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Re: [sig] Kniaz: King or Prince?

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  • Jeff Smith
    Hey there! ... [lotta snipping here] ... [totally irrelevent...grand prince is not a prince] ... [also irrelevent, grand prince is not a king either] Paul put
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 8, 2001
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      Hey there!

      --- E D <White_Croat@...> wrote:

      > KNIAZ: KING OR PRINCE?

      [lotta snipping here]

      > DEFINITION OF PRINCE

      [totally irrelevent...grand prince is not a prince]

      > DEFINITION OF KING

      [also irrelevent, grand prince is not a king either]

      Paul put it best...you can't compare, but if you
      really want to, find out what a "GRAND PRINCE" is.

      Emperor, King, Grand Prince, and Grand Duke are unique
      titles, as they cannot be held by someone who does not
      actually own the land. (Example, when the Grand Duchy
      of Baden, near my home, was dissolved, the man who
      would have been Grand Duke became a Count; the man who
      would have been King of Wuerttemberg, also nearby,
      became a Duke.) These are very high titles, not to be
      confused with Prince and Duke, which are subordinate
      titles (usually) and which titles can be used without
      ownership of the land associated with them. Grand
      Princes and Dukes are called "royal highness",
      implying, well, "royalness".

      A website I found lists these titles:
      tsar - Emperor
      tsaritsa - Empress
      velikii kniaz - Grand Duke
      velikaia kniaginia - Grand Duchess
      kniaz (Prince) - kniaz
      graf (Count) - graf
      kniaz (Duke) - kniaz
      baron - baron
      (http://libweb.princeton.edu/katmandu/sgman/noble.html)

      Note that they translate kniaz as 'prince' in one
      place and as a 'duke' somewhere else.

      Grand Prince is usually used for Russians, and Grand
      Duke for Germans and Italians, as a convention.

      Like Paul, I think it would be unwise to fret over a
      translation. They are always somewhat haphazard, and
      seldom translate directly.

      Janos

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    • MHoll@aol.com
      In a message dated 10/8/2001 4:40:45 PM Central Daylight Time, ... First, I am not contesting what Janos said, and I fully agree with Paul. The issue of the
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 8, 2001
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        In a message dated 10/8/2001 4:40:45 PM Central Daylight Time,
        janos@... writes:


        > Emperor, King, Grand Prince, and Grand Duke are unique
        > titles, as they cannot be held by someone who does not
        > actually own the land.

        First, I am not contesting what Janos said, and I fully agree with Paul. The
        issue of the meaning of "kniaz" was not stated properly. There is one more
        reason why: the meaning of the word (and power/authority associated with it)
        varied quite a bit over time (imperial titles, which is what Janos was
        quoting, have nothing to do with medieval titles).

        Just a little comment: as for land *ownership*, it's more complicated than
        that. In medieval Russia, before and during the Mongol era, kniaz'ia (plural
        of kniaz) ruled over certain lands, owned some in their own (personal) right,
        and ordinary Russians could also own lands, free of the kniaz's authority,
        except for taxes, military defense, judicial authority, etc -- pretty much
        the modern concept of ownership.

        The kniaz'ia could move from one land to another, fight over rulership of
        this or that land (some lands had more prestige, and therefore their rulers
        had more authority), levy taxes (as set by law), etc. So technically, what
        made a kniaz a kniaz was 1) inheritance (it's a patrilinear title), 2)
        rulership (but not ownership) or a land, 3) how good they were at keeping 1)
        (staying alive) and 2) (not being overrun by neighbors).

        The best explanation of the system I've read is by Janet Martin, _Medieval
        Russia_. I recommend the book, even though it's a bit of a dry read; it is,
        after all, a textbook.


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