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).
(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. (77) In 337, he had the bridge over the Volkhov River rebuilt.
While Novgorod's political constitution is ambiguous, the city government apparently comprised the posadniki (mayors), the tysiatskie (originally a single tysiatskii
was head of the city militia, but later there were several tysiatskie, and the office became a judicial one), and the veche.