Starosta -


The starost or starosta (Cyrillic: старост/а, Latin: capitaneus, German: Starost, Hauptmann) is a Slavic term denoting a community elder whose role was to administer the assets of a clan or family estates. The Slavic root of starost translates as "senior". Since the Middle Ages, it has meant an official in a leadership position in a range of civic and social contexts throughout the Slavic world. In terms of a municipality, a starosta was historically a senior royal administrative official, equivalent to the County Sheriff or the outdated Seneschal, and analogous to a gubernator. In Poland, a starosta would administer crown territory or a delineated district called a starostwo.[1]

In the early Middle Ages, the starosta could head a settled urban or rural community or other communities, such as a church starosta, or an artel starosta, etc. The starosta also functioned as the master of ceremonies in traditional Carpatho-Rusyn, Ukrainian, and Polish weddings, similar to the stari svat (стари сват) at Serbian weddings.


Kingdom of Poland

In the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Starosta was from the 15th century the office of a territorial administrator, usually conferred on a local landowner and member of the nobility, Szlachta. Until the Third Partition of Poland in 1795, there were two types of Starosta:

There were also general starosts who were provincial governors.[2] All starosts disappeared after the Kosciuszko Insurrection in 1794 and were not reinstated until after World War I when their role was altered.

In contemporary Poland, starosta designates a district administrator, who heads the district administration starostwo and manages a powiat district, akin to the leader of a town or rural council.

Czech Republic and Slovakia

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia starosta is the title of a mayor of a town or village. Mayors of major cities use the title primátor. The term corresponds to the Austrian or German Bürgermeister.

Holy Roman Empire

Historically, the title "Starost" was also used in parts of the Holy Roman Empire but was not tied to ownership of land. The German word Starostei referred to the office or crown land district of a Starost. In German, the title starost/starosta is also translated as Hauptmann and analogous to a gubernator.

Other countries

See also


  1. ^ Ukrainian Encyclopedia .
  2. ^ Stanisław Kutrzeba (1903). STAROSTOWIE ICH POCZĄTKI I ROZWÓJ W XIV W. (in Polish). Biblioteka Cyfrowa UJK.

External links

Categories: Heads of local government | Slavic titles | Noble titles | Polish titles | Polish words and phrases | Local government in the Russian Empire | Titles of national or ethnic leadership | Masters of Ceremonies

Information as of: 25.06.2020 07:30:16 CEST

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