Hierarchy

Discussion in 'Medieval Boards' started by Tanasa, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Romania
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Can someone please tell me the whole ierarchy in the Middle Ages? I want to know every type of citizen, from king to slave...
    Thanks :D
     
  2. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Toronto the Good
    Ratings:
    +66 / 0 / -1
    Re: Ierarchy

    Okay, spelling correction first: Hierarchy.

    In England:

    King - Queen
    Prince - Princess
    Duke (normally a close relative of the king, governs a duchy)
    Earl (governs a county or shire)
    Baron
    Baronet
    Knight
    Man
    Villein (serf)
    Thrall (slave)

    I don't believe that Medieval England had marquesses or viscounts. They were added in the Renaissance to match corresponding titles on the continent. Female equivalents didn't exist of duke (duchess), earl (countess) or baron (baroness). These were also added later. "Villein" was used instead of "serf" throughout the Middle Ages in England as far as I know, "thrall" was the Anglo-Saxon term replaced some time in the Middle Ages by "slave."

    Titles varried from place to place and from time to time. If you need more specific information you may have to look it up. Feel free to ask.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  3. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Romania
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Re: Ierarchy

    Nah, I'm just asking this for general info...I'm more of a fantasy guy than a history one. I have some question though :
    1. If the queen gives birth to two twin boys, which one of them is the rightful heir at the throne?
    2. Is the King's Hand higher in the ierarchy than the prince?
    3. Are the King's guard regular kinghts, or something above them?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  4. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7,888
    Likes Received:
    261
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    in the horde
    Ratings:
    +471 / 3 / -0
    Re: Ierarchy

    the one without the dagger in his back
     
  5. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7,888
    Likes Received:
    261
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    in the horde
    Ratings:
    +471 / 3 / -0
    Re: Ierarchy

    are you talking Game of Thrones here?
    they'd be an elite force, and likely as not wouldn't be knights so they wouldn't be constricted by a knights code
     
  6. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,807
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +330 / 2 / -1
    Re: Ierarchy

    true, but still.......lmao :D
     
  7. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Romania
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Re: Ierarchy

    Well, I did read A song of ice and fire, but I thought that in a regular medieval society there is a man that always stands next to the king and manages his boring affairs, like Jon Arryn, Ned Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Tywin Lannister and sooo on...

    SO, that man is above the prince? I'm pretty sure he is until the son of the king comes of age... but what happens when the prince does come of age? Are they equal, or what?
     
  8. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Romania
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Re: Ierarchy

    LOL.
    Let's assume that somehow they both make it out alive to the age of 20, for example. The king dies and one must be chosen to be his heir. How do they pick the one?
     
  9. Tanasa

    Tanasa Mind Creeper

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Romania
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Re: Ierarchy

    Sorry for my mistake. English is not my first language and I'm only 15. I'll edit that when I'll learn how to do it :D
     
  10. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Toronto the Good
    Ratings:
    +66 / 0 / -1
    Re: Ierarchy

    1. The older one, even if he's just twenty minutes older. One always comes out before the other.
    2. The King's Hand is not a regular title. In the books, the Hand speaks with the authority of the king, but can be overruled by the king. In the real Middle Ages, someone in that position may have had little to no power in his own right, but might have exercised near absolute authority in the king's name. The nearest Medieval equivalent might have been Prime Minister. During a minority the regent would have spoken for the king, and would have held near absolute power within the realm, at least until the barons got fed up and revolted.
    3. The king's bodyguard was literally whoever was nearby that he trusted enough to be armed in his presence. Usually the king surrounded himself with a batch of close relatives, uncles, brothers and cousins, who could be relied on to fight beside him in a crisis. I don't know of any order in the Middle Ages tht was equivalent to the King's Guard in ASOIAF.

    Don't confuse GRRM's fiction with real history. He writes fantasy and makes what changes he wants to.
     
  11. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Toronto the Good
    Ratings:
    +66 / 0 / -1
    Re: Ierarchy

    Some Medieval monarchs delighted in the petty details of government, and wouldn't let anything stand in the way of governing the realm. At the same time, everyone needs trustworthy people in positions of authority.

    What you're talking about here is the regent. The regent is merely an adult with signing authority for a child. He speaks with parental monarchical authority as long as the king is a minor, and when the king comes of age the regent goes back to being whatever he was before. If the regent was an earl he goes back to his county. If the regent was a bishop he goes back to his see. If the regent was a knight he goes back to his manor. The regent has no authority in his own right beyond what his own titles give him. The same applies to any appointed position, like chancellor of the exchequer or steward.
     
  12. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7,888
    Likes Received:
    261
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    in the horde
    Ratings:
    +471 / 3 / -0
    Re: Ierarchy

    yup
    yup
    yes, consider the implication to a "good Knight's" honour. i wouldn't be using knights as personal bodyguards, i'd want bloodthirsty bastards that were 100% loyal to me.

    yup


    yup. or in the case of English History, George IV was Prince Regent for his father George III, who was incapacitated (with porphyria, ie he was barking mad)
     
  13. sknox

    sknox New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Medieval rulers were marvelously nonchalant about hierarchies. The notion that there's a place for everything and everything in its place is mostly modern.

    There were hierarchies in the Middle Ages, but the point is that there were *many* such. Who was above whom could shift from one generation to the next. It was really more about who was in or out of favor than it was about what title one carried. Any diagram that purports to delineate a clear hierarchy is just plain wrong or, at best, is correct for one time and place.

    I agree with Greybeard: to get useful information you need to ask a more specific question. I see you did that in a few cases, and you did get more info. I'll add one more piece. If you are looking for a King's Hand sort of office, I'd go with Marshal. That office was typically associated with military functions both in France and in England. A somewhat similar position was Constable. Over in Germany you won't find any parallel at all. Raising an army in Germany was more like a pick-up game: the Emperor tapped whatever dukes or counts he thought would serve him best (usually the ones with money!) and every army had different commanders.
     
  14. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7,155
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Lûhn
    Ratings:
    +74 / 0 / -0
    Of course it depends on which time in Medieval history: before 1000 there were loads of kings, hardly any dukes or earls or barons (if at all) and knights were very important. Later on though it came about that the king's family became the nobles if they weren't ruling, so everybody was related in some way.

    The hierarchy was important for the feudal system, with the Lord (suzerain) reigning over his vassals and protecting his serfs. Slaves were actually not generally accepted in later Middle-Ages, unless black.

    During this whole time, the Church supposedly overruled the king, although the lower clergy (anything below deacon I believe) did belong to the country and were thus under the king's authority. Bishops back then weren't all necessarily holy (especially in the UK). The french system was quite similar, although they were much closer to the Church then, so the kings were all appointed by God (until Louis XVI) and tried to maintain good relations with the Pope.

    As to a Hand, it would have been the Chamberlain, who depended wholly on the king for his office and power. He then had his counsellors who were nobles and scholars (usually priests) and his entire court (most nobles of the realm). This system was in both the UK and in France, although England developed a parliament quite early on (Magna Carta in 1215) which had lords and bourgeois in it.

    Usually, the titles were as follows:
    • Your majesty for the ruling monarch.
    • Your highness for princes/princesses/spouse (if consort.
    • Your grace for a duke and an archbishop.
    • Lord between duke and baron as well as the rest of the high clergy.
    • Sir for a baron/baronet/knight/important land-owner.
    • Oi! You/Thou! for the rest
     
  15. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7,888
    Likes Received:
    261
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    in the horde
    Ratings:
    +471 / 3 / -0
    you forgot criminal dog/scum for us aussie exports
     
  16. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    7,155
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Lûhn
    Ratings:
    +74 / 0 / -0
    You weren't medieval you @#$!!%^&£¢æ
     
  17. Moo Guru

    Moo Guru New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0 / -0
    He's medieval by nature, if not by chronology ... he definitely is the other thing you said though!!
     
  18. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7,888
    Likes Received:
    261
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    in the horde
    Ratings:
    +471 / 3 / -0
    how wude
     
  19. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Toronto the Good
    Ratings:
    +66 / 0 / -1
    Close. Slaves were uncommon throughout the Middle Ages. The economies weren't based on slavery, so there was no sense. Black slaves? Come on, I taught you better than that. There was no racial component to Medieval slavery whatsoever. There were cultural components which sometimes followed racial lines, but the racial aspect didn't exist. Example: in southern Italy, most slaves held by Christians were Moslem and many of those were Black. Similarly, most slaves held by Moslems were Christian and many of those were White. But the slavery there was along religious, not racial, lines. But since slavery was so rare it's hardly worth discussing.

    Most slaves in the early Middle Ages were either remnants of the Roman system or people captured by the Vikings. Most slaves in Russia were captured in France, England and Ireland. Most slaves in France, England and Ireland were captured in Russia. In fact, the English word "slave" is a corruption of "Slav."

    Earls/Counts/Grafs were important throughout the period. They started as the king's close friends and most trusted commanders sent off to hold distant parts of the kingdom.

    The relationship between the church and state was complex at all times, and remained in constant flux for a thousand years. It isn't safe to say much about it without narrowing it down to a single incident in a single region and a single decade. Then you can study the situation then and there. But it was always complicated.

    A baron was always "My Lord"
    A craftsman was "Master"
    An Australian was "Outlaw"
     
  20. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Toronto the Good
    Ratings:
    +66 / 0 / -1
    Further complicating the issue was the unpleasant fact that the same person might hold several different titles and positions in the hierarchy. On one occasion the King of France summoned the Count of Anjou to a council, but not the Duke of Normandy. Since Anjou rightly thought the council was called for the sole purpose of assassinating him, he refused. Normandy had the legal right to refuse, but Anjou did not, except that they were the same person. Louis VII used the refusal as an excuse to confiscate all of man's property in France. That would have been the end of it, except that the Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou was also Duke of Aquitane and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Maine and Nantes, Overlord of Brittany, and King of England. It led to more than two centuries of intermittant warfare.