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Apostolic King

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Apostolic King

Apostolic King was a hereditary title borne by the King of Hungary.

The Habsburg dynasty saw themselves as the heir of Saint Stephen (ca. 997–1038), and argued that Pope Sylvester II had bestowed this title on Saint Stephen.[1] The king's efforts to Christianize his people led to his comparison to one of the apostles. It was first used by the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I (1657–1705) as King of Hungary. The title was last used in the reign of Charles IV (1916–18).

The title is comparable to Spain's Catholic and France's Most Christian Majesty.

The Pope Confers the Royal Title. A Letter of Pope Sylvester II to Stephen of Hungary, 1000.

Migne, 139, cols. 274 ff.

Previous to this time, it was considered the emperor’s right to confer the royal title and to elevate a person to the rank of king. Here, for the first time in the history of the papacy, a pope confers the royal title, thereby intrenching on the imperial prerogative. Otto III, who was then emperor, did not resist this papal infringement of his rights. Later popes were not slow to see the value of this act as a precedent (see nos. 69, 72, 128), and exercised the right to confer titles and dignities as they pleased. This act of Sylvester II is, therefore, an important milestone in the history of the development of the papal prerogatives.

The Pope Confers the Royal Title:

References

  1. ^  
  2. ^ OLIVER J. THATCHER, Ph.D.AND EDGAR HOLMES McNEAL, Ph.D.: A SOURCE BOOK FOR MEDIÆVAL HISTORY SELECTED DOCUMENTS ILLUSTRATING THE HISTORY OF EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE AGE, page:119 [1]
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