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Margrave

(German: markgraf; mark, march + graf, count)

A margrave was originally the military governor of a German "Mark" (or march), a medieval border province. As outlying areas tended to be of great importance to the central realms of kings and princes, and they often were larger than those nearer the interior, margraves assumed quite inordinate powers over those of other counts of a realm. The jurisdiction of a margrave was a margraviate.

The wife of a margrave is called a margravine.

In medieval Europe the most important provinces so called were the "Mark Brandenburg" and Austria, which in its medieval Latin version was called Marchia Austriaca, the "eastern borderland". Here one has to bear in mind that Austria was the eastern outpost of the Holy Roman Empire, on the border to, first, Eastern Christianity and, later, Islam.

Later, the title became hereditary and is now considered the equivalent of a marquess, or marquis in France.



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