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 ?
said Duchess, "and whatever can have become of the other pie made of mouse?
I think"--(thought the Duchess to herself)--"I THINK it would be wiser if I helped myself to pie; though Ribby did not seem to notice anything when she was cutting it.
Duchess had had four helps already, and was fumbling with the spoon.
And even that," the Duchess remarked, smiling, "has been yellow for the last few days.
A footman at that moment brought a note to the Duchess, which she tore open.
If," replied the duchess, with a meaning look, "you do not say too much against her.
Which," interrupted the duchess, "is now brought up against her as a great crime.
While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear the words:--
the Duchess said to Alice, flinging the baby at her as she spoke.
We all," the Duchess continued, "look upon your husband's arrival as inopportune and unfortunate.
To which the duchess made answer, "that worthy Sancho is droll I consider a very good thing, because it is a sign that he is shrewd; for drollery and sprightliness, Senor Don Quixote, as you very well know, do not take up their abode with dull wits; and as good Sancho is droll and sprightly I here set him down as shrewd.
He of the Lions be it," continued the duke; "I say, let Sir Knight of the Lions come to a castle of mine close by, where he shall be given that reception which is due to so exalted a personage, and which the duchess and I are wont to give to all knights-errant who come there.