Before entering fully into the meaning of the term count, we are going to proceed to discover its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it is a word that derives from Latin, exactly from “you eat, comitis”, which can be translated as “companion” or “comrade”.
It is called count to the individual who owns the noble title that is immediately below the title of marquis. This distinction is granted by a monarch as a way of thanks or recognition.
According to DigoPaul, the powers of the counts vary according to the time and the region. At a general level, the title became symbolic or honorary from the 19th century, although in the past the count could be the highest authority in a territory.
It is important to bear in mind that nobility titles were very relevant in the Middle Ages, when they were a tool for ordering hierarchies in feudal regimes. The king, in this framework, recognized and rewarded certain people for their performance in battles and for other achievements.
At that time, the social hierarchy was headed by the emperor or the king. Then the dukes were located and, below them, the marquises. The descending order continued with the counts, the viscounts and the barons.
In the specific case of the counts, in their origins they were the individuals who accompanied the emperor of the Roman Empire. The fiefdom in charge of the count received the name of county.
One of the most famous counts in history belongs to the field of fiction: Count Dracula, a character created by the Irish writer Bram Stoker for his novel “Dracula. ” The Count Dracula, according to the book, is a vampire who lives in a castle in Transylvania.
However, within the literary and fiction field in general, we find other well-known characters who have also had the aforementioned noble title. This would be the case, for example, of “The Count of Montecristo”. This is the title of one of the most important adventure novels by Alexander Dumas, published in 1844.
In the historical sphere, we find a series of counts who have exercised an important weight in the political, social, cultural or economic sphere. Some of these stand out, such as the following:
-The Count of Floridablanca, José Moñino y Redondo (1728 – 1808). He was a relevant Spanish politician who served as Secretary of State during the period between 1777 and 1792. In addition, he presided over the Supreme Central Board.
-The Count of Romanones, Álvaro Figueroa and Torres Mendieta (1863 – 1950). He was a Spanish politician who held the positions of President of the Congress of Deputies, President of the Senate and even President of the Council of Ministers during the reign of Alfonso XIII. To all this we must add that he was part of the liberal party of Canalejas and Sagasta.
-The Count Aranda, Pedro Pablo Albarca de Bolea y Ximénez de Urrea (1719 – 1798), who served as Secretary of State to Carlos IV.
Among the many royal counts, one can mention Alfonso Martínez de Irujo and Fitz-James Stuart, a Spanish aristocrat who is count of Palma del Río, Guimerá, Ribadeo and Aranda.