an appanage principality created by Muscovite princes for Tatar khans who had entered their service.
The Kasimov Kingdom occupied an area along the Oka River (the northeastern part of present-day Riazan’ Oblast), inhabited by Meshchers, Mordovians, and partly by Tatars. It was granted for the first time by Vasilii II Temnyi to the Kazan tsarevich Kasim Khan (in about 1450–56); Gorodets-Meshcherskii, the main city of the region, was renamed Kasimov after Kasim Khan. The “tsars” or “tsareviches” of the Kasimov Kingdom were appointed at the discretion of the Muscovite government from among members of the Tatar aristocracy who had chosen to become Russian subjects. Some of them played a prominent role in the political life of the Russian state, especially during the struggle with the Kazan Khanate. After Russia annexed Kazan in 1552, the importance of the Kasimov Kingdom declined. The administration of the Kasimov Kingdom was from then on virtually in the hands of Muscovite voevodas (military governors), and the “tsars” and “tsareviches” became ordinary landowners in the service of the Russian state. In 1681, with the death of Fatami Sultan, the last ruler of Kasimov, the Kasimov Kingdom ceased to exist even formally.
REFERENCESVel’iaminov-Zernov, V. V. Issledovanie o Kasimskikh tsariakh i tsarevichakh, parts 1–4. St. Petersburg, 1863–87.
Shishkin, N. I. Istoriia goroda Kasimova s drevneishikh vremen, 2nd ed. Riazan’, 1891.
Tikhomirov, M. N. Rossiia XVI stoletii. Moscow, 1962. Pages 42–46.