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European Kingdoms

Central Europe


Bavaria (Bavarii)

The Germanic tribes seem to have originated in a homeland in southern Scandinavia (Sweden and Norway, with the Jutland area of northern Denmark, along with a very narrow strip of Baltic coastline). They had been settled here for over two thousand years following the Indo-European migrations. The Germanic ethnic group began as a division of the western edge of late proto-Indo-European dialects around 3300 BC, splitting away from a general westwards migration to head towards the southern coastline of the Baltic Sea. By the time the Germanic tribes were becoming key players in the politics of Western Europe in the last two centuries BC, the previously dominant Celts were on the verge of being conquered and dominated by Rome. They had already been pushed out of northern and Central Europe by a mass of Germanic tribes which were steadily carving out a new homeland.

When the Romano-German general and emperor, Odoacer, destroyed the Rugii in AD 487, a new confederation of Germans formed in their place, perhaps partly from the Rugian survivors themselves, but perhaps also from migrants filling the vacuum that had been created. The confederation was the Bavarians (Latinised as Bavarii or Baiovarii). The territory in which they finally settled became the land of Bavaria, located in what is now south-eastern Germany.

More recent theories postulate that the Celtic Boii tribe formed part of this new confederation. It is due to ethnic mixing between Germans and Celts that the German Bavarii name is actually Celtic in origin. The best explanation for the first element, 'Baio', is that it is a miswritten or mispronounced form of 'Boio', which itself may actually have contained an 'h', as 'Bohio'. The second element, 'vari' ('warioz' in conjectural proto-Celtic), is a Celtic word borrowed into Germanic languages. It means 'men', and is only used as 'dwellers' by forced extension of its meaning. So the Baiovarii name would translate as 'men of the Boii'. This would imply that an event in history occurred where a German military elite took over a part of the Boii tribe, retaining the name, itself not that rare an occurrence. This implication seems to be borne out by the Marcomanni takeover of the Boii in the first century BC. This makes the Bavarii not only the descendants (in part) of the Boii, but also of the Marcomanni.

Initially a powerful duchy in the Holy Roman empire, Bavaria became a moderately powerful kingdom under the reforms of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805, and played its part in Central European politics until the conclusion of the First World War saw the kingdom abolished and a federal Germany formed, of which it was a constituent part. Today Bavaria is a strongly Catholic region of Germany, seen perhaps as a little old fashioned in the eyes of northern Germans, and sometimes having more in common with its south-eastern neighbour, Austria.

(Additional information by Edward Dawson.)


The Germanic tribe of the Rugians seem to be the same people as the Rugii of the first century who had settled on the southern shore of the Baltic. They had later migrated into Austria where they founded a kingdom which was soon subjugated by the Huns. Throwing in their lot with the Ostrogoths after being defeated in 487 by the Romano-German general and emperor, Odoacer, they migrate into Italy about 493 and soon became indivisible from the Ostrogoths. The Bavarii confederation forms in their place.

Bavarian Confederation

The Bavarian confederation formed in the territory that would later become Bohemia, immediately following the exodus of the Langobards towards Italy. The confederation was unusual in that it did not migrate from elsewhere but was made up from local elements, which included possible Celtic Boii descendants and Roman settlers, along with elements of the Germanic Alemanni, Buri, Heruli, Marcomanni, Ostrogoths (following the fall of their own kingdom), Quadi, Rugii, Scirii, and Thuringians. Within a few decades the Bavarii also migrated (or expanded) southwards to occupy a larger territory which later formed Bavaria and parts of Austria. There, they were subjugated by the Franks around 555, but may not have remained fully under Frankish domination, if at all. It was not until the Carolingian conquest of 788 that independence was definitely lost.

The ancient Celtic name for Bohemia was the Boiohæmum, which emerged after the Slavic incursions as Bojoheim, Baiheim, or Beheim. The Bavarian name was derived from Baioarii, Bajuvarii, and Bajjawarjos, literally meaning the 'inhabitants of the Boiic land'.

508 - 512

Theodo I

In Bohemia. First king of the Bavarii.

c.520 - 550

The Bavarii migrate south and westwards into what will become their traditional homeland in modern south-eastern Germany and also including areas of Austria. The first three Theodos are unknown to history aside from their names, and may be manufactured to fill gaps left by rulers who have been forgotten.

Bavarian countryside
Bavaria's mixed terrain varies from dark forests to alpine mountains in the far south, with an equally mixed population of Celts, Germanics, and Romans forming this new tribal grouping in the fifth century AD

512 - 537

Theodo II

537 - 565

Theodo III

537 - 567




The Bavarii are conquered by the Frankish King Chlothar I, following perhaps seven years or so of Frankish dominance. A regional governor is appointed in the form of a duke, although it is not known if this founder of the Agilolfing dukes is a Frank or a Bavarian. It may be the case that he initially governs while the reigning Bavarian kings retain some semblance of power, but possibly not control.

550 - 590

Garibald I / Garivald

First of the Frankish-appointed Agilolfing dukes.

590 - 591

Theodelinda, daughter of Garibald, rules the Lombard kingdom of Italy briefly upon the death of her husband. She is a Nicene Christian, an adherent of the Roman Church, and is very important in terms of increasing the importance and reach of the Catholic church in Italy over Arian Christianity. Thanks in large part to her efforts in winning converts the church at Rome is able to secure its primacy in Italy and can begin to focus its attention on making fresh converts elsewhere.

590 - 595

Grimwald I


Tassilo is appointed king of the Bavarians by Frankish King Childebert II of Austrasia in order to end a war between Bavarians and Franks which had begun under Garibald I. The act also reaffirms Frankish control of the Bavarians. The relationship of Grimwald I to any of these participants is unknown, as is his fate during and after the appointment of a Bavarian king.

591 - 609

Tassilo I

King of the Bavarians.

609 - 640

Garibald II

Son. Duke of the Bavarians.

609 - 630



The inclusion of Agilolf is uncertain as he is not shown in all sources. He may be a replacement for a lost duke. Whether he co-rules or acts as a regent is not known. Coincidentally, perhaps, there is an Agilulf, king of the Lombards, with whom the Bavarians have close relations during this period.

640 - 680

Theodo IV (I)

680 - 702

Theodo V (II)

Duke of the Bavarians.

Lantpert of Bavaria

Son. Murdered (Saint) Emmeram of Regensburg.


Married to a daughter of Theodo of Bavaria, Duke Godefred of Alemannia (Gotfried of Allemania) is a member of the House of the Agilolfing, Bavaria's governing family. In a document dated to the year 700 in Cannstatt, and at the request of a priest named Magulfus, Godefred donates the castle of Biberburg to the monastery of Saint Gall. His sons, Lanfred and Theodobald, have the support of Pepin of Herstal, Frankish mayor of the palace, and succeed him as dukes of Alemannia (perhaps following a short delay).

702 - 725

Theodobert / Theudbert

Brother. Duke in Salzburg.

702 - 723

Grimwald II / Grimoald

Brother. Duke in Freising.

702 - 715


Brother. Duke in parts of Bavaria.

702 - 719

Tassilo II

Brother. Duke in Passau.

725 - 737

Hubert / Hugbert

Son of Theodobert. Duke of Bavaria.

737 - 748


Son of Gotfried of Allemania. Defeated by the Franks.

743 - 744

The Carolingian mayors of the Merovingian palace, Pepin the Short and Carloman, march against the Bavarian Agilolfings (who refuse to end their support for the Merovingians), before turning north to attack the Saxons. Odilo is allowed to remain as duke.

c.745 - 748

Prince Borut of neighbouring Khorushka faces continued attacks from the resurgent Avars. He appeals to the powerful Duke Odilo for help, but this is provided only on condition that Borut accepts Bavarian overlordship and converts to Christianity. He accepts both conditions, becoming one of the very few princes of Khorushka to convert to Christianity.


Grifo, the son of Charles Martel, the late Carolingian mayor of the palace, by his second wife now escapes from imprisonment in a monastery, a punishment organised by his half-brother, Pepin III the Short. Grifo receives support from Duke Odilo of Bavaria, which seems to see him commanding the Breton March for around a year. Upon Odilo's death late in 748, Grifo briefly seizes command of the Bavarians before being ousted by Pepin. His fight continues until he is killed in battle in 753.

Map of the Frankish Empire in AD 800
Under Charlemagne's leadership, the Franks greatly expanded their borders eastwards, engulfing tribal states, the Bavarian state and its satellite, Khorushka, and much of northern Italy, with the Avars now an eastern neighbour (click or tap on map to view full sized)



Frankish half-brother of Pepin. Commanded the Breton March.

748 - 788

Tassilo III

Infant son of Odilo, installed by Pepin of the Franks.


Son. Became a monk.

788 - 889

With the Carolingians growing in power, Tassilo is deposed and the Bavarians are subsumed completely within the kingdom and subsequent empire (along with their vassal, the principality of Khorushka). This remains the case until that empire finally fragments in 889, although from 843 Bavaria is generally controlled by the Eastern Franks.

815 - 817

Lothar I

Son of Frankish Emperor Louis 'the Pious'. Later king of Italy.

fl 838


Margrave of the Bavarian Nordgau.


Gebhard of Logenahe, count of Nieder-Lahngau in Hesse, is a 'leading man of the [Eastern] Franks' and brother-in-law to Ernest, margrave of the Bavarian Nordgau. He may also be the son of Odo I, count of Orléans if he is identical with Udo the Elder, count of the Lahngau until 826. However, given the dates, he may instead be Odo's grandson.

840 - 843

Louis 'the Pious' wills the Frankish empire to his sons, but tries to ensure that the eldest gains the biggest share, in order to avoid the fragmentation of territory which so weakened the Merovingians. Lothar receives Middle Francia (the Rhine corridor including the kingdom of Burgundy, and Italy); Charles 'the Bald' receives Western Francia (France and the duchy of Burgundy); and Louis the German receives Eastern Francia (Germany, including Alemannia, Bavaria, Khorushka, and Saxony, plus regions that are already emerging as Franconia and Thuringia). However, Lothar initially claims overlordship over all three regions and Louis and Charles have to go to war to convince him to relent. The Treaty of Verdun, signed in 843, recognises the division of the empire.

Map of the Frankish empire at the Treaty of Verdun AD 843
King Louis 'the Pious' of the Frankish empire attempted to leave the empire intact for his eldest son, Lothar, but the others rebelled at the idea. The treaty of Verdun in AD 843 confirmed the official division of the empire between Charlemagne's three surviving grandsons (click or tap on map to view full sized)


The death of Louis the German, king of East Francia, results in his territory being divided between his three sons. This is something that he had already foreseen, and portions of territory had been appointed to each of them in 865. Now in a peaceful succession, Carloman inherits Bavaria and the Ostmark, Louis the Younger gains Franconia, Saxony, and Thuringia, while Charles 'the Fat' succeeds to Rhaetia and Alemannia (Swabia). As the oldest son, Carloman also retains de facto dominance over the Eastern Franks as a whole.

876 - 880

Carloman of Bavaria / Charles

Son of King Louis the German. King of Italy & part of Lotharingia.


Carloman suffers a debilitating stroke just two years after gaining Italy. Unable to rule in anything but name and having no legitimate offspring, he divides his holdings between his brothers. Louis the Younger gains Bavaria while Charles 'the Fat' gains Italy. Carloman's illegitimate son, Arnulf, becomes duke of Carinthia.

880 - 882

Louis the Younger

Brother. Ruled part of Lotharingia. Empire (901-905).


Louis the Younger dies and Charles 'the Fat', as the last remaining of the three brothers, inherits his territories of Bavaria, Franconia, Saxony, and Thuringia, thereby reuniting East Francia following its division in 876.

Duchy of Bavaria (Welfs)
AD 889 - 1180

In 888, Bavaria emerged as a stem duchy from the fragmentation of the Frankish empire, when the Germanic Roman Emperors gained undisputed command over the Germany section of the empire.

Judith of Bavaria was the mother of Charles II the Bald of the Western Franks.

(Additional information from Geschichte Kärntens bis 1335 (Vols 1 & 2), A Jaksch (Klagenfurt, 1928-29), from Geschichte Kärntens (Vols 1 & 2), C Fräss-Ehrfeld (Klagenfurt, 1984-94), from Dynasties of the World, John E Morby, and from The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 3, c.900-c.1024, Timothy Reuter & Rosamond McKitterick (Eds).)

889 - 907


907 - 937

Arnulf the Bad

907 - 955

Austria passes to Hungary, until the latter is defeated by Saxon emperor Otto I.

927 - 947

The region of Carinthia (Carantania) comes more or less under the control of Bavaria as the Carinthian March (a border territory). Following this, a duchy is gradually established during the tenth century, although it is not formally established until 976. Count Berthold of the Bavarian Luitpoldings is granted ducal rights over Carinthia in 927, by King Henry the Fowler of Germany.

937 - 938


Quarrelled with Otto the Great and removed.

938 - 947

Berthold Luitpolding

Brother of Arnulf of Carinthia. Count Berthold of Carinthia (927).

947 - 955

Henry I Luitpolding

Son. Duke of Carinthia (947-955 & 976-978).


Feeling that his position is threatened by the marriage of his father, Otto I of Saxony, to Adelaide, heiress of Italy, Ludolph of Swabia joins forces with his brother-in-law, Conrad the Red, duke of Lorraine, in revolt. Ludolph is supported by the Swabians, but Conrad fails to gain the same support from his own subjects. Otto I and Henry I of Bavaria defeat the rebellion.

955 - 976

Henry II the Quarrelsome

Duke of Carinthia (955-976). Rebelled and deposed.


The March of Austria, created from former Bavarian territory that had been captured from Hungary in 955, is recognised around this date as a margraviate. It sits on Bavaria's north-eastern border, immediately above Carinthia.


With the accession of the Saxon king, Otto I, the power of the Germanic Roman empire is confirmed. Otto is quite vigorous in establishing new counties and border areas within and without the empire's borders. The county of Ardennes under Sigfried gains the stronghold of Lucilinburhuc (the later Luxemburg), and Arnulf I the Elder is restored in Flanders, but useful buffers against the Western Franks.

Map of Germany AD 962
Germany in AD 962 may have had its new emperor to govern the territories shown within the dark black line, but it was still a patchwork of competing interests and power bases, most notably in the five great stem duchies, many of which were attempting to expand their own territories outside the empire, creating the various march or border regions to the east and south (click or tap on map to view full sized)

At the same time, Saxony gains Hermann Billung as its duke, charged with maintaining the duchy's eastern borders and expanding them further to the east, alongside the recently-created North March. Perhaps as a reaction to this or as the culmination of a process that is already heading that way, the duchy of Poland is formed around the same time.


Henry the Quarrelsome, grandson of Henry I of Germany, rebels against Holy Roman Emperor Otto II. As a result, Henry is deprived of his Bavarian title and possessions. Otto I, duke of Swabia is created duke of Bavaria in his place, easily done as Swabia and Bavaria neighbour each other. Carinthia is formally separated from Bavaria by Otto II and made a duchy in its own right - one of many large-scale reorganisations of German lands which also involves the creation of the stem duchies. The border area along Carinthia's eastern edge now becomes the new Carinthian March or Hungarian March until it is re-categorised as the March of Styria.

976 - 982

Otto I

Grandson of HRE Otto I. Duke of Swabia (973) & Carinthia (978).

978 - 995

Bavaria rules again over the duchy of Carinthia, first under Otto I, duke of Bavaria and Swabia, and then successively under Henry III and Henry II. Otto seems not to hold the title of duke of Carinthia himself. Instead Henry III fills the position, although some modern sources show it as being Otto.

983 - 985

Henry III the Younger

Duke of Carinthia (978-985).

985 - 995

Henry II the Quarrelsome

Restored. Duke of Carinthia (989-995).

995 - 1005

Henry IV the Saint

HRE Henry II (1002-1024).


Henry's election as the German emperor is opposed by the Conradine duke of Swabia, Herman II. Herman had seen himself as a suitable candidate for the title. Unsuccessful, Herman sees the duchy of Alsace taken out of his control by the new emperor.

1005 - 1009

Henry V

Henry I of Luxemburg (998-1026).

1009 - 1017

Henry VI the Black / Henry of Franconia

Son of Conrad II.

1017 - 1026

Henry V

Restored? Died.

1026 - 1042

Henry VI the Black  / Henry of Franconia

Restored? Duke of Carinthia, Franconia, Swabia, & HRE Henry III.


Count Siegfried I of Spanheim (1010-1065) serves with distinction under Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II (the Salian) against Adalberon of Eppenstein, duke of Carinthia. He also soon marries one Richgard, daughter of Count Engelbert of the Sieghardingers of Bavaria. Through this he inherits large tracts of territory in Carinthia and Tyrol and, in 1045, is appointed margrave of the Hungarian march. His son Engelbert becomes margrave of Istria in 1090 and a descendant becomes duke of Carinthia in 1122.


Duke Herman IV of Swabia, still a minor at the time of his accession, is campaigning in southern Italy alongside HRE Conrad II. When the young duke is struck down by an epidemic, Conrad ignores the rights to the duchy that are held by Gebhard, son of Herman, and instead transfers it to his own son, Henry the Black. Gebhard retains the county of Sulzbach, whilst his younger brother remains Adalbert I, count of Windberg. Henry also gains Burgundy.

1042 - 1047

Henry VII

Henry II of Luxemburg (1027-1047).

1049 - 1053


1053 - 1055

Conrad of Franconia

1054 - 1055

The Carinthian province of Slovenia becomes a margraviate in its own right. In the following year, Welf III of Carinthia dies without having produced an heir. He bequeaths his property to Weingarten Abbey in Altdorf, where his mother is abbess. She in turn passes it to Welf, soon to be Duke Welf I of Bavaria. This does not include the fief of Carinthia, however, which is assigned to Conrad of Zulpichgau along with the margraviate of Verona.

1055 - 1061

Henry VIII

1061 - 1070

Otto II

Son of Count Bernhard of Northeim.

1070 - 1073

Duke Otto II, otherwise known as Otto of Northeim, is intent on extending the duchy. This brings him into conflict with HRE Henry IV who covets the same lands on his southern border. A dubious charge of plotting to assassinate the emperor is levelled against him by the Hessian Count Giso II and Adalbert of Schauenburg, probably with the emperor's full knowledge. Otto is deposed as duke of Bavaria, deprived of his Saxon lands, and pronounced an outlaw. At Pentecost in 1071 he submits to Henry who has him arrested until July 1072. Then he is released and his personal domains returned to him - but not his extensive fiefs. In 1073 his followers murder Count Giso and Adalbert.

1070 - 1101

Welf I

1102 - 1120

Welf II


The choice of Lothar of Süpplingenburg to succeed Duke Magnus Billung as duke of Saxony after the extinction of the Billung family in the male line is a compromise. The two more obvious candidates are Henry the Black, soon to be Henry IX of Bavaria, and Otto, count of Ballenstedt of the Ascanian dynasty, both sons-in-law of Duke Magnus. However, Lothar greatly strengthens Saxon power and effectively transforms himself into the head of a Saxon nation.

1120 - 1126

Henry IX the Black

1126 - 1139

Henry X the Proud

Son. Henry II (IV) of Saxony. Margrave of Tuscany (1136).


Gertrude, daughter of German Emperor Lothar II, marries Henry the Proud, margrave of Tuscany and, through that latter title, duke of Spoleto. A strong supporter of Lothar who had helped him in his bid for the German throne in 1125, Henry now gains control of Saxony as the first of the Welf dukes.

Henry X the Proud of Bavaria and II of Saxony
As Henry X of Bavaria and Henry II of Saxony, Henry the Proud was a powerful supporter of Emperor Lothar II in Germany, and an opponent of the Hohenstaufens


Henry takes part in a campaign against the kingdom of Sicily which is undertaken by his father-in-law, Emperor Lothar II. Lothar is impressed with Henry's military capabilities during the campaign, and in reward makes him margrave of Tuscany.

1137 - 1139

The rivalry for the imperial title between Emperor Lothar and his main rival, Frederick II of Swabia, has a destabilising effect on Germany as a whole. Emperor Lothar and his Hohenstaufen successors in Franconia are supported by Louis I of Thuringia, but Lothar dies in 1137 on the way back from his campaign against the kingdom of Sicily.

The election is held to select the next emperor in 1138, but Henry the Proud of is defeated as a candidate by Conrad Hohenstaufen of Franconia. Tensions between Conrad and Henry quickly escalate and he is relieved of Bavaria and Saxony in the same year. He fights on against his Ascanian replacement in Saxony but dies suddenly in 1139 on the eve of a campaign to secure Bavaria.

1139 - 1141


1141 - 1156

Henry XI Jasomirgott

1156 - 1180

Henry XII the Lion

Son of Henry the Proud. Duke Henry III (V) of Saxony.


Despite Pomerania already being Christianised, and increasingly Germanised, bishops and dukes from the Holy Roman empire continue to mount expeditions into Pomerania. The Battle of Verchen in 1164 makes Pomerania a vassal of Henry the Lion.

Henry the Lion and Matilda
Henry's second marriage was to Matilda, daughter of Henry II of England, but his eventual conflict with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa cost him his lands and titles


Henry Welf comes into conflict with the HRE, Frederick Barbarossa. Frederick dispossesses Henry of his lands and passes Bavaria to the Wittelsbachs while Saxony is divided. The County Palatine of Saxony is given to Louis III, landgrave of Thuringia (he promptly passes it onto his brother, the future Landgrave Herman I, in 1881). Following standard German practice, territory is often sub-divided between brothers, with one always being dominant, and the Bavarians and Saxons were no different. Subsidiary branches are not shown here (but are included in the counting of names, so there will appear to be gaps here).

Duchy of Bavaria (Wittelsbachs)
AD 1180 - 1777

1180 - 1183

Otto I

Count of Wittelsbach.

1183 - 1231

Louis I the Kelheimer

Count of the Palatinate (1214).

1231 - 1253

Otto II the Noble

1253 - 1294

Louis II the Severe

1290 - 1312

Otto III

King of Hungary (1305-1307).

1294 - 1347

Louis IV

HRE (1314-1347). Senator of Rome (1328).


With the death of John Parricide, any claim to the former Swabian duchy dies with him. Large areas of its territory have already gone to the established county of Württemberg and the margraviate of Baden. Territory formerly belonging to the Alemanni people also later forms parts of Austria (Vorarlberg), France (Alsace) and Switzerland, as well as the Bavarian Swabia region of Bavaria.

1314 - 1322

When Louis IV is elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1314, a minority faction elects Frederick the Fair of Habsburg as emperor. Louis defeats Frederick in 1322, but the Pope refuses to recognise or crown him, so Louis has himself crowned emperor by representatives of the Roman people.

Louis IV Wittelsbach
The vigorous king of Bavaria and HRE Louis IV also became king of Italy in 1327 despite many objections and opposition figures, with his strength of will and character being proof of his desire and eligibility to rule


Following the refusal of Pope John XXII to recognise him as Holy Roman Emperor, Louis IV invades Italy and sets up Nicholas V as the first anti-pope of the Great Schism.


Louis is killed in a hunting accident whilst successfully resisting the Pope's named replacement for the title of Holy Roman Emperor.

1347 - 1375

Stephen II

1363 - 1369

Archduke Rudolph IV of Austria agrees with the widowed Margaret Maultash, countess of Gorizia-Tyrol, that upon the death of her only son, Meinhard III, he will inherit the county of Tyrol. In the end, Meinhard predeceases his mother and she remains in full command of the county until her own death in 1369, not least because her brother-in-law, Duke Stephen II, invades and holds the county.

1375 - 1397

John II

1397 - 1438


1438 - 1460

Albert III

1645 - 1508

Albert IV the Wise

1508 - 1550

William IV


The duchy is reunited when the last subsidiary branch dies out, putting an end to the weakening divisions of territory.

Map of German states AD 1560
Introduced in 1560, the system of imperial states replaced the now-outdated feudal system, with an imperial circle ('reichskreis') being a regional grouping of the imperial states (click or tap on map to view full sized)

1550 - 1579

Albert V

1579 - 1597

William V the Pious

Died 1626.


The election of Ernest, son of the late Albert V, as prince-bishop of Liège begins a run of three consecutive elections from the ranks of the Wittelsbachs. Ernest is succeeded by Ferdinand, son of William the Pious, and then Maximilian Henry, son of Albert VI. A brief break with a compromise candidate is followed by the election of Joseph Clemens, son of Ferdinand Maria.

1597 - 1651

Maximilian I

Elector (1623).

1651 - 1679

Ferdinand Maria

1651 - 1654

Albert VI

Regent. Landgrave of Haag.


Queen Christina of Sweden causes a scandal when she converts to Catholicism and abdicates the throne. She retires to Rome, while Karl Gustav, son of John Casimir, the Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg is elected as her successor. Aside from King Christoper in the mid-fifteenth century, Karl is the first of the Bavarian Wittelsbach kings of Sweden.

1679 - 1726

Maximilian II Emmanuel


Maximilian's forces form part of the imperial army which captures Belgrade from the Ottomans. In the same year the death is reported of Maximilian Henry, archbishop-elector of Cologne, prince-bishop of Hildesheim and of Liège, and son of Albert VI of Bavaria. With this loss, the family's possession of Haag reverts to Bavaria.

1726 - 1745

Charles Albert

HRE (1742-1745).

1740 - 1748

The War of the Austrian Succession is a wide-ranging conflict that encompasses the North American King George's War, two Silesian Wars, the War of Jenkins' Ear, and involves most of the crowned heads of Europe in deciding the question of whether Maria Theresa can succeed as archduke of Austria and, perhaps even more importantly, as Holy Roman Emperor. Austria is supported by Britain, the Netherlands, the Savoyard kingdom of Sardinia, and Saxony (after an early switchover), but opposed by an opportunistic Prussia and France, who had raised the question in the first place to disrupt Habsburg control of Central Europe, backed up by Bavaria and Sweden (briefly). Spain joins the war in an unsuccessful attempt to restore possessions lost to Austria in 1715.

War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession saw Europe go to war to decide whether Maria Theresa would secure the throne left to her by her father, but several other issues were also decided as a wide range of wars were involved in the overall conflict

The War of Jenkins' Ear pitches Britain against Spain between 1739-1748. The Russo-Swedish War, or Hats' Russian War, is the Swedish attempt to regain territory lost to Russia in 1741-1743. King George's War is fought between Britain and France in the French Colonies in 1744-1748. The First Carnatic War of 1746-1748 involves the struggle for dominance in India by France and Britain. Henry Pelham, leader of the English government in Parliament, is successful in ending the war, achieving peace with France and trade with Spain through the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. Austria is ultimately successful, losing only Silesia to Prussia.

1745 - 1777

Maximilian III Joseph


The line of Bavarian Wittelsbachs dies out with Maximilian. The title passes to the Wittelsbach Electors of the Palatinate.

Duchy of Bavaria (Palatinate Wittelsbachs)
AD 1777 - 1805

This branch of the Wittelsbachs had served as counts and prince electors of the Palatinate since 1329. When the main family line died out in Bavaria in 1777, the title of duke of Bavaria passed to the Palatinate Wittelsbachs.

1777 - 1799

Charles IV Theodore

Elector of the Palatinate.

1778 - 1779

The War of the Bavarian Succession.

1799 - 1805

Maximilian IV Joseph



Bavaria is raised to a kingdom by Napoleon Bonaparte of the French First Empire. Maximilian's daughter marries Eugene de Beauharnais, Napoleon's stepson.

Kingdom of Bavaria
AD 1805 - 1918

The French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte did much to clear up the confusing and archaic mass of tiny states in the German territories, forming stronger states with larger territories. One of the strongest was that of the newly formed kingdom of Bavaria, which was raised from a duchy by Napoleon after his defeat of the Third Coalition in the same year. It also gained the Austrian province of the Tyrol - but only until Napoleon abdicated in 1814.

(Additional information from History of the Rebellion of 1745-6, Robert Chambers (W & R Chambers, 1869), from The First World War, John Keegan (Vintage Books, 2000), and from External Link: Royal Stuart Society.)

1805 - 1825

Maximilian I Joseph

Former elector of the duchy of Bavaria.


A core of the medieval duchy of Franconia survives under the command of the bishopric of Würzburg. The bishopric also claims the title of duke. This now changes as the bishopric is secularised and its territory is handed to the kingdom of Bavaria, which contains noticeably different dialects and customs from this central German region.


Following a further Austrian defeat in 1809, at the Battle of Wagram, Bavaria agrees to grant the Tyrol to Italy, while Istria, Dalmatia and Ragusa are incorporated into the new Illyrian Provinces.


Bavaria gains territory as a result of the Congress of Vienna.

Map of Confederation of German States AD 1815
Following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte 1814, the Congress of Vienna took on board much of his vital restructuring of the German principalities, with the result that a map of the new Confederation of German States in 1815-1817 looked very different to maps of the previous century (click or tap on map to view full sized)

1825 - 1848

Ludwig I

Died 1868.


Under the terms of the Convention of London, Prince Otto, son of Ludwig, ascends the newly-created throne of Greece while still a minor, carrying the title 'King of the Hellenes'. He initially rules under the guidance of a three-man regency council, but they prove unpopular and are dismissed. Otto then rules as an absolute monarch.

1848 - 1864

Maximilian II Joseph

Son. Brother of Otto, king of Greece (1832).

1864 - 1886

Ludwig II the Mad

Declared insane, deposed, and died mysteriously.

1871 - 1918

The kingdom is forcibly included into the German empire by Prussia and effectively becomes a sub-kingdom.

1886 - 1913


Aided by Luitpold, regent (1886-1912), and then Ludwig III.

1913 - 1918

Ludwig III



The new king is married to Maria Theresia of Austria-Este, daughter of Maria Beatrice of Savoy, granddaughter of Victor Emanuel I of the kingdom of Sardinia and Savoy, and from 1875 the Jacobite Stuart claimant to the English and Scottish thrones.


The German empire moves swiftly to support its ally, Austria-Hungary, in a long-anticipated Great War (later more readily known as the First World War, or World War I). At the start it is successful against the Russian invasion of Prussia, routing their army at the Battle of Tannenberg, and in the west its armies reach the northern outskirts of Paris (occupying Luxembourg along the way) before they are stopped by the armies of Britain and France, together with the small Belgian army.

FeatureAt the end of October 1914, after a short three month training period with the Bavarian army, a certain Adolf Hitler is transferred as an ordinary infantryman to the front at Geluwe in the Westhoek (near Menin in West Flanders). The day after his arrival, Hitler's regiment attacks the allies across the fields of Geluveld, towards Ypres, as part of the First Battle of Ypres (see feature link).


All German monarchies are abolished upon the defeat of the German empire in the First World War. Bavaria is recreated as a constituent part of the new federal Germany and its future fortunes would be tied to this new political creation.

Hereditary Kings of Bavaria
AD 1918 - Present Day

The head of the Wittelsbachs remained the titular successor to the kings of Bavaria, although they were reduced in rank to dukes. The last king, Ludwig III had married Maria Theresia of Austria-Este, granddaughter of Francis V of Modena. Duke Rupprecht and his successors were, in turn, also the senior member of the House of Stuart, and were considered by modern Jacobites to be the rightful ruler of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The dukes did not, and still do not, make any claim to the English throne, but the technical claim still exists. The hereditary dukes also continue to add 'duke in Franconia and Swabia' to their titles.

1918 - 1921

Ludwig III

Former king of Bavaria.


Germany adopts the democratic 'Weimar constitution' following the abolition of the German empire. This new Germany consists of the former German kingdoms and duchies, all of which have now been abolished, including Baden, Bavaria, Hesse, Lippe, Saxony and Württemberg.

1921 - 1955


Born 1869. Crown Prince of Bavaria (& Scotland).

1933 - 1945

The Third Reich ('third empire' of Germany, which claims the first (Holy Roman) and second (German) empires as its forebears in order to attain a level of legitimacy) is established under Adolf Hitler's dictatorial Nazi rule, sweeping away the Weimar republic. The Nazi invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 is the trigger for the Second World War. With both France and Great Britain pledged to support Poland, both countries have no option but to declare war on 3 September. Hitler subsequently commits suicide in his bunker on 30 April 1945 as Soviet Russian forces overrun Berlin. Nazi Germany surrenders unconditionally on 7 May to the Allies at General Eisenhower's HQ at Rheims in France.

1955 - 1996


Son. Born 1905. Duke of Bavaria.

1989 - 1990

With the weakening of the Soviet Union and increased calls for reform, the Berlin Wall is pulled down by the people of both halves of the divided city, the border guards taking no action to stop them. The following year, the two Germanies are reunited on 3 October.

1996 - Present


Son. Born 14 July 1933. Duke of Bavaria. Unmarried.


The conservative Bavarian Cardinal John Ratzinger is elected Pope on 19 April.


Brother and heir. Born 21 Jan 1937. Duke in Bavaria.


Cousin and next in line. Born 14 Apr 1951. Duke in Bavaria.

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