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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the name of military and administrative positions in Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The military posts included the sotennyi golova, the chief of a 100-man unit (sotnia) in the dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry) militia: the streletskii golova (colonel from the second half of the 17th century), the chief of the Streletskii Prikaz (the office administering the semiprofessional musketeers); the cossack golova; the pushkarskii golova (head of a detail of soldiers), the chief of city artillery; the oboznyi golova, in charge of transportation; the osadnyi golova, who prepared the city for a siege; the zasechnyi golova, in charge of defense lines; the stanitsa (storozhevoi) golova, the chief of a border (frontier) detachment; and the stoialyi golova, the chief of sentry service in the borderlands of the state. The government usually appointed dvoriane and deti boiarskie (second-rank nobility) to the golova posts.

The administrative and financial posts included the zhit-nichnyi golova, in charge of the collection of grain for the salary of military people; the ob‘ ’ezzhyi golova, in charge of the police of a city; the pis’mennyi golova, an assistant to the voevody (provincial governors) in Astrakhan and the cities of Siberia and later in charge of the chancellory; the solianoi golova, in charge of the state treasury’s salt works; and the tamozhennyi golova and kabatskii golova, in charge of the collection of customs and liquor duties. The golova posts existed until the beginning of the 18th century. The position of gorodskoi golova (mayor) appeared in Russia with the Charter of the Cities of 1785.


Chicherin, B. Oblastnye uchrezhdeniia Rossii ν XVII v. Moscow, 1856.
Chernov, A. V. Vooruzhennye sily Russkogo gosudarslva XV-XVII vv. Moscow. 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.