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Aristocracy(class)
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Aristocratsisabroadtermthatusuallyreferstopeoplethataparticularsocialorderconsideredthehighest
socialclassofthatsociety.Specifically,inmanystates,thearistocracyimpliedtheupperclassofpeople
(aristocrats)whotypicallypossessahereditaryrankandspecificallytitles.Insomesocietiessuchas
AncientGreece,Rome,andIndiaaristocraticstatusmayderivefrommembershipofamilitarycaste,
althoughithasalsobeenverycommonforaristocratstobelongtopriestlydynastiesinlieuofthis,asisthe
caseinpolitiesalloverthecontinentofAfrica.Aristocraticstatuscaninvolvefeudalorlegalprivileges.[1]
Theyareusuallybelowonlythemonarchofacountryornationinitssocialhierarchy.Inmodernera
Europeansocieties,thetermaristocracyhasoftenbeenusedsynonymouslywiththenobility,aspecific
classthataroseinthemiddleages,butthetermaristocracyissometimesalsoappliedtootherelites,andis
usedasamoregenericterminreferencetoearlierandnonEuropeansocieties.
ThetermaristocracyderivesfromtheGreek(aristokratia(aristos)"excellent,"and
(kratos)"power."[2]Inmostcases,aristocratictitleswereandarehereditary.

Contents
1 Etymology
2 Europe
3 UnitedKingdom
4 India
4.1 Indianallochthonoustitles
5 Nigeria
6 Seealso
7 References
8 Externallinks

Etymology
Theterm"aristocracy"(Greek:)wasfirstusedinAthenswithreferencetoyoungcitizens(the
menoftherulingclass)wholedarmiesatthefrontline.Duetomartialbraverybeinghighlyregardedasa
virtueinancientGreece,itwasassumedthatthearmieswerebeingledby"thebest."Thisvirtuewascalled
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Aristocracy(class)Wikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

arete(Greek:).Etymologically,astheworddeveloped,italsoproducedamorepoliticalterm:aristoi
(Greek:).Thetermaristocracyisacompoundwordstemmingfromthesingularofaristoi,aristos
(Greek:),andtheGreekwordforpower,kratos(Greek:).
FromtheancientGreeks,thetermpassedtotheEuropeanMiddleAgesforasimilarhereditaryclassof
militaryleaders,oftenreferredtoasthenobility.AsinGreece,thiswasaclassofprivilegedmenand
womenwhosefamilialconnectionstotheregionalarmiesallowedthemtopresentthemselvesasthemost
"noble"or"best"ofsociety.

Europe
Historically,thestatusandprivilegesofthearistocracyinEuropewerebelowroyaltyandaboveallnon
aristocrats.
TheFrenchRevolutionattackedaristocratsaspeoplewhohadachievedtheirstatusbyhavingbeenbornin
awealthyfamilyratherthanbymerit,andthiswasconsideredunjust.IntheUnitedKingdomandother
Europeancountries,suchasSpainandDenmark,inwhichhereditarytitlesarestillrecognised,aristocrat
stillreferstothedescendantofoneofapproximately7,000familieswithhereditarytitles,manystillin
possessionofconsiderablewealth.

UnitedKingdom
IntheUnitedKingdom,membersofthehighestechelonofthearistocracy,thehereditarypeerswere,until
1999,membersoftheHouseofLordstheupperhouseofthelegislature,theParliamentoftheUnited
Kingdom.In1999,mostceasedtobemembers.However,theDukeofNorfolk,whoalwaysservesasEarl
Marshal,thehereditarypeerwhoservesasLordGreatChamberlain(currentlytheMarquessof
Cholmondeley),andafurther90RepresentativeHereditaryPeerselectedbytheHereditaryPeersretained
membership.Since1958,nonhereditary"lifepeers"havebeencreated,whoareautomaticallymembersof
theHouseofLordsforlifewiththerighttobeknownbytheirtitle.Forexample,JohnGummerbecame
(TheRtHon.)LordDeben.
However,lifepeersarenotconsideredpartofthearistocracy,norareknights,unlessbornintoan
aristocraticorlandedgentryfamily.(ExamplesincludeJamesDouglasHamilton,BaronSelkirkof
Douglas,andSirWinstonChurchillallbornintoaristocraticfamilies).Besidesthehereditarypeers,the
landedgentry,consistingofbaronets,Scottishbarons,anduntitledlandowningarmigerousfamiliesare
consideredpartofthearistocracy.UnliketheContinentaluntitlednobility,Britishuntitledfamiliesthat
belongtothegentryhavenolegalrecognitionoftheiraristocraticposition.

India
InancientIndia,startingintheVedicperiod,theKshatriyasformedthemilitaryaristocracy.Althoughthe
Brahminspriestsandinterpretersofreligioustextsweretheoreticallythehighestcaste,powerand
prestigerestedwiththerulingKshatriyacaste.

Indianallochthonoustitles
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UndertheruleoftheMughalEmpire,thetitlesforthoseunderakingwereborrowedfromPersia.Most
Indianprincelyfamiliesandalargepartofthesubcontinent'slandedaristocracyofjagirdars,thikanadars,
andtalukdarswereofthekshatriyarajputcaste,aswasthecasefortherulersoftheDeccan.Thesewere
oftenthoughtofastheNobilityoftheSword.
Zamindar
Manylandholdingfamilieseitherheldlegaloradministrativeoffices,andweresometimesconsideredthe
IndianversionoftheNobilityoftheRobe.Theprincesappointedofficers,suchasdewanandotherstate
levelministers,toruntheiradministrations,whowereconsideredmembersoftheregionalnobility.Mostof
theseofficerswereeitherrelativesoftheprinceswhoappointedthem,orwerethemselvessubstantial
landlordsunderthesovereigntyofthePrincelyStates,andmostheldhereditarytitles.Sometimes,educated
menbelongingtotheBritishImperialServiceswerealsoappointedtothehighofficesofthePrincely
States,buttheirpositionswerenothereditaryandtheywereseenascareerbureaucratsratherthan
noblemenbytheiremployer's.
Nowadays,aristocratictitleslikeChaudhary,Sardar,Zaildar,Jagirdar,Tarafdar,Thakur,Nair,Madampi,
Mookhtiar,Thevar,Varma,andVermaarestillusedinIndia.

Nigeria
Derivingforthemostpartfromtheprecolonialstatesthatexistedintheregionthatwouldbecomeknown
asNigeria,thelegallyrecognisedtitlesoftheNigeriannobilityrangefromkingtotheubiquitouschief.
Theygivetheirbearersnopoliticalauthorityintheory,butinpracticeallowthemtoserveasimmensely
powerfulpatronsofthecountry'spoliticalleadersduetotheircontrolofpopularopinionwithinitsvarious
tribes.Alongwiththoseoftheirtitledrelativesandcourtiers,theyalsoensurethattheyserveastheguiding
forcesbehindthevariedculturalandreligiousceremoniesthattakeplaceinthecountrythroughoutthe
calendaryear.
TitlessuchasOba,Amanyanaboh,Mai,Obong,Sarki,Attah,andObiareusedbythedynasticheads,while
princeandprincessareeitherusedintheirEnglishformsorintheirnativeonesbythecadetsoftheir
houses.Theirministers,meanwhile,tendtobecalledeitherchiefsoreldersdependingonwhattheir
monarchsarethemselvescalled,withchiefsservingunderarulerwhoiscalledakingandeldersserving
underonecalledachief.

Seealso
Gentry
Honorifics
Monarchy
Nobility
Abazafamily
OldMoney
Peerage(UnitedKingdom)
Royalandnobleranks
Styles(mannerofaddress)
Styles(royalandnoble)
Styles(UnitedKingdom)
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Titles
Titles(false)
Titles(hereditary)
Titles(honorary)
Socialcapital
Socialenvironment
Symboliccapital
Honour
Moralresponsibility

References
1.Thearistocrats:aportraitofBritain'snobilityandtheirwayoflifetoday,byRoyPerrott,(London1968),
page510
2.TheOxfordCompaniontoBritishHistory,JohnCannon(Editor),OxfordUniversityPress,1997,ISBN9780
198661764

Externallinks
FakeTitles(http://www.faketitles.com)
Heraldica:EuropeanNoble,Princely,Royal,andImperialTitles
(http://www.heraldica.org/topics/odegard/titlefaq.htm)
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
title=Aristocracy_(class)&oldid=702421299"

Lookuparistocracyin
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Categories: Highsociety Socialclasses Socialgroups Nobility


Oligarchy
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