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A question for friends with access to the OED:
blaisepascal
Wikipedia has a cross-language reference to the names of various chess pieces. It lists one piece as being called, in English, either a "Rook" or a "Margrave". I have never heard the second term, and would like to know when it was used (if ever... the Wikipedia entry on Margrave doesn't mention the chess term).

If you could help me out by finding out what the OED says about this use of Margrave, I would appreciate it. My only access to the OED is the volumes in the reference section of my local library, which I won't be able to get to until Monday.

(That's one of the main perks of working for Cornell I wish I still had: access to the online journals, databases, and resources available through their library, including the online OED.)

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The OED Online (to which I have access through work) doesn't say anything about margrave being a chess piece.

Here's the definition:
A military governor of a medieval German border province. Also: the chief magistrate of any of certain cities in the Low Countries, near the borders of the Holy Roman Empire; the hereditary ruler of any of certain principalities within, and in several cases near the borders of, the Holy Roman Empire.

Increasingly in the Middle Ages, the title of margrave began to be adopted by military governors of German territories which were not border provinces. The title also became hereditary in many cases.

If you want the etymology, quotations, etc., let me know. But I don't think they'll translate well to LJ.

That's basically the information that Wikipedia has on Margrave, so that's not really new. I was hoping that the chess usage would be a secondary or tertiary historical usage -- you know, the type of thing the OED excels at having. If the chess usage isn't in the OED, I'll have to conclude that Margrave isn't/wasn't an obscure English term for a chess rook. Therefore, it isn't useful for my purposes.

Thanks!

Double check with your local public library. Many of them will give OED access if you login to their system as one of their patrons. :)


They didn't the last time I checked, and a quick check now of their website doesn't mention it.

I'll ask again next time I'm in.

No reference to chess specifically but here's the rest:

A military governor of a medieval German border province. Also: the chief magistrate of any of certain cities in the Low Countries, near the borders of the Holy Roman Empire; the hereditary ruler of any of certain principalities within, and in several cases near the borders of, the Holy Roman Empire.
Increasingly in the Middle Ages, the title of margrave began to be adopted by military governors of German territories which were not border provinces. The title also became hereditary in many cases.
1551 R. ROBINSON tr. T. More Vtopia I. sig. Biv, The chiefe and the head of them was the Marcgraue (as they cal him) of Bruges [L. praefectus Brugensis]. 1569 R. GRAFTON Chron. II. 84 All such Rulers of townes or Countries as are nere the sea, are called Mergraue, as at this day in Andwarpe. 1577 R. HOLINSHED Chron. II. 1835/2 Christofor Prince and Margraue of Baden. 1617 F. MORYSON Itinerary III. 236 The Margraue (or Marquis) of Brandeburg is..the last of the Electors, but more powerfull then any of them in the number of Vassals. 1695 London Gaz. No. 3130/2, The Margrave of Bareith is still at Amsterdam. 1769 I. BICKERSTAFF & S. FOOTE Dr. Last II. xii. 41, I..have the honour of being physician in ordinary to one emperor, four kings, three electors, and I don't know how many prince palantines, margraves, bishops, and vulgar highnesses. 1790 J. WOLCOT Advice to Future Laureat in Wks. (1812) II. 335 Emperors, Electors, dead to hospitality, Margraves and miserable Dukes. 1826 E. CRAVEN Mem. Margravine of Anspach I. v. 190 The Margrave had at his table good cream, and Stilton, or Berkeley hundred, made under my direction. 1855 J. L. MOTLEY Rise Dutch Republic I. II. vii. 560 John Van Immerzeel, Margrave of Antwerp. 1872 ‘G. ELIOT’ Middlemarch II. xxxv. 213 There never was a true story which could not be told in parables where you might put a monkey for a margrave, and vice versa. 1910 Encycl. Brit. I. 494/1 In 1128 his brother-in-law, Henry II., margrave of the Saxon north mark, died. 1970 R. BARBER Knight & Chivalry (1974) I. i. 22 To the antrustiones were given the great positions of state, as..duke..or margrave with more specifically military duties. 1994 Q Aug. 138/3 Bach personalised the concertos in such a way that the Margrave, a musically literate aristocrat, would have been able to..understand the musical symbolism from studying the score alone.

A document I foundon-line called "The History of Chess" also lists the term. It looks to me as if the Wikipedia article was based on this document.
Which does not help you, I realize, but I found it interesting.

Curious enough, "History of Chess" is what I googled for and found the Wikipedia article. However, if the OED doesn't give it as a historical meaning of the term, then it isn't it. No matter, as it doesn't appear to be natural to use it anyway.

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