Jarl was during the Wikingerzeit and the high Middle Ages a prince title in the nordischen countries.

Etymologisch is related the term to the English word Earl as well as the old-high-German Erl, and in German with count is translated. In Sweden against it the title Jarl in latin documents of the Middle Ages with Dux was shown, which corresponds to the German duke.

Jarle gave it particularly in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. At the beginning, of early 8. up to 10. Jhd, were Jarle only on time selected leaders on robbery travels of the Wikinger. That means: Each man, who possessed a ship, could hire people and undertake a robbery or a booty course, with which it received functioned and a higher portion as head. In addition still another kind representational allowance came for its material, approximately for the ship or for weapons, which it lent. The Jarl could be replaced however already while driving, if the crew of the opinion were that it was the command unworthy or simply unable to state it.

Successful Jarle accumulated so ever more wealth and could actually bind thereby an increasing Gefolgschaft. They developed in the course of the time to chieftains or master leaders. Originally the title was not hereditary, this changed however in the run the second half 9. Century. Which however always remained, it was that the chieftains had to place themselves to a kind confidence choice annually, in which was examined whether the Krieger were further ready to follow their head. If this was not the case, he was replaced, either by the son, if these enough were old, or by the next powerful man in the village.

On the crusades of nordischer princes Jarle appeared as main people, which represented king or another prince on the individual ships.

In Norway the Jarl was in the Middle Ages a local representative of the king, thus a kind Vogt. In Sweden against it it took the highest office in the realm in the high Middle Ages after the king and functioned with its absence as realm Weser. In 14. Century was replaced the title Jarl by hertig, thus duke, whereby this title remained reserving mainly members of the royal family.

The last Swedish Jarl Birger, which is called in latin writings dux sveciae, became the master father of the king sex of the Folkunger, which governed from 1250 to 1364.

The last Jarl south Jutland and/or. Schleswigs was Knud Laward, which finally took over the German title duke. It became to 7. January 1131 murders.

see also


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