Titles of nobility in Russia worked differently than in Western Europe until the reign of Peter the Great, when he patterned them after the German system. Boyar referred in pre-Muscovite Russia to landowners who had percieved authority in town councils, and therefore the ear of the ruling Prince. In the XV century Muscovite Russia and later, they became landed nobility by decree of the Tsar. In folk tales, they simply refer to wealthy and noble people who frequent the court of the Tsar.

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