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Coronet of Landgrave

Landgrave (Dutch landgraaf, German Landgraf; French landgrave; Latin comes magnus, comes patriae, comes provinciae, comes terrae, comes principalis, lantgravius) was a title only used in the Holy Roman Empire and later on by its former territories. The title refers to a count who had feudal duty directly to the Holy Roman Emperor. His jurisdiction stretched over a sometimes quite considerable territory, which was not subservient to an intermediate power like a Duke, a Bishop or Count Palatine. The title survived from the times of the Holy Roman Empire (first records in Lower Lotharingia from 1086 on: Henry III of Leuven as landgrave of Brabant). A landgrave by definition exercised sovereign rights. His decision-making power was comparable to that of a Duke.

Landgrave occasionally continued in use as the subsidiary title of such nobility as the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, who functioned as the Landgrave of Thuringia in the first decade of the 20th century, but the title fell into disuse after World War I.

The jurisdiction of a landgrave was a landgraviate and the wife of a landgrave was a landgravine. Examples: Landgrave of Thuringia, Landgrave of Hesse, Princely (Gefürsteter) Landgrave of Leuchtenberg (around a Bavarian castle; later made a duchy).

Landgraviate refers to the rank, office, or territory held by a landgrave.

Landgravine refers to the wife of a Landgrave or one who exercises the office or holds the rank in her own right.

Literature

  • Mayer, Theodor, Über Entstehung und Bedeutung der älteren deutschen Landgrafschaften, in Mitteralterliche Studien – Gesammelte Aufsätze, ed. F. Knapp (Sigmaringen 1958) 187-201. Also published in Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Germanische Abteilung 58 (1938) 210-288.
  • Mayer, T., 'Herzogtum und Landeshoheit', Fürsten und Staat. Studien zur Verfassungsgeschichte des deutschen Mittelalters (Weimar 1950) 276-301.
  • Eichenberger, T., Patria: Studien zur Bedeutung des Wortes im Mittelalter (6.-12. Jahrhundert), Nationes – Historische und philologische Untersuchungen zur Entstehung der europäischen Nationen im Mittelalter 9 (Sigmaringen 1991).
  • Van Droogenbroeck, F.J., De betekenis van paltsgraaf Herman II (1064-1085) voor het graafschap Brabant, in Eigen Schoon en De Brabander, 87 (Brussel 2004) 1-166.

Other meanings of Landgrave


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LANDGRAVE (Ger. Landgraf, from Land, " a country" and Graf, " count"), a German title of nobility surviving from the times of the Holy Roman Empire. It originally signified a count of more than usual power or dignity, and in some cases implied sovereignty. The title is now rare; it is borne by the former sovereign of Hesse-Homburg, now incorporated in Prussia, the heads of the various branches of the house of Hesse, and by a branch of the family of Fiirstenberg. In other cases the title of landgrave is borne by German sovereigns as a subsidiary title; e.g. the grand-duke of Saxe-Weimar is landgrave of Thuringia.


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