- 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).
Nadezhda Toranova, Voevoda Seagirta
- In a message dated 6/2/2002 11:38:22 AM Central Daylight Time,
> Anybody out there have an idea of how big a Princely Druzhina wouldMore like a company, definitely not an army. When Alexander Nevsky fought the
> be? Are we talking a large group of body guards, or an army?
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.
Per fess embattled azure and gules, two otters passant or.
<A HREF="http://members.aol.com/Predslava/RussianHistoryTriviaPage.html">Russian History Trivia Page</A>
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- 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).
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.
- I've seen this term (boyers) before but i have no clue
what it means.
Anybody got a definition for me?
--- Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik <Posadnik@...>
the Older Druzhina was a bode of Boyars
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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". :-)
- Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik wrote:
>Greetings Alexander!I hear that Boyar is comes from the Turkic/Khazar language and was used
>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". :-)
as a term for Nobility.
- Greetings Laura!
> I hear that Boyar is comes from the Turkic/Khazar language and was usedMaybe, though can't say for sure. When my favourite academic bookstore
> as a term for Nobility.
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.