Medieval Russian Titles and Ranks:
Social Classes

by Sofya la Rus

Updated 16 May 2009

Overview

Kievan Rus, from Mackenzie and Curran:

  • Princely class - descendents of the House of Riurik, eventually divided into greater and lesser princes.
  • Service aristocracy - "muzhi," upper-class freeman, druzhina (military retinue), advisors and servitors (wergild 80 grivnas)
  • Non-service aristocracy - old Slavic aristocracy and other wealthy personages (wergild 40 grivnas)
  • Boyarstvo - the service and non-service aristocracy merge to form the boyar class. Term "boyar" in widespread use by the mid-10th cent.
  • "Liudi" - middle-class freemen, business owners, landlords, estate-holders (also 40 grivna wergild).
  • "Molodshie liudi" - lower-class freemen, urban artisans, employees, guild members (wergild only 5 grivna).
  • "Smerdy" - rural peasants.
  • "Zakupy" - half-free (not yet serfs), more of an indentured servant
  • "Cheliad" - slaves, temporary and permanent.
    Ranks were fluid and poorly defined in this period.
Kievan Rus, derived from Andreeva:
  • Knyaz
  • Senior druzhina - knazhnie muzhi, boyars, posadniks, tysyatski, voevodi
  • Junior druzhina - detskie, otroki, gridin, deti boyarskie, dvoryane

Early Muscovite Rus, from MacKenzie and Curran (late 1400s):

  • Sovereign
  • Local/appanage princes (mestnoj/udel'noj knyaz) - a shrinking group as their lands are absorbed by the growing Muscovite state, and the former princes then become boyars.
  • Boyars - service and non-service aristocracy. More and more non-service nobility are converted to service nobility and assigned to service based on mestnichestvo, a system based on birth family connections, and receiving pomestie lands for their service. Make up the Boyar Duma that advises the sovereign.
  • Dvoryane - gentry, educated commoners, central treasury secretaries (diaki) whose functions evolved as the central bureaucracy grew into separate administrative boards, prikazy or izby. Came to be members of the Duma - dumnye dvoriane. However, in the reign of Ivan IV, dvoryane could range from generals with vast estates to humble gentry with only a single peasant household on their land. Also called deti boyarskie?
  • Namestnik (governor) or volostel (district chiefs) are assigned to govern former principalities and supported by kormlenie, a portion of local tax revenue. Gradually replaced by zemskaya system of local self-government for more efficient tax collection and the former governors became voevody (military leaders). A subgroup of the diaki.
  • Merchants - wealthy merchants (gosti) became responsible for tax collecting, and thereby tax exempt
  • Lower-class freement - poorer merchants, artisans, etc.
  • Serfs - newly created class to deal with emigration of increasingly pinched farmers.
  • Kabali - indentured servants.
  • Kholopy - slaves

Early Romanov Rus, from MacKenzie and Curran (early 1600s - i.e. OOP):

  • Tsar
  • Boyars - weakened by the Time of Troubles, gradually taking over the administrative functions previously held by gentry/educated commoners (diaki). All required to provide service to the state.
  • Okolnichii - just below boyar, head of a prikazy in the 17th cent. assisted by a state secretary (diak) and clerks.
  • Dvoryane - gentry, diaki.
  • Voevody - regional governors, replaced namestniki, and were supposed to rule without bribes and tax skimming (kormlenie) but had a great deal of authority and took advantage, especially since many voevody were decended from the old namestniki. The elected zemstvo form of local self-government withered everywhere except the north, and often were just tools of the voevoda.
  • Burghers - got monopoly of trade and manufacturer, but were stripped of ability to move to new residences.

The major divisions of the Russian nobility are the boyarstvo and the dvoryanstvo. Other noble ranks seem to be subdivisions of the two main categories. Sometimes it is difficult to tell from period texts the relative ranks of these other terms, although the place of the boyars relative to the knazhestvo and to the dvorianstvo is quite stable.
Boyarin [боярин] - nobleman.
Boyarynya [боярыня] - feminine of above.
Boyare [бояре] - plural.
    Not used in the official SCA alternate titles list.

    All the above terms are attested in period sources by Sreznevskii. [Sreznevskii, Vol 1]

    According to George Vernadsky in Ancient Russia p. 248-9 – Origin of the term “boyar” The Bulgar horde was composed of several clans, ogus. The clan elders were known as boils. The Turkish plural form of boil is boiler or boiliar. This is the origin of the Old Russian term boliarin, plural boliare (boyars). Bulgar knights were known as bagain or bagatur.

    The term boyar can seem to have been used for just about anyone higher ranking than a commoner but lower ranking than a knyaz, but this is because historical texts disproportionately focus on the activities of royalty and higher nobility and ignore the activities of the lower nobility and commoners, and most period texts are not attempting to lay out the full details of Russian social structure.

    According to Petrov:

      1) senior druzhinik, advisor to prince in ancient Russian state in 9th-13th cent. [Petrov]
      2) feudal landowner [Petrov]
      3) highest service rank in Russian state of 14th-17th cent., and also a person granted such a rank. Rank of boyarin gave the right to participate in the Boyar Duma. The close (blizhij) or room (komnatnyj) boyarin was a special confidant of the tsar and had the right of access to the royal chambers. Relatives of the tsaritsa received the title svojstvennoj boyarin (special/peculiar/inherent boyarin). [Petrov]

    Boyars directed special branches of goverment. As feudal landlords, they were vassals of the knyaz, obliged to serve in his army, but possessing the right to leave to a new suzerain and were fully sovereign in their own patrimony and had their own vassals. [Petrov]

    The noble council, boiarskaia duma, developed out of the princely retinue of warrior chieftains (druzhina), whose leading members became boyars with estates and commercial interests. As they acquired extensive hereditary lands, the boyars grew more independent of the prince than the original chieftains of the princely retinue were. [MacKenzie and Curran, p39]

    The muzhi made up the druzhina, or military retinue, of the princes. Initially Scandinavian, by the 11th century Slavs fully participated in this important social and economic group. These servitors of the prince derived their weath and prestige from trade, war booty, and grants and rewards bestowed by the prince. The members of the druzhina were the closest associates of the prince, serving as military and commercial advisors, and as administrators in local affairs. [MacKenzie and Curran, p49]

    In addition to the druzhina, there was a nonservice aristocracy descended from the old Slavic tribal aristocracy and any others with enough wealth to wield equivalent influence whether acquired through foreign trade or other activities. These had half the wergild of the druzhina. [MacKenzie and Curran, p49]

    Gradually the service aristocracy (druzhina) and the non-service aristocracy based on birth and wealth merged to form the boyar class. The origin of the term boyar is obscure, but was in wide use by the mid-10th century. Over time, as the descendents of the House of Riurik proliferated, the lesser princes became almost indistinguishable from boyars. [MacKenzie and Curran, p49]

    The upper ruling class of Kyivan Rus' consisting of landed boyars (zemski boyars) and senior members of hte princes' armed retinues and courts (i.e. boyar-warriors). The distinction between these two groups disappeared in the 11th century as the warrior elites acquired hereditary estates and the landed nobility increasingly served the in the princes' courts. New distinctions arose between senior and junior members of the armed retinue. [Encyclopedia of Ukraine]

    In Kievan times, the boyar class was not closed. Anyone who acquired enough wealth and influence was considered a boyar. Any boyar or druzhinik was free to leave his current prince, to serve another retaining his social status and hereditary property (but risking loss of future royal patronage). They had no special legal, property or tax status compared to other freemen, however. [MacKenzie and Curran, p49]

    S.M. Solov'ev from "Internal relations of Russian society from the death of Yaroslav I to the death of Mstislav of Toropets (1054-1228)."

      We, as before, meet the difference between the elder (starshaya) and junior (mladshaya) druzhina... The elder druzhina is also expressed by the word "boyars." In contrast to the elder druzhina, we find the term "junior guard". They can also be called molod', molodye, molodye liudi, and also gridej, grid'by. The members of the senior durzhina, boyars, were members of the princely duma (council), advisors. But there is information that sometimes the entire druzhina was called to the council. Included in the druzhina were his personal staff, who lived constantly with him - the so-called otroki (adolescents), detskie (children), and pasynki (stepchildren) who, naturally, were also divided into senior and junior. So, the druzhina consisted of three parts: boyars, grid'by, and pasynki. The third division of the druzhina, the sluzhnya, the princely servants (slugi), who lived with the prince in his home, in the north started to be called dvor, dvoryane. However, at times, the entire druzhina could be called dvoryane when being distiguished from the urban militia forces. From the boyars, the prince appointed the tysyastki. The posadniks could sometimes be appointed from the detskie.

    S.M. Solov'ev from "Internal relations of Russian society from the death of Mstislav Mstislavich of Toropets to the death of grand prince Vasili Vasil'evich the Dark (1228-1462)."

      As early as Daniil Aleksandrovich we start to trace established elite families through multiple generations (previously, both the boyars, and the princes they served, were too nomadic to trace more than a couple generations). Next to these "native" Moscovite boyars we see constantly appearing newcomers, not just from southwestern Russian but also from foreign countires, to enter the service of the Moscow princes, even Riurikovich princes from the south and the north, and Gedimichi princes from Lithuania. At first, these princes form a special separate division of the druzhina, generally but not always above the boyars. These newly arrived princes negotiated for appropriate high posts, displacing the "old" boyar families. In these situations, the old boyars might leave to serve another prince, but as Moscow increased in power, they came to decide in most cases that it was better to accept the lower rank than to start over serving a lesser prince. To this period belongs an award certificate granting "boyarstvo" to a certain treasurer Tarasij Petrovich for ransoming the great prince and princess. [This is the only/earliest explicit grant of rank that I have found yet in period. Still looking.] The separation of the druzhina into senior and junior continued. The senior druzhina, as before, was called boyars or bolyars. Among the leading member of the senior druzhina we meet the term great boyars [bol'shie boyare]. This period also sees the appearance of vvedennye boyare and putnye boyare. These seem to be equivalent in rank to the great boyars (just different in function). This period is when we first see okol'nichy. As a class, they end up being just behind the boyars as members of the senior druzhina. However, as a duty post preparing the route of the sovereign on campaign, the job was sometimes assigned to dvoryane. In some contexts, the okol'nichi seem to be equivalent to the putnye boyare (put' means route). People of notable birth but who have not yet reached the titles of the senior druzhina formed a special division in the junior druzhina by the name of deti boyarskie. The junior druzhina have the general names slugi (servants) and dovryane. However, in most sources, the sections of the junior druzhina are separated, with the top level occupied by the deti boyarskie. The second division of the junior drizhina is the slugi (servants), slugi vol'nye (servants voluntary), liudi dvernye (door people). All of the above ranks, boyars, deti boyarskie and slugi vol'nye had the same right of free departure. The slugi vol'nye are different from another kind of servant: manufacturers and craftsmen. Such servants have the right of free departure, but unlike the higher ranks, if they leave their prince's service, they are deprived of their land. They are usually called slugi pod dvorskim (servants under the dvorskij) in certificates. Finally in the princely service we find nevol'nye slugi (unfree/involuntary servants) aka kholopi. They could be used in the same posts as the slugi pod dvorskim. All of the above officials would be called bol'shie liudi (greater people) in contrast to simple kholopi, and men'shie liudi (lesser people).

    Maxime Kovalevsky discusses the Russian upper class while lecturing to a British audience in 1891.

      "No war could be begun but with the consent of the people [via the veche], because, in the absence of a regular army, the prince could levy no other force but that of the militia... Sometimes, it is true, the duke decided on going to war against the wish of his people, but in such a case he had to rely exclusively on his own military followers, his so-called "drougina," an institution very like the old German "comitatus" (Geleit). As long as the system of land donations remained unknown, and the duke had no other property to distribute among his followers but that taken in time of war, the drougina or comitatus was far from being numerous. Hence the duke was forced to ask the veche for assistance whenever he thought himself obliged to go to war... But a kind of regular army had been created by the end of the thirteenth century, owing to the custom of rewarding military service by grants of land. The so-called "pomestnaia" system, which was similar to the Carolingian system of "benefices," produced in Russia effects similar to those produced in France. The popular militia was superseded by a sort of feudal army, paid not in money but in land. In case of war the duke was not so much interested in having the acquiescence of the people as that of the "men of service," slougilii liudi, who constituted his military force, and corresponded somewhat to the knights in Feudal England... "
      "...Up to the middle of the sixteenth century the Boyars were the only persons admitted to the exercise of executive, military, and judicial authority. Under the name of voevods we find them at the head of provinces, commanding their military forces and managing their administrative interests. As members of the Douma, they had to advise the Tzar on all kinds of political, executive, military, and financial questions. No law was promulgated until after previous deliberation on it by the Douma. The same Douma furnished the chief rulers of the State during the minority of the Tzar..."
      "The composition of the Moscovite council was at the beginning very like that which we find in France under the early Capetian kings. The curia regis was chiefly formed from among the high court officials, such as the majordome, the marshal, the constable, the chancellor or cancellarius, the camerer or camerarius, etc. The same may be said of the Moscovite Douma of the fourteenth century, as well as of the privy council of each and every of the principalities into which medieval Russia was divided anterior to [before] the centralising growth of the Moscovite power. The business transacted at the court of a Russian prince being distributed among different departments, the heads of these departments were summoned to sit in the council and received the name of boyars. Money being scarce, the boyars were paid for their services by the donation of crown lands, and this mode of payment being known under the name of "pont," the surname of the boyars was "poutevii boyari." Most of the boyars summoned to sit in the Douma were exempted from military service, and especially from the duty of opposing the enemy at the head of their own retainers, not so much in the open country as in their own castles. Hence the origin of another surname "wedennii boiari" which distinguished the most powerful members of the Russian medieval nobility. If we inquire into the origin of those admitted to the princely council, we shall see that they belonged to the same class as that which furnished officers to the army and the chiefs of the central and provincial administration. This class is precisely that known to the Anglo-Saxons as Thanes, and to the Merovingian kings under the title of Antrustions. The peculiarity of medieval Russia consisted in this, that, being divided into a great number of principalities, it left to the knightly class the liberty of freely choosing the prince whom they would like to follow. The Russian knightly class, corresponding to the "ministeriels" of feudal Germany, the so-called "slougili liudi" or "men of service," were authorised by custom to remain in the service of any prince as long as they pleased, and to change from one prince to another according to their own pleasure. Before attaching himself to any prince the "man of service" signed a sort of contract with the political head of the country in which he intended to settle. On taking service, a charter was delivered to the knight in which his duties and rights were precisely stated, and the prince had no right to infringe these conditions. In case of bad treatment, the knight found no difficulty in leaving the prince whom he was serving and in entering into similar relations with some other of the numerous petty potentates, who ruled over medieval Russia. This right of freely passing from the service of one prince to that of another was clearly recognised by the following sentence in a treaty signed by the prince of Tver with the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Kasimir, as late as the middle of the fifteenth century, 1449; "Our bovars and men of service may freely withdraw from one of us to the other." This document is probably the last recognition of the liberty of removal once enjoyed by the knightly class."
      "The increasing power of the Grand Duke of Moscovy could not tolerate this survival of feudal autonomy. This prince did not object to the liberty of removal as long as it served his own purposes by increasing the number of persons seeking service in the Moscovite army and Moscovite civil service, but as soon as the tyranny of some of the Grand Dukes caused their own knights to withdraw to Poland and Lithuania, severe measures were taken to put a stop to this movement of emigration. The Grand Duke began to confiscate the grants of land ("po mestie") of the departing knights, and every time he could lay hands on one of these seceders he was sure to throw him into prison..."
      "Keeping in mind the facts just mentioned, we shall have no difficulty in explaining the Concourse of knights and men of the sword in the grand duchy of Moscovy. The territorial extension of the duchy had necessitated the abolition of a great number of small principalities, and persons formerly belonging to the ruling dynasties and united by ties of blood to the Tzar, were anxious to enter his service. In this manner the knightly class began to number in its ranks a whole group of princely families who were the descendants of those potentates whose dominions had been conquered and annexed by Moscow. Before long the number of persons desirous of taking service under the Grand Duke totally excluded the possibility of personal and separate conventions, such as those which settled the mutual rights and duties of prince and knight in the other principalities of Russia. These personal agreements were superseded by a general enactment, which declared that the man of service occupied a higher or lower rank in the political hierarchy according, first, to the dignity of the family to which he belonged, and, secondly, to the number of years his family had been engaged in the Moscovite service."
      "It was generally acknowledged that a princely family -- that is, a family that had once belonged to the number of ruling dynasties, ought to have precedence over all others among untitled nobles. Whoever could show among his ancestors persons in a high official post had the right to refuse any inferior situation, especially in those cases in which a person of a comparatively new family was to be set over him as his superior. This order of precedence was more than once set aside in consequence of the low condition to which this or that wealthy family had been reduced by the loss of its estates. A Russian noble in a miserable state of poverty was as little entitled to occupy a high official position, as was a penniless English duke, or earl, to take his seat in the House of Lords in the fifteenth century, in the reign of Edward IV. "
      "The rules of precedence, constituting what our ancestors of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries called "mestnichestro," were scrupulously observed both in the army and in the civil service. They also found expression in the constitution of the Council or Douma. The titled nobility, the princely families, as a rule, occupied the highest rank in the hierarchy of the councillors, the rank of "doumn iboyars," or boyars of the Council."
      "A certain number of the old Moscovite nobility were allowed to retain their original rank, but the rest of the nobles were by degrees lowered to that of persons whose only distinction was to be "the children of ancient boyars." The documents of the time speak of them in precisely these terms, calling them "boiarski dieti," children of the boyars."
      The second rank among the members of the Douma was occupied by those known under the name of "ocolnichii," or persons living immediately about the Duke. This rank in the Douma belonged, as a rule, to members of the old Moscovite nobility, as well as to some of the smaller princely families. The Duke had the right to confer on his "ocolnichy" the higher title of boyar as a recompense for his services. The rest of the knightly class were either entirely unconnected with the Council or were simply summoned to be present at some of its sittings. They were known under the general name of "noblemen belonging to the Douma," "dumnii dvoriani," and formed the third rank of Councillors.
      The fourth or lowest rank in the Council was composed of those members of the knightly class who condescended to hold second-rate posts in the different executive bodies of the duchy, such as the Foreign Office ("Posolsky prikaz"), or the board presiding over temporary or life grants of land (Pomesini prikaz). These second-rate bureaucrats, known under the name of secretaries, diaki, were regularly admitted to the sittings of the Council, where they formed the lowest but by no means the least influential order."

    In the 14-15th cent, in the process of forming a single central goverment and uniting state property, the political rights of boyars were limited; and there was also a change in the social situation of the boyarstvo. The grand princely and, from the middle of the 16th cent., tsarist authority persistently suppressed the prominence of those boyars, who fought its political centralization. [Petrov]

    During the Appanage period, i.e. Rus under the Mongols, the boyar class increased in number and privilege as the numbers of the princely class increased and Rus fragmented into smaller and smaller principalities. Each prince needed a retinue, and the retinue needed their own resources. In time, these boyars became major landowners in their own right and also received legal immunities and generous sovereign rights within the territory of their own estates - even administering justice over their subjects/tenants. (This led to the erosion of the peasant class and the gradual creation of the institution of serfdom.) [MacKenzie and Curran, p 125-6]

    In the 14th century, a man by the name of Taras'yu Petrovich Novosiltsov was "admitted into the boyarstvo" for ransoming the grand prince and his wife. [From a 14th Century Zhalovanaya Gramota]

    During the reign of Ivan III, late 1400s to early 1500s, the expansion of the territory under the authority of the Moscow state required growth of the Grand Prince's court to administer that territory and form the basis for a centralized bureaucracy. The court in Moscow had an elaborate hierarchy of officials for finances, ceremonies, household functions, horse and weapons. The appointment of officials for these posts was determined by mestnichestvo, based on noble birth and the posts occupied by family members. The central administration was based on the state treasury, whose secretaries (diaki) became more numerous and took on new specializations to handle the growing needs of state administration, finances and foreign affairs. [MacKenzie and Curran, p 143-4]

    Ivan III's son, Vasili III, further developed the centralized army started by his father. He assigned some servitors of the court to military service, often in exchange for estates. This lead to the creation of a service gentry with landholdings that were conditional upon service to the state, called pomestie. [MacKenzie and Curran, p 144]

    Ivan III had trouble finding lands with which to reward his new court and administrators. The state lands were either virgin forest, or already settled by tax-paying peasants. And Ivan did not dare seize the property of the boyars enmasse, since his administration was still largely dependent on them. Conquered territories such as Novgorod and Tver presented no such difficulties. [MacKenzie and Curran, p 144]

    As noted above, even with the growth of a "service gentry" class, the boyars still held great power in the reign of Ivan III, particularly through their Boyar Duma - the supreme administrative and legislative council that made important decisions with the sovereign. The grand prince appointed its members and determined when they convened, but his appointments were limited by the mestnichestvo system to members of the senior princely and boyar families. As a result, he increased his use of the diaki, usually educated commoners, that he could appoint and dismiss without consulting the Duma. These same diaki were now recognized as members of the Duma. [MacKenzie and Curran, p 144]

    S.M. Solov'ev from "Internal relations of Russian society in the time of Ivan III."

      As in the previous period, princely (knyazheskie) families continue in service to the sovereign often displacing boyar families from the top posts. However, as members of the senior druzhina, they are also called boyars. One local ruling prince says in his will, "Grant I to my boyarin, prince (knyaz) Vasili Romodanovskij..." During this time, the ancient right of free departure to serve another prince begins to be limited. However, the typical situation for the time was reflected in the follwing agreement between the elder Vasili and the second Yuri, "And to boyars and to deti boyarskie and to slugi between us is free will." The terms vvedenie and putnye boyare survive in this period. The existance of such lesser boyars is also indicated in the following award certificate, "So I, grand prince Ivan Vasil'evich grant seven (?) of Vasili Ostaf'evich to Oznobish sannicha (sleigh-driver?) in route, and you, boyars, and servants, and all people of that route, honor him and obey." This shows what a wide and inconsistent value has the word "boyarin". The ranks of boyare, deti boyarskie and dvoryane/slugi continue.

    During the minority of Ivan IV, the leading boyar families took advantage of his youth and helped themselves to state lands, treasury funds, and increased the authority of the Boyar Duma. Their abuses and unbridled application of the mestnichestvo system alienated the servance gentry and merchant class. Ivan, himself, keenly felt their abuse and did not forget it once he achieved his majority. [MacKenzie and Curran, p 154]

    The power of the princely families of the Boyar Duma was challenged by its members from the state secretaries (diaki) and upper gentry (dumnye dvoriane), who supported central tsarist autocratic authority. The grand prince had begun to demand loyalty oaths from lesser princes and boyars to prevent defections to foreign overlords. An official Book of Genealogies of the noble families was created to regulate and monitor claims of precedence in mestnichestvo. The use of mestnichestvo for making military appointments was restricted and sometimes temporarily set aside for individual campaigns, although not completely abolished. In addition, a new set of army units, the streltsy, were created as a standing army completely separate from the old feudal lords to complement the service gentry cavalry created by Ivan III. At the same time, military service was made hereditary which made the accompanying estates hereditary which blurred the distinction between service estates (pomestie) and patrimonial lands (votchina). [MacKenzie and Curran, p 154]

    Ivan IV's later reign was troubled. His efforts to extend his power and control, while sometimes interpreted as a war againsts all boyars and the boyar class, was actually only directed against his enemies, real or perceived. Some boyar families were able to survive and even thrive, while others were destroyed. By the time of Ivan's death in 1584, all classes of Muscovite society were under stress. Many senior boyars had been stripped of their special privileges and political power and forced into state service. Even the service gentry/aristocracy, drawn from all ranks of society except the great lords, suffered from the economic depression caused by relentless wars and a lack of peasants to work the land they were granted. [MacKenzie and Curran, p 173]

    S.M. Solov'ev from "Internal relations of Russian society in the time of Ivan IV."

      The system of ranks and court ceremony has become more complex in this period. On a riding tour, the tsar took with him boyare, dvoryane and deti boyarskie. As before, the names of princes generally appear higher than those of boyars in rank lists. But not always. In the 1566 Sobor appeared: boyare, okol'nichie, kaznachei (treasurers), pechatnik (printer), chinovnik (official), appearing with boyare in judgement, dumnye d'yaki (coucil clerks), dvoryane first class, and dvoryane and deti boyarskie second class. Here we do not see knyazes (princes) separated as a higher rank than boyars, okol'nichi and dvoryane. Likewise, we do not see deti boyarskie separated out superior to dvoryane. This is a sign that the elevation of the rank of velikij knyaz, now tsar, has started to raise the value of service to the sovereign over the value of noble birth, the source of the prestige of the titles of knyaz and deti boyarskie. The later has exchanged places with the dvoryane and is the lowest rank of service people. However, the old importance of noble birth has not been completely replaced by service ranks, which makes the system of ranking quite complex and sometimes inconsistent.
      At the beginning of the report of the 1566 Sobor we meet only boyare, okol'nichi, kaznachi (treasurers), pechatnik (printer), chinovnik (official) in boyar court, dumnye diaki, and dvoyrane of first and second classes. But at the end of the report we find "We, of the sovereign tsar and grand prince, boyars and okol'nichei, and prikaznie liudi (bureau people), and d'yaki (clerks) on this certificate to our sovereign the cross kissed and our hands laid. And we, knyazhata and deti boyarskie and dvoryane, on this certificate, in our speech, to our sovereign the cross kissed." If the rank of dvoryane was elevated for the above reasons, then for the same reasons the rank of slugi was also raised from this period to be considered most honorable. In 1554 it was borne by knyaz Mikhail Ivanovich Vorotynskij. The term bol'shoj dvoryanin appears in this period. Such persons can be present with the boyars when major negotiations take place. For example, "the tsar ordered dvoryane from the tent to go, but were kept boyare and d'yaki departmental and dvoryane bol'shie, which are appropriate, and he ordered the Lithuanian envoy to make his speech." Later we meet dvoryane who "live with the sovereign with boyars", and "boyars of the privy council (blizhnej dumy)" and "dvoryane of the privy council", and finally dumnye (council) dvoryane.
      In the 1566 Cobor, the great family of the Shuiskies is not represented. Prince Ivan Mikhailovich had died, and prince Peter Ivanovich had been killed in the 1564 battle with the Lithuanians. The other members of the family were still young, and we find them among the dvoryane first class - the princes Ivan Andreevich, the later famous Ivan Petrovich, and Vasilij Fedorovich. Among the dvoyrane first classes, 61 have non-princely surnames and 33 have princely. Among the dvoryane second class, 89 members have non-princely names and only 11 are princely.

    Sreznevskij has an extensive entry for boyarin. He provides three slightly different definitions:

      1.) "a member of the highest class"

      2.) "in Rus, in ancient times, the main senior members of the princely druzhina and members of the princely duma, acting sometimes, especially during the minority of a princes, independently. They served the prince by their own will, freely moving from one prince to another, receiving for their service in kormlenie income from parts of the princely possessions, had the right to acquire permanent estates in the possessions of the prince, subject to his judgement and paying tribute. The rank of boyarin was sometimes granted by the prince to ordinary people for their service; but the majority of the boyar class everywhere always consisted of persons, having that right by ancestry.

      3.) "boyars not with the prince, but as the highest class of the people, most clearly appearing in Novgorod.

    Sreznevskij also has an entry for boyaryni/boyarynya as the feminine form.

    In the Russian Primary Chronicle:

      Year 945 [6453] - "So they sent their best men [luchshikh muzhej]... Olga then sent messages... that... they shoudl send after her their distinguished men [luchshikh muzhej]... they gathered together the best men [luchshikh muzhej] who governed the land of Dereva, and sent them to her... The Derevlians inquired of Olga where the retinue [druzhina] was which they had sent to meet her... Thus she took the city and burned it, and captured the elders [starejshin] of the city... some she gave to others as slaves to her followers [muzhi]."

      Year 969 [6477] - "Svyatoslav announced to his mother and his boyars [boyaram]..."

      Year 987 [6495] - "Vladimir summoned together his boyars [boyar] and the city-elders [startsev gradskikh]... The boyars [boyare] and elders [startsy] replied...

    In the Novgorod Chronicle (notice the interesting spelling! Russian left in original declensions):

      1118 [6626] "That same year, Volodomir with Mstislav brought all the Boyars of Novgorod to Kiev..."

      1218 [6726] "all six Knyazes, each with his Boyars and courtiers..." - 6 князь... бояры и дворяны

      1218 [6726] "These righteous Knyazes of Ryazan met their end... with their Druzhina..." - князи... съ своею дружиною (same group of people as in above entry)

      1259 [6767] "for the Boyars thought it would be easy for themselves, but fall hard on the lesser men." - бояре... меншимъ

      1259 [6767] "to drink the blood of Boyars." - кровь боярьскую

      1264 [6772] "And they sent... the son of the Posadnik and the better Boyars..." - сынъ посадничь и лучшии бояры

      1268 [6776] "many good Boyars and countless common men..." - добрыхъ бояръ, а иныхъ черныхъ людии

      1282 [6790] "And the Knyaz retired from Koporya and the men of Novgorod showed him the way, and they did not seize him, but his two daughters and his boyars with their wives and children they brought to Novgorod as hostages..." - бояры

      1304 [6812] "his Boyars went to Tver" - бояре

      1315 [6823] "killed many good men and Boyars... besides many worth merchants" - добрыхъ муж и бояръ... купець добрыхъ много

      1331 [6839] "with him went the Boyars Kusma... and Valfromei..." - бояри

      1335 [6843] "the Veliki Knyaz called to him the Vladyka, the Posadnik and the Tysyatski to Moscow, as well as the leading Boyars, to be honoured..." - вятших воярь

      1340 [6848] "the common people rose against the Boyars..." - чернь на бояръ

      1363 [6871] "Novgorod envoys, one Boyar from each quarter of the town" - ис конжевъ по боярину

      1375 [6883] "they sent... the lieutenant of the Veliki Knyaz, Posadnik Yuri, and the Tysyatski Olisei, together with many Boyars and good men..." - бояръ и добрых муж

      1386 [6894] "The same winter Posadnik Fedor... and some Boyar's sons..." - боярьскии дети

      1388 [6896] "Vladyka Ivan went to Moscow... and with him went the Boyars of Novgorod: Posadnik Vasili Fedorovich, and the Tysyatski... and many other Boyars..." - вояръ новгородчкых... иных много бояръ...

      1397 [6905] "and all the posadniks and Tysyatskis, the Boyars and the whole Great Novgorod..." - посадникиы и тысячкыи и бояре...

      1397 [6905] "sent as envoys... Posadnik Bogdan... and other men of substance, with their Father the Vladyka." - житьих людии

      1398 [6906] "And Posadnik Timofei..., Posadnik Yuri..., the Boyars, the sons of Boyars, the men of substance, the sons of merchants, and all their soldiers..." - бояри... дети боярьскыи... житыии люди... купечкыи дети

      1440 [6948] "And he destroyed not a few of the Boyars and landowners..." - паневъ... земьскых людеи [these are Lithuanian personages]

      1441 [6949] "sent out Vladyka Eufemi with Boyars and men of property..." - бояръ и житьих людеи

      1445 [6953] "Knyaz Kzimir of Lithuania sent out his Boyars and soldiers..." - пановь и рать

      1445 [6953] "the men of Novgorod sent Knyaz Yuri with Boyars and merchants..." - боярь и купцевъ

      1445 [6953] "the Tartars took... Knyaz Mikhail... and a great many Boyars and monks and nuns and young people..." - бояръ и молодых людеи и чернцевъ и черниць (note that the English translation moved "young people" to the end of the phrase instead of right after "Boyars" where it probably should be translated "junior/lesser men".


Dvoryanin [дворянин] - nobleman, courtier, servitor.
Dvoryanka [дворянка] - feminine of above.
    Not used in the official SCA alternate titles list.

    A lower rank than boyarin, but close contact to the sovereign is implied. The junior members of the druzhina.

    Part of "sluzhilye lyudi" along with "gorodovye dvoryaniny" according to Kliuchevsky.

    The feminine of dvorianin, “dvorianka” is provided by my Russian dictionaries – Katzner, Ozhegov. I have not yet found it in period sources although Paul Wickenden lists a “Bogdan Dvoriankin” as a 1594 patronymic variant of “Dvorianin” in the 3rd Edition (not the on-line 2nd edition) of his dictionary. Applying the standard rules for the formation of patronymics that Wickenden gives in his introduction, “dvoriankin” would likely have been derived from “dvorianka”.

    According to Бикипедия, the Russian version of Wikipedia, the dvoryanstvo is a privileged class in feudal and, partly, bourgeois society. In the widest sense, "dvoryanstvo" means European feudal aristocrats in general. In this sense, one can speak of the "French noblity", "German nobility", etc.

    The dvoryanstvo arose in Russia in the 12th century as the lower part of the military-service class, making up the court of a prince or great boyar.
    The word "doryanin" literally means "person with the princely court" or "courtier". Dvoryane were taken into the service of a prince for fulfilling various administrative, judicial and other assignments. In the system of European representation/presentation the top of the Russian dvoryanstvo of that time - an analogue of viscountship.

    According to the Large Soviet Encyclopedia:

      The dvoryanstvo, as the lower stratum of the feudal military-service class, making up the court of a prince or great boyar, arose in the 12-13th cent. In distinction from dependent servants occupied in the noble household, dvoryane were called "free servants" [вольными слугами]. In the 14th cent. a feudal lord would grant them land for service (the embryo of pomestie). In the time of the uniting of North-Eastern Rus under the authority of the Moscow Grand Prince proceeded the growth of feudal vassalage and concentration of service people under the direct leadership of the grand prince. The dvoryanstvo, concerned/interested in tyranny/arbitrariness of boyars and feudal civil strife, became a most important social support of the grand-princely authority in the process of uniting the Russian lands in a central government. In the time of Ivan III Vasil'evich in the chronicles is reported about gathering to the grand prince a large army of service people, about the distribution to them of land confiscated from the Novgorod boyarstvo, etc. The Sudebnik of 1497 for the first time names "pomestnik, for whom land of the grand prince." The consolidation of the dvoryanstvo was accompanied by the absorption of adjacent social categories of the ruling class: deti boyarskie, servitors [послужильцев], etc.
      The middle of the 16th cent. is characterized by especially rapid consolidation of the dvoryanstvo and strengthening of its role. The "Code of Service" (1555-56) with establishment of standard of pomestie grants and recording in a list of dvoryanins and deti boyarskie formed a transition of service in the hands of dvoryanins and determine order of its service. Review of immunity certificates (tarkhanov) on boyar landownership and distribution of immunity on owners of pomestie was the first step on the path of the coming together of votchini [hereditary lands] and pomestie. Simultaneously was formed the political right of the dvoryanstvo, its participation in goverment administration: the dvoryanstvo was organized in the capacity of a special rank in make-up of the Zemski Sobor [land council], while in provincial and land reforms with the abolition of kormlenie (1555-56) the dvoryanstvo headed local administration. From the end of the 16th and the first half of the 17th cent. dvoryanstvo obtained from the autocrat full enslavement of the peasants, that were the statute Cathedral Code of 1649 (see. Krepostnoe pravo). The formation of the dvoryanstvo class was accompanied by rapid growth of its landownership: in the re-write of 1678, secular feudal lords owned 595 thousand, or 67% of fortified courts, of which dvoryanstvo owned 507 thousand, or 85%.

    See "boyarin" above for more information about the interaction of the boyarstvo and dvoryanstvo over time.

    Dumnyj dvoryanin

      In the Russian state of the 16th-18th cent, they were third in honor of the Duma ranks after boyar and okol’nichij. Dumnie dvoryane participated in meetings of the Boyar Duma, the vast majority came out of noble families; the number of them was small. Along with Dumnij diaki, they served as support for tsarist authority in the battle with the boyar aristocracy in the Duma. [Petrov]

    Dvoryanin per Dal’

      Nobleman, courtier, court servitor, granted high rank, 1) “ancestral” or native passed down several generations aka “stolbovoi”, 2) heritable earned by a close ancestor, 3) are “lichnij” personal (not heritable by offspring)

    Sreznevskij's дворянинъ (selected entries):

      Мьстиславъ же кнзь възя на нихъ дань и да Новгородьцемъ две чясти дани а третью чясть дворяномъ. [Новг. I л. 6722]

      А въ Бежицахъ, кнже, тобе, ни твоеи княгыниъ ни твоимъ бояромъ, ни твоимъ дворяномъ селъ не держати, ни коупити, ни даромъ приимати и по всеи волости Новгородьсои. [Дог. гр. Новг. съ Яр. Яр. 1264]

      А из Бежиць, кнже, людии не выводити въ свою землю, ни изъ инои волости Новгородьскои; ни грамотъ имъ даяти, ни закладниковъ приимати, ни княгыни твоеи, ни бояромъ товимъ, ни дворяномъ твоимъ, ни смерда, ни купцины. [Ibid.]

      А что учинится между Спаскими людми бои, или татьба, или душегубство, или самосудъ, то все судитъ игуменъ, и вину емлетъ въ домъ св. Спаса; а нашимъ судьямъ не надобе, ни дворяномъ. [Жал. гр. Сп. Яр. Мон. д. 1345 г.]

      А судьи мои вси, наместници и тiуни не шлютъ дворянъ своихъ по люди св. Спаса. [Ibid.]

      Ни наместници мои Переяславьские и волостели Кисемьские и их тивуни к темъ людем и к пришлым дворян своих не всылают ни по што, ни судят ихъ. [Жал. гр. Троиц. Серг. мон. 1392]

      А дворянъ моихъ перебили. [Посл. митр. Ион. Вер. кн. Мих. Андр. п. 1450 г.]

      А кто кого позоветъ въ селе позовкою или дворяниномъ, ино дать срокъ на сто верстъ две недели. [Новг. судн. гр. 1471 г.]

      Не верхоглядъ есть доброи дворенинъ. [Пчела. XVII в.]

    Sreznevskij entries on божии дворянинъ (subentry of above, defined as rytsar). Literally "God's courtier"? Like a crusader?

      Коли ся грамота псана ишлъ былъ от Ржтва Гня до сего лета а ле и с ле ис и ле и к [probably a set of numbers in the Old Slavonic alphanumeric system?] подъ пискоупомь Ризкимь Провстъ, Яганъ, мастьръ Вълквинъ, Вжии дворянинъ. [Смол. гр. 1229 г.]

      Мастьръ Бжхъ дворянъ. [Ibid.]

      Пре сеи миръ троудулися дъбрии людие: Ролфо ис Кашеля Бжи дворянинъ, Тоумаше Смолнянинъ. [Ibid.]

      Божии дворяне и пискупъ и вся вои Рижьская. [Ип. л. 6760 г.]

      Пискуповъ и Виiхъ ворянъ (водили ко кресту). [Новг. I . 6776 г.] Rendered as "godly courtiers" in Cross's English translation of the Novgorod Chronicle.

      А приездили ко мне на докончанье из Риги от месеря Пьсковъ Виi дворянинъ, а от ратманъ Иванъ папъ. [Дог. гр. Смол. Кн. Ив. Ал. съ Риг. д. 1359 г.]

    Тhe Novgorod chronicle (note that in some of the below, the term lesser/меншии may refer to commoners (liudi) not lesser nobility):

      1192 [6700] "having sent his court with the men of Pleskov to make war..." - дворъ свои

      1210 [6718] "The same winter Knyaz Mstislav Mstislavits came against Torshok, and seized Svyatoslav's courtiers [dvoryane] and put the Posadnik in chains..." - дворяне Святославли

      1215 [6723] "put all the nobles in chains" - дворяны

      1218 [6726] "all six Knyazes, each with his Boyars and courtiers..." - 6 князь... бояры и дворяны

      1218 [6726] "These righteous Knyazes of Ryazan met their end... with their Druzhina..." - князи... съ своею дружиною (same group of people as in above entry)

    The First Treaty of Novgorod (1264-5):

      Neither you, nor your princess [княгыни], nor your boyars [бояромъ], nor your servitors [дворяномъ] are to hold any villages throughout the Novgorod lands…”


Other Noble Titles related to the Boyarstvo and Dvoranstvo:

    The nobility could be divided into greater and lesser nobles:

      Luchshii boyary [лучшии бояры] - better boyars, Novgorod Chronicle, year 1264 [6772].
      Starshij boyarin/muzh - senior boyarin/man
      Lepshie liudi - best men
      Luchshie muszhi [лепьшихъ людии] - better men
      Dobrie muzhi - good men
      Muzhi vyach'shie [муж вячьшихъ] - bigger men
      Perednii muzhi [переднии мужи] - foremost men
      Startsy - elders
      Mladshij boyarin/mladshaya boyarina - junior boyarin/boyarina
      Molodtsi [молдьци] - young men
      Boyarskiе deti - little/lesser boyarins (literally, "boyar children") - боярьскии дети.
      Dvoryane bolshie - bigger dvoryane.
      The lower ranks seem to be equivalent to the dvoryanstvo.

    Okol’nichij

      Court official and position in Russian state of 13th-beginning 18th cent. Originally had duty to go on tribute circuit, evently organizing and provisioning the traveling prince and participation in receptions and negotiations with foreign ambassadors. First time the rank is recorded is in 1285. In the 14th-18th cent. okol’nichie joined the Boyar Duma, second in importance (after boyarin) in the Duma ranks. [Petrov]

      Originally, the okol'nichii preceded the prince on his campaigns to prepare the roads and bridges for his travel, and to find him suitable lodgings for the night. In the second half of the 15th century, the okol'nichi because the second rank of the Sovereign Court [Boyar Duma] after the boyars. "If the boyars essentially served in military posts, then the okol'nichie tended to carry out various administrative and court assignments." [Bogatyrev]

      Dal’ – from the word “okolo” near, as in near the sovereign.

    Deti boyarskie (literally, boyar children)

      A class of minor nobles that emerged in Rus in the 15th cent. They performed obligatory service, receiving for it pomest'e (service estate) from the prince, boyar or church, but they did not have the right to leave/move. The deti boyarskie were decendents of junior members of the princely druzhina, the otroki. With the formation of the united Russian state, a large number of deti boyarskie transferred their service to the Moscow grand prince. In the feudal service hierarchy of the 15th-first half of 16th cent. "deti boyarskie" stood above dvoryan, since the latter often came from unfree princely servants from the appanage times. (The deti boyarskie were combined with the service people in the 18th century to form the "dvoryanstvo".) [Petrov]

      According to Bogatyrev, the deti boyarskie were members of collateral branches of boyar families, and immigrants from principalities outside Moscow, people who had advance through long service to the sovereign. The royal court of the mid-15th century consisted of princes (old families of the house of Riurik but long out of contention for the throne), the old Muscovite boyars, and the deti boyarskie. These court servitors were distinguished from, and superior to, provincial servitors [which contributes to some of the confusion about the Russian noble hierarchy]. Bogatyrev says that, by the 1550s, the Sovereign's Court [aka the Boyar Duma] can be divided into the following ranks:

      • Counsellor ranks - boyars, okol'nichie, counseller dvoryane [dumnie dvoryane], counsellor secretaries [dumnie diaki]
      • Household ranks and chancellery secretaries - dvotsovye chiny, diaki
      • The sovereign's personal guar - stol'niki, strapchie, zhil'tsy (see Royal Officials)
      • Service princes - sluzhilye knaz'ya
      • The lowest ranks - deti boyarskie, later vybornye dvoryane

      Contrary to the above, the term "syn boyarskij" appears by 1149 according to Sreznevskij, and the term "deti boyarskie" in 1259 (see under Novgorod Chronicle, below). And the related term "detskij" (as a junior druzhinnik) appears by 1097.

      Part of "sluzhilye lyudi" along with "gorodovye dvoryaniny" according to Kliuchevsky.

      Dal’ - the class of small nobles, obliged by military service.

    Zhil’tsy

      One of the classes of service ranks in the Moscow state in the 16th-begin. 18th cent., located between the Moscow dvoryane and the city dvoryane. They could be upwardly mobile. [Petrov]

      Dal’ – county dvoryane who lived with the sovereign temporarily for military service

    Pomestnik - owner of a pomestie

      First attested in the 1497 Sudebnik, according to the "Large Soviet Encyclopedia".

      Only attested in the 1497 Sudebnik per Sreznevskij.

      Members of the dvoryanstvo (see above) were pomestniks.

    In the Russian Primary Chronicle:

      Year 945 [6453] - "So they sent their best men [luchshikh muzhej]... Olga then sent messages... that... they should send after her their distinguished men [luchshikh muzhej]... they gathered together the best men [luchshikh muzhej] who governed the land of Dereva, and sent them to her... The Derevlians inquired of Olga where the retinue [druzhina] was which they had sent to meet her... Thus she took the city and burned it, and captured the elders [starejshin] of the city... some she gave to others as slaves to her followers [muzhi]."

      Year 987 [6495] - "Vladimir summoned together his boyars [boyar] and the city-elders [startsev gradskikh]... The boyars [boyare] and elders [startsy] replied...

      Year 988 [6496] - "He took the children of the best families [luchshikh liudej], and sent them for instruction..."

    In the Novgorod Chronicle (notice the interesting spelling! Russian left in original declensions):

      1141 [6649] "they sent the Bishop and many best men..." - лепьшихъ людии

      1186 [6694] "also some young men [juniors?] went..." - молдьци

      1186 [6694] "and many heads fell of the best men." - луцьшихъ муж

      1187 [6695] "about a hundred men of the notables fell" - къметьства

      1193 [6701] "taken with you the bigger men... and other bigger men... took 30 of the bigger men" - муж вячьшихъ... инехъ вячьшихъ... муж вячьшихъ

      1197 [6705] "The foremost men and the Sotskis..." - переднии мужи сътьскии

      1204 [6712] "the common people assembled and [drew in] the good men" - чернь... добрые мужи

      1209 [6717] "and seven foremost men." - вятьшихъ

      1215 [6723] "the biggest men were captured abroad; and the lesser had been scattered" - вячьшие мужи... мьншее

      1216 [6724] "having taken with him the elder men of Novgorod, and young men [junior]..." - стареишие мужи... и молодыхъ

      1218 [6726] "all six Knyazes, each with his Boyars and courtiers..." - 6 князь... бояры и дворяны

      1218 [6726] "These righteous Knyazes of Ryazan met their end... with their Druzhina..." - князи... съ своею дружиною (same group of people as in above entry)

      1228 [6736] "put their biggest men into fetters" - вяцьшее мужи.

      1245 [6753] "he sent one of his nobles, his steward..." - велмож своих, столкника [Tatar]

      1255 [6763] "the lesser men said" - меншии

      1255 [6763] "And among the greater men there was an evil counsel, how to overcome the lesser..." - вятшихъ... меншии

      1259 [6767] "And the Knyaz ordered... all the sons of the Boyars..." - всемъ детемъ боярьскиымъ

      1259 [6767] "the greater men bade the lesser men be counted for tribute." - вятшии... меншимъ

      1259 [6767] "for the Boyars thought it would be easy for themselves, but fall hard on the lesser men." - бояре... меншимъ [the "boyars" here are clearly the same as the "greater men" in the above quote]

      1262 [6770] "and they shot many good men from the town..." - мужа добра

      1264 [6772] "And they sent... the son of the Posadnik and the better Boyars..." - сынъ посадничь и лучшии бояры

      1268 [6776] "and they shot the good man Fedor" - мужа добра

      1268 [6776] "many good Boyars and countless common men..." - добрыхъ бояръ, а иныхъ черныхъ людии

      1269 [6777] "they sent the Vladyka and the greater men" - с вятшими мужи

      1282 [6790] "And the Knyaz Andrei taking with him... and other elder men..." - муж стареиших

      1315 [6823] "killed many good men and Boyars... besides many worth merchants" - добрыхъ муж и бояръ... купець добрыхъ много

      1335 [6843] "the Veliki Knyaz called to him the Vladyka, the Posadnik and the Tysyatski to Moscow, as well as the leading Boyars, to be honoured..." - вятших воярь

      1367 [6875] "neither Knyaz Alexander nor the Posadnik Lenti, nor any other good men were in the town at that time..." - ни князя... ни посадника... ни иных людии добрых

      1375 [6883] "they sent... the lieutenant of the Veliki Knyaz, Posadnik Yuri, and the Tysyatski Olisei, together with many Boyars and good men..." - бояръ и добрых муж

      1386 [6894] "The same winter Posadnik Fedor... and some Boyar's sons..." - боярьскии дети

      1388 [6896] "Vladyka Ivan went to Moscow... and with him went the Boyars of Novgorod: Posadnik Vasili Fedorovich, and the Tysyatski... and many other Boyars..." - вояръ новгородчкых... иных много бояръ...

      1397 [6905] "and all the posadniks and Tysyatskis, the Boyars and the whole Great Novgorod..." - посадникиы и тысячкыи и бояре...

      1397 [6905] "sent as envoys... Posadnik Bogdan... and other men of substance, with their Father the Vladyka." - житьих людии

      1398 [6906] "And Posadnik Timofei..., Posadnik Yuri..., the Boyars, the sons of Boyars, the men of substance, the sons of merchants, and all their soldiers..." - бояри... дети боярьскыи... житыии люди... купечкыи дети

      1436 [6944] "sent their Posadnik.. with the men of property Kuzma Tarasin, and Ivan Maksimov..." - житьих

      1440 [6948] "And he destroyed not a few of the Boyars and landowners..." - паневъ... земьскых людеи [these are Lithuanian personages]

      1441 [6949] "sent out Vladyka Eufemi with Boyars and men of property..." - бояръ и житьих людеи

      1445 [6953] "Knyaz Kzimir of Lithuania sent out his Boyars and soldiers..." - пановь и рать

      1445 [6953] "the men of Novgorod sent Knyaz Yuri with Boyars and merchants..." - боярь и купцевъ

      1445 [6953] "killing many good men, Boyars' sons, and eighty other brave men." - много доврых людеи, детеи боярьскых... удалых людеи

      1445 [6953] "the Tartars took... Knyaz Mikhail... and a great many Boyars and monks and nuns and young people..." - бояръ и молодых людеи и чернцевъ и черниць (note that the English translation moved "young people" to the end of the phrase instead of right after "Boyars" where it probably should be translated "junior/lesser men".

    Decree to Limit Mestnichestvo, 1550
      “A князем и дворяном большим, и детем боярским...что боярским детем и дворяном болшим...” - while to princes and dvoryane bolshie, and deti boyarskie... that to boyarskie deti and dvoryane bolshie...

Liudi
    In the Kievan period, in a category below muzhi [men] were the liudi [people/men]. Their wergild in the Russkaia Pravda was the same as the non-service aristocracy. Precise definitions of this class are hard to come by. They seem to have been moderately well-to-do urban or rural people, with wealth based on industrial enterprises, trade, or land ownership. They had no special legal privileges. They had the same wergild, 40 grivnas, as the non-service aristocracy. [MacKenzie and Curran, p50]

    The lower classes in Kievan society were made up of diverse rural and urban elements. The wergild for these lower-class freemen was fixed at 5 grivnas (compared with 40 grivnas for the "liudi" above and the non-service aristocracy). [MacKenzie and Curran, p50]

    In cities, this class was called molodshie liudi (literally, younger/junior people/men). They were artisans and craftsmen, employed by the liudi mentioned above. They were often organized into guilds and associations. Lower-class rural dwellers are known as smerdy (literally, stinkers), a controversial and difficult-to-define term that may or may not include both free and dependent peasants. The dependent smerdy were not yet "serfs". [MacKenzie and Curran, p50]

    In the Russian Primary Chronicle:

      Year 988 [6496] - "Vladimir, rejoicing that he and his subjects [liudi] now knew God... He took the children of the best families [luchshikh liudej], and sent them for instruction..."

    In the Novgorod Chronicle:

      1204 [6712] "the common people assembled and [drew in] the good men" - чернь... добрые мужи

      1230 [6738] "the common people killed the living..." - простая чадь

      1255 [6763] "And the common people" - черныи люди

      1259 [6767] "the greater men bade the lesser men be counted for tribute." - вятшии... меншимъ

      1259 [6767] "And the common people would not give their numbers for tribute..." - чернь

      1259 [6767] "for the Boyars thought it would be easy for themselves, but fall hard on the lesser men." - бояре... меншимъ

      1268 [6776] "many good Boyars and countless common men..." - добрыхъ бояръ, а иныхъ черныхъ людии

      1340 [6848] "the common people rose against the Boyars..." - чернь на бояръ

      1342 [6850] "the common people rose against the Posadnik..." - чорныи люди на посадника

      1352 [6860] "the nobles and the common people" - бояре и черныи люди

      1437 [6945] "a tax on the common people" - чорнаго


COPYRIGHT (c) 2007-9 by Lisa Kies. You may make copies for personal use and to distribute for educational purposes but only if articles remain complete and entire with original authorship clearly noted.

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