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Nobility, court
(638 words)

The term “court nobility” (German Hofadel) denotes those members of the nobility who were concentrated at princely, royal, or imperial courts of Europe, where they held court offices and functions. Unlike the rural nobility living on their estates (Nobility, rural), the court nobility from the Middle Ages had the focus of their lives at court, which also became a venue for the contest for “symbolic capital” (Pierre Bourdieu).

Until the 1990s, studies of the European court nobility of the 16th to 19th centuries were dominated to a large extent by the work o…

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Gersmann, Gudrun, “Nobility, court”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 May 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_021040>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128

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