King of Italy

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The iron crown of the kings of Italy, from the Lombards to Napoleon

King of Italy ( Latin Rex Italiae , Italian Re d'Italia ) is a title that has been used by several rulers on the Italian peninsula since the fall of the Roman Empire . However, between the 6th century and the conquest of Rome under Victor Emmanuel II in 1870, no king ruled over the entire peninsula.

After the deposition of the western Roman emperor Romulus Augustulus in 476, the Skirische military leader Odoacer was recognized by the eastern Roman emperor Zenon as administrator of Italy (Dux Italiae) . He later called himself the King (Rex Italiae) , although he continued to see himself as an (Eastern) Roman officer. In 493 Odoacer was defeated by the Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great , who made his ruling family, the Amals , kings over Italy. The Ostrogoth dynasty ended in 552 with the conquest of Italy by theByzantine Empire .

But as early as 568 the Lombards invaded the peninsula under Alboin and again established a Germanic empire south of the Alps. Their rulership extended over large parts of Italy, with the exception of the Exarchate of Ravenna and the Duchies of Rome, Venice, Naples and Calabria, which also remained Byzantine.

In 774 the Longobards were defeated by the Franks under Charlemagne and the Longobard King Desiderius deposed. Charlemagne took the title Rex Langobardorum ("King of the Longobards") with the Iron Crown , which was synonymous with "King of Italy". In the centuries that followed, this kingdom was part of the Holy Roman Empire . The emperors following Otto I were crowned King of Italy in the Lombard city of Pavia on the way to the imperial coronation in Rome . However, this only affected the so-called Imperial Italy in the north, while a Kingdom of Sicily and a Kingdom of Naples emerged in the south . The title had become meaningless by the time of the Renaissance . After Charles V , no emperor was crowned King of Italy, although he officially continued to exist until 1648.

In 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte , until then President of the Italian Republic , was crowned head of the French satellite state called the Kingdom of Italy with the Iron Crown in Milan Cathedral . This ceased to exist with Napoleon's abdication in 1814. In the following decades there was no longer a king of Italy. Napoleon's son Napoleon Franz Bonaparte , born in 1811, held the title of King of Rome until 1814 .

The title of King of Italy was reintroduced in connection with the unification of Italy into a nation state under the House of Savoy in 1861. In 1946 the monarchy was abolished as a form of government by referendum and replaced by a republic .

Rex Italiae

Ostrogothic Kingdom

Lombard Kingdom

Frankish kings of Italy

Kingdom of Italy in the Holy Roman Empire

Kingdom of Italy (1805-1814)

Surname Life dates Beginning of the term of office Term expires
Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821 March 17, 1805 May 25, 1814

Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946)

Surname Life dates Beginning of the term of office Term expires
Victor Emmanuel II 1820-1878 March 17, 1861 January 9, 1878
Umberto I. 1844-1900 January 9, 1878 July 29, 1900
Victor Emmanuel III 1869-1947 July 29, 1900 May 9, 1946
Umberto II. 1904-1983 May 9, 1946 June 18, 1946

See also

Web links

Commons : King of Italy  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files