King of Italy

King of Italy (Latin: Rex Italiae; Italian: Re d'Italia) was the title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The first to take the title was Odoacer, a "barbarian" military leader, in the late 5th century, followed by the Ostrogothic kings up to the mid-6th century. With the Frankish conquest of Italy in the 8th century, the Carolingians assumed the title, which was maintained by subsequent Holy Roman Emperors throughout the Middle Ages. The last Emperor to claim the title was Charles V in the 16th century. During this period, the holders of the title were crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy.

A Kingdom of Italy was restored from 1805 to 1814 with Napoleon as its only king, centered in Northern Italy. It was not until the Italian unification in the 1860s that a Kingdom of Italy covering the entire peninsula was restored. From 1861 the House of Savoy held the title of King of Italy until the last king, Umberto II, was exiled in 1946 when Italy became a republic.

History

After the deposition of the last Western Emperor in 476, Heruli leader Odoacer was appointed Dux Italiae ("Duke of Italy") by the reigning Byzantine Emperor Zeno. Later, the Germanic foederati, the Scirians and the Heruli, as well as a large segment of the Italic Roman army, proclaimed Odoacer Rex Italiae ("King of Italy").[1] In 493, the Ostrogothic king Theoderic the Great killed Odoacer, and set up a new dynasty of kings of Italy. Ostrogothic rule ended when Italy was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in 552.

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, except the Exarchate of Ravenna and the duchies of Rome, Venetia, Naples and the southernmost portions. In the 8th century, estrangement between the Italians and the Byzantines 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 "king of the Lombards". After the death of Charles the Fat in 887, Italy fell into instability and a number of kings attempted to establish themselves as independent Italian monarchs. During this period, known as the Feudal Anarchy (888–962), the title Rex Italicorum ("King of the Italians" or "King of the Italics") was introduced. After the breakup of the Frankish empire, Otto I added Italy to the Holy Roman Empire and continued the use of the title Rex Italicorum. The last to use this title was Henry II (1004-1024). Subsequent emperors used the title "King of Italy" until Charles V. At first they were crowned in Pavia, later Milan, and Charles was crowned in Bologna.

In 1805, Napoleon I was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy at the Milan Cathedral. The next year, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated his imperial title. From the deposition of Napoleon I (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 to form the modern Kingdom of Italy. The monarchy was superseded by the Italian Republic, after a constitutional referendum was held on 2 June 1946, after World War II.[2] The Italian monarchy formally ended on 12 June of that year, and Umberto II left the country.

List of kings

As "Rex Italiae"

vassal of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Ostrogothic Kingdom (493 – 553)

Kingdom of the Lombards (568 – 814)

Kingdom of Italy (781 – 963)

Carolingian Dynasty (781 – 888)

Instability (888 – 962)

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

vassal of the German King Arnulf of Carinthia, reduced to Friuli 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 with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. In 952, Berengar and Adalbert became his vassals but remained kings until being deposed by Otto.

Holy Roman Empire (962 – 1556)

Ottonian dynasty (962 – 1024)

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Otto the Great
Otto I 23 November 912
-
7 May 973
962[4] 7 May 973
Otton2
Otto II 955
-
7 December 983
c. October 980[5] 7 December 983
Meister der Reichenauer Schule 002
Otto III 980
-
23 January 1002
c. February 996[6] 23 January 1002
Arduino d'ivrea (2)
Arduin I of Ivrea 955
-
1015
1002[4] 1014
Ubf Richard-Wagner-Platz Mosaik Heinrich II
Henry II
[7]
6 May 973
-
13 July 1024
1004[4] 13 July 1024

Salian dynasty (1027 – 1125)

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Konrád2
Conrad II
[8]
990
-
4 June 1039
1026[4] 4 June 1039
Heinrich III. (HRR) Miniatur
Henry III 29 October 1017
-
5 October 1056
1039[4] 5 October 1056
Jindra4Salsky
Henry IV 11 November 1050
-
7 August 1106
1056[4] December 1105
Conrad II of Italy
Conrad II of Italy 1074
-
1101
1093[4] 1101
Jindra5Salsky
Henry V
[9]
8 November 1086
-
23 May 1125
1106[4] 23 May 1125

Süpplingenburg dynasty (1125 – 1137)

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Siegel Lothar III
Lothair III (or II) 9 June 1075
-
4 December 1137
1125[4] 4 December 1137

Hauteville dynasty (1130 – 1154)

Roger II used the title King of Sicily and Italy until at least 1135; later he used only the title King of Sicily, Apulia and Calabria. Although his realm included the southern Italian mainland, he never exerted any control over the official Kingdom of Italy, and none of his successors claimed the title King of Italy.

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Roger II. Sicilsky (cropped1)
Roger II 22 December 1095
-
26 February 1154
25 December 1130 26 February 1154

House of Hohenstaufen (1128 – 1197)

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Konrad III Miniatur 13 Jahrhundert
Conrad III 1093
-
15 February 1152
1138[4]
(Also crowned in 1128 in opposition to Lothair[10])
1152
Wgt Stifterbüchlein 43r
Frederick I 1122
-
10 June 1190
1154 1186
JindrichVIStauf trun
Henry VI November 1165
-
28 September 1197
1186[4] 28 September 1197

House of Welf (1208 – 1212)

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Otto IV 1175 or 1176
-
19 May 1218
1209[4] 1212

House of Hohenstaufen (1212 – 1254)

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Frederick II and eagle
Arms of Swabia (lions passant regardant)
Frederick II
(Friedrich II)
26 December 1194 – 13 December 1250 5 December 1212 13 December 1250
Jindra7
Arms of Swabia (lions passant regardant)
Henry
(Heinrich (VII))
1211 – 12 February 1242 23 April 1220 12 February 1242
Conrad IV of Germany
Arms of Swabia (lions passant regardant)
Conrad IV
(Konrad IV)
25 April 1228 – 21 May 1254 May 1237 21 May 1254

House of Luxembourg (1311 – 1313)

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Henry7Luc
Henric van Lusenborch
Henry VII 1275[11]
-
24 August 1313
6 January 1311[12] 24 August 1313

House of Wittelsbach (1327 – 1347)

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Ludwig der Bayer
Bavaria Wittelsbach coa medieval
Louis IV 1 April 1282
-
11 October 1347
1327 11 October 1347

House of Luxembourg (1355 – 1437)

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Charles IV-John Ocko votive picture-fragment
Insigne Cechicum
Charles IV 14 May 1316
-
29 November 1378
1355[4] 29 November 1378
Zikmund Zhořelecka radnice
Sigismund Arms Hungarian Czech per pale
Sigismund 14 February 1368
-
9 December 1437
1431[4] 9 December 1437

House of Habsburg (1437 – 1556)

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Hans Burgkmair d. Ä. 005
Bindenschild Privilegium maius 1512
Frederick III 21 September 1415
-
19 August 1493
16 March 1452 19 August 1493
Charles I of Spain
Bindenschild Privilegium maius 1512
Charles V 24 February 1500
-
21 September 1558
24 February 1530[13] 16 January 1556

Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned king of Italy, or to use the title.[4] The Peace of Westphalia, in 1648, formally ended the rule of the Holy Roman Emperors in Italy. However, the empire continued to include some territory in northern Italy, including Tyrol, until its dissolution in 1806.

Kingdom of Italy (1805–1814), House of Bonaparte

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Napoleon I of France by Andrea Appiani
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1805-1814), round shield version
Napoleon I 15 August 1769
-
5 May 1821
17 March 1805 11 April 1814

Full title

This title is present on Italian laws proclaimed by Napoleon I:

[Name], by the Grace of God and the Constitutions, Emperor of the French and King of Italy.

Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946), House of Savoy

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Became King Ceased to be King
Dipinto di Re Vittorio Emanuele II
Great coat of arms of the king of italy (1890-1946)
Victor Emmanuel II 14 March 1820
-
9 January 1878
17 March 1861 9 January 1878
Ritratto di Umberto I
Great coat of arms of the king of italy (1890-1946)
Umberto I 14 March 1844
-
29 July 1900
9 January 1878 29 July 1900
Eduardo Gioja Viktor Emanuel III 1913
Great coat of arms of the king of italy (1890-1946)
Victor Emmanuel III 11 November 1869
-
28 December 1947
29 July 1900 9 May 1946
Hrh Prince Umberto of Italy, May 1944 TR1836
Great coat of arms of the king of italy (1890-1946)
Umberto II 15 September 1904
-
18 March 1983
9 May 1946 12 June 1946

Full title

Up until the dissolution of the monarchy in 1946, full title of the Kings of Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) was:

[Name], by the Grace of God and the will of the Nation, 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 bailiff of the Duchy of Aosta, Prince of Chieri, Dronero, Crescentino, Riva di Chieri and Banna, Busca, Bene, Bra, Duke of Genoa, Monferrat, Aosta, Duke of Chablais, Genevois, Duke of Piacenza, Marquis of Saluzzo (Saluces), Ivrea, Susa, of Maro, Oristano, Cesana, Savona, Tarantasia, Borgomanero and Cureggio, Caselle, Rivoli, Pianezza, Govone, Salussola, Racconigi over Tegerone, Migliabruna and Motturone, Cavallermaggiore, Marene, Modane and Lanslebourg, Livorno Ferraris, Santhià, Agliè, Centallo and Demonte, Desana, Ghemme, Vigone, Count of Barge, Villafranca, Ginevra, Nizza, Tenda, Romont, Asti, Alessandria, of Goceano, Novara, Tortona, Bobbio, Soissons, Sant'Antioco, Pollenzo, Roccabruna, Tricerro, Bairo, Ozegna, delle Apertole, Baron of Vaud and of Faucigni, Lord of Vercelli, Pinerolo, of Lomellina, of Valle Sesia, of the Marquisate of Ceva, Overlord of Monaco, Roccabruna and eleven-twelfths of Menton, Noble Patrician of Venice, Patrician of Ferrara.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Bury, History, vol. 1 p. 406
  2. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1047 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  3. ^ Bryce, James The Holy Roman Empire (1913), pg. xxxv
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Lodovico Antonio Muratori, Giuseppe Oggeri Vincenti, Annali d'Italia, 1788, pp. 78-81.
  5. ^ According to Sismondi, History of the Italian Republics in the Middle Ages (pg. 29), although Otto II was crowned King of the Romans in 961 and Holy Roman Emperor in 967, he only obtained the Iron Crown at Pavia in late 980, during his descent into Italy, and prior to his celebrating Christmas at Ravenna.
  6. ^ Although Otto III was crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Rome on 21 May 996, he was crowned King of Italy at Milan prior to the death of Pope John XV in early March 996 - see Comyn, History of the Western Empire, Vol. 1, pg. 123
  7. ^ enumerated as successor of Henry I who was German King 919–936 but not Emperor.
  8. ^ enumerated as successor of Conrad I who was German King 911–918 but not Emperor
  9. ^ Barraclough, Geoffrey (1984). The Origins of Modern Germany. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-30153-2.
  10. ^ Comyn, Robert. History of the Western Empire, from its Restoration by Charlemagne to the Accession of Charles V, Vol. I. 1851, p. 191.
  11. ^ Kleinhenz, Christopher, Medieval Italy: an encyclopedia, Volume 1, Routledge, 2004, pg. 494
  12. ^ Jones, Michael, The New Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. VI: c. 1300-c. 1415, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pg. 533
  13. ^ Philip Pandely Argenti, Chius Vincta, 1941, p. xvii.
Adalbert of Italy

Adalbert (Latin Adalbertus; born 932×936, died 971×975) was the King of Italy from 950 until 961, ruling jointly with his father, Berengar II. After his deposition, he continued to claim the Italian kingdom until his defeat in battle in 965. Since he was the second Adalbert in his family, the Anscarids, he is sometimes numbered Adalbert II. His name is occasionally, especially in older works, shortened to Albert (Latin Albertus), which has the same roots.

Adalbert was born between 932 and 936, the son of Berengar, then margrave of Ivrea, and Willa, daughter of Boso, margrave of Tuscany. In 950, he and his father were simultaneously elected by the high nobility to succeed Lothar II of Italy. They were crowned together in the basilica of Saint Michael in Pavia on 15 December. Berengar tried to force Adelaide, widow of Lothair, to marry Adalbert and cement their claim to joint kingship. Although later traditions speak of a marriage, in fact Adelaide refused to be married and fled to Canossa. She was tracked down and imprisoned for four months at Como.In 951, King Otto I of Germany invaded Italy, forcing the release of Adelaide and marrying her himself. He made no effort to depose the kings of Italy, however. Instead, Adalbert and Berengar were compelled to attend the Diet of Augsburg in Germany in August 952, where Otto formally invested them with the kingdom of Italy, thus subjecting the kingdom to Germany. Between 953 and 956, Adalbert and Berengar besieged Count Adalbert Azzo of Canossa in his castle, where Adelaide had taken refuge in 951. In 956, Duke Liudolf of Swabia, Otto's son, entered Italy with a large army to re-assert his father's authority. Adalbert gathered a large force to oppose him. He defeated Liudolf, but before the latter could return to Germany he died in September 957. Following this victory, Adalbert, assisted by Duke Hugh of Tuscany, campaigned against Duke Theobald II of Spoleto. During this campaign his forces even encroached on Roman territory in 960.Thus threatened, Pope John XII asked the king of Germany for help. Otto entered Italy in 961, while Adalbert assembled a large army at Verona. According to contemporary sources it was 60,000 strong, although this is an obvious exaggeration. Many of the leading noble families refused to join in the defence of Italy except on the condition that Berengar abdicate in favour of his son. This the elder king refused to do, and thus Adalbert was unable to effectively oppose the German invasion. Otto proceeded unopposed to Milan, where he was crowned king by Archbishop Walbert in November, and from there to Rome, where he was crowned Emperor by the pope on 3 February 962. Adalbert and Berengar went into hiding.After his imperial coronation, Otto besieged the various fortresses loyal to Adalbert and Berengar. In the fall of 962, Adalbert left Italy and took refuge with the Arabs of Fraxinetum in southern Burgundy. From there he went to Corsica. From Corsica he opened negotiations with John XII, proposing a joint action against Otto. He sailed to Italy, landing in Civitavecchia. There he was met by the pope's representatives, who escorted him to Rome. Otto, who had forced Berengar to surrender, then marched against Rome. After a perfunctory defence, Adalbert and the pope fled.

Adalbert returned to Corsica in his second exile. He did not try to regain Italy again until after Otto had returned north of the Alps. When he finally returned in 965, he tried to take Pavia, the Italian capital, but was defeated by another Swabian army, this time under Duke Burchard III. On 25 June, Burchard defeated him in battle between Parma and Piacenza. Fighting alongside Adalbert were his brothers: Conrad, count of Milan, who had initially made his peace with Otto, and Guy, margrave of Ivrea, who died in the fighting.Failing in his second attempt to regain his kingdom, Adalbert began a long series of negotiations with the Byzantine Empire, which was threatened by Otto's designs on southern Italy. When these fell through, he retired with his wife Gerberga to her family's estates in Burgundy. Adalbert died at Autun, either on 30 April 971 or between 972 and 975. He had been married to Gerberga, eldest daughter of Count Lambert of Chalon, around 956, and they had one son, Otto-William, who succeeded to the county of Mâcon through marriage to the widow of the previous count. This has led some scholars to mistakenly conclude that Gerberga must have been related to the counts of Mâcon. After Adalbert's death, Gerberga married Henry I, Duke of Burgundy. Henry adopted Otto-William and left him the county of Burgundy. Otto-William was even offered the Italian crown after the death of Arduin in 1015, although he did not accept.Sixteen diplomas issued jointly with his father and three issued by himself alone have survived from Adalbert's reign. They have been edited and published. Berengar and Adalbert had silver denarii minted at Pavia.

Arduin of Ivrea

Arduin (Italian: Arduino; c.955 – 14 December 1015) was an Italian nobleman who was King of Italy from 1002 until 1014.

In 990 Arduin became Margrave of Ivrea and in 991 Count of the Sacred Palace of the Lateran in Rome. In 1002, after the death of Emperor Otto III, the Italian nobles elected him King of Italy in the Basilica of San Michele Maggiore in Pavia, making him the first non-German on the Italian throne in 41 years. Arduin was considered the choice of the nobility and opposed by the episcopate, but he was initially supported by the Archbishop of Milan.

In Germany, however, Henry II was elected to succeed Otto, and he contested Arduin's election in Italy. In 1004, Henry invaded Italy, defeated Arduin and was crowned king in Pavia. He soon withdrew back to Germany, and Arduin was able to reassert his authority at least in the northwest of Italy for the next decade. Henry II invaded Italy again in 1014 and was proclaimed Emperor in Rome, at which point Arduin was finally forced to relinquish his crown. He died soon after at the Abbey of Fruttuaria, ending the independence of the Kingdom of Italy from Germany.

The study of Arduin's reign has been bedeviled by the many forged diplomas in his name. These caused older scholarship to overrate his importance after Henry's first expedition in 1004, but it is now clear that Arduin's sphere of influence was restricted to a small part of Italy after that. He did, however, have continuing support in Pavia.

Arnulf of Carinthia

Arnulf of Carinthia (c. 850 – December 8, 899) was the duke of Carinthia who overthrew his uncle, Emperor Charles the Fat, became the Carolingian king of East Francia from 887, the disputed King of Italy from 894 and the disputed Holy Roman Emperor from February 22, 896 until his death at Regensburg, Bavaria.

Berengar I of Italy

Berengar I (Latin: Berengarius, Perngarius; Italian: Berengario; c. 845 – 7 April 924) was the king of Italy from 887. He was Roman Emperor between 915 and his death in 924. He is usually known as Berengar of Friuli, since he ruled the March of Friuli from 874 until at least 890, but he had lost control of the region by 896.Berengar rose to become one of the most influential laymen in the empire of Charles the Fat, and he was elected to replace Charles in Italy after the latter's deposition in November 887. His long reign of 36 years saw him opposed by no less than seven other claimants to the Italian throne. His reign is usually characterised as "troubled" because of the many competitors for the crown and because of the arrival of Magyar raiders in Western Europe. He was the last emperor before Otto the Great was crowned in 962, after a 38-year interregnum.

Bernard of Italy

Bernard (797 in Vermandois, Picardy – 17 April 818 in Milan, Lombardy) was the King of the Lombards from 810 to 818. He plotted against his uncle, Emperor Louis the Pious, when the latter's Ordinatio Imperii made Bernard a vassal of his cousin Lothair. When his plot was discovered, Louis had him blinded, a procedure which killed him.

Conrad II of Italy

Conrad II or Conrad (III) (12 February 1074 – 27 July 1101) was the Duke of Lower Lorraine (1076–87), King of Germany (1087–98) and King of Italy (1093–98). He was the second son of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and Bertha of Savoy, and their eldest son to reach adulthood, his older brother Henry having been born and died in the same month of August 1071. Conrad's rule in Lorraine and Germany was nominal. He spent most of his life in Italy and there he was king in fact as well as in name.

Convention of Mantua

The Convention of Mantua was an agreement signed by Eugène de Beauharnais and Heinrich Graf von Bellegarde on 24 April 1814 that returned the territories of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy to provisional Austrian rule.

Napoleon created himself King of Italy on 17 March 1805, and he was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan on 26 May 1805. He made his stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy on 5 June 1805, and later his heir presumptive to the Italian crown.

After being defeated by the Sixth Coalition in 1813-14, Napoleon abdicated in favour of his son, the King of Rome, on 6 April 1814. He signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau on 11 April, under which he abdicated again, unconditionally, and was exiled to Elba. Eugène found himself surrounded by hostile forces, with the main Austrian force advancing from the east, the British, Sicilians and more Austrians attacking from Genoa, and forces from the Kingdom of Naples commanded by its king, Joachim Murat, advancing from the south. The Agreement of Schiarino-Rizzino was agreed on 16 April outside Mantua, which enabled Eugène to keep control of his territory. Eugène attempted to have himself crowned as the new King of Italy, but he was opposed by the Senate of the Kingdom, and an insurrection in Milan on 20 April ended his hopes of taking the Italian crown.

Eugène signed the Convention of Mantua on 24 April, allowing the Austrian commander, Bellegarde, to cross the River Minco and occupy Milan, and northern Italy returned to Austrian rule on 27 April. Eugène retired to Munich, the capital of his father-in-law, Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria.

Austrian control of Lombardy and Venetia was confirmed by the Congress of Vienna, and the territories were joined as the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia on 7 April 1815. The Papal States were returned to the Pope.

Guy III of Spoleto

Guy of Spoleto (died 12 December 894), sometimes known by the Italian version of his name, Guido, or by the German version, Wido, was the Margrave of Camerino from 880 (as Guy I or Guy II) and then Duke of Spoleto and Camerino (as Guy III) from 883. He was crowned King of Italy in 889 and Holy Roman Emperor in 891. He died in 894 while fighting for control of the Italian Peninsula.

Guy was married to Ageltrude, daughter of Adelchis of Benevento, who bore him a son named Lambert.

Holy Roman Emperor

The Holy Roman Emperor (also "German-Roman Emperor", German: Römisch-deutscher Kaiser "Roman-German emperor"; historically Imperator Romanorum, "Emperor of the Romans") was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire (considered by itself to be the successor of the Roman Empire) during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany (rex teutonicorum) throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.From an autocracy in Carolingian times (AD 800–924) the title by the 13th century evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the prince-electors.

Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians (962–1024) and the Salians (1027–1125). Following the late medieval crisis of government, the Habsburgs kept possession of the title without interruption from 1440–1740. The final emperors were from the House of Lorraine (Habsburg-Lorraine), from 1765–1806. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by Emperor Francis II, after a devastating defeat to Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz.

The Holy Roman Emperor was widely perceived to rule by divine right, though he often contradicted or rivaled the Pope, most notably during the Investiture controversy.

In theory, the Holy Roman Emperor was primus inter pares (first among equals) among other Catholic monarchs. In practice, a Holy Roman Emperor was only as strong as his army and alliances, including marriage alliances, made him. There was never a Holy Roman Empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa of Austria served as de facto Empresses regnant.

Throughout its history, the position was viewed as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith. Until the Reformation, the Emperor elect (imperator electus) was required to be crowned by the Pope before assuming the imperial title. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was the last to be crowned by the Pope in 1530. Even after the Reformation, the elected Emperor always was a Roman Catholic. There were short periods in history when the electoral college was dominated by Protestants, and the electors usually voted in their own political interest.

Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire)

The Kingdom of Italy (Latin: Regnum Italiae or Regnum Italicum, Italian: Regno d'Italia, German: Königreich Italien), also commonly Imperial Italy (German: Reichsitalien) or Kingdom of Lombardy, was one of the constituent kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire, along with the kingdoms of Germany, Bohemia, and Burgundy. It comprised northern and central Italy, but excluded the Republic of Venice and the Papal States. Its original capital was Pavia until the 11th century.

In 773, Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, crossed the Alps to invade the Kingdom of the Lombards, which encompassed all of Italy except the Duchy of Rome and some Byzantine possessions in the south. In June 774, the kingdom collapsed and the Franks became masters of northern Italy. The southern areas remained under Lombard control as the Duchy of Benevento is changed into the rather independent Principality of Benevento. Charlemagne adopted the title "King of the Lombards" and in 800 was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" in Rome. Members of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule Italy until the deposition of Charles the Fat in 887, after which they once briefly regained the throne in 894–896. Until 961, the rule of Italy was continually contested by several aristocratic families from both within and outside the kingdom.

In 961, King Otto I of Germany, already married to Adelaide, widow of a previous king of Italy, invaded the kingdom and had himself crowned in Pavia on 25 December. He continued on to Rome, where he had himself crowned emperor on 7 February 962. The union of the crowns of Italy and Germany with that of the so-called "Empire of the Romans" proved stable. Burgundy was added to this union in 1032, and by the twelfth century the term "Holy Roman Empire" had come into use to describe it. From 961 on, the Emperor of the Romans was usually also King of Italy and Germany, although emperors sometimes appointed their heirs to rule in Italy and occasionally the Italian bishops and noblemen elected a king of their own in opposition to that of Germany. The absenteeism of the Italian monarch led to the rapid disappearance of a central government in the High Middle Ages, but the idea that Italy was a kingdom within the Empire remained and emperors frequently sought to impose their will on the evolving Italian city-states. The resulting wars between Guelphs and Ghibellines, the anti-imperialist and imperialist factions, respectively, were characteristic of Italian politics in the 12th–14th centuries. The Lombard League was the most famous example of this situation; though not a declared separatist movement, it openly challenged the emperor's claim to power.

The century between the Humiliation of Canossa (1077) and the Treaty of Venice of 1177 resulted in the formation of city states independent of the Germanic Emperor. A series of wars in Lombardy from 1423 to 1454 reduced the number of competing states in Italy. The next forty years were relatively peaceful in Italy, but in 1494 the peninsula was invaded by France. After the Imperial Reform of 1495–1512, the Italian kingdom corresponded to the unencircled territories south of the Alps. Juridically the emperor maintained an interest in them as nominal king and overlord, but the "government" of the kingdom consisted of little more than the plenipotentiaries the emperor appointed to represent him and those governors he appointed to rule his own Italian states.

The Habsburg rule in several parts of Italy continued in various forms but came to an end with the campaigns of the French Revolutionaries in 1792–1797, when a series of sister republics were set up with local support by Napoleon and then united into the Italian Republic under his Presidency. In 1805 the Republic became a new Kingdom of Italy, in personal union with France.

List of kings of the Lombards

The Kings of the Lombards or reges Langobardorum (singular rex Langobardorum) were the monarchs of the Lombard people from the early 6th century until the Lombardic identity became lost in the 9th and 10th centuries. After 568, the Lombard kings sometimes styled themselves Kings of Italy (rex totius Italiae). After 774, they were not Lombards, but Franks. The Iron Crown of Lombardy (Corona Ferrea) was used for the coronation of the Lombard kings and the kings of Italy thereafter for centuries.

The primary sources for the Lombard kings before the Frankish conquest are the anonymous 7th-century Origo Gentis Langobardorum and the 8th-century Historia Langobardorum of Paul the Deacon. The earliest kings (the pre-Lethings) listed in the Origo are almost certainly legendary. They purportedly reigned during the Migration Period. The first ruler attested independently of Lombard tradition is Tato.

Monarchy of Italy

The monarchy of Italy (Italian: Monarchia italiana) was the system of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 to 1946.

Odoacer

Flavius Odoacer (; c. 433 – 493 AD), also known as Flavius Odovacer or Odovacar (Latin: Odoacer, Odoacar, Odovacar, Odovacris), was a barbarian statesman who deposed Romulus Augustus and became King of Italy (476–493). His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire.Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of the emperor in Constantinople. Odoacer generally used the Roman honorific patrician, granted by the emperor Zeno, but is referred to as a king (Latin: rex) in many documents. He himself used it in the only surviving official document that emanated from his chancery, and it was also used by the consul Basilius. Odoacer introduced few important changes into the administrative system of Italy. He had the support of the Roman Senate and was able to distribute land to his followers without much opposition. Unrest among his warriors led to violence in 477–478, but no such disturbances occurred during the later period of his reign. Although Odoacer was an Arian Christian, he rarely intervened in the affairs of Trinitarian state church of the Roman Empire.

Of East Germanic descent, according to most opinions, Odoacer was a military leader in Italy who led the revolt of Herulian, Rugian, and Scirian soldiers that deposed Romulus Augustulus on 4 September AD 476. Augustulus had been declared Western Roman Emperor by his father, the rebellious general of the army in Italy, less than a year before, but had been unable to gain allegiance or recognition beyond central Italy. With the backing of the Roman Senate, Odoacer thenceforth ruled Italy autonomously, paying lip service to the authority of Julius Nepos, the previous Western emperor, and Zeno, the emperor of the East. Upon Nepos's murder in 480 Odoacer invaded Dalmatia, to punish the murderers. He did so, executing the conspirators, but within two years also conquered the region and incorporated it into his domain.

When Illus, master of soldiers of the Eastern Empire, asked for Odoacer's help in 484 in his struggle to depose Zeno, Odoacer invaded Zeno's westernmost provinces. The emperor responded first by inciting the Rugii of present-day Austria to attack Italy. During the winter of 487–488 Odoacer crossed the Danube and defeated the Rugii in their own territory. Zeno also appointed the Ostrogoth Theoderic the Great who was menacing the borders of the Eastern Empire, to be king of Italy, turning one troublesome, nominal vassal against another. Theoderic invaded Italy in 489 and by August 490 had captured almost the entire peninsula, forcing Odoacer to take refuge in Ravenna. The city surrendered on 5 March 493; Theoderic invited Odoacer to a banquet of reconciliation and there killed him.

Pepin of Italy

Pepin or Pippin (or Pepin Carloman, Pepinno, April 773 – 8 July 810), born Carloman, was the son of Charlemagne and King of the Lombards (781–810) under the authority of his father.

Pepin was the second son of Charlemagne by his then-wife Hildegard. He was born Carloman, but was rechristened with the royal name Pepin (also the name of his older half-brother Pepin the Hunchback, and his grandfather Pepin the Short) when he was a young child. He was made "king of Italy" after his father's conquest of the Lombards, in 781, and crowned by Pope Hadrian I with the Iron Crown of Lombardy.

He was active as ruler of Lombardy and worked to expand the Frankish empire. In 791, he marched a Lombard army into the Drava valley and ravaged Pannonia, while his father marched along the Danube into Avar territory. Charlemagne left the campaigning to deal with a Saxon revolt in 792. Pepin and Duke Eric of Friuli continued, however, to assault the Avars' ring-shaped strongholds. The great Ring of the Avars, their capital fortress, was taken twice. The booty was sent to Charlemagne in Aachen and redistributed to all his followers and even to foreign rulers, including King Offa of Mercia. A celebratory poem, De Pippini regis Victoria Avarica, was composed after Pepin forced the Avar khagan to submit in 796. This poem was composed at Verona, Pepin's capital after 799 and the centre of Carolingian Renaissance literature in Italy. The Versus de Verona (c. 800), an urban encomium of the city, likewise praises king Pepin. The "Codex Gothanus" History of the Lombards hails Pepin's campaign against Benevento and his liberation of Corsica "from the oppression of the Moors."His activities included a long, but unsuccessful siege of Venice in 810. The siege lasted six months and Pepin's army was ravaged by the diseases of the local swamps and was forced to withdraw. A few months later Pepin died, on 8 July 810.

Queen of Italy

This article is about the card game. The term can also refer to the spouse of the King of Italy, or a woman who holds the King's title. For the spouse of the King of Italy, see List of Italian queensQueen of Italy (also known as Terrace) is a solitaire card game played with two decks of playing cards. It is a difficult game to win, because the cards that potentially block the game are presented at the start.

Rudolph II of Burgundy

Rudolph II (c. 880 – 11 July 937), a member of the Elder House of Welf, was King of Burgundy from 912 until his death. He initially succeeded in Upper Burgundy and also ruled as King of Italy from 922 to 926. In 933 Rudolph acquired the Kingdom of Lower Burgundy (Provence) from King Hugh of Italy in exchange for the waiver of his claims to the Italian crown, thereby establishing the united Burgundian Kingdom of Arles.

Umberto I of Italy

Umberto I (Italian: Umberto Ranieri Carlo Emanuele Giovanni Maria Ferdinando Eugenio di Savoia; 14 March 1844 – 29 July 1900), nicknamed the Good (Italian: il Buono), was the King of Italy from 9 January 1878 until his assassination on 29 July 1900.

Umberto's reign saw Italy attempt colonial expansion into the Horn of Africa, successfully gaining Eritrea and Somalia despite being defeated by Abyssinia at the Battle of Adwa in 1896. In 1882, he approved the Triple Alliance with the German Empire and Austria-Hungary.

He was deeply loathed in leftist circles because of his conservatism and support of the Bava-Beccaris massacre in Milan. He was especially hated by anarchists, who attempted to assassinate him during the first year of his reign. He was killed by another anarchist, Gaetano Bresci, two years after the Bava-Beccaris massacre.

Victor Emmanuel III of Italy

Victor Emmanuel III (Vittorio Emanuele Ferdinando Maria Gennaro di Savoia; Italian: Vittorio Emanuele III, Albanian: Viktor Emanueli III, Amharic: ቪክቶር ኢማንዌል, romanized: vīkitori īmawēli; 11 November 1869 – 28 December 1947) was the King of Italy from 29 July 1900 until his abdication on 9 May 1946. In addition, he held the thrones of Ethiopia and Albania as Emperor of Ethiopia (1936–1941) and King of the Albanians (1939–1943). During his reign of nearly 46 years, which began after the assassination of his father Umberto I, the Kingdom of Italy became involved in two world wars. His reign also encompassed the birth, rise, and fall of Italian Fascism and its regime.

During World War I, Victor Emmanuel III accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Paolo Boselli and named Vittorio Emanuele Orlando (the premier of victory) in his place. Following the March on Rome, he appointed Benito Mussolini as Prime Minister and later deposed him in 1943 during World War II.

Victor Emmanuel abdicated his throne in 1946 in favour of his son Umberto II, hoping to strengthen support for the monarchy against an ultimately successful referendum to abolish it. He then went into exile to Alexandria, Egypt, where he died and was buried the following year in Saint Catherines's Cathedral of Alexandria. His remains were returned in 2017 to rest in Italy, following an agreement between Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

He was also called by the Italians Sciaboletta ("little saber") due to his height of 1.53 m (5 ft 0 in), or Il Re soldato (The Soldier King) for having led his country during both the world wars.

Victor Emmanuel II of Italy

Victor Emmanuel II (Italian: Vittorio Emanuele II; full name: Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso di Savoia; 14 March 1820 – 9 January 1878) was King of Sardinia from 1849 until 17 March 1861. At that point, he assumed the title of King of Italy and became the first king of a united Italy since the 6th century, a title he held until his death in 1878. The Italians gave him the epithet of Father of the Fatherland (Italian: Padre della Patria). The monument Altare della Patria (or Vittoriano) in Rome was built in his honor.

Kings of Italy between 476 and 1556
Non-dynastic
Ostrogoths
Lombards
Carolingians
Non-dynastic
(title disputed 887–933)
Kingdom of Italy within
the Holy Roman Empire
(962–1556)
Kings of Italy between 1861 and 1946
Etruscan civilization
Ancient Rome
Medieval
and
Early Modern
states
French Revolutionary
and Napoleonic eras
(1792–1815)
Post-Napoleonic
states
Italian royal titles

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