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Town Chronicles in the Holy Roman Empire: Legitimacy and Historical Construction

Town Chronicles in the Holy Roman Empire: Legitimacy and Historical Construction 

By Ernst Reigg

Paper given at The Contours of Legitimacy in Central Europe: New Approaches in Graduate Studies (2002)

Synopsis: Examines the historiography of the town chronicles in Germany from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, to examine their relationship with the Holy Roman Empire.

Introduction: Within the patchwork rug called the Holy Roman Empire legitimacy was a multi-polar problem as the empire was a multi-polar organism. Apart from the emperor whose legitimacy was based on the idea of Translatio imperii, there were various rulers who felt the need to legitimize their rule: religious and secular Electors, religious and secular princes, counts and knights. Among the smallest units were the imperial cities forming a constitutional phenomenon unique to European history. Within a feudal society these bourgeois communities were threatened by the surrounding princely territories like the duchies of Bavaria and of Wurttemberg.

Click here to read this article from the University of Oxford

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