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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.
REFERENCESKafengauz, B. B. Drevnii Pskov: Ocherki po istorii feodal’noi respubliki. Moscow, 1969.
Ianin, V.L. Novgorodskie posadniki. Moscow, 1962.