1902 Encyclopedia > Italy > Titles of Honour

(Part 28)


Titles of Honour

The recent existence of so many separate sovereignties and "fountains of honour " as a matter of course gave rise to a great many hereditary titles of nobility. There are 400 princes, 458 dukes, 985 marquises, 1679 counts, 353 barons, and 5 viscounts in the country; as well as 1234 persons of "patrician" rank, 2273 with a right to the designation nobile, 318 distinctively signori, and 46 hereditary knights or cavalieri in the kingdom. In the "Golden Book of the Capitol" (Libro d'Oro del Campidoglio) are inscribed 321 patrician families, and of these 28 have the title of prince and 8 that of duke, while the others are marquises, counts, or simply patricians. Five orders of knighthood are recognized:—the order of the Annunciation (Ordine Supremo dell' Annunziata), which dates from 1362, the order of St Maurice and St Lazarus (1434), the military order of Savoy (1815), the civil order of Savoy (1833), and the order of the Crown of Italy, instituted in 1868. The king's brother is duke of Aosta, his eldest son is prince of Naples, and his cousin is duke of Genoa.

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