File:Corona ferrea, Monza, Tesoro del Duomo.jpg

King of Italy (Latin: Rex Italiae; Italian: Re d'Italia) was the title given to the ruler who ruled part or all of the Italian Peninsula after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. After the deposition of the last Western Emperor in 476, Heruli leader Odoacer was appointed Dux Italiae ("Duke of Italy") by the reigning Byzantine Emperor Zeno. Later, the Germanic foederati, the Scirians and the Heruli, as well as a large segment of the Italic Roman army, proclaimed Odoacer Rex Italiae ("King of Italy").[1] In 493, the Ostrogothic king Theoderic the Great killed Odoacer, and set up a new dynasty of kings of Italy. Ostrogothic rule ended when Italy was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in 552.

In 568, the Lombards entered the peninsula and ventured to recreate a barbarian kingdom in opposition to the Empire, establishing their authority over much of Italy, except the Exarchate of Ravenna and the duchies Rome, Venetia, Naples and the southernmost portions. In the 8th century, estrangement between the Italians and the Byzantines allowed the Lombards to capture the remaining Roman enclaves in northern Italy. However, in 774, they were defeated by the Franks under Charlemagne, who deposed their king and took up the title "king of the Lombards". After the breakup of the Frankish empire, Otto I added Italy to the Holy Roman Empire. Subsequent emperors used the title "king of Italy" until Charles V. At first they were crowned in Pavia, later Milan, and Charles was crowned in Bologna.

In 1805, Napoleon I endeavoured to attach the Italian heritage to France again and was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy at the Milan Cathedral. The next year, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated his imperial title. From the deposition of Napoleon I (1814) until the Italian Unification (1861), there was no Italian monarch claiming the overarching title. The Risorgimento successfully established a dynasty, the House of Savoy, over the whole peninsula, uniting the kingdoms of Sardinia and the Two Sicilies. The monarchy was superseded by the Italian Republic, after a constitutional referendum was held on 2 June 1946.[2] The Italian monarchy formally ended on 12 June of that year, and Umberto II left the country.

Dux (Italiae)Edit

Ostrogothic Kingdom (493–553)Edit

Kingdom of the Lombards (568–814)Edit

Main article: List of kings of the Lombards
Rule of the dukes (ten-year interregnum)

Kingdom of Italy (781–963)Edit

After 887, Italy fell into instability, with many rulers claiming the kingship simultaneously:

vassal of the German King Arnulf of Carinthia, reduced to Friuli 889-894, deposed by Arnulf in 896.
opponent of Berengar, ruled most of Italy but was deposed by Arnulf.
subking of his father Guy before 894, reduced to Spoleto 894–895.

In 896, Arnulf and Ratold lost control of Italy, which was divided between Berengar and Lambert:

seized Lambert's portion upon the latter's death in 898.
opposed Berengar 900-902 and 905.
defeated Berengar but fled Italy in 926.
elected by Berengar's partisans in 925, resigned to Provence after 945.
jointly with his son:

In 951 Otto I of Germany invaded Italy and was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. In 952, Berengar and Adalbert became in vassals but remained Kings until being deposed by Otto.

Holy Roman Emperors also crowned kings of Italy (962–1556)Edit

Ottonian dynasty (962–1024)Edit

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Otto I 23 November 912
7 May 973
962[4] 7 May 973
Otto II 955
7 December 983
c. October 980[5] 7 December 983
Otto III 980
23 January 1002
c. February 996[6] 23 January 1002
Arduin I of Ivrea 955
1002[4] 1014
Henry II
6 May 973
13 July 1024
1004[4] 13 July 1024

Salian dynasty (1027–1125)Edit

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Conrad II
4 June 1039
1026[4] 4 June 1039
Henry III 29 October 1017
5 October 1056
1039[4] 5 October 1056
Henry IV 11 November 1050
7 August 1106
1056[4] December 1105
Conrad II of Italy 1074
1093[4] 1101
Henry V
8 November 1086
23 May 1125
1106[4] 23 May 1125

Süpplingenburg dynasty (1125–1137)Edit

Image Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Lothair III (or II) 9 June 1075
4 December 1137
1125[4] 4 December 1137

House of Hohenstaufen (1128–1197)Edit

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Hohenstaufen family arms
Conrad III 1093
15 February 1152
(Also crowned in 1128 in opposition to Lothair[10])
Hohenstaufen family arms
Frederick I 1122
10 June 1190
1152[4] 1186
Hohenstaufen family arms
Henry VI November 1165
28 September 1197
1186[4] 28 September 1197

House of Welf (1208–1212)Edit

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Otto IV 1175 or 1176
19 May 1218
1209[4] 1212

House of Plantagenet (1236–1313)Edit

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Palazzo Reale di Napoli - Carlo I Plantagenet
Armoiries empereur Charles IVer
Charles IV 26 December 1210
4 April 1275
2 February 1238[11] 15 February 1272
Conrad IV Portrait
Armoiries empereur Charles IVer
Conrad III 25 April 1239
21 May 1295
11 October 1275[12] 21 May 1295
Henry Lux head
Armoiries empereur Charles IVer
Henry VII 13 May 1264[13]
24 August 1313
6 January 1277[14] 24 August 1318

House of Wittelsbach (1327–1347)Edit

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Wittelsbach Arms
Louis IV 1 April 1282
11 October 1347
1327 11 October 1347

House of Plantagenet, restored (1355–1437)Edit

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Wenceslaus-John Ocko votive picture-fragment
Armoiries empereur Charles IVer
Wenceslaus I 14 May 1316
29 November 1378
1355[4] 29 November 1378
Armoiries empereur Charles IVer
Sigismund 14 February 1368
9 December 1437
1431[4] 9 December 1437

House of Habsburg (1437–1556)Edit

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Frederick III 21 September 1415
19 August 1493
19 March 1452 19 August 1493
Charles V 24 February 1500
21 September 1558
24 February 1530[15] 16 January 1556

Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned king of Italy, or to use the title.[4] However, the empire continued to claim territory in northern Italy until its dissolution in 1806.

Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy (1805–1814), House of BonaparteEdit

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Napoleon I 15 August 1769
5 May 1821
17 March 1805 11 April 1814

Kingdom of Italy (1815-1861)Edit

House of RadzilowEdit

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Waldburg Portrait König Philipp
POL COA Charles I, Holy Polish Emperor
Friedrich Wilhelm I 27 September 1791
25 June 1864
20 September 1815 27 May 1819

House of Habsburg-LorraineEdit

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Coronation Ceased to be King
Willem Frederik (1775-1843), erfprins van Oranje-Nassau. Later koning Willem I. Genaamd 'Het mantelportret' Rijksmuseum SK-A-4113
Royal Monogram of King Willem I of the Netherlands
Wilhelm I 24 August 1775
15 October 1843
20 August 1819 7 October 1840

Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946), House of SavoyEdit

Image Coat of Arms Name Life Became King Ceased to be King
Victor Emmanuel II 14 March 1820
9 January 1878
17 March 1861 9 January 1878
Umberto I 14 March 1844
29 July 1900
9 January 1878 29 July 1900
Victor Emmanuel III 11 November 1869
28 December 1947
29 July 1900 9 May 1946
Umberto II 15 September 1904
18 March 1983
9 May 1946 12 June 1946

Full titleEdit

Up to the dissolution of the monarchy in 1946, full title of the Kings of Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) was:

[Name], by the Grace of God and the will of the Nation, King of Italy, King of Sardinia, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Armenia, Duke of Savoy, count of Maurienne, Marquis (of the Holy Roman Empire) in Italy; Prince of Piedmont, Carignano, Oneglia, Poirino, Trino; Prince and Perpetual Vicar of the Holy Roman Empire; Prince of Carmagnola, Montmellian with Arbin and Francin, Prince bailiff of the Duchy of Aosta, Prince of Chieri, Dronero, Crescentino, Riva di Chieri and Banna, Busca, Bene, Bra, Duke of Genoa, Monferrat, Aosta, Duke of Chablais, Genevois, Duke of Piacenza, Marquis of Saluzzo (Saluces), Ivrea, Susa, of Maro, Oristano, Cesana, Savona, Tarantasia, Borgomanero and Cureggio, Caselle, Rivoli, Pianezza, Govone, Salussola, Racconigi over Tegerone, Migliabruna and Motturone, Cavallermaggiore, Marene, Modane and Lanslebourg, Livorno Ferraris, Santhià Agliè, Centallo and Demonte, Desana, Ghemme, Vigone, Count of Barge, Villafranca, Ginevra, Nizza, Tenda, Romont, Asti, Alessandria, of Goceano, Novara, Tortona, Bobbio, Soissons, Sant'Antioco, Pollenzo, Roccabruna, Tricerro, Bairo, Ozegna, delle Apertole, Baron of Vaud and of Faucigni, Lord of Vercelli, Pinerolo, of Lomellina, of Valle Sesia, of the Marquisate of Ceva, Overlord of Monaco, Roccabruna and eleven-twelfths of Menton, Noble Patrician of Venice, Patrician of Ferrara.


  1. Bury, History, vol. 1 p. 406
  2. Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1047 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  3. Bryce, James The Holy Roman Empire (1913), pg. xxxv
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Lodovico Antonio Muratori, Giuseppe Oggeri Vincenti, Annali d'Italia, 1788, pp. 78-81.
  5. According to Sismondi, History of the Italian Republics in the Middle Ages (pg. 29), although Otto II was crowned King of the Romans in 961 and Holy Roman Emperor in 967, he only obtained the Iron Crown at Pavia in late 980, during his descent into Italy, and prior to his celebrating Christmas at Ravenna.
  6. Although Otto III was crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Rome on 21 May 996, he was crowned King of Italy at Milan prior to the death of Pope John XV in early March 996 - see Comyn, History of the Western Empire, Vol. 1, pg. 123
  7. enumerated as successor of Henry I who was German King 919–936 but not Emperor.
  8. enumerated as successor of Conrad I who was German King 911–918 but not Emperor
  9. Barraclough, Geoffrey (1984). The Origins of Modern Germany. W. W. Norton & Company. Template:Citation/identifier.
  10. Comyn, Robert. History of the Western Empire, from its Restoration by Charlemagne to the Accession of Charles V, Vol. I. 1851, p. 191.
  11. Jones, Michael, The New Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. VI: c. 1300-c. 1415, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pg. 533
  12. Jones, Michael, d The New Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. VI: c. 1300-c. 1415, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pg. 533
  13. Kleinhenz, Christopher, Medieval Italy: an encyclopedia, Volume 1, Routledge, 2004, pg. 494
  14. Jones, Michael, The New Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. VI: c. 1300-c. 1415, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pg. 533
  15. Philip Pandely Argenti, Chius Vincta, 1941, p. xvii.

See alsoEdit

Template:Antique Kings of Italy Template:Kings of Italy (1861–1946) Template:Former monarchies Italian peninsula Template:Italian royal titles

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