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I need help with noble ranks

Discussion in 'Research' started by Zweee, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Zweee

    Zweee Acolyte

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    My story is set in a fictional world but has a 1800s feel to it. I'm just having a little bit of trouble with the hierarchy of the nobles. I also want it to follow a the system a Scandinavian country would have. If there is a difference.

    I have a character that is a noble, has a large tract of land, but is not related to the royal family. (At least not closely.) What is the highest rank that he could likely be? An Earl?

    Also what would his son be? His wife?

    How would servants address him, his wife and his son.

    What would his home be called? An estate, fiefdom, manor?

    Does know some good resources for this kind of thing. I did browse around but I didn't find anything specific to Scandinavian titles.
     
  2. icerose05

    icerose05 Scribe

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    Do you mean like vikings? A viking social class? Or like princess, princes, barons, dukes and duchesses?
     
  3. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Duke or Count will do. Wife is Duchess or Countess. Son is nothing, until the old man kicks off.

    Earls are English (even though the title comes from Coerl, a Scandinavian word). And late medieval at that, though that's fine for your scenario.

    But, seriously, did you do zero research? A simple search on "swedish noble titles" gave me plenty to work with. I picked Sweden but you could choose Danish or Norwegian or Finnish if you prefer.
     
  4. icerose05

    icerose05 Scribe

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    skip.knox, maybe they didn't know what to look for, or where to look? All I typed in was scandinavian noble hierarchy, and didn't find a lot.
     
  5. Zweee

    Zweee Acolyte

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    From what I could find, Dukes are generally closely related to the king and almost all the literature is related to an English system. I did look up Scandinavian Noble Hierarchy and got a lot of names without titles attached.

    But he feels like a Duke to me and maybe that's what matters the most.
     
  6. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Michael J. Tobias likes this.
  7. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    if you're doing an 1800's feel... you probably want to stay away from Medieval systems which dealt with serfs. You would either have slaves or hired help for everything. Also... many nobles had a town home and a country estate or two or three. Consider how best you can create the feel you're going for in the time period you choose. It wouldn't make much sense for Victorian morals and science and ideals to be jammed together with a Dark Ages social structure. There were reasons the world developed why it did and you have to consider a bigger picture when combining multiple facets of our actual history.
     
  8. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    A Duke is the closest title to the royal family which seems to go against not wanting them to be closely related to them. Earls and Counts are the same thing with Earls a later term for it. They ruled a county and ranked higher than barons who ranked higher than knights. Marquess are ranked above
    counts but below dukes. It looks like they got lands about the same size
    as a Count or so but they were traditionally located at the edge of the
    country so they had to be prepared to fight off invasions and were thus
    ranked higher than Counts. However when invasions by hostile barbarians
    stopped becoming an everyday thing that reason stopped being so obvious
    and it became mostly tradition that kept them above a count. You could
    have the character be a Jarl which is the Scandinavian equivalent to an
    Earl which is the same as a Count. I don't know if there's any other special Scandinavian titles though, sorry. This page has a lot of info about titles: Royal and noble ranks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  9. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

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    If you want a clear picture of nobility, I'd say don't use the Scandinavian ones; they are, compared to other countries, pretty obscure :)

    The English system, and the ones in Germany, France etc have grown from the early Medieval times till now. The Scandinavian system was completely changed in the 16th century. Titles like Jarl don't exist any more. Present Dukes in Sweden are all members of the Royal House of Bernadotte. The highest title for nobility is Greve (count). All comparisions with English titles are shaky.

    For Sweden, you could start here: Scandinavian Nobility - Scandinavian Tribe! - tribe.net

    For more information, you need a native. Try the Swedish embassy.

    Or go alternate world, and think up something else...
     
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