The title of Margrave was given to the military chiefs of the steps, in the Carolingian Empire, then with some princes of the Saint Germanic Roman Empire. The equivalent title is Marquis. The margraviat is the jurisdiction on which it has authority.
With the the Middle Ages, a margrave (of German Markgraf , who results literally in " count of the marche") was the governor of a walk (or mark ) Carolingian, i.e. of a frontier Province. As the distant areas tended to have a great importance for the sovereigns who of it were distant and who they were often very large, the margraves had capacities more extended than the Noble S which managed more central provinces.
The majority of the steps, and thus of the margraves, were on the Eastern border of the Carolingian empire, and later on the edge of the Saint Worsens Roman Germanic (p.ex. in the west on the the Scheldt, the Valencian walk of ).
The walk of Spain constitutes an exception. It was located at the border with the world Musulman (Gothie) and corresponded to what is the Catalogne today.
In Central Europe, the most important margraviats were the walk of Brandebourg and the original territory of the Austria (which corresponds to current Basse Austria), which in Latin was called Marchia Orientalis , which can result in the “Eastern border region”. It should be noted that with 19th and 20th century, this name was sometimes translated into Ostmark , but the medieval documents compiled in the vernacular language mention only the name of Ostarrichi . At the time, Austria was a advanced station of the Saint Worsens, at the border with the Hungarian and the Slaves. In south-east, the Styrie, still called today Steiermark in German, was another important walk.
Marggrabova is a typical example of city of the steps of the east. It was in Eastern Prussia and owes its name to the margrave Albert Ier de Brandebourg (today, this city is located in Poland and was renamed Olecko).
With time, the title of margrave became hereditary.
Among works of fiction, one finds in the work of Jean Raspail " Seven riders left the city in the twilight by the door of the West which was not any more gardée" a hereditary margrave, Her Highness Sérénissime Welf III.
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