Ask a question about 'Nobles of the Sword'
Start a new discussion about 'Nobles of the Sword'
Answer questions from other users
The Nobles of the Sword
refers to the class of traditional or old nobility in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
during the Middle Ages
France in the Middle Ages covers an area roughly corresponding to modern day France, from the death of Louis the Pious in 840 to the middle of the 15th century...
and the Early Modern
Kingdom of France is the early modern period of French history from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 18th century...
periods. This class was heir to a militaristic ideology of professional chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...
. It is largely synonymous with the expressions noblesse de race
and noblesse ancienne
, and is used in opposition to other classes of French nobility, namely:
- noblesse de chancellerie - chancellor nobility made noble by holding certain high offices for the king
- noblesse de lettres - person made noble by "lettres patentes
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...
" from the king
- noblesse de robe (nobility of the gown) - person or family made noble by holding certain official charges, like maître des requêtes
Masters of Requests are high-level judicial officers of administrative law in France and other European countries that have existed in one form or another since the Middle Ages.-Old Regime France:...
, treasurer or president of a provincial parlement
- noblesse de cloche (nobility of the "bell") or noblesse échevinale - person or family made noble by being a mayor or "échevin" or "prévôt des marchands" (municipal leader) in certain towns (such as Angers, Angoulême, Bourges, Lyon, Toulouse, Paris, Perpignan, Poitiers)
- noblesse militaire - person made noble through military position
As with officer of the sword
In the ancien Régime French Navy, an officier d'épée was a member of the "corps des officiers d'épée", one of the naval officer corps. This corps was divided between "officiers de vaisseau" et "officiers de port" . The other main corps was the administrative officier de plume....
, the expression derives from the right of nobles to wear a sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...