margrave

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margrave

a German nobleman ranking above a count. Margraves were originally counts appointed to govern frontier provinces, but all had become princes of the Holy Roman Empire by the 12th century
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Margrave

 

originally an official in the Carolingian empire and the Holy Roman Empire.

The office of margrave was established by Charlemagne to administer marches. The margrave enjoyed broader powers than an ordinary count—particularly permanent military authority. With the development of feudalism, margraves became semi-independent or independent rulers of entire regions; in Germany they became princes. In France, Spain, and Italy, margrave (marquess) is one of the highest titles of nobility.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.