Also found in: Wikipedia.
a palace rank and later a court rank in the Russian state of the 13th through 17th centuries. In the 16th and 17th centuries stol’niki served at ceremonial feasts (stoly) given by the grand prince or tsar, served the tsar in his chambers, and accompanied him on journeys. Stol’niki were also assigned posts as voevody (military commanders), ambassadors, prikaz (office) directors, and so forth.
In the 17th century those stol’niki especially close to the tsar came to be called blizhnie (close) or komnatnye (chamber) stol’niki. According to a 17th-century table of ranks, the stol’niki occupied fifth place, behind the boyars, okol’nichie (members of the tsar’s immediate retinue), duma dvoriane (nobles), and duma d’iaki (clerks).