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Career of Charlemagne, by Guizot, Francois P. G.

Life of Charlemagne

World History Center

Holy Roman Empire, The
Book: Appendix.
Author: Bryce, James
Date: 1901

Page Twenty Five:  Appendix.

Note A. - On The Burgundies.

It would be hard to mention any geographical name which, by its
application at different times to different districts, has caused, and
continues to cause, more confusion than this name Burgundy. There may,
therefore, be some use in a brief statement of the more important of those
applications. Without going into the minutiae of the subject, the following
may be given as the ten senses in which the name is most frequently to be met
with: -

I. The kingdom of the Burgundians (regnum Burgundionum), founded A.D.
406, occupying the whole valley of the Saone and lower Rhone, from Dijon to
the Mediterranean, and including also the western half of Switzerland. It was
destroyed by the sons of Clovis in A.D. 534.

II. The kingdom of Burgundy (regnum Burgundiae), mentioned occasionally
under the Merovingian kings as a separate principality, confined within
boundaries apparently somewhat narrower than those of the older kingdom last

III. The kingdom of Provence or Burgundy (regnum Provinciae seu
Burgundiae) - also, though less accurately, called the kingdom of Cis-Jurane
Burgundy - was founded by Boso in A.D. 879, and included Provence, Dauphine,
the southern part of Savoy, and the country between the Saone and the Jura.

IV. The kingdom of Trans-Jurane Burgundy (regnum Iurense, Burgundia
Transiurensis), founded by Rudolf in A.D. 888, recognized in the same year by
the Emperor Arnulf, included the northern part of Savoy, and all Switzerland
between the Reuss and the Jura.

V. The kingdom of Burgundy or Arles (regnum Burgundiae, regnum
Arelatense), formed by the union, under Conrad the Pacific, in A.D. 937, of
the kingdoms described above as III and IV. On the death, in 1032, of the
last independent king, Rudolf III, it came partly by bequest, partly by
conquest, into the hands of the Emperor Conrad II (the Salic), and
thenceforward formed a part of the Empire. In the thirteenth century, France
began to absorb it, bit by bit, and has now (since the annexation of Savoy in
1861) acquired all except the Swiss portion.

VI. The Lesser Duchy (Burgundia Minor), (Klein Burgund), corresponded
very nearly with what is now Switzerland west of the Reuss, including the
Valais. It was Trans-Jurane Burgundy (IV) minus the parts of Savoy which had
belonged to that kingdom. It disappears from history after the extinction of
the house of Zahringen in the thirteenth century. Legally it was part of the
Empire till A.D. 1648, though practically independent long before that date.

VII. The Free County or Palatinate of Burgundy (Franche-Comte),
(Freigrafschaft), (called also Upper Burgundy), to which the name of
Cis-Jurane Burgundy originally and properly belonged, lay between the Saone
and the Jura. It formed a part of III and V, and was therefore a fief of the
Empire. The French dukes of Burgundy were invested with it in A.D. 1384. Its
capital, the imperial city of Besancon, was given to Spain in 1651, and by the
treaties of Nimwegen, 1678-9, it was ceded to the crown of France.

VIII. The Landgraviate of Burgundy (Landgrafschaft) lay in what is now
Western Switzerland, on both sides of the Aar, between Thun and Solothurn. It
was a part of the Lesser Duchy (VI), and, like it, is hardly mentioned after
the thirteenth century.

IX. The circle of Burgundy (Kreis Burgund), an administrative division of
the Empire, was established by Charles V in 1548; and included the Free County
of Burgundy (VII) and the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands, which
Charles inherited from his grandmother Mary, daughter of Charles the Bold.

X. The Duchy of Burgundy (Lower Burgundy) (Bourgogne), the most northerly
part of the old kingdom of the Burgundians, was always a fief of the crown of
France, and a province of France till the Revolution. It was of this Burgundy
that Philip the Good and Charles the Bold were Dukes. They were also Counts
of the Free County (VII).

There was very nearly being an eleventh Burgundy. In 1784 Joseph II
proposed to the Elector of Bavaria to give him the Austrian Netherlands,
except the citadels of Luxemburg and Limburg, with the title of King of
Burgundy, in exchange for his Bavarian dominions, which Joseph was anxious to
get hold of. The Elector consented, France (bribed by the offer of Luxemburg
and Limburg) and Russia approved, and the project was only baffled by the
promptitude of Frederick the Great in forming the League of Princes to
preserve the integrity of German territories.

The most copious and accurate information regarding the obscure history
of the Burgundian kingdoms (III, IV, and V) is to be found in the
contributions of Baron Frederic de Gingins la Sarraz, a Vaudois historian, to
the Archiv fur Schweizer Geschichte. See also an Essay entitled The Franks
and the Gauls in Mr. E. A. Freeman's Historical Essays.

Note B. - On The Relations To The Empire Of The Kingdon Of Denmark, And The
Duchies Of Schleswig And Holstein.

The history of the relations of Denmark and the Duchies to the
Romano-Germanic Empire is a very small part of the great Schleswig-Holstein
controversy. But having been unnecessarily mixed up with two questions
properly quite distinct, - the first, as to the relation of Schleswig to
Holstein, and of both jointly to the Danish crown; the second, as to the
diplomatic engagements which the Danish kings have in recent times contracted
with the German powers, - it has borne its part in making the whole question
the most intricate and interminable that has vexed Europe for two centuries
and a half. Setting aside irrelevant matter, the facts as to the Empire are
as follows: -

I. The Danish kings began to own the supremacy of the Frankish Emperors
early in the ninth century. Having recovered their independence in the
confusion that followed the fall of the Carolingian dynasty, they were again
subdued by Henry the Fowler and Otto the Great, and continued tolerably
submissive till the death of Frederick II and the period of anarchy which
followed. Since that time Denmark has always been independent, although her
king was, until the treaty of A.D. 1865, a member of the German Confederation
as duke of Holstein and Lauenburg.

II. Schleswig was in Carolingian times Danish; the Eyder being, as
Eginhard tells us, the boundary between Saxonia Transalbiana (Holstein), and
the Terra Nortmannorum (wherein lay the town of Sliesthorp), inhabited by the
Scandinavian heathen. Otto the Great conquered all Schleswig, and, it is
said, Jutland also, and added the southern part of Schleswig to the immediate
territory of the Empire, erecting it into a margraviate. So it remained till
the days of Conrad II, who made the Eyder again the boundary, retaining of
course his suzerainty over the kingdom of Denmark as a whole. But by this
time the colonization of Schleswig by the Germans had begun: and ever since
the numbers of the Danish population seem to have steadily declined, and the
mass of the people to have grown more and more disposed to sympathize with
their southern rather than their northern neighbours.

III. Holstein always was an integral part of the Empire, as it was
afterwards of the Germanic Confederation and is now of the new German Empire.

Note C. - On Certain Imperial Titles And Ceremonies.

This subject is a great deal too wide and too intricate to be more than
touched upon here. But a few brief statements may have their use; for the
practice of the Germanic Emperors varied so greatly from time to time, that
the reader becomes hopelessly perplexed without some clue. And if there were
space to explain the causes of each change of title, it would be seen that the
subject, dry as it may appear, is very far from being a barren or a dull one.

I. Titles Of Emperors.

Charles the Great styled himself 'Carolus serenissimus Augustus, a Deo
coronatus, magnus et pacificus imperator, Romanum (or Romanorum) gubernans
imperium, qui et per misericordiam Dei rex Francorum et Langobardorum.'

Subsequent Carolingian Emperors were usually entitled simply 'Imperator
Augustus.' Sometimes 'rex Francorum et Langobardorum' was added ^1.

[Footnote 1: Waitz (Deutsche Verfassungs-geschichte) says that the phrase
'semper Augustus' may be found in the times of the Carolingians, but in no
official documents.]

Conrad I and Henry I (the Fowler) were only German kings.

A Saxon Emperor was, before his coronation at Rome, 'rex,' or 'rex
Francorium Orientalium,' or 'Francorum atque Saxonum rex;' after it, simply
'Imperator Augustus.' Otto III is usually said to have introduced the form
'Romanorum Imperator Augustus,' but some authorities state that it occurs in
documents of the time of Lewis I.

Henry II and his successors, not daring to take the title of Emperor till
crowned at Rome (in conformity with the superstitious notion which had begun
with Charles the Bald), but anxious to claim the sovereignty of Rome, as
indissolubly attached to the German crown, began to call themselves 'reges
Romanorum.' The title did not, however, become common or regular till the time
of Henry IV, in whose proclamations (issued before his Roman coronation) it
occurs constantly.

From the eleventh century till the sixteenth, the invariable practice was
for the monarch to be called 'Romanorum rex semper Augustus,' till his
coronation at Rome by the Pope; after it, 'Romanorum Imperator semper

In A.D. 1508, Maximilian I, being refused a passage to Rome by the
Venetians, obtained a bull from Pope Julius II permitting him to call himself
'Imperator electus' (erwahlter Kaiser). This title Ferdinand I (brother of
Charles V) and all succeeding Emperors took immediately upon their German
coronation, and it was till A.D. 1806 their strict legal designation ^1, and
was always employed by them in proclamations or other official documents. The
term 'elect' was however omitted even in formal documents when the sovereign
was addressed or spoken of in the third person; and in ordinary practice he
was simply 'Roman Emperor.'

[Footnote 1: There is some reason to think that towards the end of the Empire
people had begun to fancy that 'erwahlter' did not mean 'elect,' but
'elective.' Cf. note (m), p. 365.]

Maximilian added the title 'Germaniae rex,' which had never been known
before, although the phrase 'rex Germanorum' may be found employed once or
twice in early times. 'Rex Teutonicorum,' 'regnum Teutonicum ^1,' occur often
in the tenth and eleventh centuries. A great many titles of less consequence
were added from time to time. Charles the Fifth had seventy-five, not, of
course, as Emperor, but in virtue of his vast hereditary possessions ^2.

[Footnote 1: These expressions seem to have been intended to distinguish the
kingdom of the eastern or Germanic Franks from that of the Western or
Gallicized Franks (Francigenae), which having been for some time 'regnum
Francorum Occidentalium,' grew at last to be simply 'regnum Franciae,' the
East Frankish kingdom being swallowed up in the Empire.

It is not very easy to say precisely when the name 'Francia' came to
denote, to Europe generally, what we now call France. Leopold of Bamberg, in
the fourteenth century, complains of it, as then a fixed use. In the
thirteenth century Snorri Sturlason speaks of Otto the Great as collecting an
army from 'Saxonland, Frakland, Friesland, and Vendland,' apparently denoting
by Frakland the old Frankish country (F. orientalis) (Heimskringla, Olafs Saga
Trygguasonar). In England the name had no doubt changed its meaning some time

[Footnote 2: It is right to remark that what is stated here can be taken as
only generally and probably true: so great are the discrepancies among even
the most careful writers on the subject, and so numerous the forgeries of a
later age, which are to be found among the genuine documents of the early
Empire. Goldast's Collections, for instance, are full of forgeries and
anachronisms. Detailed information may be found in Pfeffinger, Moser, and
Putter, and in the host of writers to whom they refer.]

It is perhaps worth remarking that the word 'Emperor' has not at all the
same meaning now that it had even so lately as two centuries ago. It is now a
commonplace, not to say vulgar, title, somewhat more pompous than that of
King, and supposed to belong especially to despots. It is given to all sorts
of barbarous princes, like those of China and Abyssinia, in default of a
better name. It is peculiarly affected by new dynasties; and has indeed grown
so fashionable, that what with Emperors of Brazil, of Hayti, and of Mexico,
the good old title of King seems in a fair way to become obsolete ^1. But in
former times there was, and could be but one Emperor; he was always mentioned
with a certain reverence: his name summoned up a host of thoughts and
associations, which we cannot comprehend or sympathize with. His office,
unlike that of modern Emperors, was by its very nature elective and not
hereditary; and, so far from resting on conquest or the will of the people,
rested on and represented pure legality. War could give him nothing which law
had not given him already: the people could delegate no power to him who was
their lord and the viceroy of God.

[Footnote 1: We in England may be thought to have made some slight movement in
the same direction, by calling the united great council of the Three Kingdoms
the Imperial Parliament.]

II. The Crowns.

Of the four crowns something has been said in the text. They were those
of Germany, taken at Aachen in earlier times, latterly at Frankfort, once or
twice at Regensburg; of Burgundy, at Arles; of Italy, sometimes at Pavia, more
usually at Milan or Monza; of the world, at Rome.

The German crown was taken by every Emperor after the time of Otto the
Great; that of Italy by every one, or almost every one, who took the Roman
down to Frederick III, but by none after him; that of Burgundy, it would
appear, by four Emperors only, Conrad II, Henry III, Frederick I, and Charles
IV. The imperial crown was received at Rome by most Emperors till Frederick
III; after him by none save Charles V, who obtained both it and the Italian at
Bologna in a somewhat informal manner. From Ferdinand I onwards the Emperor
bound himself by his capitulation, 'sich zum besten befleissigen zu wollen die
kayserliche Cron auch in ziemlich gelegener Zeit zum schiersten zu erlangen.'
At the Diet of Ratisbon in 1653 (when Ferdinand archduke of Austria was chosen
king of the Romans) the Protestants protested against this article; but the
Emperor, appealing to the Golden Bull, insisted on its retention. In the
capitulation of Leopold I, however, and his successors down to Francis II, the
article was modified so as to bind the new sovereign 'die Romische-Konigliche
Cron forderlichst zu empfangen, und alles dasjenige dabey zu thun so sich
derenthalben gebuhret.'

It should be remembered that none of these inferior crowns were
necessarily connected with that of the Roman Empire, which might have been
held by a simple knight without a foot of land in the world. For as there had
been Emperors (Lothar I, Lewis II, Lewis of Provence, son of Boso, Guy,
Lambert, and Berengar) who were not kings of Germany, so there were several
(all those who preceded Conrad II) who were not kings of Burgundy, and others
(Arnulf for example, who were not kings of Italy. And it is also worth
remarking, that although no crown save the German was assumed by the
successors of Charles V, their wider rights remained in full force, and were
never subsequently relinquished. There was nothing, except the practical
difficulty and absurdity of such a project, to prevent Francis II from having
himself crowned at Arles ^1, Milan, and Rome.

[Footnote 1: Although to be sure the Burgundian dominions had all passed from
the Emperor to France, the kingdom of Sardinia, and the Swiss Confederation.]

III. The King of the Romans (Romischer Konig).

It has been shewn above how and why, about the time of Henry II, the
German monarch began to entitle himself 'Romanorum rex.' Now it was not
uncommon in the Middle Ages for the heir-apparent to a throne to be crowned
during his father's lifetime, that at the death of the latter he might step at
once into his place. (Coronation, it must be remembered, which is now merely
a spectacle was in those days not only a sort of sacrament, but a matter of
great political importance.) This plan was specially useful in an elective
monarchy, such as Germany was after the twelfth century, for it avoided the
delays and dangers of an election while the throne was vacant. But it seemed
against the order of nature to have two Emperors at once ^1, and as the
sovereign's authority in Germany depended not on the Roman but on the German
coronation, the practice came to be that each Emperor during his own life
procured, if he could, the election of his successor, who was crowned at
Aachen, in later times at Frankfort, and took the title of 'King of the
Romans.' During the presence of the Emperor in Germany he exercised no more
authority than a Prince of Wales does in England, but on the Emperor's death
he succeeded at once, without any second election or coronation, and assumed
(after the time of Ferdinand I) the title of 'Emperor Elect ^2.' Before
Ferdinand's time, he would have been expected to go to Rome to be crowned
there. While the Hapsburgs held the sceptre, each monarch generally contrived
in this way to have his son or some other near relative chosen to succeed him.
But many were foiled in their attempts to do so; and, in such cases, an
election was held after the Emperor's death, according to the rules laid down
in the Golden Bull.

[Footnote 1: Nevertheless, Otto II was crowned Emperor, and reigned for some
time along with his father, under the title of 'Co-Imperator.' So Lothar I was
associated in the Empire with Lewis the Pious, as Lewis himself had been
crowned in the lifetime of Charles. Many analogies to the practice of the
Romano-Germanic Empire in this respect might be adduced from the history of
the old Roman, as well as of the Byzantine Empire.]

[Footnote 2: Maximilian had obtained this title, 'Emperor Elect,' from the
Pope. Ferdinand took it as of right, and his successors followed the

The first person who thus became king of the Romans in the lifetime of an
Emperor seems to have been Henry VI, son of Frederick I.

It was in imitation of this title that Napoleon called his son king of

A few weeks ago (May, 1876) the Royal Titles Bill gave rise to much
discussion in England respecting the meaning of the name Emperor, particularly
whether or no it implies a superiority to kings. Although the subject has
been referred to in the text, it may be worth while to repeat here that beyond
all doubt the title of Emperor was, during the Dark and Middle Ages, not only
superior to that of King, but involved the conception of a sovereignty over
kings, and a power of creating them (see p. 250 and note). For there was
then, and could be (according to the received theory), only one Emperor, God's
temporal vicegerent, of whom kings were no more than local deputies or
officers. These notions vanished in the sixteenth century, but the idea of
the Emperor's primacy survived till 1806, although latterly various devices
were resorted to to avoid the admission of it at diplomatic gatherings. It
was doubtless because they thought it more imposing that the Czar of Muscovy,
and afterwards Napoleon, wishing to assert their equality with the legitimate
successor of Augustus and Otto the Great, assumed the imperial title; and it
was because he hoped to retain the old splendour of his crown in a new form
that Francis II, presaging the extinction of the Holy Empire, adopted the
style, which would have seemed absurd three centuries earlier, of Hereditary
Emperor of Austria. Some similar belief in the dignity of the title must have
prompted its assumption by the sovereigns of Brazil and Hayti (this last
intending to imitate Napoleon), by the unfortunate Maximilian in Mexico, and
by Louis Napoleon, who of course had to claim his uncle's inheritance. The
old sentiment of reverence has, however, been so much used up, not to say
outraged, by these modern attempts to take advantage of it, that it can
scarcely be said to survive in our days. Except in the case of the German
Emperor, the associations of the imperial name are no longer specially
dignified: Emperor is only a pretentious synonym for king.

It is otherwise with the German Emperor, because he has a substantial, if
not a formal and technical claim, to represent the mediaeval empire, with its
line of magnificent sovereigns from Henry the Fowler to Frederick II. Moreover
a title different from and apparently higher than that of king was wanted for
the head of the new Germanic state, because the kingdoms of Saxony, Bavaria,
and Wurtemburg are members of it.

There was a certain resemblance between the position in Hindostan of the
Mogul sovereigns of Delhi from Akber to Aurungzebe, and that of the earlier
Teutonic emperors in Europe. And the supremacy which the British Crown now
holds in India over nearly all the native potentates, is not unlike that which
mediaeval theory assigned to the Emperor among Christian princes.

Note D. - Lines Contrasting The Past And Present Of Rome.

Dum simulacra mihi, dum numina vana placebant,
Militia, populo, moenibus alta fui:
At simul effigies arasque superstitiosas
Deiiciens, uni sum famulata Deo,
Cesserunt arces, cecidere palatia divum,
Servivit populus, degeneravit eques.
Vix scio quae fuerim, vix Romae Roma recordor;
Vix sinit occasus vel meminisse mei.
Gratior haec iactura mihi successibus illis;
Maior sum pauper divite, stante iacens:
Plus aquilis vexilla crucis, plus Caesare Petrus,
Plus cinctis ducibus vulgus inerme dedit.
Stans domui terras, infernum diruta pulso,
Corpora stans, animas fracta iacensque rego.
Tunc miserae plebi, modo principibus tenebrarum
Impero: tunc urbes, nunc mea regna polus.

Written by Hildebert, bishop of Le Mans, and afterwards archbishop of
Tours (born A.D. 1057). Extracted from his works as printed by Migne,
Patrologiae Cursus Completus ^1.

[Footnote 1: See note (d), p. 271.]
ct, be it
great or small, was wholly repugnant to mediaeval doctrine, which could
imagine one Emperor only, lord of all Christians, just as it could recognize
only one Pope. And it is, perhaps, some lingering respect for this feeling
that has caused the official style of the present sovereign to be 'German
Emperor,' that is, 'Emperor in Germany,' instead of 'Emperor of Germany.'

It is therefore in strictness not to Otto the Great and his long line of
successors down to Francis II that the Emperor William succeeds, but to the
German kings Conrad I and Henry the Fowler, that Henry the Fowler who in one
of his expeditions against the Wendish heathen stormed their fort of
Brannibor, and founded there, to guard the north-eastern frontier, that Mark
of Brandenburg which has grown into the Prussian monarchy. The power of the
modern sovereign is indeed of a very different nature from that of those
remote predecessors, far more effective in his patrimonial lands than Henry's
was in Saxony; far more limited over Bavaria than was that of the Frankish and
Saxon princes, even in the days of Duke Arnulf the Wicked. This loose and
anomalous federal constitution is the heritage of the old Empire, which in
endeavouring to win for the Emperor a commanding European international
position, allowed kings and princes to spring up beside him in Germany, and
wrest from him nearly all the domestic power which had once been his. But if
in this the influence of that great shadow of the past be thought pernicious,
it ought not the less to be remembered, that to it is in great measure due
this last renewal of national life. It is the tradition of a glorious unity,
in the days when Germany led the world, that has made Germany again the
central power of continental Europe, and the arbiter of its destinies.

The parallelism between the course of events in Germany and in Italy
which has several times already been referred to, appears most strikingly in
the events of 1870. As it was by the war of 1866, which, in putting an end to
the long dualism of Austria and Prussia, made a united Germany possible, that
Italy recovered her Venetian provinces, so it was the war of 1870 that, even
while it re-established the Germanic Empire, completed the unity of Italy by
making Rome again her possession and her capital. The Popedom which, in the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries inflicted a fatal wound upon the Holy Empire,
had in modern times allied itself with Austria and the petty despotisms of the
peninsula, had done its utmost to check as well the union as the freedom of
the Italian people, and had raised those pretensions to a temporal sway which
had been one chief cause of its hostility to the mediaeval Emperors almost to
the rank of an article of faith. It now found itself involved in the fall of
its ancient ally France, and saw that temporal dominion perish with the
triumph of its ancient Teutonic enemies. The first German victories compelled
the recall of the French troops from Rome, and allowed the Italians to
establish themselves there; a few months later the swelling current of success
brought about the union of North and South Germany in a single state. The
same great struggle which restored political unity to the one nation completed
it in the other; and at the very moment when the imperial name was revived in
the Transalpine countries, the ancient imperial seat upon the Tiber became the
capital of an Italian monarchy. The two great races whose national life had
been sacrificed to the mediaeval Empire regain it together, and regain it by
the defeat of that Empire's old antagonists, the ecclesiastical power and the
French monarchy. The triumph of the principle of nationality is complete; the
old wrongs are redressed; the old problems solved: we seem to have closed one
great page in the world's history, and pause to wonder and conjecture what the
next may have to unfold. No one who has looked below the surface of the events
that have passed in Europe during the last thirty years can have failed to be
struck by the rapidity and completeness of the changes those years have
witnessed, and by the new aspect which political thought, as well as practical
politics, has taken. Through western and central Europe the small states have
disappeared, and the great states have reached their natural boundaries of
race and language. Free and even comparatively democratic constitutions have
been established in many; and where this has not been the case, the rights of
the subject have yet been in theory substantially admitted. It is now the
passions and interests of peoples rather than of princes that are the potent
factors in politics. The divine right of kings and aristocracies, the
authority of the state to control the individual conscience or enforce
religious conformity, find scarcely a defender: the principles of the Holy
Alliance seem to lie centuries behind. Meanwhile other questions, other
difficulties, begin to thicken upon us, as on a stormy day a new mass of
clouds rises from the darkening west before the last one has been scattered
into the blue or swept beneath the opposite horizon. One of these problems,
an old one indeed in a new form, - that which respects the attitude of an
infallible church under an infallible head to the temporal government - the
German state has already been called on to confront: others of an economical
rather than a purely political character threaten the stability of society
there as they have long done in France. The foundation of kingdoms on a
national basis does not seem to have made the contagion of social disturbances
less dangerous; nor need Germany think that with the restoration of the Empire
there has begun for her, any more than for the rest of Europe, an era of
peace, ease and happiness. Yet there is reason to trust that that spirit of
patriotism and self-control which lately shone forth on so great a theatre and
with such splendid results, will enable the German people to succeed, not only
in perfecting the internal unity of their state and developing the popular
element in its constitution, but also in overcoming the more serious perils
which threaten it, like the other great industrial communities of the world,
from the mutual jealousies and conflicting interests of different classes in
society. To have created a great military state is much, yet it is only a
small part of the task which lies before the civilized nations of the present.