Deti Boiarskie

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Deti Boiarskie


a class of petty feudal lords that emerged in Rus’ in the 15th century. The deti boiarskie performed compulsory service, in return for which they received pomest’ia (fiefs) from princes, boyars, and the church; they did not have the right to leave service. They were the off-spring of the younger members of the princely retinues (otroki) or of the increasingly weak boyar families.

With the formation of the centralized Russian state, a great number of the deti boiarskie transferred their service to Moscow. In the 15th and first half of the 16th century the designation deti boiarskie was considered higher than the dvoriane (nobility or gentry), a class that was often descended from unfree servants of the princes of the appanage period. In the 16th century the deti boiarskie split into dvorovye deti (attendants of the tsar’s court), who belonged to the top stratum of the ruling class, and gorodovye deti (provincial service men). The term deti boiarskie disappeared during the early 18th-century reforms, with the fusion of the sluzhilye liudi (military servitors) into one class—the dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry).


Pavlov-Sil’vanskii, N. P. Gosudarevy sluzhilye liudi, 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1909.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dykstra's division of former social status for monks is innovative, as he groups the sovereign's non-lineaged state secretaries (d'iaki) with "court nobles" (dvoriane) and successful junior boyars (deti boiarskie)--who, together with the top-ranking boyars, okol'nichie, and appanage/service princes, form the "nobility." Beneath them stand first what he calls the "untitled" ("unranked" might be better) provincial landowners like Iosif's family, then "servitors," who need not have possessed any lands but acquired status from their abilities and highly placed employers, and finally "tradesmen" and "peasants," a few of whose capabilities allowed them to mingle as equals with the monastery's administrative elite.
They often held ranking military positions in their garrisons, but their duties were no different from fellow Muscovite deti boiarskie and garrison Cossacks--they acted as local diplomats, escorted convoys, and collected the fur tax (iasak).
Davies's primary aim is to reconstruct the relations of the state, both central authorities and the local voevoda (military governor), to the population of the town and its district, primarily consisting of odnodvortsy who were expected to perform military service as the town's garrison with the rank of deti boiarskie (the rank of lower- to upper-middle landholders serving in the cavalry, usually owning serfs).