A duke (male) (British English: /djuːk/ or American English:
/duːk/) or duchess (female) can either be a monarch ruling over a
duchy or a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below
the monarch. The title comes from French duc, itself from the Latin
dux, 'leader', a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military
commander without an official rank (particularly one of Germanic or
Celtic origin), and later coming to mean the leading military
commander of a province.
The title dux survived in the
Eastern Roman Empire
Eastern Roman Empire where it was used
in several contexts signifying a rank equivalent to a captain or
general. Later on, in the 11th century, the title
Megas Doux was
introduced for the post of commander-in-chief of the entire navy.
Middle Ages the title (as Herzog) signified first among the
Germanic monarchies. Dukes were the rulers of the provinces and the
superiors of the counts in the cities and later, in the feudal
monarchies, the highest-ranking peers of the king. A duke may or may
not be, ipso facto, a member of the nation's peerage: in the United
Kingdom and Spain all dukes are/were also peers of the realm, in
France some were and some were not, while the term is not applicable
to dukedoms of other nations, even where an institution similar to the
peerage (e.g., Grandeeship, Imperial Diet, Hungarian House of
During the 19th century many of the smaller German and Italian states
were ruled by Dukes or Grand Dukes. But at present, with the exception
of the Grand
Duchy of Luxembourg, there are no dukes ruling as
Duke remains the highest hereditary title (aside from titles
borne by the reigning or formerly reigning dynasty) in Portugal
(though now a republic), Spain, and the United Kingdom. In Sweden,
members of the Royal Family are given a personal dukedom at birth. The
Pope, as a temporal sovereign, has also, though rarely, granted the
Duchess to persons for services to the Holy See. In
some realms the relative status of "duke" and "prince", as titles
borne by the nobility rather than by members of reigning dynasties,
varied—e.g., in Italy and the Netherlands.
A woman who holds in her own right the title to such duchy or dukedom,
or is the wife of a duke, is normally styled duchess. Queen Elizabeth
II, however, is known by tradition as
Duke of Normandy
Duke of Normandy in the Channel
Duke of Lancaster
Duke of Lancaster in Lancashire.
Duchy versus dukedom
2 Middle Ages
2.5 Holy Roman Empire
2.5.1 Stem duchies
2.6 United Kingdom
2.6.1 Anglo-Saxon times
2.6.2 Late medieval times
3 The modern age
4 Equivalents in other European languages
5 Royal dukes
5.1 United Kingdom
5.4 Iberian peninsula
5.5 Nordic countries
5.6 France and other former monarchies
7 Italy, Germany and Austria
8 Elsewhere in Europe
8.3 Slavic and nearby countries
9 Post-colonial non-European states
9.1 Empire of Brazil
11 See also
Duchy versus dukedom
A duchy is the territory or geopolitical entity ruled by a duke. The
term implies a territorial domain, within which the duke has actual
subjects or significant land holdings, with respect to which the duke
has or had unique legal privileges, e.g., sovereignty or manorial
rights or entitlement to certain duties or income from residents
(e.g., the corvée), etc. A dukedom is the title or status of a duke,
a rank in the present or past nobility, and is not necessarily
attached to a duchy. A few examples exist today: The Grand
Luxembourg is a fully independent state and its head, the Grand Duke,
is a sovereign monarch reigning over his Luxembourgish subjects. The
Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall holds both the dukedom (title) and duchy (estate
holdings), the latter being the source of his personal income; those
living on the ducal estates are subjects of the British sovereign and
owe neither fealty nor services to the duke per se.
In Scotland the male heir apparent to the British crown is always the
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay as well, but this is a dukedom (title) without a
duchy. Similarly, the British monarch rules and owns the
Duke of Lancaster, but it is held separately from the
Crown, with the income of the duchy estates providing the Sovereign's
Privy Purse. The
Channel Islands are two of the three remaining Crown
Dependencies, the last vestiges of the lands of the
Duchy of Normandy.
The Islanders in their loyal toast will say "La Reine, notre Duc" (The
Queen, Our Duke). Though the title was apparently renounced under the
Treaty of Paris in 1259, the Crown still maintains that the title is
retained: "In 1106, William's youngest son Henry I seized the
Normandy from his brother Robert; since that time, the English
Sovereign has always held the title
Duke of Normandy," and that "By
1205, England had lost most of its French lands, including Normandy.
However, the Channel Islands, part of the lost Duchy, remained a
self-governing possession of the English Crown. While the islands
today retain autonomy in government, they owe allegiance to The Queen
in her role as
Duke of Normandy."
During the Middle Ages, after Roman power in Western Europe collapsed,
the title was still employed in the Germanic kingdoms, usually to
refer to the rulers of old Roman provinces.
Robert of Taranto
Robert of Taranto succeeded his father, Philip. Robert's
uncle, John, did not wish to do him homage for the Principality of
Achaea, so Robert received Achaea from John in exchange for
5,000 ounces of gold and the rights to the diminished Kingdom of
Albania. John took the style of
Duke of Durazzo
Duke of Durazzo (today Durrës).
In 1368, Durazzo fell to Karl Thopia, who was recognized by Venice as
Prince of Albania.
Visigoths retained the Roman divisions of their kingdom in the
Iberian Peninsula and it seems that dukes ruled over these
areas. They were the most powerful landowners and,
along with the bishops, elected the king, usually from their own
midst. They were the military commanders and in this capacity often
acted independently from the king, most notably in the latter period
before the Muslim invasions.
The army was structured decimally with the highest unit, the thiufa,
probably corresponding to about 1,000 people from each civitas (city
district). The cities were commanded by counts, who were in turn
answerable to the dukes, who called up the thiufae when necessary.
Lombards entered Italy, the Latin chroniclers called their
war leaders duces in the old fashion. These leaders eventually became
the provincial rulers, each with a recognized seat of government.
Though nominally loyal to the king, the concept of kingship was new to
Lombards and the dukes were highly independent, especially in
central and southern Italy, where the
Duke of Spoleto and the
Benevento were de facto sovereigns. In 575, when
Cleph died, a period
known as the Rule of the Dukes, in which the dukes governed without a
king, commenced. It lasted only a decade before the disunited
magnates, in order to defend the kingdom from external attacks,
elected a new king and even diminished their own duchies to provide
him with a handsome royal demesne.
The Lombard kings were usually drawn from the duke pool when the title
was not hereditary. The dukes tried to make their own offices
hereditary. Beneath them in the internal structure were the counts and
gastalds, a uniquely Lombard title initially referring to judicial
functions, similar to a count's, in provincial regions
The Franks employed dukes as the governors of Roman provinces, though
they also led military expeditions far from their duchies. The dukes
were the highest-ranking officials in the realm, typically Frankish
(whereas the counts were often Gallo-Roman), and formed the class from
which the kings' generals were chosen in times of war. The dukes met
with the king every May to discuss policy for the upcoming year, the
In Burgundy and Provence, the titles of patrician and prefect were
commonly employed instead of duke, probably for historical reasons
relating to the greater Romanization of those provinces. But the
titles were basically equivalent.
Merovingian Gaul, the mayors of the palace of the Arnulfing
clan began to use the title dux et princeps Francorum: "duke and
prince of the Franks". In this title, "duke" implied supreme military
control of the entire nation (Francorum, the Franks) and it was thus
used until the end of the
Carolingian dynasty in France in 987.
Holy Roman Empire
The stem duchies were the constituent duchies of the kingdom of
Germany at the time of the extinction of the
Carolingian dynasty (the
death of Louis the Child in 911) and the transitional period leading
to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire later in the 10th century.
Further information: Stem duchy
Main article: Dukes in the United Kingdom
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The highest political division beneath that of kingdom among the
Anglo-Saxons was the ealdormanry and, while the title ealdorman was
replaced by the Danish eorl (later earl) over time, the first
ealdormen were referred to as duces (the plural of the original Latin
dux) in the chronicles. So in Anglo-Saxon England, where the Roman
political divisions were largely abandoned, the grade of duke was
retained as supreme landlord after the king. But after the Norman
conquest, their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of
the Norman counts.
Late medieval times
Edward III of England
Edward III of England created the first English dukedom by naming his
eldest son Edward, the Black Prince, as
Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall in 1337,
after he lost his own title of
Duke of Normandy. Upon the death of the
Black Prince, the duchy of Cornwall passed to his nine-year-old son,
who would eventually succeed his grandfather as Richard II.
The title of
Duke of Lancaster
Duke of Lancaster was created by Edward III in 1351 for
Henry of Grosmont, but became extinct upon the duke's death in 1361.
The following year, Edward III bestowed the title (2nd creation) on
his fourth son, John of Gaunt, who was also married to the first
duke's daughter. On the same day Edward III also created his second
son, Lionel of Antwerp, as
Duke of Clarence.
All five of Edward III's surviving sons eventually became dukes. In
1385, ten years after their father's death, his heir Richard II
created dukedoms for his last two uncles on the same day. Thomas of
Woodstock was named
Duke of Gloucester
Duke of Gloucester and Edmund of Langley became
Duke of York, thereby founding the House of York, which later fought
for the throne with John of Gaunt's Lancastrian descendants during the
Wars of the Roses.
By 1483, a total of 16 ducal titles had been created: Cornwall,
Lancaster, Clarence, Gloucester, York, Ireland, Hereford, Aumale,
Exeter, Surrey, Norfolk, Bedford, Somerset, Buckingham, Warwick and
Suffolk. Some became extinct, others had multiple creations, and some
had merged with the crown upon the holder's accession to the throne.
Plantagenet dynasty came to an end at the Battle of Bosworth
Field on 22 August 1485, only four ducal titles remained extant, of
which two were now permanently associated with the crown. John de la
Duke of Suffolk
Duke of Suffolk and John Howard was
Duke of Norfolk
Duke of Norfolk (2nd
creation), while the duchy of Cornwall was reserved as a title and
source of income for the eldest son of the sovereign, and the duchy of
Lancaster was now held by the monarch.
Norfolk perished alongside Richard III at Bosworth field, and the
title was forfeit. It was restored to his son Thomas thirty years
later by Henry VIII, as one of a number of dukes created or recreated
Tudor dynasty over the ensuing century. England's premier ducal
title, Norfolk, remains in the Howard family to this day.
The modern age
A Duke's coronet (United Kingdom), as used in heraldry
In the 19th century, the sovereign dukes of Parma and
Modena in Italy,
and of Anhalt, Brunswick-Lüneburg, Nassau, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha,
Saxe-Altenburg in Germany survived Napoleon's
Since the unification of Italy in 1870 and the end of monarchy in
Germany in 1918, there have no longer been any reigning dukes in
Luxembourg is ruled by a grand duke, a higher title, just
In the United Kingdom, the inherited position of a duke along with its
dignities, privileges, and rights is a dukedom. However, the title of
duke has never been associated with independent rule in the British
Isles: they hold dukedoms, not duchies (excepting the
Cornwall and the
Duchy of Lancaster).
Dukes in the United Kingdom
Dukes in the United Kingdom are
addressed as "Your Grace" and referred to as "His Grace". Currently,
there are thirty-five dukedoms in the
Peerage of England,
Peerage of Great Britain,
Peerage of Ireland and
the United Kingdom, held by thirty different people, as three people
hold two dukedoms and one holds three (see List of dukes in the
peerages of Britain and Ireland).
Equivalents in other European languages
See wikt:en:duke for equivalents in other European languages.
"Royal duke" redirects here. For the South Korean car, see Daewoo
Various royal houses traditionally awarded (mainly) dukedoms to the
sons and in some cases, the daughters, of their respective sovereigns;
others include at least one dukedom in a wider list of similarly
granted titles, nominal dukedoms without any actual authority, often
even without an estate. Such titles are still conferred on royal
princes or princesses in the current European monarchies of Belgium,
Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Other historical cases occurred for example in Denmark,
Finland (as a
part of Sweden) and France, Portugal and some former colonial
possessions such as Brazil and Haiti.
Main article: Royal dukedoms in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, ducal titles which have been given within the
royal family include
Duke of Cornwall,
Duke of Lancaster,
Duke of York,
Duke of Gloucester,
Duke of Bedford,
Duke of Cambridge,
Duke of Rothesay,
Duke of Albany, Duke
Duke of Edinburgh,
Duke of Kent,
Duke of Sussex, and
Connaught and Strathearn. Following his abdication in 1936 the former
King Edward VIII was given the title
Duke of Windsor.
List of dukes in the
Peerage of the United Kingdom
List of dukes in the peerages of the British Isles
In Belgium, the title of
Duke of Brabant
Duke of Brabant (historically the most
prestigious in the Low Countries, and containing the federal capital
Brussels), if still vacant, has been awarded preferentially to the
eldest son and heir apparent of the king, other male dynasts receiving
various lower historical titles (much older than Belgium, and in
principle never fallen to the Belgian crown), such as
King Leopold III's so-titled brother Charles held the title
when he became the realm's temporary head of state as prince-regent)
Prince of Liège (a secularised version of the historical
King Albert II until he succeeded his older
brother Baudouin I).
Denmark's kings gave appanages in their twin-duchies of
Schleswig-Holstein (now three-fourths of them is part of Germany, but
Holstein half of it was part of the Holy Roman Empire in
personal union with Denmark proper) to younger sons and/or their
male-line descendants, with a specific though not sovereign title of
Duke of Gottorp,
Duke of Sonderburg,
Duke of Augustenborg,
Duke of Franzhagen,
Duke of Beck,
Duke of Glucksburg
Duke of Glucksburg and
Christian Reconquista, sweeping the
Moors from the former
Caliphate of Córdoba and its taifa-remnants, transformed the
territory of former Suevic and Visigothic realms into Catholic feudal
principalities, none of these warlords was exactly styled Duke. A few
(as Portugal itself) started as
Count (even if the title of
sometimes added), but soon all politically relevant princes were to
use the royal style of King.
Main article: List of dukedoms in Portugal
In Portugal, the title of
Duke was granted for the first time in 1415
to infante Peter and infante Henry, the second and third sons of king
John I, following their participation in the successful Conquest of
Ceuta. Pedro became the first
Duke of Coimbra
Duke of Coimbra and Henry the first Duke
From the reign of king Manuel I, the title of
Duke of Beja
Duke of Beja was given
to the second son of the monarch. This was changed during the Liberal
regime in the 19th century (with queen Maria II), when the first
infante (second son of the monarch) got the title of
Duke of Porto
Duke of Porto and
the second infante (third son) was known as
Duke of Beja.
There are examples of
Duke as a subsidiary title, granted to the most
powerful noble Houses:
Duke of Barcelos, to be used by the heir of the
Duke of Braganza;
Duke of Torres Novas, to be used by the heir of the
Duke of Aveiro;
Duke of Miranda do Corvo, to be used by the heir of the
Usually, the title of
Duke was granted to relatives of the Royal
Family, such as the infantes or natural sons of the monarch. There are
exceptions, such as António José de Ávila, who, although not having
any relation to the royal family, was given the title of duke of
Ávila and Bolama in the 19th Century.
Main article: List of dukedoms in Spain
Spanish infantes and infantas were usually given a dukedom upon
marriage, excepting the heir apparent who is the
Prince of Asturias.
This title is nowadays not hereditary but carries a Grandeza de
España. The current royal duchesses are: HRH the
Duchess of Badajoz
Infanta Maria del Pilar), HRH the
Duchess of Soria (Infanta
Margarita) (although she inherited the title of
Duchess of Hernani
from her cousin and is second holder of that title), and HRH the
Duchess of Lugo (
Infanta Elena). In Spain all the dukes hold the court
rank of Grande, i.e.,
Grandee of the realm, which had precedence over
all other feudatories.
Further information: Duchies in Sweden
The Northern European duchies of Halland, Jutland, Lolland,
Reval existed in the Middle Ages. The longest-surviving duchy was
Schleswig, i.e., Sonderjylland (a portion of which later became part
of Germany). Its southern neighbor, the duchy of Holstein, in personal
union with the Danish crown, was nonetheless always a German
principality. The two duchies jointly became a member of the German
Bundesland as "Schleswig-Holstein" in the 19th century.
In Sweden, medieval duchies of Finland, Södermanland, Skåne, and
Halland were some appanages for princes of the reigning dynasty. In
modern times almost every province in
Sweden was used as the
territorial designation for a royal prince's dukedom.
Sweden had a history of making the sons of its kings ruling princes of
vast duchies, but this ceased in 1622. Only one non-royal person was
ever given a dukedom. In 1772,
King Gustav III reinstated the
appointment of dukes but as a non-hereditary title for his brothers.
Since then, all Swedish princes have been created dukes of a province
at birth. When the 1810 Act of Succession was amended to allow female
succession to the throne,
King Carl XVI Gustaf's eldest daughter
Victoria became Crown
Princess (displacing her younger brother Carl
Philip) and received the title of
Duchess of Västergötland. The
practice of conferring ducal titles has since extended to Swedish
princesses as well as princes. Currently, there are five dukes and
four duchesses in their own right. The territorial designations of
these dukedoms refer to ten of the Provinces of Sweden.
Key parts of
Finland were sometimes under a
Finland during the
Swedish reign. Some of the provinces are still considered duchies for
the purposes of heraldry.
France and other former monarchies
See appanage (mainly for the French kingdom) and the list in the
geographical section below, which also treats special ducal titles in
orders or national significance.
Main article: Dukes in France
The highest precedence in the realm, attached to a feudal territory,
was given to the twelve original pairies (en: peers), which also had a
traditional function in the royal coronation, comparable to the German
imperial archoffices. Half of them were ducal: three ecclesiastical
(the six prelates all ranked above the six secular peers of the realm)
and three temporal, each time above three counts of the same social
estate: The Prince-Bishops with ducal territories among them were:
The Archbishop of Reims, styled archevêque-duc pair de France (in
Champagne; who crowns and anoints the king, traditionally in his
Two suffragan bishops, styled evêque-duc pair de France :
the bishop-duke of
Laon (in Picardy; bears the 'Sainte Ampoule'
containing the sacred ointment)
the bishop-duc de
Langres (in Burgundy; bears the scepter)
Archbishop of Paris
Archbishop of Paris was given the title of duc de
Saint-Cloud with the dignity of peerage, but it was debated if he was
an ecclesiastical peer or merely a bishop holding a lay peerage.
The secular dukes in the peerage of the realm were, again in order of
Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy or duc de Bourgogne (known as Grand duc; not a
separate title at that time; just a description of the wealth and real
clout of the 15th century Dukes, cousins of the Kings of France)
(bears the crown, fastens the belt)
Duke of Normandy
Duke of Normandy or duc de Normandie (holds the first square
Duke of Aquitaine
Duke of Aquitaine or duc d'Aquitaine or de Guyenne (holds the
second square banner)
The theory of the participation of the peers in the coronation was
laid down in the late 13th century, when some of the peerage (the
Duchy of Normandy and the County of Toulouse) had already been merged
in the crown.
At the end of this same century, the king elevated some counties into
duchies, a practice that increased up until the Revolution. Many of
this duchies were also peerages (the so-called 'new peerages').
Italy, Germany and Austria
Main article: Dukes in Italy, Germany and Austria
In Italy, Germany and
Austria the title of "duke" (duca in Italian,
Herzog in German) was quite common. As the Holy Roman Empire of
the German Nation (HRE) was until its dissolution a feudal structure,
most of its Dukes were actually reigning in their lands. As the titles
from the HRE were taken over after its dissolution, or in Italy after
their territories became independent of the Empire, both countries
also had a share of fully sovereign dukes. Also, in Germany in many
ducal families every agnate would bear the ducal title of the family
as a courtesy title.
In Italy some important sovereign ducal families were the Visconti and
the Sforza, who ruled Milan; the Savoia in Piedmont; the
Florence; the Farnese of Parma and Piacenza; the Cybo-Malaspina of
Massa; the Gonzaga of Mantua; the Este of
Modena and Ferrara. The
maritime republics of Venice and Genoa were ruled by elected Doges, a
word which comes from the same Latin root as "Duke".
In Germany, important ducal families were the Wittelsbachs in Bavaria,
Welfs in Hannover, the ducal family of Cleves, the Wettins in
Saxony (with its Ernestine branch divided into several duchies), the
Württembergs, the Mecklenburgs and the Habsburgs in
"Archdukes". In the German Confederation the Nassaus, the Ascanians of
Anhalt, the Welf branch of Brunswick and the Ernestine lines of the
Saxon duchies were the sovereign ducal families.
Elsewhere in Europe
Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary no ducal principalities existed but duchies
were often formed for members of the dynasty as appanages. During the
rule of the Árpád dynasty dukes held territorial powers, some of
them even minted coins, but later this title became more often
nominal. These duchies usually were
Duchy of Nitra
Duchy of Bihar
Transylvania (consisting of the voivodship of
Transylvania and some other counties)
In the Jagellonian era (1490–1526) only two dukes did not belong to
the royal dynasty:
John Corvin (the illegitimate son of Matthias
Corvinus) and Lőrinc Újlaki (whose father was the king of Bosnia),
and both bore the title as royal dukes.
Battle of Mohács
Battle of Mohács the Habsburg kings rewarded Hungarian
aristocrats (like the Esterházys) with princely titles, but they
created these titles as Holy Roman Emperors, not as kings of Hungary.
As the Catholic crusaders overran Orthodox
Christian parts of the
Byzantine empire, they installed several crusader states (see
Frangokratia), some of which were of ducal rank:
Duchy of Athens, to which the duchy of Neopatras was later linked
the Aegean insular
Duchy of Naxos, officially the "
Duchy of the
The Byzantines retained the title dux, transcribed as doux in Greek.
As in the later Roman Empire, it remained a military office. In the
10th century, it was given to the military commanders over several
themata (also known as katepano), and in the late 11th century it
became used for the governor of a thema.
In Italy and other western countries, the later Byzantine appanages of
Palaiologan period were sometimes translated as duchies: the
Selymbria and Thessaloniki. However, as these had
Greek holders, they were titled
Archon ("magistrate") or Despotes.
In the independent Kingdom of Greece, the style of
Duke of Sparta
Duke of Sparta was
instituted in 1868 upon the birth of Constantine I as a distinct title
for the crown prince of Greece.
Slavic and nearby countries
Generally, confusion reigns whether to translate the usual ruler
titles, knyaz/ knez/ ksiaze etc. as
Prince (analogous to the German
Fürst) or as Duke;
Poland petty principalities generally ruled by branches
of the earlier Polish
Piast dynasty are regarded as duchies in
translated titulary. Examples of such: Kujavia, Masovia, Sandomir,
Kalisz as well as various minor duchies, often
short-lived and/or in personal union or merger, named after their
capitals, mainly in the regions known as Little
Poland and Greater
Poland, including (there are often also important Latin and/or German
Łęczyca and Sieradz.
Pomerania (inhabited by the Kashubians, different
Slavic people from the Poles proper), branches of native ruling
dynasties were usually recognized as dukes, quite similarly to the
pattern in Poland.
In Russia, before the imperial unification from Muscovy; sometimes
even as vassal, tributary to a Tartar Khan; later, in Peter the
Great's autocratic empire, the russification gertsog was used as the
Russian rendering of the German ducal title Herzog, especially as (the
last) part of the full official style of the Russian Emperor: Gertsog
Shlesvig-Golstinskiy, Stormarnskiy, Ditmarsenskiy i Oldenburgskiy i
prochaya, i prochaya, i prochaya "
Dithmarschen and Oldenburg, and of other lands", in
chief of German and Danish territories to which the Tsar was
In Bohemia was
Duchy of Krumlov, and short-lived
Duchy of Reichstadt
Duchy of Friedland.
Silesia were many petty duchies as
Duchy of Brzeg,
Duchy of Zator and
Duchy of Racibórz. They were vassals of
King of Bohemia.
In Lithuania, the approximate equivalent of a duke or prince was
called kunigaikštis in the Lithuanian language. Latin translation was
dux meaning "duke" in the Middle Ages, whereas Latin for "prince" is
princeps. The overall leader of the Lithuanian dukes (Lith. plural:
kunigaigščiai) was the grand duke (Lith.: didysis kunigaikštis,
Latin: magnus dux), who acted as the monarch of the Grand
Lithuania until 1795 when Russians took over the land.
Belgium and the Netherlands separated in 1830, the title of duke
no longer existed in the Netherlands. There is, however, one
exception; the title Hertog van Limburg (
Duke of Limburg) still
exists. This title, however, is an exclusive title for the head of
state (the monarch, i.e., the king or queen of the Netherlands).
Post-colonial non-European states
Empire of Brazil
Empire of Brazil
Empire of Brazil duke was the highest rank for people born
outside the imperial house and only three dukedoms were created. Two
of these titles were for relatives of
Emperor Pedro I: an illegitimate
daughter and a brother-in-law who received the title when married to
Pedro I's daughter Maria II. The third, given to Luís Alves de Lima e
Silva, was the only dukedom created during the reign of Pedro II. None
of these titles were hereditary, just like every other title in the
Brazilian nobility system.
The royal Christophe dynasty created eight hereditary dukedoms, in
rank directly below the nominal princes. They were short-lived and
only recognised in the country.
Equivalents of Duke outside Europe and Ethiopian
aristocratic and court titles
Like other major Western noble titles,
Duke is sometimes used to
render (translate) certain titles in non-western languages. "Duke" is
used even though those titles are generally etymologically and often
historically unrelated and thus hard to compare. However, they are
considered roughly equivalent, especially in hierarchic aristocracies
such as feudal Japan, useful as an indication of relative rank.
Indian feudal system cannot be fully translated to its European
counterparts. The closest equivalent to the title of Sovereign
Rao and to a feudal duchy, a large jagir. Thus, a Rao (in the ruling
system) or a Jagirdar, Deshmukh, Patil and Zamindar (in a feudal way)
are closely equivalent to a Duke.
During the era of feudalism in Ancient China (Western Zhou, Spring and
Autumn period and the Warring States period), the title of
Duke[clarification needed] was sparingly granted. In a tradition
called "Three Deferences and Two Royal Descendants" (三恪二王後),
the three former royal houses were granted the title of Duke. For the
Zhou dynasty, this would be the descendants of the
Xia Dynasty and
Shang Dynasty; their dukedoms were respectively the states of Qi (杞)
and Song (宋). When the rulers of these states called at the Zhou
court, the king greeted them as equals, out of deference of their
former status as royalty.
Noble titles also existed in subsequent periods.
Duke of Yansheng
Duke of Yansheng noble title was granted to the descendants of
Confucius. In 1935, the
Nationalist Government changed the title to
Sacrificial Official to
Confucius (大成至聖先師奉祀官), which
still exists as an office of the Republic of China, de facto
Dukedoms and other lesser titles were also awarded, sometimes
posthumously (see posthumous names), during the imperial period of
Chinese history to recognize distinguished civil and military
officials. For example,
Emperor Lizong of Song granted the posthumous
Duke of Hui (徽国公) to the
Neo-Confucian thinker Zhu Xi.
The Javanese kingdom of Majapahit, which dominated eastern Java in the
14th and 15th centuries, was divided into nagara (provinces). The
administration of these nagara was entrusted to members of the royal
family, who bore the title of Bhre—i.e., Bhra i, "lord of" (the word
bhra being akin to the Thai Phra), followed by the name of the land
they were entrusted with: for example a sister of king
Hayam Wuruk (r.
1350–1389) was "Bhre Lasem", "lady of Lasem". This system was
similar to the
Apanage system in Western Europe.
Sultan Agung, king of Mataram in
Central Java (r. 1613–1645), would
entrust the administration of territories he gradually conquered all
over the island of Java, to officials bearing the title of Adipati,
this title is hereditary. Such territories were called Kadipaten.
Prior to the unification of Java by Sultan Agung, independent
kadipatens also exist, e.g. the
Duchy of Surabaya which was conquered
by Agung in 1625.
The VOC (Dutch East Indies Company), while gradually taking control of
Javanese territory, would maintain the existing Mataram administrative
structure. Adipati were called "regenten" in Dutch,
and the territories they administered, "regentschappen".
In the 19th century, the Javanese term for regent was bupati. French
traveller Gérard Louis Domeny de Rienzi mentions bapati.
The bupati have been maintained in the modern Indonesian
administrative subdivision structure, heading a kabupaten, the
subdivision of a provinsi or province.
The word Adipati is still found in the official title of the
hereditary dukes Mangkunegara of
Surakarta and Paku Alam of
Yogyakarta—i.e., Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya (shortened into
In the Kingdom of Benin, a viceroyal chieftain that is known as an
Enogie in the
Edo language is usually referred to as a duke in
English. Often a cadet of the dynasty that produces the Oba of Benin,
the enogie is expected to rule his domain as he sees fit, subject to
the approval of the oba.
In Ife, Oyo and the other kingdoms of Nigerian Yorubaland, a viceroyal
chieftain is known as a Baale in the Yoruba language. He is barred
from wearing a crown as a matter of tradition, and is generally seen
as the reigning representative of a monarch who has the right to wear
List of dukes in the peerages of the British Isles
Duchies in Sweden
Duchy of Amalfi
Duchy of Brittany
Duchy of Gaeta
Duchy of Naples
^ "British English: Duke". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 23
^ "American English: Duke". Collins Dictionary. n.d. Retrieved 23
^ "Channel Islands". The Official Website of the British Monarchy. The
Royal Household. 2009. Archived from the original on September 21,
2012. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
^ Crouch, David (2002). The Normans: The History of a Dynasty.
Bloomsbury Academic. p. 108. ISBN 978-1852855956.
^ see Dukes of Lancaster
^ Chan, Wing-tsit (1989). Chu Hsi New Studies. University of Hawaii
Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-8248-1201-0.
^ *Grégoire Louis Domeny de Rienzi, Océanie ou cinquième partie du
monde : revue géographique et ethnographique de la Malaisie, de
la Micronésie, de la Polynésie et de la Mélanésie, ainsi que ses
nouvelles classifications et divisions de ces contrées, Firmin Didot
Frères, Paris, 1834
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain
unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to
improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (September
2007) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Hodgkin, Thomas. Italy and her Invaders. Clarendon Press: 1895.
Lewis, Archibald R. "The Dukes in the Regnum Francorum, A.D. 550-751."
Speculum, Vol. 51, No 3 (July 1976), pp 381–410.
Stenton, Sir Frank M. Anglo-Saxon England Third Edition. Oxford
University Press: 1971.
Thompson, E. A. The Goths in Spain. Clarendon Pr