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Iron Crown of Lombardy, used in Italian coronations from the Lombard era to the 19th century

King of Italy (rex Italiae in Latin and re d'Italia in Italian) is a title adopted by many rulers of the Italian peninsula after the fall of the Roman Empire. However, no “King of Italy” ruled the whole peninsula until Victor Emmanuel in 1870, though some pretended to such authority.

After the deposition of Western Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus in 476, Heruli leader Odoacer was appointed dux Italiae (Duke of Italy) by the reigning Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno. Later, he took the title of rex (not, as is sometimes said, rex italiae), though he always presented himself as an officer of the eastern government. In 493, Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great defeated Odoacer, and set up a new dynasty of kings of Italy. Ostrogothic rule ended when Italy was reconquered by the Roman Empire in 552.

This state of affairs did not last long. In 568, the Lombards entered the peninsula and ventured to recreate a barbarian kingdom in opposition to the Empire, establishing their authority over much of Italy (especially Lombardy) except the Exarchate of Ravenna and the duchies Rome, Venetia, Naples and the southernmost portions. For the next two centuries, Lombards and Byzantines fought for dominance in the peninsula.

In the 8th century, estrangement between the Italian Romans and the Byzantine Empire allowed the Lombards to capture the remaining Roman enclaves in northern Italy. However, in 774, they were defeated by the Franks under Charlemagne, who deposed their king and took up the title rex Langobardorum ("King of the Lombards"). Within the Frankish Empire, Italy was ruled by a rex Italiae. This Kingdom of Italy was integrated into the Holy Roman Empire by Otto I. All subsequent emperors used the title and most were crowned at some time in the ancient Lombard capital of Pavia before their imperial coronation in Rome. However the various emperors ruled only parts of Italy, and many independent states existed on the peninsula over the subsequent centuries, some of which were kingdoms, such as the Kingdom of Sicily and the Kingdom of Naples.

By the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 most of the Italian territories of the Holy Roman Empire were lost to it and the Italian Crown held no significance thereafter, either de facto or de jure. In 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte endeavoured to attach the Lombard heritage to France again and was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Pavia. The next year, the Emperor Francis II abdicated his Imperial title. From the deposition of Napoleon (1814) until the Italian Unification (1861), there was no Italian monarch claiming the overarching title. The Risorgimento successfully established a dynasty, the House of Savoy, over the whole peninsula, uniting the kingdoms of Sardinia and the Two Sicilies. The monarchy was superseded by the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana) after a referendum was held in 1946.

Contents

Dux (Italiae)

Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy (493–553)

Kingdom of the Lombards (568–814)

Rule of the Dukes (ten year interregnum)

Frankish Kingdom of Italy (781–963)

After 887, Italy fell into instability, with many rulers claiming the Kingship simultaneously:

vassal of the German King Arnulf of Carinthia, reduced to Fruili 889-894, deposed by Arnulf in 896.
opponent of Berengar, ruled most of Italy but was deposed by Arnulf.
subking of his father Guy before 894, reduced to Spoleto 894-895.

In 896, Arnulf and Ratold lost control of Italy, which was divided between Berengar and Lambert:

seized Lambert's portion upon the latter's death in 898.
opposed Berengar 900-902 and 905.
defeated Berengar but fled Italy in 926.
elected by Berengar's partisans in 925, resigned to Provence after 945.
jointly with his son:

In 951 Otto I of Germany invaded Italy and was crowned "King of the Lombards". In 952, Berengar and Adalbert became in vassals but remained Kings until being deposed by Otto.

Kingdom of Italy within the Holy Roman Empire (962–1648)

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Ottonian (Saxon) Dynasty

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from Emperor Arms
Die deutschen Kaiser Otto der Große.jpg
Otto I 23 November 912
-
7 May 973
2 February 962 7 May 973 great-great-great grandson of Emperor Louis I
Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head.svg
Otton2.JPG
Otto II 955
-
7 December 983
25 December 967 7 December 983 son of Emperor Otto I
Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head.svg
Meister der Reichenauer Schule 002.jpg
Otto III 980
-
23 January 1002
21 May 996 23 January 1002 son of Emperor Otto II
Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head.svg
Arduin I of Ivrea 955
-
1015
1002 1014 House of Ivrea
Ubf Richard-Wagner-Platz Mosaik Heinrich II.jpg
Henry II
[1]
6 May 973
-
13 July 1024
14 February 1004 13 July 1024 second-cousin of Emperor Otto III
Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head.svg

Salian (Frankish) Dynasty

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from Emperor Arms
Konrád2.jpg
Conrad II
[2]
990
-
4 June 1039
26 March 1027 4 June 1039 great-great-grandson of Emperor Otto I
Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head.svg
Heinrich III. (HRR) Miniatur.jpg
Henry III 29 October 1017
-
5 October 1056
25 December 1046 5 October 1056 son of Emperor Conrad II
Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head.svg
Jindra4Salsky.jpg
Henry IV 11 November 1050
-
7 August 1106
31 March 1084 December 1105 son of Emperor Henry III
Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head.svg
Jindra5Salsky.jpg
Henry V
[3]
8 November 1086
-
23 May 1125
13 April 1111 23 May 1125 son of Emperor Henry IV
Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head.svg

Supplinburger dynasty

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from Emperor Arms
Lothaire III.jpg
Lothair III
[4]
9 June 1075
-
4 December 1137
1128 4 December 1137 -
Holy Roman Empire Arms-single head.svg

Staufen (or Hohenstaufen) dynasty

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from Emperor Arms
Stifterbüchlein 43r Friedrich I Barbarossa.jpg
Frederick I 1122
-
10 June 1190
1154 10 June 1190 great-grandson of Emperor Henry IV
Armoiries empereurs Hohenstaufen.svg
JindrichVIStauf trun.jpg
Henry VI November 1165
-
28 September 1197
14 April 1191 28 September 1197 son of Emperor Frederick I
Armoiries empereurs Hohenstaufen.svg

House of Welf

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from Emperor Arms
Otto IV 1836.jpg
Otto IV 1175 or 1176
-
19 May 1218
1208 1212 great-grandson of Emperor Lothair III
Emporer Otto IV Arms.svg

Staufen (or Hohenstaufen) dynasty

Image Name Life Election Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from Emperor Arms
Frederick II and eagle.jpg
Frederick II 26 December 1194
-
13 December 1250
1212 13 December 1250 son of Emperor Henry VI
Armoiries empereurs Hohenstaufen.svg

House of Luxembourg

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from Emperor Arms
Henry7Luc.jpg
Henry VII 1275/1279
-
24 August 1313
1308 24 August 1313 13th generation descendant of Emperor Louis III
Armoiries Henri VII de Luxembourg.svg

House of Wittelsbach

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from Emperor Arms
Ludwig der Bayer.jpg
Louis IV 1 April 1282
-
11 October 1347
1327 11 October 1347 sixth generation descendant of Emperor Lothair III
Emperor Louis IV Arms.svg

House of Luxembourg

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from Emperor Arms
Charles IV-John Ocko votive picture-fragment.jpg
Charles IV 14 May 1316
-
29 November 1378
5 April 1355 29 November 1378 grandson of Emperor Henry VII
Armoiries empereur Charles IV.png
VaclavnaVotobraze.jpg
Wenceslaus I 26 February 1361
-
16 August 1419
1378 - son of Emperor Charles IV
Armoiries empereur Charles IV.png
Zikmund Zhořelecka radnice.jpg
Sigismund 14 February 1368
-
9 December 1437
1410 9 December 1437 brother of Wenceslaus I
Armoiries empereur Sigismond Ier.png

House of Habsburg

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from an Emperor Arms
Albrecht II. von Habsburg.jpg
Albert II 10 August 1397
-
27 August 1439
1437 27 October 1439 4th generation descendant of Albert I of Germany
Emperor Albert I Arms.svg
Hans Burgkmair d. Ä. 005.jpg
Frederick III 21 September 1415
-
19 August 1493
19 March 1452 19 August 1493 10th generation descendant of Emperor Lothair III
Emperor Frederick III Arms.svg
Bernhard Strigel 007.jpg
Maximilian I 22 March 1459
-
12 January 1519
-
[5]
12 January 1519 son of Emperor Frederick III
Maximilian I Arms.svg
Emperor charles v.png
Charles V 24 February 1500
-
21 September 1558
February 1530 16 January 1556 grandson of Emperor Maximilian I
Charles V Arms-imperial.svg

Ferdinand I and his successor used the title of a King of Italy, though they were never crowned as such:

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be Emperor Descent from an Emperor Arms
Ferdinand Ier du Saint-Empire.jpg
Ferdinand I 10 March 1503
-
25 July 1564
-
[5]
25 July 1564 grandson of Emperor Maximilian I
Armoiries empereur Ferdinand Ier.png
Nicolas Neufchâtel 002.jpg
Maximilian II 31 July 1527
-
12 October 1576
-
[5]
12 October 1576 son of Emperor Ferdinand I
Armoiries empereur Ferdinand Ier.png
Hans von Aachen 003.jpg
Rudolph II
[6]
18 July 1552
-
20 January 1612
30 June 1575 20 January 1612 son of Emperor Maximilian II
Charles V Arms-imperial.svg
Lucas van Valckenborch 003.jpg
Matthias 24 February 1557
-
20 March 1619
23 January 1612 20 March 1619 son of Emperor Maximilian II
Charles V Arms-imperial.svg
Kaiser Ferdinand II. 1614.jpg
Ferdinand II 9 July 1578
-
15 February 1637
10 March 1619 15 February 1637 grandson of Emperor Ferdinand I
Charles V Arms-imperial.svg
Frans Luycx 002.jpg
Ferdinand III 13 July 1608
-
2 April 1657
18 November 1637 2 April 1657 son of Emperor Ferdinand II
Charles V Arms-imperial.svg

The Peace of Westphalia effectively terminated any imperial claims to an Italian kingdom.

Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy (1805–1814)

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Napoleon I
1805–1814
Napoleon 15 August 1769
Ajaccio
son of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino
Joséphine de Beauharnais
1796
No children

Marie Louise of Austria
11 March 1810
1 child
5 May 1821
Longwood
aged 51

Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Victor Emmanuel II
1861–1878
Victor Emmanuel II 14 March 1820
Turin
son of Charles Albert of Sardinia and Maria Theresa of Tuscany
Maria Adelaide of Austria
1842
8 children

Rosa Teresa Vercellana Guerrieri
1869
2 children
9 January 1878
Rome
aged 57
Umberto I
1878–1900
Umberto I 14 March 1844
Turin
son of Victor Emanuele II and Maria Adelaide of Austria
Margherita of Savoy
22 April 1868
1 child
29 July 1900
Monza
aged 56
(assassinated)
Victor Emmanuel III
1900–1946
Victor Emmanuel III 11 November 1869
Naples
son of Umberto I and Margherita of Savoy
Elena of Montenegro
24 October 1896
5 children
28 December 1947
Alexandria
aged 78
Umberto II
1946
Umberto II of Italy 15 September 1904
Racconigi
son of Victor Emmanuel III and Elena of Montenegro
Marie-José of Belgium
8 January 1930
4 children
18 March 1983
Geneva
aged 78

Full title

Full title of the Kings of Kingdom of Italy was:

[Name], by the Grace of God, King of Italy, King of Sardinia, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Armenia, Duke of Savoy, count of Maurienne, Marquis (of the Holy Roman Empire) in Italy; prince of Piedmont, Carignano, Oneglia, Poirino, Trino; Prince and Perpetual vicar of the Holy Roman Empire; prince of Carmagnola, Montmellian with Arbin and Francin, prince bailliff of the Duchy of Aosta, Prince of Chieri, Dronero, Crescentino, Riva di Chieri e Banna, Busca, Bene, Brà, Duke of Genoa, Monferrat, Aosta, Duke of Chablais, Genevois, Duke of Piacenza, Marquis of Saluzzo (Saluces), Ivrea, Susa, del Maro, Oristano, Cesana, Savona, Tarantasia, Borgomanero e Cureggio, Caselle, Rivoli, Pianezza, Govone, Salussola, Racconigi con Tegerone, Migliabruna e Motturone, Cavallermaggiore, Marene, Modane e Lanslebourg, Livorno Ferraris, Santhià Agliè, Centallo e Demonte, Desana, Ghemme, Vigone, Count of Barge, Villafranca, Ginevra, Nizza, Tenda, Romont, Asti, Alessandria, del Goceano, Novara, Tortona, Bobbio, Soissons, Sant'Antioco, Pollenzo, Roccabruna, Tricerro, Bairo, Ozegna, delle Apertole, Baron of Vaud e del Faucigni, Lord of Vercelli, Pinerolo, della Lomellina, della Valle Sesia, del marchesato di Ceva, Overlord of Monaco, Roccabruna and 11/12th of Menton, Noble patrician of Venice, patrician of Ferrara.

Notes

  1. ^ enumerated as successor of Henry I who was German King 919–936 but not Emperor.
  2. ^ enumerated as successor of Conrad I who was German King 911–918 but not Emperor
  3. ^ Barraclough, Geoffrey (1984). The Origins of Modern Germany. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0393301532. http://books.google.com/books?id=RY6VmGuAaCkC&pg=PA131&lpg=PA131&dq=supplinburg+dynasty&source=web&ots=RsLwH_MnGU&sig=EFPN-WhCOTcfJD4WsWDk39dsGl4. 
  4. ^ enumerated as successor of Lothair II, who was King of Lotharingia 855–869 but not Emperor
  5. ^ a b c Emperor-Elect.
  6. ^ enumerated as successor of Rudolph I who was German King 1273–1291.

See also


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