14640Re: [sig] Question about Boyar's
- Nov 11, 2009Thanks Sofya -- that was both concise AND fun to read.
I'm so embroidering "WWID?" on something, ha ha ha....
Posadnitsa Sfandra Dmitrieva Chernigova
K.O.E., O.M., Haus VDK, EastKingdom
Never 'pearl' your butt.
--- On Wed, 11/11/09, Lisa Kies <lkies319@...> wrote:
> From: Lisa Kies <lkies319@...>
> Subject: Re: [sig] Question about Boyar's
> To: email@example.com
> Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 10:15 AM
> Greetings from Sofya!
> Where do I start...
> I was just going to post a link to my webpage, but I
> realized that a lot of
> it is still in Russian so I'll try to distill it down.
> The original poster actually posed two questions.
> 1.) Are the boyars the Russian equivalent of knights?
> 2.) Is Boiarin a reasonable Alternate Title for the title
> of Knight in the
> Or to put it another way, what is the Russian for a knight
> (lower case) and
> a Knight (upper case).
> As Sfandra has pointed out, the word "knight" even in
> English means lots of
> things, and the definition changed considerably over SCA
> period. From the
> huscarls of the Anglo-Saxons to the legendary Knights of
> the Round Table to
> Knights Errant to the later period honorary orders such as
> the papal Order
> of the Golden Spur.
> Definition of "Knight" according to Random House Dictionary
> of the English
> 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
> 5. a member of any order or association
> of men bearing the name of
> Thus, there are lots of Russian words to translate
> the word "knight" -
> vityaz, bogatyr (how usually the hero of epic folktales),
> latnik (lit. one
> who wears armor), konnik (lit. horseman), bozhij dvoryanin
> (lit. God's
> courtier), kmetij, druzhinnik, etc.
> The problem is that none of these are very common in the
> period sources.
> Bogatyr has 15 period quotes in Sreznevskij, which makes it
> promising, but I haven't found any information about it as
> a "title of
> rank". It does not appear in references about the
> social structure of Rus,
> nor is it one of the positions in the princely
> retinue. Therefore, I did
> not investigate it further in my Alternate Titles
> research. It may be a
> very appropriate period Russian translation of knight
> (lower case). In an
> ideal world, I'd research it further.
> Druzhinnik is a strange term. The collective term,
> druzhina, appears over
> and over and over in period Russian texts. But I have
> found the singular
> form only once so far. In most of the situations
> where a text is talking
> about the druzhina, and then talks about the members of the
> druzhina, it
> usually uses the term boiarin. Maxime Kovalevsky has
> a nice, if
> dated, discussion of the "knightly class" in medieval
> Russia. Kovalesky,
> Maxime. "Old Russian Folkmotes." *Modern Customs and
> Ancient Laws of Russia:
> The Ilchester Lectures.* 1891. (Google it.)
> Someone has argued that, because the Russians didn't have a
> truly feudal
> system, that there is no Russian word for "knight".
> In its simplest form,
> fealty is simply a contract - I'll take care of you, you'll
> take care of
> me. By that definition, Russian had a feudal system,
> it just organized the
> contracts and the reward system differently. But
> plenty of scholars
> disagree and that's a whole huge topic of its own.
> It might more helpful be to ask WWIS, i.e. What Would Ivan
> Say? If Ivan saw
> a well-armored horseman riding through Pskov in the retinue
> of a prince, he
> wouldn't worry about the fact that the Teutonic knights
> have a different
> salary package than the Russian druzhina.
> I personally like the term druzhinnik, but I don't have
> enough evidence of
> how it was used to be confident that it would be WIWS (what
> Ivan would
> say). But it does convey the idea of a mounted
> warrior in service to a
> superior noble more than the other terms, which is why I
> included it in my
> original proposal to revise the Russian Alternate Titles
> list. But I
> couldn't prove that it was used as a title of rank.
> The College of Arms
> wants to see something along the lines of "Druzhinnik Ivan
> served his prince
> well" or "Prince Vasilii rewarded Druzhinnik Boris with a
> new village". All
> I had was "and the Derevlians came forth... and slew Igor'
> and his company
> [druzhinniki], for the number of the latter was few..."
> [Russian Primary
> Chronicle] . I haven't found any new references,
> The collective term, druzhina, is translated into English
> as retinue,
> men-at-arms, company, etc. As noted in the Wiki
> article, it comes to
> encompass both a senior druzhina (knyazhnie muzhi, boyare)
> and a junior
> druzhina (otroki, gridi, detskie, dvoriane, deti boyarskie,
> etc.) So while
> it may be a nice translation of knight (lower case) since
> we know that some
> medieval knights were great nobles and others hardly had
> enough land to
> support themselves, it doesn't fit the SCA title of Knight
> very well, since
> in the SCA, all our Knights are Peers and considered
> greater nobility.
> One big problem with having a term on the Alternate Titles
> Lists that I
> didn't fully realize until after my original submission,
> was that any term
> on it becomes a _restricted_ term, forbidden for use in any
> way other than
> as delineated in the Alternate Title List. That's why
> we don't
> have Webmasters in the SCA, but Web Ministers. Master
> is a
> restricted/protected term. So I'm actually glad that
> druzhinnik wasn't
> accepted - that way it can be used for anyone who considers
> themself in a
> household/fealty/retinue relationship. You'll notice
> in my signature file
> that I call myself "druzhinnitsa Kramolnikova", since I am
> in the household
> of my Master Mikhail Kramolnikov. That wouldn't have
> been allowed if the
> term had been accepted onto the Alternate Titles List.
> *insert big sigh of relief here*
> So that brings us to the title boiarin. It
> is used over and over
> throughout SCA period for the highest rank of Russian
> society, whether
> directly in service to a prince or not. Not all
> boyars were riding into
> battle, it's true, but they all had military
> responsibilities, even if they
> were "just" wealthy merchants or city oligarchs. The
> local city boyars in
> Novgorod dominated the veche counsel, although their will
> was occasionally
> disputed by the lower classes. These local city
> boyars were in charge of
> the city militia, serving as the posadniks and
> tysiatski's. They weren't
> sworn to the service of a prince, but to the service of
> their city, Lord
> Velikii Novgorod.
> The dual role of the Russian royal retinue originated when
> the members of
> the prince's warband were given administrative tasks
> between battles. This
> notion of a dual military/administrative function continued
> into late period
> and through all levels of administration (tysiatsies,
> sotskis, desyatskis as
> discussed by Vernadsky), although the relative expansion of
> the Muscovite
> administrative apparatus meant that some boyars in late
> period were engaged
> more in logistics and administrative support functions than
> in direct
> combat, just as the grand prince/tsar himself was often
> _not_ acting as
> a general on the field. But even if the Quartermaster
> General doesn't shoot
> anyone himself, he is still a critical member of the
> military apparatus.
> Not much of a knight in shining armor, granted, but by late
> period in the
> West, not all Knights (capital K) were comfortable in
> armor, either.
> Because of the fact that the boyar class combined
> duties/priviledges that in
> the SCA generally belong to the Orders of the Chivalry, the
> Laurel and the
> Pelican, I have come to the conclusion that the best SCA
> translation of
> "boiarin" is "Bestowed Peer". Hopefully, the College
> of Arms agreed with me
> when they considered my re-submission of the titles of
> back in September as alternate titles for Knights, Laurels
> and Pelicans.
> We'll find out in a month or two.
> So WWIS? I think if Ivan saw a _group_ of armored
> horsemen riding through
> Pskov in the retinue of a prince, he probably would have
> called them the
> prince's druzhina. But if Ivan wanted to talk about
> the horseman with
> the finest equipment (apart from the prince), he probably
> would have called
> him a boyarin, since expensive armor, etc. would probably
> belong to a
> greater noble, a Knight (capital K) in SCA terms, and all
> Knights are
> boyars, even if not all Boyars are Knights. He might
> have used one of the
> other terms (bogatyr, latnik, konnik, etc.) but boiarin is
> so much more
> common in the period texts that the odds are in its favor,
> and it conveys
> the prestige of an elite member of the prince's retinue.
> At your service,
> Lisa M. Kies, MD aka Sofya la Rus, OL, CW, CSH,
> druzhinnitsa Kramolnikova
> Mason City, IA aka Shire of Heraldshill, Calontir
> "Si no necare, sana." "Mir znachit Pax Romanov"
> "Nasytivshimsya knizhnoj sladosti."
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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