Archbishopric of Mainz

Archbishopric of Mainz

Infobox Former Country
native_name = "Kurfürstentum Mainz"
conventional_long_name = Electorate of Mainz
common_name = Mainz
continent = Europe
region = Central Europe
country = Germany
era = Middle Ages
status = Vassal
empire = Holy Roman Empire
government_type = Theocracy
year_start = 8th century
year_end = 1803
event_pre = Bishopric established
date_pre = nowrap|Ancient Roman times
event_start = Gained territory, spaces|4elevated to archbishopric
date_start = 780782
event1 = Mainz made Free Imperial City
date_event1 = 12421462
event2 = Arch-chancellor of Germany
date_event2 = 1251
event3 = Republic of Mainz
date_event3 = March 18 to July 23 1793
event4 = Treaty of Campo Formio
date_event4 = October 17, 1797
event_end = "Reichsdeputationshauptschluss"
date_end =
p1 = Duchy of Franconia
image_p1 =
s1 = Mont-Tonnerre
flag_s1 = Flag of France.svg
s2 = Principality of Aschaffenburg
image_s2 =
s3 = Grand Duchy of Hesse
flag_s3 = Flagge Großherzogtum Hessen ohne Wappen.svg
s4 = Duchy of Nassau
flag_s4 = Flagge Herzogtum Nassau (1806-1866).svg
s5 = Kingdom of Prussia
flag_s5 = Flag of Prussia (1803).gif

image_map_caption =
capital = Mainz
footnotes =

The Archbishopric of Mainz ( _de. Erzbistum Mainz) or Electorate of Mainz ( _de. Kurfürstentum Mainz or "Kurmainz") was an influential ecclesiastic and secular prince-bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire between 780–82 and 1802. In Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, the Archbishop of Mainz was the "primas Germaniae", the substitute of the Pope north of the Alps. Aside from Rome, the See of Mainz is the only other see referred to as a "Holy See", although this usage has become rather less common.

The archbishopric was a substantial ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire. It included lands near Mainz on both the left and right banks of the Rhine, as well as territory along the Main above Frankfurt (including the district of Aschaffenburg), the Eichsfeld region in Lower Saxony and Thuringia, and the territory around Erfurt in Thuringia. The archbishop was also, traditionally, one of the Imperial Prince-Electors, the Arch-chancellor of Germany, and presiding officer of the electoral college technically from 1251 and permanently from 1263 until 1803.


The see was established in ancient Roman times, in the city of Mainz, which had been a Roman provincial capital called Moguntiacum, but the office really came to prominence upon its elevation to an archdiocese in 780/82. The first bishops before the 4th century have legendary names, beginning with Crescens. The first verifiable Bishop of Mainz was Martinus in 343. The ecclesiastical and secular importance of Mainz dates from the accession of St. Boniface to the see in 747. Boniface was previously an archbishop, but the honor did not immediately devolve upon the see itself until his successor Lullus.

In 1802, Mainz lost its archiepiscopal character. In the secularizations that accompanied the "Reichsdeputationshauptschluss" of 1803, the seat of the elector, Karl Theodor von Dalberg, was moved to Regensburg, and the electorate lost its left bank territories to France, its right bank areas along the Main below Frankfurt to Hesse-Darmstadt and the Nassau princes, and Eichsfeld and Erfurt to the Kingdom of Prussia. Dalberg retained the Aschaffenburg area as the Principality of Aschaffenburg. In 1810 Dalberg merged Aschaffenburg, Frankfurt, Wetzlar, Hanau, and Fulda, to form the new Grand Duchy of Frankfurt in 1810. Dalberg resigned in 1813 and in 1815 the Congress of Vienna divided his territories between the Kingdom of Bavaria, the Electorate of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), the Grand Duchy of Hesse and the Free City of Frankfurt.

The modern Roman Catholic Diocese of Mainz was founded in 1802, within the territory of France and in 1814 its jurisdiction was extended over the territory of Hesse-Darmstadt. Since then it has had two cardinals and via various concordats was allowed to retain the mediæval tradition of the cathedral chapter electing a successor to the bishop.

Bishops and archbishops

Bishops of Moguntiacum, 80–745

*Crescens c. 80–103
*Marinus c. 103–109
*St. Crescentius c. 109–127
*Cyriacus c. 127–141
*Hilarius c. 141–161
*Martin I c. 161–175
*Celsus c. 175–197
*Lucius c. 197–207
*Gotthard c. 207–222
*Sophron c. 222–230
*Heriger I c. 230–234
*Ruther c. 234–254
*Avitus c. 254–276
*Ignatius c. 276–289
*Dionysius c. 289–309
*Ruprecht I c. 309–321
*Adalhard c. 320s
*Lucius Annaeus c. 330s
*Martin II c. 330s – c. 360s
*Sidonius I c. late 360s – c. 386
*Sigismund c. 386 – c. 392
*Thaumastus? ["Theomastus (or Thaumastus) was bishop of Mainz in the early fifth century."(Gregory of Tours, Glory of the Confessors: Glory of the Confessors. Translated by Raymond Van Dam (Liverpool University Press, 1988), 40n). This figure is mentioned by Gregory of Tours: “Theomastus was noted for his holiness in accordance with the meaning of his name, and he is said to have been bishop of Mainz. For some unknown reason, he was expelled from Mainz and went to Poitiers. There he ended his present life by remaining in a pure confession.”(Gregory of Tours, Glory of the Confessors: Glory of the Confessors. Translated by Raymond Van Dam (Liverpool University Press, 1988), 39).]
*Lupold c. 392 – c. 409
*Nicetas c. 409 – c. 417
*Marianus c. 417 – c. 427
*Aureus c. 427 – c. 443
*Eutropius c. 443 – c. 467
*Adalbert (I)
*Sidonius II ? – c. 589
*Siegbert I c. 589–610
*Ludegast c. 610–615
*Rudwald c. 615
*Lubald ? fl. c. 625
*Siegbert II
*Gerold ?–743
*Gewielieb c. 743 – c. 745

Archbishops of Mainz, 745–1251

*Saint Boniface 745–755 [At this time, Mainz did not have the status of an archdiocese. Bonifacius had been titular archbishop]
*Lullus 755–786 (First "real" archbishop of Mainz)
*Richholf 787–813
*Adolf 813–826
*Odgar 826–847
*Rabanus Maurus 848–856
*Karl 856–863
*Ludbert 863–889
*Sunderhold 889–891
*Hatto I 891–913
*Herigar 913–937
*Frederick 937–954
*William 954–968
*Hatto II 968–970
*Rudbrecht 970–975
*Willigis 975–1011
*Erkanbald 1011–1021
*Aribo 1021–1031
*Bardo 1031–1051
*Luitpold 1051–1059
*Siegfried I 1060–1084
*Wezilo 1084–1088
*Rudhart 1088–1109
*Adalbert I von Saarbrücken 1111–1137
*Adalbert II von Saarbrücken 1138–1141
*Markholf 1141–1142
*Henry I 1142–1153
*Arnold von Selenhofen 1153–1160
*Christian I 1160–1161 opposing…
**Rudolf of Zähringen 1160–1161
*Conrad I of Wittelsbach 1161–1165
*Christian I 1165–1183
*Conrad I of Wittelsbach (restored) 1183–1200
*Luitpold von Scheinfeld 1200–1208
*Sigfried II von Eppstein 1200–1230 (in opposition to 1208)
*Sigfried III von Eppstein 1230–1249
*Christian III von Weisenau 1249–1251

Archbishops-Electors of Mainz, 1251–1803

*Gerhard I von Daun-Kirberg 1251–1259
*Werner II von Eppstein 1260–1284
*Heinrich II von Isny 1286–1288
*Gerhard II von Eppstein 1286–1305
*Peter of Aspelt 1306–1320
*Matthias von Buchek 1321–1328
*Heinrich III von Virneberg 1328–1337
**Baldwin of Luxembourg 1328–1336, administrator
*Gerlach von Nassau 1346–1371
*Johann I von Luxemburg-Ligny 1371–1373
*Ludwig von Meissen 1374–1379
*Adolf I von Nassau 1379–1390
*Konrad II von Weinsberg 1390–1396
*Johann II von Nassau 1396–1419
**Joffrid von Leiningen 1396–1397 (in opposition)
*Konrad III Wild- und Rheinsgraf zum Stein 1419–1434
*Dietrich I 1434–1459
*Dieter von Isenburg 1460–1461
*Adolf II von Nassau (or Adolf III) 1461–1475
*Dieter von Isenburg (restored) 1476–1482
*Albert II 1482–1484
*Bertold von Henneberg-Römhild 1484–1504
*Jakob von Liebenstein 1504–1508
*Uriel von Gemmingen 1508–1514
*Albert III von Brandenburg 1514–1545
*Sebastian von Heusenstamm 1545–1555
*Daniel Brendel von Homburg 1555–1582
*Wolfgang von Dalberg 1582–1601
*Johann Adam von Bicken 1601–1604
*Johann Schweikhard von Kronberg 1604–1626
*Georg Friedrich von Greiffenklau 1626–1629
*Anselm Casimir Wambold von Umstadt 1629–1647
*Johann Philipp von Schönborn 1647–1673
*Lothar Friedrich von Metternich 1673–1675
*Damian Hartrad von der Leyen 1675–1678
*Karl Heinrich von Metternich 1679
*Anselm Franz von Ingelheim 1679–1695
*Lothar Franz von Schönborn 1695–1729
*Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg 1729–1732
*Philipp Karl von Eltz 1732–1743
*Johann Friedrich Karl von Ostein 1743–1763
*Emmerich Joseph von Breidbach zu Bürresheim 1763–1774
*Friedrich Karl Josef von Erthal 1774–1802
*Karl Theodor von Dalberg 1802–1803 [Karl Theodor von Dalberg died in 1817 and was Archbishop of Regensburg 1803–1810, Prince of Frankfurt 1806–1810 and Grand Duke of Frankfurt 1810–1813.]


See also

* Lists of office-holders
* Bishop of Mainz
* Mainz Cathedral
* Primas Germaniae

External links

* [ Official Website] of the modern Diocese
* [ Map of the Archbishopric of Mainz in 1789]

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