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Silke Edinger (Ph.D-Student 01.02.2013 - 31.01.2016)

Power-structures in Imbalance? Maurice from Saxony and his reign as an elector


Personal Information


  • 2006 – 2013: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
  • 2007 – 2012: Research assistant at the chair of Prof. Dr. Ronald G. Asch
  • 2012/2013: Final thesis: Did Emperor Charles fail at the Diet of Augsburg in 1548? – re-evaluating a Myth.
  • (Magisterarbeit an der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg mit dem Thema: geharnischtes Scheitern? Die Politik Karls V. auf dem Höhenpunkt seiner Macht auf dem Reichstag 1548; betreut von Prof. Dr. Ronald G. Asch)

Fields of interests 


  • 16th century- history
  • history of the Holy Empire
  • Cultural History
  • Politichistory
  • Habsburgmonarchy
  • Domestic policies of the Federal Republic Germany

Ph.D Project

Power-structures in Imbalance? Maurice from Saxony and his reign as an elector

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ronald G. Asch (Freiburg)
Tutor: Prof. Dr. Birgit Studt (Freiburg)

This dissertation focuses on the reign of Maurice von Sachsen as elector. This relatively short period (1547-1553) is marked by upheaval in the Empire, at both Imperial and local levels.
In the early modern period, the exercise of power was dependent on personal relationships (Nahbeziehungen).For the purposes of this dissertation, the transfer of the dignity of Electorwithin the house of Wettin from the Ernestine line to the Albertine, is of particular interest.Both lines had been rivals since the separation of the two lines in 1485, therefore both lines had different networks of clients.My thesis is that this shift in electoral power went hand in hand with a shift in the system of clientage and this dissertation will explore these changes and the reaction to them.
In 1547 nobody could take it for granted that the electoral office would remain permanently with the Albertines. This leads to the question of how theclient networks reacted to this uncertainty, did they try to keep their options open or to gain personal advantage from it? Were there winners and losers?
A few years later an additional layer of conflict emergedwith the dispute between the Emperor Charles V and his brother King Ferdinand over the Imperial succession. As a result, Ferdinand began to strengthen his contacts with the local decision makers in the Empire. In a situation such as this, the Landsassen would have asked themselvesif they could exploit this conflict to their advantage. One example of this that will be discussed in this dissertation is the Schönburg family, who utilized their unclear legal status to their potential benefit by being recognizedas dependent only on the Emperor (reichsunmittelbar). Whether there was a connection between this and the conflict at themacro-political level is one of the questions this dissertation will try to answer. 


  • Postadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    c/o Historisches Seminar
    Rempartstr. 15 - KG IV
    79085 Freiburg 
  • Besuchsadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    Erbprinzenstraße 13
    79098 Freiburg
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