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zemsky sobor

(("assembly of the land"), in 16th- and 17th-century Russia, an advisory assembly convened by the tsar or the highest civil authority in power whenever necessary. It was generally composed of representatives from the ecclesiastical and monastic authorities, the boyar council, the landowning classes, and the urban freemen; elections for representatives and the sessions of each group were held separately

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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