As Senioratsprinzip (Russian Лествичное право, scientific transliteration: Lestvičnoe pravo ) refers to the medieval Erbregelung many Eastern European princes and kings. Unlike in Western Europe, the only heir was neither used nor divided the land among all the heirs in independent dominions. Although also the principle of sharing took place, the new principalities were the sons of the late ruler, however, not been awarded, but only on time. Died an owner of a princely title, advanced to the other heirs. As a rule, there was a particularly highlighted and powerful principality, which fell mostly to the oldest son. This had then at least pro forma also held the sovereignty over the territories of his brothers, so that the National Association should be preserved.
The Senioratsprinzip has two major shortcomings: First, the older heirs most of them died first, which meant a moving up of all the other " next higher " in the title of prince. The result was that hardly any of the participants was able to stabilize his rule in a region or wanted because yes any time moving up was to be expected in a better position. Second, the number of participants increased this "Heritage Carousel " rapidly, since not only the brothers of the first generation of heirs, but soon their sons were involved in the Senioratsprinzip. This led to a further fragmentation of territories and intensified conflicts between brothers, uncles and nephews result.
In late antiquity Geiserich already had a corresponding order of succession among the Vandals features. Particularly pronounced Senioratsprinzip but was applied in Russia. Although it had similar approaches probably already given above, the Erbregelung was determined according to the Presbytery for the first time under Yaroslav the Wise in the mid-11th century in detail. Jaroslaw wanted to exclude throne turmoil as they had accompanied his accession to the throne, for the future. However, this was not. Rather, the Senioratsprinzip was the main reason for the fragmentation of Russia in the Middle Ages, which was largely completed only by the beginning of the 14th century rise of Moscow. In Poland, Bohemia and Hungary Senioratsprinzip was taken, albeit in modified forms, which should serve to limit the number of participants. In Russia, efforts were made later to exclude the sons of younger brothers heiress. Overall, the Senioratsprinzip were rarely in its pure form for use, as individual princes were able to fight with military power and support of neighboring empires always a better position in the succession.
In the Holy Roman Empire a similar scheme in Senioratslehen was known. This was the award of a number of free -ranging possessions in which imperial knights were under for centuries only the immediate ruler ( king or emperor ).
See also: primogeniture