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The German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire, usually elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans," and he would later be crowned emperor by the Pope; the tradition of papal coronations was discontinued in the 16th century.The empire never achieved the extent of political unification formed in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units, principalities, duchies, counties, Free Imperial Cities, and other domains.
The title was revived in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although frequently controlled by dynasties.
The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.
On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
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