Talk:Kingdom of Germany

Active discussions


With such a complex and controversial topic, an infobox does more harm than good. It's incredibly difficult to cover all differing views in accessible prose, let alone in a random collection of simplifying parameters. Also, as already mentioned in the edit summaries, a lot of the added information is about HRE in general and not about this specific entity (and of dubious factual accuracy). Also also, edit-warring of unexplained changes via dynamic IPs is frowned upon. GermanJoe (talk) 12:19, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Strongly agree, there's too much ambiguity for such an infobox. I also have no idea where that random Macedonian IP came from. Prinsgezinde (talk) 14:24, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree that the infobox {{Infobox former subdivision}} was ill suited to this. I tend to disagree that this is a "controversial topic": I do not agree that there has been "controversy" (aka edit-warring) on this Wikipedia page, but this fact does not necessarily reflect the existence of a genuine controversy.
The concept/term/entity just existed over such a period (700 years or so) that its nature was transformed substantially, comparable to the Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire).
Does the Duchy of Cornwall exist? I suppose so. Is it "real"? It isn't a territorial subdivision of the UK today, but it was a territorial subdivision of the Kingdom of England in the 14th century. So, I suppose its nature changed over the duration of its existence, and the question of "is it real" is not well-formed, or lazy. --dab (𒁳) 14:20, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
"I tend to disagree that this is a "controversial topic": I do not agree that there has been "controversy" (aka edit-warring) on this Wikipedia page, but this fact does not necessarily reflect the existence of a genuine controversy." have you read the archives? The title of this page has been under discussion for more than 10 years (see the very first posting to the talk page: "Talk:Kingdom of Germany/Archive 1#Last King of Scotland" and many many subsequet sections). That there has not been edit-warring over the content of the article is because it has been a dispute conducted with restraint.
Your analagy over Cornwall is not a very good one there is a fundemental difference between a dutchy and a kingdom. A better analogy would be on of the constituent countries of the UK or the Kingdom of Ireland. There is no dispute that Scotland and England exist, but neither is a kingdom (that ended in 1707). However between 1603 and 1707 the Stuarts said they reigned over the Kingdom of Great Britain, whilst the Parliaments (excluding the Commonwealth parliaments (1649—1660)), said they did not, they reigned over two seperate kingdoms (four if one includes the Kingdom of Ireland and the pretence of reigning over the Kingdom of France).
To state that any of the Stuarts apart from Queen Anne reigned over the Kingdom of Great Britain is misleading, as would dating the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain to have taken place in 1603 just because James I styled himself King of Great Britain. This is the same problem with using the term "Kingdom of Germany" rather than the term "King of the Germans" one implies in a state (with a functioning goverment over concrete territory), the other a title which may or may not have substance. Ie Idi Amin could claim he was King of Scotland but that does not mean that the kingdom existed, having an article with the title "Kingdom of Germany" is as misleading as starting the date of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1603. -- PBS (talk) 11:30, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
dab, this discussion has been going on for years. The fact that no solution thus far has been agreed upon doesn't mean there's no longer a controversy. Plenty of people—me included—would still contest that this was ever an entity and not just a title or early modern invention, and would also contest that regnum teutonicum translates to "Kingdom of Germany", or that the territory in the map used was ever actually allocated to such a "Kingdom". Since the sourcing is problematic and extremely scarce, little can be done without delving into the subject first. The discussion died down only because of how little traffic this article's talk page gets and because most of us already exhausted our points. Prinsgezinde (talk) 14:58, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
And, as I've said before, while the term 'Kingdom of Germany' is used by some English-language sources, rather loosely in my view, it is almost entirely absent from the much larger corpus of German-language ones, which reinforces the point. Even the Germans don't consider there to have been a Kingdom of Germany, but they do talk about a King of the Germans. The term Regnum Teutonicum (German Empire) or Regnum Teutonicorum (Empire of the Germans) was used early on, but only as a descriptor of that part of the HRE north of the Alps, just as Regnum Italicum was used for 'imperial Italy', that part of Empire south of the Alps, but in reality another collection of states within the HRE. Bermicourt (talk) 12:15, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
I don't see why this should be a problem. I mean, I get, perfectly, that there is a whole range of views on this. I don't even have a view on it myself, that's why I said the question is just ill-formed. Obviously this is the situation the article is going to reflect. I don't have a problem with different views being presented as part of a well-developed article. What I don't get is why the article needs to remain in "content warning" limbo. How is it in any way difficult to write an objective and uncontroversial article about a disputed or controversial topic? This the case with is pretty much every major article on Wikipedia.
The problem, to me, seems to be that, for example, Prinsgezinde seems to assume that there are "real entities" and "non-real entities" and that it is our job to distinguish between the two. I am sorry, this isn't encyclopedic writing but metaphysics. The "Kingdom of Germany" is clearly a completely made-up entity just like every other human concept. We can only ever have articles about completely made-up human concepts, I really don't see how this needs to be said at all.
I invite you to deposit any number of references to scholars who think the thing is "an early moden invention", just as long as it allows us to get rid of the content warning. WP:DUE applies, every concept on god's green Earth can be made to seem "problematic". The trick is to not go out of your way to play this up selectively, for concepts you happen to dislike personally, and instead stick with representing the rough shape of mainstream consensus. If the consensus is that scholars have just agreed to disagreed, so be it, just say that. --dab (𒁳) 14:17, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
The point about the Kingdom of Germany being 'made up' is not that it is a human label; as you say the names of all countries are human inventions. The issue is whether this article reflects the sources. The sources vary considerably. AFAICS most sources avoid the term Kingdom of Germany and talk about the HRE. However, there are quite a number of modern, English sources that have started to use the term Kingdom of Germany almost as a shorthand - some even admit that - for that part of the HRE north of the Alps. This does not reflect the historical or the German position, but it should be represented. However, the article as written gives the impression that the KoG existed in the same way as other kingdoms and does not explain that a) it is a modern artifice that doesn't reflect historical actuality and b) that there are other positions or descriptions used by the vast majority of historical, German and even English sources. I used to think the title was totally wrong, I'm now persuaded that an article could be written about it, seeing as some English writers use the term, but it needs to reflect the sources in a balanced way. And this one doesn't. HTH. Bermicourt (talk) 14:28, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
I have cited a lot of sources on this talk page over the years. If there is an accuracy problem that needs fixing, then we need to see some citations and quotations from reliable sources. Here's a quotation from Herwig Wolfram (you can look up the original German if you want): "Conrad [II] issued a second diploma that fundamentally expanded the Trentine [sic] sphere of influence by granting the Italian bishopric secular control over two counties considered parts of the German kingdom." This is from the book subtitled Kaiser dreier Reiche. (Three!?! I thought there was only the empire!) There are, of course, many other quotations I could have used, but I like the "considered parts of" part. Srnec (talk) 23:26, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
It's not the lack of sources, it's the lack of balance. The article cites only those sources that use the term KoG and not the majority that don't. For example, the article doesn't mention at all that German sources almost never use this term and they form the biggest corpus of literature on the subject. There is no discussion of the way the sources talk about the historical collection of states that had a German culture and were loosely bound together as only one part of the HRE. Bermicourt (talk) 07:27, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a work in progress. The article is not finished (it is in fact very incomplete) and nothing prevents you from editing. Hell, I've even given links to sources in German that I wish I could read. And I've cited Müller-Mertens' Regnum Teutonicum several times. His work is not hard to find. I've taken it out of the library, but my German is just not good enough.
For what it is worth, I think "historical collection of states that had a German culture and were loosely bound together" is a terrible description of the Holy Roman Empire. The Empire was not a federation formed by bringing together different states. The kingdom/empire pre-existed all of the states you see on early modern maps. They are a product of its internal political order and not a loose collection. Only outside of Germany, in Italy and the Kingdom of Arles, do you see the kind of breakdown that ends in de facto independent states only loosely associated. (That is my take based on my reading.) Srnec (talk) 15:56, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
@Srnec: You have indeed given a lot of citations, but I and others such as Bermicourt have taken into consideration and responded to each of them. None of them have fundamentally solved anything, and many of them have been inconsistent with one another. Here, you quote a German-speaking historian who no doubt used "Reich" where you put "Kingdom". As we have discussed a few times before, neither "Reich" nor "regnum" are the same as "kingdom". There's a reason "Third Reich" is left untranslated in English; Nazi Germany was neither a Kingdom nor an Empire. "Reich" is most accurately translated as "realm". If this whole article used "realm" instead of "kingdom", there would be no problem. If he actually did use the German word for "Kingdom", Königreich, tell me I'm wrong.
@Dbachmann: My main concern here is honesty to the readers. We can present all of this as if there is no translation issue, as if the term isn't incredibly ambiguous, and as if the "Kingdom of Germany" is as well attested as the other kingdoms on Wikipedia, but that would be quite dishonest. When we present something as a kingdom, readers understandably expect there to have been king and a land he ruled, complete with subjects and laws. When none of this is consistently mentioned in the sources, how can we then so unambiguously present it as a kingdom? This is why so many people have complained ever since the article was created. All we have is a term that has been loosely used over the centuries to refer to something no one can quite agree on. If the article absolutely must stay at this title, it should first and foremost be about the terminology, like the German article is (read that one, it's good). I would still prefer to use the original Regnum Teutonicum like they do, though. The issue with sourcing is that the historians that don't mention a "Kingdom of Germany" avoid the topic altogether. We can't use a source by referencing it and saying it doesn't mention the kingdom, yet it's quite telling how many histories of Germany don't mention it. If anything, that should raise some eyebrows. Prinsgezinde (talk) 19:17, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

King of GermanyEdit

The introduction talks about the title 'King of Germany' and gives a link however page it links to is not what is said but rather is for the title 'King of the Romans'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7D:86B:4A00:F051:C6AA:C1F9:78C6 (talk) 15:07, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Yes, this is part of the whole problem. There was no official Kingdom of Germany and so no official King of Germany. Even if you type it into Google Books (by century or you get spurious results) you get hardly any hits. Bermicourt (talk) 15:15, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
At Google Scholars, I get 2,040 results for the exact phrase "King of Germany". The title rex Teutonicorum was used officially at times, as was König in Germanien or Germaniae rex at a later date. And that's not to mention non-official usage. Srnec (talk) 00:25, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
That's not a lot of hits considering all the scholarly work on this topic and still doesn't explain the almost entire lack of the term in English books, let alone Germany ones. Yes, it is a term used by some authors, but it is not common nor is it accurate, so it should not be portrayed in this article as if it is. BTW Rex teutonicorum does not mean "King of Germany"; it means "King of the Germans" which is not the same thing. Neither of the other titles mean King of Germany either. Bermicourt (talk) 06:47, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
@(2A02:C7D:86B:4A00:F051:C6AA:C1F9:78C6) - a Google Books view at [1] verifies this translation (per ref #3). While differing views exist, many other acknowledged historians also use this terminology (see talkpage archives for the endless discussions about this question with multiple differing arguments and sources). GermanJoe (talk) 15:38, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
"King of the Germans" or "German Kingdom". While these translations can still be disputed, they are not nearly as problematic as applying the term "Germany" to it. Prinsgezinde (talk) 20:26, 28 October 2019 (UTC)

Adding an infoboxEdit

Kingdom of Germany
Regnum Teutonicorum
Region of the Holy Roman Empire
Map of the Kingdom of the Germans (regnum Teutonicorum) within the Holy Roman Empire, circa 1000.
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
  East Francia
Kingdom of Prussia  
Austrian Empire  
Confederation of the Rhine  
Today part ofGermany

I think the article could benefit from a basic infobox, I decided to create one with Template:infobox former subdivision as that's seems to fit best as the Kingdom of Germany was a subdivision of the Holy Roman Empire. It mostly just the map already in the article, the countires/subdivison that came before and after the Kingdom of Germany that's were on the same land of it and the start date (the year the HRE was founded, I'm okay with it being removed but I think it's better to have it). BrandonXLF (t@lk) 20:54, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

See above. There is a consensus against an infobox in this article. Srnec (talk) 02:24, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Re-name the article to Kingdom of the Germans (or Teutonics)Edit

Perhaps the article should be re-named from "Kingdom of Germany" to "Kingdom of the Germans (or Teutonics)". This would be more inline with historical references, which user the latter term — Latin: Regnum Teutonicorum or Kingdom of the Teutonics/Germans. --E-960 (talk) 13:10, 3 April 2020 (UTC)

It either needs renaming to Regnum Teutonicorum (or its common English equivalent) or the article needs to be rewritten to reflect the fact that a) it is a term used (very loosely used in my view) in some of the English literature, but that it was never a 'kingdom' in the normal sense and that b) German literature rarely uses the term. In other words it's modern English shorthand either for the Holy Roman Empire (in which case that title should be used) or as an umbrella term describing the German-speaking peoples (although even that fails to recognise that German dialects are so different that, historically, a Swabian would have struggled have understand someone from Schleswig). For a German perspective see the German Wiki link to this article here. But this has been endlessly debated and we have not reached a consensus. Bermicourt (talk) 14:04, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
There isn't a source on earth that uses the term "Kingdom of the Teutonics", so I have no idea what the OP is referring to. I think the term is used quite clearly in English to refer to the kingdom of Louis the German and Otto the Great, which together with the Kingdom of Italy (or of the Lombards) and the Kingdom of Burgundy (or Arles) came to make up the Holy Roman Empire. What is unclear about that? Srnec (talk) 15:16, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
I think that's right. Historically the situation is quite well summed up in the introduction to the German Wikipedia article (which has good article status):
The Holy Roman Empire (Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum or Sacrum Romanum Imperium) was the official name for the sovereign territory of the Roman-German emperors from the late Middle Ages to 1806. The name of the empire derives from the claim of the medieval Roman-German rulers to be a continuation of the tradition of the ancient Roman Empire and legitimizing their rule as God's holy will in the Christian sense.
The empire was formed under the Ottonian dynasty in the 10th century from the former Carolingian empire of East Francia. With the imperial coronation of Otto I in 962, the Roman-German rulers (like the Carolingians before them) took up the idea of the continuity with the Roman Empire, which was at least adhered to in principle until the end of the empire. The territory of the East Franks was first referred to in the 11th century as Regnum Teutonicum or Regnum Teutonicorum ("Kingdom of the Germans"); but it was not the official imperial title. The name Sacrum Imperium is documented for the first time in 1157 and the title Sacrum Romanum Imperium in 1184. The addition of the words “of the German Nation” (Latin: Nationis Germanicæ) was occasionally used from the late 15th century. Because of its supranational character, the empire never developed into a nation state or a state with modern characteristics, but remained a monarchically managed, stately structure of emperors and imperial estates with only a few common imperial institutions.

However, it's also clear, from several English sources that I've seen, that "Kingdom of Germany", which is nowhere found in the Latin or German sources, is used by some English historians in the sense you suggest i.e. that the HRE comprised 3 'kingdoms', one of which was the former East Francia. What I haven't discovered is whether they put a time frame on this or even whether the sources are consistent with one another. Interestingly, Susan Reynolds in Fiefs and Vassals has a chapter entitled "Kingdom of Germany" but has to open by defining it: "the Kingdom of Germany is taken here to cover all the territory included in the great kingdom, whatever it was called at various times before 1300, that developed out of the eastern part of the Carolingian empire." Yet she does not feel the need to define any of the other kingdoms in this way: England, France, Italy or Burgundy. She is clearly using the term "Kingdom of Germany" for convenience to describe the collection of separate, largely German-speaking states that came out of East Francia. Bermicourt (talk) 17:17, 3 April 2020 (UTC)

Bermicourt, I would also argue that it is well warranted to rename the article, based on the actual historical references. Also, what many people fail to realize is that before the year 1000 the concept of tying people to a land was not yet fully established, for example you had the Kingdom of the Visigoths and the Kingdom of the Vandals. There still was a semi-tribal mentality in place, where someone was a king of a peoples, and those peoples who could move from one place to another. Only after the year 1000, a concept developed of a state which rested on a fixed geograhical location as in Kingdom of France, which was earlier called the Kingdom of the Franks. However, in the case of Germany that switch never occurred, as the concept of a Holy Roman Empire took hold in its place, and a honorary title was retained king of the Germans, but the actual kingdom in a territorial sense was never defined. In any case, if we just follow the historical terminology we should use Regnum Teutonicorum or Kingdom of the Teutonics/Germans. --E-960 (talk) 21:02, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
Srnec, the other point, if there are no solid sources to back up any claims for this article, then it should be renamed using italics to signify that the article describes a name and not an physical entity. --E-960 (talk) 21:24, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
@Bermicourt: I don't see how you can get a "collection of separate, largely German-speaking states that came out of East Francia" out of Reynolds' "all the territory included in the great kingdom, whatever it was called". The kingdom of Louis the German never broke up. Only under his sons was it divided at all. Charles the Fat was succeeded by Arnulf, who was succeeded by Louis the Child, then Conrad I, then Henry I, then Otto I, and on and on without break. There are no "states that came out of East Francia". It was a kingdom just like its ex-Carolingian neighbours (France, Italy). The term "Kingdom of Germany" is somewhat anachronistic for the early period and is certainly not an official term in any way before the 11th century, but you could say the same about "Kingdom of France". Srnec (talk) 01:58, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
@Srnec:, can you provide us with an example of a contemporary early medieval source which says Kingdom of Germany. Also, regarding your reference to "France" please note that there are two Wikipedia articles Kingdom of the Franks and Kingdom of France. I almost want to say that the concept of the Kingdom of Germany is internet driven, for example I'm struggling to find any reference to it on Britannica, or other encyclopedias, but there are Youtube videos about the Kingdom of Germany and Wikipedia articles in several languages. --E-960 (talk) 07:42, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
@Srnec:. To answer your question, let me just quote from the HRE intro: "The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, principalities, duchies, counties, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, and other domains. The power of the emperor was limited, and while the various princes, lords, bishops, and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they also possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. " Of course, it's referring to the emperor here, who was also 'King of the Romans', but never 'King of Germany'. Either way, he did not command a kingdom which is why German sources never use the term. The idea that there was ever a Kingdom of Germany is, I'm afraid, a myth perpetuated by a few English historians misleadingly using the term for convenience. "German nation" is better and at least historical, but even that gives the impression it was a single united entity which it plainly wasn't. That doesn't mean there shouldn't be an article with this title; it just needs to be very clear in describing how it is used in the sources: that it is an English-language term used by some historians in various ways to describe the collection of states making up the German-speaking part of the HRE, but with the sort of caveats I and others have raised. Bermicourt (talk) 08:00, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
I think you are deeply mistaken. The kingdom of East Francia was a single united entity, more so than West Francia where the king's power barely extended south of the Loire by the late 10th century. The contrast you quote between the HRE and France is only applicable to the late Middle Ages. Srnec (talk) 16:12, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
Srnec, can you please provide a contemporary source which refers to the kingdom, so far you have NOT, also you reverted my edits which tried to at least in some way reconcile the discrepancy. You are stubbornly holding on to the idea, and provided no evidence that a Kingdom of Germany existed other than in name only. The historical progression is simple, kingdom of East Francia and then the Holy Roman Empire. The Kingdom of Germany never exited other than in title/name. --E-960 (talk) 17:53, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
  • I think that adding the following statement in the intro paragraph "...kingdom of the Germans is an informal historical designation" is well appropriate in this instance. --E-960 (talk) 17:59, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
Read the archives. In fact, I don't have to provide a contemporary source for anything since that would be WP:OR. I've quoted many WP:RS over the years. They are in the archives and in the article. Your personal opinion about the appropriateness of the term "Kingdom of Germany" in English is of no value next to the published opinions of many scholars. Srnec (talk) 18:14, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Srnec, I looked at the "references" in this article, and what's actually written. In the intro paragraph, there is no reference source which affirms that "German Kingdom developed out of Eastern Francia". If you look further, some of the claims in this article have NO SOURCE or the the text does not correlate with what the source actually says. Quite frankly, this article seems dubious. The article has glaring inconsistencies, like this one "when Otto I was crowned emperor, East Francia formed the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire along with Italy". How do you reconcile this statement with the one above that the Kingdom of Germany grew out of East Francia? --E-960 (talk) 18:31, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

  • At best, the sources referenced suggest that the "Kingdom of the Germans" was an informal alternative name used for the Kingdom of East Francia, kind of like England and Britain are often used interchangeably, or Wiemar Republic for the German Reich in the 1920s. --E-960 (talk) 19:03, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
Srnec, the intro paragraph is a SYNTH, none of the sources say that the Kingdom of Germany "grew out of" East Francia. The cited reference sources such as The Shaping of German Identity: Authority and Crisis, 1245-1414 clearly state there there was ambiguity about the term, and that it probably was a reference to a German realm without alluding to actual territorial boundaries. --E-960 (talk) 08:09, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
@E-960: the title and content of this article have been hotly disputed since 2007 with numerous proposals to merge, retitle or move it. It has always been highly controversial for the reasons you point out, but there has never been enough consensus for change. If you want to make headway with this, and I would support that, you probably want to read the archives which provide a good summary of arguments on both sides and make a proposal. Arguing with Srnec, who has staunchly defended 'his' article over the years, will go nowhere. Bermicourt (talk) 08:35, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
Bermicourt, I definitely agree with you that this article has been vigorously debated — looking at the past arguments. In this case though (related to the intro paragraph), Srnec cannot argue with the fact that the disputed statement is NOT SOURCED, and most likely results form SYNT. Nowhere does it say the Kingdom of Germany "grew out of" East Francia, however sources do say in fact that both names for a time were used interchangeably (with the term(s) King of the Germans, German Kingdom or Kingdom of Germany used less often). But again, nowhere does it say that the Kingdom of Germany replaced East Francia, because the Holy Roman Empire did that. For the moment, user Srnec's only argument is I just don't like it. --E-960 (talk) 10:11, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
  • At this point, with no source to back up the statement, the intro paragraph claim stands as either SYNT or original research. --E-960 (talk) 10:23, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm not wedded to the words "grew out of". In fact, I rather dislike it myself since, as you correctly note, the terms "Germany" and "East Francia" are used interchangeably. Just from a quick Google search:
"In East Francia there grew up the German kingdom..."
"East Francia was the forerunner of the kingdom of Germany..."
"East Francia, which soon became the Kingdom of Germany..."
I think the difference in attitudes towards this article/topic among Wikipedians/scholars stems from just what the use of "German(y)" is taken to imply. It is a real-world difference of opinion and usage and not just a Wikipedian one. There is a fundamental discontinuity between medieval Germany and modern Germany (the FDR) that isn't there for, say, England or France.
I'd be warmer to moving this page to Regnum Teutonicum if my Germanophone interlocutors ever quoted Müller-Mertens against me, but their apparent disinterest in the doyen of its history is puzzling. —Srnec (talk) 16:05, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
@E-960: Any citation for "is a historical name sometimes used to denote"? This article isn't about a name. Srnec (talk) 16:21, 5 April 2020 (UTC)

Srnec, just to quickly respond, this very topic was discussed by the 12th century historian Otto von Freising, who addresses this issue, and is covered in the Saxons and Salians, 911–1125 section. In any case, this 100% confirms that the two names coexisted for a time, however NO official transformation occurred, that's an undisputed fact. Also, this is not the only bizarre case when it comes to monarchic claims, take the Kingdom of Lodomeria, which was created out of the Austrian partition of Poland. Quoting from the article: "However, Lodomeria existed only on paper, had no territory and could not be found on any map.[1]" Similar case here, in which the German Kingdom or King of the Germans had more to do with titles and rights, rather than with a physical state. You can't dispute that the two names existed (period), however you can endlessly argue what that meant in practice, and even contemporary medieval historians were confused as how this reflected on reality. --E-960 (talk) 09:58, 6 April 2020 (UTC)

Nobody claims that an official transformation occurred. You keep reading things ("official") that are not there. You keep saying "physical" state, but what is that supposed to mean? Do you think you could reach out and touch the Holy Roman Empire? You say "titles and rights" as if titles and rights are unimportant to kingdoms. If it's maps you want, see Bernhardt 1993, map 1, p. 312, which has a bold black line labelled "Bounday of the German kingdom, c. 962"; Reuter 1991, map 7, p. 335, which says "GERMAN KINGDOM" right on it; or Müller-Mertens in NCMH, map 4, with a line denoted "Approximate boundary of German kingdom, c. 1000". Srnec (talk) 14:39, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
The problem with the map(s) you are referring is that they are based on opinions of some historians, and are not universal — other sources cited are not as clear cut about this. Unfortunately, this issue of the German Kingdom came up in the 19th century, when German scholars wanted to diminish French links to Germany, and the same thing occurred in France, where the French highlighted the Gaul identity over the Franks who were a Germanic tribe. Also, even Otto von Freising says "From this point some reckon a kingdom of the Germans as supplanting that of the Franks.", key word "some" and as early as the 12th century alluded to the fact that there was confusion and ambiguity of the term what it mean in practice given that the HRE was in place. --E-960 (talk) 06:02, 7 April 2020 (UTC)
@Bermicourt: "Of course, it's referring to the emperor here, who was also 'King of the Romans', but never 'King of Germany'." The emperor's official secondary title was "rex Germaniae" from 1508-1806. I'd say it's fair to translate that with "King of Germany". --MacX85 (talk) 18:31, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
@MacX85: Firstly, it was never an official title - as Freeman says "Rex Germaniae", "König in Germanien"... this description was common in the 9th century, though it was not used as a formal title. Secondly, as Beck et. al. say "rex Germanorum and rex Germaniae can never be translated as "King of the Germans" or, worse still, "King of Germany"... Only the West Francian sources name the East Francian king rex Germaniae and his part of the empire Germania..." The whole concept that there was a Kingdom of Germany is a glaring error perpetuated only by some English-language historians who have either fallen into the trap of simplistic translations or failed to grasp what the Germans know about the history of their nation. That's why the Germans talk about "King of the Germans" or "King in Germany" but never "King of Germany" or "Kingdom of Germany". They know better that to do that. However, my sense is that there are enough English authors making this mistake for an article describing their (mis)use of the term, but it should not be an article perpetuating the myth as truth. Bermicourt (talk) 19:21, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
@Bermicourt: It absolutely was. The first to use it was Maximillian I in 1508. You can find it in every crowned emperor's titulature after that.--MacX85 (talk) 09:20, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
It seems I missed this discussion. Anyway, @MacX85:, you've made one of the several exact mistakes that have made this article so problematic. This was also pointed out by Bermicourt. First of all, Rex Germaniae can not just be translated to "King of Germany", it technically can't even be translated to "King of" anything because "Rex" can mean a lot of things other than "King". More importantly, though, there is a reason Germania is its own article. "Germania" and "Germany" are not interchangeable, and even the word "German" used to have very different connotations than it does today (it used to be closer to how we now use "Germanic"). Second of all, be honest about what exactly you believe their self-proclaimed title was. Regnum Teutonicorum was not the same as Regnum Germaniae, which was not the same as either "German Kingdom" or "Kingdom of Germany". The closest would be "Germanic Realm" or "Realm of the Germanics" (typically as Regnum Teutonicorum). This kind of stuff needs to be taken into consideration because it greatly confuses the reader. For evidence of that, just look through the archives. Germans themselves seem to be among the most surprised to find this article, and Googling "Kingdom of Germany" will still provide you with very little information. Also, sorry to say, but is this a single purpose account? 179 edits since 2008, and all on German history. Prinsgezinde (talk) 16:19, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
@Prinsgezinde: Well, back when the title "rex Germaniae" came into use (16th century) "Germania" used to be translated with "Deutschland". However, the actual title of the king (and yes, "Rex" meant king by this time) was "König in Germanien" rather than "König in Deutschland". Why? I don't know. Maybe it sounded more classy to contemporaries.--MacX85 (talk) 13:23, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
@MacX85: Back then this actually made more sense. Deutsch meant more than it does now, hence the English form Dutch surviving both in "Dutch people" (Dutch/Netherlandish) and "Pennsylvania Dutch" (German). Do you see my point? The meaning of these words has demonstrably changed over the centuries. We can't just ignore that, especially when so few sources actually use such concepts as a "Kingdom of Germany". Besides, König in Germanien would be "King in Germania", not "King of Germania". And the existence of a title does not prove the existence of an entity, as we've discussed previously. Prinsgezinde (talk) 15:02, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
@Prinsgezinde: I don't really. Nobody is trying to say that it's the same Germany that exists today. I also find it pretty pedantic to insist on calling it "Germania" when that's the latin word. It was translated with "Germany" in English back in the day too. About the "in" "of" distinction: it's not really important. They also used "zu" which would make Charles V "king to Castile", right? In latin it was often "Germaniae rex" being a genetive form, the same the king of France and England used.--MacX85 (talk) 08:44, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
@MacX85: I'm sure you know that "zu" and "von" in German have different meanings even though we translate both as "of". In the case of Charles V it meant he was King of Castile but not from Castile. But the linguistic fencing doesn't get away from the fact that German historians do not recognise a "Kingdom of Germany" and for good reason - it did not exist in the normal sense of a kingdom. German Wikipedia refers to Germania as a Vorstellungsraum im Mittelalter which can be translated as a "an imaginary space in the Middle Ages". I think that sums it up quite well. Bermicourt (talk) 21:22, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
I mean, sure. It was largely a nominal kingdom but it couldn't have been totally meaningless, otherwise there would have been no point in differentiating between the various kindgoms of the HRE and have different chancellories for each of them. I'm not sure I agree on "German historians do not recognize it". I've often come across terms like "deutsches Reich" (sometimes "deutsches Königreich") and "deutscher König". It's just that they don't use the exact words "Königreich Deutschland" which would be the literal translation.--MacX85 (talk) 06:36, 28 May 2020 (UTC)
@MacX85: And yet you are still standing by using the word "Germany", which in people's minds today is intrinsically linked with the modern country and should not be used liberally. As Bermicourt says, historians do not recognise a "Kingdom of Germany". This can be deduced from the many discussions we've had here. Proper, plentiful sourcing would've quickly resolved the issue, yet nearly all were problematic. As to why it's even a problem, well, when Wikipedia has an article like this that takes some liberties in its factuality, it may very well be taken as proper fact anyway. Wikipedia is seen as a fairly authoritative source, and can do a serious bit of damage to what is considered "truth". Readers may believe there really was such an entity by this name when in fact the sources remain sorely lacking. Besides, saying we can't use the more apt "Germania" because it's an originally Latin word is a bit strange. Like many Latin words, the word exists in English, as many dictionaries will show you. Again, there is a reason we have a page for Germania and why it doesn't just redirect you to Germany or History of Germany: they are not the same. "Germany" derives from "Germania". It's not a translation. I've allowed you some liberties with prior claims but saying things like "It was translated with "Germany" in English back in the day too." needs some serious specification. When in the day? What region exactly? By whom? According to whom? Prinsgezinde (talk) 21:59, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Historians do recognise a Kingdom of Germany. That's why there is an article Germany, Kingdom of in the Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. That's why John Gillingham puts the term in the title of his pamphlet. Horst Fuhrmann uses it liberally and even writes things like, "Undoubtedly the strength of the German kingdom suffered as a result of the imperial burden" just to make sure nobody thinks he's talking about the empire. Search the archives for Robert of Gloucester to see a medieval use of Germaine (=Germany). You need to stop wasting people's time with your speculation and opinions, since we won't be editing them into the article any time soon. "Germany" is a well-established term in English scholarship and it doesn't matter where it comes from. Srnec (talk) 23:22, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Some English-language historians use the term, that is true. But the overwhelming majority including all German historians don't and we are supposed to reflect the consensus view, not the minority view. Its time to end the debate and put it formally to a vote. Bermicourt (talk) 07:14, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
On what basis do you claim this ("overwhelming majority")? I've cited Wolfram, Fuhrmann, Müller-Mertens as examples of German historians who clearly talk about the German kingdom and can be read in English translation. We've had an RM, but if you want another or an RFC or AFD, go ahead. Srnec (talk) 12:02, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
"But the overwhelming majority including all German historians don't" curious statement. I can list just a couple of German historians who do use terms like "deutsches Reich", "deutsches Königreich" or simply "Deutschland" when speaking about the "regnum teutonicum", among them Stefan Weinfurter, Gerd Althoff, Walter Mohr, Karl Ferdinand Werner. In some of my history school books those terms were used quite liberally as well, so I don't see how it's a controversy. As for "Germany" being used in English speaking sources of the 18th century and prior, that doesn't strike me controversial either.
Here's some 18th century maps clearly calling it "Germany": --MacX85 (talk) 17:01, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
@MacX85: I'll tell you what's curious. Notice that in your maps, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands are included as parts of "Germany". Now tell me this: why are the Netherlands and Switzerland, two country that became fully independent from the Holy Roman Empire in 1648, part of "Germany" in maps you claim are from "the 18th century and prior"? It's because there was no country called "Germany" before 1871, and the term was instead used to refer to the region (same as Balkans, Levant etc - see here for more). We're not saying "Germany" wasn't used by the 18th century. We're saying there was no kingdom known as the "Kingdom of Germany" several centuries before that. Prinsgezinde (talk) 14:25, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
@Srnec: in all this time you have not found a source that actually describes this "Kingdom of Germany" in the way you have been describing it. The term "Kingdom of Germany" (not "German Kingdom"), when used in English and when actually discussing an entity, has been shown time and time again to refer to East Francia (if not the later Empire). Other variations of the name, such as "regnum Teutonicorum" in the article's lead map, refer not at all to a kingdom but to the realm in the HRE that was inhabited by ethnic Germans. If you want to add "Kingdom of Germany" as an alternative title to East Francia, that's fine, but you appear to still be convinced there was a "Kingdom of Germany" with lands, (semi-)autonomy and a King, that was separate from East Francia. That being said, the topic is not an outright myth and I actually agree it deserves an article discussing the term. But it would be much better to use the original term rather than the misleading "Kingdom of Germany", and it should not be presented as a real kingdom, especially not one known as "Germany". Prinsgezinde (talk) 14:25, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
"If you want to add "Kingdom of Germany" as an alternative title to East Francia, that's fine" I don't think neither Srnec nor me mean to say anything but that. It was a region/realm within the HRE that was nominally recognized to be a kingdom. Whether or not it was autonomous is an entirely different point.
"Now tell me this: why are the Netherlands and Switzerland, two country that became fully independent from the Holy Roman Empire in 1648, part of "Germany"" iirc they were still part of the HRE in some sense without having to adhere to imperial law. Some of the maps do show the Netherlands and Switzerland in different colors than the core German regions.
"and the term was instead used to refer to the region (same as Balkans, Levant" That's certainly not true. It was used as both a geographical and political term. Most of the maps I referenced call it the "empire of Germany" or "Germany and its circles". By that time it was a stand-in for the Holy Roman Empire as such. The last two biggest documents concerning the empire, the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss and the resignation of Francis II 1806 call it "deutsches Reich"/"Deutschland" exclusively, as well as Napoleon calling Francis II the emperor of Germany and Austria in the treaty of Pressburg 1805.--MacX85 (talk) 17:35, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

No Kingdom, no King or QueenEdit

Just to give some native speaker remarks: in the German language, there is no whatsoever use of the terms "König von Deutschland" (king of germany; except for a pop song) or "Deutscher König" (german king), "Königreich Deutschland" (kingdom germany). There is, on the other hand, a de:Deutscher Kaiser, but that reflects a much later period of time. There is also a new term de:Römisch-deutscher König to be more precise in specialised scientific literature when referring to a period of time before emperors were enthroned as Kaiser. I'm not sure, if this is relevant for the discussion, as this article is not about the German terms, but I was confused seeing this lemma, as the term "Deutschland" (Germany) was not used officially before 1945. --Amtiss, SNAFU ? 16:24, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

It's highly relevant in helping us realise that the article is not about a real political entity, but about the usage of the phrase 'Kingdom of Germany' in some English sources in a rather loose and inconsistent way to refer to the German-speaking states in history, the Holy Roman Empire north of the Alps or the region roughly covered by modern Germany. Like the phrase 'King of Germany', it reached its peak in the mid-19th century and has tailed off since, but its use is far exceeded by the term Holy Roman Empire. However, there appears to be a minority view that it really existed. Bermicourt (talk) 17:39, 21 July 2020 (UTC)
Müller-Mertens in his book Regnum Teutonicum uses the terms "Deutschland", "deutsches Reich" and "Reich der Deutschen" many times throughout. The term "Reich" does not translate easily, but it is certainly not "empire" in these instances. The Latin sources use regnum and in English we say "kingdom". Srnec (talk) 02:19, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
Sry für dieses kleine "Interregnum" ... "Reich" gab's doch auch im Englischen, bloß heute nicht mehr, außer in e.g. "bishopric", wo das "-ric" (derzeit auch -rike, -riki) eben "Reich" bedeutet. Nur ums erwähnt zu haben. Hut ab für Geduld, übrigens. Vielleicht sollten einige sich der Abwechslung wegen mal über "France originated as West Francia (Francia Occidentalis), the western half of the Carolingian Empire, with the Treaty of Verdun (843). A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, when Hugh Capet was elected king and founded the Capetian dynasty. The territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum ("king of the Franks")" aufregen. Als ob Deutschland irgenwie eine Sonderstellung einnimmt. T (talk) 00:08, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

Yes but that was written in 1956, and so is not contemporary. Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1493–1519) was the first to use the title "Germaniae rex" (King of Germany"), see [2]. But did it refer to a territory distinct from the HRE? That is the central question. It could be seen as excluding Territories of the Holy Roman Empire outside the Imperial Circles, but there is no particular evidence that the title referred to territories excluding those; and indeed the Old Swiss Confederacy would probably have been seen as Germanic (or at least the German cantons), despite being outside the Imperial Circles. But it is convenient for historians to use the term "Kingdom of Germany" in this way. The ref is the relative fewness of references to a German realm, and the instability in the term's use, that must above all be kept in mind.[2] says it all to some extent. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 14:01, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I'm quite perplexed by this debate, doesn't the article cite statements showing that the term Regnum Teutonicorum or variants were used in the High Middle Ages to indicate the division of the Empire besides the Kingdom of Arelat and Kingdom of Italy, with the Archbishop of Mainz as its Archchancellor separate from the other two? There seem to be plenty of cited statements in the article where contemporaries from all sides, and occasionally even the Emperor himself, used some variant of the term, just inconsistently. Are we at least on agreement on that point? If yes, "Kingdom of the Germans" seems to be the most common translation for Regnum Teutonicorum, at least on Google Books. As for use of the term after the loss of Imperial Burgundy and Italy, that's a different issue which needs to be addressed separately. (talk) 17:41, 3 August 2020 (UTC)
Well for most of the HRE history they called themselves King of the Franks or King of the Romans, it wasn't until the 16th century they called themselves Germaniae rex, Regnum Teutonicorum was actually more of an insult as anything. So did the Kingdom of Germany come about in the 16th century? Also the Kingdom of Germany was rarely referred to, didn't have an independent ruler, governance was via the Imperial Diet (of all the HRE), and didn't have a clear definition of what it included. So there are a number of pertinent questions. The Prince-Archbishop of Mainz was the Archchancellor of Germany, but there is no evidence of Germany having separate governance than the rest if the HRE, or even what it referred to. In reality, the HRE was a loose federation at that point, so you could even argue that the Emperor was essentially a figurehead. But if the HRE was vague, the Kingdom of Germany was doubly so. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 19:34, 3 August 2020 (UTC)
Hear, hear! Bermicourt (talk) 21:22, 3 August 2020 (UTC)
Ok the issue is, I just added a number of cited statements from Scales and a few others that I came across reading, which say that the term was also used occasionally in a non-insulting sense by representatives of the emperor, and in the Concordat of Worms which specified a separate legal jurisdiction of the Regnum Teutonicorum from "other parts of the empire", and also unofficially by some Germans at the time because of growing sense of national consciousness. Even though it's not much, there seems to be some contemporary political meaning to the term. I understand that there was no concrete political structures for this Regnum Teutonicorum entity. Again, this is not talking about the 16th century introduction of Rex Germaniae; I agree that by that point any distinction between a "German kingdom" and the HR Empire of the German nation was definitely meaningless. I'm only discussing the High Medieval concept of that part of the empire that does not include the Kingdoms of Italy and Burgundy. Aelmsu (talk) 05:56, 4 August 2020 (UTC)
Yes looking through the article it doesn't seem that bad at all. There was definitely a German identity, mainly through language, and the Imperial Circle concept somewhat formulated that; by excluding the Swiss, it gave a sense of jurisdiction that excluded some German speakers. The German identity was somewhat tempered to avoid giving away their claims to Bohemia and Northern Italy. So while the concept of the "Kingdom of Germany" may be somewhat ill-defined, the large number of sources suggest an article is needed, and I feel that the Wikipedia article does a reasonable job. The main issue I have here is with people claiming a clearly defined and unquestionable concept of a Kingdom of Germany within the HRE, which I definitely object to that. I think that you also have to realise that the concept of nation state was quite weak at that stage anyway, that only came about quite a bit later, nations and national identity didn't really exist early on when feudalism dominated. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 10:02, 4 August 2020 (UTC)

Prince-Archbishop of MainzEdit

@ I think you're using the fact that the Prince-Archbishop of Mainz was Archchancellor of Germany in the Imperial Diet as evidence for the "Kingdom of Germany". Might I also remind you that the Elector of the Palatinate was Archsteward? Or that the Elector of Saxony was Archmarshal? Or that the Margrave of Brandenburg was Archchamberlain? But there is no suggestion that these entities were outside the so-called "Kingdom of Germany". Just because a title exists, it doesn't necessarily give credence to a defined area of juridiction. Also there was no Archchancellor of Bohemia, so by that logic Bohemia was part of the Kingdom of Germany. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 16:06, 4 August 2020 (UTC)

I was in the middle of a reorganisation to merge the awkwardly separated bottom sections with the main narrative in "terminology". and I've now added a few more references to a legal distinction between the German part of the empire and the rest of the empire. Also, I'm having a lot of difficulty verifying the source (Bryce) which connects the Imperial territory within the circles to a German identity? Can someone provide the chapter? (talk) 17:34, 4 August 2020 (UTC)
@Mrjulesd: See archive 6 for the discussion of whether Bohemia was a part of the kingdom of Germany. There is scholarship on the topic, and remember that Bohemia was a duchy before it was a kingdom. I'm not sure your point about the arch-titles. Although the archchancelleries of Germany, Italy and Arles were honorifics, the chanceries had been separate into the reign of Henry V. Only then were they merged into one for the whole empire. Srnec (talk) 00:20, 5 August 2020 (UTC)
@Srnec: my point may be a little unclear, so allow me to explain. I think the position of the IP is that the position "Archchancellor of Germany" infers the "Kingdom of Germany". But I disagree. First of all, the "Archchancellor of Germany" would have sit in the Imperial Diet, and therefore represented the entire HRE, right? So it was more likely that the Archchancellor of Germany was actually the "Archchancellor of the HRE, but appointed from a German state, and therefore given the title Archchancellor of Germany". In my mind the Archchancellor of Germany was the second highest rank of the HRE (after the Emperor), and represented the entire HRE, and was unlikely that there was a particular significance in the title "Archchancellor of Germany" other than it was an Archchancellor of the HRE chosen from a German state, but with no special jurisdiction over the so-called Kingdom Of Germany. So the inference is wrong. Hopefully you can follow me. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 00:59, 5 August 2020 (UTC)
First of all, the "Archchancellor of Germany" would have sit in the Imperial Diet, and therefore represented the entire HRE, right? Why do you think this? There were no fixed seats in the diet until the 16th century. The archbishop of Mainz was archchancellor of Germany only, but there was in fact only one chancery. Over the years the formal role of Mainz in its administration waxed and waned but ultimately prevailed. Thus the other archchancellors had no formal role or rights in virtue of their titles, but that of Germany did, because he was in charge of the actual single imperial chancery. I don't believed the formal titles ever changed. The titles are evidence of a division that once existed, but they do not show that it persisted until 1806. Srnec (talk) 02:55, 5 August 2020 (UTC)
OK hang on there, the Archchancellors of Italy and Burgundy are also from German states. The Archchancellor issue (which is weak evidence) is no longer the sole evidence of a German-Imperial legal distinction. from Len Scales' book: there are a very large number of concrete examples of contemporary German writers and virtually all non-Germans making references to a "regnum Alemanniae" or "Regnum Teutonicorum" that is a part of the Empire but not all of it. There are also many examples of a legal distinction in Imperial law between the German lands of the empire and the rest of the empire. But the emperors were very reluctant unless required by diplomacy to specifically refer to a German kingdom because doing so would weaken their own link to the universalist Roman throne. (talk) 03:01, 5 August 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Elio Corti. "Lessico: Regno di Galizia e Lodomeria". Origine e variazioni del nome. Summa Gallicana: La Genetica del Pollo. Retrieved 11 February 2014. La Lodomeria esisteva solo sulla carta; non aveva territorio e non poteva essere trovata su alcuna mappa.
  2. ^ Len Scales (26 April 2012). The Shaping of German Identity: Authority and Crisis, 1245-1414. Cambridge University Press. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-521-57333-7. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
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