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Old 04-29-2010, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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I can trace the lineage of Queen Elizabeth II (on her father's side) all the way back to Dietrich I von Wettin in the 10th century, but even then they were a noble family. What's the origin of nobility? How was a family transformed from just a normal family to being "noble"? Was it a process that took many centuries, or did a family suddenly become noble through a great deed? Any examples?
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Money, marriage, and military leadership abilities helped.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Money, marriage, and military leadership abilities helped.

..and the vital 4th element....religious leaders sanction your rule as divinely ordained.

This was the compact which kept the nobility and the clergy on top of European society throughout the middle ages. The church instructs the people to obey the crown because it is the will of God and tells the people that it is sinful to question their permanent status as peasants. In return the crown will support the church against all apostates and grant it large tracts of land from which it may extract its income.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:55 AM
 
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The origin is that someone beat the crap out of someone else and took their land. Later this was given religious and social sanction and myths were generated about it, but its the start of all nobilities.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:03 AM
 
Location: EAST-SIDE INDIANAPOLIS
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I'd have to agree with both the religious aspect and the force aspect. Both are human nature, the strong and the smart usually do better, then as has been the course of human history once someone attains status they pass that on to their heirs making life easier for the next generation.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
The origin is that someone beat the crap out of someone else and took their land. Later this was given religious and social sanction and myths were generated about it, but its the start of all nobilities.
This is a pretty cynical view of the world. You don't suppose there could have been something a bit altruistic about their motives? Seems to me that most cultures formed around family groups or into tribes of some kind. Perhaps the people who doing the beating were the strongest in the tribe protecting the rest from other groups trying to beat the crap out of them.

Making blanket statements such as the above is rather cavalier as well as cynical, don't you think?
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:30 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
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Often when the Germanic tribes settled down after the migration period there was a division of labor with the old war band leaders and fiercest warriors getting the job of protecting everyone else who went about their business of being productive. The old tribal infantry militia was outdated by the need to field highly trained and expensive cavalry.

Anyway these new horse warriors became the nobility; knights. Note that many knights were hardly rich and powerful fellas despite their nobility.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:40 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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The foundation of nobility is gift exchange and patronage. A landholder who has enough surplus to give out food and weapons can assemble a household of armed men who in turn protect workers who in turn grow the food and provide the craftwork that supply the high house. As long as this system is in place the inherited wealth supports a dynasty.

When the system is disrupted by famine, war, or competition for that top spot, the nobility passes on to a new family.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MICoastieMom View Post
This is a pretty cynical view of the world. You don't suppose there could have been something a bit altruistic about their motives? Seems to me that most cultures formed around family groups or into tribes of some kind. Perhaps the people who doing the beating were the strongest in the tribe protecting the rest from other groups trying to beat the crap out of them.

Making blanket statements such as the above is rather cavalier as well as cynical, don't you think?

Having studied nobility for much of my life, no I don't think its cynical at all. I think its highly accurate of what in fact occured. I suggest a history of the Norman conquest, particularly that which focuses on the interaction of the norman lords and the anglosaxon (formerly) freeman. Or you can read any social history of nobles.

The world would have been a better place without them. They exploited, robbed, killed, blinded, and raped their peasents for centuries. They showed not the slightest sympathy for them. In 19th century Ireland, to cite only one of endless examples, they sent large quantities of crops out of the country as millions starved.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
Having studied nobility for much of my life, no I don't think its cynical at all. I think its highly accurate of what in fact occured. I suggest a history of the Norman conquest, particularly that which focuses on the interaction of the norman lords and the anglosaxon (formerly) freeman. Or you can read any social history of nobles.

The world would have been a better place without them. They exploited, robbed, killed, blinded, and raped their peasents for centuries. They showed not the slightest sympathy for them. In 19th century Ireland, to cite only one of endless examples, they sent large quantities of crops out of the country as millions starved.
And do you have equal contempt for the institution which sanctioned and supported the sytem of nobility and made it possible?

The Catholic Church.
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