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Töbelmann, P. Dienst und Ehre. Wenn der Herzog dem Kaiser den Braten schneidet. Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, 37(4), 561-599.
Töbelmann, Paul "Dienst und Ehre. Wenn der Herzog dem Kaiser den Braten schneidet" Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung 37.4, , 561-599.
Töbelmann, Paul: Dienst und Ehre. Wenn der Herzog dem Kaiser den Braten schneidet, in: Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, vol. 37, iss. 4, 561-599, [online]


Dienst und Ehre. Wenn der Herzog dem Kaiser den Braten schneidet

Töbelmann, Paul

Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, Vol. 37 (2010), Iss. 4 : pp. 561–599

1 Citations (CrossRef)

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1Dr. Paul Töbelmann, Universität Heidelberg, Historisches Seminar, Grabengasse 3–5, 69117 Heidelberg.

Cited By

  1. Toward the Golden Bull and against the Pope: The Role of Custom and Honor in King Ludwig IV's Nuremberg and Frankfurt Appellations (1323–24)

    Lord, Kevin Lucas

    Austrian History Yearbook, Vol. 51 (2020), Iss. P.91 [Citations: 0]


The article discusses the relations between services, i. e. bodily performance of menial tasks for others, and honour, understood as a resource of medieval nobles akin to social capital. It examines services rendered to the emperor by members of German high nobility, focusing on the 14th century. Carrying the emperor's sword or sceptre, leading his horse or cutting / slicing his meat at table were much coveted sources of high honour, over which was fought and litigated time and again. The article argues that this was due to a legitimatory gap between the nobility's powers and its sanctioning obligations. The ritualised performance of bodily service actuated and realised the imagined relationship between nobles and emperor. This imagination was founded on the notion of powers which were granted for the specific menial services. The highly fictitious construction can be demonstrated by the fact that outside ritualised contexts, nobles no longer performed any services. Even in courtly literature, as well as in 14th century theoretical texts, nobles did not figure as servants – or if they appear as servants, then only to signal fictional rather than factual servitude. Nevertheless, courtly romance and contemporary “court theory” provide valuable insight into medieval ways of thinking about the noble's role in society. The article concludes that service and honour were understood as two sides of the same medal.