Landgrave (Dutch "landgraaf", German "Landgraf"; French "landgrave";
Latin"comes magnus", "comes patriae", "comes provinciae", "comes terrae", "comes principalis", "lantgravius") was a titleonly used in the Holy Roman Empireand later on by its former territories. The title refers to a countwho 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 Bishopor Count Palatine. The title survived from the times of the Holy Roman Empire(first records in Lower Lotharingia from 1086 on: Henry III of Leuvenas 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
Cassiques: for information on the use of the term in the colonial Province of Carolina
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