Archbishopric of Mainz: Wikis


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Kurfürstentum Mainz
Electorate of Mainz
State of the Holy Roman Empire

Coat of arms

Capital Mainz
Government Theocracy
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Bishopric established Ancient Roman times
 - Gained territory,
    elevated to archbishopric

780–782 780
 - Mainz made Free Imperial City 1242–1462
 - Arch-chancellor of Germany 1251
 - Republic of Mainz 18 March
to 23 July 1793
 - Treaty of Campo Formio 17 October 1797
 - Reichsdeputationshauptschluss 1803
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Franconia Duchy of Franconia
Principality of Aschaffenburg Aschaffenburg
Grand Duchy of Hesse
Duchy of Nassau
Kingdom of Prussia

The Archbishopric of Mainz (German: Erzbistum Mainz) or Electorate of Mainz (German: Kurfürstentum Mainz or Kurmainz) was an influential ecclesiastic and secular prince-bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire between 780–82 and 1802. In the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, the Archbishop of Mainz was the primas Germaniae, the substitute of the Pope north of the Alps. Aside from Rome, the See of Mainz is the only other see referred to as a "Holy See", although this usage has become rather less common.

The archbishopric was a substantial ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire. It included several non-contiguous blocks of territory: lands near Mainz on both the left and right banks of the Rhine; territory along the Main above Frankfurt (including the district of Aschaffenburg); the Eichsfeld region in Lower Saxony and Thuringia; and the territory around Erfurt in Thuringia. The archbishop was also, traditionally, one of the Imperial Prince-Electors, the Arch-chancellor of Germany, and presiding officer of the electoral college technically from 1251 and permanently from 1263 until 1803.



The see was established in ancient Roman times, in the city of Mainz, which had been a Roman provincial capital called Moguntiacum, but the office really came to prominence upon its elevation to an archdiocese in 780/82. The first bishops before the 4th century have legendary names, beginning with Crescens. The first verifiable Bishop of Mainz was Martinus in 343. The ecclesiastical and secular importance of Mainz dates from the accession of St. Boniface to the see in 747. Boniface was previously an archbishop, but the honor did not immediately devolve upon the see itself until his successor Lullus.

In 1802, Mainz lost its archiepiscopal character. In the secularizations that accompanied the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss of 1803, the seat of the elector, Karl Theodor von Dalberg, was moved to Regensburg, and the electorate lost its left bank territories to France, its right bank areas along the Main below Frankfurt to Hesse-Darmstadt and the Nassau princes, and Eichsfeld and Erfurt to the Kingdom of Prussia. Dalberg retained the Aschaffenburg area as the Principality of Aschaffenburg. In 1810 Dalberg merged Aschaffenburg, Frankfurt, Wetzlar, Hanau, and Fulda, to form the new Grand Duchy of Frankfurt in 1810. Dalberg resigned in 1813 and in 1815 the Congress of Vienna divided his territories between the Kingdom of Bavaria, the Electorate of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), the Grand Duchy of Hesse and the Free City of Frankfurt.

The modern Roman Catholic Diocese of Mainz was founded in 1802, within the territory of France and in 1814 its jurisdiction was extended over the territory of Hesse-Darmstadt. Since then it has had two cardinals and via various concordats was allowed to retain the mediæval tradition of the cathedral chapter electing a successor to the bishop.

Bishops and archbishops


Bishops of Moguntiacum, 80–745

  • Crescens c. 80–103
  • Marinus c. 103–109
  • St. Crescentius c. 109–127
  • Cyriacus c. 127–141
  • Hilarius c. 141–161
  • Martin I c. 161–175
  • Celsus c. 175–197
  • Lucius c. 197–207
  • Gotthard c. 207–222
  • Sophron c. 222–230
  • Heriger I c. 230–234
  • Ruther c. 234–254
  • Avitus c. 254–276
  • Ignatius c. 276–289
  • Dionysius c. 289–309
  • Ruprecht I c. 309–321
  • Adalhard c. 320s
  • Lucius Annaeus c. 330s
  • Martin II c. 330s – c. 360s
  • Sidonius I c. late 360s – c. 386
  • Sigismund c. 386 – c. 392
  • Theonistus or Thaumastus[1]
  • Lupold c. 392 – c. 409
  • Nicetas c. 409 – c. 417
  • Marianus c. 417 – c. 427
  • Aureus c. 427 – c. 443
  • Eutropius c. 443 – c. 467
  • Adalbald
  • Nather
  • Adalbert (I)
  • Lantfried
  • Sidonius II  ? – c. 589
  • Siegbert I c. 589–610
  • Ludegast c. 610–615
  • Rudwald c. 615
  • Lubald ? fl. c. 625
  • Siegbert II
  • Gerold  ?–743
  • Gewielieb c. 743 – c. 745

Archbishops of Mainz, 745–1251

Archbishops-Electors of Mainz, 1251–1803


  1. ^ "Theomastus (or Thaumastus) was bishop of Mainz in the early fifth century."(Gregory of Tours, Glory of the Confessors: Glory of the Confessors. Translated by Raymond Van Dam (Liverpool University Press, 1988), 40n). This figure is mentioned by Gregory of Tours: “Theomastus was noted for his holiness in accordance with the meaning of his name, and he is said to have been bishop of Mainz. For some unknown reason, he was expelled from Mainz and went to Poitiers. There he ended his present life by remaining in a pure confession.”(Gregory of Tours, Glory of the Confessors: Glory of the Confessors. Translated by Raymond Van Dam (Liverpool University Press, 1988), 39).
  2. ^ At this time, Mainz did not have the status of an archdiocese. Bonifacius had been titular archbishop
  3. ^ Karl Theodor von Dalberg died in 1817 and was Archbishop of Regensburg 1803–1810, Prince of Frankfurt 1806–1810 and Grand Duke of Frankfurt 1810–1813.

See also

External links


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