Medieval Russian Titles:

by Sofya la Rus

Updated 2 July 2008

Military Titles

Rytsar [рыцарь] - knight.
Feminine? [?] - ?
    Currently used for Knight in the official SCA alternate titles list.

    According to the proposals for the current Russian Alternate Titles List, it is a late period (but still "Old Russian") term of foreign origin with no native Russian equivalent, since there was no "chivalry" in medieval Russia. It was therefore used to designate Western European Knights.

    Despite all the entries about the Teutonic knights in the Novgorod chronicle over a couple of hundred years of regular interaction, the term "ritsar" seems to have only been used once, and only in the some of codices. See Sreznevskij, below.

    Рыцарь м. [masc.] per Dal'

      вообще, конный витязь старины, когда ручной бой, меч и латы решали дело; конный латник дворянского сословия [Trans: generally, the horse champion of former times, when manual battle, sword and armor resolved problems; the horse-mounted armored soldier of a noble estate];
      || член рыцарского ордена, братства [member of a knightly order, brotherhood];
      || *честный и твердый ратователь за какое-либо дело, самоотверженный заступник [honest and solid fighter for any matter, the selfless defender].

    Rytser' in Sreznevskij - same as rytsar'. А при томъ были тые светкове: князь Федоръ, воевода Луцкiи будучiи того часу, Жимонтъ рыцерь... [Жал. гр. 1388 г.] (The only example given.)

    Rytor" = ritor" per Sreznevskij - same as rytsar'. Бяше бо полона множство в полку его и ведяху ихъ подле конь, уже именуются Божии рыторе (въ др. сп. ритори). [Новг. I л. 6750 г. (по Арх. сп.)] (The only example given.)

Definition of "Knight" according to Random House Dictionary of the English Language:

    1. Medieval Hist. a. a mounted soldier serving under a feudal superior. b. a man, usually of noble birth, who after an apprenticeship as page and squire was raised to honorable military rank and bound to chivalrous conduct.
    2. any person of a rank similar to that of the medieval knight.
    3. a man upon whom a certain nonhereditary dignity, correspoinding to that of the medieval knight, is conferred by a sovereign because of personal merit or services rendered...
    4. Chess. a piece shaped like a horse's head...
    5. a member of any order or association of men bearing the name of Knights

Obviously, the English definition of "knight" particularly as it relates to the Middle Ages doesn't necessarily include all the romanticized chivalric baggage we have added onto it. Bearing this in mind, what would a period Russian have called a high-ranking well-armored horse-mounted Russian warrior in service to a sovereign or other great lord? One term springs instantly to mind - druzhinnik. See below.

Other possible alternatives to rytsar:

      per Yandex - means hero, knight

      per Dal' - м. храбрый и удатливый воин, доблестный ратник, герой, воитель, рыцарь, богатырь [brave and daring soldier, valiant warrior, hero, warrior, knight, bogatyr']

      Sreznevskij (entries make the term look very foreign):

        Латына бестудiс въземше от худыхъ Римлянъ, а не от витязеи. [Переясл. л. И]

        И бяху пленили Гречестiи витези Рижеуша попа дщерь Рижеуду. [Хроногр. XVI в. (Рум. 744)]

        The third and final entry for this meaning seems to be in Czech?!? (Lots of strange letters that I don't know how to put on a webpage.)

    богатырь/богатырка - synonym of витязь, now usually the larger-than-life heroes of epics and folktales.

      Sreznevskij has half a page of references:
        Янъ Ушмосвецъ убивыи Печенежского богатыря. [Никон. л. 6509/1001.]

        Половцы.... многыхъ без числа убиша и храбраго Давыда Яруновича тысяцкаго Киевского и Ивана Даниловича богатыря славнаго убиша и Станислава благородного и Данила Тугковича и Дамъяна и Янка и многихъ мужеи силныхъ и храбрыхъ. [Никон. л. 6644/1136.]

        Князя Мстислава Мстиславича и сами весте каковъ есть... и есть у него мужи храбри зело и велицы богатыри. [Никон. л. 6724/1216.]

        А воинственныхъ людеи толико бысть побиено яко ни десятыи от нихъ бозможе избежати и Александра Поповича и слугу его Торопа и Добрыню Рязанича Златого пояса и седмьдесятъ великихъ и храбрыхъ богатыреи. все повьени быша за грехи наша. [Никон. л. 6733/1225.]

        Ведяи боратуръ и Бурунъдаи багатыря. (Себѣдѧи богатоуръ и Боуроунъдаии багатырь иже взӕ Болгарьскоую землю .) [Ип. л. 6748/1240.]

        Виде... нарочитаго богатыря Татарского. [Никон. л. 6889/1381.]

        Свитригаило побеже съ побоища... а оставивъ многыхъ князеи своихъ... и добрыхъ людеи и богатыреи. [Псков. I л. 6943/1435.]

        Note that the majority of the references are from the Nikonovskaya Chronicle, compiled in the mid-1500s. And some, but not all, seem to be referring to foreign warriors.

    латник per Dal' - one who wears armor. Not in Sreznevskij that I can find, i.e. no period references (yet).

    Конник - horseman, cavalryman. 10 entries in Sreznevskij under Коньникъ.

    Божии дворянинъ - synonym for rytsar' per Sreznevskij. Literally "God's/godly 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.]

      According to Solov'ev, the term ktetstvo was used for the best warriers in the Novgorod chronicle under the year 1181, however, I have not found this term in the Sinodalnij or the Komissionnyj redactions. Also according to Solov'ev, Monomakh said that he took prisoner 5 Polovets princes and 15 other young kmetij.

      Sreznevskij (says къметь/кметъ/кмътъ = Витязь):

        ...сего суть кметьэ луче... [Пов. вр. л. 6583/1075 г.]

        ...и паде головъ о сте кметеи. [Новг. IV л. 6695/1187 г.]

        О Жидехъ иже пенузеи на кмать дають. [Судебн. Казем. 1498 г. (Рум. 661)]

Druzhinnik [дружинник] - member of the druzhina
Druzhinnitsa [дружинница] - female member of a druzhina, wife of a druzhinnik

    Not used in the official SCA alternate titles list.

    Related to the Russian word for friend, друг.

    An armed retinue in ancient Rus' that served the prince and formed the main military force. In peacetime, the members were in charge of local districts and in war, formed the core of the army. They were closely associated with the prince, receiving full support/provision from him in addition to influential administrative posts. They counseled the prince, and participated in diplomatic negotiations. The druzhina was divided into two groups: the senior druzhina, or muzhi knazhiie, composed mainly of boyars who performed higher state functions; and the junior druzhina, or hryd (aka grid), who were responsible for the personal protection of the prince and carried out a variety of commissions for him in the royal court and provincial administration. In the 11th-12th centuries, the druzhina and the old landed nobility (zemski boyars) united to form a single aristratic class. In the chronicles, the word druzhina is sometimes applied more widely - to refer to the national militia, the entire princely army, or smaller military troops. [Encyclopedia of Ukraine]

    Member of the druzhina, the prince’s military retinue. Formed the mounted core of the medieval Russian military forces, supplemented by urban militias and peasant levies when necessary. Survived in some form until the 16th century (when the streltsy standing army was established) [Wikipedia]

    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 - more independent of the prince than the chieftains of the ancient 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]

    Maxime Kovalevsky discusses the "Drougina" and the "Douma" 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... 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..."
    "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..."
    "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."

    Definition from Dal’ – combatant, militiaman, warrior, zemstvo soldier.

    Similar to Anglo-Saxon huscarls and...

    In the 11th-12th century divided into two levels:

      1) senior - druzhina starshaya (old) or druzhina lepshaya (better) or druzhina perednyaya (front) with members called knyazhnie muzhi (singular, knyazhnij muzh). Eventually became boyariny. Sometimes had their own druzhina. [Petrov & Wiki]
      2) junior - druzhina molodshaya (young) with members called otrok/otroki, gridin/gridni, detskij, etc. Became dvoryane. [Petrov & Wiki]

    In peace time, the members of the druzhina served their lord as administrators, diplomats, and household staff, which is why “druzhina” is often translated as “retinue”. (And this is why Laurels and Pelicans in the SCA could also be considered members of the druzhina.) [Kovalevsky, Kubijovyc, Riha]

    "Druzhina" is a collective term, however. The individual form is "druzhinnik," although I have only found “druzhinnik” once so far in period texts. The feminine form is "druzhinnitsa" (although this term is even more rare in period texts than the masculine form). [Ozhegov and below]

    Russian Primary Chronicle Year 945 [6453] - In this year, Igor's retinue [druzhina] said to him, "The servants [otroki] of Sveinald are adorned with weapons and fine raiment, but we are naked... He dismissed his retainers [druzhina] on their journey homeward, but... returned on his tracks with a few of his followers [druzhini]... and the Derevlians came forth... and slew Igor' and his company [druzhinniki], for the number of the latter was few... The Derevlians inquired of Olga where the retinue [druzhina] was which they had sent to meet her. She replied that they were following with her husband's bodyguard [druzhina]." [Russian Chronicle, Riha]

    1445 [6953], Novogorod Primary Chronicle - "And Knyaz Ivan Ondreyevich and Knyaz Vasili Yaroslavich escaped wounded, with a small following [druzhine]." [Krotov “Novgorod Chronicle”, Michell & Forbes]

    The druzhina was sometimes divided into a senior and junior druzhina. A member of the senior druzhina could be called knyazhnii muzh [prince's man] or more commonly, boiarin, and its members served as voevoda, namestnik, posadnik, tysyatski. A member of the junior druzhina could be called a detskii, gridin, otrok, dvorianin, sluga, etc. [Kubijovyc, Solov’ev Vol 3 Ch 1 and Vol 4 Ch 3]

    See the discussion of Social Classes for more information about the senior and junior druzhinas and their relationship and development over time.

    Knyazhnij muzh (literally, prince’s man)

      A member of senior druzhina, and also a boyarin. They joined the druzhina by own free will and could change masters at will. They were advisors of the prince and occupied the highest military and civil posts – posadnik, tysyatski, voevoda. Sometimes they had their own druzhina. [Petrov]

      Eventually became boyars. [Wikipedia]

    Detskie (literally, children)

      Junior members of the druzhina in Ancient Rus. Performed various tasks for the prince, accompanied him in capacity of retinue and body guards. In the princely council, they did not take part except for military advice. Only freemen could become detskie. [Petrov]

      per Dal’ – detskie are otrok in the form of bodyguards and servants for the prince.

    Otroki (literally, boys/lads)

      Junior members of the druzhina in ancient Rus, primarily court servitors of the prince, in contrast to detskie who were military members of the druzhina. In the otroki were also unfree people, slaves (kholopy). In duties otroki included service at the table of the prince, cleaning things and fulfilling various of his orders. In the council of the prince, otroki did not participate, except for military advice (see also detskie above). [Petrov]

      Dal’ – tsarist or princely servitors, pages, also servants or slaves generally


      Junior druzhinik, collectively "grid' " - the junior druzhina. The gridnitsa is the part of the palace where the grid' lived. From the end of the 12th cent., the term "grid' " disappears and in place of it appears "dvor" with the meaning of junior druzhina. Per Dal’ served as guards, bodyguards, army of the posadnik, tysyatski. [Petrov]

      Hryd (collective, also hryden), hryden (singular) - junior retainers of the prince in the Kyivan period. They performed military and administrative service. They had separate quarters at court. The word is found in the earliest chronicles and byliny and is probably of Scandinavian origin. [Encyclopedia of Ukraine]

      Dal’ – bodyguard, guard, escort, army of posadnik, tysyatski, boyarskie deti, later same as zemstvo?

      Has a respectable set of entries in Sreznevskij.

    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]

    Under Ivan III, the service gentry and deti boyarskie from his court became the new core of his cavalry forces, reducing his dependence on the more fickle service of his brother princes and the fairly independent boyars. This increased his control over the army. [MacKenzie and Curran, p 144]

    There is no entry in Sreznevskij for druzhinnik. However, he has an extensive set of entries for the following definitions of druzhina:

      1.) comrade/traveling companion - 11th cent. to 15th cent. entries

      2.) retinue of people close to the prince in ancient Rus, the princely council and princely standing army; made up of boyars, gridi, narochitie liudi (well-to-do people), sotskie, desyatskie; sometimes the word druzhina indicates the primary princely duma, so that the word takes the place of the expressions: boyare and elders [startsy]. Sreznevskij has entries for the related terms bol'shaya druzhina [bigger], molodshaya druzhina [younger], pered'nyaya druzhina [front], and pervaya [first]. - 10th cent. to 14th cent entries

      3.) army in general - 13th cent. to 14th cent. entries

    In the Russian Primary Chronicle:

      Year 882 [6390] - "He thus arrived with his Krivichians before Smolensk, capture the city, and set up a garrison there." Literally, "and placed in it his men [muzh]."

      Year 945 [6453] - In this year, Igor's retinue [druzhina] said to him, "The servants [otroki] of Sveinald are adorned with weapons and fine raiment, but we are naked... He dismissed his retainers [druzhina] on their journey homeward, but... returned on his tracks with a few of his followers [druzhini]... and the Derevlians came forth... and slew Igor' and his company [druzhinniki], for the number of the latter was few... The Derevlians inquired of Olga where the retinue [druzhina] was which they had sent to meet her. She replied that they were following with her husband's bodyguard [druzhina]."

    In the Novgorod chronicle:

      1016 [6524] "And Yaroslav said to his Druzhina: 'Put a mark on you, wind your heads in kerchiefs.' ".

      1091 [6???] "foremost druzhina" - передьнюю дружину.

      1160 [6668] "and his Druzhina they put into a dungeon..." - дружину

      1167 [6675] "and Danislav Lazutinits went with a company to Kiev" - дружиною

      1191 [6699] "and took with him the foremost Druzhina of the men of Novgorod..." - переьнюю дружину

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

      1195 [6703] "gridba" translated as bodyguard.

      1200 [7708] "...Nezdila Pekhtsinits went as Voyevoda to Luki; he went with a small Druzhina from Luki into Lotygola..." - малом дружины [a non-royal druzhina]

      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)

      1229 [6737] "took much money from Yarslav's favourites..." - яреслалихъ любъвницехъ

      1234 [6742] "and the citizens [огнишан] and body-guard [гридба] and some of the merchants [купьць] and traders [гости] drove them out of the town"

      1234 [6742] "knyaz's household" - княжь децкои

      1245 [6753] "the Knyaz pursued them with his own court and defeated them..." - съ своимь дворомь

      1265 [6773] "He gathered about him his father's soldiers and friends..." - вои отца своего и приятели

      1266 [6774] "only Knyaz Gerden alone escaped with a small Druzhina." - мале дружине

      1282 [6790] "Dmitri's men went out from the town because the men of NOvgorod had showed them the road, and they plundered the town." - мужи Дмитриеве


      1445 [6953] "And Knyaz Ivan Ondreyevich and Knyaz Vasili Yaroslavich escaped wounded, with a small following." - мале дружине

Voevoda [воевода] - provincial governor, military commander, general.
Voevodsha/voevodikha/voevoditsa/voevodina [n/a] - wife of the above.
    Currently used for Baron/Baroness in the official SCA alternate titles list with more military overtones than "posadnik".

    Military leader, ruler of the Slavs, captain, commander, commander-in-chief. In Rus is known from the 10th cent. (recorded in chronicles in capacity of chief of the princely druzhina or leader of militia). From the end of the 15th cent. until the creation of a regular army (beginning 18th cent.) he was the military leader of regiments or troops. In the middle of the 16th cent. voevody supervised city government, with help of city clerks. [Petrov]

    Dal’ – also mayor, governor.

    Used for military commanders, usually translated as "general".

    Sreznevskij defines voevoda as a commander and has a large set of entries for the word as early as the 11th century and as late as 1433. He does not include "governor" as a meaning of voevoda.

    In the Russian Primary Chronicle:

      Year 945 [6453] - "and the troop commander [voevoda] was Sveinald..."

    The Novgorod primary chronicle:

      1016 [6524] "Svyatopolk's Voyevoda [general] by name Volchii Khvost, riding along the river bank, began to reproach the men of Novgorod..."

      1193 [6701] "they went from Novgorod with armed force [rat']... with the Voyevoda Yadrei" - ратью съ воеводою

      1204 [6712] "But the Franks and all their Voyevodas conceived lust for the gold and silver..." - воеводы [the events of the 4th Crusade attack on Constantinople]

      1217 [6725] "killed the Voyevodas and took a third..." [these were Nemtsy]

      1224 [6732] "they buried their Voevoda Gemya-Beg..." [a Tatar leader]

      1245 [6753] "Tsar Baty killed Knyaz Mikhail... and his Voyevoda..." - цесарь... князя... воеводу

      1284 [6792] "the Nemetski Voyevoda Trunda entered Lake Ladoga..."

      1292 [6800] "The same year some Novgorod braves with Voyevodas of the Knyaz..." - молодци

      1340 [6848] "And putting on their armour they broke by force into the houses and took away from the captains [воевод] the Knyaz's lieutenants [наместьникы] and the collectors [борци] with their wives..."

      1366 [6874] "Young men [люди молодыи] with the captains [воеводою] Esif Valfromiyevich, Vasili Fedorovich and Olesander Obakunovich..."

      1380 [6888] "...Knyaz Fedor Belozerski was killed, also his son Knyaz Ivan; and other Knyazes and captains [воеводы] went in pursuit..."

      1398 [6906] "And the Voyevodas of Novgorod: Posadnik Timofei, Posadnik Yuri, and Vasili and all the soldiers..."

      1411 [6919] "And the Voyevodas of the Novgorod tropps were: Posadnik Yuri Ontsiforovits, Posadnik Foma Esiforvits, Posadnik Alexander Fominits, Ivan Danilovits, Gregori Bogdanovits ... " for a total of 13 voyevodas

      1445 [6953] "...Knyaz Boris of Tver sent his Voyevodas against Torzhok..."


      While Dal gives this word as the wife, or feminine form of voevoda, this may not correspond to period usage.

      Mistress Liudmila believes that the -itsa or -ikha endings would be more period, i.e. voevoditsa or voevodikha.

      I have not found any entries for feminine forms in Sreznevskij, or in the Russian dictionaries available to me (except Dal, as noted above).

      I have found voevodka in period texts, but ALL of them refer to men, presumably as a variation or diminutive of voevoda! (Now that I think about it, this makes sense. A casual survey of Wickenden's Dictionary of Period Russian Names shows that most of the names that end in -ka are masculine names.)

      "Рік пізнїйше маємо факт подібний, тільки уживаннє козацького імени меньше виразисте. Менґлї-ґерай доносить в. кн. московському, що його посла Суботу, що йшов від волоського господаря до Криму, коло Днїпрового перевозу „изъ Черкаскаго городка козаки потоптали, все поимали — пЂша остали;" по словам московських аґентів се були „Черкасцї", і з ними „Богданъ, черкаский воєводка" (кн. Богдан Глинський) — вони тодї зруйнували Очаків 3). Звістку сю вважаю не так виразистою, бо сих черкаських людей називав козаками тільки Менґлї-ґерай, а він з свого, татарського становища міг від себе приложити назву козаків до сього українського походу; хоч сам похід вповнї в стилю козацькім. " - КОЗАКИ І КОЗАКОВАННЄ В ПЕРШІЙ ПОЛОВИНЇ XVI В. ВІДНОСИНИ ДО КОЗАЦТВА МІСЦЕВОЇ АДМІСТРАЦІЇ Й ЦЕНТРАЛЬНОГО ПРАВИТЕЛЬСТВА: НАЙДАВНЇЙША ЗВІСТКА ПРО УКРАЇНСЬКИХ КОЗАКІВ (1492), ЗВІСТКИ 1493-1499 Р. І 1502-3 РР., „КОЗАКИ КН. ДМИТРА" І „БУРСНИКИ"; ЗВІСТКИ 1510 Р., КОЗАЦЬКИЙ ВЕРБУНОК 1524 Р. (

      "В лето 7100 году. [1602] Сентября в 20 день божиим попущением грех ради наших приходили немецкие свийские люди к морю на поморские места Кемъю рекою в малых судах, воеводка Мавнус Лаврин да Ганус Иверстен, /л.1127об./ а с ними (А с ними повторено и зачеркнуто) [233] заморских и каинских немец 700 человек... И божиим милосердием и государским счастьем из Сумского острогу осадные люди в приступ из наряду и на вылосках немецких людей побили многих и многих ранили, и убили у них воеводку Гануса Иверстена и языки у них поимали. И того же дни немцы от острогу побежали и идучи от Сумского острогу повоевали волость Шую Корельскую да Соловецкого монастыря волостки Вирму да Сухой Наволок да Кемь и под Ужеем, дворы и варницы пожгли, живот поимали и побежали назад тою же рекою Кемью. А в остроге было в осаде пятидесятник Семеновы сотни Юренева Иван Збитень, а с ним московских 20 человек стрельцов, да /л.1128/ Соловецкого монастыря слуг 30 человек, да 10 человек пушкарей и затиншиков, и волостных людей 150 человек. И всего было в остроге в осаде людей 200 человек. А в Сумском остроге убили немецкие люди затинщика Ивана Зехнова да ранили волостного человека Олешу Хворостова. Того же году царю и великому князю Феодору Ивановичю всея Руси родися дочь царевна Феодосия. Того же году генваря в 4 день государь царь и великий князь Феодор Иванович всея Русии посылал воевод своих, князя Федора Ивановича Мстиславского, да князя Федора Михайловича Трубетцкого, да князя Никиту, да князя Тимофея Романовичев Трубетцких, да князя Бориса Ардасовича Черкаскаго, да Степана да Ивана Васильевичев Годуновых, да Богдана Яковлича Белского, да Федора да Олександра да Лва Никитичев Романовых, да с ними дворян /л.1128об./ и детей боярских и казаков и стрелцов и всяких воинских людей сто тысяч, воевати в свейские немцы к Выбору и к Шавонскому городу. И государевы воеводы ходили войною в Немецкой земли 4 недели и взяли 4 остроги с людьми и со всеми животы, и многие места повоевали и полону вывели бесчисленно много, и встречи им в Немецкой земли не было, и пришли в свою землю со всем войском в великий пост на третьей недели дал бог здорово." - СОЛОВЕЦКИЙ ЛЕТОПИСЕЦ ВТОРОЙ ПОЛОВИНЫ XVI В. (

      "Государю царю и великому князю Михаилу Федоровичю всеа [Русии] холопи твои Ивашко Хованской, Федка Бутурлин, Венедикто Кокушкин челом бьют. Пришол во Псков из Вели[кого] Новагорода можеитин Матвей Евреев, а в рос[просе] нам, холопем твоим, сказал: взяли деи ево в полон не[метцкие] люди на Бронничи, как пошол з Бронничи твой, государь, боярин, князь Дмитрей Тимофеевич Трубетцкой, а из полону деи ево выкупили в Нове городе у нем[ец] Григорей Муравьев с товарыщи. А вестей сказал: неметцкой деи воеводка Ивер Горн в Нове городе, а с ним неметцких людей ты[сечи з две, а толко де], государь, из острожков зберутца [немецкие] люди в Нов город, и неметцких деи людей будет с четы[ре тысечи." - 1615 г. февраль.— Отписка в Разрядный приказ псковских воевод И. Хованского, Ф. Бутурлина и В. Кокушкина с вестями о неприязненных действиях шведов у Пскова. (

    So far, voevoditsa looks a bit Belorussian, and voevodikha looks a bit Ukrainian, although both also seem to appear in modern Russian in my websearches (just not in my dictionaries, grumble). Voevodikha seems be particularly popular for historical novels. All of this means that both terms look promising, but research continues.

    Voevoditsa (note that the following are NOT period texts)

      "До 1337 г. към западната фасада на църквата било изградено още едно здание, също зографисано (вероятно гробница). От ктиторските надписи в тази пристройка научаваме, че нейни ктитори са воеводата Деян и воеводица Владислава. Те имали четири деца, от които една дъщеря, но поради лошото състояние на надписите само имената на две от тях могат да бъдат прочетени: Йоан и Димитър. От изложеното дотук следва, че до 1337 г. сестрата на Радослав и Асен — Владислава, се омъжва за Деян и от този брак се раждат четири деца. " - Югозападните български земи през XIV век. Христо Матанов. (

      "Юрий Е. Юрьевич был Слуцким князем. Как и его предки, был храбрым воином. На войну в Инфляндии вооружил за свой счет 4000 рыцарей, а в 1564 году сам командовал значительным войском. В 1576 году получил привилей на Бобруйское староство (что означало право взимать таможенные пошлины - и другие правомочия, вступающие силу дарованием специальной королевской грамоты (50-(а)). Село Киселевичи владела пани Зеновичева, воеводица Берестейская (51)." - ГЛАВА ТРЕТЬЯ ГОРОД И СТАРОСТВО, Бобруйск - историческая монография ч 1 (

    Voevodikha (note that the following is NOT a period text)

      "В мае 1609 г. М.В.Скопин-Шуйский разбил войска Лже-дмитрия под Торжком, Тверью и Дмитровом, освободил поволжские города и укрепился у Клязина... Умер он внезапно после пира в доме Дмитрия Шуйского; народ приписал смерть как отравление (умер он от обильного кровотечения из носа). Народная молва отнесла смерть его Дмитрию Шуйскому и его жене Екатерине Григорьевне; против них было сильное неудовольствие". (Э.Р.М., с. 506). Воеводиха Екатерина была дочерью печально знаменитого живодера Малюты Скуратова-Бельского и сестрой жены Бориса Годунова." - Маленькие тайны большой истории. Ю.Турандин., Каргополье (


      Feminine patronymic form of voevoda, eg. Nastas'ia Fedorova zhena [wife] Voevodina, late 16th century name. [Wickenden]


      Another term for the wife of a voevoda according to Dal'.

      "Дня 18. Выехал посол из Кракова, а пан воевода и пани воеводша, жена его, с царицею, дочерью своею, остались в то время в Промнике." Декабрь, ДНЕВНИК МАРИНЫ МНИШЕК c. 1605. (Russian translation of the diary of the Polish wife of False Dmitri)(

      Lomosov's Russian Grammar (see below) also indicates that voevodsha would be the feminine of voevoda.

      Михаил Васильевич Ломоносов. Российская грамматика. Глава 5: О ПРОИЗВОЖДЕНИИ ПРИТЯЖАТЕЛЬНЫХ, ОТЕЧЕСТВЕННЫХ И ОТЕЧЕСКИХ ИМЕН И ЖЕНСКИХ ОТ МУЖСКИХ [On the derivation of possessive, native and family names and women's from men's] (

        § 239

        Женские, от мужеских происходящие, по большой части кончатся на ка, ха, ца, ша, ня: пастухъ, пастушка; щеголь, щеголиха; генералъ, генеральша; мастеръ, мастерица; князь, княгиня.

        § 240

        Имена, значащие чины российские, в женском кончатся на ца: Царица, полковница, совѣтница, постелница, порутчица, черница. Выключаются: Королева, княгиня, боярыня, воеводша, управительша, крестьянка.

        § 241

        Иностранные имена, чины значащие, кончатся в женском на ша: фельдмаршальша, генеральша, гофмеистерша, брегадирша, капитанша, капральша. Выключаются: солдатка, игуменья, попадья, протопопица, дьяконица, пономарица.

        § 242

        Мастеровых людей имена в женском роде, когда и мастерство к ним приписывается, кончатся на ца: мастерица перевозщица, шапошница, хлѣбница, колашница, ежели ж просто значат жену мастерового человека, кончатся по большой части на иха: кузнечиха, сапожничиха, однако иногда и на ца употребляют.

        § 243

        На ха кончащиеся женские, от мужеских происходящие, унизительное знаменование имеют и происходят по большой части от посмеятельных прозвищей: чесночиха, костылиха, волчиха, болваниха.

        Имена скотов, зверей, птиц, рыб и гадов мало производят женских чрез перемену окончаний, как: орелъ, орлица; волкъ, волчица; левъ, львица; медведь, медведица; змѣй, змия, но больше отменными именованиями роды различаются: конь, кобыла; быкъ, корова; баранъ, овца; питухъ, курица; кобель, сука.

        § 245

        У иных под одним мужеским или под одним женским родом оба пола разумеются: лебядь, грачь, соколъ, ястребъ, ласточка, сорока, муха, воробей, щука, окунь, паукъ.

      The term “voevodsha” is used several times in a Russian translation of the early 17th century diary of Marina Mnishek (daughter of a Polish voivod) who reigned very briefly as the wife of the False Dmitri (1606), but I suspect that the original document was written in Polish, especially with its use of titles such as pan.

      "Дня 18. Выехал посол из Кракова, а пан воевода и пани воеводша, жена его, с царицею, дочерью своею, остались в то время в Промнике." Декабрь, ДНЕВНИК МАРИНЫ МНИШЕК c. 1605. [Andreeva Diary]

      Translation: Day 18. Went out the envoy from Krakov, and pan voevoda and pani voevodsha, his wife, with the tsaritsa, his daughter, remained at that time in Promika." December. Diary of Marina Mnishek c. 1605.

    Tysyatski [тысацки] - thousand-man, commander of a thousand.
    ? [?] - ?.

      Not used in the official SCA alternate titles list.

      High ranking official in Novgorod government. Seems to have financial and administrative duties in addition to military duties.

      Listed first in the Novgorod primary chronicle under the year 1191 [6699] "The same year the God-loving Vladyka GAvrilo consecrated the church of the Holy Ascension erected by the Tysyatski Miloneg." also 1215, 1224, 1228, 1234, etc. In Novgorod, tysyatski seems more like an administrative office than military since "Voyevodas" are listed separately. A couple of times, Novgorod posadniks are serving as "voyevodas", but never Novgorod tysyatskis in the Novgorod Chronicle. But see below for princely Tysyatskis in the Novgorod Chronicle.

      1218 [1218] "Knyaz Svyatoslav sent his Tysyatski to the Veche..."

      1224 [6732] "And Knyaz Gyruki sent his man the Tysyatski Roman with our own men..."

    Sotski [соцки] - hundred-man, commander of a hundred.
    ? [?] - ?.
      Not used in the official SCA alternate titles list.

      Mentioned by Sreznevskij as part of the druzhina.

      Also a high ranking official in Novgorod government - not necessarily military (?).

      The Novgorod Primary Chronicle:

        1118 [6626] "...being wroth with... with the Sotski Stavro..." - сочьскаго

        1195 [1195] "And the men of Novgorod sent to him Posadnik Miroshka and Boris Zhiroslavits and Sotski Mikifor..." - съцьскаго

        1197 [6705] "The foremost men and the Sotskis went from Novgorod..." - сътьскии

        1216 [6724] "sent the Sotski Larion to Gyurgi..." - сочьскаго

    Desyatski [десяцки] - ten-man, commander of ten men.
    ? [?] - ?.
      Not used in the official SCA alternate titles list.

      Mentioned by Sreznevskij as part of the druzhina.

      Also a official in Novgorod government - not necessarily military (?).

    Starosta [староста] - elder, captain.
    ? [?] - ?.
      Not used in the official SCA alternate titles list.

      The Novgorod primary chronicle:

        1016 [6524] "And he began to distribute pay to his troops: to the starostas [старостамъ] ten grivnas each, to the smerds [смердомъ - common soldiers] one grivna each..."

      1193 [6701] "they went from Novgorod with armed force [rat']... with the Voyevoda Yadrei" - ратью съ воеводою

      1195 [6703] "...Vsevolod summoned the men of Novgorod... against the whole clan [plemya] of Oleg; and the men of Novgorod did not deny him: householders [огнишане], body-guards [гридьба] and merchants [купци] went with Knyaz Yaroslav..."

      1195 [6703] "began to collect forces for themselves..." - вое

      1204 [6712] "they took a man by name Nikola, a soldier, and put the crown on him" - воина

      1210 [6718] "and Mstislav went with the whole army against Vsevolod..." - съ всемь пълкомь

      1216 [6724] "and they beheld the forces standing..." - пълкы

      1217 [6725] "and the night guards had come int and the day guards had not gone out..." - сторжи ночьнии... дневнии

      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

      1231 [6739] "the commander" - подвоискаго

      1234 [6742] "mounted men" - коньникы

      1259 [6767] "Give us guards..." - сторожи

      1265 [6773] "He gathered about him his father's soldiers and friends..." - вои отца своего и приятели

      1266 [6774] "And Knyaz Gerden collected about him the Lithuanian forces" - силу Литовьскую

      1270 [6778] "the foot soldiers stood two days behind the Zhilotug, and the mounted men behind the Gorodishche." - пеши... коневьници

      1292 [6800] "The same year some Novgorod braves with Voyevodas of the Knyaz..." - молодци

      1340 [6848] "And some adventurers having gone from Novgorod..." - молдци

      1340 [6848] "they murdered two watchment." - два сторожа

      1368 [6876] "the Nemsty came with a large force..." - ратью

      1392 [6900] "some Nemtsy pirates [разбоинице] came from over sea"

      1410 [6918] "and they killed the Master and the Morshold and the Kutury, and defeated the entire army of the Nemtsy" - местеря [not to be confused with мастер]... моршолда... кунтуры... всю силу... [refering to a defeat of the Teutonic Knights]

      1420 [6928] "an envoy from the Master [местеря] Selivester from the Nemtsy arrived in Novgorod, the Commander [кумендерь] Gostilo of Velyad, with Timofei, the Master's nephew [сестричиць местеровъ], and the Voyevoda of Rugodiv..."

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