By Donna Bohanan
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Extra resources for Old and New Nobility in Aix-En-Provence, 1600-1695: Portrait of an Urban Elite
Since I am interested in nobles exclusively, I eliminate such individuals from my figures, which accounts for the discrepancies between our tables. Coste established a set of criteria to use in separating nobles from commoners. A title, of course, was the most reliable way of recognizing a noble. References to fiefs might also indicate nobility, although alone they could not guarantee it, since some commoners owned fiefs. " Finally, military commissions or functions could identify nobles, particularly membership in the order of the Knights of Malta.
This would have been, in my opinion, impossible. I am convinced that the concept of robe is inappropriate for the nobility of Aix, and for much of southern France, for the very same reason that the term sword is largely inappropriate: As used by the crisis historians, the two terms are virtually defined through their opposition, the existence of one implying the existence of the other. Yet among the peculiarities of the southern aristocracy is the fact that they were not a by-product of feudalism.
See Wood, Nobility of the Election of Bayeux; and Jonathan Dewald, The Formation of a Provincial Nobility: The Magistrates of the Parlement of Rouen, 14991610 (Princeton, 1980). 5. Wood, Nobility of the Election of Bayeux, 158. Page 4 of the parlementaires of Rouen also adds substantial detail to the revisionist depiction of the provincial nobility. " He finds many of the parlementaires to have been créatures of the court aristocracythat is, clients or dependents of venerable and powerful houses.