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Its all in the name

Today’s historical figure is one of the most appropriately named we have had thus far…Albert Alcibiades the Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach or Albert the Belicose. Albert liked a good war. Margraves did have a military responsibility, but by all accounts Albert really did enjoy fighting. Unfortunately for Albert peace agreements seemed to follow him about the place. Curse all those people getting along and what not. Lacking in battling masters Albert took it upon himself to start a few fights himself. He plundered Franconia and then set about extorting money from the Nuremburg people. Which oddly didn’t endear him to many people and arrangements were made for Albert to be ‘crushed’.

Albert the Warlike. Rob suggests that maybe the armour and beard combination would get in the way of doing anything practical.

Margraves were military leaders for the borders of, originally the Carolingian Empire, and then later the Holy Roman Empire. Which was, naturally, nowhere near Rome. It was Germany. The Germans who thought they were Roman Margraves gradually morphed into low level aristrocracy over time, as the defence needs changed. Though the Margrave of Brandenburg was by the Golden Bull of 1356 nominated an elector of the Empire. Electors essentially forming the same role as the American electoral college does these days (can I get an American political reference into every post?) The Golden Bull incidentally, for those who don’t closely follow Vatican laws, is a law. Not a bull.

This is a Golden Bull

This is not a Golden Bull. This is a highland bull. He’s much cooler (photo: Brian Forbes)
The Welsh border Marcher Lords, much loathed by, well almost everyone, were the English equivalent. The marcher lords were for various periods of time County Palatines, which meant not only were they defending the border, but they also had monarchal powers. Chester maintained its autonomy from Parliament until 1830, and the bishops of Durham lost their power six years later. Marcher lords don’t have these powers any longer, which was something of a sobering discovery for one business man who thought buying a Welsh border title in 2001 was the oportunity to lord it over the folk of Pembrokshire.

We had a little think in the office and can’t think of any marcher lord based games…do you know of any? Do you play any border dispute focussed games?