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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a court rank and office in the Russian state of the 13th through early 18th centuries; also a person holding this rank. The primary functions of the okol’nichii were apparently to arrange and safeguard the prince’s travels and to assist in receiving and negotiating with foreign ambassadors. The okol’nichiiwas first mentioned in 1284. In the 14th and 15th centuries he was a member of the Grand Princes’ Duma and second in duma rank after the boyars. Holders of this rank were appointed prikaz (office) directors and regimental voevody (military commanders). They also participated in organizing court ceremonies.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.