1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Erbach

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ERBACH, a town of Germany, in the grand-duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, on the Mümling, 22 m. S.E. of Darmstadt. It has cloth mills and ivory-turning, for which last branch it possesses a technical school. Wool and cattle fairs are held twice a year. Pop. 2800. The castle contains an interesting collection of weapons and pictures, and in the chapel are the coffins of Einhard, the friend and biographer of Charlemagne, and his wife, Emma.

Erbach has long been the residence of the counts of Erbach, who trace their descent back to the 12th century, and who held the office of cupbearer to the electors palatine of the Rhine until 1806. In 1532 the emperor Charles V. made the county a direct fief of the Empire, on account of the services rendered by Count Eberhard during the Peasants’ War. Since 1717 the family has been divided into the three lines of Erbach-Fürstenau, Erbach-Erbach and Erbach-Schönberg, who rank for precedence, not according to the age of their descent, but according to the age of the chief of their line. In 1818 the counts of Erbach-Erbach inherited the county of Wartenberg-Roth, and in 1903 the count of Erbach-Schönberg was granted the title of prince. The county was mediatized in 1806, and is now incorporated with the duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt.

See Simon, Die Geschichte der Dynasten und Grafen zu Erbach (Frankfort, 1858).