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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an office in Russia from the late 15th to the 18th century. When taking the oath of office, the tseloval’nik kissed (Russian, tseloval) the cross, hence the name of the office. With the golovy and starosty, the tseloval’niki, as their assistants, were responsible to the central and local government for properly collecting monetary revenues; they also took part in the judicial and police surveillance of the population. The office is first mentioned in the Sudebnik of 1497. After domestic customs duties were abolished in 1754, only the kabatskie tseloval’niki (those serving in a state-managed public house) remained. By tradition, the salesmen in state wine shops continued to be called tseloval’-niki from the second half of the 19th to the early 20th century.

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