in the Russian state from the 16th to the beginning of the 18th century, freed kholopy (male slaves). The term guliashchie liudi also applied to servants whose bondage legally ended with the death of their master and to peasants posadskie liudi (merchants and artisans), and sluzhilye liudi (members of the military service class) engaged in seasonal work.
Guliashchie liudi paid no taxes to the state or the feudal lords. They were primarily hired workers who often became dependent on a new feudal lord. In the 17th century people departing to look for work were said to be “strolling” (guliat’) or “going out into the world” (khodit’ v guliakakh), and they were called “wanderers” (guliashchie). Guliashchie liudi actively participated in antifeudal peasant uprisings and wars and in city uprisings. The government tried to destroy this segment of the population. On June 1, 1722, Peter I issued an edict ordering the conscription of the guliashchie liudi as soldiers or as people legally tied to the cities or their transformation into serfs.