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Thread: Election of the Holy Roman Emperor

  1. #1
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Election of the Holy Roman Emperor

    As we all know, electing the Holy Roman Emperor caused significant problems due to multiple claimants, lineages, factions, power, influence and external influences.

    I asked the issue of the German stem duchies some time ago, but I focused mainly on the duchies. Now about the election in itself - how did the actual election go?

    Did they... vote? (a democracy in the 12-14th century!)

    They gathered where, how did they vote, did they bring their vassals...?

    Thank you.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Election of the Holy Roman Emperor

    I don't know how this very interesting question got missed. The rules were laid down in 1356 in the "Golden Bull." I don't know what they did before then, so all my comments pertain to 1356 and later.

    Yes, they voted, but only 7 senior clergy and nobles were allowed to vote, so it wasn't a democracy. To elect means to choose, and before modern times did not necessarily imply that everyone gets to vote. (St Chad was "elected" Bishop of Northumberland by the King of Northumberland - an electorate of 1. Not really relevant to the empire. Just an illustration of how different "elections" used to be.) By the way, the 7 voters (known as the Electors) could only confer the title "King of the Romans." The king would later get the title Emperor from the Pope ... or again maybe not. It was rarely feasable to drop everything and rush off to Rome. Some Kings of the Romans never made it.

    The Golden Bull specified that the election must take place in Frankfurt. I don't know if the Electors bought their vassals with them, but I can't imagine a high dignitary from the Middle Ages or Renaissance even going to visit his granny without an impressive entourage, and the election of the King of the Romans must have been pomp and circumstances to the max. They must have bought someone ... a lot of someones.
    Last edited by Brandy Blue; 03-23-2019 at 04:10. Reason: historical accuracy
    In those simple times there was a great wonder and mystery in life. Man walked in fear and solemnity, with Heaven very close above his head, and Hell below his very feet. God's visible hand was everywhere, in the rainbow and the comet, in the thunder and the wind. The Devil too raged openly upon the earth; he skulked behind the hedge-rows in the gloaming; he laughed loudly in the night-time; he clawed the dying sinner, pounced on the unbaptized babe, and twisted the limbs of the epileptic. A foul fiend slunk ever by a man's side and whispered villainies in his ear, while above him there hovered an angel of grace . . .

    Arthur Conan Doyle

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Election of the Holy Roman Emperor

    My mistake. St Chad was a bishop, not an archbishop. Corrected in text of my post.
    In those simple times there was a great wonder and mystery in life. Man walked in fear and solemnity, with Heaven very close above his head, and Hell below his very feet. God's visible hand was everywhere, in the rainbow and the comet, in the thunder and the wind. The Devil too raged openly upon the earth; he skulked behind the hedge-rows in the gloaming; he laughed loudly in the night-time; he clawed the dying sinner, pounced on the unbaptized babe, and twisted the limbs of the epileptic. A foul fiend slunk ever by a man's side and whispered villainies in his ear, while above him there hovered an angel of grace . . .

    Arthur Conan Doyle

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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Election of the Holy Roman Emperor

    I love the visual aspect of visiting your elderly with the entire pomp of vassals. Makes it funny to imagine.

    Thank you Brandy!
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

    Proud

    Been to:

    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Election of the Holy Roman Emperor

    I am confused by your original question and the answer to it.

    In the original question you mention Stem Duchies. The answer was about the HRE after the Golden Bull - both do not mix.

    The Empire had Stem Duchies only during it’s time as the Eastern Frankish Empire and early HRE - but which were split into smaller territorial duchies under the Hohenstaufens.

    The 7 electors of the HRE after the Golden Bull were completely different entities than the Stem Duchies, with only Bavaria making the transition from Stem Duchy to territorial duchy and then having no vote because the electoral vote was held by the Palatinate.

  6. #6

  7. #7

    Default Re: Election of the Holy Roman Emperor

    Those coronation plates are very impressive! How were they made?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Election of the Holy Roman Emperor

    Quote Originally Posted by ConjurerDragon View Post
    I am confused by your original question and the answer to it.

    In the original question you mention Stem Duchies. The answer was about the HRE after the Golden Bull - both do not mix.

    The Empire had Stem Duchies only during it’s time as the Eastern Frankish Empire and early HRE - but which were split into smaller territorial duchies under the Hohenstaufens.

    The 7 electors of the HRE after the Golden Bull were completely different entities than the Stem Duchies, with only Bavaria making the transition from Stem Duchy to territorial duchy and then having no vote because the electoral vote was held by the Palatinate.

    In an earlier thread he asked about stem duchies. This time he is asking about elections. I focussed my answer on post Golden Bull because I know a little about that but not at all about pre Golden Bull. If you know about elections pre Golden Bull, (or post for that matter) please don't be shy about contributing your knowledge.
    In those simple times there was a great wonder and mystery in life. Man walked in fear and solemnity, with Heaven very close above his head, and Hell below his very feet. God's visible hand was everywhere, in the rainbow and the comet, in the thunder and the wind. The Devil too raged openly upon the earth; he skulked behind the hedge-rows in the gloaming; he laughed loudly in the night-time; he clawed the dying sinner, pounced on the unbaptized babe, and twisted the limbs of the epileptic. A foul fiend slunk ever by a man's side and whispered villainies in his ear, while above him there hovered an angel of grace . . .

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  9. #9

    Default Re: Election of the Holy Roman Emperor

    Quote Originally Posted by Xantan View Post
    Those coronation plates are very impressive! How were they made?
    They were etched, then multiple copies were printed.

    Druzhina

  10. #10

    Default Re: Election of the Holy Roman Emperor

    Quote Originally Posted by edyzmedieval View Post
    I love the visual aspect of visiting your elderly with the entire pomp of vassals. Makes it funny to imagine.

    Thank you Brandy!
    Why did you have to bring all these noisy MEN dear? The Marquis de Sade is welcome any time. Such a nice young man. I don't believe a WORD about what they say he did to his mother. But I can't abide the bishop of Wurtemburg. I'm sure a bishop shouldn't even KNOW half the words he uses. I've never been so shocked. I don't know how his mistress can stand him.

    What mistress grandma?

    Either of them!

    Yes, there could be some comic potential.
    Last edited by Brandy Blue; 04-12-2019 at 09:17.
    In those simple times there was a great wonder and mystery in life. Man walked in fear and solemnity, with Heaven very close above his head, and Hell below his very feet. God's visible hand was everywhere, in the rainbow and the comet, in the thunder and the wind. The Devil too raged openly upon the earth; he skulked behind the hedge-rows in the gloaming; he laughed loudly in the night-time; he clawed the dying sinner, pounced on the unbaptized babe, and twisted the limbs of the epileptic. A foul fiend slunk ever by a man's side and whispered villainies in his ear, while above him there hovered an angel of grace . . .

    Arthur Conan Doyle

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