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Patrician (post-Roman Europe)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Nobel Prize-winning author Thomas Mann belonged to a Hanseatic patrician family (the Mann family) and portrayed the patriciate in his 1901 novel Buddenbrooks.[1][2]
The German banker Johann Hinrich Gossler married Hamburg patrician heiress Elisabeth Berenberg, and became owner of Berenberg Bank. His descendants reached the highest positions in the "aristocratic republic", including as senators and head of state.

Patricianship, the quality of belonging to a patriciate, began in the ancient world, where cities such as Ancient Rome had a social class of patrician families, whose members were initially the only people allowed to exercise many political functions. In the rise of European towns in the 12th and 13th centuries, the patriciate, a limited group of families with a special constitutional position, in Henri Pirenne's view,[3] was the motive force. In 19th century Central Europe, the term had become synonymous with the upper Bourgeoisie and cannot be interchanged with the medieval patriciate in Central Europe. In the maritime republics of the Italian Peninsula as well as in German-speaking parts of Europe, the patricians were as a matter of fact the ruling body of the medieval town. Particularly in Italy, they were part of the nobility.

With the establishment of the medieval towns, Italian city-states and maritime republics, the patriciate was a formally-defined social class of governing wealthy families. They were found in the Italian city-states and maritime republics, particularly in Venice, Genoa, Pisa and Amalfi. They were also found in many of the free imperial cities of the Holy Roman Empire, such as Nuremberg, Ravensburg, Augsburg, Konstanz, Lindau, Bern, Basel, Zürich and many more.

As in Ancient Rome, patrician status could generally only be inherited. However, membership in the patriciate could be passed on through the female line.[citation needed] For example, if the union was approved by her parents, the husband of a patrician daughter was granted membership in the patrician society Zum Sünfzen [de] of the Imperial Free City of Lindau as a matter of right, on the same terms as the younger son of a patrician male (i.e., upon payment of a nominal fee), even if the husband was otherwise deemed socially ineligible.[citation needed] Accession to a patriciate through this mechanism was referred to as "erweibern."[4][clarification needed]

In any case, only male patricians could hold, or participate in elections for, most political offices. Often, as in Venice, non-patricians had almost no political rights. Lists were maintained of who had the status, of which the most famous is the Libro d'Oro (Golden Book) of the Venetian Republic.

From the fall of the Hohenstaufen (1268), city-republics increasingly became principalities, like the Duchy of Milan and the Lordship of Verona. The smaller ones were swallowed up by monarchical states or sometimes other republics, like Pisa and Siena by Florence. Following these developments, any special role for the local patricians was restricted to municipal affairs.

The few remaining patrician constitutions, notably those of Venice and Genoa, were swept away by the conquering French armies of the period after the French Revolution, although many patrician families remained socially and politically important, as some do to this day.

In the modern era the term "patrician" is also used broadly for the higher bourgeoisie (not to be equated with aristocracy) in many countries; in some countries it vaguely refers to the non-noble upper class, especially before the 20th century.[5]

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Hi, I’m John Green, this is crash course: world history and today we’re going to learn about the Roman Empire, which of course began when two totally nonfictional twins, Romulus and Remus, who’d been raised by wolves, founded a city on seven hills. Mr Green, Mr Green, what, what does SPQR stand for? It means shut piehole quickly, rapscallion. No, it means Senatus Populusque Romanus, one of the mottoes of the Roman Republic. So today we’re going to do some old school Great Man History and focus on Julius Caesar while trying to answer a question: When, if ever, is it OK to stab someone 23 times? [music intro] [music intro] [music intro] [music intro] [music intro] [music intro] Shakespeare answers that question by saying that Roman senators killed Caesar because he was going to destroy the Roman republic, but even if that’s true, we still have to answer whether: a. The Roman Republic was worth preserving, and b. whether Caesar actually destroyed it. One of the things that made the Roman republic endure, both in reality and in imagination was its balance. According to the Greek historian Polybius, "THE THREE kinds of government, monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, were all found united in Rome. And … it was no easy thing to determine with assurance, whether the entire state was an aristocracy, a democracy, or a monarchy.” At the heart of this blended system was the Senate, a body of legislators chosen from a group of elite families. (Rome was divided into two broad classes: the Patricians – the small group of aristocratic families and the Plebeians, basically everybody else. The Senators were drawn from the Patricians.) The Senate was a sort of a mixture of legislature and giant advisory council. Their main job was to set the policy for the Consuls. Each year the Senate would choose from among its ranks 2 co-Consuls to serve as sort of the chief executives of Rome. There needed to be two so they could check each other’s ambition, and also so that one could, you know, take care of Rome domestically, while the other was off fighting wars, and conquering new territory. There were two additional checks on power: First, the one-year term. I mean, how much trouble could you really do in a year, right? Unless you’re the CEO of Netflix, I mean he destroyed that company in like two weeks. And secondly, once a senator had served as consul, he was forbidden to serve as consul again for at least 10 years. Although that went a little bit like you say you’re only going to eat one Chipotle burrito per week, and then there are a few exceptions, and then all of a sudden you’re there every day, and YES, I know guacamole is more, JUST GIVE IT TO ME! But right, we were talking about the Romans. The Romans also had a position of dictator, a person who would who’d take over in the event the Republic was in imminent danger. The paradigm for this selfless Roman ruler was Cincinnatus, a general who came out of comfortable retirement at his plantation, took command an army, defeated whatever enemy he was battling, and then laid down his command and returned to his farm, safe in the knowledge that one day the second largest city in Ohio would be named for him. If that model of leadership sounds familiar to Americans by the way, it’s because George Washington was heavily influenced by Cincinnatus when he invented the idea of a two term presidency. So along comes Caesar. Gaius Ju- Gay-us? No it’s Gaius, I know from Battlestar Galactica. Gaius Julius Caesar was born around 100 BCE to one of Rome’s leading families. His birth was somewhat miraculous, requiring a surgical procedure that we know as Caesarian section. Coming as he did from the senatorial class, it was natural that Caesar would serve in both the army and the Senate, which he did. He rose through the ranks, and after some top-notch generalling, and a gig as the governor of Spain, he decided to run for consul. In order to win, Caesar needed financial help, which he got from Crassus, one of Rome’s richest men. Crassus ran a private fire company whose business model was essentially, “hey, I notice your house is on fire. Give me some money and I’ll help you out with that.” Caesar succeeded in becoming consul in 59 BC and thereafter sought to dominate Roman politics by allying himself with Crassus and also with Rome’s other most powerful man, the general Pompey. You’ll no doubt remember Pompey from his fascination with Alexander the Great. Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar were the so-called first triumvirate, and the alliance worked out super well, for Caesar. Not so well for the other two. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. After a year as consul that included getting the senate to pass laws largely because of intimidation by Pompey’s troops, Caesar landed the governorship of Gaul, at least the southern part of Gaul that Rome controlled. He quickly conquered the rest of Gaul and his four loyal armies—or legions, as the Romans called them—became his source of power. Caesar continued his conquests, invading Britain and waging another successful war against the Gauls. While he was away, Crassus died in battle with the Parthians and Pompey, who had become Caesar’s rival and enemy, was elected Consul. Pompey and the Senate decided to try to strip Caesar of his command and recall him to Rome. If he returned to Rome without an army, Caesar would have been prosecuted for corrupt consuling and also probably exceeding his authority as governor, so instead he returned with the 13th Legion. He crossed the Rubicon River, famously saying, “the die is cast” or possibly, “Let the die be cast.” Sorry, Thought Bubble, sources disagree. Basically, Caesar was invading his own hometown. Pompey was in charge of Rome’s army but like a boss fled the city, and by 48 BCE Caesar was in total command of all of Rome’s holdings, having been named both dictator and consul. Caesar set out to Egypt to track down Pompey only to learn that he’d already been assassinated by agents of the Pharaoh Ptolemy. Egypt had its own civil war at the time, between the Pharaoh and his sister/wife Cleopatra. Ptolemy was trying to curry favor with Caesar by killing his enemy, but Caesar was mad in that the-only-person-who-gets-to-tease-my-little-brother-is-me kind of way, except with murder instead of teasing. So Caesar sided with—and skoodilypooped with—Cleopatra. Thank you, Thought Bubble. Cleopatra went on to become tBut before all that, Caesar made his way back from Egypt to Rome, stopping off to defeat a few kings in the east, and was declared dictator again. he last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and bet on Marc “I am the Wrong Horse” Antony instead of Emperor “There Is a Baby Attached to My Leg” Augustus. But before all that, Caesar made his way back from Egypt to Rome, stopping off to defeat a few kings in the east, and was declared dictator again. That position that was later extended for ten years, and then for life. He was elected consul in 46 and then again in 45 BCE, this last time without a co-consul. By 45 BCE Caesar was the undisputed master of Rome and he pursued reforms that strengthened his own power. He provided land pensions for his soldiers, restructured the debts of a huge percentage of Rome’s debtors, and also changed the calendar to make it look more like the one we use today. But by 44 BCE, many Senators had decided that Caesar controlled too much of the power in Rome, and so they stabbed him 23 times on the floor of the Roman senate. Caesar was duly surprised about this and all, but he never said, “Et Tu, Brute” when he realized Brutus was one of the co-conspirators. That was an invention of Shakespeare. The conspirators thought that the death of Caesar would bring about the restoration of the Republic, and they were wrong. For one thing, Caesar’s reforms were really popular with the Rome’s people, who were quick to hail his adopted son Octavian, along with his second in command Mark “I am the wrong horse” Antony and a dude named Lepidus, as a second triumvirate. This triumvirate was an awesome failure, degenerating into a second civil war. Octavian and Antony fought it out. Antony being the wrong horse lost. Octavian won, changed his name to Caesar Augustus, became sole ruler of Rome, attached a baby to his leg, adopted the title Emperor, and started printing coins identifying himself as Divini Filius: Son of God. More on that next week. Although Augustus tried to pretend that the forms of the Roman republic were still intact, the truth was that he made the laws and the Senate had become nothing more than a rubber stamp. Which reminds me, it’s time for the open letter. Movie magic! An open letter to the Roman Senate. Oh, but first, let’s see what’s in the secret compartment. Ah, it’s a harmonica! Stan, do you want me to play some old, Roman folk songs? Very well. Stan, I just want to thank you for doing such a good job of overdubbing there. Dear Roman Senate, whether you were rubber stamping the laws of Emperor Augustus, or stabbing Caesar on the floor of your sacred hall, you were always doing something! I don’t want to sound nostalgic for a time when people lived to be 30, a tiny minority of adults could vote, and the best fashion choice was bedsheets, but oh my god, at least you did something! You’re senate was chosen from among the Patrician class. Our senate here in the United States is chosen from among the obstructionist class. But don’t get me wrong Roman senate, you were terrible. Best wishes, John Green. So did Caesar destroy the Republic? Well, he started a series of civil wars, he seized power for himself, subverted the ideas of the republic, he changed the constitution, but he’s only really to blame if he was the first one to do that. And he wasn’t. Take the general Marius, for instance, who rose to power on the strength of his generalship and on his willingness to open up the army to the poor, who were loyal to him personally, and not to Rome,and whom he promised land in exchange for their good service in the army. This of course required the Romans to keep conquering new land so they could keep giving it to new legionnaires. Marius also was consul 5 times in a row 60 years before Caesar. Or look at the general Sulla who, like Marius, ensured that his armies would be more loyal to him personally than to Rome, but who marched against Rome itself, and then became its dictator, executing thousands of people in 81 BCE, 30 years before Caesar entered the scene. There is another way of looking at this question altogether if we dispense with great man history. Maybe Rome became an empire before it had an emperor. Like, remember the Persian Empire? You’ll remember that empire had some characteristics that made it, imperial. Like a unified system of government, continual military expansion, and a diversity of subject peoples. The Roman empire had all three of those characteristics long before it became The Roman Empire. Like Rome started In 219 BCE, Hannibal attacked a Roman town and then led an army across Spain, and then crossed the freaking Alps with elephants. out as a city, and then it became a city state, then a kingdom, and then a Republic, but that entire time, it was basically comprised of the area around Rome. By the 4th century BCE, Rome started to incorporate its neighbors like the Latins and the Etruscans, and pretty soon they had all of Italy under their control, but that’s not really diversity of subject peoples. I mean, nothing personal Italians, but you have a lot of things in common, like the constant gesticulations. If you want to talk about real expansion and diversity, you’ve got to talk about the Punic Wars. These were the wars that I remember, primarily because they involved Hannibal crossing the Alps with freaking war-elephants, which was probably the last time that the elephants could have risen up, and formed their awesome secret elephant society with elephant planes and elephant cars. In the First Punic War, Rome wanted Sicily, which was controlled by the Carthaganians. Rome won, which made Carthage cranky, so they started the second Punic war. In 219 BCE, Hannibal attacked a Roman town and then led an army across Spain, and then crossed the freaking Alps with elephants. Hannibal and his elephant army almost won, but alas, they didn’t and as a result the Romans got Spain. People in Spain are definitely NOT Romans (despite Russell Crowe’s character in Gladiator), which means that by 201 BCE Rome was definitely an empire. People in Spain are definitely NOT Romans (despite Russell Crowe’s character in Gladiator), which means that by 201 BCE Rome was definitely an empire. The third Punic War was a formality – Rome found some excuse to attack Carthage and then destroyed it so completely that these days you can’t even find it on a map. Eventually this whole area, and a lot more would be incorporated into a system of provinces and millions of people would be ruled by the Roman Empire. And it’s ridiculous to say that Rome was a Republic until Augustus became Rome’s first official emperor, because by the time he did that, Rome had been an empire for 200 years. There is a reason why I am arguing that the death of the Republic came before Caesar and probably around the time that Rome became an Empire. If anything destroyed the idea of Republican Rome, it was the concentration of power into the hands of one man. And this man was always a general. I mean, you can’t march on Rome without an army, after all. Why were there such powerful generals? Because Rome had decided to become an Empire, and empires need to expand militarily. Particularly, the Roman empire needed to expand militarily because it always needed new land to give its retired legionnaires. That expansion created the all-powerful general and the incorporation of diverse peoples made it easier for them to be loyal to him, rather than to some abstract idea of the Republic. Julius Caesar didn’t create emperors: Empire created them. Next week we’ll be discussing Christianity, so that shouldn’t be controversial. Until then, thanks for watching. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan Muller, our script supervisor is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history teacher Raoul Meyer and myself and our graphics team is Thought Bubble. Last week's Phrase of the Week was "Pre-Distressed Designer Jeans" If you want to guess at this week’s Phrase of the Week or suggest future ones, you can do so in Comments where you can also ask questions about today’s video which our team of historians will endeavor to answer. Thanks for watching Crash Course, and as we say in my hometown, don’t forget to be awesome. [scoots out of frame] [scoots out of frame] Whoah... Geez!

The patricius in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

There was an intermediate period under the Late Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire when the title was given to governors in the Western parts of the Empire, such as SicilyStilicho, Aetius and other 5th-century magistri militari usefully exemplify the role and scope of the patricius at this point. Later the role, like that of the Giudicati of Sardinia, acquired a judicial overtone, and was used by rulers who were often de facto independent of Imperial control, like Alberic II of Spoleto, "Patrician of Rome" from 932 to 954.

In the 9th and 10th centuries, the Byzantine emperors strategically used the title of patrikios to gain the support of the native princes of southern Italy in the contest with the Carolingian Empire for control of the region. The allegiance of the Principality of Salerno was bought in 887 by investing Prince Guaimar I, and again in 955 from Gisulf I. In 909 the Prince of Benevento, Landulf I, personally sought and received the title in Constantinople for both himself and his brother, Atenulf II. In forging the alliance that won the Battle of the Garigliano in 915, the Byzantine strategos Nicholas Picingli granted the title to John I and Docibilis II of Gaeta and Gregory IV and John II of Naples.

At this time there was usually only one "Patrician" for a particular city or territory at a time; in several cities in Sicily, like Catania and Messina, a one-man office of patrician was part of municipal government for much longer. Amalfi was ruled by a series of Patricians, the last of whom was elected Duke.

Formation of the European patriciates

The Swiss patrician Franz Rudolf Frisching in the uniform of an officer of the Bernese Huntsmen Corps with his Berner Laufhund, painted by Jean Preudhomme in 1785.

Though often mistakenly so described, patrician families of Italian cities were not in their origins members of the territorial nobility, but members of the minor landowners, the bailiffs and stewards of the lords and bishops, against whose residual powers they led the struggles in establishing the urban communes. At Genoa the earliest records of trading partnerships are in documents of the early 11th century; there the typical sleeping partner is a member of the local petty nobility with some capital to invest, and in the expansion of trade leading roles were taken by men who already held profitable positions in the feudal order, who received revenues from rents or customs tolls or market dues. Then in the 12th and 13th centuries, to this first patrician class were added the families who had risen through trade, the Doria, Cigala and Lercari[6] In Milan, the earliest consuls were chosen from among the valvasores, capitanei and cives. H. Sapori found the first patriaciates of Italian towns to usurp the public and financial functions of the overlord to have been drawn from such petty vassals, holders of heritable tenancies and rentiers who farmed out the agricultural labours of their holdings.[7]

At a certain point it was necessary to obtain recognition of the independence of the city, and often its constitution, from either the Pope or the Holy Roman Emperor - "free" cities in the Empire continued to owe allegiance to the Emperor, but without any intermediate rulers.

In the late Middle Ages and early modern period patricians also acquired noble titles, sometimes simply by acquiring domains in the surrounding contado that carried a heritable fief. However, in practice the status and wealth of the patrician families of the great republics was higher than that of most nobles, as money economy spread and the profitability and prerogatives of land-holding eroded, and they were accepted as of similar status. The Republic of Genoa had a separate class, much smaller, of nobility, originating with rural magnates who joined their interests with the fledgling city-state. Some cities, such as Naples and Rome, which had never been republics in post-Classical times, also had patrician classes, though most holders also had noble titles. The Republic of Ragusa was ruled by a strict patriciate that was formally established in 1332, which was subsequently modified only once, following the 1667 Dubrovnik earthquake.

Subsequently, "patrician" became a vaguer term used for aristocrats and elite bourgeoisie in many countries.

Transformations within patriciates

Francesco Loredan (1665 - 1715), Venetian nobleman and magnate, head of the Santo Stefano branch of the House of Loredan.[8]

In some Italian cities an early patriciate drawn from the minor nobles and feudal officials took a direct interest in trade, notably the textile trade and the long-distance trade in spices and luxuries as it expanded, and were transformed in the process. In others, the inflexibility of the patriciate would build up powerful forces excluded from its ranks, and in an urban coup the great mercantile interests would overthrow the grandi, without overthrowing the urban order, but simply filling its formal bodies with members drawn from the new ranks, or rewriting the constitution to allow more power to the "populo". Florence, in 1244, came rather late in the peak period of these transformations, which was between 1197, when Lucca followed this route, and 1257, when Genoa adopted similar changes.[9] However Florence was to have other upheavals, reducing the power of the patrician class, in the movement leading to the Ordinances of Justice in 1293, and the Revolt of the Ciompi in 1378.

Of the major republics, only Venice managed to retain an exclusively patrician government, which survived until Napoleon. In Venice, where the exclusive patriciate reserved to itself all power of directing the Serenissima Repubblica and erected legal barriers to protect the state increased its scrutiny over the composition of its patriciate in the generation after the Battle of Chioggia. Venetians with a disputed claim to the patriciate were required to present to the avogadori di comun established to adjudicate such claims a genealogy called a prova di nobiltà, a "test of nobility". This was particularly required of Venetian colonial elite in outlying regions of the Venetian thalassocracy, as in Crete, a key Venetian colony 1211–1669, and a frontier between Venetian and Byzantine, then Ottoman, zones of power. For Venetians in Venice, the prova di nobiltà was simply a pro forma rite of passage to adulthood, attested by family and neighbours; for the colonial Venetian elite in Crete the political and economic privileges weighed with the social ones, and for the Republic, a local patriciate in Crete with loyalty ties to Venice expressed through connective lineages was of paramount importance.[10]

Recruitment to patriciates

Active recruitment of rich new blood was also a character of some more flexible patriciates, which drew in members of the mercantile elite, through ad hoc partnerships in ventures, which became more permanently cemented by marriage alliances. "In such cases an upper group, part feudal-aristocratic, part mercantile would arise, a group of mixed nature like the 'magnates' of Bologna, formed of nobles made bourgeois by business, and bourgeois ennobled by city decree, both fused together in law."[11] Others, like Venice, tightly restricted membership, which was closed in 1297, though some families, the "case nuove" or "new houses" were allowed to join in the 14th century, after which membership was frozen.

German cities of the Holy Roman Empire

Beginning in the 11th century, a privileged class which much later came to be called Patrizier[12] formed in the German-speaking free imperial cities. Besides wealthy merchant Grand Burghers (German: Großbürger), they were recruited from the ranks of imperial knights, administrators and ministeriales; the latter two groups were accepted even when they were not freemen.

Members of a patrician society entered into oaths of loyalty to one another and directly with respect to the Holy Roman Emperor.

German medieval patricians, Patrician (post-Roman Europe) did not refer to themselves as such. Instead, they organized themselves into closed societies (i.e., Gesellschaften)[citation needed] and would point to their belonging to certain families or "houses" (i.e., Geschlechter), as documented for Imperial Free Cities of Cologne, Frankfurt am Main, Nuremberg[citation needed]. The Dance Statute of 1521 is an example of such closed identification. The use of the word Patrizier to refer to the most privileged segment of urban society dates back not to the Middle Ages but to the Renaissance. In 1516 the Nuremberg councillor and jurist Christoph Scheuerl (1481–1542) was commissioned by Johann Staupitz, the vicar general of the order of St. Augustine, to draft a précis of the Nuremberg constitution, presented on 15 December 1516 in the form of a letter. Because the letter was composed in Latin, Scheuerl referred to the Nuremberg "houses" as "patricii", making ready use of the obvious analogy to the constitution of ancient Rome. His contemporaries soon turned this into the loan words Patriziat and Patrizier for patricianship and patricians. However, this usage did not become common until the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Patrizier filled the seats of town councils and appropriated other important civic offices to themselves. For this purpose they assembled in patrician societies and asserted a hereditary claim to the coveted offices. In Frankfurt the Patrizier societies began to bar admittance of new families in the second half of the 16th century. The industrious Calvinist refugees from the southern Netherlands made substantial contributions to the city's commerce. But their advancement was largely limited to the material sphere. At the time this was summed up as

The Roman Catholics have the churches, the Lutherans have the power, and the Calvinists have the money.[13]

Jews were in any case never even considered for membership in patricians' societies. Unlike non-Lutheran Christians and until their partial emancipation brought on by Napoleonic occupation, however, other avenues to advancement in society were also closed to them.

As in the Italian republics, this was opposed by the craftsmen who were organized in guilds of their own (Zünfte). In the 13th century they began to challenge the prerogatives of the patricians and their guilds. Most of the time the guilds succeeded in achieving representation on a town's council. However, these gains were reversed in most Imperial Free Cities through the reforms in 1551–1553 by Emperor Charles V (of the Holy Roman Empire, 1519–1556) and patricians consolidated their exclusive right to city counsel seats and associated offices, making the patriciate the only families eligible for election to the city council.

During the formative years of a patrician junker, it was common to pursue international apprenticeships and academic qualification. During their careers patricians often achieved high military and civil service positions in the service of their cities and the emperor. It was also common for patricians to gain wealth as shareholders of corporations which traded commodities across Europe.

In the territories of the former Holy Roman Empire, patricians were considered the equal of the feudal nobility (the "landed gentry").[14] Indeed, many patrician societies such as the Suenfzen of Lindau, referred to their members as "noble" and themselves as a "noble" or even "high noble" societies. Some patrician societies such as that of Bern, officially granted their members the right to use noble predicates whereas other patricians chose to use the noble predicate "von" in connection with their original name or a country estate, see e.g., the Lindau patrician families Heider von Gitzenweiler (also von Heider), Funk von Senftenau, Seutter von Loetzen (also von Seutter), Halder von Moellenberg (also von Halder), Curtabatt (also von Curtabat or de Curtabat). In 1696 and 1697 Emperor Leopold affirmed the noble quality (i.e., ebenburtigkeit") of Nuremberg Patrizier and their right to elevate new families to their society.[14]

Notwithstanding that membership in a patrician society (or eligibility there for, i.e., "Ratsfähigkeit") was per se evidence of belonging to the highest of social classes of the Holy Roman Empire, patricians always had the option to have their noble status confirmed by a patent of nobility from the Holy Roman Emperor which was granted as a matter course upon the payment of fee.[15] In any case, when travelling to other parts of Europe for example to the court of Louis XIV, members of the patrician societies of imperial free cities were recognized as noble courtiers as documented in the autobiography of Lindau Suenfzenjunker Rudolf Curtabatt.[16]

The Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist in 1806. Although not the arbiter of who belongs to the historical German patriciate, the modern Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels (= Genealogical Handbook of Nobility) following appropriate review by the fourth chamber of the German Adelsrechtsausschuß [de] or Noble Law Committee, will include families even without a title of nobility affirmed by the Emperor, when there is proof that their progenitors belonged to hereditary "council houses" in German imperial cities. To the extent patricians and their descendants chose to avail themselves of a noble predicate after 1806 and, therefore, without imperial affirmation, such titles and predicates would also be accepted by the German Adelsrechtsausschuß if acquired through a legal mechanism akin to adverse possession, i.e., Ersitzung.[17]

In any case, in the Netherlands (see below) and many Hanseatic cities such as Hamburg, patricians scoffed at the notion of ennoblement[citation needed]. Indeed, Johann Christian Senckenberg, the famous naturalist, commented, "An honest man is worth more than all the nobility and all the Barons. If anyone were to make me a Baron, I would call him a [female canine organ] or equally well a Baron. This is how much I care for any title."[18]

In 1816, Frankfurt's new constitution abolished the privilege of heritable office for the patricians.[19] In Nuremberg, successive reforms first curtailed the patricians privileges (1794) and then effectively abolished them (1808), although they retained some vestiges of power until 1848.

Patricianship in the Netherlands

Cornelis de Graeff (1599-1664), regent and burgomaster of Amsterdam, painted by Pickenoy (1636)

The Netherlands also has a patriciate. These are registered in Nederland's Patriciaat, colloquially called The Blue Book (see List of Dutch patrician families). To be eligible for entry, families must have played an active and important role in Dutch society, fulfilling high positions in the government, in prestigious commissions and in other prominent public posts for over six generations or 150 years.

The longer a family has been listed in the Blue Book, the higher its esteem. The earliest entries are often families seen as co-equal to the lower nobility (Jonkheers, knights and barons), because they are the younger branches of the same family or have continuously married members of the Dutch nobility over a long period of time.

There are "regentenfamilies", whose forefathers were active in the administration of town councils, counties or the country itself during the Dutch Republic. Some of these families declined ennoblement because they did not keep a title in such high regard. At the end of the 19th century, they still proudly called themselves "patriciërs". Other families belong to the patriciate because they are held in the same regard and respect as the nobility but for certain reasons never were ennobled. Even within the same important families there can be branches with and without noble titles.


Members of the patriciate of Skien; the Altenburg/Paus families (late 1810s). To the right: Henrik Ibsen's mother Marichen Altenburg.

In Denmark and Norway, the term "patriciate" came to denote, mainly from the 19th century, the non-noble upper class, including the bourgeoisie, the clergy, the civil servants and generally members of elite professions such as lawyers. The Danish series Danske Patriciske Slægter (later Patriciske Slægter and Danske patricierslægter) was published in six volumes between 1891 and 1979 and extensively described Danish patrician families.[20][21][22] The term was used similarly in Norway from the 19th century, based on the Danish model; notably Henrik Ibsen described his own family background as patrician.[23] Jørgen Haave defines the patriciate in the Norwegian context as a broad collective term for the civil servants (embetsmenn) and the burghers in the cities who were often merchants or ship's captains, i.e. the non-noble upper class.[23] The bourgeoisie frequently intermarried with the families of higher civil servants and the nobility; the boundaries between the groups were not sharp.

See also


  1. ^ Charles Neider, The stature of Thomas Mann, 1968
  2. ^ Wolfgang Beutin, A history of German literature: from the beginnings to the present day, Routledge, 1993, ISBN 0-415-06034-6, p. 433
  3. ^ Pirenne, Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade (1927) offers a late, developed view of the "Pirenne thesis" with origins in articles on the origins of urban constitutions in 1895: see Henri Pirenne#Pirenne Thesis.
  4. ^ Alfred Otto Stolze, Der Sünfzen zu Lindau. Das Patriziat einer schwäbischen Reichsstadt (Bernhard Zeller, Lindau/Konstanz, 1956) discusses this mechanism for accession to the Patriciate; "Wenn die Tochter eines Sünfzen Genossen sich mit Willen ihrer Eltern vermählte, so wurde der Ehemann aufgenommen, "der gleich der Sünfzen sonnst nit fähig wäre" gegen zwei Gulden, bzw. wie ein jüngerer Sohn"
  5. ^ T. K. Derry, A History of Scandinavia, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1979, p. 193, ISBN 0-04-948004-9
  6. ^ Hibbert, A. B. (1953). "The Origins of the Medieval Town Patriciate". Past & Present. 3 (3): 15–27 [p. 18]. doi:10.1093/past/3.1.15. JSTOR 650033.
  7. ^ H. Sapori, article in International Historical Congress 1950, noted by Hibbert 1953 note 10.
  8. ^ "LOREDAN, Francesco in "Dizionario Biografico"". (in Italian). Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  9. ^ Hall, Peter (1999). Cities in Civilization. London: Phoenix. p. 91. ISBN 0-7538-0815-3.
  10. ^ O'Connell, Monique (2004). "The Venetian Patriciate in the Mediterranean: Legal Identity and Lineage in Fifteenth-Century Venetian Crete". Renaissance Quarterly. 57 (2): 466–493. JSTOR 1261723. Stanley Chojnacki has also studied the Venetian patriciate in a number of articles.
  11. ^ Hibbert 1953:19.
  12. ^ This word is used for both the singular and plural form.
  13. ^ Körner, p. XIII. Later, the Huguenot refugees flocking to Frankfurt following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by French king Louis XIV in 1685 proved similarly valuable additions to the city's economy, but they too found membership in the Patrizier societies elusive.
  14. ^ a b Endres, Rudolf. Adel in der frühen Neuzeit. Enzyklopaedie Deutscher Geschichte, Band 18, Oldenbourg, p. 72.
  15. ^ Der Titel "von" beruht also nur auf den Adelsbriefen, die man sich mit Geld erwerben konnte. Die eine Familie legte Wert darauf, sich den Titel 'von' beizulegen, und die andere nicht. Stolze, Alfred O., Der Suenfzen zu Lindau, Das Patriziat einer Schwaebischen Reichsstadt, 1956.
  16. ^ Das Leben des Lindauer Bürgermeisters Rudolf Curtabatt. Hrsg. von Franz Joetze, Sch.V.G.B. 35 S. 355 FF
  17. ^ "Discussion relating the IV. Kammer of the ARA and to non-objection of noble status for descendants of Patrizier and Ersitzung of a noble predicate on pages 6-7" (PDF).
  18. ^ Quoted in August de Bary's biography of Senckenberg, 2004 reprint of 1947 edition, p. 162: "Ein ehrlicher Mann ist mehr als aller Adel und Baron. Wenn mich einer zum Baron machte, ich wollte ihn einen Hundsfott oder auch einen Baron schelten. So lieb sind mir alle Titel."
  19. ^ Die Macht der Patrizier Archived 19 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Frankfurter Rundschau Online
  20. ^ Sofus Elvius and Hans Rudolf Hiort-Lorenzen (eds.), Danske Patriciske Slægter, Copenhagen, 1891
  21. ^ Theodor Hauch-Fausbøll and H. R. Hiort-Lorenzen (eds.), Patriciske Slægter, 3. vols., 1911–1930
  22. ^ Wilhelm von Antoniewitz, Danske patricierslægter: ny række, 2. vols., 1956–1979
  23. ^ a b Jørgen Haave, Familien Ibsen, Museumsforlaget, 2017, ISBN 9788283050455

General references

  • Hans Körner: Frankfurter Patrizier. Historisch-Genealogisches Handbuch der Adeligen Ganerbschaft des Hauses Alten-Limpurg zu Frankfurt am Main. Ernst Vögel (publishers), Munich, 1971. [ISBN unspecified] (in German)
  • J. Dronkers and H. Schijf (2004): "Huwelijken tussen adel en patriciaat: een middeel om hun eliteposities in een moderne samenleving in stand te houden?" (in Dutch)
  • CBG. "Het Nederlands Patriciaat" (in Dutch)
  • Alfred Otto Stolze: Der Sünfzen zu Lindau. Das Patriziat einer schwäbischen Reichsstadt. Bernhard Zeller, Lindau/Konstanz 1956.
  • Christoph Heiermann: Die Spitze der Sozialstruktur: Organisation städtischer Eliten im Bodenseeraum. In Matthias Meinhardt und Andreas Ranft (Hrsg.): Die Sozialstruktur und Sozialtopographie vorindustrieller Städte. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2005.
  • Wolfgang Reinhard: Oligarchische Verflechtung und Konfession in oberdeutschen Städten. In Antoni Mączak (Hrsg.): Klientelsysteme im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit. Oldenbourg, München 1988
  • Das Leben des Lindauer Bürgermeisters Rudolf Curtabatt. Hrsg. von Franz Joetze, Sch.V.G.B. 35 S. 355 FF.
  • Ewige Quelle : Das Lebensbuch d. Anna Stolze von Pfister. 1–3. Tsd., Speer-Stolze, Clara, Heilbronn, Salzer, 1937.

External links

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