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Druzhina

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  • Erin-Lee McGuire
    Here s an odd one: Anybody out there have an idea of how big a Princely Druzhina would be? Are we talking a large group of body guards, or an army? (I m
    Message 1 of 9 , May 31, 2002
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      Here's an odd one:

      Anybody out there have an idea of how big a Princely Druzhina would
      be? Are we talking a large group of body guards, or an army? (I'm
      thinking of the Pre-Mongol period here).

      Yours,
      Nadezhda Toranova, Voevoda Seagirta
    • MHoll@aol.com
      In a message dated 6/2/2002 11:38:22 AM Central Daylight Time, ... More like a company, definitely not an army. When Alexander Nevsky fought the Teutonic
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 2, 2002
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        In a message dated 6/2/2002 11:38:22 AM Central Daylight Time,
        nadjabear@... writes:


        > Anybody out there have an idea of how big a Princely Druzhina would
        > be? Are we talking a large group of body guards, or an army?

        More like a company, definitely not an army. When Alexander Nevsky fought the
        Teutonic Knights on Lake Peipus, he had mustered the Novgorodian volunteers.

        The size probably depended 1) on the wealth of the Prince, 2) on his
        reputation, 3) on what a city would allow. While most cities didn't have much
        say in this, Novgorod and Pskov had specific rules and laws on what a Prince
        (kniaz) was allowed to do. They would have frowned on an army taking over the
        city. Besides, they had to fit into the prince's fortress.

        *****************************
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        Per fess embattled azure and gules, two otters passant or.
        <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/Predslava/RussianHistoryTriviaPage.html">Russian History Trivia Page</A>
        (http://members.aol.com/Predslava/RussianHistoryTriviaPage.html)


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
        Greetings Nadezhda! AFAIR, any size smaller than several hundred. It s not an army, it s a kind of a personal guard/body of rangers/sheriffs/convoy troops,
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 3, 2002
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          Greetings Nadezhda!

          AFAIR, any size smaller than several hundred. It's not an army, it's a kind of
          a personal guard/body of rangers/sheriffs/convoy troops, etc. For greater size
          actions, Opolcheniye, or (earlier term) Rat' was involved. Mainly, it was like
          National Guard in the US or the main body of the Swiss army - several times a
          year they revived their battle skills and all the othe rtime they were peaceful
          workers. Druzhina was divided into Older and Younger, the Older Druzhina was a
          bode of Boyars and really was a council and a body of closest guards for the
          Prince. That makes its size of no more than 1-2 dozen. The Younger Druzhina
          performed all the moliary/law enforcement duties it was designed to, and its
          size depended on the riches of the Prince mainly. Though, no Prince could
          afford a Drouzhina of a thousand or more (he literally bought their loyalty) -
          there's an economic law that a society can feed an army of no more than about 1
          percent of the population.

          The size of Druzhina is somehow pictured by phrases from the chronicles that
          mention some conflict that has to be solved, so to say, "on the march", and the
          prince hurries to the spot "s druzhinoy maloy" (with his small Druzhina).

          Bye,
          Posadnik.
        • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
          Greetings! In my previous posting, It was like the US National Guard... meant Rat , not Druzhina. Druzhina was always battle-ready, though involved in
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 3, 2002
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            Greetings!

            In my previous posting,

            "It was like the US National Guard..." meant Rat', not Druzhina. Druzhina was
            always battle-ready, though involved in several duties almost daily. Though, we
            can't see the question well, if we treat Novgorod/Pskov Druzhina as the best
            example. There Princes were hired by the city officials, and the size of the
            Druzhina was also established as not allowing the Prince to change the rules of
            the game. Kievan or Chernigov Druzhinas could be greater, also because NOT all
            the Druzhina was supposed to be garrisoned in the main citadel. Some of it was
            always busy at faraway outposts.

            Though, with the South there's another pain-in-the-neck. As 13-14 century
            Novgorod had its Ushkuiniks, that raided the lands byond the eastern frontier
            of the Russian states, in Kievan region the same was performed by the 11-13
            (approx.) Brodniks. Those were half peaceful Steppe dwellers of the Russian
            origin, dwelling between Don and Dnieper, half fortune seekers. There is some
            evidence that Brodniks (no connection with the Russian "Brod" ("ford"), BTW)
            were the buffer force between the nomads and the Rus, serving this or that
            side, and even regular Druzhinas from time to time set out "to feed themselves"
            into the Steppes, becoming Brodniks for a while, then returning to their
            Prince. The Brodniks existed at least until 14 century, when the term (most
            likely it meant "open space dweller, never fixed to a piece of land") was
            replaced by the term "cossack" (Ilya Muromets, who served his country at a
            Steppe outpost, was commonly called "old cossack" in the Bylinas. The
            Historic/Philologic fact the Muromets Bylina cycle was codified and put
            together no earlier than 14 century). So, the Druzhina could be split apart and
            one part became Brodniks, to raid the Steppes for glory/ransom. Some Brodniks
            could join the Druzhina. So I'd count all the Druzhinniks in the capital city
            and multiply the number by at least 0.75.

            bye,
            Posadnik.
          • Scott Wallrich
            I ve seen this term (boyers) before but i have no clue what it means. Anybody got a definition for me? Aleksandr ... the Older Druzhina was a bode of
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 4, 2002
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              I've seen this term (boyers) before but i have no clue
              what it means.

              Anybody got a definition for me?

              Aleksandr

              --- Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik <Posadnik@...>
              wrote:
              >
              <snip>
              the Older Druzhina was a bode of Boyars
              <snip>

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            • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
              Greetings Alexander! First I thought Boyar(in) is related Boy (battle, fight) and yary (keen, ferocious, active). But later I came across that in Romania
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 4, 2002
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                Greetings Alexander!

                First I thought "Boyar(in)" is related "Boy" (battle, fight) and "yary" (keen,
                ferocious, active). But later I came across that in Romania & Bulgaria that
                word contained an L, "Bolyar(in)". So, now I don't know anything for sure... :-(

                Maybe it really comes from not "Boy" but "Bol'(e)" - "big, great" (and
                comparative form), meaning "the higher, the greater one". Similarly, if
                Afroamericans had a military body, they could invent a relative title, "A
                Bigger Brother". :-)

                bye,
                Alex
              • Shadow42
                ... I hear that Boyar is comes from the Turkic/Khazar language and was used as a term for Nobility. Laura/Leya
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 5, 2002
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                  Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik wrote:

                  >Greetings Alexander!
                  >
                  >First I thought "Boyar(in)" is related "Boy" (battle, fight) and "yary" (keen,
                  >ferocious, active). But later I came across that in Romania & Bulgaria that
                  >word contained an L, "Bolyar(in)". So, now I don't know anything for sure... :-(
                  >
                  >Maybe it really comes from not "Boy" but "Bol'(e)" - "big, great" (and
                  >comparative form), meaning "the higher, the greater one". Similarly, if
                  >Afroamericans had a military body, they could invent a relative title, "A
                  >Bigger Brother". :-)
                  >
                  >bye,
                  >Alex
                  >
                  I hear that Boyar is comes from the Turkic/Khazar language and was used
                  as a term for Nobility.

                  Laura/Leya
                • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
                  Greetings Laura! ... Maybe, though can t say for sure. When my favourite academic bookstore opens again or I have time to travel to another part of Moscow,
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 6, 2002
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                    Greetings Laura!
                    > I hear that Boyar is comes from the Turkic/Khazar language and was used
                    > as a term for Nobility.

                    Maybe, though can't say for sure. When my favourite academic bookstore
                    opens again or I have time to travel to another part of Moscow, I'll simply
                    consult with the dictionary of Old Russian. In my Joint Dictionary of Turcic
                    languages there's no such term. It doesn't correspond with Turcic "Bahadur" or
                    Mongol "Oglan", as well. Suleimenov also doesn't mention it in his Az i Ya,
                    speaking of the oldest Turcic borrowings into Russian.

                    bye,
                    Alex.
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