The Royal houses, of which members ruled various States of The Holy Roman Empire.
The Holy Roman Empire was a complex political entity that existed in central Europe for most of the medieval and early modern periods. The States of the Empire, while enjoying a unique form of territorial authority (called Landeshoheit) that granted them many attributes of sovereignty, were never fully sovereign states as the term is understood today. These included any territory ruled by an authority that had been granted imperial immediacy, as well as many other feudal entities such as lordships, sous-fiefs and allodial fiefs. In the 18th century, the Holy Roman Empire consisted of approximately 1,800 such territories, the majority being tiny estates owned by the families of Imperial Knights.
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