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Voivode[1] is a Slavic title that originally denoted the principal commander of a military force. 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", "duke", or "count" (as in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula). In Slavic terminology, the rank of a voivode is in some cases considered equal of that of a German Herzog. 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 "count palatine", in charge of a palatinate.

The title was used in medieval Bulgaria, Bohemia, Bosnia, Croatia, Transylvania, Rugen[2], Lusatia, Poland, Moscow (later Tsardom of Russia), Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, 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).


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