Erstes Stadtrecht von Augsburg

Staatsarchiv Augsburg


After the town privileges of Soest (North Rhine-Westphalia), the compromise Emperor Frederick I (r. 1152-1190) negotiated between the bishop of Augsburg, the reeves and the then episcopal city of Augsburg, is to this day considered the second-oldest municipal constitution in written form in the Holy Roman Empire north of the Alps. Because of the upheavals that had already taken place, the emperor at the instigation of bishop, clergy and population regulated the rights and duties of the single parties. Thereby, he relied on the Vogteiweistum (award of an administrative custumal), which Emperor Henry IV (r. 1056-1105) had decreed back in 1104.

Frederick I confirmed the bishop as the lord over the city of Augsburg, even though these episcopal rights remained not unlimited vis-à-vis the citizens: he was still able to appoint the burgrave, the mint master and the cathedral priest, but he had to respect the wishes of the members of the ministry and of the people (“urbani”). The position of the reeve, who exercised the office of high justice, was strengthened by this first city constitution of Augsburg. From now on, the Augsburg citizens were no longer to be treated according to feudal law but rather in accordance with their rights as citizens. Therefore, the first city constitution marks a first decisive step of the Augsburg citizenry towards gaining greater freedom from the episcopal rule.

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