Supplications as the means of communication and interaction between sovereigns and their subjects have become a major field of research today. However, historical research in German speaking countries focuses to a large extent on the territories of the Holy Roman Empire, whereas emperor and empire have been widely neglected. Nonetheless, studying the files of the Aulic Council at the Imperial Archive in Vienna has confirmed that they contain a large number of supplications to the emperor.The first part of this thesis focuses on the qualitative and quantitative analysis of 1,200 records from the so-called Old Prague Files. The analysis is based upon the inventories of the Aulic Council and determines the regularity of supplications, the number of supplications filed by subjects and their scope. The examination has established that 40 percent of the supplications were filed directly by subjects. This leads to the conclusion that subjects were well aware of emperor and empire, and that they regarded the Aulic Council as a key institution. In the 16th and early 17th century, supplicating was obviously a well-established way to approach the emperor. Every aspect of personal, social, cultural, economic and political life could become the subject matter of such supplications. The Aulic Council usually responded favourably to supplications filed by subjects.The second part of this thesis deals specifically with the supplications filed by the peasant Hans Frank between the years 1614 and 1615. While examining the devout and highly ritualised supplication form and the supplicant?s line of reasoning, an attempt has been made to identify imperial conceptions. The last part outlines the Court?s responses and their underlying schemes, as well as the reactions of the territorial princes to imperial intervention.