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Bohemian titles

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  • Alastair Millar
    Anezka asked... ... And Tasha said... ... would ... With the proviso that I need to check all of the below with my Dictionary of Czech Heraldry on Monday (yep,
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 1, 2002
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      Anezka asked...
      >Do you happen to have any research which could help make
      >these more historically accurate?
      And Tasha said...
      >If you can come up with better information, Alastair, I'm sure that it
      would
      >be appreciated.


      With the proviso that I need to check all of the below with my Dictionary
      of Czech Heraldry on Monday (yep, that's in the office too)...


      We come back to the usual problem that there is little written material
      about the early Slavic state in Bohemia... Some observations:
      Other than a very few exceptions (St Ludmilla - granted a regency), women
      are not known in the role of "head of the family/clan/state" in early
      Bohemia. It follows that we have no titles for them as such in this early
      period. However, their names do occasionally appear on coins (Biagota, for
      instance), so presumably they had some status...

      In the later period we have all the usual titles, such as
      <ci'sar^> & <ci'sar^ovna> : emperor & empress
      <kra'l> & <kra'lovna> : king & queen
      <princ> & <princezna> : prince & princess of the blood
      <arcive'voda> & <arcive'vodkyne^> : archduke & archduchess
      <ve'voda> & <ve'vodkyne^> : duke & duchess - sort of... occasionally an
      attempt is made to use voivode
      <hrabe^> & <hrabe^nka> : count & countess
      <marky'z> & <marky'za> : marquis & marchioness
      <baron> & <baronka> : titled baron & baroness
      <svobodny' pa'n> & <svobodna' pani'> : untitled baron & baroness - on the
      occasions where a woman came into a minor estate in her own right she was
      referred to as the <svobodna' pani' z...> (lit. "Free Lady of..."). The
      male equivalent (lit. "Free Lord of...") was also used for those titular
      gentleman who are best described as robber barons...
      <Pa'n> & <pani'> : generic equivalents of "lord & lady", also used as
      titles.

      Descriptive terms:
      <s^lechtic>/<s^lechtic^na> : nobleman/woman, aristocrat
      <s^lechta> : the nobility/aristocracy/peerage.
      <ni'z^s^i' s^lechta> : the minor/lesser nobility
      <panstvo> : the "gentry" as a whole
      <pan> (note the short 'a') : mister/master.
      <dvorni' da'ma> : lady-in-waiting (lit. "lady at court"), NOT a title...
      <vladar^ / vladar^ka> : "ruler" or, better, "Prince" in the Machiavellian
      sense (!) (lit. "he/she who rules"). Very rare in the feminine.
      <vla'dce> : "ruler".
      <panovni'k / panovnice> : male/female sovereign, monarch (lit. "one who
      reigns/holds mastery")

      Tasha's point that
      >In many cases, there simply isn't an appropriate honorific in
      >the desired language to fill in the blanks in the manner that we
      >use the word
      is a good one: trying to impose one type of pyramidal feudal system on a
      period/area which was actually run using a rather different system is
      certainly going to throw up contradictions! One of the best examples from
      Czech is:

      <kni'z^e> & <kne^z^na> : ruling prince & princess... probably. The
      <kni'z^e> was usually regarded as a 'Dux' by the Empire... Some translators
      prefer "petty king/ruler", esp. in the very earlier (pre-Bohemian) period.

      The western system of serfs answering to and obliged to supply manpower for
      a local lord who in turn owed allegiance to a monarch does not appear to
      have been employed in early Bohemia. Those who could raise the money
      supported a body of retainers who seem to have been full-time warriors.
      (Thought: is this one of the reasons why Boleslav I was able to hold off
      the Empire so long - because his troops were more professional?). It was
      this need to pay the ever-increasing number of armed retainers that led to
      the growth of the slave trade and the expansion of the Bohemian sphere
      under Boleslav I - and why St Adalbert's insistence that Christian PoW's
      not be sold into slavery caused problems for, and antagonism from, the
      ruling class of the time: he was threatening a major source of their
      income!

      Many Czech scholars have taken to referring to the local 'big man' as a
      <magna't> (magnate), because we have no direct evidence of what the locals
      called them..

      So where does all that leave us? (assuming anyone is actually still reading
      this? ;-))

      <da'ma> is not a title - for the early period, <pani' (z)> or <kne^z^na' X>
      are probably your best/safest bet if authenticity is your aim... The system
      was not sophisticated enough to recognise formal gradations of nobility on
      the basis of an allegiance pyramid: indeed, it could be argued that the
      whole setup was based on allegiance to the ruler IN PERSON, rather than on
      the abstract idea of allegiance to a state, hence perhaps the rapid rise
      and collapse of Boleslav I's empire, and much of the earlier politicking
      between the Bohemians and Great Moravians and between Slavs and the Empire.
      The oath dies with the man...

      Certain families rose to the top by being wealthier (i.e. able to employ
      more armed retainers) than the others - the "Bohemian state" appeared when
      the line of Pr^emysl became so strong that it subjugated all the others,
      the last significant rival clan being the Slavni'k line. The Pr^emyslids
      installed relatives in all the key strongholds, though this didn't stop
      them squabbling amongst themselves... The 'might is right' system...

      Hope this helps a little...

      A.

      ---------------------------
      Alastair Millar, BSc(Hons)
      Consultancy and translation for the heritage industry
      e-mail: alastair@..., http://www.skriptorium.cz
      P.O.Box 685, CZ 111 21 Prague 1, Czech Republic
    • Kuzniar, Wendy
      Hey, I love your answers - I may not remember all of the pieces, but I learn a lot, and even if I remember part of it, and know where to go to get the rest,
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 1, 2002
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        Hey, I love your answers - I may not remember all of the pieces, but I learn
        a lot, and even if I remember part of it, and know where to go to get the
        rest, I'm ahead of the game. All of the scholars on this list are as close
        as I'm likely to get to original-language research (realistically speaking),
        so I appreciate tremendously that you all are willing to share your
        knowledge and experience with the rest of us!

        with gratitude,
        Nezkha

        Thank you,
        Wendy Kuzniar
        Interim Manager, Scientific Records Management
        734/622-7476 16/026



        -----Original Message-----
        From: Alastair Millar [mailto:alastair@...]
        Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 1:02 PM
        To: SIG List
        Subject: [sig] Bohemian titles


        Anezka asked...
        >Do you happen to have any research which could help make
        >these more historically accurate?
        And Tasha said...
        >If you can come up with better information, Alastair, I'm sure that it
        would
        >be appreciated.


        With the proviso that I need to check all of the below with my Dictionary
        of Czech Heraldry on Monday (yep, that's in the office too)...


        We come back to the usual problem that there is little written material
        about the early Slavic state in Bohemia... Some observations:
        Other than a very few exceptions (St Ludmilla - granted a regency), women
        are not known in the role of "head of the family/clan/state" in early
        Bohemia. It follows that we have no titles for them as such in this early
        period. However, their names do occasionally appear on coins (Biagota, for
        instance), so presumably they had some status...

        In the later period we have all the usual titles, such as
        <ci'sar^> & <ci'sar^ovna> : emperor & empress
        <kra'l> & <kra'lovna> : king & queen
        <princ> & <princezna> : prince & princess of the blood
        <arcive'voda> & <arcive'vodkyne^> : archduke & archduchess
        <ve'voda> & <ve'vodkyne^> : duke & duchess - sort of... occasionally an
        attempt is made to use voivode
        <hrabe^> & <hrabe^nka> : count & countess
        <marky'z> & <marky'za> : marquis & marchioness
        <baron> & <baronka> : titled baron & baroness
        <svobodny' pa'n> & <svobodna' pani'> : untitled baron & baroness - on the
        occasions where a woman came into a minor estate in her own right she was
        referred to as the <svobodna' pani' z...> (lit. "Free Lady of..."). The
        male equivalent (lit. "Free Lord of...") was also used for those titular
        gentleman who are best described as robber barons...
        <Pa'n> & <pani'> : generic equivalents of "lord & lady", also used as
        titles.

        Descriptive terms:
        <s^lechtic>/<s^lechtic^na> : nobleman/woman, aristocrat
        <s^lechta> : the nobility/aristocracy/peerage.
        <ni'z^s^i' s^lechta> : the minor/lesser nobility
        <panstvo> : the "gentry" as a whole
        <pan> (note the short 'a') : mister/master.
        <dvorni' da'ma> : lady-in-waiting (lit. "lady at court"), NOT a title...
        <vladar^ / vladar^ka> : "ruler" or, better, "Prince" in the Machiavellian
        sense (!) (lit. "he/she who rules"). Very rare in the feminine.
        <vla'dce> : "ruler".
        <panovni'k / panovnice> : male/female sovereign, monarch (lit. "one who
        reigns/holds mastery")

        Tasha's point that
        >In many cases, there simply isn't an appropriate honorific in
        >the desired language to fill in the blanks in the manner that we
        >use the word
        is a good one: trying to impose one type of pyramidal feudal system on a
        period/area which was actually run using a rather different system is
        certainly going to throw up contradictions! One of the best examples from
        Czech is:

        <kni'z^e> & <kne^z^na> : ruling prince & princess... probably. The
        <kni'z^e> was usually regarded as a 'Dux' by the Empire... Some translators
        prefer "petty king/ruler", esp. in the very earlier (pre-Bohemian) period.

        The western system of serfs answering to and obliged to supply manpower for
        a local lord who in turn owed allegiance to a monarch does not appear to
        have been employed in early Bohemia. Those who could raise the money
        supported a body of retainers who seem to have been full-time warriors.
        (Thought: is this one of the reasons why Boleslav I was able to hold off
        the Empire so long - because his troops were more professional?). It was
        this need to pay the ever-increasing number of armed retainers that led to
        the growth of the slave trade and the expansion of the Bohemian sphere
        under Boleslav I - and why St Adalbert's insistence that Christian PoW's
        not be sold into slavery caused problems for, and antagonism from, the
        ruling class of the time: he was threatening a major source of their
        income!

        Many Czech scholars have taken to referring to the local 'big man' as a
        <magna't> (magnate), because we have no direct evidence of what the locals
        called them..

        So where does all that leave us? (assuming anyone is actually still reading
        this? ;-))

        <da'ma> is not a title - for the early period, <pani' (z)> or <kne^z^na' X>
        are probably your best/safest bet if authenticity is your aim... The system
        was not sophisticated enough to recognise formal gradations of nobility on
        the basis of an allegiance pyramid: indeed, it could be argued that the
        whole setup was based on allegiance to the ruler IN PERSON, rather than on
        the abstract idea of allegiance to a state, hence perhaps the rapid rise
        and collapse of Boleslav I's empire, and much of the earlier politicking
        between the Bohemians and Great Moravians and between Slavs and the Empire.
        The oath dies with the man...

        Certain families rose to the top by being wealthier (i.e. able to employ
        more armed retainers) than the others - the "Bohemian state" appeared when
        the line of Pr^emysl became so strong that it subjugated all the others,
        the last significant rival clan being the Slavni'k line. The Pr^emyslids
        installed relatives in all the key strongholds, though this didn't stop
        them squabbling amongst themselves... The 'might is right' system...

        Hope this helps a little...

        A.

        ---------------------------
        Alastair Millar, BSc(Hons)
        Consultancy and translation for the heritage industry
        e-mail: alastair@..., http://www.skriptorium.cz
        P.O.Box 685, CZ 111 21 Prague 1, Czech Republic








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      • Diane Sawyer
        ... {snip} ... If you can/would verify this info, Alastair, I d love to write it up and submit it to the SCA College of Heralds for possible inclusion on the
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 1, 2002
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          --- Alastair Millar <alastair@...> wrote:
          > Anezka asked...
          > >Do you happen to have any research which could help
          > make
          > >these more historically accurate?
          > And Tasha said...
          > >If you can come up with better information,
          > Alastair, I'm sure that it
          > would
          > >be appreciated.
          >
          >
          > With the proviso that I need to check all of the
          > below with my Dictionary
          > of Czech Heraldry on Monday (yep, that's in the
          > office too)...
          >
          {snip}
          >
          > Hope this helps a little...
          >
          > A.

          If you can/would verify this info, Alastair, I'd love
          to write it up and submit it to the SCA College of
          Heralds for possible inclusion on the Alternate Titles
          List.

          Tasha

          __________________________________________________
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          Great stuff seeking new owners in Yahoo! Auctions!
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        • Alastair Millar
          Nezkha - glad it helps - all in the original SIG spirit of sharing what we know :-) Tasha - Erm, not being an SCA person, I have no idea what y all consider
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 2, 2002
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            Nezkha - glad it helps - all in the original SIG spirit of "sharing what we
            know" :-)

            Tasha - Erm, not being an SCA person, I have no idea what y'all consider
            "verification"... can you give me a clue? (Perhaps off-list, if you think
            that would be better?)

            Alastair

            ---------------------------
            Alastair Millar, BSc(Hons)
            Consultancy and translation for the heritage industry
            e-mail: alastair@..., http://www.skriptorium.cz
            P.O.Box 685, CZ 111 21 Prague 1, Czech Republic
          • Diane Sawyer
            ... Basically, we d need backup from period (prior to 1600) documents, or more current reference materials that reference period documents. Tasha
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 2, 2002
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              --- Alastair Millar <alastair@...> wrote:
              > Nezkha - glad it helps - all in the original SIG
              > spirit of "sharing what we
              > know" :-)
              >
              > Tasha - Erm, not being an SCA person, I have no idea
              > what y'all consider
              > "verification"... can you give me a clue? (Perhaps
              > off-list, if you think
              > that would be better?)
              >
              > Alastair
              >

              Basically, we'd need backup from period (prior to
              1600) documents, or more current reference materials
              that reference period documents.

              Tasha

              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Great stuff seeking new owners in Yahoo! Auctions!
              http://auctions.yahoo.com
            • vespirus@socrates.berkeley.edu
              ... Academically sound citations would be best. Sometimes it comes down to a compromise, but there *are* those of us in the SCA who know how to do serious
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 4, 2002
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                On Sat, 2 Feb 2002, Alastair Millar wrote:

                > Tasha - Erm, not being an SCA person, I have no idea what y'all consider
                > "verification"... can you give me a clue? (Perhaps off-list, if you think
                > that would be better?)

                Academically sound citations would be best. Sometimes it comes down to a
                compromise, but there *are* those of us in the SCA who know how to do
                serious research.

                --Walraven, who has been researching a Croat title list but has held off
                sending anything in just yet in order to peruse 12th century legal
                documents from Ragusa and proclamations of the Hungarian king for
                citations of title use.
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