I think the reader may find the following description of commonly used terms of the period. Descriptions were complied from various Wiki sources.
*The stem duchies (German:
Stammesherzogtümer, from Stamm, literally "tribe") were essentially
the domains of the old Germanic tribes of the area associated with the Francia,
especially the Eastern part upon the 843 partition by the Treaty of Verdun, in
the Early Middle Ages.
The tribes that became stem
duchies were originally the Alemanni, the Thuringii, the Saxons, the Franks,
the Burgundians, and the Rugii. The tribes were part of the Völkerwanderung (or
Germanic migrations) of the 5th century. In 443 and 458, the Burgundians moved to settle in the Kingdom of Burgundy; the
area they had formerly occupied in Germania was then occupied by the Franks.
The Franks were a fusion of West Germanic tribes whose leaders had long been
aligned with Rome. The Rugii were destroyed in the wars over Italy in the 5th
and 6th centuries, and a new confederation of Germanic peoples formed in their
place: the Bavarii. All these tribes in Germania were eventually subjugated by
the Franks; the Alemanni fell in 496 and 505, the Thuringii in 531, the
Bavarians at some point after 553, and then finally the Saxons by 804 in a
protracted campaign by Charlemagne himself.
**Marches North and south of Bohemia,
the Germans headed east, founding a series of border counties or Marches, ruled
by margraves (mark-graf). To the north these started with the Margraviate of
Meissen and the March of Lusatia, and to their north the Northern March, which
became later the Margraviate of Brandenburg (the heart of the later Kingdom of
Prussia). Last in the north was originally the Billung March, which eventually
became the duchies of Holstein, Lauenburg, Mecklenburg, and Hither Pomerania.
In the south, there were the marches of Carniola, Carinthia, Styria, and
Austria (later Österreich ("eastern realm") or Duchy of Austria).
***Herzog Herzog is not related
to Herz ('heart'), but derives from German(ic) He(e)r ('army') and zog (ziehen)
(English: 'to pull, drag', also in die Schlacht ziehen "to go into
battle"), a military leader. Thus Herzog was a title borne
by Germanic warriors who exercised military authority over a tribe by general
acclaim among its members or warriors, especially in the stem duchies.
During the medieval era, some of the most powerful vassals whose territories
lay within the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire took or were granted the
title of Herzog by the Emperor. Several dynasties, such as the Habsburgs of
Austria, Hohenzollerns of Prussia, Welfs of Hanover, Wettins of Saxony,
Wittelsbachs of Bavaria and the House of Württemberg, held the Herzogswürde
(dukedom) before becoming kings.
****Ministeriales Ministerialis; a post-classical Latin word, meaning
originally servitor, agent, in a broad range of senses. These were people
raised up from serfdom to be placed in positions of power and responsibility. Ministeriale(n) and Dienstmann, came to describe those unfree
nobles who made up a large majority of what could be described as the German
knighthood during that time. What began as an irregular arrangement of workers
with a wide variety of duties and restrictions rose in status and wealth to
become the power brokers of an empire. The ministeriales were not legally free
people, but held social rank. Legally, their liege lord determined who they
could or could not marry, and they were not able to transfer their lords'
properties to heirs or spouses. They were, however, considered members of the
nobility since that was a social designation, not a legal one. Ministeriales
were trained knights, held military responsibilities and surrounded themselves
with the trappings of knighthood, and so were accepted as noblemen. Both
women and men held the ministerial status, and the laws on ministeriales made
no distinction between the sexes in how they were treated.
Abbot Adalard of Corbie
(d. 826) was Emperor Charlemagne's chief adviser, and described the running of
the government in his work De ordine palatii. There he praises the great merits
of his imperial staff, made up of household servii proprii (serfs) who were the
first ministerials authoritatively recorded.
It was Emperor Conrad II
(990-1039) who first referred to ministerials as a distinct class. He had them
organized into a staff of officials and administrators. In documents they are
referred to as ministerialis vir, or ministerial men.
Ministeriales as household servants were entrusted with special responsibilities by their overlords, such as the
management of a farm, administration of finances (chancery) or of various
Kings placed military
requirements upon their princes, who in turn, placed requirements upon their
vassals. The free nobles under a prince may have a bond of vassalage that let
them get out of serving, so kings, princes, bishops and archbishops were able
to recruit unfree persons into military service.
There were two sorts of
ministerials: casati, who administered lands and estates for a liege and were
paid from the proceeds of the land and non-casati, who held administrative and
military positions but were paid in either a fixed amount of coin or by a
portion of the proceeds of mills, road or bridge tolls, or ferry fees or port
constant is that all arrangements included a duty owed to the lord for military
service. This could take the form of actual personal service by the
ministeriales or a payment to fund others who went to war. The monastery of
Maurmunster records the following:
When a campaign
(profectio) of the king is announced to the bishop (of Metz, in this case) the
bishop will send an official to the abbot, and the abbot will assemble his
ministeriales. He will inform them of the campaign, and they will assemble the
following men and equipment...: one wagon with six cows and six men; one
packhorse with saddle and equipment and two men, the leader and the driver...If
the king moves the army to Italy, all the peasant farms shall contribute for
that purpose their usual taxes (that is, probably an entire annual rent as an
extraordinary tax). But if the army moves against Saxony, Flanders or elsewhere
on this side of the Alps, only half that amount will be given. From these
additional taxes the wagons and pack animals will be loaded with rations and
other items necessary for the journey.
In Bamberg the Carolingian
method of providing for a campaign remained in effect. Ministeriales were
grouped into threes; one went on campaign while the other two were responsible
for equipping and victualing him. This ensured that those who were sent to
war were prepared for war. this also shows that a military obligation didn't
necessarily mean riding off with the army.
Heerbann (also formerly Heermannie, Mid. Latin: Heribannus, French: Arrière-ban),
in the Imperial Military Constitution (Reichsheeresverfassung) of the Holy
Roman Empire, was the call to all free landowners capable of bearing arms to
participate in a military campaign, i.e. in an imperial war (Reichskreig).
However, as the feudal
system in the Holy Roman Empire developed in the Early Middle Ages, the
Heerbann became superfluous as a means of raising armies and increasingly fell
into disuse after the death of Charlemagne.
The Heerbann was
particularly imposing for poorer landowners, several of whom had to equip a
knight for war (one for every 3 hides), so they would attempt to withdraw
themselves from his service and place themselves in the service of and under
the protection of a more powerful lord, who would assist them in providing the
necessary military equipment or even stand them down from military service
Towards the end of the
10th century, this led to the reshaping of the entire military constitution.
The armies of the king now no longer consisted of all free knights, but came
from powerful imperial officials or vassals and their entourages; and those who
rendered no military service had to pay a campaign tax (Heersteuer).
The necessary organisation
of the Heerbann, needed thanks to constant campaigning by Charlemagne, was
divided by him into seven levels or "shields of knighthood", the
so-called Heerschilde. The campaigns, which were fought with the aid of the
Heerbann, were called Heerfahrten, the participation of the vassals was known
By the time of the
Crusades, when the feudal system had reached its height, the Heerbann had
almost totally disappeared in all European states.
Heerschild (Latin: clipeus militaris), also called the shield of
knighthood, in the Early Middle Ages was the right to raise a feudal levy of
troops. The call to do so was the Heerbann. The resulting importance of a
system of military ranks, based on the ability to provide men for a campaign,
became modified in the law books published in the 13th century. It finally
ended up as being an important part of the structure of medieval society, as
captured in the feudal law element of the Sachsenspiegel by Eike von Repgow.
The Sachsenspiegel, the
Saxon law book, portrays the society of the medieval empire as divided into
seven feudal military levels or Heerschilde (lit.: "army shields").
This Heerschildordnung was a scale determining a nobleman's status and was not
based on military criteria. The first Heerschild was the king or emperor as
the supreme overlord. This was followed by the second "shield",
formed by the ecclesiastical princes - the bishops and abbots - of the empire.
The third level comprised the secular or lay princes, who, in turn, sat above
the "free lords" (freie Herren), i.e. nobles who were not princes, of
the fourth stratum. The fifth and sixth Heerschilde were formed by freeman,
whether eligible for jury service (schöffenbar) or not, in other words
commoners who were able to act as magistrates (5th level) or not (6th level). As
to the seventh level, the Sachsenspiegel remains vague, both in terms its
composition, as well as whether it was in any real sense a Heerschild. Based on
this division of society, the Sachsenspiegel then dealt with the feudal law
rights and obligations of each Heerschild.