Pospolite Ruszenie


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Pospolite Ruszenie

 

(levy en masse), a general volunteer corps of the nobility (szlachta) in feudal Poland; it was called up for the first time in the 13th century and existed until the late 18th century.

The Pospolite Ruszenie was composed of rural chorągwie (detachments of lesser knights and wójtowie and sottysi [village bailiffs]) and detachments of great feudal lords. With the appearance of a standing army in the 16th century, the Pospolite Ruszenie gradually lost its importance as the main armed force.