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Glossary

boyar
Member of the upper stratum of medieval Russian society and state administration. Boyars were generally drawn from about 200 families, descended from former princes, old Moscow boyar families and foreign aristocrats; and they participated in a boyar council that helped the czar direct the internal and foreign affairs of state.

cuisse
Plate of armor worn to protect the thigh.

The Dormition Cathedral
The Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin was built in 1479 at the order of the Great Muscovy Prince, Ivan III, by the Italian architect and engineer, Aristotele Fioravanti. All chief ceremonies of state were held here. The most important documents of state, including emperors' declarations of their successors, were kept in the altar. The heads of the Russian church were buried in the Dormition Cathedral.

dragoon
A heavily armed trooper in some European armies of the 17th and 18th centuries.

dropsy
The abnormal accumulation of fluid in body tissues and cavities. An old term for edema, or swelling.

duma
A Russian national parliament, convened and dissolved four times between 1905 and 1917.

ecclesiastical
Of or pertaining to a church, especially an organized institution.

gauntlet
A protective glove worn with medieval armor.

grandee
A person of eminence or high rank.

niello
Any of several black metallic alloys of sulfur with copper, silver or lead, used to fill an incised design on the surface of another metal.

oklad
A decorated cover, usually made for an icon.

poleyn
Armor used to protect the kneecap.

Rus'
Ancient people who gave their name to the land of Russia.

sabaton
Armor used to protect the foot.

vambrace
Armor used to protect the forearm.

Sources: The American Heritage Dictionary; Blakeston's Gould Medical Dictionary, 4th Edition; The New Encyclopaedia Britannica; Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 25th Edition; Treasures of the Czars education guide


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