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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



originally the prince’s vicegerent in the territories constituting the early Russian state. The term was first used in the Primary Chronicle under the year 997. It later designated the highest official position in Novgorod and Pskov; the position was abolished in these cities after their annexation to the Russian state.

The posadnik was elected at the veche (popular meeting) from among members of the richest and most distinguished boyar families. In Novgorod, the reform of Ontsifor Lukinich (1354) replaced the posadnik with six officials elected for life (elder posadniki), one of whom would be elected yearly as the functioning, or active, posadnik The reform of 1416—17 raised the number of posadniki to 18 and stipulated that the active posadnik would be elected for six months. Between 1308 and 1510, there were 78 posadniki in Pskov.


Kafengauz, B. B. Drevnii Pskov: Ocherki po istorii feodal’noi respubliki. Moscow, 1969.
Ianin, V.L. Novgorodskie posadniki. Moscow, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In his absence, an aristocracy drawn from the most powerful local clans monopolized the elective offices of posadnik (mayor) and tysiatskii ("thousandman"), (2) sharing power with the veche, if not controlling it.
(17) It is true that Ghillbert de Lannoy, a Westerner who visited Novgorod in the summer of 1415, concluded that the archbishop was the real power in the city; he wrote that "there is a bishop here who is like their sovereign," (18) adding that the city boasted 350 churches and "a castle situated on the bank of the aforementioned river [the Volkhov], and in it stands the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom, which they revere, and their aforementioned bishop lives there." (19) But during his nine-day visit to the city, Lannoy met other town officials (seigneurs, or "lords"), the tysiatskii (whom he called dux), and the posadnik (bourchgrave).
(62) Although their article's focus was on Marfa Boretskaia, the late 15th-century wife of a posadnik who, through legends and tales, took on the aura of the matriarch of the anti-Muscovite faction in the city, Lenhoff and Martin argued that the "Slovesa izbranna," the late 15th-century tract that laid out the original black image of Marfa as a traitor and heretic, was probably written in Archbishop Feofil's scriptorium to exonerate the archbishop and keep him from suffering the grand prince's wrath by putting the blame on Marfa.
(76) In 335, Vasilii paid for the construction of a wall around the Market Side of the city, in conjunction with the posadnik and tysiatskii.
(30) After the reforms, the number of posadniki and tysiatskie increased (originally there were six posadniki, one for each of Novgorod's five ends, plus a "high" posadnik; by the end of Novgorodian independence, there were twenty-four posadniki.
Archbishop Vasilii, in consultation with the posadniks (mayors) of Novgorod, replied, perhaps wisely, that since the Russians had received the Eastern Orthodox faith from Constantinople, the king should send men there if he wished to debate.