Saturday, September 25, 2010

Who is a nobleman in Europe? (Part Three: Noble Blood)

While the nobility is, as a social status and class, everywhere in Europe long ago abolished, the descendants of noble families still exist and use their old titles.

It is calculated that in Germany there are 40,000 people who belong to noble families. It is interesting that in Germany all noble families are shared on ancient nobility (the ones whose noble families existed before 1400) and the new nobility (created after 1400). These families are also shared as high nobility (the ones who had their place in the parliament of the Holy Roman Empire) and the lower nobility.

It should be stressed, however, that noble families are not in any way, special and separate part of the population. Modern studies have "democratized" genealogy, in the sense that it showed that, when looking at a long period of time (several tens of generations), the nobility is practically closely related to other populations and that the notion of "noble blood" is only myth, invented to impose and maintain class and social differences. During the Middle Ages, in some countries, many younger branches of the royal family have melted into the middle nobility, and often in the coming generations because of impoverishment they connected their selves through marriage to wealthier civil families. The process was also and reversed.

The difference between the nobles and the others is just the fact that only the family of nobles was able to preserve records of their ancestors (but only selected ones) for a longer time period, so that their genealogies are the only ones available and they can keep track of the change of generations throughout the centuries.

To return to Who is a nobleman in Europe? (Part One: From Cesar to Emperor), click HERE.

To return to Who is a nobleman in Europe? (Part Two: Seven Modern Kingdoms), click HERE.

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