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Forgery in Favor of Territorial Sovereignty – Privilegium Maius (1358/59)

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[4] Further, the Empire may grant no fiefs within the Duchy of Austria.* When, however, a prince or anyone else of whatever rank, noble or commoner, or of any estate, inherits lands in the aforesaid duchy by feudal right, he may not grant or transfer them to another person until after he has been enfeoffed with them by the Duke of Austria. Whoever violates this provision forfeits his fiefs to the Duke of Austria, in whose free legal possession and under whose lordship they shall remain—except, of course, for the ecclesiastical princes and monasteries.

[5] All temporal courts, authority over the forests and game, waters and woods in the Duchy of Austria must be subordinate by feudal law to the Duke of Austria.

[6] Further, the Duke of Austria may not be cited pursuant to any charges or appeals to the Empire or any other court, though he may comply of his own free will. If he wishes, however, he may send one of his vassals, in which case, on the appointed day, he then can and should accept what is declared just before this court.

[7] Further, if this Duke of Austria is challenged by anyone to honorable single combat, he may allow his place to be taken by another without incurring the opprobrium of cowardice. And on the appointed day no prince or anyone else, by pain of loss of reputation, may attack or challenge him.

[8] Further, whatever the Duke of Austria shall ordain or command in his lands and regions may not be changed in any manner, in any way, or at any future time, by the Emperor or any other authority.

[9] And if, which God forbid, the Duke of Austria should die without a male heir, this duchy shall pass to the eldest surviving daughter.

[10] These lands shall forever have as their ruler the eldest of the dukes of Austria, to whose eldest son the rule shall pass by the law of inheritance, though without leaving this lineage. And at no time shall the Duchy of Austria be divided.

[11] If any resident of this duchy, or anyone who has property in it, acts covertly or overtly against the Duke of Austria, his property and person belong without grace to this Duke of Austria.

[12] The Empire shall aid this Duke of Austria against all conspirators and send him aid, so that he may have his rights.

[13] The Duke of Austria shall receive his enfeoffment dressed in a princely garment and wearing a duke's hat adorned with a zinc crown, scepter in hand, and mounted—just as other Imperial princes do.

[14] This duke's installations and deposition in his Duchy of Austria are to be respected, and he may tolerate Jews and public takers of interest—called "Lombards"—in all of his lands, without any interference from the Empire.

[15] If the Duke of Austria appears personally at any assembly of the Empire, he is to be regarded as one of the Dukes Palatine, and in session and procession he shall sit on the right side of the Emperor in the first place behind the electors.

* Fiefs within Austria shall be granted by the archduke, not by the Emperor – trans.

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