Elita władzy miasta Lwowa w XVI wieku
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Power Elite in Lviv in the 16th century
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Power elite was an important element of the Lviv city community. In this paper the power elite includes only the members of the Soviet council, which until 1519 consisted of 6 on-duty councilors and the unknown number of the so-called old councilors (“rajcowie starzy”). After implementing in 1519 the lifelong administration of magistracies through the councilors, the group counted 12 people, until the end of the period in question, and consisted of two councils. Within a year, since this was the time-span for the term of office, the first consisted of 6 men forming the “on-duty council”, the second was the so-called “old council”. The Lviv councilors were a group of people who distinguished themselves in common activities, economic significance in the city and vast wealth, and the social exclusiveness. The lives and activities of 80 people, the members of the city council, coming from 60 families were characterized in this article. It is worth mentioning that 44 people from this group gained the office of a councilor without having any ancestors in this magistracy. In contrast, only the representatives of 5 families (amongst the researched 60) had their representatives in the city council for three generations, 12 families were councilors for 2 generations and the remaining 43 families were represented in the council only for 1 generation. The members of power elite usually had prestigious occupations in the city, allowing them to make huge fortunes throughout their lives. The Lviv power elite of the discussed period was linked by numerous relations of consanguinity and affinities. Often enough the appropriate marriage with a daughter of a councilor or a juror, or their widows, simplified the entering into the ranks of this social group, or enhanced the earlier achieved position. Even though the majority of the representatives of power elite were from Lviv, 18 councilors came from a group of newcomers to this city. The members of the Lviv elites had numerous connections with the cities of the Republic of Poland and the central-east Europe. There were amongst them people having higher education, in the majority gained at the University of Cracow. They comprised a group ruling the city during the discussed century.
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