Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Ranks and Nobility

 

This information complimentary of Alaric de Luna

Medieval European Court Ranks

Male Female Addressed as... Definition
King Queen "Your Majesty"  The monarch of the country. German: Kaiser
Prince Princess "Your Royal Highness"  A child of the monarch. Sometimes a spouse of the offspring of a Prince or Princess may also hold such titles. Princes don't really have many powers (apart from when they are the head of an independent state), but they can have other titles. A state ruled by a Prince is called a Principality.
Duke Duchess "Your Grace"  They are usually the most powerful of nobility under the monarchy. An area ruled by a Duke is called a Dukery or Duchy. The title may be bestowed upon princes in the direct line to the throne or heroes of war. They can also be for relatives of the monarch.
Marquess Marchioness   This title is for lords who held the responsibility of guarding border areas of a country.
Count or Earl Countess "Your Excellency" This is an important noble with the authority over a province or shire etc. The English call them Earls, and they were the lord of a shire.
Viscount Viscountess "Your Excellency" This means the deputy of a Count. The title was perhaps created during the Holy Roman Empire. High-ranking soldiers may be rewarded with this title.
Baron Baroness "Your Excellency" The lowest of nobles, they are granted directing from the sovereign. An area ruled by a Baron is a Barony

Ethiopian Nobility

The oldest Ethiopian aristocracy, dating from Biblical times, was essentially tribal and military in nature, and in some cases nomadic, and this changed little during the Middle Ages. The regional rulers were known by the titles of negus (king) or amir (emir), while the sovereign was the Negusa Negest ("King of Kings"), known in the West as the Emperor. Empress is Itegue.

Instead of attempting to consider the traditional Ethiopian titles of nobility by comparing these to European titles, let's view them in their native context.

Ras is the highest noble rank, sometimes borne by minor princes of the Solomonic blood. One had to be elevated to the the rank of negus by Imperial decree, but ras was usually hereditary. (The word's origin is Indo European, hence the Indians' raj, the Egyptians' ra, the Romans' rex.)

Bitwoded (abbreviated Bit.). Literally "beloved" by the king, the highest non-royal title ranks after ras in precedence.

Dejazmach (abbreviated Dej.) is a high title which follows bitwoded in precedence. It originally referred to a "gate keeper." In more recent times, it was also a military title.

Fitawrari (abbreviated Fit.) is a noble title and was formerly a military one, meaning "leader of the vanguard." This title ranked after dejazmach.

Gerazmach (abbreviated Geraz.) ranked after fitawrari and is translated literally "military commander of the left." This is one of the lower aristocratic titles but also one of the older ones.

Kenyazmach (abbreviated Kenyaz.) is equivalent in rank to gerazmach, to which it may be considered complementary. It means "military commander of the right."

Balambaras is a lower title of nobility of ancient origin, literally "castellan" or commander of a fortress. Similar in some respects to dejazmach but considered a lesser title.

Ato. Traditionally 'sir' for a gentleman. Now "Mister."

Woizero (abbreviated Woiz.) Traditionally an aristocratic lady, now Mrs.

Lij. Literally "child," this is a title reserved to the children of the titled nobility.

Titled nobles collectively were the makwanent.

Copyright Morgan le Fay 2001 - 2002. All rights reserved. All original content, excluding pictures. Please ASK if you wish to use some of my content or ideas.