|Opis:||Social order and the economy in the middle ages were based on the land. As the central German provinces already had land, this was especially interesting on the south east of the country. It was called crown land, mainly because the emperor was giving it away to aristocracy and the church in exchange for military service and loyalty. As a result - social system called feudalism was born.
An era of Lordship began, as the land was a sign of higher status and prestige. Lords of Sanneck had status of nobiles, which meant they only had to answer to the emperor. At that time, the goal of each aristocratic family was to combine as much land as possible and create its own territory, on which they would then politically and legally subordinate other nobility.
When in the other half of the 13th century, they first involved themselves in internoble struggles, they did it wisely, as they supported Habsburg monarchy and got an important ally.
In year 1308, Ulrih Žovneški gave all his castles to Friderik Habsburški, who then gave it back to Ulrih to feud. Even though this meant the Lords of Sanneck lost the status of nobiles, and a step down on the social ladder, the bond between the Lords of Sanneck and Austrian Habsburgs undoubtedly strengthened as a result.
Year 1332 marks the death of the last Vovbrški count. This was of significant importance to the Lords of Sanneck and they immediately went into battle for their inheritance. The next significant event followed in year 1341, when Ludwig Bavarian became emperor and with which they got the title Counts of Celje.
Marriage and the heirship was one of the strategies to obtain land, but the disputes regarding heritage usually resulted in military battle. As the Counts of Celje knew, that every division of the land meant weakening, they made sure that with marriage, the married party got no right to the heritage - they did so with so called heritage contracts. Apart from that, they made sure that all important decisions regarding the whole family was always made together and they all signed all important documents.
Of all marriages, the most important one was marriage of Barbara, the youngest daughter of Herman II. She was married to Sigismund, son of the roman emperor and Czech king Karl Luxembourg. In year 1410, Sigismund became Roman-German emperor and Barbara was in year 1443 crowned as Czech queen. A year prior to that, in November 1436, Sigismund elevated the counts of Celje to the rank of Princes of the Holy Roman empire. This promotion was the apple of discord between the Counts of Celje and Austrian Habsburgs, which was ended in 1443 by a settlement. The Counts of Celje gave up their own princedom, while Friderik III. Habsburški allowed them to use Princely title. Part of the settlement was also an agreement between both, that the family which dies first, leaves all heritage to the other.
Landlords always participated at transfer of an inheritance from testator to recipient so it is hard to say there was a testamentary ability at first. The form of the testament was also not explicitly specified. Testamentary inheritance was most likely established in 13th century, while the intestate succession was established in high Middle Ages. Intestate succession was in case that decedent didn't left valid testament and the qualified were his closest relatives. Women often gave up their inheritance in the benefit of male descendants of the family. The
main principle of inherited property, was to mantain the existence of it within the family. In the feudalism, the widow could only enjoy the inheritance until death, because the succession was only for relatives by blood. This lasted until 14th century.
The indivisibility of the property was also ensured through consensus of the relatives, who expected to get the inheritance. The only exception where the consensus was not needed, was when the part of the inheritance was given to the church.|