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a. a territory ruled by a prince
b. a territory from which a prince draws his title
2. the dignity or authority of a prince



(in Russian, kniazhestvo), a monarchical state headed by a prince and most typical of the period of feudal fragmentation. In ancient Rus’ the first principalities were established between the ninth and early tenth centuries. In the 11th to 12th centuries a number of principalities broke away from Kievan Rus’ (which in turn disintegrated into appanages held by representatives of the princely family) and were named after their capitals (for example, the principalities of Riazan’ and Vladimir). The largest of them were called grand principalities. From the end of the 15th century through the early 16th the principalities of northeastern Rus’ were united to form a centralized Russian state under the Grand Principality of Moscow.

In other states, the principality (in German, Fürstentum and in French, principauté) was also the typical political formation of the period of feudal fragmentation. Territorial principalities continued to exist in Germany until they were united to form the German Empire in 1871. A number of principalities still exist (Liechtenstein and Monaco in Western Europe and the Arab principalities on the Persian Gulf [United Arab Emirates]). Until 1950 there were principalities in India.

References in periodicals archive ?
I even pointed out to the heavenly father that thousands of votes cast by the Principalities had been discarded because the wine-stained ballots had been double-punched (those 300 electoral votes were all I needed to be ushered into eternal bliss).
He may have his wing count, and we won't neglect the absentee ballots." (When my destination was voted on, many of the Seraphim and Cherubim and Principalities were on theatrical tour in the Vatican, acting out scenes from Dr.
The third hierarchy of the Principalities, Archangels, and Angels, carries out the particular actions that have been decided upon by the higher orders of angels.

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