Voivode (derived from Old Slavic, literally meaning "warlord") is a Slavic title that originally denoted the principal commander of a military force (warlord). The word gradually came to denote the governor of a province.

The territory ruled or administered by a voivode is known as a voivodeship. In the English language, the title is often translated as "prince" or "duke". In Slavic terminology, the rank of a voivode is considered equal of that of a German Herzog. Voivode was considered an assistant of Knyaz. Today in Poland the term wojewoda means the centrally appointed governor of a Polish province or voivodeship (Polish: województwo). The Polish title is sometimes rendered in English as "palatine" or "prince palatine", in charge of a palatinate. Other similar titles could be considered Margrave (Frontier-Governor), Governor-General, and others. With the expansion of the Russian Empire the title of voivode was superseded by namestnik (compared to viceroy).

The title was used in medieval Bulgaria, Bohemia, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece, Transylvania, Rügen, Lusatia, Poland, Muscovy (later Tsardom of Russia), Serbia, Moldavia, Wallachia, Halych, Volhynia, Novgorod Republic, Chernigov, and Kiev. Later, voivode was the highest military rank in the principalities of Montenegro and Serbia, and in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In the Romanian medieval principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, voievode became part of the official titulature of the sovereign prince, showing his right to lead the entire army. Voivode or vajda was also the title of the Hungarian governors of Transylvania in the Middle Ages. Under the Ottoman Empire the leaders of Bulgaria's Haiduti (Хайдути) rebels were called "voevodes" (Bulgarian, singular: войвода, voyvoda).

Read more about VoivodeEtymology, History, Poland, Hungary, Moldavia and Wallachia, Russia, Serbia, Voivodes in Popular Culture

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