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Former good article nominee Szlachta was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
July 27, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed


I did not read all coments here, BUT: as a re to some of you

Yes if you what the historical facts you need the word 'szlachta'! this is due to the fact, that the polish gentry has a differ a lot from thet of thier neighbors.

and yes the 'szlachta' considert them self as nobels NOT citizens! one has to also see this in the european context of noblemen. best proof is that the 'szlachta' could marry with other nobles in europe. citizens were not permited. Poland also had citizens. eg: the cities Gdansk/Danzig e. a.

before you make wied statements read up. But make sure you dont just use one sided books. (like polish school books ... wuppy! Poland is the holly nation [ironic]) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:02, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Old talk[edit]

Do we really need this term 'szlachta' ??? let's stick to the 'noblemen'.

This is about specific Polish-only class, not general Noblemen. --Taw

Not really, there was Nobility in all European states. In some states it was as highly privileged as in Poland. In some countries it was just a mere paper title. But in all of them it is called "nobilitas" - Nobility. The word "szlachta" in today's Polish has w very broad meaning, covering both the historic Polish nobility as well as some burlesque knoghthoods conferred by today's monarch. But this article is about the original nobility.

There was no major kingdoms which had nobility as privileged as in Poland, therefore splitting "noble" and "szlachta" as two different meanings has a valid point. Especially if we take intelligentsia for example, which is what evolved from this specific polish szlachta system and also is an own world used worldwide. Changing Szlachta into simply Nobility would lead to confusion. Just like translating Rzeczpospolita into Republic or Common-wealth, it is also wrong but thats different topic. //Jakub — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:27, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Hello, guys. Maybe you have forgotten to give some information about ukrainian gentry, haven't you ?

Hello Polish contributors -- Could you plese try to remember that, in English, we use a lot of articles -- 'a', 'an', and 'the' -- before nouns? It would help a lot. Also, if you are going to keep a term in its native language (unless it is common English usage) the term should be italicized every time. Finally, it would be very nice if you would provide pronunciation guides for polish words. One of the reasons so many Eastern European cities are known by their German names is that English speakers have long been more familiar with German (plus the fact that German was the Imperial language...). If you want the correct Polish names to gain currency, people need to be able to pronounce them -- otherwise, they'll look for easier, non-Polish equivalents that they can remember! Thanks for the help -- HK

Indeed, articles are our problem :D

Anyway, the term is used in british publications as well, although it might not be that popular among the general population... Could you possibly post a link that would lead me to some foreign diacrites chart? Does Wiki support phonetical script at all?

As a temporary solution I will add the polish-for-dummies name version.

BTW, we should consider adding some paragraph describing the differences between polish szlachta and all the other gentry social groups in Europe. Halibutt 19:00, 2 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Corrected the transcription. Please note that the Polish "sz" is NOT the same as the English "sh". -Arael

"Poland was called the Republic (Rzeczpospolita)" I see it like this:

Republika = Republic

Rzeczpospolita = Commonwealth

Hence, I think commonwealth would suit Rzeczpospolita better in terms of style.

Rzeczpospolita is merger of "rzecz pospolita" which have exactly this same meaning as "res publica" from which English "republic" and Polish "republika" is derived. Rzeczpospolita and republika are synonyms. "Commonwealth" is usually translated into Polish as "wspólnota". In Englich "commonwealth" is usually used in case of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth while Poland is Republic of Poland. QamarPl (talk) 14:46, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Not really. Pospolita means common, generally accepted, generally known. Res Publica means "The public thing/affair". Rzeczpospolita means "The thing common/generally known". There is a delicate but rather significant difference, hence the poles didint used "Republika", it was a ideological way of seeing a government; Instead of "The peoples owned thing" it was "The thing what people are to look up to".

[Edit by Jakub] Summing it up

Therefore it should be simply called "Rzeczpospolita" since it is untranslatable, republic or common-wealth, both mean something similar but none mean exactly Rzeczpospolita, it is something on its own. //Jakub — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:50, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

To do[edit]

To do list moved to Wikipedia:WikiProject History of Poland/Articles. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 16:17, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Od czasu do czasu wrzucam nowe obrazki do mojej galerii - "niewykorzystanych", zwiazanych z historia, jezeli ktos ma pomysl gdzie powstawiac, niech przebiera :) - Galeria.--Emax 16:56, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Sarmatian concept enshrined traditions, provincial village life, peace and pacifism, popularised eastern (almost oriental) clothing (żupan, kontusz, sukmana, pas kontuszowy, delia) and looks and right to bear weapons (sabre-like szabla was an almost obligatory everyday szlachta item).
Took a crack at clearing the article up but I have no idea how to rephrase this as I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean.~~e
Thank you for your contribs. You may want to register - it is fast, easy, and gives you access to some more editing tools and personal history, talk and watchlist pages. As for the sentence you mentioned - if you would show the words or part that is unclear, it would help. Most of the specific terms are linked to their own articles. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:09, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Actually, I am registered, but I don't really want to log in from my computer at my job, which is where I was when I was working on it. The unclear part is mainly "and looks and right to bear weapons," Looks? ~~e
Hmmm, true. I wanted to say 'appereance' - looks as in 'how do they looked like'. Perhaps if we move look to before the parenthesis it would be better? Sarmatian concepts enshrined traditions, rural life, peace, popularised eastern (almost oriental) clothing and looks (żupan, kontusz, sukmana, pas kontuszowy, delia) and the right to bear weapons (sabre-like szabla was an almost obligatory everyday szlachta item) ? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:40, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The Etymology[edit]

First off, Poland was around before germany was, and Poland had a government when the germans where still in tribes. Also germans would attack the pole and lose, so the germans took there Word as fear. also the polish had a very free people, yes the szlachta had voting right but also mad up 95% of the military. also you are discribing english noblity in golden freedom not polish, Piotrus. and the polish people are starting to know this.

I agree, it's more likely that its originally Polish words, not German, and that its Germans who borrowed it. Especially since Germans didint use that word later, which means they firstly used Polish variant and then changed it to their own more German type of word. But i understand why all this "everything comes from Germany" since Germany is very rich country now, but if there are no real evidence then it should not be just "assumed" unless its a fiction novel. //Jakub — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

The word "Szlachta" was borrowed in Romanian as "Şleahtă", with a changed meaning: "a gang or mob of people with dubious intentions" and it's almost always used as a pejorative. Any idea why they became so unfamous ? Bogdan | Talk 14:28, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I find it highly doubtful. Usually the word is derived of the German term Geschlecht meaning a clan or a family. I guess that both the Polish and Romanian words could have simply the same root... Halibutt 15:20, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)

The Polish word szlachta comes most certainly from Middle High German geslaht (today's Geschlecht), meaning family. One can see that none of you except Halibutt has studied Germanic languages. --Alexvonf 09:50, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Not really :) I don't speak German at all (only some sentences from war films, so I'd probably be able to command an infantry squad, but finding my way to a supermarket would be a huge problem), but I studied Polish and Old Polish. Anyway, the Romanian root is highly doubtful. Halibutt 10:08, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)
The guy above speaks about borrowing into Romanian, not from. Mikkalai 02:18, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
most Polish terms of Chivalry came from German through the culture of the Teutonic Order and the territory of what later was called West Prussia, i.e. today's Pomorze Gdanskie. As a Polonist you must know it. I doubt if the Romanian language (of uncivilized people under Turkish rule) has had any influence upon Polish terms.
I don't think that Teutonic Order had played that big part in introducing german terms into Polish language. Entire proces is much older and for example Magdeburg rights played much biger role in it.QamarPl (talk) 19:13, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
--Alexvonf 12:42, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
"..."Not really :) I don't speak German at all (only some sentences from war films, so I'd probably be able to command an infantry squad, but finding my way to a supermarket would be a huge problem)..."
Ha ha, I have exactly this same problem! Most of the German words I know, I did, in fact, learn from war movies. I've picked up a few more at university, but I would say the majority of German words I know are still war-movie or war literature-derived. I've been thinking of taking a German class to remedy this problem. It shouldn't be too hard: I don't have to learn a foreign alphabet as with Greek and Arabic, and there are only four types of case-endings to learn, unlike the eight I hear they have in Polish. Eight! No wonder my grandmother has almost completely forgotten how to speak Polish! ;)
Seven, if you speak about number of grammatical cases. Just one more then in Russian or Latin. Although it isn't equal to number of case endings because languagas usualy have more then one declination patern. Latin for example have 5 main declinations and Polish if I remember corectly have 6 main declinations. In both of these languages these declinations can be further divided into more detailed variations. But preindoeuropean language had at least 8 and possibly 10 grammatical cases. QamarPl (talk) 18:15, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Anyway, I think the case for szlactha being German-derived is pretty good; if you consider the preponderance of the evidence: rycerz/ritter, pancerni/panzer etc., it starts to look like to look like most of the feudal terminology was German-derived. The Lech derivation looks like a charming folk etymology. (An interesting comparison would be to see what Bohemian nobles were called. "Czecthta?" I doubt it. Why were the Russian (and I believe Bulgarian) nobility called "boyars," not "Russars" or "Bulgars?" Were they just not as conscious of their roots as the Sons of Lech?)--Jpbrenna 17:23, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The Czech word for Nobility or "Szlachta" in Polish is šlechta, pronounced shlehta. The same in Slovak, although they had only minor nobility of native origin (higher nobles were Hungarian). These two languages are, along with Lausitz-Serbian, very closely related to Polish. Not only feudal terminology , but many Polish words of everyday use, such as "dziekuje" (Czech: dekuji), an expression of chivalrous politeness, are derived from the German language (danke!). All this comes from the mediaeval culture of Chivalry transmitted by noble German and Dutch settlers in the area of Dantzig. An interesting case is the Hungarian term for nobility, nemés, which seems to be derived from the Slavonic expression for "German".
--Alexvonf 20:04, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Lol. The entire Hungarian language is an interesting case from top to bottom :> --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:29, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You think 8 cases is much? What would you say if I told you that we have 70-and-something declinations? :D
As to the chivalry-related words: indeed, most of them came to Polish either from German or from Latin. However, many of them took the southern route and came to Poland from Bohemia. The very word for a knight - rycerz is derived from Czech rytíř, which in turn was a barbarisation of German ritter (compare with English rider). And who says linguistics can't be fun :) Halibutt 00:22, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

The first paragraph of the Etymology section needs to be re-written. The meaning of at least two sentences is unclear, and there is no logical 'flow' from one sentence to the next. In fact, the third to last sentence ("Some would even become...") I still don't understand after reading it three times. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Star-lists (talkcontribs) 09:56, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Why are you thinking that the polish take words for the germans, this is the same german and russian propaganda I hear everywhere. Next you'll say that the arabs stole words from the spanish. Modern Szlachta —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Why are you thinking that the polish take words for the germans, this is the same german and russian propaganda I hear everywhere. Next you'll say that the arabs stole words from the spanish, but not the other way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Modern Szlachta (talkcontribs) 03:55, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

The Szabla article seems to link the szabla sword to the nobility; added to the bloody-type derivations I see, I think this likely. Other nobilties (Hapsburg, Buckingham Palace) got their starts with swords. My 2 cents.--John Bessa (talk) 19:15, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

"Mr. Brother"[edit]

It's a matter of usages in Polish and English. English seldom uses "Mr. + [title]." There may be a few rare exceptions, e.g. "Mr. President" or "Mr. Mayor." But one doesn't say "Mr. Doctor," "Mr. Professor," "Mr. Engineer," "Mr. General" or "Mr. Brother." I find it hard to imagine an anglicized Polish nobleman saying, "Mr. Brother." I think he would say, simply, "Brother." (Cf. "Br'er Rabbit.") logologist 23:02, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Same with Polish. But Panie Bracie is an exception, and it is fairly important psychological - and cultural - why szlachta used Panie Bracie instead of just Bracie. For starters, saying just Bracie, would make it indistinguishable from the way priests talk - and I believe same confusion would be found in English. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 09:36, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
They do that all the time in German, don't they? Herr Doktor, Herr Professor, Herr Oberst, Herr Graf. And in English, you do hear "Mr. Secretary," "Madame Chairwoman," "Captain, Sir" etc. If the Polish nobility want to say "Mr. Brother," that's their business. Do you really want to find yourself challenged to a duel with szablas over the issue? :P --Jpbrenna 23:33, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
There is a Russian word "Panibratstvo", most likely derived from Polish "Panie Bracie". It means (usually unwarranted) familiarity of manners.Talk
English nobles once used the same construction; just realize that in premodern Slavic languages, Pane means Lord, not Mister (Pane Bog means Lord God, not Mr. God). "My lord father," "Our lord cousin Norfolk," etc. were part of the etiquette of nobles in Early Modern English (read Shakespeare). Nagakura shin8 (talk) 23:00, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Szlachta as citizens[edit]

I've seen it argued (but can't remember where, so you'll have to treat this as unsourced) that the szlachta are a citizen class and not a noble one. This is a narrow citizenry, in the same manner as Athens or Rome (or the antebellum South) rather than the modern universal citizenry, of course, but there are some citizen-like characteristics to the szlachta, as well as the many noble-like characteristics. In particular, mutual equality and the use of law in their relations with each other are very citizen-like.

I'm not at all sure how to even start putting this into the article - for a start, I'd need to dig up the source and I've just read too much Polish history over the years to even know where to start - but I thought I'd throw it out there as an alternative view for the rest of you to chew over.

I am not sure if I follow your argument - what is the difference between the citizen class and a noble class? I assume you mean class as in the social class? I thought citizen was a broader term, encompassing nobility (i.e. every noble is a citizen, not every citizen is noble). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:57, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Noble classes have certain features, like clearly-defined internal hierarchies and orders of precedence, superiority over the rest of the population and exclusive membership, where citizen classes have other characteristics like mutual equality, resolving internal disputes through law rather than appeals to a hierarchial superior, universal membership. The point is that the szlachta were mutually equal and obsessive about that equality, went to law to resolve disputes not to a feudal superior, but were also an exclusive, superior class, based on heredity, so they had some citizen-like characteristics and some noble-like characteristics. Citizen, when it's not a universal term, means something like "participant in the polity". Good comparators would be the citizen class of Athens, the white class in both the antebellum South and apartheid South Africa. --Po8crg 08:55, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
I see. Well, it does seem that szlachta was a combination of those two classes. It was a unique society, with no direct equivalent that I know of. It was as distant from the Western nobility as from Muscovy boyars. You make an interesting point in comparing it to Athens/South/SA, yes, I'd agree they were, in many respects, closer to szlachta then contemporary nobility. However there is an important difference between szlachta and SouthA societies: blacks could never join them, however, smart peasants could and indeed formed a significant portion of szlachta. One last point: while szlachta acknowledged law, to say they widely respected it it rather misleading. Quite often, especially in the eastern regions (Dzikie Pola being most notable) szlachta prefered to enforce justice with their own szablas (zajazdy) then wait for courts decision. See Samuel Łaszcz and Stanisław Stadnicki for some examples. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:36, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

1496 - Piotrków[edit]

The article states that the reasons for this privilige was: "a compensation for the unsuccessful incursion on Moldavia which had decimated the szlachta". However the incursion and the Polish defeat actually took place a year later, in 1497 (Battle of the Cosmin Forest). Until this is verified and explained, I moved this sentence here.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:02, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Good Article nomination has failed[edit]

The Good article nomination for Szlachta has failed, for the following reason:

While very interesting, this article is not referenced well. It has only one source listed and no notes in the article anywhere to show where this fascinating detail comes from. --CTSWyneken(talk) 00:44, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Religious tolerance?[edit]

Szlachta and Poland in general is anything but tolerant. Ukraine unionist church is great example. QuestPc 13:17, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

It is RELATIVE. And this specically refers to religious matter of a certain era. Poland was the only place in Europe where a non-Christian could occasionally be ennobled without conversion.Galassi 14:27, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Indeed. See Warsaw Confederation (1573).-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:43, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Please give an example of someone from Szlachta (or other persons of Polish elite) being Orthodox. Also, shall I mention about Polish Counter-reformation?QuestPc 11:02, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
A large portion of Szlachta had been Protestant at one point or another. Some Ukranian szlachta had maitained Orthodoxy, while most converted or intermarried. And a number of Jews was given the title for services for the state. That's standard scholarchip.Galassi 11:53, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Also to me it seems that this section isn't balanced enough. The Szlachta-part of the population constituted several million individuals. Surely there must have been many people within this group with extreme views towards people with other religious beliefs; just as there were many people with great understanding towards other creeds. Which of these tendencies were stronger is difficult to prove. One or a few documents don't prove anything, since just by accident a "bad apple" among mostly good apples could be picked; just as the opposite could be true. In any case such claims, as are currently made in the article, must be proven with references. As it now stands it rather gives the reader a feeling that the writer for some reason wants to protect the Szlachta against claims that it would not have been tolerant towards Jews and Non-catholic Christians. --Smallchanges 16:19, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

I certainly agree with the need for inline citations. For the record, the tolerant faction was dominant from 16th to mid-17th century and, the intolerant, from mid-17th century. The second half of the mid-18th century seems to have been relatively balanced.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  16:30, 15 July 2007 (UTC)


The lead states: "Szlachta (['ʃlaxta] (help·info)) Lithuanian: Bajorai, was the noble class in Poland, Ukraine and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the three countries that later jointly formed the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth." Is this entirely accurate? Many parts of present day countries were covered by the PLC, why is Ukraine singled out? Ukraine wasn't part of the Union of Lublin. JRWalko 23:37, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Anon vandalism reverted.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  05:13, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

You're right it shouldn't be singled out. Ukraine at the time of Union of Lubin wasn't a country - part belonged to Crown (Poland) and part to Grand Duchy of Lithuania. There were projects of creating Commonwealt of Tree Nations (see: XVII century - Khmelnytsky rebellion) but it was never really done. Ayway not everyone would agree with using the term "szlachta" while speaking about Cossacks starshyna (as Commonwealth nobility wouldn't let them be seen as "szlachta" and those that owned most of land on that territory were families listed as Lithuanians or "adopted" into Polish nobile families, see: Union of Horodło and what Sigismund II Augustus done to "persuade" magnats from Lithuania to sign the Union of Lublin). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chrząszcz (talkcontribs) Feb 26, 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

At best, we can speak of Ruthenia, which was still just a contemporary region, not a country.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:25, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Rycerz was Strictly Hereditary[edit]

The original sentence read:

'A Polish nobleman living at this time before the 15th century was referred to as a "rycerz" (German "ritter"), very roughly equivalent to the English "knight", the critical difference being the status of "rycerz" WAS strictly hereditary; the class of all such individuals was known as the "rycerstwo".'

This was changed to 'the status of "rycerz" WASN'T strictly hereditary ...,' the reason being cited as "correction done in face of strong evidence to the contrary."

This so-called "strong evidence to the contrary" is not produced and stating the rycerz WASN'T strictly hereditary obliterates the critical difference of English knights from the Polish rycerz, and obliterates the very meaning of the original sentence.

Produce the strong evidence to the contrary before making such a change.

The stated hereditary status of the Polish rycerz is based off the work of scholar TADEUSZ MANTEUFFEL, "The Formation of the Polish State: The Period of Ducal Rule, 963-1194" (Detroit, MICHIGAN, U.S.A.: WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 1982), cited in the footnotes.

Keep in mind the period and years under discussion, a time no later than 1400 A.D., and including a hereditary tradition originating much earlier in antiquity. Ties of blood were the strictest assurance of loyalty and solidarity in those ancient times, when warfare was every man's stock and trade. -- Exxess (talk) 20:12, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Szlachta disambiguation?[edit]

Ok, I have no Idea how to give a reference to a PART OF an article. the reason I created this article is that in the fictional universe of The World of Darkness, a 'race' of ghouls exists. These ghouls are created, or fleshcrafted, by the Tzimisce clan of vampires. this 'race' is referred to as Szlachta. I thought it would be good to create a 'see the disambiguation page' for the word szlachta.

Apparently I'm not as good a Wikipedia editor as I thought I was.

Please help...?!? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mkruijff (talkcontribs)

I don't think that a minor fictional race fulfills the criteria of WP:N. -- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 04:59, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Move to Polish nobility from szlachta[edit]

The reasoning behind the move was as explained in the edit summaries:

  1. WP:ENGLISH, see other equivalent pages in
  2. "szlachta" often used in English but "Polish nobility" is correct and widely used and fulfills WP:ENGLISH (and "szlachta" wouldn't fulfill WP:ENGLISH).

In more detail:

As one can see by clicking on these Google Book results, even the academic literature presents the terms as "the Polish nobility, the szlachta,...". In other words, though only the Polish term may be used later, the English term is used first even in academic literature, and "szlachta" is never used without first being explained. It is not English and cannot be used as an article title in an encyclopedia meant for the general public. There is no reason to violate one of the most important WP policies, to use English terms as article titles: Wikipedia:ENGLISH

See also all the other articles on European nobilities in WP - they have English instead of foreign article names, like it should be: Category:European_nobility

And Norman Davies specifically says here that "/szlachta/ should be translated as 'nobility'" --Espoo (talk) 21:44, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

By this controversial move you made rather a big mess :) Historical people which were placed under term "szlachta" were not only "Polish" but also Lithuanian, Ukrainian etc. As explained in sources: Collectively the Polish-Lithuanian nobility was called the szlachta. "The reign of Ivan the Terrible: the struggle against Bathory expansion" p.190; status of the Polish-Lithuanian nobility, the szlachta. "Russian centralism and Ukrainian autonomy" p.7; incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian nobility (szlachta); "The Islamic World and the West: Managing Religious and Cultural Identities" p.85 etc. Therefore the older title better maintained WP:NPOV requirements, in contrast to new one , which may be seen as even misleading. Said that, and taking into consideration that this new title was contested by other editors [1], I moving back to original title. Please, if you still think it should be under the different title use WP:RM procedure. M.K. (talk) 14:27, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Agree with the term szlachta being better.Faustian (talk) 01:16, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Gerbiamas M.K., Ukrainian Szlachta not existed. There was no such ethnicity in the times when Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania existed. If You prefer name Szlachta instead of Polish nobility - in that case Yoy'd prefer Rzeczpospolita instead of Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania... I doubt You would. -- (talk) 15:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

1) M.K., you ignored that my edit cleaned up the incomprehensibly long definition by splitting it into parts and that has fortunately stayed. 2) You simply ignored what i wrote above:

As one can see by clicking on these Google Book results, even the academic literature presents the terms as "the Polish nobility, the szlachta,...". In other words, though only the Polish term may be used later, the English term is used first even in academic literature, and "szlachta" is never used without first being explained. It is not English and cannot be used as an article title in an encyclopedia meant for the general public. There is no reason to violate one of the most important WP policies, to use English terms as article titles: Wikipedia:ENGLISH.

As an article name, szlachta is a very bad idea not only because it violates WP:English but because it's completely incomprehensible to WP's target audience, general readers, who will find this article unnecessarily difficult or will not read it at all. There is no reason we cannot use Polish-Lithuanian nobility. In fact, since the Lithuanian nobility joined the Polish nobility, my original move was not incorrect at all though you're right that many would consider it misleading. --Espoo (talk) 09:21, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Szlachta denotes a particular class within the culture. The Polish szlachta was quite different from, for example British or French nobility and was a much broader social class, combining elements not only of nobility but also of what in the west were referrd to as gentry. Unlile with western European nobility, 10% of Poland's population belonged to the szlachta. Simply using the words Polish nobility would lead to a misleading impression of this class for readers. One can make a comparison to the article about a similar social classes in Portugal and Spain, the Fidalgos and Hidalgos, respectively. Actually, why not simply add "Polish nobility" in parentheses as was done in the Spanish article? Is that a reasonable compromise?Faustian (talk) 13:07, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Transformation into aristocracy?[edit]

Is it correct to call the magnates "aristocracy"? Aristocracy is supposed to be much more than that. It's not enough to be wealthy to be an aristocrat, or should we write that there are aristocrats in the US? Bill Gates? The Kennedy Clan? The Bushes?

Why not just call them magnates, as they're called by historians anyway?

One of the most important victories of the magnates was the late 16th century right to create ordynacja's (similar to majorats), which ensured that a family which gained wealth and power could more easily preserve this. Ordynacje's of families of Radziwiłłs, Zamoyskis, Potockis or Lubomirskis often rivalled the estates of the king and were important power bases for the magnates.

Really? There were just 7 ordynacjas. Out of them 4 were short lived: Jarosławska 1470-1519 (49 years), Ostrogska 1609-1766 (dissolved after many law suits and after changing hands many times), Ostrowska 1740-1775 (35 years), and the Sułkowskis' since 1775 (just 20 years before the Partitions of Poland) Is it really supposed to explain the alleged aristocratic status of the families in the Old Republic?

Only 2-3 were successful: the Radziwiłłs' since 1586, the Zamoyskis' since 1589, and Pińczowska since 1601 (but this one was quite small - only 3 cities and tens of villages, it fell out early in the 19th century).

The majority of the magnates never even asked to have an ordynacja created for them. The Polish ordynacja wasn't the same as the English fee tail. It wasn't just about keeping the property together. An ordynat had huge duties. He had to keep a private army, build fortifications, support all of his relatives, and do anything the Sejm required to be allowed to create an ordynacja. Simply many magnates couldn't afford it, that's why the ordynacjas failed.

Are you sure the Potockis had an ordynacja in the Old Republic? The Lubomirskis only inherited an ordynacja which had to be dissolved. That reduces your list to two names. Perhaps it'd be good to compare how many of them had it and how many did not, and then write something less general? After all we're speaking only of several families anyway.

What does the Rzeź galicyjska have to do with the Old Republic's szlachta anyway? It was another country and another social structure. It was no longer szlachta, only the Austrian aristocracy, because the few who kept their land became Austrian aristocrats after the Partitions.

Perhaps it's be better to write about aristocracy after the Partitions of Poland and after szlachta had lost its status? Then there were really many aristocrats in the Russian, Austrian and Prussian courts, and at that time tens of ordynacjas were created, the majority of which survived until WWII, but they had nothing to do with the Old Republic's szlachta, or the szlachta's law that made ordynacja very difficult to create and keep.-- (talk) 20:48, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

This page...[edit]

Is anyone still following this page ?? I would like to add the appropriate information in the references section.Rogala (talk) 14:39, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

I also made some purely stylistic language changes to the section on etymology, as it was, in my opinion, a bit unclear.Rogala (talk) 15:41, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

By all means, be bold and improve the page in any way you can. If you have any specific questions, try WT:POLAND as well. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 01:56, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I will try to do so in a highly collaborative fashion with anyone following the page. For now, I plan on limiting myself to mostly stylistic changes which make the article more closely adhere to Wikipedia's printed guidelines on wording, etc....that being said, if anyone is willing to work with me closely on this throughout 2011, I would like to get it promoted to Good Article and eventually Featured Article status.Rogala (talk) 17:17, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I will try be of assistance, time-permitting. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:17, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

B-class for WPPOLAND failed[edit]

Quick fail due to insufficient citations. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 17:57, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

This article is in the main pure fiction. It ignores history and the fact that in Poland we had two casts one being the Lechici the other Kmiecie. Lechici being the warrior cast the Kmiecie common free folk during middle ages. Otherwise where did in 1750 the 60% of Polish, then serves population come from?? Mars?? They were initially all equal in law but differed in clan’s rules. All initially owned land but under a different conditions or terms. Artisans and city folk did also come from Kmiecie cast .Well if I had to rate it I would give it, like all the German Nazi propaganda on this site, a z grade. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:30, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Polish heraldry and genealogy discussion[edit]

Please join the discussion in Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Heraldry and vexillology#Polish heraldry and genealogy about how to correctly handle historical Polish concepts "ród", "ród herbowy" vs. "House" & "Clan", etc. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:16, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

Zaporozhian Host[edit]

It is disputed whether Zaporozhians were part of szlachta, it is therefore best if we don't mention it. Internet sources wouldn't be enough. A proper historical analysis is required. Oliszydlowski (TALK), 13:16, 19 April 2017 (UTC)

Cossacks in general were not but the Host had numerous members of the szlachta among its officers (probably a majority of whom were szlachta). Here's a list of Zaporozhian leaders and Hetmans, almost all were szlachta (an exception such as Ivan Pidkova was a Moldavian nobleman). Other examples of szlachta among Zaporozhians include Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki, Ivan Bohun, Orlyk family, etc.Faustian (talk) 13:34, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Okay, already said that some members were part of szlachta. Thank you for your explanation. You learn something new everyday :) Oliszydlowski, 23:42, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. One of the aspects of the Khmelnytsky Uprising was that of a battle between poorer szlachta (such as Khmelytsky himself) against Magnates. It was probably successful in large part because most of its officers (another example: Hryhoriy Hulyanytsky) were szlachta with military experience (a simple peasant uprising would have failed). Traditional Ukrainian historiography often emphasizes the peasant aspects of Ukrainian culture and history, glorifying it (I suspect Polish also does this, but does not glorify).Faustian (talk) 13:51, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry, which part you do not understand? Poletyka, Doroshenko, Zabila, Dunin-Borkowski, Mazeppa, Hrebinka, Narbut, Orlyk, Khanenko, Hudym-Levkovych, etc These ALL families received nobilitation and belonged to szlachta. On your talk page I provided links that there were about two thousand of szlachta only in Zboriv Registry. Almost 300 families received nobilitation after Uprising. Whole Lubych and Pinsk szlachta joined Uprising. Just how many should there be, so that you stop adding this "some of the" nonsense? Please see Modzalevsky Armorial. Most of 609 families there actually with documents proved to Russian nobility commission their szlachta title to become part of dvoriantstvo. Others either received high ranks and intermarried, or came from Serbian, Russian, Moldavian etc nobility. Rest like szlachta on Polish-Lithuanian counterparts did not receive dvorianstvo title, but became just free peasants or townsmen. Korwinski (talk) 10:20, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Removed parts[edit]

...lowest percentage of nobles Kiev, Braclaw...

5th revision of 1794 says there was 7,72% of szlachta in Kiev Governorate, 6,73% in Volhynian Governorate and 8,88% in Podolian Governorate. And thats excluding Clergy (~1,5% in every Governorate), which in most cases was szlachta as well. Mykola Krykun Palatinates of Right-Bank Ukraine in the Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries: Studies and Source Materials. Lviv 2012. 702 p., ill., maps. ISBN 978-617-607-240-9 See p. 586

The greatest concentrations of impoverished nobles (szlachta zagrodowa) could be found in the palatinates of Masovia, Podlachia and Lublin.

We already mentioned above that at least 3/4 (or 75%) of all Lithuanian szlachta was minor nobility. page 10 And about high concentration of szlachta in Mazovia etc. No point of mentioning again in the same paragraph.

3% of szlachta in Galicia

I would leave it out, as here are two sources that would give us:

1) 6% according to L. Slivka. (2004). УКРАЇНСЬКА ШЛЯХЕТСЬКА ЕЛІТА: ПРОЯВИ САМОСВІДОМОСТІ ДРІБНОЇ ШЛЯХТИ ГАЛИЧИНИ НАПРИКІНЦІ ХVІІІ – НА ПОЧАТКУ ХХ ст. The Ukrainian Noble Elite: View of self-image of the Galician Petty Gentry from the end of the eighteenth until the beginning of the 20th centuries. (Ukrainian) Ivano-Frankivsk: Ivano-Frankivsk State Medical University.

2) About 10% (no figure in the article, but it would be about 300 000 mentioned in the article out of ~3 150 000 as I recall) according to Zarys działalności Związku Szlachty Zagrodowej w latach 1938-1939

Korwinski (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 00:52, 6 May 2017 (UTC)

The percentage of szlachta in various regions varied over time.
Please add page numbers to citations, so far you are adding articles and large books without page numbers, some of them in Ukrainian language. I have tried to verify your additions, but in most cases it seems impossible (see: WP:PROVEIT). Hedviberit (talk) 04:32, 6 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, correct. Thats why I think it's best to leave Ruthenian (except Galicia) voivodeships out of the list, as with all Uprisings and migration total population and szlachta number constantly changed.
No problem, but I'm not realy sure hot to make it work as I'm using some of the sources number of times. So I will just provide you with them here:
made up to 3/4 of total szlachta population page 10
kept their ethnical identity in various ways All of the sources that I had provided shows how Ruthenian-Lithuanian szlachta kept identity. For example this source is pretty much all about szlachta joining Chmielnicki side in the Chmielnicki Uprising. Starting from page 11, where whole Pinsk szlachta sweared an oath of allegiance to Chmielnicki. This source on page 302 states that Galician szlachta kept Ukrainian traditional clothes. And on page 303 that szlachta kept Ukrainian traditions. Or this source that starting from page 179 is all about Roman Catholics, both peasants and szlachta, keeping Ukrainian language and traditions. You can also add this source, on page 139 it states that despite polonization belarussian szlachta kept their language and tradition. Or this that also states on page 21 that szlachta kept Belarussian language and was bilingual as large number of townsmen and peasants were. Korwinski (talk) 07:01, 7 May 2017 (UTC)
Could you clarify which of these sources state exactly that: Despite polonization in Lithuania and Ruthenia in XVII-XVIII centuries, large part of middle szlachta and most of minor kept their ethnical identity in various ways. Please provide quote(s) with English translation and specify to which area and period of time they refer (if it's not already mentioned). The fragments about mono or bilingualism would be useful too.
Similar request here: Due to poverty most of szlachta there never acquired proper education[36] and with it Polish language and Polish self-identication.[45] ([36] is Sikorska-Kulesza)
I get the impression that Jolanta Sikorska-Kulesza states the opposite on page 104 (about Lithuanian nobility).
I'm asking about this primarily because I have encountered several sources that paint a little bit different picture and I'm not sure how to integrate them into the article.
It should be noted that prior to Partitions there was no Polish national identity, only szlachta of all ethnic backgrounds was considered and referred to as Poles. - I don't think Kai Struve, Keely Stauter-Halsted and Jan Molenda claim that there was no Polish national identity at all, just that there was no Polish national identity in the modern sense. The concept of a Polish nation existed before - as Kai Struve writes: In the Polish case, the formation of a modern nation meant, in principle, the opening up of the early modern concept of the Polish nation (consisting of the szlachta, the nobility) for other social strata as well, especially the peasantry. Before the partitions, Polish and Lithuanian national identities had political and class, rather than ethnic, dimensions.
As to page numbers, just write them "p. (...)" between tags (see more here). You may also try using refToolbar. Hedviberit (talk) 21:47, 12 May 2017 (UTC)
I would start with census of 1897. Kiev governorate: self-identified as Poles 15.499 or 39,7% nobles and as Malorossians/Ukrainians 6.806 or 17,4%. Volhynia: Poles 17.174 or 49,5% vs. Malorossians/Ukrainians 9.162 or 26,4%. Podolia: Poles 13.946 or 46,2% vs. Malorossians/Ukrainians 9.235 or 30,6%. These numbers are for hereditary nobility only, so it excludes most of the nobles that gained personal nobility after Partitions. And this is we are talking about rich or at least middle szlachta that proved with documents and wealth their noble credibility to noble commission. As for the rest of szlachta, the situation was as follows page 48: з плином часу [від XVII ст. – М. Я.] розмножився так, що в 1861 р. було їх [Чопівських чи Чоповських – М. Я.] уже 3063 душ обох статей. Вони рахува- лися шляхтою... В час приєднання уніятів до право- слав’я в 1839 р. – 43 душі обох статей перейшли на латинську віру, решта ж Чопівських (86%) повернулася до православ’я. Геральдія російського Пра- вительствующого Сенату не затвердила за Чопівськими «дворянства» (шля- хетства), однак земля залишилася за ними41. By the 1861 Czopowski/Czopiwski family reached 3063 members. They were accounted as szlachta... During the time Uniate (Greek Catholic) church was abolished, 43 people took Catholic religion, while the rest 86% of Czopowski szlachta family returned to Orthodox Church. Heraldy of Russian Senate did not confirm Czopowski nobility, but they kept their land. This is a good example, because Greek Catholics in most cases during the time of the Commonwealth were not able to convert to Roman Catholicism, so we can see the example of how many of minor szlachta here Polonised. As for poverty of minor nobility it is a bit strange question. Because poor (uboga) szlachta is another word for minor or landless or almost landless szlacta. You can check for Sikorska-Kulesza work again for word "uboga". I can give you sources, just thought it was obvious. Like the fact about education. It will be like in every source on Polonisation that Jesuit (and not only them) schools were primary centres of Polonisation.
page 266 Можно съ увѣренностью утверждать, что обычнымъ языкомъ нашей шляхты былъ малоруссвій. We can say for sure that language of our szlahcta (meaning Bar szlachta) was Malorussian (modern Ukrainian). p. 262 Обыкновенно у насъ съ именемъ правобережнаго дворянина, шляхтича, особенно времёни послѣ козачьихъ войнъ, связывается преДставленіе о чемъто польскомъ, рѣзко отграниченномъ, отчужденномъ отъ народ­ной насеы, враждебномъ ей. Околичная шляхта..въ значительной степени не подходитъ подъ это обычное представ леніе.— Укажу на обслѣдованную въ наукѣ съ этой стороны овруцкую око­ личную шляхту1); подобно ей, и барскій шляхтичъ доконца дней Речи Посполитой сохраняетъ туземный, южнорусскій обликъ и стоитъ близко къ народной массѣ. Usually with a name of Right bank noble, szlachcic, especially after Cossack wars we connect our vision of it with something Polish, very different from local people (meaning Ruthenian) and unfriendly to them. Okoliczna szlachta is very far that description. I will point to studied Ovruch okoliczna szlachta, and the same Bar szlachcic until the last days of the Commonwealth keeps Southern Russian (meaning Ruthenian) identity and is close to peasant population.
p. 139 Культура, быт, манеры поведения бывших шляхтичей отличались от культу­ры и быта коренного белорусского населения и были смешением белорусск­ их и польских культур и языков... В шляхетском селе где-нибудь под Новогрудком или Игуменом слышится польская речь с сильной примесью белорусской; напротив, заднепровская и подвинская шляхта говорит по-белорусски, но с сильною примесью польского языка. Culture etc of former szlachta (talk is about minor nobility that lost privileges after partitions) differed from belorussian peasants and were mix of belorussian and polish culture and languages. In szlachta village near Navahrudak or Ihumen you can hear polish language with heavy influence of belorussian, while Dniepr and Dvina szlachta talks in belorussian with heavy polish influence.
page 70 Як відзначали опитані, різниці між селянами та шляхтою в цей час не було [8, арк. 1]... Навіть у сім’ях католиків усі говорили білоруською, хоч багато знали польську, читаючи польські книги, молилися польською мовою [8, арк. 2, 3, 12, 13 та ін.]. Відмінності у вихованні дітей у шляхти й селян проявлялися зде- більшого в релігійному вихованні.... Католики всіх дітей обов’язково хрестили й водили в костьол... As noted by respondents, there was no difference between szlachta and peasants... Even in Catholic families everybody spoke Belorussian, despite the fact that many of them knew Polish, reading Polish books and by praying in Polish language. Difference between szlachta and peasants is mostly in Catholic religion This is actually the answer to your question about page 104 of Sikorska-Kulesza work. Polish researchers (even modern one) tend to put "=" sign between Poles and szlachta or Catholics despite all the facts. You should've come across this issue with in article I've put for Galicia szlachta, where despite the fact that szlachta was Ukrainian-speaking and Greek Catholic, it was still treaded by Poles as Polish one and a subject to repolonisation.
Yes, thats what I meant. To clarify its better to change to "there was no Polish national identity in modern sense. Only szlachta of all ethnic backgrounds was considered and referred to as Poles".Korwinski (talk) 00:23, 18 May 2017 (UTC)
Due to poverty most of szlachta there never acquired proper education[36] and with it Polish language and Polish self-identication.[45] - Perhaps I wasn't clear before. I didn't ask about "poverty", but about the whole statement (which seems to be WP:SYNTH). This fragment is supposed to describe the situation in "Lithuania and Ruthenia". You use Sikorska-Kulesza ([36]), even though she writes that the minor/poor szlachta in Lithuania retained its attachment to Polish tradition, language and culture, p. 104: Za godny osobnych badań fenomen uznać trzeba zachowanie przez drobną szlachtę, mimo wielu tragicznych przejść, świadomości narodowej, przywiązania do polskiej tradycji, języka i kultury. She also doesn't seem to write anything about how because of poverty most of szlachta in Lithuania and Ruthenia (Belarus and Ukraine) didn't acquire proper education and with it Polish language skills and Polish self-identification, she doesn't make such connection - between poverty/lack of proper education and Polish language skills/Polish self-identification. I don't see how [45] (about Poles in the Right-bank Ukraine), supports this claim either. You need a source which makes that statement explicitly.
Keep in mind that self-identification is not always determined by the language one speaks. If sources don't clearly state ethnic/national affiliation, we shouldn't imply otherwise. What you are saying might be true, but If you can't find sources that support your claims clearly and directly, then just leave your statements unsourced, otherwise it is misleading. Drawing conclusions not evident in the reference is original research.
Do you have a link to the 1897 census data? Hedviberit (talk) 03:25, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
She also doesn't seem to write anything about how because of poverty most of szlachta in Lithuania and Ruthenia (Belarus and Ukraine) didn't acquire Polish language skills and with it. I will lookup for more links later and provide links that jesuit scools were one of the main centers for polonization. I guess this will do for now: Таким чином, система освіти на західноукраїнських землях у XVIІІ ст. яв- ляла собою низку елементарних шкіл, утримуваних народними громадами та церковними структурами. За цілковито- го переважання українців у національ- ному складі населення українська мова була відсутня в системі шкільництва, на яке значно впливала германізаторська та полонізаторська політика центральної влади. Загальна бідність населення була однією з причин, які гальмували роз- виток освіти Due to low awareness and general poverty of most people, the process of establishing new schools ceased. Not only that, but previosly opened ones ceased to function. In Western Ukrainian lands in XVIII century education system was made out of number of elementary schools held by communities and church organizations. Despite Ukrainian dominance in the national structure of the population, Ukrainian language was absent in the schooling system, which was greatly influenced by germanization and polonization course of Central government. The total poverty population was one of the reasons that hindered development of the education. page 460. I guess you can also add this: Навчаючись в університеті, право- славні стикалися зі значними перешко- дами. Так, російський резидент у Поль- щі Іван Волков у 1691 р. доносив своєму уряду, що єзуїти дозволяли українцям закінчити курс риторики та прослухати однорічний курс філософії, “а більше року слухати філософію не допускають, а велять бути уніатом” 34. 1725 р. нун- цієм була створена спеціальна комісія, яка серед інших висунала вимогу не на- давати помешкання та харчування пра- вославним студентам у разі їх відмови перейти у католицьке віросповідання. While studying in University Orthodox students constantly had a lot of obstacles/barries. Russian resident in Poland Ivan Volkov in 1691 reported to his government that Jesuits allowed Ukrainians to take only course of rhetorics and listen to one year of philosophy, "to listen they do not allow and ask them to be Uniate". In 1725 there was a special commission created by nuncio, that seet a requirement not to give food and shelter to orthodox students in case they do not wish to convert to Catholicism..
Keep in mind that self-identification is not always determined by the language one speaks. If sources don't clearly state ethnic/national affiliation, we shouldn't imply otherwise. Sorry, where in the article I'm saying that?. Kept their ethnical identity in various ways you can rephrase it if you'd like, but I'm not saying which self-identification they have. I'm saying that Polish self-identification prior partitions was way different from the one after. And for the phrase Kept their ethnical identity in various ways I've provided numerous sources about language and traditions, and even ethnonym were still being kept by szlachta.
minor/poor szlachta in Lithuania retained its attachment to Polish tradition, language and culture How does it contradict the fact the Ruthenian was also being spoken, they still were more Greek Catholics rather than Roman Catholics, that traditions differed from the Polish ones and they self-identified as Litwins and not as Poles?
Do you have a link to the 1897 census data? here Korwinski (talk) 02:16, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

Nobility Through Mother - Doubtful[edit]

Someone in Poland, very knowledgeable, perhaps ideally a Polish noble, needs to challenge the following in the Szlachta article:

"Later, as marriages by a noble—male or female—to a commoner became more frequent, children inherited nobility from their noble parent. And a noble girl married to a commoner could transmit nobility to her husband and to all their children."

There's no citation, and it flies in the face of history, and seems to be nothing more than wishful thinking, that nobility would be transmitted through the mother.

The law says:

"Children born under a legitimate marriage shall always follow the condition of the father, never the mother. Co. Litt. 123; Black's, 2d. 305; Lynch v. Clarke, 1 Sandf. Ch. (N.Y.) 583, 660. However, in the case of slaves and animals, the offspring follows the condition of the mother. Inst. 2, 1, 9; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 167, 502." "He who is born outside of lawful matrimony, or of an unlawful one, follows the condition of the mother. C.L.M.; Cycl. Dict. 840."

Landed estates were patrimonies, key letters "patri" as in Patriarchy.

Citing the statutes of the Polish Nobility Association in Poland (, descent from the noble father is required:

"§ 13. 1. Both Polish and foreign citizens become Ordinary Members regardless of their place of residence if they meet the requirements listed in this Paragraph.

2. The following persons may be accepted as Members:

1) descendents of Nobles in the direct male line (the son or daughter of a noble father)"

Quoting the Polish Nobility Association Foundation

"In ancient times, the nobility was the ruling class of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with the exclusive right to enjoy full citizenship. Nobility was hereditary in the male line, and the knight's shield was an outward sign of this."

And a quote from Rafal Heydel-Mankoo (

"Nobility has always been traced along a patrilineal descent (only real exceptions being Scotland and Portugal where a man may become armigerous through his mother--after application to the Court of Lord Lyon for Scottish cases). In Spain in 1997 the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the Spanish law which gave equality to the sexes was not to be applied to titles of nobility. (The case dealt with the title of Conde de Cardona with Grandeeship). Even so in Spain titles may pass along maternal lines if several criteria are met. (The Polish Puslowski family for example may be able to rejuvenate certain dormant Spanish titles which were possessed by the Pignatelli d'Aragon y Cortes family) ... Those who are interested might wish to check the web-site of Guy Stair Sainty's web-site it the foremost internet-based source on such matters. Mr. Stair-Sainty is an internationally recognised expert on nobiliary law and orders of chivalry."

Sainty website:


"Szlachta was rightly cautious, however, when it believed that not all ennobled persons were worthy of this honour. It's apprehension was even more justified by the rapid increase in the number of the ennoblements owed to merits rendered doubtful by szlachta. For example, there was a curious situation in the University of Cracow where after ten years of service the professors were granted a nobility for life. After a twenty-year service, however, this nobility grant was becoming hereditary. Because many of the ennobled were priests, their privileges could be passed on to their brothers or male lineal descendants."

AQUINAS, THOMAS. "SUMMA THEOLOGIAE: Supplement to the Third Part (Supplementum Tertiæ Partis): Question 52. The impediment of the condition of slavery". "Now slavery is a condition of the body, since a slave is to the master a kind of instrument in working; wherefore children follow the mother in freedom and bondage; whereas in matters pertaining to dignity as proceeding from a thing's form, they follow the father, for instance in honors, franchise, inheritance and so forth. The canons are in agreement with this (cap. Liberi, 32, qu. iv, in gloss.: cap. Inducens, De natis ex libero ventre) as also the law of Moses (Exodus 21). ... It is because the son derives honor from his father rather than from his mother that in the genealogies of Scripture, and according to common custom, children are named after their father rather than from their mother. But in matters relating to slavery they follow the mother by preference."

Consider ancient Rome, divided into two classes: the patricians, or those who could identify their father ("patri" from whence comes "patrician"), and the plebeians, or those who could not. The plebeians were a racially mixed lot, and at one time probably ran in tribes, were polygamous and profligate, with their blood and lineage coming from a mother considered queen of the tribe.

Also, there's the matter of the Y chromosome:

"The Y chromosome is passed only from father to son."

Exxess (talk) 20:46, 5 June 2017 (UTC)