Table of Contents:
The dissertation in question deals with the development of sovereignty in a small region of the Holy Roman Empire in the 16. and 17. century. In this region, called Bann Maxsain in the Westerwald, the development of sovereignty was very complicated, because the counts of Sayn, Wied and Isenburg were quarreling about this territory. The greatest claim on the Bann Maxsain had the counts of Sayn and Wied. They were the expectants of sovereignty. The counts of Sayn were the lords over land and soil, while the counts of Wied were the lords over blood jurisdiction. Both families struggled for over 70 years with all means (club-law, proceedings at the Reichskammergericht, contracts, seizures, raids) and tried to become the sole sovereigns of this territory. It was their aim to reach the Hohe Obrigkeit over the Bann Maxsain. The conflicts were intensified by the reformation and the confessional split of the bondman, because the counts of Sayn and the counts of Wied became lutheran and then Calvinists at different times. As things grew worse, the liege lords of Kurtrier and Kurpfalz intervened in the conflict. As a consequence of the great amount of sources and documents, it was possible, to sketch an accurate survey of the struggle for sovereignty in this small territory in the 16. century. It becomes clear, that the quarreling feudal families used new means to reach their goal, which differ considerably from the means used during medieval times. The description of the struggle for sovereignty is not limited to the perspective of the counts. The bondman had to endure the consequences of the conflict with various seizures and several raids. The analysis of the circumstances in the Bann Maxsain in the 16. and 17. century has a general historical, juridical, social-historical and genealogical dimension.