This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (January 2013) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation like DeepL or Google Translate is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 8,885 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Ritter]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Ritter)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.

Ritter (German for "knight") is a designation used as a title of nobility in German-speaking areas. Traditionally it denotes the second-lowest rank within the nobility, standing above "Edler" and below "Freiherr" (Baron). For its historical association with warfare and the landed gentry in the Middle Ages, it can be considered roughly equal to the titles of "Knight", but it is hereditary like the British title of "Baronet".[1] The wife of a Ritter was called a "Frau" (in this sense "Lady") and not Ritterin.

As with most titles and designations within the nobility in German-speaking areas, the rank was hereditary and generally was used with the nobiliary particle of von or zu before a family name.[2] In heraldry, from the late 18th century a Ritter was often indicated by the use of a coronet with five points, although not everyone who was a Ritter and displayed arms made use of such a coronet. In the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary the title of "Ritter von" was bestowed upon citizens who deserved more than the plain "von" but were not considered deserving enough as to be given a barony and designated as "Freiherr".

Even today, members of the Central European Order of St. George, which goes back to Emperor Maximilian and was later reactivated by Habsburg after its dissolution by Nazi Germany, are "Ritter" (knights).[3]

In addition to the described system, Württemberg introduced orders of merit beginning in the late 18th century which also conferred nobility as "Ritter von" but kept the title limited to the recipient's lifetime (see Military Order of Max Joseph).[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Definition of RITTER". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  2. ^ Jackson, W. H. (1994). Chivalry in Twelfth-century Germany: The Works of Hartmann Von Aue. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85991-431-4.
  3. ^ St. Georgs Orden feiert im Dom
  4. ^ Jakob Knab: "Unangreifbare Traditionspflege. Der Bayerische Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden und das Königlich-Bayerische Infanterie-Leib-Regiment." In: Geschichte quer. 12/2004.