, German Landgraf
; French landgrave
; Latin comes magnus
, comes patriae
, comes provinciae
, comes terrae
, comes principalis
) was a title
only used in the Holy Roman Empire
and later on by its former territories. The title refers to a count
who had feudal duty directly to the Holy Roman Emperor. His jurisdiction stretched over a sometimes quite considerable territory, which was not subservient to an intermediate power like a Duke
, a Bishop
or Count Palatine
. The title survived from the times of the Holy Roman Empire
(first records in Lower Lotharingia from 1086 on: Henry III of Leuven
as landgrave of Brabant). A landgrave by definition exercised sovereign rights. His decision-making power was comparable to that of a Duke.
Landgrave occasionally continued in use as the subsidiary title of such nobility as the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, who functioned as the Landgrave of Thuringia in the first decade of the 20th century, but the title fell into disuse after World War I.
The jurisdiction of a landgrave was a landgraviate and the wife of a landgrave was a landgravine. Examples: Landgrave of Thuringia, Landgrave of Hesse, Princely (Gefürsteter) Landgrave of Leuchtenberg (around a Bavarian castle; later made a duchy).
Landgraviate refers to the rank, office, or territory held by a landgrave.
Landgravine refers to the wife of a Landgrave or one who exercises the office or holds the rank in her own right.
- Mayer, Theodor, Über Entstehung und Bedeutung der älteren deutschen Landgrafschaften, in Mitteralterliche Studien – Gesammelte Aufsätze, ed. F. Knapp (Sigmaringen 1958) 187-201. Also published in Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Germanische Abteilung 58 (1938) 210-288.
- Mayer, T., 'Herzogtum und Landeshoheit', Fürsten und Staat. Studien zur Verfassungsgeschichte des deutschen Mittelalters (Weimar 1950) 276-301.
- Eichenberger, T., Patria: Studien zur Bedeutung des Wortes im Mittelalter (6.-12. Jahrhundert), Nationes – Historische und philologische Untersuchungen zur Entstehung der europäischen Nationen im Mittelalter 9 (Sigmaringen 1991).
- Van Droogenbroeck, F.J., De betekenis van paltsgraaf Herman II (1064-1085) voor het graafschap Brabant, in Eigen Schoon en De Brabander, 87 (Brussel 2004) 1-166.
Other meanings of Landgrave