Sovet gospod

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The Council of Lords or Sovet Gospod was, according to the traditional scholarship, the executive organ of the Novgorodian and Pskovian veches.

The Council of Lords in Novgorod the Great[edit]

In Novgorod, the Council of Lords was said to have been chaired by the Archbishop of Novgorod and composed of the posadniks (the incumbent and retired posadniks), tysyatskys (incumbent and retired), and other important members of the boyarstvo. It met, after 1433, in the Palace of Facets, part of the archiepiscopal palace in Novgorod built by Evfimy II.[1]

Valentin Yanin has argued that the Council of Lords was the real governing body in Novgorod and that it controlled the veche, which was merely a sham through which the common people were tricked into thinking they were participating in government.[2] More recently though, Jonas Granberg has called into question the very existence of the Council of Lords, arguing that it is an invention of historians based on very sparse sources and much conjecture based on other governing bodies elsewhere in Europe.[3]

The Council of Lords In Pskov[edit]

The Pskov Judicial Charter and other sources speak of "The Lords" but it is not clear if this is a formal body or a more general term like "the city fathers" or something to that effect.


  1. ^ For a brief review of the traditional literature, see Michael C. Paul, "The Iaroslavichi and the Novgorodian Veche: A Case Study on Princely Relations with the Veche," Russian History (2004).
  2. ^ Valentin Ianin, Novgorodskie Posadniki (Moscow: Moscow State University, 1962; second edition Moscow: Yazyki Slavianskoi Kultury, 2003), 437; Idem, "The Archaeology of Novgorod," Scientific American 262, No. 2(Feb. 1990), 72-84.
  3. ^ Jonas Granberg, “The Sovet Gospod of Novgorod, in Russian and German Sources,” Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 47 (1998): 396-401.