For more granularity on the history and stewardship of Maximillian I's reign itself, please refer to this excellent Encyclopedia Britannica Entry; not unexpectedly it's a dense and lengthy subject. In this post we are interested in his official titles. The titles are as follows:
- Holy Roman Emperor
- King in Germany
- King of: Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, etc.
- Prince of Swabia
- Lord of the Wendish March, Pordenone and Salins, etc. etc.
- Archduke of Austria
- Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Styria, Corinthia, Carniola, Luxemburg, and Württemberg
- Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, Burgau, Moravia, the Upper and Lower Lusatia
- Princely Count of Habsburg, Tyrol, Ferrette, Kyburg, Gorizia,
- Landgrave of Alsace
Ok, so obviously these multiple titles infer significant power and influence over what is ostensibly a vast geographical area and numerous subjects! However, some of the titles are rather cryptic, for example, why King "in" Germany instead of King "of" Germany? Here's a brief explanation of some of the other less obvious titles:
Lord of the Wendish March: we can deduce that the Wendish March refers to the Wendish Crusade, a military campaign conducted during the second crusade. This incursion was led by the Holy Roman Empire within the Kingdom of Germany and directed against western Slavic peoples know as the Wends living by the Elbe river in Eastern Germany.
However, this campaign occurred in 1147 AD, over 300 years prior to Maximillian I's reign. Thus, ultimately the meaning of this title remains dubious. Any history SMEs (subject matter experts) out there please feel free to chime in or correct me.
Archduke of Austria: the title of Archduke originated in 1358 AD and was used by the Hapsburg rulers of the Austrio-Hungarian empire. In addition, it signifies a rank within the Holy Roman Empire directly in rank below that of King (highest rank being Emperor).
Margrave: relatively straightforward. Denotes a title conferred upon a military commander involved in the border defense of any province that was situated within the Holy Roman Empire in a given time.
Landgrave: this title refers to the rank of a Count who has sworn an oath of fealty to the Holy Roman Emperor.
What I'm unclear about of is the chronology of the non-emperor titles. I think it would be a hasty conclusion to assume that he progressed from one title to the next such as a military officer progresses through contiguous ranks as they advance in their career. Since the emperor is the highest ranking monarch, I'm left to wonder if the other titles were dispensed with once coronated.