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The ''ministeriales'' (singular: ''ministerialis'') were a class of people raised up from
serf Serfdom was the status of many peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial farmhand, agricultural laborer or a farmer with limited land-ownership, especially one living in the Middle Ages under feudalism and tenant farmer, paying rent, tax, fee ...
dom and placed in positions of power and responsibility in the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
in the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
. The word and its German translations, ''Ministeriale(n)'' and ''
Dienstmann A ''Dienstmann'' (plural: ''Dienstleute'' or, in Austria, ''Dienstmänner'') was a medieval retainer or vassal and, later, a hired man, in German-speaking countries, particularly in Austria until the first half of the 20th century. Usage The t ...
'', came to describe those unfree
nobles Nobility is a normally ranked immediately below and found in some societies that have a formal . Nobility has often been an that possessed more acknowledged and higher than most other classes in society. The privileges associated wi ...

nobles
who made up a large majority of what could be described as the German
knighthood A knight is a person granted an honorary title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some ...

knighthood
during that time. What began as an irregular arrangement of workers with a wide variety of duties and restrictions rose in status and wealth to become the power brokers of an empire. The ''ministeriales'' were not legally free people, but held social rank. Legally, their liege lord determined whom they could or could not marry, and they were not able to transfer their lords' properties to heirs or spouses. They were, however, considered members of the nobility since that was a social designation, not a legal one. ''Ministeriales'' were trained knights, held military responsibilities and surrounded themselves with the trappings of knighthood, and so were accepted as noblemen. Both women and men held the ministerial status, and the laws on ministeriales made no distinction between the sexes in how they were treated. The term is a post-classical
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
word, meaning originally "servant" or "agent", in a broad range of senses.


Origins to 11th century

The origin of the ministerial pedigree is obscure. A mediaeval chronicler reported that Julius Caesar defeated the Gauls and rewarded his Germanic allies with Roman rank. Princes were awarded senatorial status and their lesser knights ('minores...milites') received Roman citizenship. He assigned these 'knights' to princes but urged the princes "to treat the knights not as slaves and servants but rather to receive their services as the knights' lords and defenders. "Hence it is," the chronicler explained, "that German knights, unlike their counterparts in other nations, are called servants of the royal fisc and princely ministerials." In England there was no group of knights referred to as ''ministeriales,'' for the tight grip that English lords held upon their knights gave them less freedom than their German counterparts who had codified (and well-defended) rights. Abbot
Adalard of Corbie Saint Adalard of Corbie ( la, Adalhardus Corbeiensis; c. 751, Huise – 2 January 827) was son of Bernard the son of Charles Martel Charles Martel (c. 688 – 22 October 741) was a Frankish statesman and military leader who, as Duke and P ...
(d. 826) was Emperor
Charlemagne's
Charlemagne's
chief adviser, and described the running of the government in his work ''De ordine palatii''. There he praises the great merits of his imperial staff, made up of household ''servii proprii'' (
serfs Serfdom was the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism, and similar systems. It was a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude with similarities to and differences from slavery, which developed ...
) who were the first ministerials authoritatively recorded. His letters specify that not only were they considered exceptional by their superiors, but the ministerials also mentored their successors in a form of administrative apprenticeship program. This may be the origin of ministerials as individuals in a set position. It was Emperor
Conrad II Conrad II ( – 4 June 1039), also known as and , was Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the fema ...

Conrad II
(990-1039) who first referred to ministerials as a distinct class. He had them organized into a staff of officials and administrators. In documents they are referred to as ''ministerialis vir'', or ministerial men. ''Ministeriales'' (or "ministerials", as Anglicized by Benjamin Arnold) of the post-Classical period who were not in the royal household were at first bondsmen or
serf Serfdom was the status of many peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial farmhand, agricultural laborer or a farmer with limited land-ownership, especially one living in the Middle Ages under feudalism and tenant farmer, paying rent, tax, fee ...
s taken from the ''servi proprii'', or household servants (as opposed to the ''servi casati'' who were already tilling the land on a tenure.) These servants were entrusted with special responsibilities by their overlords, such as the management of a farm, administration of finances (chancery) or of various possessions. Free nobles ('' Edelfreie'') disliked entering into servile relationships with other nobles, so lords of a necessity recruited bailiffs, administrators and officials from among their unfree servants who could also fulfill a household warrior role. From the 11th century the term came to denote functionaries living as members of the knightly class with either a lordship of their own or one delegated from a higher lord as well as some political influence (''inter alia'' the exercise of offices at court). Kings placed military requirements upon their princes, who in turn, placed requirements upon their
vassals A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, a chief ...
. The free nobles under a prince may have a bond of vassalage that let them get out of serving, so kings, princes, bishops and archbishops were able to recruit unfree persons into military service. Such a body made up the group called ''ministeriales''. There were two sorts of ministerials: ''casati'', who administered lands and estates for a liege and were paid from the proceeds of the land and ''non-casati'', who held administrative and military positions but were paid in either a fixed amount of coin or by a portion of the proceeds of mills, road or bridge tolls, or ferry fees or port taxes.


11th–12th centuries

As the need for such service functions became more acute (as, for example, during the
Investiture Controversy#REDIRECT Investiture Controversy The Investiture Controversy, also called Investiture Contest, was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops ( investiture) and abbots of monasteries a ...
), and their duties and privileges, at first nebulous, became more clearly defined, the ''ministeriales'' developed in the
Salian The Salian dynasty or Salic dynasty (german: Salier) was a dynasty in the High Middle Ages. The dynasty provided four kings of Germany (1024–1125), all of whom went on to be crowned Holy Roman emperors (1027–1125). After the death of the las ...
period (1024–1125) into a new and much differentiated class. They received
fief A fief (; la, feudum) was the central element of feudalism Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe In the histor ...
s, which to begin with were not heritable, in return for which they provided knightly services. They were also allowed to possess, and often did hold,
allods ''Allods Online'' is a free-to-play Free-to-play (F2P or FtP) video games are games that give players access to a significant portion of their content without paying or don't require paying to continue playing. Free-to-play is distinct from tradi ...
: ownership of real property (land, buildings and fixtures) that is independent of any superior landlord, but it should not be confused with anarchy as the owner of allodial land is not independent of his sovereign. Ministerials were found holding the four great offices necessary to run a great household:
seneschal The word ''seneschal'' () can have several different meanings, all of which reflect certain types of supervising or administering in a historic context. Most commonly, a seneschal was a senior position filled by a court appointmentCourt appointments ...
,
butler A butler is a person who works in a house serving and is a domestic worker A domestic worker is a person who works within the scope of a residence. The term "domestic service" applies to the equivalent occupational category. In traditional Engl ...

butler
,
marshal Marshal is a term used in several official titles in various branches of society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. T ...

marshal
and
chamberlain Chamberlain may refer to: Profession *Chamberlain (office), the officer in charge of managing the household of a sovereign or other noble figure People *Chamberlain (surname) **Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855-1927), German-British philosopher ...
. They were vidames (''vice dominus'', or runners of estates) or castellans, having both military and administrative responsibilities. Conrad II of
Kuchl
Kuchl
was the financial adviser to four archbishops over the course of 40 years. From the reign of Archbishop Conrad II (1024–1039) they were employed as stewards ('' Vögte''), castellans (''
Burggraf
Burggraf
en'') and judges in the administration of the imperial territories, and in the lay principalities. As Imperial ministerials (''Reichsministerialen'') they upheld the
Salian The Salian dynasty or Salic dynasty (german: Salier) was a dynasty in the High Middle Ages. The dynasty provided four kings of Germany (1024–1125), all of whom went on to be crowned Holy Roman emperors (1027–1125). After the death of the las ...
, and particularly the
Hohenstaufen The Hohenstaufen (, , ), also called Staufer, was a noble dynasty of unclear origin that rose to rule the Duchy of Swabia The Duchy of Swabia ( German: ''Herzogtum Schwaben'') was one of the five stem duchies of the medieval German Kingdom. I ...

Hohenstaufen
, imperial polity. In the Archbishopric of Salzburg the ministerials and clergy together elected Archbishop Gebhard in 1060, as well as every archbishop from 1147 to 1256 save for Conrad III (r. 1177–83). Ministerials could be drawn from different occupational groups. In
Salzburg Salzburg (, ; literally "Salt Castle"; bar, Soizbuag, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian) is the List of cities and towns in Austria, fourth-largest city in Austria. In 2020, it had a population of 156,872. The town is on the site of the ...

Salzburg
,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastli ...

Austria
a Timo appears in 1125/47 in the ''traditionsbuch'' (book of traditions) as a ''miles'' (knight) of the archiepiscopal ministerialage who functioned as burgrave and also as a merchant. By the 12th century a distinction was made between greater ministerials (''ministeriales maiores'') who had their own vassals and lesser ministerials (''ministeriales minores'') who had no vassals of their own. During the 12th century the old free nobility of Salzburg even found it a wise strategy to surrender their freedom in return for the safety of Salzburg's patronage. Around 1145, Ulrich I of the lesser-noble Sims family chose to subjugate his household to the archbishop by marrying the Salzburg ministerial Liutkarda von Berg. Their son, Ulrich II, was born into his mother's status as was the practice, but now the Simses enjoyed the protection of one of the most powerful houses in the region. This was a wise strategy, considering the weak Simses were surrounded by greedy neighbors. By the end of the 12th century the term ''miles''—theretofore reserved for free warriors—was also being applied to ministerials. Over the course of the 13th century their status was slowly assimilated to that of the free nobility, or
vassal A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, a chief ...
s. The remaining traces of the taint of servility gradually faded, and the "fiefs for service" turned into proper hereditable fiefs, partly also because impoverished free nobles, while reserving their personal free status, voluntarily became ''ministeriales''.


13th century onwards

By the 13th century Bavarian law held that the ''ministeriales'' (or ''Dienstmänner'') held a position higher than the ordinary ''milites'', and only the monarchy and princes were permitted to maintain ''ministeriales''. Imperial courts increasingly rendered justice for ministerials, as when Count Frederick of Isenberg murdered Archbishop Engelbert of Cologne in 1225. The archiepiscopal ministerials brought an appeal (and the blood-stained clothing) to the Royal Court to demand justice. The count's brothers, the bishops of Münster and Osnabrück, were brought before the court for complicity, and bloodshed at the court was narrowly averted. Count Frederick was convicted ''in absentia'', all his ministerials were released from his service, and Frederick was captured and
broken on the wheel The breaking wheel or execution wheel, also known as the Catherine wheel or simply the Wheel, was a Torture, torture method used for Capital punishment#Public execution, public execution primarily in Europe from Classical antiquity, antiquity thr ...
. By the 13th and 14th centuries the ''ministeriales'' formed an intrinsic part of the lower nobility, and in the 15th century formed the core of the German knightly class (''Ritterstand''). Other regions were not as open, for as late as the fifteenth century the documents of the Dutch province of Gelderland continued to distinguish between knights of noble and of ministerial birth.


Certain vassal relationships


Social differentiation

Legally, a ministerial was a ministerial, bound by the rights and duties enumerated in their area. Socially, there was a distinction between the ''greater'' ministerials and the ''lesser'' ones in the order of precedence. Greater ministerials maintained their own subordinate ''milites'', or armigerous soldiery. These could be either free knights (such as Werner of Bolland, who maintained 1,100 subordinate knights for
Frederick Barbarossa Frederick Barbarossa (german: Friedrich I., it, Federico I; 1122 – 10 June 1190), also known as Frederick I, was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death 35 years later. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt on ...
) or lesser ministerials like the wealthy widow Diemut von Högl, who held four castles with ministerial chaplain, chamberlain and seneschal. The lesser ministerials were ones who held no subordinates at all, but rather held an office and may or may not have maintained arms and armor.


Uses and duties

As with all medieval terms of vassalage, the duties, obligations and benefits varied by region and even individual negotiation or tradition. These are often recorded in the Holy Roman Empire in a document named a ''Dienstrecht,'' or "service code."


Military

One constant is that all arrangements included a duty owed to the lord for military service. This could take the form of actual personal service by the ''ministeriales'' or a payment to fund others who went to war. The monastery of Maurmunster records the following:
When a campaign (''profectio'') of the king is announced to the bishop (of Metz, in this case) the bishop will send an official to the abbot, and the abbot will assemble his ''ministeriales''. He will inform them of the campaign, and they will assemble the following men and equipment...: one wagon with six cows and six men; one packhorse with saddle and equipment and two men, the leader and the driver...If the king moves the army to Italy, all the peasant farms shall contribute for that purpose their usual taxes (that is, probably an entire annual rent as an extraordinary tax). But if the army moves against Saxony, Flanders or elsewhere on this side of the Alps, only half that amount will be given. From these additional taxes the wagons and pack animals will be loaded with rations and other items necessary for the journey.
In Bamberg the Carolingian method of providing for a campaign remained in effect. ''Ministeriales'' were grouped into threes; one went on campaign while the other two were responsible for equipping and victualing him. This ensured that those who were sent to war were prepared for war. this also shows that a military obligation didn't necessarily mean riding off with the army. The archbishops of Cologne differentiated between his poorer and wealthier vassals. Ministerials with an annual income of 5 marks or more were required to go on campaign in person, but those with smaller incomes were offered the choice to go on the march or to give half the income of their fief that year as a military tax.


Administration

Ministerials fulfilled a range of offices that ran their lieges' fiefs for them. They were found in the four traditional offices of a household:
chamberlain Chamberlain may refer to: Profession *Chamberlain (office), the officer in charge of managing the household of a sovereign or other noble figure People *Chamberlain (surname) **Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855-1927), German-British philosopher ...
,
marshal Marshal is a term used in several official titles in various branches of society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. T ...

marshal
,
butler A butler is a person who works in a house serving and is a domestic worker A domestic worker is a person who works within the scope of a residence. The term "domestic service" applies to the equivalent occupational category. In traditional Engl ...

butler
and
seneschal The word ''seneschal'' () can have several different meanings, all of which reflect certain types of supervising or administering in a historic context. Most commonly, a seneschal was a senior position filled by a court appointmentCourt appointments ...
. Conrad II von Kuchl served his succession of archbishop lieges as a financial adviser for forty years, Werner von Lengfelden was master of
Hohensalzburg Castle , alternate_names = , image = Hohensalzburg Castle.jpg , caption = Hohensalzburg Fortress , map_type = Austria , altitude = , building_type = Fortress A fortification is a military ...

Hohensalzburg Castle
's huge kitchen, and Ulrich II served as
vidame Vidame () was a feudal Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe In the history of Europe The history of Europe conc ...
of Salzburg in 1261, then, at various times, as marshal between 1270 and 1295, and as
burgrave Burgrave also rendered as Burggrave (from german: Burggraf, la, burgravius, burggravius, burcgravius, burgicomes, also praefectus Prefect (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic bran ...
of
Tittmoning Tittmoning () is a Town#Germany, town in the Traunstein (district), district of Traunstein, in Bavaria, Germany. Geography It is situated in the historic Rupertiwinkel region, on the left bank of the river Salzach, which forms the border with the ...

Tittmoning
in 1282. Ministerials could also be assigned to claim unused or poorly defended border areas, as with Laudegg Castle and
Hohenwerfen Castle Hohenwerfen Castle (german: Festung Hohenwerfen, lit=Hohenwerfen Fortress) is a medieval rock castle, situated on a precipice overlooking the Austrian market town of Werfen in the Salzach valley, approximately south of Salzburg. The fortress is su ...

Hohenwerfen Castle
.


Trade and Commerce

Greater ministerials considered themselves above trading in filthy money, as did many nobles of the era, but Freed notes a number of ministerials who couldn't afford to turn up their noses to income. Circa 1125, Timo served not only as the burgrave of Salzburg but also as a merchant of the city. Ortolf of Kai - also a Salzburger - brokered the produce of his own vineyards. Gerhoh Itzling even appeared as a 'zechmeister' (guildmaster) in Salzburg.


Rights and restrictions

Nobility was a social distinction, so even the unfree ministerials were considered higher in precedence than a free commoner. Being of a noble estate, ministerials were exempt from the more odious of
corvée Corvée () is a form of unpaid, forced labour Unfree labour, or forced labour, is any work relation, especially in modern or early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with the threat of destitution, detention, ...

corvée
duties that other types of serfs performed, though some lieges would reserve the right to commandeer plow-teams and draft horses. Some ministerial women did perform household duties but were well-compensated for the chores. Ministerials were serfs, and as such could not move without expressed permission of their lord or lady, though in certain clergy lands they could take holy orders without permission. Ministerials were in many places forbidden to marry without permission, but in other places, their freedom to marry was recognized based on papal authority, deriving from Galatians 3:28. If a liege disliked any marriage, though, the liege could easily withdraw any lands or income held by his subject. Any marriage was subject to review or approval of the liege, as in Salzburg:
In July 1213 Archbishop Eberhard II of
Salzburg Salzburg (, ; literally "Salt Castle"; bar, Soizbuag, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian) is the List of cities and towns in Austria, fourth-largest city in Austria. In 2020, it had a population of 156,872. The town is on the site of the ...

Salzburg
(1200–1246) and Bishop Manegold of
Passau Passau (; bar, label=Central Bavarian, Båssa) is a city in Lower Bavaria, Germany, also known as the Dreiflüssestadt ("City of Three Rivers") as the river Danube is joined by the Inn (river), Inn from the south and the Ilz from the north. P ...

Passau
(1206–1215) asked King Frederick II at the imperial court held at Eger (today Cheb in the Czech Republic) to confirm the marriage contract that Gerhoch II of Bergheim-Radeck, an archiepiscopal ministerial, had made with Bertha of Lonsdorf, a Passau ministerial. The couple had agreed, presumably with their lords' consent, that their first two children were to belong to Salzburg and the third to Passau, and that any remaining children would be divided equally between the two churches. Gerhoch and Bertha could confer their
allodIn the law of the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similarly to the Post-classical, Post-classical period of global history. It began with ...
on each other, and their children would share their paternal and maternal inheritances equally.
The usual rule was that children of a mixed-status marriage would have the legal standing of the lesser of the parents. The child of a free knight and an unfree ministerial, therefore, was a ministerial. The liege of the mother would be the child's liege, for the child "followed the womb" (''partus sequitor ventrem'').
Not everyone agrees with this interpretation, as some examples allow for free lords to challenge this ruling and maintain their status as free knights.Arnold 1985, pp. 68-69


See also

*
Castle warrior A castle warrior or castle serf ( hu, várjobbágy, la, iobagio castri)Bán 1989, p. 237. was a landholder obliged to provide military services to the ''ispán'' or head of a royal castle district in the Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages, medi ...
*
Devşirme Devshirme ( ota, دوشيرمه, ; usually translated as "child levy" or "blood tax") was the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman practice of forcibly recruiting soldiers and bureaucrats from among the children of their Balkan Christian subjects. Those comi ...
*
Gentry Gentry (from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Lat ...
*
Mamluk Mamluk ( ar, مملوك, mamlūk (singular), , ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated as "one who is owned", meaning "", also as ''Mameluke'', ''mamluq'', ''mamluke'', ''mameluk'', ''mameluke'', ''mamaluke'', or ''marmeluke'') is a term most commo ...

Mamluk
*
Vavassor A vavasour (also vavasor; Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolv ...


References


Sources

* Arnold, Benjamin. ''German Knighthood 1050–1300'' (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985) * Delbrück, Hans, trans. Walter Renfroe Jr. ''History of the Art of War, Volume III: Medieval Warfare'' (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1982) * Freed, John B. "Nobles, Ministerials and Knights in the Archdiocese of Salzburg" ''Speculum'' 62:3 (July 1987) pp. 575–611 * Freed, John B. "Reflections on the Medieval German Nobility," ''American Historical Review,'' 91:3 (June 1986), pp. 553–575 * Freed, John B. ''Noble Bondsmen: Ministerial Marriages in the Archdiocese of Salzburg, 1100-1343'' (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995) * Ganshof, François-Louis. “Benefice and Vassalage in the Age of Charlemagne.”Cambridge Historical Journal 6, No. 2 (1939): 147-175. * Leyser, Karl. “The German Aristocracy from the Ninth to the Early Twelfth Century: AHistorical and Cultural Sketch.” Past & Present 41, (Dec., 1968): pp. 25–53. * Thompson, James Westfall. "German Feudalism". ''The American Historical Review'' 28, no. 3 (1923) 440-474.


Further reading

* Bachrach, Bernard S. “Charlemagne and the Carolingian General Staff.” The Journal of Military History 66, no. 2 (April, 2002): 313-357. * de Battaglia, Otto Forst. “The Nobility in the European Middle Ages.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 5, no. 1 (Oct., 1962): 60-75. * Bosl, Karl. “Ruler and Ruled in the German Empire from the Tenth to the Twelfth Century.” In Cheyette, Fredric L. (ed.). ''Lordship and Community in Medieval Europe.'' New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc., 1968. *Cormier, David J. "Unique Ministerials: Unfree Nobility." Compleat Anachronist, no. 159 (First Quarter, 2013) * Freed, John B. “Medieval German Social History: Generalizations and Particularism.” Central European History 25, No. 1 (1992): 1-26. * Freed, John B. "The Origins of the European Nobility: The Problem of the Ministerials.” Viator 7 (1976): 228-33. * Haverkamp, Alfred. ''Medieval Germany 1056-1273.'' Translated by Helga Braun and Richard Mortimer, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. * Leyser, Karl. “Henry I and the Beginnings of the Saxon Empire.” The English Historical Review 83, No. 326 (Jan., 1968): pp. 1–32. * Reuter, Timothy. ''Germany in the Early Middle Ages, 800-1056.'' New York: Longman Inc., 1991. * Reynolds, Susan. ''Fiefs and Vassals.'' Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. * Thompson, James Westfall. “German Feudalism.” The American Historical Review 28, No. 3 (Apr., 1923): pp. 440–474. ''This article is based on that in the German Wikipedia'' {{Authority control German feudalism Medieval titles Nobility of the Holy Roman Empire