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Traditional ranks among European royalty, peers, and nobility are rooted in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Although they vary over time and between geographic regions (for example, one region's prince might be equal to another's grand duke), the following is a fairly comprehensive list that provides information on both general ranks and specific differences.
Ranks and titles Edit
See also Monarch
- generally used titles
- Emperor, rules an empire
- King, rules a kingdom (sovereign kings are ranked above vassal kings)
- Duke, the ruler of a duchy, such as the statelets of the German and Holy Roman Empires
- Prince, Fürst in German, ruling a principality
- Sultan, a Turkish/Arabic title, rules a sultanate
- Emir, an Arabic title, rules an emirate
- specific to one or a few realms
- Pope ( also "Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church and Vicar of Christ"); the Pope is also the absolute ruler of the sovereign state The Vatican City
- Tsar (or Czar) in Serbian, Bulgarian, Russian, and Croatian, derives from Caesar, i.e. Emperor; although in its origins the title was meant to claim the imperial dignity, in its Russian and Bulgarian usages, at least, it has in more recent times been seen as only equivalent to King
- Maharajah, in India, Nepal, (et cetera) "Maha" a prefix meaning highest, and "Rajah" meaning king, hence "highest king", Emperor.
- Shahanshah, Shah of Shahs, hence Emperor.
- Khakhan, Khan of Khans, hence Emperor.
- Caliph, ruling a caliphate is an Islamic title indicating the successor to Muhammad, who is both a religious and a secular leader
- Rajah, In India, Nepal,(et cetera), title used for denoting the ruler of a kingdom.
- Shah, in Iran (Persia), king, though often actually referring to the Shahanshah (Emperor).
- Khan (Mongol, or Turkic) rules a khanate (mainly Asian, but also existed in Mongol/Turkic territory in Russia, Ukraine, and the Crimea)
- Archduke, before 1806 the title of the ruler of the archduchy of Austria
- Grand Duke, ruling a grand duchy
- Grand Prince, a title primarily used in the medieval Russian principalities as the title for the highest level
- High King, used in Gaelic and Hellenic culture to designate one who ruled over lesser kings
- Archduke, ruling an archduchy; was generally only a sovereign rank when used by the rulers of Austria; was also used by the Habsburgs of the Holy Roman Empire for members of the imperial family
- Duke, rules a duchy, also for junior members of ducal and some grand ducal families
- Prince, Prinz in German; junior members of a royal, ducal or princely family (the title of Fürst for heads of princely families and sometimes all members, e.g. Wrede)
- In particular Crown Prince, Kronprinz in German, was reserved for the heir apparent of an emperor or king
- Infante, title of the cadet members of the royal families of Portugal and Spain
- Elector, Kurfürst in German, a rank for those who voted for the Holy Roman Emperor, usually sovereign of a state (e.g. the Margrave of Brandenburg, an elector, called the Elector of Brandenburg)
- Marquess, Margrave, or Marquis was the ruler¹ of a marquessate, margraviate, or march
- Landgrave, a German title, ruler of a landgraviate
- Count, theoretically the ruler of a county; known as an Earl in modern Britain
- Viscount (vice-count), theoretically the ruler of a viscounty or viscountcy
- Freiherr, holder of an allodial barony – these are "higher" level of barons
- Baron, theoretically the ruler of a barony – some barons in some countries may have been "free barons" (liber baro) and as such, regarded (themselves) as higher barons
Regarding the titles of duke and prince: in Germany, a sovereign duke (Herzog) outranked a sovereign prince (Fürst), but a royal cadet prince (Prinz) outranked a cadet duke of a ducal or grand ducal family. In the German nobility as well, being created a duke was a higher honour than being created a prince. The issue of a duke were sometimes styled as dukes or as princes; princely issue were styled as princes. In particular, the heir apparent to a certain title would usually append the prefix Erb- (hereditary) to their respective title, e.g. Erbherzog, Erbprinz, Erbgraf, Erbherr etc, to distinguish from their junior siblings.
- Baronet is a hereditary title ranking below Baron but above Knight
- Nobile N oble (aristocratie) = jadis «non titre de noblesse Avec Un Classement Entre le titre de vicomte et chevalier héréditaire, Baron / Nobile variante, Comme nobile baron de rang Inférieur à Vicomte, - référence encyclopedie Britannique: Les titres de baron Féodaux Ecossais , en Revanche, SONT des titres de noblesse, MAIS ILS SONT paradoxalement inférieurs au titre de Sir, C'est-à-dire au titre de Chevalier commandeur d'ordre non de chevalerie, ous d'ONU chevalier baccalauréat et ous Baneret (appele en Grande-Bretagne "baronnet") équivalent de Nobile en Italie = (Baroneto)to)
- Vidame, a minor French aristocrat
- Fidalgo or Hidalgo, a minor Portuguese and Spanish aristocrat (respectively; from filho d'algo = filho d'alguém = son of someone [important])
- Seigneur or Knight of the Manor rules a smaller local fief
- Knight is the basic rank of the aristocratic system
- Jonkheer a title for prestigious Dutch families that never received a title, instead a new title was invented. Though these titles have no claim to a territory, city, or province in the Netherlands, they are basically claiming a good family name. A woman who holds this title is called a Jonkvrouw, though the wife of a Jonkheer is a Mevrouw or sometimes Freule, which could also be used by daughters of the same.
- Esquire is a rank of gentry originally derived from Squire and indicating the status of an attendant to a knight or an apprentice knight; it ranked below Knight but above Gentleman
In Germany, the actual rank of the holder of a title is, however, dependent on not only the title as such, but on for instance the degree of sovereignty and on the rank of the lord of the title-holder. But also such matters as the age of the princely dynasty play a role (Uradel, Briefadel, altfürstliche, neufürstliche, see: German nobility). Thus, any sovereign ruler would be higher than any formerly sovereign, i.e. mediatized, family of any rank (thus, the Fürst of Waldeck, sovereign until 1918, was higher than the Duke of Arenberg, mediatized). Members of a formerly sovereign house ranked higher than the regular nobility. Among the regular nobility, those whose titles derived from the Holy Roman Empire ranked higher than those whose titles were granted by one of the German princes after 1806, no matter what title was held.
In Austria, nobility titles may no longer be used since 1918.
In Germany, the constitution of the Weimar Republic in 1919 abolished nobility and all nobility titles. They are now merely part of the family name, and there is no more right to the traditional forms of address (e.g., "Hoheit" or "Durchlaucht"). The last title was conferred on 12 November 1918 to Kurt von Klefeld.
In Switzerland, nobility titles are prohibited and are not recognized as part of the family name.
General chart of "translations" between languages Edit
Below is a comparative table of corresponding royal and noble titles in various European countries. Quite often, a Latin 3rd declension noun formed a distinctive feminine title by adding -issa to its base, but usually the 3rd declension noun was used for both male and female nobles, except for Imperator and Rex. 3rd declension nouns are italicized in this chart. See Royal and noble styles to learn how to address holders of these titles properly.
| Cisár, |
Keisarinna (or Keisaritar, obsolete)
| Cesarz, |
| Imperator/Tsar, |
| Aftokrator, |
| Imperador, |
| Cesar, |
| Ymerawdwr, |
| Imperator/Caesar, |
| Kráľ, |
| Koról, |
| Konge |
| Vasilefs, |
| Rei, |
| Kralj, |
| Brenin, |
| Rex, |
| Grand Duke/Grand Prince,|
Grand Duchess/Grand Princess
| Grand Duc,|
| Gran Duque,|
| Großherzog/Großfürst, |
| Veľkovojvoda, |
| Wielki Książę,|
| Velikiy Knyaz, |
| Storhertug, |
|Megas Doux, Megali Doukissa|| Grão-Duque, |
| Veliki vojvoda, |
| Archddug, |
| Magnus Dux/ Magnus Princeps,|
magna ducissa, magna principissa
|Archiduc, Archiduchesse|| Arciduca,|
| Erzherzog, |
| Ærke Hertug, |
|Archidoux, Archidoukissa|| Arquiduque,|
| Nadvojvoda, |
| Archddug, |
| Principe Elettore,|
| Príncipe Elector, |
| Kurfürst, |
| Kurfiřt||-|| Vaaliruhtinas,|
| Książę Elektor,|
| Pringkips-Eklektor |
| Volilni knez, |
| Prins/Fyrste, |
| Knieža, |
| Kniaz/Gertsog, |
| Prins/Fyrste |
| Pringkips |
| Príncipe, |
| Knez, |
| Tywysog, |
| Vojovda, |
| Diuk (Książę),|
| Hertug |
| Doukas/archon |
| Duque, |
| Vojvoda, |
| Dug, |
| Markis, |
| Markissios, |
| Marquês, |
| Markiz, |
| Marcwis/Ardalydd, |
| Earl / Count,|
| Jarl / Greve,|
| Greve |
| Komis, |
| Conde, |
| Grof, |
| Iarll/Cownt, |
|Ypokomis, Ypokomissa|| Visconde, |
| Vikont, |
| Iarll, |
| Freiherr/ Baron,|
| Wolny Pan,|
| Baron, |
| Varonos, |
| Barão, |
| Baron, |
| Barwn, |
| Liber baro,|
| Baron, Herr,|
| Baron, Herre,|
| Paroni, Herra,|
Paronitar, Rouva/ Herratar
| Baron, |
| Varonos, |
| Barão, |
| Baron, |
| Barwn, |
|Erfridder||Baronet|| Baronetti, "Herra" (=fiefholder),|
|Baronet||Baronet|| Baronet, |
|Baronetos, Baroneta|| Baronete,|
| Baronet, |
| Barwnig, |
|Knight||Chevalier||Cavaliere||Caballero||Ritter||Ridder||Ridder|| Riddare/ Frälseman,|
style of wife: Rouva
See also Edit
- Styles and titles of peers in the United Kingdom
- Table of Ranks in the Russian Empire
- German comital titles
- Royal and noble styles
- Nobility particle
- ^ a b c d e f Loss of sovereignty or fief does not necessarily lead to loss of title. The position in the ranking table is however accordingly adjusted. The occurrence of fiefs has changed from time to time, and from country to country. For instance, dukes in England rarely had a duchy to rule.
- ^ Although these ranks were most often only noble ones, most of these ranks were sometimes sovereign. This was especially the case for member states of the Holy Roman Empire.
- ^ Dukes who are not actually or formerly sovereign, such as all British, French, and Spanish dukes, or who are not sons of sovereigns, as titulary dukes in many other countries, should be considered nobles ranking above marquess.
- ^ The meaning of the title Esquire became (and is now) quite diffuse and may indicate anything from no aristocratic status, to some official government civil appointment, or (more historically) the son of a knight or noble who had no other title above just Gentleman.
- ^ Austrian law on noble titles
- ^ Finland granted nobility ranks of Ruhtinas, Kreivi, Vapaaherra and Aatelinen. The titles Suurherttua, Arkkiherttua, Vaaliruhtinas, Prinssi, Markiisi, Jaarli, Varakreivi, Paroni and Baronetti were not granted in Finland, though they are used of foreign titleholders. Keisari, Kuningas, Suuriruhtinas, Prinssi and Herttua have been official titles of members of the dynasties that ruled Finland, used officially as such though not granted as titles of nobility. Up to 19th century, there existed feudally-based privileges in landowning, being connected to nobility-related lordship, and fiefs were common in late medieval and early modern eras. The title Ritari was not commonly used except in context of knightly orders. The lowest, non-titled level of hereditary nobility was "Aatelinen" (i.e. "noble").
- ^ Due to the principle of nobles' equality, any aristocratic titles below that of prince were not allowed in Poland (with few exceptions). The titles in italics are simply Polish translations of western titles which were granted to some Polish nobles by foreign monarchs, especially after the partitions. Instead of heraditory titles, Polish nobility developed and used a set of titles based on one's office. See szlachta for more info on Polish nobility.
- ^ Portuguese titles in italic are not used in Portugal
- ^ Latin titles are for etymological comparisons. They do not accurately reflect their medieval counterparts.
- ^ a b c d Prince/principe can also be a title of the junior members of royal houses (Prinz in German, Prins in Swedish, Prinssi in Finnish). In the British system, Prince is not a rank of nobility but a title held exclusively by members of the Royal Family.
- ^ In the Central European system the title of Fürst, Kníže (e.g. Fürst von Liechtenstein) ranks below the title of a duke (e.g. Duke of Brunswick). The title of Vizegraf was not used in German-speaking countries. The titles of Ritter and Edler were not commonly used.
- ^ a b c d e f g h No nobility titles were granted after 1906 when the unicameral legislatures (Eduskunta, Riksdag) were established, removing the constitutional status of the so-called First Estate, though noble ranks were granted in Finland until 1917. The lowest, non-titled level of hereditary nobility was "Aatelinen" (i.e. "noble") - Aatelinen was basically a rank, not a title.
- ^ a b c For domestic Russian nobility only the two titles Kniaz and Boyar were used before the 18th century when Graf was added.
- ^ In the German system by rank approximately equal to Landgraf and Pfalzgraf.
- ^ The title Markýz was not used in Bohemia and thus refer only to foreign nobility, while the title Markrabě (the same as German Markgraf) is connected only to few historical territories - former marches on the borders of the Holy Roman Empire, e.g. Moravia.
- ^ In Portugal, Barons and Viscounts belonging to the Grands of the Kingdom (Portuguese: Grandes do Reino), were called respectively Baron with Grandness (Portuguese: Barão com Grandeza) and Viscount with Grandness (Portuguese: Visconde com Grandeza) and were ranked equally with Counts.
- ^ Not counted as nobility in the British system.
- ^ Non-hereditary. Not counted as nobility in the British system. See also squire and esquire
- Hereditary titles
- Unequal and Morganatic Marriages in German Law
- Noble, Princely, Royal, and Imperial Titles
- British noble titles
- Fake titles
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