Etymology & Employment
This English word was adopted into Anglic and is derived from Terran Greek arch(i)-, ἀρχι- meaning "authority" or "primary" (see arch-) and dux "duke" (literally "leader"). The word came to the Third Imperium via the Rule of Man.
The modern Vilani term used for Archduke is still the old title of Apkallu Kibrat Arban. However, the only noble who routinely uses this title today is the Archduke of Vland, but he or she does so only in documents issued in Vilani – in Anglic, he or she uses the title of archduke.
Modern Archdukes are referred to by the title Archduke followed by the name of their domain. Modern Archdukedoms include a fief consisting of an entire world, generally retained as a private reserve, and/or 256 terrain hexes on worlds within the fief-world's associated Domain.
The Emperor Artemsus subsequently created a new form of Archduke upon the establishment of the original six Domains of the Imperium, each of which having an Archduke exercising overall control of his/her respective Domain, and acting as an intermediary between the Emperor and the other levels of nobility (except for the Domain of Sylea, where the Emperor him/herself acted as the titular Archduke).
While Archducal titles may still be granted to High Nobles as an honorific, this is very rare and has only been done a few times in all of the centuries of the Imperium's existence. Modern Archdukes are referred to by the title Archduke followed by the name of their Domain. Modern archdukedoms include a fief consisting of an entire world, generally retained as a private reserve, and/or 256 terrain hexes on worlds within the fief-world's associated Domain, with an associated non-mainworld terrain hex for each mainworld hex in the same respective system(s).
Rights and Duties of Archdukes
- Right of Imperial Audience.
- Where an order of knighthood is at Domain level (e.g. Order of Antares), appointment of Knights to that order.
Some say that the history of dukes is the history of the Third Imperium. If that adage holds true, then the history of archdukes is the history of the rise of the Third Imperium.
In the Old Vilani Imperium, the highest rank of Vilani nobility was Apkallu Kibrat Arban (“Minister of the Four Quarters”), a Vilani title of extreme antiquity deriving from an extinct Vilani dialect. On ancient Vland the title was held by the greatest rulers on the world, and were the equivalent of high kings and emperors on ancient Terra. The title denoted a position of great authority under the government of the Ziru Sirka, and was used almost exclusively for the leaders of the Vilani bureaux and their highest assistants.
Holders of the title of Apkallu Kibrat Arban were sometimes referred to as karunii (“petty emperors”) and wielded authority over several sectors.
In origin, the title of Archduke was a non-hereditary honorific title established by Emperor Cleon I to reward certain Dukes for loyal service. Such Archdukes were required to abdicate both their Dukedoms and the associated voting rights in the Moot to their designated heirs, but in return they were granted the general oversight of Moot proceedings and/or granted privileged status within the Emperor's court as close advisors. Though exceedingly rare, such Ceremonial Archdukes can still technically be appointed at the Emperor's pleasure in such capacities if he or she so chooses.
- At the beginning of the Pacification Campaigns in 76, the Emperor Artemsus subsequently created a new form of Archduke when he initially established the original six Domains of the Imperium, each of which having an Archduke exercising overall control of his/her respective Domain, and acting as an intermediary between the Emperor and the other levels of nobility (except for the Domain of Sylea, where the Emperor himself acted as the titular Archduke).
- After the conclusion of the Imperial Civil War in 622, some of these titles were allowed to lapse as their title-holders lines became extinct. Further, the Domain-level in the Imperial bureaucracy was gradually phased out, relegating the title of Archduke to a largely honorific and ceremonial legacy title.
More recently, the Emperor Strephon has been reestablishing the Domain-level within the Imperial bureaucracy and re-empowering Archdukes to oversee Domains, appointing new noble families to previously vacant Archducal titles in an attempt to stave off the perceived incohesion and "parochialism" evident in some regions of the Imperium. As of the conclusion of the Fifth Frontier War, all of the Domains except the Domain of Deneb have a sitting Archduke once again.
- While Archducal titles may still be granted to High Nobles as an honorific, this is very rare and has only been done a few times in all of the centuries of the Imperium's existence.
Archdukes of Note
- Martin III
- 1a. Emperor / Empress / Karun
- 1b. Prince / Princess / Karand
- 2a. Archduke / Archduchess / Apkallu Kibrat Arban
- 2b. Grand Duke / Grand Duchess
- 3a. Subsector Duke / Subsector Duchess / Saarpuhii
- 3b. Duke / Duchess / Saarpuhii
- 4. Count / Countess (Contessa) / Sarriiu or Shakkanakhu
- 5. Viscount / Viscountess / Sarriiu or Shakkanakhu
- 6. Marquis / Marchioness (Marquesa) / Sarriiu or Shakkanakhu
- 7. Baron / Baroness / Iishakku
- 8. Baronet / Baronetess / Iishakku
- 9. Knight / Dame / Kiduunuuzii
- 10. Gentleman / Gentlewoman / Gentlesophont