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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(from Persian, literally “workers”), special categories of feudally dependent peasants.

(1) In Iran, Azerbaijan, and East Armenia during the 16th through 19th centuries, the ranjbaran were peasants who received land, water for irrigation, seeds, and work animals from a feudal lord and in return gave him part of their harvest.

(2) In certain khanates of Azerbaijan, the ranjbaran were peasants engaged exclusively in work on the personal estate of their owner. In contrast to the ru aya, the ranjbaran did not belong to village communes and were attached not to the land but to the person of the owner (hereditarily). Any raiyat could be made a ranjbaran by order of the khan. The number of ranjbaran was also increased by taking in fugitives from other khanates and by abducting captives during wars between the khanates. After the incorporation of the Transcaucasian khanates with Russia in 1846, the ranjbaran joined the common mass of serfs.


Petrushevskii, I. P. Ocherki po istorii feodal’nykh otnoshenii v Azerbaidzhane i Armenii v XVI-nach. XIX vv. Leningrad, 1949.
Gasanov, I. M. “Iz istorii feodal’nykh otnoshenii v Azerbaidzhane: Randzhbary v XIX v.” In Tr. ln-ta istorii i filosofii AN Azerbaidzhanskoi SSR, 1956, vol. 9.
Sumbatzade, A. S. Sel’skoe khoziaistvo Azerbaidzhana v XIX v. Baku, 1958.
Papazian, A. D. Agrarnye otnosheniia v Vostochnoi Armenii v X VI-XVII vv. Yerevan, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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