AskDefine | Define hospodar

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A title borne by the governors of Moldavia and Wallachia.


Extensive Definition

Hospodar or gospodar is a term of Slavonic origin, meaning "lord".
The rulers of Wallachia and Moldavia (only occasionally joined) were styled hospodars in Slavic writings from the 15th century to 1866. Hospodar was used in addition to the title voivod. When writing in Romanian, the term Domn (from the Latin dominus) was used.
At the end of this period, as the title had been held by many vassals of the Ottoman Sultan, its retention was considered inconsistent with the independence of the Danubian Principalities' (formalized from Romania only in 1878 — replacing the tributary status). Hospodar was therefore discarded in favour of domnitor or, in short, domn, which continued to be the official princely title up to the proclamation of a Kingdom of Romania in 1881 (which did not include Transylvania until 1918).

Etymology and Slavic usage

Gospodar (, ) is a derivative of gospod, lord, (spelled with capital G, Gospod, it means Lord, God).
The pronunciation as hospodar of a word written gospodar in all but one of the Slavonic languages which retain the Cyrillic alphabet is not, as is sometimes alleged, due to the influence of Ukrainian, but to that of Church Slavonic — in both of these, g is frequently pronounced h.
In Ukrainian, the title is especially applied to the master of a house or the head of a family. The word gospodar still covers the first of these two meanings in Romanian.
The title was used briefly towards the end of the Second Bulgarian Empire. In 1394-95, Ivan Shishman of Bulgaria referred to himself not as a Tsar (as traditionally), but as a gospodin of Tarnovo, and in foreign sources was styled herzog or merely called an "infidel bey". This was possibly to indicate vassalage to Bayezid I or the yielding of the imperial title to Ivan Sratsimir.
In Serbian, Croatian and Bulgarian, gospodar (господар) means a "master", "lord", or "sovereign lord". Other derivatives of the word include the Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, and Croatian gospodin (господин, "Mister"), Russian gospod` (господь, "the Lord"), the Polish gospód ("lord", "master"), the Czech hospod. All forms stem from the Proto-Slavic word gospodü (господъ). Russian word gosudar, which means "sovereign"


hospodar in German: Gospodar
hospodar in Modern Greek (1453-): Οσποδάρος
hospodar in French: Hospodar
hospodar in Italian: Hospodar
hospodar in Latvian: Gospodars
hospodar in Dutch: Hospodar
hospodar in Polish: Hospodar
hospodar in Russian: Господарь
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