Boyar
(889 words)

The earliest Russian law code (Russkaya Pravda), dating from the 11th century, lists “boyars,” feudal lords, below the ruling princes but above the court nobility [12]; they had similar status among the Bulgars and Romanians [3]. In Russian the word was used colloquially like barin (“lord”) [11]; derivation from Indo-European *bher (“to carry”) as in German urbar seems natural, but other etymologies have been discussed [16].

In the principality of Moldavia, it is easy to reconstruct how boyars begin to appear as landowners in the late Middle Ages during the dissolution of cli…

Cite this page
Nolte, Hans-Heinrich, “Boyar”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 September 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017721>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907



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