Duke

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Duke

 

among ancient Germanic peoples, a duke (Herzog) was the elected military leader of a tribe (Latin dux). In Western Europe during the early medieval period, duke meant a tribal prince; during the period of feudal fragmentation, the title signified a major landholder (in the hierarchy of military vassalage, the duke occupied the second most important place after the king). After feudal fragmentation was overcome, duke was one of the highest titles of nobility.

References in classic literature ?
The besiegers, furious at the trick, rushed forward to slaughter the men, but the Duke stepped between and said:
During the period that the Duc de Bassompierre passed in the Bastile -- where he remained for twelve long years -- when his companions, in their dreams of liberty, said to each other: "As for me, I shall go out of the prison at such a time," and another, at such and such a time, the duke used to answer, "As for me, gentlemen, I shall leave only when Monsieur du Tremblay leaves;" meaning that at the death of the cardinal Du Tremblay would certainly lose his place at the Bastile and De Bassompierre regain his at court.
Les ordonnances = four decrees establishing absolute rule, issued by King Charles X on July 25, 1830, which touched off the July Revolution, leading to his abdication on July 31, and the installation of the Duke of Orleans as Louis Philippe I, King of the French--Cooper was living in Paris during this period, though he returned there from Italy and Germany a few days after the July Revolution itself, and he was a close friend of the Marquis de Lafayette who played a major part in the Revolution and its aftermath; for Cooper and many others, the ultimate results of the Revolution were a serious disappointment, since the new King seemed rapidly to become almost as conservative as the old}
Not Duke at all," I said, a little ashamed of having to confess it.
I have seen nothing objectionable except my husband leaning against the wall and talking to an individual whom I suppose he takes for a duke, but whom I more than suspect to be the functionary who attends to the lamps.
Why did you not take the counts and dukes he presented to you?
And though he had to be loaded with lands and gold and made an ancestor of dukes, the elf-shaped ear is still recurrent in the family.
And before her stood princes, and dukes, and earls: and the fisherman went up to her and said, 'Wife, are you emperor?
He paused, and raked Martin with the eye that had rested on dining dukes.
Manson Mingott had died when she was only twenty-eight, and had "tied up" the money with an additional caution born of the general distrust of the Spicers; but his bold young widow went her way fearlessly, mingled freely in foreign society, married her daughters in heaven knew what corrupt and fashionable circles, hobnobbed with Dukes and Ambassadors, associated familiarly with Papists, entertained Opera singers, and was the intimate friend of Mme.
There were very common hacks, with father and mother and all the children in them; conspicuous little open carriages with celebrated ladies of questionable reputation in them; there were Dukes and Duchesses abroad, with gorgeous footmen perched behind, and equally gorgeous outriders perched on each of the six horses; there were blue and silver, and green and gold, and pink and black, and all sorts and descriptions of stunning and startling liveries out, and I almost yearned to be a flunkey myself, for the sake of the fine clothes.
And so they came into a deep forest, and by fortune they were nighted, and rode along in a deep way, and at the last they came into a courtelage where abode the duke of South Marches, and there they asked harbour.