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Article

«Большая дружина» в Древней Руси

Российская история. 2011. № 5. С. 78-90.

The author synthesizes the data indicating large (numerous) corps of professional warriors in service of the rulers of Rus' in the 10-11th centuries. Following the Czech mediaevalist František Graus the author designates the institution as the “large retinue” (Czech velkodružina, German “Staatsgefolge”). The rulers maintained these corps mainly by payments in cash extracting money as a tribute from subjugated people. In Rus' the corps were called by the words otroki and grid'. They numbered up to several thousands soldiers. The model of the “large retinue” calls for a re-examination of the concept of družina which is very popular in the Russian historiography. The concept should be treated in a more subtle and differentiated way.