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Old talk[edit]

I changed the geographic reference from "the history of some Slavic lands (Ruthenia, Russia, Serbia)" to "...(Russia, Serbia, Ukraine)", since the casual reader would be more likely to recognize the modern names. Anyone who reads further would soon encounter Rus' and Ruthenia. I hope no one is offended. Cheers. Michael Z. 18:05, 2004 Sep 7 (UTC)

Knyaz is a more common (not to mention that it is also more correct) way of transliterating the Russian word князь. Shouldn't the redirect be from kniaz to knyaz, not the other way around (as it is now)?--Ezhiki 17:09, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)

Holy shmoly, looks like this article is yet another idiotic battleground between Ukrainian and Russian nationalists. I withdraw my earlier comment.--Ezhiki 14:16, Jun 24, 2004 (UTC)

Slovak, Czech[edit]

In today's Slovak, "kňaz", and in Czech, "kněz" means a priest.

Yes, thats true, and name for rulers changed from original knyaz/kniez → kníže (in Czech) or knieža (in Slovak).


Even earlier word from the Proto-Germanic *Kuningaz, a form also borrowed by Finnish (Kuningas), is related to the Slavonic word "kniaz'" because all of them are the derivatives of the common Indo-European root form meaning "a horse-mounted warrior" (compare modern Russian word "konnik" and English "knight").

This piece of "etymology" is pseudoetymology, and the most tell-tale sign is the claim that initial Germanic k- corresponds to slavic k-. It is sad that people won't stop adding bogus information in Wikipedia.--Wiglaf 18:51, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Indeed the piece about a 'horse-mounted warrior' is bogus, since English knight originally meant 'child' or 'servant' and had nothing to do with horses. However, the theory that knyaz is a loanword from Germanic kuningaz is generally accepted, and here k corresponds to Germanic k just as English b corresponds to Russian b in babushka95.27.84.181 (talk) 08:10, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

middle ages sentence[edit]

the first sentence is "The meaning was changing during history." to me this makes no sense whatsoever. is history over? i think it should be changed to "The meaning has changed through history" or something of the like. any suggestions would be appreciated before i or anyone else changes it. --Tainter 01:46, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

I think the phrasing is fine. This word is not part of active politics, it is all about history now. --Ghirlandajo 11:25, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Etymology of Polish 'ksiadz'[edit]


Polish word ksiadz is a germanism-it comes from Old German language word kuning, not from kniaz.Perhaps add a article on the word. Saying ksiadz comes from kniaz is very misleading. --Molobo 09:44, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Have you ever heard of denasalization? Kniaz is a pan-Slavic word derived from konung. In Polish, the word evolved into ksiadz. You'd better follow the link to Vasmer's article I inserted in the article before making any sweeping assertions. --Ghirlandajo 11:07, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry but your edit makes it seem like Polish ksiadz came from Eastern Slavic kniaz word.

Also I don't understand Russian language.Do you know a good translator from Russian to German or English ? --Molobo 11:33, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Sorry but the Polish word Ksiadz doesn't come from East Slav kniaz:
  • kъnęʒь ‘król, książę, ksiądz’ (← sgn. kuning),
king, prince,priest-old german kuning. --Molobo
But who has told you that ksiads is derived from the East Slavic? Kniaz is a pan-Slavic borrowing from konungr, which developed as князь in East Slavic languages, knez in South Slavic languages and Czech, and as kziadz in Polish, where nasalization happened. The parent language is Common Slavonic and not Old East Slavic. Do you see the difference now? --Ghirlandajo 12:04, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Ok I can conceded to this however I will put explanation that the word itself has German origins, and as a title was used mainly by Eastern Slavs.No need to imply mythical "slavic" nation. --Molobo 12:19, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Kniaz is a pan-Slavic So you mean its old slovanic language word ? Please don't use the term pan-slavic as its highly ideological. --Molobo 12:23, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Language of Slavs dispute[edit]

I still think it seems strange than any common word between Slavic and Germanic seems to be borrowed by Slavs from Goths. Is it not possible that it could have been the other way?? I've read sites which have linked Slavic, Baltic and Germanic as forming a single branch of the IE family tree at a time when it was one of four languages. If all these words, Knyaz, Malako etc are taken from Germanic, what then is proper Slavic?

I don't have a clue what "Malako" is. If you mean the Slavic word for milk, it is not a Germanic loan by any means. --Ghirla | talk 10:05, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

It seems that every verb, noun and adjective is from Celtic, Latin, Greek, Germanic, Iranian (religious terms) etc. Has Slavic really not leant itself to anything? Or is it simply disagreeable to think with its low prestige in the 21st century that someone might have borrowed from your ancestors?

There are no Slavic loans from Celtic, as best I know. Early Latin loans are extremely sparse and may be counted with the fingers of one hand, so to speak. The proliferation of Germanic and Greek loans is easy to understand, as these populations were culturally more advanced than early Slavs. There are some Iranian (Scythian) loans, not more than a dozen really, and most of these are disputed. There is nothing denigrating in the abundance of loans, as it is a sign of extensive cultural contacts. Actually, a number of loaned words in East Slavic languages is astoundingly low, if we compare with - say - English. Both the Slavs and the Balts remained in the Indo-European urheimat after all the other branches departed, so it is hardly surprising that the Balts and the Slavs retain the largest portion of PIE vocabulary of all the living languages. Take a look at the Slavic terms of kinship in the List_of_Indo-European_roots and compare them with PIE roots, for example. --Ghirla | talk 10:05, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Slavs were led by dukes/princes from as far back as their origins are attested. It may sound stupid but I can't even see how Knyaz has roots in Germanic. This is not a suggestion that the Germanic word is taken from Slavic, as much as a suggestion that the proto-language variants descended from an earlier language spoken by ancestors of both. Same for all other Proto-Slavic words, either that or early Slavs were (Nems) themselves, no words for anything until told how to say things by more intellectual outsides. Is this how modern Poles, Czechs and Ukranians like to view themselves? Celtmist 27 February 2006

Please take a note that Wikipedia is neither a usenet group nor a chat room. I don't have time to explain it to your at large, but knyaz' - like all other Slavic words ending with -az' (kuning->knyaz, viking->vityaz, pfenning->penyaz, kalding->kolodez') is an obvious Germanic (Norse) borrowing. --Ghirla | talk 10:05, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
The Gerries were certainly not more advanced than your ancestors. Greeks and Iranians, maybe so, Gerries, no sir. Right until the early second millennium AD there is attested documentation that these Goth-descendants, chiefly those who a few centuries earlier devastated all of Rome, were still barbarians. This is classed as the previous stage of our mental evolution where-as Slavs were non-empirical and sought to settle and raise families in their pre-permanent settlement period. I do accept that this is not a reason that Slavs might not borrow words from Germanic. Celtmist 1 March 2006

|I am tired of the belief that loanwords constitute "inferiority" and that there is a deliberate bias in linguistics to "attribute Slavic words/etc to German or another language", or any form of that argument.

Listen, loanwords mean that a language is growing and prominent- that it is expanding. All languages get them, even German, which even now gets an influx from English.

Germans were not "more advanced" than Slavs, but they certainly had more words. German tribes received the direct channel of information from Roman culture as that civilization declined. Germans and Celts were inhabiting Europe closer to Rome than Slavs, so they learned all the terms of the Empire and thus received more words. Many of the Slavic words with German roots refer to these terms learned from the Empire. This is a sign of cultural expansion and growth, a healthy one at that.| CormanoSanchez (talk) 23:56, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Origin of Knjäz[edit]

Please do not mix things with each other. Kuningaz is Old Prussian for English King or Swedish Konung, Deutsch Köning. Knjäz derives its power position from medieval Frankki word meaning King´s Vassal who was appointed by the King to his position to rule one particular district with the ruling power delivered by King. Knjäz correspond much Old Prussian Ruhtinaz, English Upper Noble, Svensk Hög Adel. I think this system was created during Merovingi time when most of the European half independend mini Counties wanted to be taken by the ruler much more closer control under central power centre ruled by the King. In Finnish the honoured name is Pääri. Ruhtinas is a loan word from Old Prussian (Porusski) in Old Slavonic. This Pääri name is Swedish Jarl, English Earl. But Pääri become Boyar in Russian and the Finnish speaking made this Boyar (Bojar) Pajari for Russian Boyar. This whole naming system is too complicated to my limited knowledge but for comparation the Mordvins had Inäzör corresponding Knjäz and Tatars had Mirza corresponding Kaani who delegated his power to Murzas. Mongolians had Kaani in Finnish and Khan in Russian. And above Kaani´s was Kaanien Kaani (Khan of Khans). The first self named Tsar derives from Velikoj Knjäz (Gross Ruhtinaz) who appointed original Knjäz or they were blood relatives in kin. This has something to do with old Persian Satrape system combined to the traditions of Byzantium ie East Roman Empire. But as far as I know prior 1453 Byzantium did not nominate any of Russian Velikoj Knjäz to Emperor of Russia using Constantinople Greek Orthodox Ceremonies to correspond equivalent nomination of purpple born East Roman Emperor. Quite difficult name jungle to find out best equivalent names. Then is in Finnish Jalosukuinen, (Noble Kin) and Ylhäisyys (Exellency) which is the exact corresponding name to both Ruhtinaz and Knjäz. An other interesting word is Teidän Korkea-arvoisuutenne literally transliterated Your High Valueness. This also is connected mainly to Russia. Jalopeura (Noble Reindeer) is ancient Finno Ugrian name for Lion which usually means or is connected to Royal (Highness) and blood. These words cannot be simply transliterated, because there is not equivalent words in Indo-European languages. I believe Russian Knjäz is of Old Persian origin combined with Holy term from Byzantium through East Roman Orthodox Religion which could explaine difference in Russian and West-Slavonic meanings of nearly identical words. You have to remember who were the original inhabitants of the north western part of now a days Russia from Ural Baltic Sea and from Kuola Peninsula to Penza and little beyond before the East Slavs and many names in Russian language are loan words from ancient Finnish and other Finno Ugrian languages and also the other way back. If Finnish language has more than 10.000 words in daily use, the corresponding number in Russian is between 6.000 to 7.000. In some Indo-European languages even less.

Ghirla did not understand the position of Grand Duchy of Finland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania compared to Russia. Where self nominated Tsar was the Tsar of All Russians, ie Emperor, He was not Emperor of Finland and in former Kingdom of Poland, but only The Grand Duke for Finns and Lithuanians. Grand Master for Turkomen etc. I have preserved somewhere his all titles, even the suggested last one to be added before his name, the High Lama of Tannu Tuva and Mongolia, as suggested in 1915 but never taken in use.

In 1914 the ruler of Russia was crowned and consecrated himself: The Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russians, of Moscow, of Kiev, of Vladimir, of Novgorod; Tsar of Kazan, of Astrakhan, of Poland, of Siberia, of Kherson-Taurida, of Grusi; Gosudar of Pskov, Grand Duke of Smolensk, of Lithuania, of Volynia, of Podolia, and of Finland; Prince of Estonia, of Livonia, of Kurland; of Semigalia, of the Samoyeds, of Bielostok, of Karelia, of Foer, of Ingor, of Perm, of Viatka, of Bulgaria, and of other Balkan Countries; master and Grand Duke of the Lower Countries in Novgorod, of Tehernigov, of Riazan, of Polotsk, of Rostov, of Yaroslavl, of Vieloselsk, of Udorsk, of Obdorsk, of Kondinsk, of Vitelsk, of Mstilav, and all the countries of the north; Master Absolute of Iversk, of Kastalinsk, and of the territory of Armenia; Sovereign of the mountain Princes of Tcherkask; master of Turkestan, heir Presumptive of Norway and Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, of Stormarne, of Dithmarschen, and of Oldenburg.

At the same time in a tiny settlement of Bulun in lower Lena with 40 yurtas with some 200 native fishing Tunguses ruled the local "King" who declared in his clear moments "God in heaven, the Tsar in St.Peterburg, and me - Ivan the merchant in Bulun, the King of Tunguses". This was accompanied by drunking priest at nearist settlement toward upstream, Schigansk in church with "Pope" and his loyar servants living in four yurtas. Pless God them all. And in Turuhansk on upper Jenisei where local elite of the place had commenced the winter season, having their parties by turn in different houses almost every night, drinking vodka and playing cards - both men and women - until 3 o´clock in the morning, just to sleep and ate until next round, while couple of versts outside Turuhansk were colonies of Duchoborski, Skoptsi and others who lived with substantial and well-built houses, with its cleanliness and good order serving the God. This was real Russia in 1914. Less than a hundred years ago.|unsigned]] comment added by (talk) 17:16, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Citation needed[edit]

All etymology is bogus if only theories are cited without giving adequate sources where the word is first attested. This article is completely useless for the reason that it gives no information as to when and where the word knyaz occurs in actual written sources. Relying on dictionaries solely is not sufficient. Different Slavonic communities acquired writing in different time, and some could have loaned words through the mediation of other Slavonic languages. I realize that Wikipedia is not a corpus research, yet a short timeline of the word's use in earliest sources must be given. (talk) 08:20, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Occult, nationalistic nonsense about "germanic" Kn(i)az[edit]

quote: "as it could be a very early borrowing from the already extinct Proto-Germanic Kuningaz"

Then you would also say that Mama, Milk in Slavic Mati, Mleko also derives /was also" borrowed " from "proto germanic" milch...

The biggest nationalistic, occult nonsense every linguist scholar could ever construct!

Knez or Kniaz and his territory/principality Knezhestvo / kniazhestvo, derived from the Slavic root (only) Kon(i)ezha (try to say it loud; you will shorten the word into K'nyezha); which meant "horse riding"; with other words - a rider/reiter. 1. Kon(j) or Kon or Kun(j) as a horse; 2. ježa / jezha as "ride" (jezditi (a verb) as "riding"))

Knez was a civilian ruler but in the status of war he was elected as Khan in east ("scynthia") or "great one" (velikan; veliky; veli Kan). His territory became known as Khanat or Khaganat. The knez woman (princess) was called Kneginya(in slovene for example); which derives from Konyegan(shortened K'nyegan/KnyeKan). In south (Bosnia) were Khagans called Bani (Bans); which was a transliteration of Slavic Pan; "ruler".

Here is an example of the inscription from Novgorod of supposed "vikings" (they were Slavic Wagrians or "Variags" elite military units) inscription:

It is written:

Khniaz-tv(o) G/ZP?

Kniaztvo; "principality" (actually it was a kingdom in Slavic territory; khniaz / kniaz was a democratic ruler (elected by people).


Ermenrich, in 9 out of 15 etymological dictionaries (including Brockhaus and Efron's dictionary), it is said that the word "knyaz" is simply related to the German "kuningaz", as well as the Finnish "ruhtinas". It is not necessary to pass off the statement of M. Fasmer as the opinion of the majority. Noraskulk (talk) 14:20, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

Then list them all with translations, because the etymological dictionaries that are used here say it comes from Germanic. You've shown yourself to be fairly bad at interpreting sources (such as stating that Vasmer says khleb was loaned into Germanic, or that Finnish and Russian are related languages), so I want explicit quotes, not just your word and a link to God knows what in Russian.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:25, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
Ermenrich, the word "knyaz" is not a loan from the Proto-German language. I didn't understand your statement about the Russian and Finnish languages. Noraskulk (talk) 14:30, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The "Brockhaus and Efron" is about the concept of a prince, not the etymology of the word. This is true of several of the dictionaries listed there, or they are normal dictionaries giving the meaning of knyaz in Russian. As for etymologies, let's see what you've linked to:
  1. Словарь Ушакова: князь, князя, мн. князья, князей, муж. (от древнегерманск. kuning). prince, prince, pl. princes, princes, husband. (from Old Germanic kuning).
A quick search doesn't reveal anything else.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:31, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
It most certainly is. Cite a modern source saying it isn't, with quotation and translation. The (not reliable, but a good place to look for consensus) Online Etymology Dictionary also says: General Germanic, but not attested in Gothic, where þiudans (cognate with Old English þeoden "chief of a tribe, ruler, prince, king") was used. Finnish kuningas "king," Old Church Slavonic kunegu "prince" (Russian knyaz, Bohemian knez), Lithuanian kunigas "clergyman" are forms of this word taken from Germanic. under King. If someone has a subscription to the Oxford Etymological Dictionary I'm sure it will confirm.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:32, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

Deriving kuningaz from Proto-Slavic is wishful thinking, and it goes against what we know about the history of Slavs and Germanics. The form kuningaz existed in the Proto-Germanic period, i.e. until c. 200 AD, and this was period when Germanic tribes expanded into the same territory where you had Proto-Slavs, which created the Chernyakhov culture. The Slavs did not expand until the 5th century. It simply goes against everything we know about Proto-Germanic and Proto-Slavic history if we assume that Fenno-Ugrics, Balts and Germanics borrowed a word the same time from the Proto-Slavs at a time when the latter were still a relatively minor group in Belarus and northern Ukraine. But, we don't need to understand the historical context. Here on WP, it is sufficient that the bulk of reliable sources say that knyaz is a borrowing from Proto-Germanic.--Berig (talk) 16:27, 2 January 2021 (UTC)