The Info List - Grand Prince

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The title GRAND PRINCE or GREAT PRINCE ( Latin : _magnus princeps_, Greek : _megas archon_) ranked in honour below king and emperor and above a sovereign prince .

Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal , translation of these terms in English and Romance languages , which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns as a monarch (e.g., Albert II, Prince of Monaco ) and a "prince" who does not reign, but belongs to a monarch's family (e.g., Prince William, Duke of Cambridge ). German, Dutch, Slavic and Scandinavian languages do use separate words to express this concept, and in those languages _grand prince_ is understood as a distinct title (for a cadet of a dynasty ) from _grand duke_ (hereditary ruler ranking below a king).

The title of _grand prince_ was once used for the sovereign of a "grand principality". The last titular grand principalities vanished in 1917 and 1918, the territories being united into other monarchies or becoming republics . Already at that stage, the grand principalities of Lithuania , Transylvania and Finland had been for centuries under rulers of other, bigger monarchies, so that the title of _grand prince_ was superseded by a royal title (king/tsar) or an imperial one (emperor). The last sovereign to reign whose highest title was _grand prince_ was Ivan IV of Moscow in the 16th century, until he assumed the rank of Tsar of Russia . When Ivan IV's pre-tsarist title is referred to in English, however, it is usually as _grand duke_.

_Velikiy knjaz_ is also a Russian courtesy title for members of the family of the Russian tsar (from the 17th century), although those grand princes were not sovereigns.


* 1 Terminology in Slavic and Baltic languages

* 2 Use in the Middle Ages

* 2.1 Hungary * 2.2 Serbia * 2.3 Kievan Rus and Successor States * 2.4 Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

* 3 Modern use * 4 See also * 5 References


Grand Prince, used in the Slavic and Baltic languages , was the title of a medieval monarch who headed a more-or-less loose confederation whose constituent parts were ruled by lesser princes . Those grand princes' title and position was at the time usually translated as king . In fact, the Slavic _knjaz_ and the Baltic _kunigaikštis_ (nowadays usually translated as prince) are cognates of _king_. However, a grand prince was usually only _primus inter pares _ within a dynasty, primogeniture not governing the order of succession . All princes of the family were equally eligible to inherit a crown (for example, succession might be through agnatic seniority or rotation ). Often other members of the dynasty ruled some constituent parts of the monarchy/country. An established use of the title was in the Kievan Rus\' and in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (from the 14th century). Thus, _Veliki Knjaz_ has been more like _high king _ than "grand duke", at least, originally and were not subordinated to any other authority as more western (for example Polish) Grand Dukes were. As these countries expanded territorially and moved towards primogeniture and centralization , their rulers acquired more elevated titles.



Main article: Grand Prince of the Hungarians

_Grand Prince_ (Hungarian : _Nagyfejedelem_) was the title used by contemporary sources to name the leader of the federation of the Hungarian tribes in the 10th century. Constantine VII mentioned Árpád in his book _ De Administrando Imperio _ as _megas Turkias arkhon_, while Bruno of Querfurt referred to Géza in his _Sancti Adalberti Pragensis episcopi et martyris vita altera_ as _Ungarorum senior magnus_. It was used by Géza and his son and heir Stephen of Hungary .


Main article: veliki župan

In the Middle Ages, the Serbian _veliki župan _ (велики жупан) was the supreme chieftain in the multi-tribal society. The title signifies overlordship, as the leader of lesser chieftains titled _župan _. It was used by the Serb rulers in the 11th and 12th centuries. In Greek, it was known as _archizoupanos_ (ἄρχιζουπάνος), _megazoupanos_ (μεγαζουπάνος) and _megalos zoupanos_ (μεγάλος ζουπάνος).

In the 1090s, Vukan became the _veliki župan_ in Raška (Rascia). Stefan Nemanja expelled his brother Tihomir in 1168 and assumed the title of _veliki župan_, as described in the Charter of Hilandar (и постави ме великог жупана). A Latin document used _mega iupanus_ for King Stefan the First-Crowned (Stephanus dominus Seruie siue Rasie, qui mega iupanus). Afterwards, it was a high noble rank with notable holders such as Altoman Vojinović (fl. 1335–59).


Великий князь (_Velikiy Knyaz _; literally, _great prince_) was, starting in the 10th century, the title of the leading Prince of the Kievan Rus\' , head of the Rurikid House: first the prince of Kiev , and then that of Vladimir and Galicia-Volhynia starting in the 13th century. Later, several princes of nationally important cities, which comprised vassal appanage principalities, held this title (Grand Prince of Moscow , Tver\' , Yaroslavl\' , Ryazan\' , Smolensk , etc.). From 1328 the Grand Prince of Moscow appeared as the titular head of eastern Rus' and slowly centralized power until Ivan IV was crowned tsar in 1547. Since then, the title _grand prince_ ceased to be a hereditary office and became a generic title for members of the Imperial family until the Russian Revolution of 1917 .


The Lithuanian title _Didysis kunigaikštis_ was used by the rulers of Lithuania , and after 1569, it was one of two main titles used by the monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth . The kings of Poland from the Swedish House of Vasa also used this title for their non-Polish territories. This Lithuanian title was sometimes latinized as _Magnus Dux_ or Grand Duke .


In 1582, king John III of Sweden added Grand Prince of Finland to the subsidiary titles of the Swedish kings, however without any territorial or civic implications, Finland already being a part of the Swedish realm.

The Holy Roman Empire ruling house of Habsburg instituted a similar Grand Principality in Transylvania (_Siebenburgen_) in 1765.

After the Russian conquests, the title continued to be used by the Russian emperor in his role as ruler of Lithuania (1793–1918) and of autonomous Finland (1809–1917) as well. His titulary included, among other titles: "Grand Duke of Smolensk , Volynia , Podolia ", "Lord and Grand Duke of Nizhni Novgorod , Chernigov " etc.

A more literal translation of the Russian title than _grand duke_ would be _great prince_ — especially in the pre-Petrine era — but the term is neither standard nor widely used in English. In German, however, a Russian Grand Duke was known as a _Großfürst_, and in Latin as _Magnus Princeps_.

Grand prince remained as a dynastic title for the senior members of the Romanov dynasty in Russia's imperial era. The title _Velikiy Knyaz _, its use finally formalized by Alexander III , then belonged to children and male-line grandchildren of the emperors of Russia. The daughters and paternal granddaughters of the emperors used a different version of the title (Великая Княжна, _Velikie knyazhna_) from females who obtained it as the consorts of Russian _grand princes_ (Великие Княгини, _Velikie knjagini_). In modern times a Russian Grand Duke or Grand Duchess is styled _Imperial Highness_.

The title grand prince was also used for the heir apparent to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany .


* Grand Prince of the Hungarians * Royal and noble ranks * Titles of nobility


* ^ Francis William Carter; David Turnock (1999). _The States of Eastern Europe_. Ashgate. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-85521-512-2 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Сима Ћирковић; Раде Михальчић (1999). _Лексикон српског средњег века_. Knowledge. p. 73. ВЕЛИКИ ЖУПАН - 1. Титула српског владара у XI и XII веку. Гласила је велнм жупднк и била превођена одговарајућим терминима, грчки арџ- ^огтагот, игуа^огтауге, цеуаХа? ^огтожх, латин- ски те^ајирапиз, та§пиз ... * ^ John Van Antwerp Fine (1991). _The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century_. University of Michigan Press. pp. 225–. ISBN 0-472-08149-7 . * ^ Paul Stephenson (29 June 2000). _Byzantium\'s Balkan Frontier: A Political Study of the Northern Balkans, 900-1204_. Cambridge University Press. pp. 267–. ISBN 978-0-521-77017-0 . * ^ Jovo Radoš (2000). _Počeci filozofije prava kod Srba_. Prometej. * ^ _Radovi_. 19. 1972. p. 29.

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