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The Positioning of the Count’s House of Solms in the Region and the Empire during the 15th Century

This dissertation project examines the reconstitution of the Count’s House of Solms between the Falkenstein inheritance of 1418 and the attainment of imperial privileges till c. 1505 as well as the associated repositioning of the county in the region (Wetterau/Hesse) and in the Holy Roman Empire. Through territorial gains, this inheritance enabled the counts of Solms to realign themselves. The aims of the project are, on the one hand, to investigate this process from a dynastic point of view, especially due to the division of the house into two branches, and, on the other hand, to show the networks of the counts from the regional up to the imperial level. The overarching goal is to present an exemplary study on the self-assertion of minor rulers and their contribution to premodern state formation during the 15th century. Therefore, three interdependent case studies were conducted, illustrating dynastic strategies, territorial politics and relations with the Emperor, Princes and other Imperial Estates.

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