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  Markgraf, or margrave

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PostSubyek: Markgraf, or margrave   Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:40 am

A Markgraf, or margrave, originally functioned as the military governor of a Carolingian mark, a medieval border province. A margrave had jurisdiction over a march (German: Mark), which also become known, after his title, as a margraviate or margravate, strictly speaking the correct word for his office. As outlying areas tended to have great importance to the central realms of kings and princes, and they often became larger than those nearer the interior, margraves often acquired considerably greater power than other counts of a realm. Being on the border, a Margrave by definition had to maintain armed forces and fortifications which would enable him to withstand an invasion - and these made his position stronger and more independent towards his own sovereign. Moreover, if successful in war, a Margrave might conquer considerable territory which he would tend to keep to himself, acquiring more power and wealth - and in some cases (see below) eventually building himself up as an independent King.

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