treasurer transferred to Hanover.
Saxony
Brandenburg
Bavaria was granted electoral dignity by Ferdinand II in 1623, removing the dignity from the Count Palatine of the Rhine.
Hanover (Brunswick-Lüneburg), made an elector by Leopold I in 1692 as a reward for aid given in the War of the Grand Alliance. Later, the ceremonial office of Chief Treasurer was transferred here from the Palatinate.
In 1777, the number of Electors dropped from nine to eight, until 1803, when Württemberg was raised to an electorate by Napoleon, while the prince himself was elevated from Standard-Bearer ({{lang|de|Bannerherr}}) to Arch-Standardbearer.
Hesse-Cassel was added in 1803.
Principality of Regensburg was added in 1803, after the annexation of Mainz by the French.
Grand Duchy of Salzburg was added in 1803. After it was mediatized to Austria in 1805, its electoral vote was transferred to Würzburg. Salzburg and Würzburg were ruled by the same person, Ferdinand III.
Grand Duchy of Würzburg
Margraviate of Baden was added in 1803.

The prince-electors (Kurfürst, pl. Kurfürsten, , Princeps Elector), or electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the 10th and 11th centuries, princes often acted merely to confirm hereditary succession in the Saxon Ottonian dynasty and Franconian Salian dynasty.

Depiction of the Ottonian family tree in a 13th-century manuscript of the Chronica sancti Pantaleonis. The founder of the dynasty Liudolf, Duke of Saxony is at the top center

Ottonian dynasty

Depiction of the Ottonian family tree in a 13th-century manuscript of the Chronica sancti Pantaleonis. The founder of the dynasty Liudolf, Duke of Saxony is at the top center
Gandersheim Abbey Church
Former collegiate church of St. Servatius in Quedlinburg, founded in 936 by King Otto I, at the request of his mother Queen Matilda, in honour of her late husband, Otto's father, King Henry the Fowler, and as his memorial
Detail from the monument to Emperor Henry II, built over his tomb in Bamberg Cathedral more than 350 years after his death.
Ottonian family tree

The Ottonian dynasty (Ottonen) was a Saxon dynasty of German monarchs (919–1024), named after three of its kings and Holy Roman Emperors named Otto, especially its first Emperor Otto I.

The crown passed to Conrad II of the Salian dynasty, great-grandson of Liutgarde, a daughter of Otto I, and the Salian duke Conrad the Red of Lorraine.

Henry in full regalia (depicted in the 11th-century Evangelion of Saint Emmeram's Abbey)

Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor

Henry in full regalia (depicted in the 11th-century Evangelion of Saint Emmeram's Abbey)
Throne of Charlemagne in the Palatine Chapel in Aachen
Henry jumps from Archbishop Anno II of Cologne's ship into the Rhine at Kaiserswerth in 1062 (engraving by Bernhard Rode, 1781).
Map of the Holy Roman Empire in the 10th and 11th centuries: Germany (blue), Italy (grey), Burgundy (orange to the West), Bohemia (orange to the East), Papal States (purple). Sardinia's presentation as part of the Holy Roman Empire is debated.
Henry's brother-in-law, King Solomon of Hungary, appeals to Henry for help (miniature in the 14th-century Vienna Illuminated Chronicle).
Ruins of Homburg Castle. Henry's army inflicted a decisive defeat on the Saxons near the castle in 1074.
Henry begging Matilda of Tuscany and Hugh of Cluny in Canossa Castle (miniature in an illuminated manuscript kept in the Vatican Library, 1115)
Rudolf of Rheinfelden dying after losing his right hand in the Battle on the Elster in 1080 (engraving by Bernhard Rode, 1781)
Henry IV (left) and Antipope Clement III (middle-right) during Henry's imperial coronation (from Otto of Freising's Chronicle or History of the Two Cities, 1157)
Welf, Duke of Bavaria—a wealthy German aristocrat with flexible loyalties during Henry's conflicts with the Papacy (a late-15th-century painting)
Henry and his two sons, Henry and Conrad (upper line) (from the 11th-century Evangelion of Saint Emmeram's Abbey)
Mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) in Speyer. Henry summarised the local Jews' liberties in a diploma in 1090.
Henry IV abdicates in favour of Henry V (from the early-12th-century Chronicle of Ekkehard of Aura).
Henry IV and his first wife, Bertha of Savoy (11th-century painting)

Henry IV (Heinrich IV; 11 November 1050 – 7 August 1106) was Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 to 1105, King of Germany from 1054 to 1105, King of Italy and Burgundy from 1056 to 1105, and Duke of Bavaria from 1052 to 1054.

He was the son of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor—the second monarch of the Salian dynasty—and Agnes of Poitou.