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Province (from Latin provincia ) is a term that goes back to the administrative terminology of ancient Rome , which today designates various administrative-territorial units, both in the state and in the ecclesiastical area.

Provincia in the ancient Roman Empire

The word provincia (from pro , for, and the stem of vincere , to win) primarily denoted the area of ​​responsibility of a magistrate in ancient Latin , and thus corresponds to today's words competence, area of responsibility , portfolio . In this sense, the case law in Rome is just as much a province as the construction of a fleet or the alignment of a road.

In a narrower sense, the expression in the context of the administrative organization of the Roman Empire denotes a conquered area outside Italy under Roman rule and administration .

Under Emperor Diocletian , the previous division of the Roman Empire into provinces was replaced by a new two-tier division into dioceses and provinces , which now also includes the Italian peninsula.

In the Byzantine Empire , the division into dioceses and provinces initially continued before it was superseded by the division into themes .

Concept development in the Middle Ages

In late Latin, provincia also generally refers to a region or area.

North of the Alps, the word provincia has been attested since the 14th century. First the term appears on the Lower Rhine as provincie with the meaning 'district of the archbishopric ', later the term is used to describe a larger state or church administrative area or part of the country.

Provinces of historical states

In the state-political area, denotes or designated province (or the corresponding form of the respective national language, which goes back to Latin provincia ) administrative or self-governing units or member states of numerous states .

In the past, the word u. a. Used in such functions in the following modern states:

In addition, the native names of historical administrative or self-government units of the following states are often translated as 'province':

  • the structure in the Empire of Abyssinia 1941–1963, see administrative structure of Ethiopia
  • Province in France until 1789, see Historical Provinces of France
  • Επαρχία Eparchía in Greece until the Greek municipal reform of 1997, see list of former provinces of Greece
  • kuni (dt. Proper 'country') in Japan (empire, since 1871 replaced by the prefectural system , but not explicitly abolished), see provinces of Japan
  • سنجاق Sanjak (actually 'banner') in the Ottoman Empire

Provinces of Modern States

There are administrative or self-government units with the official German name 'Provinz' in the following countries:

Member states with a designation that is translated into German as 'province' exist today in the following states:

In addition, the names of administrative or self-government units of the following states are usually translated as 'province':

Provinces in the ecclesiastical area

In some Christian churches, province also designates a level of spatial organization of the church itself ( ecclesiastical province , Latin provincia ecclesiastica ) or of a religious order ( religious province ). Is a church province

More modern meanings of the word

In colloquial language, 'province' or provincial, with a tendentially derogatory connotation, also denotes an area that is poor in outstanding cultural offerings or in which there is generally no significant social life. These are often areas far away from the capital , on the periphery of a country or in a predominantly rural area. Since current fashions or customs often first appear in the cities and these are still little known in rural areas, this is considered a backward, 'provincial' area.

In Germany, for example, all places except the four megacities of Berlin , Hamburg , Munich , Cologne , perhaps the metropolitan region of Rhine-Ruhr and Frankfurt am Main with the Rhine-Main area are sometimes referred to as provinces, often including large state capitals such as Stuttgart or Hanover (Hanover was actually provincial capital of the province Hanover in the state of Prussia , the kingdom of Hanover annexed in 1866 ). The former federal capital Bonn was and is considered provincial because of its small size. Corresponding larger areas are also called Wallachia , Pampa or jwd (janz far out). Numerous technical terms, such as provincialism or provincialization, are derived from the term province .

Web links

Wiktionary: Province  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. province ( Memento of July 9, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) In: