MARGRAVE was originally the medieval title for the military commander
assigned to maintain the defense of one of the border provinces of the
Holy Roman Empire
* 1 History * 2 Rank * 3 Usage * 4 Translations * 5 Variations * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links
Etymologically, the word MARGRAVE (Latin: marchio ca. 1551) is the
English and French form of the German noble title MARKGRAF (Mark
"march " +
A Markgraf (Margrave) originally functioned as the military governor
The greater exposure of a border province to military invasion mandated that the margrave be provided with military forces and autonomy of action (political, strategic, tactical) greater than was accorded other lords of the realm. As a military governor , the margrave's authority often extended over a territory larger than the province proper, because of border expansion subsequent to royal wars.
The margrave thus usually came to exercise commensurately greater politico-military power than other nobles (counts). The margrave maintained the greater armed forces and fortifications required for repelling invasion, which increased his political strength and independence relative to the monarch. Moreover, a margrave might expand his sovereign's realm by conquering additional territory, sometimes more than he might retain as a personal domain, thus allowing him to endow his vassals with lands and resources in return for loyalty; the consequent wealth and power might allow the establishment of a de facto independent princedom.
Most marks, and their margraves, sprung up along the Eastern border
The Crusaders created new perilous borders, prone to 'holy war' against the Saracens, hence had use for real border marches, such as the Greek Margraviate of Bodonitsa (1204-1414).
In the late
Golden Bull of 1356 was issued by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
, recognizing the
Margrave of Brandenburg as an elector of the Empire.
Possession of an electorate carried membership in the highest
"college" within the Imperial Diet , the main prerogative of which was
the right to elect, along with a few other powerful princes and
prelates , the non-hereditary
Another original march also developed into one of the most powerful states in Central Europe: the Margraviate of Austria whose rulers, the House of Habsburg , rose to obtain a de facto monopoly on election to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. They also inherited several, mainly Eastern European and Burgundian , principalities. Austria was originally called Marchia Orientalis in Latin, the "eastern borderland", as (originally roughly the present Lower-) Austria formed the eastern outpost of the Holy Roman Empire, on the border with the Magyars and the Slavs . Since the 19th century the term has been translated as Ostmark by some Germanophones , but medieval documents attest only to the vernacular name Ostarrîchi . Another Mark in the south-east, Styria , still appears as Steiermark in German today.
The Margraves of
The title of margrave, no longer a military office, evolved into a
rank in the Holy Roman Empire's nobility; higher than
A few nobles in southern Austria and northern Italy, whose suzerain was the Emperor, received from him the title of margrave, sometimes translated in Italian as marquis (marchese): those who reigned as virtual sovereigns ( Marquis of Mantua , Marquis of Montferrat , Marquis of Saluzzo ) exercised authority closer to the dynastic jurisdiction associated in modern Europe with the margrave, while some non-ruling nobles (e.g., Burgau , Pallavicini , Piatti ) retained use of the margravial title but held the non-sovereign status of a marquis.
By the 19th century, the sovereigns in Germany, Italy and Austria had all adopted "higher" titles, and not a single sovereign margraviate remained. Although the title remained part of the official style of such monarchs as the German Emperors, Kings of Saxony and Grand Dukes of Baden, it fell into desuetude as the primary title of members of any reigning family.
The children of Charles Frederick, Grand
The title of Margrave of Baden has been borne as a title of pretence only by the head of the House of Zähringen since the death of the last reigning Grand Duke, Frederick II , in 1928. Likewise, Margrave of Meissen is used as a title of pretence by the claimant to the Kingdom of Saxony since the death in exile of its last monarch, King Fredrick Augustus III , in 1932.
The etymological heir of the margrave in Europe's nobilities is the marquis , also introduced in countries that never had any margraviates, such as the British marquess ; their languages may use one or two words, e.g. French margrave or marquis. The margrave/marquis ranked below its nation's equivalent of "duke" (Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Scandinavia, Spain) or of "prince" (Belgium, Italy), but above "count".
The wife of a margrave is a margravine (Markgräfin in German, but margrave in French). In Germany and Austria, where titles were borne by all descendants in the male line of the original grantee, men and women alike, each daughter was a Markgräfin as each son was a Markgraf.
The title of margrave is translated below in languages which distinguish margrave from marquis, the latter being the English term for a Continental noble of rank equivalent to a British marquess. In languages which sometimes use marquis to translate margrave, that fact is indicated below in parentheses):
LANGUAGE EQUIVALENT OF MARGRAVE EQUIVALENT OF MARGRAVINE
Afrikaans Markgraaf/Markies Markgravin/Markiesin
Arabic مرزبان -
Armenian Մարզպետ -
Catalan Marcgravi/Marquès Marcgravina/Marquesa
Chinese 藩侯 / 邊區伯爵 藩侯夫人 / 邊區伯爵夫人
Croatian Markgrof/Markiz Markgrofica/Markiza
Czech Markrabě/Markýz Markraběnka/Markýza
Danish Markgreve Markgrevinde
Dutch Markgraaf/Markies Markgravin/Markiezin
English Marquess Marchioness
Estonian Markkrahv Markkrahvinna
Finnish Rajakreivi/Markiisi Rajakreivitär/Markiisitar
French Margrave Margrave
German Markgraf Markgräfin
Greek Μαργράβος/Μαρκήσιος Μαρκησία
Icelandic Markgreifi Markgreifin
Italian Margravio/Marchese Margravia/Marchesa
Japanese 辺境伯 辺境伯夫人 / 辺境伯妃
Korean 변경백 변경백부인
Latvian Markgrāfs/ Marķīzs Markgrāfiene/ Marķīze
Lithuanian Markgrafas/ Markizas Markgrafienė/ Markizė
Magyar Őrgróf/Márki Őrgrófnő/Márkinő
Norwegian Markgreve/ Marki Markgrevinne/ Markise
Persian Marzoban -
Polish Margrabia/ Markiz Margrabina/ Markiza
Portuguese Margrave/Marquês Margravina/Marquesa
Romanian Margraf -
Slovak Markgróf Markgrófka
Slovenian Mejni grof/ Markiz Mejna grofica/ Markiza
Spanish Margrave/Marqués Margravina/Marquesa
Swedish Markgreve/ Markis Markgrevinna/ Markisinna
Vietnamese Hầu -
* Several states have had analogous institutions, sometimes also
rendered in English as margrave. For example, on England's Celtic
Welsh Marches and
Scottish Marches ), Marcher Lords were
vassals of the
* ^ "Margrave". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. Retrieved
* ^ A B C Pine, L.G. (1992). Titles: How the
Wikimedia Commons has media related to