Restauratio imperii

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In the context of the medieval Roman-German Empire and the Eastern Roman or Early Byzantine Empire , the term Restauratio imperii or Renovatio imperii is understood in connection with the restoration of old rights or possessions of the Roman Empire .

Eastern Roman Empire

Justinian gained control of parts of the former western empire (yellow).

The policy of the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian I , which aimed to regain the former parts of the empire in the west, is repeatedly referred to as the restauration in this context . However, it is controversial whether the conquest of large parts of the former western empire by Eastern Roman troops was really planned well in advance or was based more on the spontaneous use of favorable opportunities.

Holy Roman Empire

The policy of the Roman-German emperor Otto III was explicitly a renovatio . who had the term struck on coins. The Salian emperors Konrad II. , Heinrich III. and Henry IV resumed this orientation. In the field of art, for example, the construction of the Speyer Cathedral took up the ancient design language. The policy of Frederick I (Barbarossa) also aimed at a renovatio or restauratio , which was supposed to claim the old rights of the Roman-German emperor, in particular with regard to imperial Italy (see Reichstag of Roncaglia ). The Italian policy of Emperor Henry VII can also be described as an attempt at renovation .

The background is the self- image of the German empire, which emerged from the Frankish empire of Charlemagne , until 1806 as a Christian (hence the Holy Roman Empire) continuation of the (Western) Roman empire. This self-image already comes in the imperial coronation of Charles by Pope Leo III. in Rome on December 25th, 800, which those involved understood as translatio imperii (“transfer of the empire”).


Otherwise, compare the sections on the rulers mentioned above in the relevant manuals such as the Cambridge Ancient History (2nd edition) or the Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte (Gebhardt).

  • Iring Fetscher , Herfried Münkler (ed.): Piper's manual of political ideas . Vol. 1 and 2, Munich 1988 ff.
  • Malte Heidemann: Heinrich VII. (1308-1313). The imperial idea in the field of tension between universal rule of the Staufers and early modern particular autonomy (= studies on the Luxembourgers and their time. Volume 11). Fahlbusch, Warendorf 2008, ISBN 978-3-925522-24-6 .
  • Tilman Struve : Empire and the idea of ​​Rome in Salic times . In: German Archive for Research into the Middle Ages 44, 1988, pp. 424–454 ( online ).
  • Percy Ernst Schramm : Emperor, Rome and Renovatio. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1992 (reprint of the Leipzig 1929 edition).
  • Fedor Schneider : Rome and the idea of ​​Rome in the Middle Ages. The spiritual foundations of the Renaissance. Drei Masken Verlag, Munich 1926.
  • Kurt Zeillinger: Emperor's idea, Rome and Rome politics in Friedrich I. Barbarossa. In: Federico I Barbarossa e L'Italia. Edited by IL Sanfilippo. Rome 1990, pp. 367-419.