Election and Coronation of King and Emperor: The “Golden Bull” (Munich Edition of 1515)


Named for its golden seal, the “Golden Bull” of 1356 was the legal foundation of the Holy Roman Empire and provided something akin to its constituent structure starting in the fourteenth century. It was a collection of laws by Emperor Charles IV (1316–1378) that remained in force until the dissolution of the Empire. Written in Latin, the Golden Bull regulated both the election and the coronation of the Roman-German kings and emperors by the electors. The Golden Bull was reprinted many times throughout the Empire’s existence. The title page of this German-language translation published in Munich in 1515 shows the crowned emperor with the three ecclesiastical (left) and four secular electors (right) at his side.


Source: The “Golden Bull” of Emperor Charles IV. Munich edition, 1515. Title page. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Digital Collections. Available online at: http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00002038/image_5

Bavarian State Library

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Election and Coronation of King and Emperor: The “Golden Bull” (Munich Edition of 1515), published in: German History Intersections, <https://germanhistory-intersections.org/en/germanness/ghis:image-218> [November 29, 2023].