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  1. Not all states met all three requirements, so one may distinguish between effective and honorary princes of the Holy Roman Empire. The Princes of the Empire ranked below the seven Prince-electors designated by the Golden Bull of 1356 (and later electors), but above the Reichsgrafen (Counts), Freiherren (barons) and Imperial prelates, who formed with them the Imperial Diet assemblies, but held only collective votes.

  2. Princes of the Holy Roman Empire * Prince-elector B John of Béthune (died 1219) Constantin Brâncoveanu C Dimitrie Cantemir Francis Cowper, 7th Earl Cowper George Clavering-Cowper, 3rd Earl Cowper George Cowper, 6th Earl Cowper D Léopold Philippe d'Arenberg F Fürst M Philippe Jules François Mancini John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough Ivan Mazepa

  3. The Holy Roman Empire was a 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. From the accession of Otto I in 962 until the twelfth century, the Empire was the most powerful monarchy in Europe.

  4. The Holy Empire started when Otto I of East Francia became emperor in 962, and it was ended by Napoleon in 1806. The emperors claimed to be heirs of Charlemagne and that the Empire dates from 800, when Charlemagne became Frankish Emperor. In the 17th century the Empire was shattered by the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648).

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    Electors were rulers of reichsstände (Imperial Estates), enjoying precedence over the other Imperial Princes. They were, until the 18th century, exclusively entitled to be addressed with the title Durchlaucht (Serene Highness). In 1742, the electors became entitled to the superlative Durchlauchtigste (Most Serene Highness), while other princes were...

    The electors, like the other princes ruling States of the Empire, were members of the Imperial Diet, which was divided into three collegia: the Council of Electors, the Council of Princes, and the Council of Cities. In addition to being members of the Council of Electors, most electors were also members of the Council of Princes by virtue of posses...

    The electors were originally summoned by the Archbishop of Mainz within one month of an Emperor's death, and met within three months of being summoned. During the interregnum, imperial power was exercised by two imperial vicars. Each vicar, in the words of the Golden Bull, was "the administrator of the empire itself, with the power of passing judgm...

    The German practice of electing monarchs began when ancient Germanic tribes formed ad hoc coalitions and elected the leaders thereof. Elections were irregularly held by the Franks, whose successor states include France and the Holy Roman Empire. The French monarchy eventually became hereditary, but the Holy Roman Emperors remained elective, at leas...

    Electoral arms

    Below are the State arms of each Imperial Elector. Emblems of Imperial High Officesare shown on the appropriate arms. Three Electors Spiritual (Archbishops): all three were annexed by various powers through German Mediatisationof 1803. 1. Mainz 2. Trier 3. Cologne Four Electors Secular: 1. 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...


    1. Bryce, J. (1887). The Holy Roman Empire, 8th ed. New York: Macmillan. 2. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Electors" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 173–175. 3. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "Elector". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences(1st ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.

    Oestreich, G. and Holzer, E. (1973). " Übersicht über die Reichsstände." In Gebhardt, Bruno. Handbuch der Deutschen Geschichte, 9th ed. (Vol. 2, pp. 769–784). Stuttgart: Ernst Ketler Verlag.