Who are the boyars: definition, history. What distinguishes the boyar from the nobleman
When the word "boyar" in the head immediately appears the image of a rather stout man in a bright brocade coat in the floor and a high hat, trimmed with fur. And this is understandable, because it is precisely such an idea that fiction, television, cinema, theater gives us ...
However, even the very meaning of the word "boyars" remains a mystery, and disputes among historians and linguists on this subject are still ongoing. It may be more correct to pose the question, not who, but what is the boyars?
Meaning of the word "boyar"
Where the word “boyar” originated is still debatable among both linguists and historians.
One of the versions suggests that such Slavic roots as “battle” (battle) or “bolies” (large) can serve as the basis for word formation. According to another, it is believed that this term originated from the Türkic language and means a noble, rich husband.
There is one more suggestion, perhaps more relevant to the truth, according to which this word was borrowed from the Bulgarians. The fact is that in the Bulgarian state (681-1018) it was the name given to the military aristocracy, which constituted the council under the king and at the same time enjoyed privileges inaccessible to others. True, this word in the original sounded a little differently: Bolyare.
In any case, one thing is clear - the question “what are boyars?” Sounds incorrectly, because the boyars were called not just an object, but people who, moreover, held a special, privileged position in society.
Boyars in Russia
By reference to historical documents, it became known that the first boyars in Russia appeared in the tenth century, and the boyars, as a full-fledged estate, had already been formed by the beginning of the eleventh century. So who are the boyars?
By definition, boyars are feudal lords belonging to the highest strata of society, aristocrats. That is, people especially close to the prince (king). But above all, they are descendants of tribal nobility, who own significant land areas, and often even contain their own military squad, which, in times of feudal fragmentation, gave them additional weight in the eyes of the prince.
Up to the end of the XII century, the title of "boyar" was salaried (award) and was the highest rank at the court, later it began to be inherited.
Important advisers to the prince
The richest and, accordingly, influential Russian boyars took an active part in the princely duma as advisers to the prince. Often their opinion was decisive in the consideration of important government issues, litigation or the settlement of civil strife. In addition, from the boyars formed the senior squad that controlled the princely army, while they were allowed to manage the lands obtained during the military conquests.
Under the first princes there was a difference between the boyars. They were divided into princely and Zemstvo. Who are the boyars of the land, will be discussed below. As for the princely boyars, they constituted the upper hierarchical layer of the prince's retinue, although later they were joined by the boyars, who were introduced and convenient.
Boyars introduced and worthwhile
The so-called introduced nobles belonged to the category of feudal lords, who could not boast of their generosity and wealth, but nevertheless accepted (introduced) in the circle of the elect.They were at court for the constant assistance to the prince in the management of individual departments that make up the palace administration. This order belonged to the Duma, that is, its owners received the right to participate in closed meetings organized by the Boyar Duma.
Good boyars (palace officials) in their social status were below the boyars, who were allowed to participate in the Duma meetings. At the princely court, they held administrative or economic positions (bed, stable, falconry, and so on). For serviceable service they complained of patrimonies, which later could be inherited.
For the entire period, until the boyar held any position, and sometimes for life, he was entitled to feeding (full maintenance at the expense of the population).
Who are the boyars of Zemstvo, partly clear from their name. That is, they were the descendants of that tribal nobility, who owned land plots that they inherited, like the title itself, by inheritance. In their lands, this type of boyars had almost unlimited power and influence, which gave them additional significance and authority,since during the wars of internecine wars it was the Zemstvo boyars with their people that served as a serious support and support for the prince.
In addition to the boyars in the XII century, a new estate began to emerge - the nobility, which was destined to play an important role in the life of Russia until 1917. But if who such boyars, it is already clear, then where they came from and who such nobles are - not really. And this is worth understanding.
Who are the boyars and nobles
In the XII century, noble servants began to be called noblemen, consisting in serving the princes or the major boyars, of whom their court consisted. In addition to monetary rewards, the nobles for their service were also encouraged by land plots, but without transferring them to full ownership, that is, the land remained in the possession of the prince. And only from the 15th century, the nobles were granted the right to transfer the land plots inherited or to give them as a dowry, which substantially raised their overall position in society.
Thus, if in the XII century, boyars and nobles could be connected with each other, as a master and servant, respectively, by the XV century, by their social status, they were almost equal.
From the XVI century, the title of "boyar", which from the end of XII could only be inherited, again becomes a rank for "service people", automatically giving its owner the right to attend meetings of the Boyar Duma.
- The boyar and servant was in line with the position of the First Minister and was the highest reward for public service.
- Boyar and weapon-makers - appeared in 1677. The owner of the rank in charge of the royal armory, and with it, and attached to the masters and artists.
- Boyarin and stable - all the stud farms and stables were under the authority of the boyar. In addition, whole volosts could be attributed to the part of the stud farms.
- The boyar and the butler - all the ministers at the court submitted to the owner of the rank. His responsibilities included the management of the Order of the Grand Palace, that is, he controlled all the articles of domestic income and expenses. In addition, the boyar, who owns this rank, was the chief judge, and managed all the lands from which the palace received income.
Suppression of the boyars
By the end of the 7th century, any line between the two estates generally became invisible. Since by this time most of the noble families representing the boyars,simply died out, the remaining economically weakened, and, accordingly, lost their importance, while the non-titled nobles along with the nobles, on the contrary, strengthened their positions.
The final collapse of the boyars occurred under Peter I. The king and the boyars were in constant conflict, which ultimately led to the abolition of the Boyar Duma. In essence, the boyars, as a class, ceased to exist.
But until then, the hereditary boyars and nobles coexisted in parallel. Both those and others served at the court and carried out practically the same functions, therefore on what distinguishes the boyar from the nobleman, it is necessary to dwell in more detail. Indeed, in some moments the difference was significant.
What distinguishes the boyar from the nobleman
- Initially, the boyars belonged to the higher strata of the nobility, owning their own lands and possessing great power on their territory. The nobles were from the younger squad and served only for the right to use the land and peasants assigned to it (until the XV century).
- Boyar service was voluntary. If desired, the boyar could move from one prince to another. The nobles, called up for service to the prince, could leave her only with his permission.
- Up until the beginning of the “Petrine period,” the boyars exerted a much greater influence on state administration than the nobles, whose class became noticeable only by the 15th century.
- Up until the beginning of the 17th century, in the feudal hierarchy, the boyars were given the dominant position.
Last boyars in Russia
Despite the fact that under Peter I the boyars did not become, the title of boyar formally existed, and from the beginning of XVIII four more people honored him: Count Apraksin, Yu. F. Shakhovskoy, P. I. Buturlin, and S. P. Neledinsky -Meletsky.
The history of the boyars ended in 1750, with the death of the last Russian boyar, Prince I. Yu. Trubetskoy.