Alternate History

Roman-German Rulers (Auerbach's Lamentation)

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The Roman-German Ruler (German: Römisch-Deutscher Herrscher) was the monarch ruling over the dominant Western/Central European realm from the Middle Ages onward.
After the establishment of the Frankish Empire, the position of Roman-German Ruler has become synonymous with the title of Roman Emperor (or, after 962, Holy Roman Emperor), although several later kings of the East Frankish kingdom and anti-kings of the Holy Roman Empire were included in the future numeration of the ruler names.

The Merovingian Kingom

The Merovingian dynasty, named after their first confirmed king, Merovech, ruled a Frankish dominated realm largely synonymous with ancient Gaul. While at first energetic and expansionist, the Merovingians became notable only for their near constant civil wars, frequent co-rulers according to the Frankish inheritance laws, and slow supplanting by the Arnulfings, which would eventually replace them totally.

Merovingian (Frankish) dynasty

  • Merovech, 411-457
  • Childeric I, 457–481
  • Clovis I, 481–511
  • Childebert I, 511–558
  • Chlodomer, 511–524
  • Theuderic I, 511–533
  • Theudebert I, 533–548
  • Theudebald, 548–555
  • Chlothar I the Old, 511–561
  • Charibert I, 561–567
  • Guntram, 561–592
  • Sigebert I, 561–575
  • Childebert II, 575–595
  • Theudebert II, 595–612
  • Theuderic II, 612–613
  • Sigebert II, 613
  • Chilperic I, 561–584
  • Chlothar II the Great, 584–623
  • Dagobert I, 623–634
  • Charibert II, 629–632
  • Chilperic, 632
  • Sigebert III, 634–656
  • Childebert the Adopted, 656–661
  • Clovis II, 639–657
  • Chlothar III, 657–673
  • Childeric II, 662–675
  • Theuderic III, 675–691
  • Dagobert II, 675–679
  • Clovis IV, 691–695
  • Childebert III the Just, 695–711
  • Dagobert III, 711–715
  • Chilperic II, 715–721
  • Chlothar IV, 717–720
  • Theuderic IV, 721–737
  • Childeric III, 743–751

The Frankish Empire

The Merovingians were finally supplanted by their Majordomos, the Arnulfings, named after their ancestor Saint Arnulf of Metz.
The first Frankish king to be crowned Roman Emperor after the fall of the Western Roman Empire was the Frank Charles the Great, second ruler of the Arnulfing (also called Karolingian) kingdom; he was crowned by Pope Leo III in the year 800.

After the splintering of Charles' Frankish Empire due to Carolingian inheritance laws, the imperial crown passed through many powerless hands, until Otto the Great's coronation as Roman Emperor in 962 by Pope John XII established another powerful state in Central Europe, the Holy Roman Empire.

Arnulfing (Frankish) Dynasty

  • Charles I the Great, 800-814
  • Louis I the Pious, 814-840
  • Lothair I, 840-855
  • Louis II the Younger, 855-875
  • Charles II the Bald, 875-877
  • Charles III the Fat, 881–888

House of Guideschi

  • Guy, 891–894
  • Lambert, 892–898

Arnulfing (Frankish) Dynasty

  • Arnulf of Carnithia, 896–899
  • Louis III the Blind, 901–905

Unruoching dynasty

  • Berengar, 915–924

The Holy Roman Empire

During the centuries, the powers of the Holy Roman Emperors, but also their dependance upon the papacy for coronation, decreased over the centuries, especially during the Interregnum (German: Die kaiserlose, die schreckliche Zeit) of the middle ages.
The first period of the Eastern Frankish Kingdom was marked by the slow establishment of central authority, which culminated with the imperial coronation under Otto the Great. After his death, the empire slowly decentralised until a new status quo was created with the Golden Bull. By this time, the Ottonian Empire was completely gone.

Ottonian (Saxon) Dynasty

  • Otto I the Great, 962–973
  • Otto II, 973–983
  • Otto III, 996–1002
  • Henry II the Saint, 1014–1024

Salian (Frankish) Dynasty

  • Conrad II, 1027–1039
  • Henry III, 1046–1056
  • Henry IV, 1084–1105
  • Henry V, 1111–1125

Supplinburger dynasty

  • Lothair III, 1133–1137

House of Hohenstaufen

  • Frederick I Barbarossa, 1155–1190
  • Henry VI, 1191–1197

House of Welf

  • Otto IV of Brunswick, 1209–1215

House of Hohenstaufen

  • Frederick II, 1211–1250

House of Luxembourg

  • Henry VII, 1312–1313

House of Wittelsbach

  • Louis IV the Bavarian, 1328–1347

After the devolution of the centralised empire of the Ottonian age into the federalised empire, which was established and codified by the Golden Bull of 1356, the next centuries were marked by the struggle of an imperial dynasty against the feudal princes, the loss of Papal influence, and further splintering of the Empire during the conflict between the Austro-Spanish Habsburg Dynasty and the French House of Bourbon.
When the Habsburg emperors finally had amassed enough power to re-establish the centralised empire of Otto the Great, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation split the empire into several conflicting branches of Christianity. Despite best efforts to reunify the churches or find a working compromise, the empire which Charles IV established ended in 1648, at the peace of Westphalia.

House of Luxembourg

  • Charles IV, 1355–1378
  • Sigismund, 1433–1437

House of Habsburg

  • Frederick III, 1452–1493
  • Maximilian I, 1508–1519
  • Charles V, 1530–1556
  • Ferdinand I, 1558-1564
  • Maximilian II, 1564–1576
  • Rudolf II, 1576–1612
  • Matthias, 1612–1619
  • Ferdinand II, 1619–1637
  • Ferdinand III, 1637–1657

The peace of Westphalia, which gave the princes of the empire almost full sovereignty, ended all attempts to unify the empire for two centuries. While the Habsburg Emperors were fighting the Ottoman Empire over Hungary, France began to establish its Natural Frontier on the Rhine.
After the French Revolution and the Rise of Napoleon, the empire was first further weakened by the establishment of several medium realms capable of resisting the emperor (the so-called German Mediatisation), and finally disbanded by Napoleon for a decade and replaced by the Rhine Confederation, while the imperial title passed over to the Napoleon Dynasty. After the Congress of Vienna, the empire was quickly re-established with little change.
During the May Revolution of 1852, the post-Westphalian Holy Roman Empire was replaced by a People's Empire (Volkskaisertum).

House of Habsburg

  • Leopold I, 1658–1705
  • Joseph I, 1705–1711
  • Charles VI, 1711–1740

House of Wittelsbach

  • Charles VII Albert, 1742–1745

House of Habsburg

  • Francis I, 1745–1765
  • Joseph II, 1765–1790
  • Leopold II, 1790–1792
  • Francis II, 1792–1806

Napoleon Dynasty

  • Napoleon I, 1806-1815

House of Habsburg

  • Francis II, 1806-1835
  • Ferdinand IV, 1835-1837
  • Francis III, 1837-1853

The May Revolution and the Revolutionary Wars established a new, constitutional, Holy Roman Empire. The emperor, originally established as merely a figurehead and offered to the Hohenzollern King of Prussia, gained power following the Prague Compromise after the Revolutionary Wars.

House of Meran

  • John, 1853-1860
  • Francis IV, 1860-1891

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