Landgrave was a title
A title is a prefix or suffix added to someone's name to signify either veneration, an official position or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may even be inserted between a first and last name...

 used in the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 and later on by its former territories. The title refers to a count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

 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 duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

, a Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 or Count Palatine
Count palatine
Count palatine is a high noble title, used to render several comital styles, in some cases also shortened to Palatine, which can have other meanings as well.-Comes palatinus:...

. The title survived from the times of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 (first records in Lower Lotharingia from 1086 on: Henry III of Leuven
Henry III of Leuven
Henry III of Leuven was count of Leuven from 1078 to 1095.He was allied by marriage to most of the nearby lords: he was brother in law of Baldwin II of Hainaut, and son-in-law of Robert I of Flanders. The bishop of Liège, Henri I of Verdun, was peace-loving. Henry was able to concentrate on the...

 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
Saxe-Weimar was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch of the Wettin dynasty in present-day Thuringia. The chief town and capital was Weimar.-Division of Leipzig:...

, who functioned as the Landgrave of Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....

 in the first decade of the 20th century, but the title fell into disuse after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...


The jurisdiction of a landgrave was a landgraviate and the wife of a landgrave was a landgravine. Examples: Landgrave of Thuringia, Landgrave of Hesse
Rulers of Hesse
This is a list of rulers of Hesse during the history of Hesse on west-central Germany. These rulers belonged to a dynasty collectively known as the House of Hesse and the House of Brabant, originally the Reginar...

, Princely (Gefürsteter) Landgrave
Graf is a historical German noble title equal in rank to a count or a British earl...

 of Leuchtenberg
Leuchtenberg is a municipality in the district of Neustadt in Bavaria in Germany, essentially a suburb of nearby Weiden in der Oberpfalz, and a historical region in Old Germany governed by the Landgrave of Leuchtenberg....

 (around a Bavarian castle; later made a duchy).

Landgraviate refers to the rank, office, or territory held by a landgrave.

Landgravine (German: Landgräfin) 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
    Cassiques and Landgraves were intended to be a fresh new system of titles of specifically American lesser nobility, created for hereditary representatives in a proposed upper house of a bicameral Carolina assembly. They were proposed in the late 17th century and set out in the Fundamental...

    : for information on the use of the term in the colonial Province of Carolina
    Province of Carolina
    The Province of Carolina, originally chartered in 1629, was an English and later British colony of North America. Because the original Heath charter was unrealized and was ruled invalid, a new charter was issued to a group of eight English noblemen, the Lords Proprietors, in 1663...

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