- List of dukes in Europe
The following is a list of historic duchies in Europe:
Although the titled aristocracy of Germany no longer holds a legal rank, nearly all ducal families in Germany continued to be treated as dynastic (i.e., "royalty") for marital and genealogical purposes after 1918. Some maintain dynastic traditions that are reflected in roles they still play in high society, philanthropy and Germany's version of local "squirearchy".
At first, the highest nobles – de facto equal to kings and emperors – were the Dukes of the stem duchies:
- Duchy of Saxony (now Lower Saxony)
- Duchy of Franconia
- Duchy of Bavaria
- Duchy of Swabia
- Duchy of Lorraine (replacing Duchy of Thuringia)
Later, the precedence shifted to the prince-electors, the first order amongst the princes of the empire, regardless of the actual title attached to the fief. This college originally included only one Duke, the Duke of Saxony. The ducal title, however, was not limited by primogeniture in the post-medieval era. All descendants in the male line, including females, shared the original title, but each male added as a suffix the name of his inherited domain to distinguish his line from that of other branches. From the 19th century, some cadets of the kingly houses of Bavaria and Württemberg, and all those of the grand-ducal houses of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Oldenburg, took the ducal prefix as their primary style instead of that of Prince (Prinz).
There were many other duchies, some of them insignificant petty states (Kleinstaaterei):
- Duchy of Bavaria, elector since 1623
- Duchy of Bremen (1648-1806)
- Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, divided into various lines, one of which became the electorate of Hanover in 1692
- Duchy of Franconia, the secular title of the Bishop of Würzburg
- Duchy of Holstein, in union with Schleswig, in personal union with the Danish crown.
- Duchy of Jülich and Berg
- Duchy of Lorraine
- Duchy of Magdeburg, the former prince-archbishopric after being acquired by Brandenburg-Prussia in 1680
- Duchy of Mecklenburg, later divided into various lines
- Duchy of Pomerania
- Grand Duchy of Salzburg, the secularized prince-archbishopric 1803-1806
- Duchies of Saxony, in Lower Saxony and Upper Saxony, the successor state(s) of the original (stem)duchy of Saxony after dismissal of Duke Henry the Lion by the Emperor, collateral lines of the electoral line (to wit: the Lower Saxon Saxe-Lauenburg and the Upper Saxon Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Saxe-Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenberg, Saxe-Gotha, Saxe-Hildburghausen, Saxe-Jena, Saxe-Meiningen, Saxe-Römhild, Saxe-Saalfeld, Saxe-Weimar, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Saxe-Weissenfels, and Saxe-Wittenberg)
- Duchy of Silesia
- Duchy of Westphalia, a territory under the Archbishop of Cologne, either a successor-state of the original Duchy of Saxony, which was divided into Eastphalia (which later became Brunswick-Lüneburg), Engern and Westphalia
- Duchy of Württemberg, became an electorate in 1803
- Duchy of Zweibrücken
On the Baltic south coast
- The duchy of Pomerellen (Pomerelia; capital Danzig (Gdańsk), now in Poland) was part of the State of the Teutonic Order until its takeover by the Polish Crown in 1466.
- The duchy of Courland (now in Latvia) was a Polish vassal state and once a colonial power from its foundation in 1562 for the last Master of Livonian Order, Gotthard Kettler, until 1795.
- The Ordensstaat became the Duchy of Prussia in 1525, part of the dynastic home country of the later German (Hohenzollern) Emperor.
The Low countries (Netherlands/Belgium/Luxembourg)
- Duchy of Brabant
- Duchy of Guelders
- Duchy of Bouillon in the Ardenne
- Duchy of Luxembourg
The Austrian lands:
- the Duchies of Austria proper
- the Duchy of Hohenberg
- the Duchy of Carinthia (today in Austria and Slovenia)
- the Duchy of Styria (today in Austria and Slovenia)
- the Duchy of Krain (today Slovenia).
The Habsburg dukes came to style themselves Archdukes.
The earliest territorial titles in Italy rendered as Duke were officially styled Dux in Latin, as they were appointed under Byzantine suzerainty (in the Exarchate of Ravenna), notably in chief of the essentially republican virtual Tyrhenean port cities of Amalfi, Gaeta, Naples until the Germanic takeover by the Italian kingdom of the Longobards.
More conventional feudal dukedoms include:
- Duchy of Acerenza, created by the Kings of Spain and Naples for the ancestors of the Prince Belmonte
- Duchy of Spoleto, in the Longobard kingdom
- Duchy of Savoy, originally a countship; also partly in present France and Switzerland
- Dukes of Modena and Reggio
- Duchy of San Donato, created by the Kings of Spain and Naples for the ancestors of the Prince Sanseverino
- Duchies of Benevento (787-873 under Frankish suzerainty, then again Byzantine; later a principality, since 1051 held from the Pope) and Pontecorvo, both of which became part of the Papal states
- the Doges (a variant in Italian) of Genua and of Venice were elective crowned heads of commercial maritime 'most serene republics', in style echoed by the minute Adriatic republic of Senarica
- See also Historical states of Italy
- Duke of Calabria was the primogeniture for the crown prince of the Neapolitan kingdom.
A unique Napoleonic particularity was the creation by decree of 30 March 1806 of a number of duchés grand-fiefs. As the name suggests, these were duchies, but forming an exclusive order of 'great fiefs' (twenty among some 2200 noble title creations), a college nearly comparable in status to the original anciennes pairies in the French kingdom. Since Napoleon I wouldn't go back on the Revolution's policy of abolishing feudalism in France, but didn't want these grandees to fall under the 'majorat' system in France either, he chose to create them outside the French "metropolitan" empire, notably in the following Italian satellite states, and yet all awarded to loyal Frenchmen, mainly high military officers:
In the Kingdom of Italy, in personal union with France, personally held by Napoleon I:
- Dalmatia (now in Croatia): for maréchal Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult (1808, extinguished 1857)
- Istria (now in Croatia): for maréchal Jean-Baptiste Bessières (1809, ext. 1856)
- Frioul, i.e Friuli: for the widow of general Geraud Christophe Michel Duroc (1813, ext. 1829)
- Cadore: for Admiral Jean-Baptiste Nompère de Champagny (ext. 1893)
- Bellune, i.e. Belluno: for maréchal Victor (1808, ext. 1853)
- Conegliano: for maréchal Bon Adrien Jeannot de Moncey (1808, ext. 1842)
- Trévise, i.e. Treviso: for maréchal Édouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier (1808, ext. 1912)
- Feltre: for general Clarke (ext. 1852, extended 1864)
- Bassano: for Hugues-Bernard Maret, minister (ext. 1906)
- Vicence, i.e. Vicenza: for general Armand Augustin Louis de Caulaincourt, also imperial Grand-Écuyer (ext. 1896)
- Padoue, i.e. Padua (Padova in Italian): for general Jean-Toussaint Arrighi de Casanova (24 April 1808, ext. 1888)
- Rovigo: for general Anne Jean Marie René Savary (extinguished in 1872)
In the Principality of Lucca-Piombino, only Massa et Carrara: for Régnier, judge (extinguished 1962); Massa and Carrara were separated from the kingdom of Italy by article 8 of the decree of March 30, 1806 and united to the principality of Lucca-Piombino by another decree of March 30, 1806.
In the Kingdom of Naples :
- Gaete, i.e. Gaeta: for Martin-Michel-Charles Gaudin, finance minister (1809, extinguished 1841)
- Otrante, i.e. Otranto: for Joseph Fouché, minister of Police (1809)
- Reggio: for maréchal Charles Nicolas Oudinot (1810, main line extinguished 1956, but special clause of the letters patent authorizing a substitution were applied)
- Tarente, i.e. Tarento: for maréchal Étienne-Jacques-Joseph-Alexandre MacDonald (1809, extinguished 1912)
In the states of Parma and Piacenza, ceded to France by the treaty of Aranjuez of 21 March 1801, shortly before both territories were united to the French Empire on 24 May 1808:
- Parme, i.e. Parma: for lawyer Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès, author of the Code (the main European revision since Roman law, still influential in most democratic societies), Arch-Chancellor (24 April 1808, extinguished 1824)
- Plaisance, i.e. Piacenza: for Charles-François Lebrun, also imperial Arch-Treasurer (24 April 1808, ext. 1926)
- Guastalla (extinguished in 1842)
In Portugal, Duke was the title given to the higher nobles. The first duchies created in Portugal were the Duchy of Coimbra and the Duchy of Viseu, in 1415, both created at the same time. These were the duchies in Portugal.
- Duke of Abrantes, created in 1753.
- Duke of Albuquerque, created in 1886.
- Duke of Aveiro, created in 1535.
- Duke of Ávila and Bolama, created in 1878.
- Duke of Barcelos, created in 1562.
- Duke of Beja, created in 1453.
- Duke of Braganza, created in 1442.
- Duke of Cadaval, created in 1648.
- Duchesse of Cadaval-Hermès, created in 2001.
- Duke of Caminha, created in 1620.
- Duke of Coimbra, created in 1415.
- Duke of Faial, created in 1833.
- Duke of Ficalho, created in 1836.
- Duke of Goa, created in 1515.
- Duke of Guarda, created in 1530.
- Duke of Guimarães, created in 1475.
- Duke of Lafões, created in 1718.
- Duke of Linhares, only between 1621-1640, in the reign of King Phillip III of Portugal.
- Duke of Loulé, created in 1852.
- Duke of Miranda do Corvo, created in 1796.
- Duke of Palmela, created in 1833.
- Duke of Porto, created in 1833.
- Duke of Saldanha, created in 1846.
- Duke of Tancos, created in 1790.
- Duke of Terceira, created in 1832.
- Duke of Torres Novas, created in 1619.
- Duke of Trancoso, created in 1530.
- Duke of Vila Real, created in 1585.
- Duke of Viseu, created in 1415.
- Duke of Vitória, created in 1812.
All nobility was dismissed after the Implatation of the Portuguese Republic, in 1910. The pretendents of these titles aren't able to use them officially. The pretendents of the titles of Duke of Barcelos, Duke of Braganza, Duke of Coimbra, Duke of Guimarães, Duke of Porto and Duke of Viseu are members of the extincted House of Braganza: D. Duarte Pio of Braganza, heir to the Portuguese Throne, and his sons and brothers (Dukes of Coimbra and Viseu).
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