The Great Chain of Being

Sep 26, 2005 7:34 pm
Some titles used in Russian Opera and the literature that inspired then:

A “Prince” as used in this case means the sovereign ruler of a principality. The Russian title “Grand Prince” (Великий князь/Velikii kniaz) is a rank of nobility just below the Tsar but higher than a sovereign Prince (Kнязь/Kniaz). Just to create confusion the same word is also used as the Russian courtesy title for members of the family of the Tsar, although they were not sovereigns.

A more clear translation into languages, like English, which do not have separate words meaning “children of the monarch” and “sovereign ruler of a principality” would be “Grand Duke.”

Here is a good list of titles of nobility in several languages to help sort out all those references in opera and literature that baffle and confuse us Americans:

http://www.heraldica.org/topics/odegard/titlefaq.htm

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~ by severalfourmany on September 26, 2005.

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