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14640Re: [sig] Question about Boyar's

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  • Sfandra
    Nov 11, 2009
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      Thanks 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: sig@yahoogroups.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
      > SCA?
      > 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
      > 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
      >   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
      > rather
      > 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,
      > yet.
      > 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
      > Boiarin/Boiaryina
      > 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.
      > http://www.strangelove.net/~kieser/Russia/titlesclasses.html
      > http://www.strangelove.net/~kieser/Russia/titlesmilitary.html
      > At your service,
      > Sofya
      > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > Lisa M. Kies, MD aka Sofya la Rus, OL, CW, CSH,
      > druzhinnitsa Kramolnikova
      > Mason City, IA aka Shire of Heraldshill, Calontir
      > http://www.strangelove.net/~kieser
      > "Si no necare, sana."  "Mir znachit Pax Romanov"
      > "Nasytivshimsya knizhnoj sladosti."
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